Three Ways to Protect Your Eyes During Outdoor Activities

Person wearing eye protectionSpring is the ideal time for outdoor activities. It is time for gardeners to begin planting and for athletes to start spring sports. Being active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but it is essential that you properly protect your face and eyes when you are outside.

April is National Facial Protection Month, so play it safe while you are on the field or engaged in yardwork. Wearing the right equipment can help prevent serious, painful injuries that can harm your vision.

Let’s take a quick time-out and examine 3 ways you can protect your eyes:

  1. Purchase the correct eyewear and wear it regularly. Lacrosse sticks, baseball bats or flying debris from a lawn mower or weed eater can cause severe eye damage. Protect your vision with appropriate sports goggles or safety glasses. 3-mm polycarbonate lenses should be used in protective sports eyewear. These lenses are available in plain and prescription forms. Polycarbonate lenses are impact resistant, and they are the thinnest and lightest lenses available. Talk to an ophthalmologist about getting prescription lenses in your protective eyewear so you can enjoy 20/20 vision during your activities.
  2. Wear a helmet during sports. Helmets absorb the impact of fast-moving objects or collisions with other players. Always wear the recommended helmet and gear to avoid head and face injuries.
  3. Opt for the face shield. Any sport that uses a ball, puck, stick, bat or racquet or involves body contact is considered a high-risk sport and can damage your eyes. Blunt trauma causes most sports-related eye injuries. Some examples of serious eye injuries are orbital blowout fracture (broken bone under the eyeball), ruptured eyeball or detached retina. Face shields can also prevent penetrating injuries. These injuries can range from mild abrasions to deep cuts (source: Family Doctor).

Remember that more than 90 percent of eye injuries are preventable. Wearing proper eye and head protection can prevent injuries ranging from minor issues like black eyes to serious trauma causing permanent vision loss.

During National Facial Protection Month, make an appointment with an ophthalmologist for a full eye exam with dilation. If you need help finding a board-certified ophthalmologist, click here.

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