Avoid Eye Injury

Nearly three-quarters of eye injuries happen to men aged 18 to 40. Almost half of all eye injuries occur in or around the home, most often during improvement projects (44 percent) or sports (14.7 percent). The good news is that nearly all eye injuries can be prevented by using protective eyewear, so every household needs to have at least one pair of certified safety glasses on hand.

High Risk Sports

Youth playing baseball

For all age groups, sports-related eye injuries occur most frequently in baseball, basketball and racquet sports. 

Boxing and full-contact martial arts pose an extremely high risk of serious and even blinding eye injuries. There is no satisfactory eye protection for boxing, although thumbless gloves may reduce the number of boxing eye injuries.

In baseball, ice hockey and men’s lacrosse, a helmet with a polycarbonate (an especially strong, shatterproof, lightweight plastic) face mask or wire shield should be worn at all times. It is important that hockey face masks be approved by the Hockey Equipment Certification Council or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

Protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses should be worn for sports such as basketball, racquet sports, soccer and field hockey. Choose eye protectors that have been tested to meet the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards or that pass the CSA racquet sports standard. See the EyeSmart protective eyewear page for additional details.

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