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Friday / June 21.
HomemifashionBring It On The Fashion Behind Sports Eyewear

Bring It On The Fashion Behind Sports Eyewear

There’s no doubt about it, Australia is a sporting nation. But sports can be dangerous, especially for the eyes, and often eye injuries can lead to permanent vision loss. So how can you protect your sporting patients from eye damage, give them the best chance of a win… and keep them looking good at the same time?

Most sporting Australians are well aware of the need to protect their head with a well-fitting helmet, and keep their body in good stead with strategically placed padding, however few take time to consider how they can protect their eyes.

Recognising that the incidence of sports related eye injuries is low and the cost of quality eyewear relatively high (especially when compared to purchasing shin, knee and groin pads), you can almost understand why consumers perceive safety eyewear to be an unnecessary expense.

Yet when an eye injury does occur, it is often severe and can be permanent. In fact according to Sports Medicine Australia, 30 per cent of sports related eye injuries in children have the potential for permanent loss of eyesight.1

novices are most prone to eye injuries because they are “yet to learn or refine the skills necessary to master the specific sport and play safely

While you’d think that the most competitive sports players are most likely to suffer eye injuries, Sports Medicine Australia claims that novices are most prone to eye injuries because they are “yet to learn or refine the skills necessary to master the specific sport and play safely”.

Equipment, fingers and balls are all weapons in a game of sport that can lead to injuries ranging from lid haemorrhages and lacerations, to corneal abrasions, retinal detachments, hyphaema and even permanent loss of eyesight.

Eye health professionals are perfectly placed to start a discussion with their patients about the need for sports eyewear. Keeping in mind that it’s the novices who are most prone to eye injuries, it’s a conversation that should be had again and again just in case your patient’s sporting pursuits have changed.

Emphasise the importance of protecting eyes with a frame and lens package that where appropriate, complies with Australian Standards AS/NZS 4066 or AS/NZS 4499.

Quality frames should cover the orbit and be worn with a sports band attachment. They should fit snugly around the bridge of the nose and provide cushioning from impact. Wrap around sports frames will provide optimum eye safety and comfort, and with freeform technology, can be fitted with most prescription lenses. For more about lenses, turn to page 76.

At Risk Groups

Patients who are taking up sports, such as shooting and paintball are clearly at the highest risk of serious eye damage due to high-speed dense projectiles. Those who play sports such as tennis and cricket risk being hit by a bat, or racquet ball. Water polo, soccer and volleyball also come with the risk of hard contact from a ball or the fingers of competition. Even sports like cycling, skiing, swimming and rowing come with dangers from the natural environment and fellow sportsmen.

Fashion Frames

As well as focussing on eye safety, it’s important to realise that just like the job a person has, the sport a person plays is integral to their personal image. That means the frame and lens package they choose must not only protect the eyes… it has to enhance the image they want to project before, during and after play.

Fortunately there are plenty of frame companies out there who are well and truly aware of the fashion aspects of designing frames… which means there are plenty of great looking frames to stock in your store this summer.

1. sma.org.au/resources-advice/injury-fact-sheets/eye-injuries/