According to the National Eye Institute, sports and recreational-related eye injuries result in an estimated 100,000 physician visits yearly. These visits cost over $175 million per year. And that’s in the U.S. alone.
The Coalition to Prevent Sports Eye Injuries says that the following sports are each considered a high-to-moderate risk for eye injury:
Basketball, baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis, soccer, volleyball, water polo, football, air rifle, BB gun, paintball, boxing, martial arts, cricket, squash, racquetball, fencing, badminton, golf and fishing.
Fishing, really? Yep!
In fact, injuries from fishing make up over 9% of all sports-related injuries, and of that number…
- A hook in the eye accounts for 38% of injuries.
- A sinker or body of a lure striking the eye cause 44% of injuries.
- The majority of the remaining 18% come from overuse injuries.
Even more startling…
Eye injuries from fishing — a treble hook lodged in the eye or a sinker hitting the eye — have surpassed eye injuries from basketball as the No. 1 sports-related eye injury. (Backcountry.com)
BMC Ophthalmology corroborates this statistic by noting that fishing is the most common cause of sports-related eye injuries in America’s emergency rooms. BMC Ophthalmology further notes that eye protection is mandatory for the person fishing as well as for observers, especially young children. Fishing glasses should be worn for UV protection and as an injury prevention measure. The use of eye protection reduces the number and severity of ocular injuries from fish hooks.
How can these injuries be prevented?
By wearing eyewear that is impact resistant.
Fortunately, a great selection of safety eyewear provides this ideal protection against flying hooks and sinkers. They also protect the eyes against 99% of harmful rays from the sun.
Taking it a step further, wearing fishing sunglasses provides the best way to prevent eye injury while fishing and with eyewear best suited for the sport. Many anglers are actually Hooked on Polarized Fishing Glasses because they also enhance visibility in all lighting conditions.
Fishing is not the most dangerous sport for the body as a whole. However, more eye injuries come when fishing than from any other sport. Hopefully, this information motivates anglers to protect their eyes not just from the sun’s rays but also from their fishing gear.