Eye Safety in Pickleball

Pickleball, a sport that blends elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. As more people engage in this fun and social activity here in Knoxville and around the country, the importance of safety, particularly eye safety, becomes paramount. Our patients often ask about the risks associated with sports like pickleball, the importance of protecting your eyes, and the best practices for ensuring eye safety.

Female pickleball player on court with an orange shirt not using eye protection

Understanding the Risks

Pickleball involves a lightweight ball, which can travel at high speeds, especially during competitive play. The ball, along with rackets and other equipment, poses a risk of eye injury even if precautions are taken. Common eye injuries in racket sports include corneal abrasions, blunt trauma, and even more severe injuries like retinal detachment or orbital fractures. These injuries can result from direct impact from the ball or racket, or indirect trauma from a fall. 

Importance of Eye Safety

Protecting your eyes while playing pickleball is crucial. The eyes are extremely vulnerable and an injury can range from temporarily debilitating to permanently sight-threatening. Moreover, an eye injury can mean a significant time away from the game and, in severe cases, may lead to long-term vision impairment.

Choosing the Right Eye Protection

When it comes to protecting your eyes in pickleball, the right eyewear is key. Here’s what to consider:

  1. Polycarbonate Lenses: 
  • Durability: Polycarbonate lenses are up to 10 times more impact-resistant than plastic or glass lenses. They provide a high level of protection from flying objects.
  • UV Protection: These lenses also offer protection against harmful UV rays.
  1. Proper Fit:
  • Comfort: Eyewear should be comfortable, without pinching or slipping during movement.
  • Adjustability: Features like adjustable straps or nose pieces ensure a secure fit.
  1. ANSI Z87.1 Certification:
  • Safety Standards: Look for eyewear that meets the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z87.1 standards for eye protection.
  1. Anti-Fog and Ventilation:
  • Visibility: Lenses should have an anti-fog coating and proper ventilation to prevent them from steaming up during play.

Best Practices for Eye Safety

  1. Wear Protective Eyewear: Make it a habit to wear eye protection every time you play, regardless of the level of play.
  2. Regular Inspection and Replacement: Regularly inspect your eyewear for scratches or cracks that can impair vision or reduce protection. Replace your eyewear if it becomes damaged or doesn’t fit properly.
  3. Educate Others: Encourage fellow players to wear eye protection and spread awareness about the importance of eye safety in pickleball.
  4. Playing Environment: Ensure the playing area is free from hazards that can increase the risk of falls or impacts.
  5. First Aid and Immediate Response: Know basic first aid for eye injuries and have a plan for immediate medical response if an injury occurs.

Eye safety in pickleball is an aspect of the game that should never be overlooked. By understanding the risks, choosing the right protective eyewear, and adhering to best safety practices, players can significantly reduce the risk of eye injuries. Remember, protecting your eyes is not just about preserving your ability to play the game; it’s about safeguarding your vision for life. As pickleball continues to grow in popularity, let’s ensure that we promote not just the fun and competitive spirit of the game, but also the importance of playing it safely.

Let Tennessee Eye Care help 

At Tennessee Eye Care, we take pride in delivering expert eye care services to you and your loved ones. We understand the importance of eye health and we are committed to providing the best possible care to help you achieve it.

We believe in a patient-centered approach that puts your well-being and satisfaction first. From the moment you walk into one of our practice locations, you’ll be greeted by our warm and friendly staff who are ready to make you feel comfortable and at home.

Need help? Contact our office to schedule an appointment.