The Most Dangerous Sports for Eye Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Playing sports is a great way to stay physically active, but it comes with the risk of getting eye injuries, among other injuries. Eye injuries are quite serious and can cause blindness in severe cases. But this does not mean that you should stop taking part in your favorite sports activity. It is just a reminder to wear eye protection when playing to prevent potentially severe eye injuries.


Approximately 30,000 eye injuries linked to sports are treated in the United States every year. Fortunately, 90 percent of severe injuries can be avoided by using the right protective eyewear.


Here is a look at the most dangerous sports for eye injuries, according to the 2019 estimates from Prevent Blindness:



Basketball tops the list with an estimate of 4,597 eye injuries. Out of this number, 3,632 injuries happen in players who are 15 years old or older.


Pool and Water Sports

Water and pool sports come in second with about 4,565 eye injuries. Of which, 2,367 injuries occur among players who are 14 years old or older.


Darts, Slingshots, Non-Powder Guns, and Arrows

Darts, slingshots, non-powder guns, and arrows cause a total of about 3,612 eye injuries.



Not everyone wears eye protection when cycling. This has seen an increase in eye injuries that result from cycling recently. Cycling reported around 2,495 eye injuries, according to the 2019 estimates.


Weightlifting and Exercise

Eye injuries from weightlifting and exercise came in fifth. These result in a total of 2,385 injuries.


The most common eye injuries that arise from these sports include corneal cuts and scratches, and eye socket injuries. Also, swollen or disconnected retinas, hemorrhages, broken eyeballs, and cataracts are common.


How to Prevent Sports-Related Eye Injuries


Generally, when playing any sport, you should protect your eyes. Find the right eye safety equipment for your sport. Eye protection is not just for people who need vision correction; it is also for everyone.


Take the following precautions to avoid injuring your eyes:


  • Know that ordinary eyeglasses do not protect your eyes enough, and therefore, you should find appropriate safety eyewear that matches your activity


  • Use face guards and helmets when playing sports where balls are flying high and fast. Also, where another player could hit you with their elbow. That includes sports such as hockey, baseball, racquet, basketball, soccer, and lacrosse


  • Wear safety water goggles when swimming or taking a dive to avoid eye irritations from chemicals in the water


  • If you are a cyclist and do not want to have to deal with flying debris from the road, your eyes can benefit from safety goggles


Lensed polycarbonate eyewear and face guards will give your eyes and face great levels of safety. Talk to your ophthalmologist about your favorite sports and activities if you need assistance finding the right eye safety gear to suit your needs.


To learn more about sports eye injuries and how to prevent them, visit Atlanta Eye Group at our offices in Atlanta or Kennesaw, Georgia. You can also call (770) 727-0772 today to book an appointment.

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