Keep your eyes safe while playing sports!

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I do not feel right letting April pass by without discussing sports eye safety. That’s correct, fellow Buckeyes – April is Sports Eye Safety Month! I know most of you have probably been celebrating this fact all month long by walking around in your favorite safety goggles, but for those of you who haven’t, this blog is for you!

Over 40,000 people a year suffer eye injuries while playing sports. The biggest culprits are: basketball, baseball, softball, lacrosse, hockey, tennis, soccer, volleyball, water polo, football, air rifle, paintball, boxing, martial arts, cricket, squash, racquetball, fencing, badminton, fishing and golf.

Sports-related eye injuries include corneal abrasions, orbital bone (“eye socket”) fractures, ocular inflammation, and retinal injuries (tears, holes or detachments). Prevent Blindness America offers the following tips to avoid sports eye injuries:

  • Wear proper safety goggles (polycarbonate protectors) for racquet sports or basketball.
  • Use batting helmets with polycarbonate face shields for baseball.
  • Use helmets and face shields approved by the U.S. Amateur Hockey Association when playing hockey.
  • Know that regular glasses don’t provide enough protection.

Check out the website for more tips, including information on choosing and buying appropriate sports eye protection.

If you experience an eye injury, seek care immediately with your eye care provider or feel free to schedule an appointment with Optometry Services at the Wilce Student Center.

Julia Geldis, OD (staff optometrist, OSU SHS)

1. Vinger PF. A practical guide for sports eye protection. Phys Sports Med. 2000 Jun; 28(6):49-69.

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