Did you know that 69% of the UK population wear glasses? Those who rely on glasses to see may have encountered many situations where glasses has stopped them from doing something they love.
A 2012 study published in the journal Opthalmology found that glasses wearers are less likely to participate in outdoor activity, but this doesn’t need to be the case. Opting for contacts can be a safer, easier option – one where you don’t have to compromise on what you’re doing or risk damaging your eyewear.
For those looking to try a new sport this year, contact lens retailer Lenstore have consulted professional Optometrist Sujata Paul for her advice on how to look after your eyes and lenses during a variety of sports and hobbies so that they stay in top condition whether you’re in water, on dry land or at the gym.
Swimming and water sports
If swimming’s your thing, consider wearing eye protection in the water. Sujata recommends using a vision-correcting kit that prevents water from seeping in: ‘Wear tight-fitting goggles to prevent water getting in, and have prescription swimming goggles so there’s no need to wear contact lenses.’
If you do need to wear lenses in the water, it’s important to give your eyes a break straight away once you get back onto dry land, to avoid irritation. ‘Remove contact lenses immediately after swimming, wear glasses and wait a few hours before inserting a fresh pair of lenses,’ says Sujata.
If you’re wearing daily disposables, Sujata says it’s important to throw them away after your session and not reuse them. She recommends combatting dryness with rewetting eye drops as chlorine/sea salt has the potential to aggravate your eyes.
If you regularly enjoy dynamic sports where you’re moving around a lot, such as running or tennis, it’s best to use soft lenses, such as daily disposable contacts. They’ll allow you to see clearly, and won’t aggravate the eye as you move around.
Sujata says: ‘Soft lenses offer better stability for both comfort and vision, while one-time use lenses provide better hygiene and reduce your chance of an eye infection as there’s no cleaning involved.’
Just remember never to use daily disposable lenses more than once, as they’re only designed for one-time use and could cause an infection.
While contact sports like rugby, football, and karate are good fun, they do come with risks, and it’s important to be aware of the things you can do to keep both your eyes and lenses as healthy as possible.
In rugby, the regulators that govern the sport don’t allow players to wear glasses. Given the level of contact in rugby, this isn’t surprising, but it makes daily disposables a great option, as they’re not only safe but provide full peripheral vision.
Sujata says: ‘Due to the nature of the sport, it being muddy and close contact, one-time lenses are essential to reduce the chance of eye infections. This is therefore important for both hygiene and safety.’
If you’re taking part in contact sports, be sure to throw away your lenses immediately after playing and before showering to minimise the chances of an infection.
Atheletes who wear contact lenses
To raise awareness for those that feel restricted with certain activities due to their glasses, Lenstore have recreated what some notable athletes’ career-defining moments would have looked like without contacts.
Many famous athletes, including Novak Djokovic, rely on their contact lenses as a trusty alternative. There’s been a fair amount of controversy surrounding Novak Djokovic’s appearance at the Australian Open and, whether you’re team Djokovic or not, he’s going to be on that court.
This image shows you what Djokovic would see when serving up his A-game on the court with and without his contacts:
The campaign also includes images and information on Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Christiano Ronaldo, Lydia Ko, and David DeGea.