Vision Performance and Safety

  1. The Mechanics and Prevention of Sports Eye Injuries by Paul Vinger, M.D.
  2. The recommendations of the American Academy of Ophthalmology for sports eyewear.
  3. Protective Eyewear for Young Athletes Joint Policy Statement: American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness, American Academy of Ophthalmology, Eye Health and Public Information Task Force
Vision Performance and Safety

Eyewear should be fabricated with highly shatter-resistant polycarbonate or Trivex lenses unless there is a specific reason for another lens material. Children, functionally one-eyed people and active adults require polycarbonate or Trivex lenses.

For sports that have the potential for eye contact, use eyewear that is certified by the Protective Eyewear Certification Council (www.protecteyes.org) to ASTM F803. ASTM F803 covers the racquet sports, women's lacrosse and field hockey, baseball, and basketball. For other sports, such as soccer, protectors should meet or exceed ASTM F803 standard specifications for squash. Prescription sports eyewear requires 3-mm-thick polycarbonate lenses

Sports with high impact, such as ice hockey, men's lacrosse, and youth baseball (batter/base runner) require a face shield mounted on a helmet designed for the sport. Paintball protectors must conform to the requirements of ASTM F1776.

People working with exposure to flying chips or with power tools should use protectors that meet ANSI Z87.1 Goggles are the safest. Only polycarbonate or Trivex lenses should be used.

Many workplace activities, such as using a chain saw, require, in addition to safety glasses or goggles, a helmet with a face shield designed for the activity.

Sunglasses should conform to the above safety recommendations. Sunglasses lenses should attenuate blue light, which is potentially hazardous to the macula. Gray, amber, or brown lenses are preferred. Blue-colored sunglass lenses that transmit blue light should not be used.

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