How to Protect Against Common Sports Eye Injuries

Athletic Protective Eye Wear


It’s probably apparent to you that your eyes are one of the most delicate and easily injured parts of your body, and need to be protected. That’s why, whenever you’re outside or engaging in an activity, safety precautions like sunglasses and goggles are a good idea. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you’ll face eye injury. Have you ever wondered which eye injuries are the most common?

Common eye injuries vary among groups of people, and the type of injury you experience has a lot to do with your lifestyle and activities. Obviously, sports put your eyes at risk, especially if you don’t take the proper precautions. However, even common activities like cleaning your house or working in your yard can cause eye injury.

These are the most common eye injuries and what you should do if you are experiencing any of these symptoms :

  • Scratched cornea: Also known as a corneal abrasion, this happens when you’re poked in the eye or rub your eye when there’s something in it, like dust or sand. Corneal abrasions cause eye redness and sensitivity to light and are extremely uncomfortable. The danger of a scratched cornea is that it can become infected. If you think you have a scratched cornea, seek medical care, and don’t patch it, because that can trap bacteria in your eye.
  • Foreign object in the eye (penetrating): Any time a foreign object penetrates your eye, get to an eye doctor’s office, emergency room, or urgent care center as soon as possible. Don’t try to remove the object yourself, because you could end up doing even more damage to your eye. If you can, loosely tape a paper cup over your eye before going to seek help.
  • Caustic foreign substance in the eye (chemical): If you get unexpectedly splashed or sprayed in the eye with anything other than water, it can be frightening and painful. Knowing what was in the substance is important, because some things sting or burn, but are harmless, while others can cause serious damage to your eye. Substances that are acid cause redness and burning but can be washed out relatively easily, while alkali substances are much more serious even though they may not cause as much immediate pain and redness. If liquid splashes in your eye, an aerosol sprays into your eye, or you accidentally rub your eyes with something on your hands, rinse your eyes under a steady stream of barely warm tap water for at least 15 minutes. Then call your eye doctor or an emergency room and explain exactly what happened, so that the person you call can recommend further action.
  • Eye bleeding: The leakage of blood from breaks in a blood vessel between the white of the eye and its clear covering, known as a subconjunctival hemorrhage, can look much worse than it actually is. This kind of bleeding is common and can happen even when the injury to the eye is minor. A subconjunctival hemorrhage is painless, does not cause temporary or permanent vision loss, and does not require treatment. In a few weeks, the blood will clear and the eye will look normal again.
  • Eye swelling: If you’re struck in the eye by something, your eye may become swollen and puffy. The best thing to do in this situation is to put an ice pack on it immediately, and call your eye doctor for an appointment. It could just be a simple black eye, but your doctor will be able to make sure there’s no internal damage.
  • Inflammation of the iris: Known as traumatic iris, this inflammation of the colored part of the eye surrounding the pupil can occur after an injury like a poke in the eye or a blow from a blunt object. This can permanently decrease vision, even with medical treatment, so it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible.
  • Hyphemas And Orbital Blowout Fractures: Bleeding in the space between the cornea and the iris is known as a hyphema. An orbital blowout fracture is a crack or break in the facial bones around the eye. Both of these injuries are serious and constitute medical emergencies. They happen when the eye and face sustain significant blunt force trauma. This can happen when you’re hit by a bat, a baseball, a hockey stick or puck, or if you’re kicked in the face. If you experience something like this, get to an emergency room.

Many of the issues listed here can be avoided if you make sure you’re wearing the appropriate protective eyewear, so make sure you’re taking every precaution to protect your eyes. If you do suffer an eye injury, the best thing to do is to treat it as an emergency and schedule an appointment with a qualified eye doctor as soon as possible. If you’re looking for an ophthalmologist or optometrist in Derry, Londonderry, Windham, or Raymond Spindel Eye Associates is here for you. Interested in getting a pair of protective eye wear for sports or the work site? Stop by any of our four Overlook Optical locations to check out our protective eye wear selection.

Celebrating over thirty-five years of eye care, we proudly provide our patients with personalized eye care, using top of the line technology. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 603.421.6536 or contact us through our website.