Eye Injuries in Sports

It’s estimated that there are 40,000 eye injuries received during sports each year in the United States. 90% of those injuries could be avoided just by using protective eye wear.

Eye injuries in sports

The most common types of eye injuries in sports include blunt trauma, penetrating, and radiation injuries.

Blunt trauma eye injuries are caused by forceful impact, and are the most common type of eye injuries in sports. This may result in bruising, fractured bones, or damage to the eye.

Penetrating injuries are fairly uncommon, and range from mild abrasions to serious lacerations.

Radiation injuries are those that occur due to overexposure to sunlight. Radiation injuries most commonly occur in skiing or water sports.

Which sports are most dangerous?

The National Eye Institute ranks classifies sports by risk – low, moderate, and high.

Low risk

  • Bicycling
  • Diving
  • Skiing
  • Swimming
  • Wrestling


  • Football
  • Golf
  • Badminton
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Fishing

High risk

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Hockey
  • Paintball
  • Racquetball
  • Softball
  • Squash

How to stay safe from eye injuries in sports

Being cautious isn’t enough to prevent injury. It’s important to wear the proper safety equipment to prevent eye injuries in sports.

Not all sports carry the same risk for all people. For example, baseball causes the most sports-related eye injuries in children under 14, and basketball causes the most sports-related eye injures in men 18-65.

Also, remember that low and moderate risk sports aren’t exempt from eye safety equipment. There’s still a chance for eye injury with low risk sports, and you’re much safer with eye protection.

If you suffer an eye injury while playing sports, consider MediServe Walk-In Clinic in Fayetteville, Arkansas.