Everyone who takes part in sport should be aware of the potential danger to their eyes. Much care is usually taken over selecting the correct kit or equipment for their particular sport, but vision care, perhaps, doesn’t always get the priority it deserves.
Your eyes are among the most delicate and vulnerable organs of the body. Yet, the current fashion for rimless or narrow-rimmed glasses with smaller lenses might lead you to believe that this type of eyewear offers adequate protection for your eyes when playing sport. Or, perhaps, if wearing glasses is impractical, you might adopt a cavalier attitude to protective eyewear and leave your eyes unprotected.
You could easily regret exposing your eyes to potential risk, however. It is not necessary to have a severe laceration or penetrating eye injury to suffer internal damage to the eyes. Relatively minor injuries sustained when playing sport can create long-term visual problems which can lead eventually to vision loss.
Vision care, then, is not an optional extra but a vital prerequisite for everybody participating in sport and, as a first step, it is advisable to have an eye check-up. This presents you with the ideal opportunity to discuss your particular visual requirements, thereby ensuring your safety and comfort.
Making the right choice doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone who plays the same sport opts for the same eyewear. Let’s take golf, for example. Many golfers prefer wider-framed, tinted prescription sunglasses to give them protection from the glare of the sun. Others prefer contact lenses.
However, as one leading golfer recently found to his cost, contact lenses provide the wearer with very little eye protection. Trapped in a very deep bunker with sheer sides, he successfully dislodged the ball from the slope but, at the same time, managed to lodge several grains of sand in his eye. The incident broke his concentration and rhythm, and his subsequent performance was distanctly under-par!
Instead of rubbing the eye vigorously, as a contact lens wearer he should have immediately removed the lens and cleaned it thoroughly before replacing it. Obviously, in this instance, it would be neither feasible nor appropriate to wear contact lenses in conjunction with protective goggles.
The TV commentator at the golf tournament remarked that a solution increasingly adopted by many top-ranking golfers is corrective eye surgery. Again, though, this is not suitable for everybody who plays this sport. The most important consideration is to be aware of the potential risks and protect your eyes accordingly.
Increasingly, snooker players are choosing specially designed glasses with an enlarged upper area of the lens. It almost looks as if they are wearing their glasses upside down! This enlarged lens design particularly suits those players who are short-sighted. They need to look down the cue to the cue ball as well as raise their eyes to the pocket and surrounding balls on the table without lifting their head. An applied anti-reflective coating offers extra protection for their eyes from the glare of overhead fluorescent lighting.
When choosing frames safety is paramount closely followed by comfort. They need to be strong enough to resist a hard impact but lightweight enough to make for comfortable wearing. An elasticated sports band, along with a padded bridge on metal frames, provides both safety and comfort.
Lenses should be equally strong enough to resist a hard impact. Polycarbonate, a very tough material, is used to make protective goggles for squash players, but is suitable for many other sports. They are far preferable to easily-shattered glass lenses, and even to toughened lenses.
Enjoy playing your sport, but don’t play about with your eyes: they are very precious assets. Find a practitioner who will help you keep them safe.
(ArticlesBase SC #47538)
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