Part 1: An introduction to sports eye wear

Advising you on the best eye wear for sport is a specialist function where we aim to combine the very best protection while allowing you to perform at the limits of your ability. Like all your eye wear, sports eye wear needs to make your life easier and safer but the best eye wear will also improve your sporting performance, whether you are cycling, swimming, running, playing golf, racket sports, cricket, football, ice hockey,… the list is endless!

Whatever your chosen sport the combination of the right visual correction and correct level of eye protection is essential for you…. With 20 years of experience we are able to advise you on the most suitable eye wear for your chosen sport. We have a wide range of high quality products for you, to suit all sports, styles and budgets.

compilation sportsWhy you need to protect your eyes:

Sport related injuries can vary from minor bruising to more serious fractures and ruptures of the eye and the surrounding orbit. The most common type of injury is blunt traumas which are often very serious. Less common injuries are damage caused by UV radiation and small sharp objects penetrating the eye1.

These types of injuries occur in all kinds of sports but most commonly in football, Squash, tennis, hockey and badminton 2. All of the sports mentioned plus any others involving the use of bats, balls, racquets, sticks or similar objects also pose a serious risk to your eyes especially when playing with your local team or your golfing buddy. These objects can hit you harder in the eye that you can imagine!…..and research shows that accidents to you will be caused by the people you are playing with so protect yourself and them from the pain of a trip to your local hospital.

Despite this high level of risk you are not alone; the majority of people that play sports do not wear adequate eye protection. This can often be due to you as players being in denial about the need for eye protection….. No doubt your decision not to use sports safety eye wear will be due to your perception that they are expensive, restrict your vision and the perceived social stigma towards people that wear sports eye wear, but…….ask yourself this – how many times have you said? “it won’t happen to me” and then down the line you wish you had acted sooner to protect yourself?

You will be aware that each sport have their own governing bodies and state the required level of protection needed as well as the level of manufacturing standards to be upheld ensuring that you the customer is suitably protected.

For example, did you know?… If you play squash in the UK and you are a junior player or you play as part of a doubles team it is now mandatory for you to wear squash goggles due to the increased risk of injury, furthermore your goggles must also comply with British Standards BS EN 7930.1. We at Tomlinson’s Opticians also ensure that all of the sports safety eye wear we supply to you complies with personal eye protection optical test methods and specifications EN167 and EN1663 respectively.

Although sports like cycling and swimming do not involve the use of equipment found in racket sports and are not as high risk, there is also the risk that foreign bodies could cause damage to your unprotected eyes. Just imagine the damage to a cyclist’s eye if hit by a stone kicked up by a passing vehicle. How many times has your car windscreen saved you from being hit by a stone? Or how many times have you been hit by a bumble bee on your motorbike helmet and thought someone had thrown a rock at you? I know I have!!!

To ensure that you are happy with your choice of eye wear we will have a detailed discussion about your specific needs, expectations and concerns. Then considering all of your specific needs find an appropriate solution for your chosen sport using eye wear manufactured to the relevant standards.

As for price, we know there are cheaper sports frames and lenses out there – indeed, we can offer you cheaper alternatives ourselves – but we are confident that our prices are very competitive for this quality of sports eyewear and remember, if you use the box on the right of this page to sign up to our Premier Club, you will receive a £25 discount voucher off your first purchase.


1 Finch, C, F and Eime, R, M. (2001). ‘The Epidemiology of squash injuries’, International Journal of Sports Medicine, 2, pp. 1-11.

2 Barr, A, Baines, P, Desai, S, P, and MacEwen, C, J (2000) ‘Ocular sports injuries: the current picture’, British Journal of Sports Medicine, 34, 6, pp.456-458

3Association of British Dispensing Opticians. (2010) Safety and protective eyeware, a reference for abdo members. Available at: /whatsnew/Safety%20and%20protective%20eyewear%200610.pdf


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