Whether you’ve exposed your eyes to chlorine whilst swimming or sustained an injury as a result of being hit in the face by a shuttlecock, athletes experience higher risks of serious eye injury. It’s not just the obvious sports that pose a risk either so there are some steps sportspeople can take to protect their sight:
Regular Optician Appointments
Visiting the optometrist is crucial to maintaining good eye health and helps to identify underlying problems before they have the chance to seriously develop. Your eyes should be treated just like any other part of your body, but many people take vision for granted and neglect this vital part of their health.
Typically, it’s advised that athletes go for an eye test every two years, however, this may change depending on whether you are more at risk for ailments such as glaucoma.
A Healthy Diet
Good nutrition is key to enhancing sporting performance. But just like the rest of your body, your eye health relies heavily on your diet to help support their strength. Unfortunately, due to today’s busy lifestyles, people miss out on essential nutrients and minerals.
Contact lens expert, Lenstore, advises that “Vitamin A, particularly from green, leafy vegetables like kale or broccoli will maintain healthy eyes. Sweet potatoes, carrots, and pumpkins are also great”.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also integral to your diet as “they help to treat dry eyes and keep them healthy. You don’t need to get them from fish if you’re vegetarian or vegan either – chia seeds, flax, edamame, and flaxseeds are all good sources too.”
The Correct Accessories
Some sports can put your eyes under more strain than others and it is important to take the appropriate precautions to lessen discomfort. Whether you’re regularly exposed to chlorine while swimming, glare from snow, or high wind speed whilst cycling, wearing protective eyewear is just as important as other protection gear.
When investing in goggles, sunglasses, or prescription lenses, you need to consider the type of sport you play, the length of the games, body contact, or extreme eye movements. Daily lenses offer versatile protection that is safe for contact sports as they are unlikely to be dislodged.
Taking care of your eyes is a 24/7 job, even when you’re off the sports field. On average, we spend at least four hours and 14 minutes per day on our mobiles so taking regular breaks from our electronic devices can help protect against digital eye strain. Adjust the brightness, contrast setting, and font size on your electronics to create the best conditions for your corneas.
Keeping your body hydrated is the best way to avoid dry eyes and keep you blinking consistently. This is particularly important as an athlete, where you’re likely to experience periods of dehydration after strenuous exercise. Blinking allows tears to cover the entire surface of the cornea, and keep it hydrated.