You watch the martial artists fly through the air, making perfect contact with their opponents. Of course, in the movies, everything looks perfect. But what if you don’t have perfect vision? Participation in sports is usually when students find out the limitations of glasses, and parents always have concerns when it comes to contact sports like wrestling and martial arts. The U.S. reported more than 35,000 sport-related eye injuries last year, of which over half were to persons under the age of 25. Doctors agree that 90 percent of the injuries could have been prevented with the proper eyewear. Glasses or contacts; which is better?


 For children it depends on the type of sport and how self-disciplined the child is. Is the child capable of keeping contacts clean and following important hygiene routines? Are glasses slipping or is there a risk of breakage in the chosen activity? Many adults wear contacts, but worry about being hit in the face resulting in an eye injury. Short of eye-corrective surgery, many athletes, regardless of age, need some form of eyewear.


 If you participate in sports and wear glasses, then always make certain you are wearing sports glasses or goggles and not your everyday glasses.  Even if you wear contacts or don’t need to wear glasses, some sports require a sport’s safety goggle to be worn. Adults can be excellent role models for youth, by wearing the proper eye gear. Sport glasses or goggles with polycarbonate lenses are an excellent choice, and all coaches and instructors should encourage athletes to wear them.


 Since everybody is different, your eye doctor can go over the pros and cons of each product and how it will affect your vision and your participation in sports. He or she will also be able to tell you about any new products or research that may be related to your questions.


 Even when caution is used, injuries happen. If an eye injury does occur, it would be prudent to have an ophthalmologist examine the eye for injuries that may not be obvious at the time. Safety wear cannot protect against every injury, but it can prevent many injuries, so err on the side of caution and use protection.


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