Don't forget protective eyewear when playing sport

4 May 2016

When you think about protective eyewear in sports, squash or perhaps swimming are the first to come to mind. However, eye injury or vision damage can occur as a result of many sports, particularly if you play contact sports - where the smallest of accidents or collision with another player could result in damage to your eyesight for the long term. 

A recent article published by Optician Online highlighted this very point – using the example of International Handball player, Rafik Tahraoui, who has recently experienced severe damage to the optic nerve in his left eye through an on-pitch collision with another player. Rafik is still unsure as to whether he will be able to see out of his left eye again, and as a result may not be able to continue with his career in Handball.  

During the same article, Rafik touches on the fact that he, like the other members of his team, has never been advised to use protective eyewear and despite his recent injury and potential loss of vision, his team mates have still not taken any precautions to ensure the same does not happen to them. 

On discussing this recent report and the importance of protective eyewear in sports, BBR’s Chairman, Nick Rumney, said: “In contact sports there is a significant risk of injury when compared to non-contact sports and even though many think about and protect against head injury, potential loss of vision is not something regularly considered.

“Like many things in life, and effectively demonstrated through Rafik’s team mates, we take on this ‘it won’t happen to me’ attitude and, as a result, fail to take important precautions. Again using the example of Rafik, if he had chosen to wear protective glasses designed specifically for contact sports, both his eyesight and his career would not be in jeopardy.”

There are a range of protective glasses available today that are tailored to different sporting activities – from UV protective sunglasses for golfers that boast contrast tints to help pick up the flight of a ball, to frames designed to withstand the impact of hard hitting balls – ideal for players of netball, basketball or handball. 

Nick continues, “Here at BBR Optometry we work extremely hard to provide all patients with an extremely high standard of eye care, while ensuring we inform and educate to maintain good eye health and vision. Many of our patients do play sports and, as a result, we work closely with them to find the best solution that will protect their eyes but doesn’t affect their game.”

For more information about protective eyewear in sports please contact the practice directly on 01432 265030 to book an appointment or speak to an experienced member of the BBR team. 

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