COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – With September recently declared Sports Eye Safety Month, the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness wants to remind the public of the importance in wearing proper eye protection.

Annual data from volunteer eye health and safety organization Prevent Blindness shows that there were more than 26,00 sports-related eye injuries treated in the United Sates in 2021.

Non-powder guns, darts, arrows and slingshots had the overall highest rates of eye injuries, according to the new data. For children ages 12 and under, pools and water sports had the highest injury rates. These types of injuries included eye infections, irritations, scratches or trauma.

Prevent Blindness recommends athletes of any age to wear protective eyewear when participating in sports. Prescription glasses, sunglasses and occupational safety glasses do not always provide adequate eye protection, so it’s wise to refer to the following guidelines:

  • If you wear prescription glasses, ask your eye doctor to fit you for prescription eye guards.
  • Purchase eye guards at sports specialty stores or optical stores.
  • When purchasing eye guards with lenses, make sure the lenses either stay in place or pop outward in the event of an accident. Lenses that pop in against your eyes can be very dangerous.
  • Polycarbonate eye guards are the most impact resistant, and are thinner and lighter than plastic, shatterproof, and provide UV protection.
  • Sports eye guards should be padded or cushioned along the brow and bridge of the nose.
  • Try on the eye protector to determine if it’s the right size.

For more information on proper eye safety per Prevent Blindness, visit preventblindness.org.