By: Brian Oulman, OD
Well, it’s April, which means the weather will get warmer, baseball season begins, biking, and of course time at the lake. As you are gathering your special gear or gassing up the boat, don’t forget eye protection! There are a lot of eye injuries that occur during spring/summer sports, which can result in permanent damage or even be sight threatening. The biggest culprit of eye injuries in outdoor sports is the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation burning the eyeball. Sun damage can be painful or painless, regardless it can decrease your eyesight or worse. Let’s go through a few ways Central Oregon Eyecare can educate you on your sports eye safety.
We have a large community of road bicyclists and with our region growing there are more cars on the road, which increases dangerous road conditions. Bicyclist go through many different lighting conditions, sunny, shady, then a mix of back-and–forth sun/shade. These can be extremely difficult and irritating for the avid biker. Imagine improving your biking experience by being more comfortable and relaxed. If you are able to see the terrain of the road, view your mirror without glare and eliminating the glare from oncoming cars, wouldn’t that make your ride more enjoyable and more importantly, safer? We have specific sunglasses made just for bicyclists to keep them safe; eyes and body.
Talking about specific sunglasses, baseball is played in all weather conditions and players need to focus on a small 5 ounce ball, so it is imperative their eyesight is the clearest it can be. Baseball is played outside during the peak of the summer months when the suns UV rays are the most intense. Typical games last for 2 or more hours, which means a lot of ultraviolet exposure. Children are more susceptible to UV damage due to their eyeballs being more “pure”, so please protect their eyeballs with appropriate sunglasses.
Lakes are wonderful places to spend time as a family either on the water or on the bank having a picnic. Wearing just a hat is not sufficient protection for your eyes, while on or near the water, because, 80% of reflected light off water surfaces is UV. It is especially important to wear the proper sunglasses while boating or picnicking near water. Polarized sunglasses not only protect your eyeballs from the ultraviolet light but they will also eliminate the glare from the water, snow and cars while driving. They allow your eyes to relax, while providing clear and crisp vision, we can also make them into your prescription if you have one.
Golfing is another popular outdoor sport where sunglasses are needed. The avid golfer who enjoys reading the green and is highly competitive will not want polarization in their sunglasses, because the polarization will eliminate glare on each blade of grass so reading the green is difficult. Luckily, we have special sunglasses made especially for golfing, keeping your eyeballs protected and your score low.
We have experienced opticians who can educate you on the different sunglasses for your particular outdoor activity. Most of our sunglasses can have prescription lenses inserted, so you can be see while protecting the health of your eye. Let’s make this spring an enjoyable one, please make sure you and your loved ones have their yearly eye health examination and protect everyone’s eyeballs with the appropriate sunglasses!