Work & Sports Eye Safety
Do Your Glasses Work and Play as Hard as You Do?
If you’re like most Americans, you or your kids may be involved in multiple sports and have specific safety gear and helmets that you use when skiing, playing football or riding your bicycle. Similarly, you likely have specific footwear for those same activities.
Given how important your vision is, it also makes sense to have a specific pair of glasses to enhance the activities you enjoy, especially since improved vision during those activities can enhance your performance.
Eyewear can be customized for specific tasks, from working on a computer to playing sports including tennis, football and basketball, to working in a setting such as a construction site or warehouse. The importance of the highest quality eyewear in each of these settings cannot be underestimated.
Protect Your Eyes from Injury
Protecting your eyes—and the eyes of your loved ones—from injury is one of the most important actions you can take to maintain good vision. Up to 90% of eye injuries seen in doctor’s offices and emergency rooms could have been prevented by simply wearing protective safety glasses or goggles!
Many people incorrectly believe that eye injuries are most common at work, such as in manufacturing settings or on construction sites, and aren’t on the lookout for eye dangers in our daily lives.
But nearly half of all eye injuries take place at home, not at work. And 40% of those injuries occur while playing sports or engaging in other recreational activities.
The most common types of eye injuries occurring at home are caused by hazardous products and chemicals—including bleach, oven cleaner and pest control sprays. However, non-chemical items can be dangerous, too. Grease and oil can splatter into your face while cooking, curling irons can slip and seriously injure an eye, and loose rugs can cause you to trip and fall and potentially land on something sharp.
Here are a few examples of how your eye doctor can help customize glasses for the specific tasks during which you need the highest possible visual acuity. Don’t see your activity listed below? Please ask us about your individualized eyewear needs during your annual comprehensive eye exam!
Computer glasses. Sure, you have a pair of glasses for driving or reading, but what about the eight hours per day you’re sitting at your desk staring at a computer 24 inches in front of you?
The glasses you use for driving might not be optimal for addressing the exact focal point necessary for computer work, especially if you spend your entire workday at a computer. Typically, patients say, “I’m having trouble working at the computer—I can’t see the text without enlarging it to 200% and sometimes it gives me a headache.” If you have a similar complaint, we can help.
If you’re struggling to focus on your computer screen each day, a customized pair of glasses that optimizes your vision in the exact range where your computer screen sits can help. When you strain to read text over such a long period of time, it can cause headaches and decreased work performance.
With a pair of prescription glasses that help you focus exactly two feet in front of you, or a pair of multifocals that enable you to see both the computer screen and close-up text, you have a specific tool to improve your computer vision and help your eyes make it through the workday refreshed and seeing your best. Ask about various lens coatings that can help at the computer, such as those that block the blue light spectrum to further relieve tired eyes.
Playing sports and seeing your best go hand-in-hand. You and your children may perform better when using prescription glasses or goggles especially made for your sport. Did you know that there are specific low-profile glasses made intentionally to fit under helmets for activities including football, skiing and biking? Your regular “street glasses” likely won’t fit well beneath a helmet, causing the glasses to press against your head or rub the top of your ears uncomfortably, distracting you. But when you get a special pair of prescription or sport goggles, you’ll be able to see your best and play your best without that irritating distraction.
One of the most basic and important ways glasses can help support your eyes is by providing UV protection. Without this feature, exposure to UV rays can put you at risk for potential eye problems both in the short term as well as the long run.
Protective eyewear fits well, features a padded bridge, has prescription or non-prescription lenses, and has a deep-grooved eye wire to prevent the lenses from falling out. Insist on quality when buying sports eye protection – it is worth it.
Outdoors, activities that pose the most significant threats include mowing the lawn and trimming hedges or bushes, or similar scenarios where small bits of debris are flung far and wide by power tools.
It’s an unfortunate statistic that only 35% of people take steps to protect their eyes while working on repair projects, yard work and home maintenance. Fewer still wear goggles while playing sports.
To significantly reduce your risk of eye injury, use common sense while working around the house, and stay diligent about household hazards that could damage eyesight. Read labels thoroughly, use grease shields to protect from splatters, secure rugs and railings, and stay focused and present while using dangerous tools.
It’s a best practice to wear safety glasses or goggles during any activity with the potential for eye injury, and encourage your kids to wear them, too. Setting a good example for kids to follow will help ensure they grow up with an awareness for eye safety, which will set them up for a lifetime of healthy vision.