The Importance of Sports Eyewear

Whether you’re playing or watching the game, one incident everyone dreads is an injury. Injuries can prevent players from finishing the game, or worse, end an athletic career. Protective sports eyewear helps to prevent injuries and allows players to continue to play their sport. In today’s world, many sports facilities and fitness clubs require athletes to wear proper eye gear in order to minimize injury.

Why is it important to wear protective eyewear?

Emergency rooms treat more than 40,000 sports-related eye injuries every year, and up to 90 percent of those injuries could have been prevented by using protective eyewear. Any sport in which a ball, racquet, or other flying object is present poses a risk for injury. However, injuries can also result from close contact with others in the way of pokes or jabs with fingers and elbows. Protective eyewear is important because it keeps your eyes safe from a variety of injuries. As an additional bonus, the sharper your vision, the better you will perform in your sport of choice.

Features to look for:

  • Various sizes and shapes designed to fit the user.
  • Customized to best suit the sport including reflective lenses, space for headgear, and wrap around bands.
  • User’s prescription can be added to the lenses, which allows for better clarity during the game and increased overall performance.
  • Lenses are often made of polycarbonate, an impact-resistant material, to protect eyes from high speed and high impact objects.
  • Sports frames are also made of impact resistant material and often come with rubber padding where the frame comes in contact with the head or nose.
  • Wraparound sports glasses help to ensure the eyewear remains in place for the duration of a sporting event and prevents dust or debris from entering through the sides of the glasses.

Get the Facts

Experts agree sports-related eye injuries can be prevented by wearing protective eyewear. Parents and coaches should ensure athletes are wearing safety glasses during sporting events, especially considering 43 percent of all sports-related eye injuries occur in children younger than age 15. Regular eyeglasses are not safe to use as protective sports eyewear because they do not have impact resistance and could shatter or break upon impact.

It is imperative that protective eyewear properly fits the user. Resist the urge to buy children’s eyewear with “room to grow.” Purchasing protective eyewear too large for the user could cause eyewear to be less effective and increase the risk of injury. Additionally, be sure the user has not outgrown protective goggles as this increases the risk of injury as well.

Sports using Protective Eyewear

  • Badminton: sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses
  • Baseball/softball: batting and baserunning- helmet with polycarbonate face shield. Fielding- sports goggles or sports sunglasses with shatterproof lenses and head strap
  • Basketball: wraparound sports goggles
  • Bicycling: performance sunglasses with anti-fog and anti-scratch lenses
  • Fencing: full face mask made of rigid metal
  • Field hockey: all players- sports goggles with a head strap. Goalies- full helmets and face masks
  • Fishing: polarized sunglasses
  • Football: polycarbonate shield attached to a helmet
  • Hunting and shooting: polarized shatter resistant shooting glasses
  • Ice hockey: full face helmet
  • Lacrosse: form fitting and padded face mask
  • Paintball: full face helmet
  • Racquetball: sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses
  • Skiing and snowboarding: ski goggles or wraparound polarized sunglasses with mirror coated lenses
  • Soccer: sports goggles
  • Squash/Tennis: sports goggles with wraparound frame
  • Swimming and diving: swim goggles and diving masks
  • Volleyball: sports goggles or sunglasses
  • Water Polo: swim goggles with polycarbonate lenses

Reasons Not to Compromise on Price

Have you ever been tempted to buy cheap glasses you see online or the reading glasses you found at a discount store? They look just as good as the prescription eyeglasses you paid full price for, right?

The hard truth is they are not the same as the high-quality prescription eyewear provided by our office. Unreliable eyeglasses are more likely to break, scratch, and discolor over time. Your goal should be to buy glasses that will last and will not need frequent replacement. The cost of replacing cheap glasses can add up to the same cost as purchasing a more expensive, quality pair, originally.

1. Know what you lose

When comparing costs, there is always a compromise to be made. One of the biggest elements lost when buying cheap eyeglasses is individual care. Opticians recommend eyewear based on your daily routine, provide professional fittings, and ensure the quality of your eyewear is examined.

2. Same top quality?

Online glasses retailers often state that they offer the “same top quality” as eyecare practices. How do you know what their definition or range of top quality is? Cheap price often means cheaper materials.

3. Try before you buy

Usually, when buying glasses from an online retailer, you sacrifice the opportunity to try the glasses on and see how they fit your face. A virtual try-on does not allow for an accurate representation of how glasses look and fit on your face.

4. You cannot receive a proper fitting

If you choose to purchase eyeglasses from an online supplier, you forfeit a proper fitting. As a result, you may purchase a pair of glasses that are too tight or loose for your face.

5. Cheap frames

A downside to cheaper frames is they are more likely to cause skin irritation. Cheaper metal frames can discolor your skin or even cause a skin rash due to allergy. With prolonged wear, cheap plastic frames will discolor in sunlight and the smooth finish will diminish.

6. Durability

Another inevitable loss with cheaper eyeglasses is durability. Frames made with inexpensive materials are not designed to withstand extended use as well as eyeglasses sold by eye practitioners are able to.

7. Reading glasses

A wide-spread myth: all reading glasses are the same whether you purchase them at a discount store or at an eye practitioner. The truth is, your eye practitioner is able to customize the lenses to fit your exact eye and lifestyle needs. Read more about progressive lenses available at our office here. (Link to Progressive lens resources – /resource/l