The Cleveland Clinic

Eye Safety and Sports

Americans love sports and they love to look fashionable. And we oftentimes insist that sports and fashion go together, sometimes our own detriment. For while protective eye gear may never be the latest craze in tennis or baseball, think for a moment about the logic of not protecting our eyes.

We wear helmets to protect our heads and pads and braces to protect our bones and joints, so why not take the extra step to protect our eyes? We take extra steps to prevent concussions, broken bones, bruises and chipped teeth, but what do we do to prevent the possibility of permanent vision loss, a scratched cornea or fractured eye socket?

Broken bones and bruises will heal, but a serious eye injury can put you on the disabled list from your favorite sport for the rest of your life.

How do I Protect My Eyes Will Playing Sports?

The ways in which an unprotected eye may be injured in a sporting event are too numerous to count. But the ways in which we can protect our eyes are simple and straightforward. It is especially important that children, who are learning to coordinate or who have low skill levels wear protective eye gear. To reduce the risk of a serious eye injury, the following precautions should be taken when playing.

Baseball. In the event of an errant pitch, a ball lost in the sun or a thrown bat, a baseball player should wear a faceguard made of a sturdy plastic or polycarbonate metal material along with eye goggles or eye guards.

Basketball. Basketball players should wear eye goggles at all times in the event of an errant elbow, a stray poke from another player's finger or even an errantly thrown basketball.