Tips for Buying Sports Eye Protectors

Eyeguards designed for use in racquet sports are now commonly used for basketball and soccer and in combination with helmets in football, hockey and baseball. The eyeguards you choose should fit securely and comfortably and allow the use of a helmet if necessary. Expect to spend between $20 and $40 for a pair of regular eyeguards and $60 or more for eyeguards with prescription lenses.

The following guidelines can help you find a pair of eyeguards right for you: ► The following guidelines can help you find a pair of eyeguards right for you: ▼

If you wear prescription glasses, ask your eye doctor to fit you for prescription eyeguards. If you're a monocular athlete (a person with only one eye that sees well), ask your eye doctor what sports you can safely participate in. Monocular athletes should always wear sports eyeguards.

In order to be assured that your eyes are protected, it is important that any eye guard or sports protective eyewear be labeled as ASTM F803 approved. This eyewear is performance tested to give you the highest levels of protection

Don't buy sports eyeguards without lenses. Only "lensed" protectors are recommended for sports use. Make sure the lenses either stay in place or pop outward in the event of an accident. Lenses that pop in against your eyes can be very dangerous.

Fogging of the lenses can be a problem when you're active. Some eyeguards are available with anti-fog coating. Others have side vents for additional ventilation. Try on different types to determine which is most comfortable for you.

Check the packaging to see if the eye protector you select has been tested for sports use. Also check to see that the eye protector is made of polycarbonate material. Polycarbonate eyeguards are the most impact resistant.

Sports eyeguards should be padded or cushioned along the brow and bridge of the nose. Padding will prevent the eyeguards from cutting your skin.

Try on the eye protector to determine if it's the right size. Adjust the strap and make sure it's not too tight or too loose. If you purchased your eyeguards at an optical store, an optical representative can help you adjust the eye protector for a comfortable fit.

Until you get used to wearing a pair of eyeguards, it may feel strange, but bear with it! It's a lot more comfortable than an eye injury.