Having clear vision is essential for almost every sport. Geraint Griffiths a British optometrist along with some of his colleagues in 2003, tested the effects of vision impairment of Wimbledon tennis players and UK national clay pigeon shooting champions.During the test the participant’s vision was blurred with specific goggles. While using the blurry goggles the tennis players and marksmen showed a 25% worsening of performance.

Sports eyewear provides a number of benefits to athletes who wear them enhancing performance, providing protection and helping people in Northern Colorado enjoy sports at their highest level.

Protection from impact-related injuries

Concern about an injury occurring can be a real distraction to anyone in sports. In comparison to everyday eyewear, the main benefit of sporting eyewear is superior impact resistance and eye protection.

There are more than 40,000 sports-related eye injuries occur annually in the United States According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and sadly around one-third of that number are children’s injuries.

Safety goggles with polycarbonate lenses for example, would most likely be able to prevent most of these injuries, many experts believe. Polycarbonate glasses or goggle lenses can withstand impact from a ball or other projectile traveling at up to 90 miles per hour and are up to 10 times more impact-resistant than regular eyeglass lenses.

There is no protection available from contact lenses for sports-related eye injuries. Regular eyeglasses which are designed for everyday use are simply not strong enough nor are they designed to offer nearly enough eye protection during sports. Many people don’t realize this fact until it’s too late and the injury has already occurred.

Safety eyewear should be taken into consideration for every sporting activity that has the potential for eye injury. Protective eyewear is absolutely necessary for the following sports.

  • baseball
  • softball
  • basketball
  • hockey
  • football
  • handball
  • racquetball
  • squash
  • field hockey
  • lacrosse
  • soccer
  • swimming
  • pool sports
  • fishing
  • tennis
  • volleyball
  • Paintball “war games”

Protection from UV

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation which is from the sun is another danger that can occur during outdoor sports, even in the middle of winter (such as while skiing or snowboarding). Too much exposure to UV rays is known to be associated with eye diseases like cataracts and ocular tumors. You can also get a “sunburn” on your eye – called photokeratitis – which is very painful and can cause long-term damage to the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye).

Snowboarders and skiers should make it a consistent habit to wear tinted goggles or sports sunglasses that block 100% of the sun’s UV rays. These harmful rays are much stronger at higher altitudes and can cause more damage, especially long term. UV rays also bounce off snow (even on cloudy days) this only serves to increase one’s exposure. Everyone engaging in outdoor water sports needs UV eye protection because UV rays reflect off of water.

Today there are contact lenses that do offer UV ray protection. Contact lenses only cover the center part of the eye (cornea) and really don’t do anything for the uncovered areas. For this reason you still need to wear UV-blocking sunglasses, we recommend the close-fitting, wraparound style.

Color enhancement

At dawn, dusk and other various lighting conditions, keeping your target in focus is not that easy and can be downright difficult! Today we have a wide range of sports eyewear with special tints available to us that can help this problem. Amber-colored “shooting glasses” are a favorite choice with hunters and outdoorsmen and women because they increase the contrast of birds, clay pigeons, etc. against an overcast sky. Recently, there have been several eyeglass lens manufacturers have created specific tints for sports sunglasses and goggles that actually improve vision in a wide spectrum of indoor and outdoor lighting experiences. If you live in the Fort Collins, Loveland or Greeley areas we have some samples of these lenses at our location and help you decide which tints would best fit your protective eyewear needs.

Light control

If you are looking for an eyeglass that reduces glare from surfaces, Polarized sports sunglasses are a favorite choice as they are beneficial for fishing and other water sports as well as for long distance driving, golfing, hiking, backpacking, etc. Polarized glasses which cut glare are also great for sports like outdoor basketball or beach sports (sunlight reflecting off the sand)

Anti-reflective (AR) coating is usually a less expensive glare reducing option. AR-coated sports glasses are great for evening games as they cut back lens reflections at night if you are competing under bright lights. AR coating is also good choice for coating the back surface of sport sunglasses. It cuts out the glare from “bounce-back” reflections that can happen when sunlight hits the back of your lenses when reflecting from your face or an object behind you.

The third option for glare and light control is the photochromic lens.This lens offers the ability to sense an increase in light and the lenses darken automatically when outside in response to UV rays from the sun. They automatically minimize the amount of light reaching your eyes gently changing it to a greater level of comfort, and provide 100% UV protection all at once.

Convenience and comfort

Many people in Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley make the popular choice of wearing contacts for sports, even if their daily eye wear is normally glasses for work and leisure. Contact lenses bring so much to the table with their ability to provide unobstructed peripheral vision and more natural-appearing vision, coupled with a lack of unwanted changes in image sizes that eyeglasses can bring.

Disposable, one day soft contact lenses are a favorite choice in this scenario especially for sports because they don’t require cleaning. You can wear them one time and just throw them away. No hassle, no mess, no maintenance. Because they are so simple it makes them an easy choice for people who regularly wear glasses.

Soft contacts are manufactured with a soft, oxygen-permeable material and so they require very little or no adjustment time for comfortable use. This being the case, people can usually wear a pair of disposable contact lenses in comfort for a full day with no problems.

Protective eyewear is always important even if you wear contacts to protect against injury and / or UV rays.