A Look at Sports Commonly Causing Eye Injuries

If you or your child is enrolled in sports this fall, taking a moment to consider sports eye safety to protect against corneal abrasions, retinal tear or detachment, cataract, traumatic iritis and fractured eye socket.1 These traumatic injuries can lead to blindness and, every year, 30,000 athletes suffer from an eye injury.2 A plan of prevention devised by you and your ophthalmologist can greatly reduce this number.

September is sports eye safety month and the board-certified ophthalmologists at Colorado Ophthalmology Associates of Denver, CO, have examined each sport and how to safely participate. Prescription sunglasses or glasses do not protect the eye from injury.


Hands and fingers fly in basketball, making it the riskiest of all the sports for eye injuries. A finger in the eye can cause tremendous damage and a ball to the face can injury an eye.

Prevention Tip: Protective sports goggles with shatterproof, polycarbonate lenses are the best prevention. Choose glasses that meet the guidelines of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) for durability.2

Baseball and Softball

A thrown or hit ball, or a batting accident, can cause severe damage to the eye and facial bones. That’s why these sports clock in at #2 for eye injury risk.

Prevention Tip: Batting helmets with face shields when up to bat. In the field, protective sports glasses with shatterproof, polycarbonate lenses are the best prevention.3


Airsoft pellets are notorious for causing pain and damage. You must have a protective mask for this activity.

Prevention Tip: A full-coverage face shield must be worn at all times.

Pellet Guns

Along the same line are pellet guns and other non-powder guns. Make sure you have the right eye protection to try to deflect a ricochet or accident.

Prevention Tip: Protective shooting glasses with shatterproof, polycarbonate lenses are the best prevention.


These balls travel at high speeds, are small, and are hard to dodge. They can damage the eye before you even see it coming.

Prevention Tip: Protective sports glasses with shatterproof, polycarbonate lenses are the best prevention.


A very physical sport, hockey requires a lot of protective gear, including face shields, to keep the player safe from devastating injuries.

Prevention Tip: A helmet that comes with a face shield with shatterproof, polycarbonate lenses are the best prevention.

What to Do for an Eye Injury

Despite your best eye safety protection, sometimes eye injuries still occur when playing sports. If you have suffered trauma to the eye and face, call us right away for an emergency appointment or go to the nearest ER for help.

Get the right sports vision protection

If you or your child are signing up for a sport this fall, call us right away for an appointment at one of our two Colorado locations in Denver or Lakewood. We will work with you to make sure you have the best eye protection, shield or goggles for safe participation of your favorite activity.

            Denver: 303-320-1777

            Lakewood: 303-989-2023

1 https://preventblindness.org/recommended-sports-eye-protectors/

2  https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/injuries-sports

3 https://preventblindness.org/sports-eye-safety/

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