You’re at the park, in the gym, in a league or just with your friends playing basketball when you go up for a rebound. It feels like you’re flying through the air, time stands still, you feel your fingertips on the ball...but the next thing you know, your opponent's finger is poking into your eye, or your feet slam to the floor followed by an elbow hitting you in the face as you fight for a rebound. Of course, you let go of the ball, your hands shoot to your face and you take a knee in an effort to assess what just happened before the game even has a moment to pause. 

Playing without Basketball Goggles
When playing Basketball without protective goggles or glasses, you increase your chances of injury to your eyes.

It feels like this has happened to all of us. A quick poke or jab to the eye...maybe something you could brush off, but later that day your eye is red and irritated. It’s possible you even have to go to the doctor. When playing sports, injuries almost seem like a part of the game, but when it comes to your eyes, you want to do all you can to avoid them. 

The scariest part of eye injuries is the potential for vision loss. According to Prevent Blindness, in 2019,Basketball as a sport, had the highest rate of estimated eye injuries for those 15 years and older with 3,632 injuries out of 19,149 reported. 

Now the good news is that the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), has stated that 90% of serious eye injuries could be prevented. How? With the appropriate protective eyewear. 

The Why

Let’s start with the biggest reason. Safety! With the risk to your vision, and the highest rates of eye injuries being in basketball, wearing a proper set of protective eyeglasses or sports goggles will reduce your risk and put your mind at ease (whether you’re the player or the parent in the stands). I mean, all of us would wear safety glasses if working in an environment with the potential of flying debris. In basketball you have the potential of the ball, as well as, other players' arms and hands coming towards you at high speeds. The risk of them hitting you is pretty high and safety needs to be taken into account. Many players in the NBA have even worn goggles while playing. This is definitely no coincidence.

Now, if you are one of the 164 million US American adults (as stated by The Vision Council) that wear eyeglasses, the second big advantage is that many of these protective options can also be purchased with prescription lenses. This means clear vision while playing your favorite game! That definitely beats taking your glasses off (impairing your vision) to keep them safe while you play, or playing with your glasses on, only to have them whipped off your face and cracked against the floor.  With modern materials and designs, there are some great protective options available that will offer you safety and sight, as well as style. 

What to Look for in Basketball Goggles.

Now, you may be thinking, “Safety is great, but there are so many options, how do I know which one to buy?” This is a great question!

Luckily, there are some basic guidelines that can be followed to get you started. First and foremost, you will want a pair of glasses or goggles that meet ASTM F803 standards (American Society for Testing and Materials). This is the current standard for protective eyewear in basketball and will offer you the highest levels of protection. With this rating, the lenses and frame will be made of Polycarbonate material, which is highly resistant to breaking. The polycarbonate lens is also able to be used in a prescription application. This means clear vision with the highest protection standard! 

Of course style is a consideration in anything we wear, and is always a subjective hurdle based on your own tastes and preferences. Some of us might prefer protective glasses, where others will go with full sport goggles. Either way, there are few things to consider:

  1. Do the glasses/goggles cover your entire eye and eye socket?
  2. Do the glasses or goggles come with padding at key points to reduce shock?
  3. If goggles are your choice do they offer ventilation points to reduce fogging?
  4. Does your selection have the option of a sport band for added security?

If the answer is yes to these questions then shop away for the style that best suits you! 


There is a lot to consider when selecting your protective eyewear, but it is an important choice to make. Vision loss is scary, but the threat of it does not mean you can’t participate in your favorite sports. Take the necessary precautions with a good set of glasses or sports goggles, and play ball to your heart's content!

For more information on the things to consider with purchasing Basketball goggles or glasses, check out our post below that goes into more detail on each characteristic:

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