According to Moorfields Eye Hospital in the UK “Sport and recreational injuries are the biggest single cause of accidental eye injury in children. They are commoner in older children and in boys and can nearly always be prevented by wearing properly fitting protective eyewear.”

High-risk sports and activities include anything using small fast projectiles such as shooting air rifles or playing paintball, basketball, baseball and softball, cricket, lacrosse, hockey, squash, racquetball, fencing, boxing, martial arts and golf. Cycling is also considered high risk due to the risk of road chippings, dust and flies getting into your eyes.  

This is a serious topic which sporting bodies, eye health specialists and pressure groups are getting behind on a global level. The National Eye Institute in the US urges parents and coaches to encourage the use of protective eye wear in sports as “Eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children in the United States and most injuries occurring in school-aged children are sports-related. Ninety percent of sports-related eye injuries can be avoided with the use of protective eyewear. Ordinary prescription glasses, contact lenses, and sunglasses do not protect against eye injuries. Safety goggles should be worn over them.” They add; “Protective eyewear, which is made of ultra-strong polycarbonate, is 10 times more impact resistant than other plastics, and does not reduce vision. All children who play sports should use protective eyewear.”

Optical group Specsavers recommend that children or adults taking part in any activities which are considered high risk should wear protective eye wear. They advise that people who wear glasses should be particularly careful as glasses can shatter on impact and cause serious injury. Sports glasses should be wrap around and follow the contours of your face, with a robust design and a polycarbonate lens. If playing sports outside, use tinted lenses which offer UV protection. They can supply sports eyewear depending on your needs, as well as safety eyewear to make sure your eyes are always protected.  

For questions about the different types of frames and lenses you should consider when taking part in sporting activities, it is best to ask your local optician for advice. 

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