Eye protection for sports: How to choose sports goggles

Not long ago, athletes rarely wore eyewear specifically designed to protect their eyes during sports, and sports-related eye injuries were widespread. Today, sports eyewear can be spotted on almost anyone who picks up a ball, bat, racquet or stick.

Fortunately, coaches, parents and players now realise that wearing protective eyewear for sports pays off in several ways. The risk of eye damage is reduced, and the player’s performance is enhanced by the ability to see better. In fact, many athletic and fitness clubs today do not permit their members to participate without wearing proper eye gear.

Initially, there was some resistance by children to “looking funny” when they wore protective eyewear. Today, sports goggles are an accepted part of everyday life, much the way bike helmets have become the norm. In addition, both children and adults like the image that wearing protective eyewear gives them: It shows they mean business on the playing field.

If You’re Not Wearing Protective Eyewear, Consider This…

Hospital emergency rooms treat thousands of eye injuries every year that are sports-related. Even non-contact sports such as tennis can present inherent dangers to the eyes. Any sport in which balls, racquets or flying objects are present pose a potential for eye injury.

Sports such as squash, tennis and badminton may seem relatively harmless, but they involve objects moving at 100kms per hour or faster. During a typical game, of squash a ball can travel between 100kms to 300kms per hour.

Features To Look For In Protective Sports Eyewear

Prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses and even on-the-job industrial safety glasses typically do not provide adequate protection for sports use.

Sports goggles are made in a variety of shapes and sizes. Many are designed for various sports and some designed to fit in helmets. Lenses in sports eyewear usually are made of polycarbonate. Since polycarbonate is such an impact-resistant lens material, it works well to protect eyes from fast-moving objects. Polycarbonate also has built-in ultraviolet protection which is a valuable feature for outdoor sports. Untreated polycarbonate lenses, however, can easily become scratched. For this reason, virtually all polycarbonate lenses for eyeglasses and sports eyewear include a scratch-resistant coating on both the front and back surface for added durability.

Polycarbonate is the material of choice for sports lenses, but the eyewear frame plays an important role, too. Further, different sports require different types of frames, which has led to development of sport-specific frames.

Most sport frames can accommodate both prescription and nonprescription lenses. Sport frames are constructed of highly impact-resistant plastic or polycarbonate, and most come with rubber padding to cushion the frame where it comes in contact with the head or the nose area.

Some sports styles are contoured, wrapping slightly around the face. This type of goggle works well for biking, hang-gliding and sailing. Contact lens wearers especially benefit from the wraparound style, as it helps keep out wind and dust.

Very important: Always make sure you discuss and make decisions about your eye care based upon a formal appointment with your optician.

For more information and to book and eye examination please contact us: 

Specs Direct  |  Professional Affordable Eyewear

20 McIntyre Street, Parow, Cape Town 7500

Tel: 021 939 1020

info@specdirect.co.za

Note: We are contracted to most medical aids