Eye Health and Sport Safety

Summer is nearly here, and kids are excited to go out and play! But with this we need to ensure that their eyes and vision are kept safe. Eye injuries are a major cause of vision loss in children. In fact, there are some sports that have your child’s eye safety at higher risk than others. According to the National Eye Institute1, sports such as baseball, softball, basketball, tennis, field hockey, and paintball amongst others, can put kids at risk of a major eye injury. Sporting equipment moving at a high velocity or high contact sports can increase eye trauma, pain, vision loss, or disease. So, check out our tips for keeping your kids safe when they are out playing!

Proper Eye Protection

Ensuring that your child wears eye protection when playing their sport (or sports) of choice will help to keep their vision safe. This eyewear could be sports glasses or safety goggles made from polycarbonate that can prevent serious eye diseases such as retinal detachment which could potentially result in vision loss2. These safety glasses can be fitted with your child’s prescription, so they are seeing clearly while being protected. Even if your child wears contact lenses, a pair of safety glasses is a good idea to keep them safe from a traumatic eye injury. If an eye injury does occur, be sure to contact your optometrist right away as they can treat you quickly without having to visit the ER!

UV Protection

Keeping your child’s eyes safe from harmful UV rays is always a good idea, especially in the Colorado Summer. The lens of a child’s eye allows 70% more UV rays to enter it than an adult’s eye lens. The sun and UV rays can cause burns and even permanently hurt your child’s vision if you are not properly protected3, so wearing sunglasses can keep your child’s vision in tip-top shape! Sunglasses should²:

  • Block out 99 to 100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.
  • Screen out 75 to 90% visible light.
  • Have lenses that are perfectly matched in color and free of distortion and imperfection.
  • Have lenses that are gray or brown depending on the preference.

Be sure that the lenses your child is using are durable and made of a strong material like polycarbonate so that they can withstand the impact associated with sports. If your child needs vision correction, consider visiting your optometrist for an annual comprehensive eye exam to have sunglasses made with their prescription, or be fitted for a brand of contact lenses that offer UV protection – perfect for everyday use!  

Vision Exam

To ensure your child has the best chance of enjoying sports and being safe when playing, take them to visit an optometrist for their annual comprehensive eye exam! If a child is not seeing everything clearly, the risk of injury is increased. Optometrists can offer your child vision correction through stylish glasses or contacts that should be worn during play and regular life. Did you know that optometrists not only check vision and offer corrective lenses as needed, but they can also screen for over 270 diseases, keeping your little one healthy? An optometrist visit is the perfect way to ensure the whole family is able to play on this summer! If you are in need of an optometrist near you, click here to find one!


  1. https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/nei-for-kids/sports-and-your-eyes
  2. https://icrcat.com/en/eye-health/athletes/#:~:text=How%20should%20athletes%20protect%20their%20vision%3F,-Protection%20against%20sunlight&text=The%20use%20of%20protective%20sunglasses,the%20retina%20or%20the%20macula.
  3. https://www.abckidseyes.com/blog/protecting-your-childrens-eyes-from-sun-damage
  4. https://www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/caring-for-your-eyes/uv-protection?sso=y


Are Your Eyes Ready for the Upcoming Total Solar Eclipse?

A total solar eclipse¹ will cross the United States on April 4, 2024, passing over Texas, and traveling through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. It will be a partial eclipse for us in Colorado, weather permitting!  

It will be the last total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States until 2044! So, let’s get those peepers prepped for viewing.  

Except during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the Moon completely blocks the Sun’s bright face, it’s not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing. 

Use approved solar eclipse viewers.

The only safe way to view a partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses² or viewers that meet international standard ISO 12312-2 for safe viewing. Sunglasses, smoked glass, unfiltered telescopes or magnifiers, and polarizing filters are unsafe. Inspect your eclipse glasses or handheld viewer before use – if torn, scratched, or otherwise damaged, discard the device.  

Technique of the pros.

Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up. After viewing, turn away and remove your glasses or viewer — do not remove them while looking at the sun. If you normally wear eyeglasses, wear your eclipse glasses over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them. 

Totality awesome.

Only within the path of totality—and once the moon completely blocks the sun—can eclipse viewers safely be removed to view totality. Once the sun begins reappearing, however, viewers must be replaced. This will not be the case here in Colorado, so your viewers should be worn the entire time.  

Visit your doctor of optometry.

If you should experience discomfort or vision problems following the eclipse, contact an optometrist immediately to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. Some common symptoms include:  

  • Loss of central vision, or solar retinopathy, 
  • Distorted vision, and  
  • Altered color vision.  

Keep in mind, eclipse glasses are NOT regular sunglasses – regular sunglasses, no matter how dark, are not safe for viewing the sun. 

For any more information on how to keep your eyes protected and healthy now or any other time of the year, reach out to an optometrist near you! 

  1. https://www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/caring-for-your-eyes/solar-eclipses?sso=y&ct=c94edf9584b44610ba7ae1bc74b70d6223bba8ebcb421938372d771ae0de052c60404ea518bca2cd4af2a39de8249e2d816baaf19a6945bc4471812028d08858 
  2. https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/viewers-filters 

The Time Has Come to Use Your Health Benefits!

Have you made good use of your health benefits this year? If not, consider using your Health Savings Accounts (HSA) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) at your optometrist! These health benefits could be expiring and if you don’t utilize the benefits before the December deadline, those funds may not roll over into the next year.  

The end of the year can be a stressful time, so to help ease the burden of knowing what to do with your leftover health funds, we’ve compiled some ideas for you to get the most out of your HSA or FSA benefits! 

Schedule an annual comprehensive eye exam 

At the top of our list is an annual comprehensive eye exam! It is a great way to spend the funds while also taking care of your health in a practical manner. In fact, the eyes are the window into your overall health. A comprehensive eye exam performed by an optometrist can ultimately help to diagnose over 270 diseases, including non-eye related issues! This could be the first step in your health journey.

Correct your vision with contact lenses or glasses 

In addition to diagnosing potential health conditions, optometrists, of course, can help to correct any vision problems you are facing. HSA and FSA funds can certainly be used on vision correction like contact lenses and some super fashionable glasses! To avoid losing your funds, you can stock up on your contact lenses for the rest of the year or even consider changing up your style with different frames for every mood and occasion.  

Think about your family 

Your family needs care too! People of all ages (including infants) need to consider their eye health and vision. Scheduling a comprehensive eye exam for school-aged kids can be especially beneficial in all aspects of their life. Understand that poor vision could lead to a child suffering in their academic success and social experiences. That’s why an annual eye exam is important to help correct their vision which can offer them great opportunities in school and life, and not to mention that cool glasses can be a game changer for their self-esteem! 

Work with optometric office staff 

When in doubt, ask for help! Your optometrist’s team is a great resource to assist you in deciding how to utilize your HSA or FSA funds before the deadline. If you have questions about what your funds can be spent on, be sure to contact the office for some advice and guidance.

Plan ahead 

There is no time like the present, so start thinking about how to use your funds for the next year now. Eye exams need to be an annual occurrence to ensure that your eye health and vision are staying in tip-top shape. Consider scheduling your eye exams earlier in the year or perhaps before the start of the next school year to make sure your whole family is seeing clearly and feel confident in their academics! This way, you are not having to scramble so your funds aren’t wasted.

As the end of the year approaches and you need to utilize your health benefits, consider keeping our suggestions in mind to help to keep your eyes seeing clearly and staying healthy! Eyes are the window to your overall health, if you do not yet have an optometrist to help care for you, click here to find one.

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