Some of America's favorite sports to watch and play have a high risk of eye injury. Even though many sports-related eye injuries are preventable, most sports organizations do not require participants to wear the appropriate eye safety gear.
Each year, more than 100,000 Americans suffer eye injuries during sports and recreation; more than 42,000 of these injuries require emergency room treatment and about 13,500 of these injuries result in permanent vision loss. Most of these injuries could be prevented with the use of protective eyewear.
Eyewear with polycarbonate lenses should be worn for high risk sports, and helmets with a polycarbonate face mask or shield should be worn when helmets are required. Eye protection should be approved by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM).
Spectators should take caution, too. Take care to protect eyes from flying objects and pack a backup form of vision correction during activities that put you at risk of losing or shattering a lens.
Be sure to care for your eyes on and off the field because #SeeingIsBelieving.