Many sports and hobbies have a risk of eye injury. It may be as simple as a bug flying into your eye while riding your bike, or as serious as being hit in the eye by a baseball. There are several types of eye injury that can occur during athletic events, including corneal abrasion (scratch of the front surface of the eye), traumatic cataract, hyphema (blood in the eye), orbital fracture and even retinal damage. Wearing the proper eyewear can minimize the risk of ocular injury and in some cases prevent it.
When choosing eyewear for athletic competition, there are several factors to consider:
Whether you are wearing a clear pair of prescription glasses or non-prescription sunglasses, it is important that the lenses be impact resistant. This can be achieved by using an impact resistant lens material, such as polycarbonate. Your glasses are your first line of defense from projectiles. From balls to bullet casings to oncoming bugs, your glasses take a beating. An impact resistant material is specifically designed to protect your eyes.
When choosing eyewear for sports competition, it is important to match the visual demands of your sport with the specific lens design in your glasses. Improved visual clarity and performance will not only keep you safer, but also make competition more enjoyable. Many people are surprised to find out that there are dozens of lens designs that all have different characteristics. Working with your doctor and optician will allow you to find the perfect match.
Some of the most popular lens designs for sport competition include:
Digital lenses, or freeform lenses, are engineered in a way to maximize clarity across the lens and reduce peripheral distortion. This type of lens is worn by many people on a daily basis, but is especially beneficial for sports as it allows you to scan the field of play. Many sports require both central focus and peripheral awareness. A digital lens provides both.
DIGITAL EYESTRAIN LENSES
A digital eyestrain lens is used by many people use readers, bifocals or progressive lenses. They choose to wear a digital eyestrain lens during athletic competition as it maximizes distance and peripheral clarity while providing a small amount of near clarity. As most sports have high distance viewing demands and minimal near demands, this lens serves many people well.
DIGITAL PROGRESSIVE LENSES
For progressive lens wearers, choosing a digital progressive lens provides more comfort and clarity during daily life as well as during sports. As a digital lens, a digital progressive lens provides larger areas of clarity while reducing peripheral blur. This is all accomplished while maintaining the progressive lens design with distance, intermediate and near areas for viewing.
For bifocal wearers, modifications can be made to better fit the visual demands of your sport. The reading portion of the lens, for example, can be modified to achieve a very specific focal point. This is important if you are trying to view something at near other than a book (a site on a rifle, a ball on a pool table, etc). The position of the bifocal can also be modified to either increase the amount of near area or to move the reading portion out of your way (to increase distance viewing area).
NEAR VARIABLE FOCUS LENSES
For individuals who wear readers and play certain indoor sports, their near vision is far more important than their ability to see hundreds of feet away. In sports such as table tennis or pool, a near variable focus lens is ideal. These lenses can provide a 5 foot, 10 foot or 15 foot area of clarity with ample near and intermediate clarity.
This sports season let us help you keep your eyes in the game. Schedule an examination with one of our doctors to find the pair of glasses that is best for you.