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Sports and Work - Protective Lenses

Sports and Work – Protective Lenses

Goggles with prescription lenses will help visual acuity when not wearing contact lenses... Consider these statistics:

   * 50000 North Americans lose their vision needlessly each year
   * More than 40000 people are victims of sports eye injuries every year
   * Three out of five workers who suffered an eye injury wore no protection; of those who did
     40 per cent wore the wrong kind
   * 90 per cent of the daily eye accidents that occur are preventable with the appropriate protective eyewear


Eye injuries are not a common worry for most people. It is only when there is a prominent NHL player who gets a stick to his eye or a close friend who suffers a freak accident that this issue is brought to the forefront. The truth is your eyes are incredibly valuable and are quite susceptible to injury especially when you play aggressive sports or work in a hazardous environment.

Sports Protection For all age groups sports-related injuries occur most often in baseball basketball and racquet sports. No matter what game you play however every eye care practitioner will tell you about the importance of protective eyewear. It is important to note that regular eyeglasses sunglasses and even occupational safety eyewear do not always provide adequate defence against injury. Protective sports eyewear comes in all shapes and sizes and luckily now due to demand some are interchangeable for different sports.

For basketball volleyball or baseball: primarily due to an accidental finger or ball in the eye. Polycarbonate goggles should lie close to your face to protect you from both large and small objects. Secure the frames with an elastic sports band so that the frames cannot fall off or become loose during play.

For rough contact sports: eye injuries result from balls hitting players when they use their body parts to block each other. To protect the eyes and the head from injury helmets and polycarbonate eye protection should be worn at all times when permitted by game rules.

For racquet sports: balls rackets and players are all moving about quickly in a confined area. Polycarbonate goggles or glasses will protect your eyes. Goggles with prescription lenses will help visual acuity when not wearing contact lenses or if you do not like wearing prescription glasses under goggles.

Eyewear you choose should fit securely and comfortably and allow for the use of a helmet if applicable. Most protective sports eyewear can accommodate prescription lenses. If you’re an athlete with only one good eye (monocular) ask your doctor what sports you can safely participate in. All monocular athletes should wear safety gear whenever they play – their vision is all the more valuable.

When purchasing make sure the lenses either stay in place or pop out in the event of an accident. Lenses that pop inwardly are extremely dangerous and may end up doing more harm than good. Also be sure to look for polycarbonate lenses since these are the most impact-resistant lens material. Sports eyewear should be padded along the brow and the nose to protect from a shock absorbing injury. Although wearing protective eyewear can initially feel strange the benefits of protection can be an eye saver!

Work Protection If you work in an environment with heavy machinery flying objects chemicals radiation or any of these in combination you should be wearing protective eyegear. Industrial-thickness glass plastic and polycarbonate lenses must meet or exceed the requirements outlined by safety standards. In general each type of lens offers certain advantages and disadvantages. Glass lenses provide good scratch resistance and can withstand chemical exposure and can also accommodate a broad range of prescriptions. But glass is heavy and can be bothersome. Both plastic and polycarbonate lenses are lightweight protect against welding spray and are not likely to fog up. Unless covered with a specialized lens coating these lenses are not as scratch-resistant as glass. As is with athletic lenses polycarbonate lenses are superior to glass and many other plastics in terms of strength and impact resistance. Polycarbonate is the material of choice for safety eyewear.

If you think your athletic lifestyle or your work atmosphere calls for protective eyewear be sure to contact your eye care practitioner to help you select the proper lenses and frames and to make sure they fit correctly. Your eyesight may depend on it.



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