As the old saying goes, “The eyes are the windows to the soul.” And just like a window, a fast-flying baseball to the eye can cause permanent damage.
We must all be conscious of taking the proper precautions to protect our eyes while playing sports or working on projects around the house and at work. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Society of Ocular Trauma (ASOT) have specific recommendations for every kind of activity that has the potential of causing injury to the eyes.
Both of these organizations recommend that every household have at least one pair of protective eyewear on hand. When choosing eyewear, look for lenses and frames that are marked “ANSI Z87.1” This means that it is meets the American National Standards Institute standard. Most hardware stores carry this level of eye protection equipment.
For activities with a high risk of eye injury, the American Society for Testing Materials has set standards for protective eyewear. Some of these include:
- Racket sports, lacrosse, field hockey, baseball and basketball require eyewear with the ASTM F803 specification.
- Hockey players should look for ASTM F513 eyewear.
- Paintball sports participants require ASTM F1776 protection.
- ASTM F1587 is specified for ice hockey goalies.
- Those participating in youth baseball should wear ASTM F910 gear.
- Alpine Skiers need to look for ASTM 659
Make sure you are equipped with the right gear before participating in any activity that could put your eyes in jeopardy. As always, contact your ilumin ophthalmologist with any questions about protecting your eyes from potential harm.