Protective eyewear isn’t only for those people working in hazardous jobs or undertaking DIY at home. An increasing number of athletes – professional and amateur – are seeing the value in safety eyewear for their sporting pursuits. Whether it’s a team game like baseball or lacrosse, or a solo activity such as cycling or track, wearing the correct safety eyewear can dramatically reduce or even eliminate the risk of suffering an injury that could temporarily or permanently affect their vision. In many cases, your performance can even be enhanced by your ability to see well and without compromise.
As many as 40,000 emergency room visits every year are triggered by eye injuries that occur as a result of a sporting incident. Perhaps this figure isn’t so surprising when you consider that in many ball/racket sports, objects can travel anywhere from 60mph to a tremendous 200mph! This means that if they come into contact with any part of your body, you are going to sustain some damage. Our eyes are extremely sensitive, and so damage is often severe. However, flying objects are not the only hazard presented by sport. A large number of reported eye injuries occur as a result of close contact with other players, such as an elbow or fist/finger to the face.
In most cases, sport and safety eyewear refer to the same thing – eyewear that is designed to protect the vision and enhance the performance of amateur and professional athletes.
Most sport and safety protective eyewear for sports use is designed to withstand significant impact. Most sportswear lenses are made from polycarbonate, which is impact-resistant and also has built-in ultraviolet protection, which is extremely beneficial if you participate in a sport that primarily takes place outdoors. The frames styles are also manufactured in ways that will further protect the eyes, both from sport-related damaged and the harmful effects of the sun, with wraparound styles being particularly popular as these offer the greatest protection against hazards.
If you usually need glasses or contact lenses to see clearly, you will still need prescription lenses irrespective of your safety wear. In some cases, it is possible to get your prescription lenses incorporated into your safety eyewear. For example, you can now get prescription goggles suitable for swimming. You can choose from generic types that incorporate basic lens power, or for optimal performance, you can choose some that have your specific prescription incorporated into them.
Photochromic lenses are extremely beneficial for athletes. These innovative lenses are able to adapt to the surrounding environment, ensuring that the wearer gets the clearest and most accurate vision possible in all conditions. Photochromic lenses appear virtually transparent when indoors and darken automatically when exposed to sunlight meaning that if you are quickly moving between conditions, such as when running or cycling, you don’t have to stop and change your eyewear in order to see properly.
Many athletes can also benefit from wearing eyewear that is coated in a performance tint. These are colors that are applied to the lens which will help the athlete to perform optimally in the current lighting conditions. Exactly which tint is right for you will depend on the lighting conditions, environment and other factors related to your sport of choice. For example:
Yellow/orange tints: these tints filter blue light for sharper focus. They are particularly good for sports including skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, shooting, cycling, tennis, squash and handball.
Amber/pink/red tints: are recommended for those who participate in cycling, fishing, shooting, watersports and some snow-based sports including skiing and snowboarding.
Brown/copper tints: these are great for improving the contrast between the grass and blue sky. This makes them especially helpful for sports including cricket, baseball, fishing, golf, hunting and water sports.
Green tints: recommended for athletes who play cricket and golf.
Grey tints: proven to reduce overall brightness whilst also preserving 100% normal color perception, making them ideal for all outdoor sports played in bright light conditions.
If you would like more information about sport and safety eyewear for athletes, please don’t hesitate to speak to our expert team in Barboursville WV.