Squash is a fast-paced and exhilarating sport that demands agility, precision, and quick reflexes.
There are over 20 million players worldwide, with 1.8 million of those based in the United States. That means a lot of people brushing up on their racquet skills!
While players focus on mastering their technique and improving their gameplay, one crucial aspect that should never be overlooked is eye health and protection. The eyes are incredibly delicate and vulnerable to injuries, especially in a high-intensity sport like squash.
This article aims to shed light on the importance of maintaining eye health and adopting preventive measures to safeguard the eyes of squash players.
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The Importance of Eye Health in Squash
Clear vision is fundamental to excelling in squash. Accurate judgment of the ball’s speed, trajectory, and placement is essential for successful shots and defense.
However, the rapid movements and close proximity to the ball in squash make the eyes susceptible to various risks.
Some of the common eye issues faced by squash players include eye strain, dry eyes, and even potential injuries like corneal abrasions, detached retinas, or more severe trauma.
Protective Eyewear: A Must-Have Accessory
To ensure eye safety during squash matches, players should always wear appropriate protective eyewear. Whilst you could wear normal glasses, which can help improve vision, not all products offer sufficient protection against squash-specific risks.
It’s recommended that if you do wish to use normal glasses, ensure you can pair them with squash-specific goggles or protective eyewear designed to withstand high-impact collisions with the ball or the racquet.
They have polycarbonate lenses known for their durability and impact resistance. These goggles also provide a secure fit to prevent them from falling off during intense movements, and some can fit over slender glasses.
Benefits of Squash-Specific Goggles
Squash-specific goggles are designed to withstand the force of a squash ball striking the eye area.
This reduces the risk of serious eye injuries, such as fractures or detached retinas, which could have long-term consequences on a player’s vision. Also, some squash goggles come with built-in UV protection, shielding the eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays during outdoor matches.
This added feature helps safeguard the eyes from potential long-term damage due to prolonged exposure to UV radiation.
During intense physical activity, you can find glasses or goggles begin to fog, hindering vision and causing further risk to players. Many squash-specific goggles have an anti-fog coating, ensuring clear vision throughout the game.
They must also be comfortable and properly fitted to enable players to focus solely on their game without distractions. Adjustable straps and cushioned nose bridges enhance the overall wearing experience.
Eye Care Tips for Squash Players
If you are a squash player looking to protect your eyes off the court as well as on it, there are certain things you can do. Apart from wearing protective eyewear, squash players can adopt certain eye care practices to maintain their eye health.
This includes scheduling regular eye examinations with an optometrist to detect any vision changes or potential issues early on.
Wearing any corrective glasses you’re asked to off the court will also help and ensure you protect your eyes in sunlight with polarized sunglasses that have the right UV protection.
During outdoor tournaments, these can also help when watching possible opponents, as they reduce glare and provide clarity of certain colors. Brands such as Oakley have become popular in many sports, with their Sutro range covering a large part of the face offering maximum protection.
They could be used during a game, but the lenses might not offer sufficient protection from a fast-moving ball.
Whilst playing, ensure you remain hydrated; proper hydration is essential for eye health and can help prevent dry eyes during and after squash matches.
You can take fluid onboard during regular breaks – even during an extended game. Of course, when undergoing longer practice sessions or tournaments, take plenty of breaks to rest the eyes and prevent eye strain.
Also, during games, refrain from touching or rubbing the eyes to prevent transferring dirt or bacteria and reduce the risk of eye infections.
Final Words on Eye Health for Squash Players
Eye health and protection should be a top priority for squash players.
Wearing squash-specific goggles significantly reduces the risk of eye injuries, ensuring that players can continue to enjoy the sport safely. Additionally, adopting proper eye care practices and scheduling regular eye checkups will contribute to overall eye health and longevity.
By taking these precautionary measures, squash players can focus on their game with a clear vision, aiming for peak performance and a successful squash journey.