Protective Eyewear for Student Athletes – What Is the Best Choice?

Protective Eyewear for Student Athletes - What Is the Best Choice?
September 21, 2021
James Ashford

“Knocked it out of the park!” – a familiar phrase that sports fans love to hear, especially students involved in athletic activities. Sports are not only fun for children, but they can also be vital to their overall well-being. Teamwork and sportsmanship teach discipline, build self-confidence and establish character. And with today’s advancements in protective eyewear for student athletes, children who wear glasses can also be part of a team easily!

Indeed, one concern students may have about getting prescription eyewear is how they will be able to play sports with glasses or contacts. Fortunately, there are many options available. From contacts to prescription swim goggles, children who need vision correction have choices for when they hit the field, the court or the pool.

Is it better at 1 or 2? The first step is a comprehensive eye exam

First and foremost, it’s important for your student athletes to get a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether they need vision correction, and if so, what option would be best for their active lifestyles. A school vision screening should not be a substitute for an exam performed by an eye doctor. Optometrists have advanced training and the clinical tools to complete a thorough evaluation. So, be sure to encourage the students on your team and their parents to seek professional advice instead of relying on the school’s standard test.

Getting care from an eye doctor is beneficial to student athletes. As children grow, so do their eyes, oftentimes resulting in prescription changes. Doctors who have a good rapport with their patients can assure them that these types of changes are quite common. They can then update protective eyewear for student athletes accordingly.

Contact sport and sports contacts

When a student athlete needs vision correction, glasses and contact lenses are the two options. Because they participate in sports, there are a few things to keep in mind.

For students who are involved in water sports, contact lenses may not be the best option. Contacts can easily absorb chemicals and may fall out in the water – neither of which would be good for your athlete’s vision or performance. Fortunately, students can get prescription goggles to maintain visibility easily.

If your student athlete is staying on the dry side of sports, contact lenses can work well if their eye doctor agrees it is a suitable solution. Some benefits of this type of protective eyewear for student athletes include:

  • A wider field of view. Because contacts fit on the eye itself, the eye’s visual field is more expanded than with glasses.
  • A lower risk of eye injury than with traditional eyewear.
  • High-quality vision.
  • Better depth perception. (Even NBA All-Star Stephen Curry attributes wearing contact lenses to his success. His 3-point shot percentage went from 31.7% all the way to 48.7% once he started wearing contacts.)

Glasses are still great

For students who are not eager to try contact lenses, they can wear protective eyewear or goggles for visual and safety purposes. Regular eyeglasses are not typically the best for sports due to the risk of high-impact hits to the face. For example, if an athlete takes a basketball to the face or an elbow to the eye, normal lenses could break and cut their eye.

However, protective eyewear or goggles are often made of polycarbonate, a shatter-resistant material that absorbs impact and is sturdier than standard glasses. Your athlete’s eye doctor can help them get the right type of lens that is best for safety and their needs.

Affordable protective eyewear for student athletes is possible

Sports are a fun outlet for kids to be active and make friends. If your athlete needs vision correction, Vision Care Direct can help ensure they keep having fun, without breaking the bank. With our pre-paid vision plans, parents can afford the perfect protective eyewear for their budding star athlete.

Learn more about how we can help your team get the vision care they need with our negotiated savings plans.

Not sure where to get started with recommending self-funded plans? Vision Care Direct of Oklahoma is pre-paid plan provider with and extensive of specialists who deliver eye care in Tulsa and nationwide with excellent value for employers and plan recipients.

Find out more about our self-funded plans and other flexible options.

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