Sports-related eye injuries are now the leading cause of eye injuries in the UK, but it’s not the most obvious or popular sports causing all the damage. In the UK, there are 50 hospital admissions for eye injuries occurring due to a mishap on a trampoline.
While trampolining creates an interesting case for wearing sports safety glasses while participating in just about any sport, in the UK it’s racket sports which are most responsible for eye injuries; to the order of thousands of hospital admissions every year.
It’s estimated that 2,000 of those hospital visits are caused by squash balls colliding with eyeballs at between 60 to 200 miles an hour. Ouch! A further 2,400 eyeball injuries can be attributed to rackets meeting the face at a high rate of knots.
Other eye injury related statistics in the UK include 2,153 from a football or basketball, 346 from hockey sticks, 458 from rugby balls (or similarly shaped versions), and shuttlecocks accounting for another 392 injuries.
In the US, hospital emergency rooms are treating sports-related eye injuries to the tune of 40,000 every year. The biggest offender for eye injuries is baseball, with most victims falling between 11 to 14 years old. In the 15 to 24-year-old bracket, basketball takes over as the most significant danger to a sports enthusiast’s peepers.
Other sports contributing to the sporting eye injury epidemic faced by medical systems worldwide include:
- Ice Hockey
- Racquet Sports
From the above we can ascertain that sports-related eye injuries are a massive burden on the world’s medical systems, costing anywhere between $175 to $200 million every year in the US alone. Eye injuries are also the leading cause of blindness in children.
Up to 90 percent of sports-related eye injuries can be prevented simply by wearing sports safety glasses. In most professional sports activities, suiting up in equipment designed to protect heads, hands, and feet is a requirement before stepping onto the field.
It stands to reason that protection should extend to the eyes as well. Fortunately, coaches, parents, and players are stepping up to do more to protect the eyes, and sporting institutions the world over are starting to add sports safety glasses to their list of required safety gear.
Prescription glasses are not suitable protection for the eyes during the intense activity of a sporting session. People who need prescription level lenses or contacts can get sports protective glasses with lenses that match their prescription.
All kids, and older athletes as well, should be wearing sports safety glasses while participating in a sport. The cost of losing an eye, or even both eyes, is too high relative to the minor inconvenience of having to wear yet another piece of safety gear.
Isn’t better to be out on the field playing, rather than on the bench with an eye injury, or even worse, on your way to the ER with the looming threat of losing sight in that eye for good?