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Sports related injuries are pretty common in the athletic world because of the combination of rigorous activity and risk of impact.
When most people think of sports injuries, they are more likely to think of muscle sprains, bone fractures, or concussions.
One thing that may not immediately come to mind are eye injuries, but this type of injury is actually extremely common.
Hospital emergency rooms treat approximately 40,000 sport-related eye injuries each year; while this is a rather alarming statistic, there are definitely measures you can take to ensure you are not part of this number.
Do you need goggles for racquetball?
The short answer is yes! There are various ways you can get hurt while playing racquetball, and you want to make sure that your eyes are protected from any harm.
Goggles are a necessity for the sport of racquetball in particular, and there are certain features you should look for in a pair of goggles to make sure you are properly protected while not obstructing your vision.
Do you need goggles for racquetball?
Absolutely! Let’s consider why.
Do you need goggles for racquetball?
Risk of Injury
There are several different factors in play during a game of racquetball that put your eyes at risk.
First, you and your opponent are swinging racquets around in a relatively small, enclosed space.
These racquets are hard objects and they are being swung with great force in order to hit the ball as hard as possible.
There is a risk that during gameplay, you and your opponent could collide since you are simultaneously moving around in this small space.
If the racquet hits your eye, you are likely going to get seriously injured and be in a lot of pain.
In addition, you are also at risk of getting hit in the eye with the ball.
Racquetball is played with a hollow rubber ball that is about 6 inches in diameter.
This ball is hard and bouncy so as to hold up against the impact of the racquets and rebound off of the surfaces.
During a game of racquetball, this little ball can fly at over 100 miles per hour, especially when hit by an experienced player with a lot of power behind their swing.
If this ball were to hit you in the eye, it could do serious damage because of how hard it is and how fast it is moving.
Your eyes are an extremely sensitive and delicate part of your body.
A blow to your eye could do much more damage than a blow to your arm because there are so many nerves behind your eye that make it function properly and send signals to your brain.
Because it is so delicate, the eye also takes much longer to heal than other parts of your body.
In a minor example, getting hit in the eye can cause a black eye, and the swelling and bruising from this impact can last quite a while.
In a more extreme example, a blow to your eye could cause permanent damage, such as damage to the nerves or even loss of vision.
Seeking treatment for an eye injury can be very expensive.
You could be facing anything from an eye exam to surgery to try to repair the damage that was done from an impact.
Additionally, you could also be facing the need to take time off work while you seek treatment and recover from your injury.
As mentioned, eyes take longer to heal than other parts of your body. This can be particularly frustrating if your vision was affected during the injury.
It can be harder to complete everyday tasks at work or at home because your vision is inhibited and because you are suffering with pain as well.
You also would likely have to take time away from playing racquetball because it would be difficult and risky to play with inhibited vision.
As you can see, there are a lot of risks associated with not wearing eye protection while playing racquetball.
Luckily, all of these things can be avoided with the correct gear.
What type of goggles?
As you can imagine, there are a variety of options when it comes to eye protection.
While there are protective goggles that are specifically designed for racquetball, you do not necessarily have to narrow your search down to eye wear for this particular sport.
Most any other athletic eye goggles will also meet your needs. There are a few things you should take into consideration, though, as you shop around.
You can choose between goggles that have two lenses or goggles that have one single lens.
Goggles with two lenses are better suited for the people that play recreationally. The look more like a pair of regular sunglasses, which is more stylish but not as protective.
Goggles with two lenses are smaller and do not cover as much of your face.
They also have two separate nose pieces just as a pair of sunglasses do, and these could fall off during play.
Racquetball goggles with one lens are much safer because they cover more of your face and provide better protection.
Because the lens wraps around the side, your peripheral vision is less obstructed with this style of goggles.
These goggles also only have one attached nose piece that will not come loose.
As you start running around and getting into a game of racquetball, your body heats up and you begin to sweat. This change in moisture and temperature can lead to your goggles fogging up which will obstruct your vision.
There are a couple different ways you can prevent fogging.
First, do not wear goggles that fit too close to your face; this can lead to fogging because there is no space for proper air flow.
Second, find a pair of goggles that have an anti-fog coating that will help your lenses be more resistant to fogging up.
If you cannot find anti-fog lenses, you can also buy a bottle of anti-fog coating and apply it yourself.
Finally, some goggles have vented lenses. This feature helps prevent fog by increasing the amount of ventilation through the goggles.
The artificial light found in indoor courts can be harsh, and if it reflects off your goggles, it can prevent you from seeing clearly.
Wearing goggles that have an anti-reflective coating will reduce the glare from the lights which will allow you to see better.
The fit is crucial because an improper fit can distract you rather than properly protect you.
If your goggles are too loose, they will slip down your face while you are playing.
This will make the protective features less effective because they are not positioned where they are supposed to be.
It will also serve as a distraction because you will have to constantly adjust them.
If your goggles are too tight, you will be uncomfortable which is also distracting.
Goggles that are too small can also obstruct your peripheral vision more because they do not rest on your face in the proper spots.
Your goggles are also more likely to fog up if they fit too tight on your face.
You should also ensure that your goggles come with an adjustable strap.
An adjustable strap will allow you to find the best fit for your head.
You will be able to adjust it to the right size to keep your goggles in place but to prevent them from squeezing too tight.
If you start playing only to find that your goggles are starting to slip from your constant movement, you can easily adjust them to fit a little more securely.
Because there is a risk of getting hit in the face during a game of racquetball, you want to make sure your safety goggles can hold up against impact.
Goggles should be able to take a hit from a racquetball without cracking.
Finding a pair of goggles that have a softer rubber across the nose piece and around the eyes would also be beneficial. This will help the goggles absorb the impact without painfully digging into your face.
Make sure you research goggles that are lightweight but durable so that you do not risk them breaking in the middle of the game.
If you are worried about them breaking, you can always carry a spare pair of goggles with you just in case the need should arise.
As you can see, there are plenty of options out there when it comes to eye protection.
Goggles are not a one size fits all piece of equipment, though.
Make sure you try out a few pairs, paying attention to the different features and the way that they feel on your face.
Your protection and your comfort are the most important when it comes to choosing a pair of racquetball goggles.
Always make sure that you protect your eyes when playing racquetball so you can reduce your risk of injury and continue playing the sport that you love.