Eye Exams and Sports Participation
For decades athletes have been screened for possible health conditions in preparation for participation in school sports. Yet far too often, eye exams are not part of the typical pre-participation physical examination (PPE).
The goal of the PPE is to detect conditions that might predispose the athlete to injury or physical harm during competition. Tests within the PPE include checking things such as blood pressure, physical health and most recently, any history of concussions. Likewise, an eye exam can uncover any vision defects and ocular issues that might increase an athlete’s risk for eye injury.
Athletes and their families with a history of eye disorders or diseases are at a heightened risk for serious injury. Athletes whose best corrected acuity is less than 20/40 in one eye (referred to as one-eyed athletes) should always wear sports eye protectors to decrease the risk of eye damage during games and practices.
Sports and Protective Eyewear
According to Prevent Blindness America, more than 40,000 sports-related eye injuries per year are treated at emergency rooms. And it’s not just football, hockey, lacrosse and baseball that demand protection – almost any sport you can imagine can cause eye injuries. Many fitness and athletic clubs now require participants to wear proper eye gear.
Fortunately, coaches and parents are realizing how vital protective eyewear can be. Not only does it reduce the risk of eye damage, it enhances the player’s performance because they can see better. Protective eyewear is no longer resisted like it used to be; like bike helmets, sports goggles are an accepted part of everyday life and even implies the player “means business” on the playing field.
Consult with your eye doctor for their advice on protective eyewear and options available.