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I have both astigmatism and nearsightedness. On my contact lens packs it says I'm -8.00 diopters in my right eye and -6.00 in my left eye. Is it safe for me to participate in boxing as a sport? I recently started sparring but want to prevent retinal detachment. Is there any safe way for me to box? Would wearing head gear and using gloves provide sufficient protection?

People who are highly myopic such as yourself are at an increased risk for spontaneous retinal detachment (RD). The risk of RD in the general population is about 1 in 10,000 but for people with myopia greater than -6.00, the risk increases 100 times to about 1 percent.

Boxing is a well-recognized risk factor for retinal detachment and several famous boxers have developed RD. In fact, professional boxers must be examined every year for signs of RD to maintain their boxing license. Thus, even with appropriate protection, the risk of RD is increased by boxing.

Answered by: George Williams, MDDr. George Williams

Categories: Eye Conditions; General Eye Health

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Answered: May 08, 2012

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