April is Sports Eye Safety MonthAuthor: Dr. William Tullo
April 16, 2018
Did you know that April is Sports Eye Safety Month? Getting out to renew your love of your favorite sports is one of the big lifestyle benefits of clearer vision, but it's also important to make sure that you're protecting your eyes while enjoying your favorite activities. Some sports are naturally more risky than others, but there's also good news when it comes to sports eye safety. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 90 percent of sports-related eye injuries can be prevented by taking the necessary precautions. Ahead, we'll review key eye safety tips in honor of Sports Eye Safety Month, with an eye toward safety steps that LASIK surgery patients can take while enjoying your favorite sports.
Sports Eye Safety Month: Simple Safety Tips for Enjoying Your Favorite Sports
For LASIK eye surgery patients who have recently had surgery, the first, most important thing to remember about sports eye safety is to only resume specific activities when your laser eye surgery surgeon says that you're ready. Once you get the “all clear” from your surgeon, there are still plenty of steps you can take to protect your eyes while enjoying your favorite sports and athletic activities.
- Protective Eyewear – When the AAO says that 90 percent of sports-related eye injuries can be prevented, there's a key qualifier. Those injuries can be prevented if you use appropriate protective eyewear. Regular glasses won't cut it, so be sure to read up on the protective eyewear necessary for any sport you plan to play.
- Know the Risks – While most activities carry some risk of injury, certain sports have a higher risk of eye-related injury compared to others. Sports where a small ball is moving at a high speed, like baseball, lacrosse, hockey, and racket sports carry an especially high risk. Physical contact can also be a risk factor, especially in sports like basketball where it's easy to get poked in the eye accidentally.
- Come Prepared – Taking the time to research and purchase the correct protective eyewear is a key step in being prepared, whether you're a LASIK patient or simply an athlete who keeps safety in mind. Know the risks of the sports you plan to play, and make sure that the eyewear you choose meets the rigorous standards required to protect you during athletic activities.
- Go Beyond Guidelines – When you, or your child, signs up for a sports league, it's common to receive a set of safety guidelines advising you on how to protect yourself. Remember that not every set of guidelines is created with the same standards in mind. So even if the guidelines don't advise you to use protective eyewear, you'll still want to show up with the equipment necessary to protect your eyes.
- Ask for Advice – Given the various guidelines you may receive, and the number of athletic activities available, it may feel difficult to nail down exactly what you need to do to protect yourself. Remember that both your laser eye surgery specialist and your regular eye doctor are great sources of guidance for all eye safety topics, and don't be afraid to ask for advice straight from the source.