Just as sports officials are becoming more concerned with overall physical safety for athletes, more people are wearing specialized eyewear to protect their eyes and give them sharp vision while performing their sport. Specialty eyewear options are available and tailored to just about every sport. All you have to do is know your sporting needs and talk to an eye care professional to discuss your options. It’s nice to know what to expect and what you can get other than just wearing contact lenses.
Here are some of the most common options and things to consider for glasses, goggles, or other specialty eyewear with unique capabilities to increase your sporting performance.
Darkened/tinted or photochromic lenses. Is your sport outdoors? Protection from bright sunlight and UV rays is crucial! Watersports and winter sports involve glare coming up from the snow or water. The bright light is damaging to your eyes and very uncomfortable if you’re not protected. A polarized lens is best though photochromic lenses can also help make sports glasses more functional. Golf glasses, for example, often use a copper or amber color that improves the contrast of grass and sky so you can read the course better. Make sure that you invest in glasses that will fit your outdoor setting.
Fitting with other gear. Eyewear for activities like motorsports, cycling, or football will need to fit with headgear. Be sure to test your eyewear with your uniform or additional gear, and talk to your eye care professional about the other items you’ll be wearing along with your eyewear.
Durability. In sports like racquetball, or really any sport with objects that are swung or flung around, you face the risk of getting hit and injuring your eyes if they’re not protected. This also means that your glasses or goggles are likely to take a beating while protecting your eyes. Scratch-resistance and high-impact polycarbonate materials are often used in sports eyewear to be sure that they will have a long life and will be able to shield your eyes from harm.
Considerations for contact lenses. Those who wear contact lenses and will be doing their sport in the elements can benefit greatly from glasses that wrap around the face. Protection from wind and debris will ensure that no irritants enter the eye and affect your contact lenses.
Protection from other substances. Watersports may come to mind when you think of goggles that protect your eyes from liquid, but there are other sports like paintball that could greatly damage the eyes if not protected. Specialty masks with breathable vents that allow air in will be sure to keep paint out. Goggles for watersports have similar features to keep water out of your eyes so you can see clearly under the water or above.
Polarized lenses. Probably the most important aspect of eyewear for fishing is polarization. Polarized lenses make it possible to see under the surface of the water because the lenses are specially made to cut down refracted light. Once the sunlight bouncing off the water is minimized, it’s far easier to see into the water and read important fishing features like vegetation, depth, underwater landscape, and even fish! Other water and winter sports can benefit from polarization as well to prevent the eyes from glaring sunlight.
Make sure that you’re prepared for your sport with protective gear and the right eyewear to keep your eyes on the prize. See an eye care professional to give your eyes a sporting chance!