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Every year, sports events and tournaments expose the participants to injuries. A lot of these injuries happen amongst kids and are avoidable. Most sports-related eye injuries are caused by baseball and basketball, with fewer injuries from water and racquet sports.

We can categorise these injuries into low, high, or very high risk. While low-risk sports injuries do not involve equipment and contact with the body, high-risk sports often make use of equipment and can involve body contact or exposure to harmful objects. Very high-risk sports include wrestling, martial arts and boxing.

Some sports-related injuries

Listed below are some injuries that athletes should be aware of.

Blunt trauma injuries.

These are injuries that occur when one is hit around the eye by something or someone, and it is often worse than it looks because it can result in damage. Other more serious injuries include orbital blowout fracture (a broken bone under the eyeball), ruptured globe (a broken eyeball) and detached retina (when the retina pulls out of place).

Penetrating injuries.

Penetrating injuries happen when an object creates cuts in or around the eye. When one wears glasses during sporting events, they could get broken and give cuts to the eye. This can be in a mild or deep form.

Radiation injuries.

Excessive exposure to the sun can harm the eyes and this happens more with people engaged in outdoor sporting activities like cycling, snow or water skiing, e.t.c.


Things to do

  1. Before participating in sports tournaments, ensure that your eye doctor examines your eyes properly. Be very open with your eye doctor about your personal and family history of eye problems, if you have any. This will help your doctor to select the most suitable protective eyewear for you and thus preventing eye injuries when on the field.
  2. Even if you don’t have any medical history of eye problems, endeavour to protect your eyes during sports by using the right eyewear. (preferably 3mm polycarbonate lenses). You can also wear sunglasses or transition lenses with UV protection to protect your eyes from solar radiation.
  3. Never attempt to treat severe sports injuries or remove objects from your eyes by yourself. Avoid rubbing the injured eye as the injury can get worse. Preferably, seek medical care right away so that the injury can be professionally treated based on your doctor’s recommendation.
  4. If you sustain an eye injury, avoid all sports until when your doctor deems it safe for you to return and if your vision has been. On your return to the field, ensure you always make use of proper protective eyewear to prevent a reoccurrence of the previous eye injury.

Medical experts should attend eye injuries during sports immediately. The medical professional must give the player the all-clear before being allowed to continue playing.