Practising sport is one of the most common causes of injury to the eyes, especially among children and young adults. Every year thousands of people suffer eye injuries in Spain while doing sport.
Among the sports that tend to involve more risk are those known as “contact sports”: boxing, fencing, karate, judo, taekwondo, etc., which are the most dangerous for our eyes. On the other hand, sports like football or tennis also run the risk of causing eye injury even though they are not considered as dangerous, in this case from contusions or bruising caused by blows to the eye.
However, it is not only black eyes that need to be taken into account when practising sport. We must also take into account the risks associated with doing physical exercise outdoors, such as overexposure to ultraviolet rays or the appearance of possible alterations to the surface of the eye due to the cold, wind or the entry of foreign agents into the eyes. Our eyes need to be protected from the sun, in the same way that we normally protect our skin.
Also, most injuries are suffered by amateur athletes since they do not take all the necessary precautions. It is, therefore, important to remember that prevention is better than cure when it comes to accidents involving our eyes.
Periodic eye tests by a professional ophthalmologist should also not be forgotten, which is especially important for those who do a sport regularly.
Studies have been undertaken into the most common eye injuries resulting from practising sport. They have found that the most common condition is a bruised eye caused by being hit in the eye, which, as previously mentioned, tends to be more frequent in people who practice contact sports.
On the other hand, a bruised eye can give rise to secondary diagnoses with major complications. While the percentage of secondary diagnoses is much lower, they can be clinically significant: retinal tearing, vitreous haemorrhage, detached retina, posterior vitreous detachment, injuries to the tear ducts, or a traumatic cataract. In addition to bruising, other conditions that are often seen include injuries to the corneal epithelium, conjunctival lacerations and subconjunctival bleeding, among others.
Those patients with a serious secondary diagnosis require permanent follow-up by an ophthalmologist.