Not All Sport Eye Protection Is Equal

Oww! You know how it feels when you get a spec of sand in your eye. Imagine a baseball or tennis racket smashing your sunglasses into hundreds of pieces of plastic shrapnel.

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You want your child to do well in sports and you want them to be safe. So you get them the best equipment available including sports glasses. But did you know that sports glasses are rated for various sports? What is acceptable for basketball may not give adequate protection when on the baseball field. Injuries do happen, quite frequently. Many eye injuries occur on the basketball court and baseball field. All sports have potential for eye injury. Golf clubs, tennis rackets, or rocks and tree branches while cycling, every sport has its dangers. You might not guess which sport has the fastest moving object, motorized racing aside. It is badminton with shuttlecock speeds of 200+ MPH.

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If prescription lenses are going to be put into the frame special considerations must be followed. Sports glass frames are not made the same as dress glasses. The bezel (groove) is deeper with a lip on the back side so that if strong impact occurs the lens will not be forced out the back of the frame. Lens thickness is also important. Dress glasses can use 1.0 mm thick polycarbonate lenses. With sports glasses the minimum thickness should be 2.0 thick polycarbonate.

There are two manufacturing and performance standards used in the U.S. which are the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). ASTM F803 is typically used for sports eyewear and covers most ball/stick sports. There can be exceptions. An example is girl’s lacrosse which has set specific standards for that sport. When you are shopping for sports glasses make sure that you advise your eye care professional (ECP) of all sports you or your child may be engaged in so that a frame can be selected that is rated for all the anticipated sports.

One thing to consider, many people wear contact lenses while playing sports thinking they have an edge not wearing glasses. According to a 2010 report from Prevent Blindness America there are an estimated 2.4 million eye injuries in the U.S. annually. Sports account for over 25,000 injuries per year (2014). Younger athletes are still developing and may not have the hand/eye coordination nor the agility of an older player resulting in higher incidences of injuries of all types including the eyes. Some of these eye injuries result in permanent loss of vision in the injured eye. Even if contact lenses are used to correct vision protective eyeglasses are still recommended to prevent injury.

Alvernon Optical carries Progear Eyegaurd sport glasses which have been rated for baseball and all other sports covered by ASTM F803-03. The friendly and knowledgeable ECPs can help you make the right choice for safety and performance. Alvernon Optical has a full range of sports eye glasses. In addition to Progear Eyegaurd we carry WileyX (which are ANSI safety frames), Rudy Project (a favorite with runners and cyclists), and Liberty Shark swim goggles (water and pool activities account for more eye injuries than any other sport).

Need and eye exam? There are independent doctors of optometry at each Alvernon Optical office who can help you have the sharpest vision possible with a thorough eye exam. Most insurances are accepted.

Visit any of the six convenient Alvernon Optical locations today and get the eye protection you deserve to keep you in the game for years to come.

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