How to Protect Your Eyes While Doing Sports

Go hard at your workout without hurting your peepers.

Keep your eyes safe and healthy when you sweat it out. By Dawn Chen

Protect eyes during sports

Photo: nobilior /

You’ve only got one pair of eyes, so make sure you take good care of them. “Our eyes are vulnerable to sun damage, especially when we spend extended amounts of time in the sun,” says Dr Lee Sao Bing, medical director and senior consultant eye specialist at Shinagawa Eye Centre. The sun is the greatest source of ultraviolet (UV) light, and these invisible UV rays can cause permanent damage if we’re not careful. 

UV light exposure to the eye is commonly associated with cataract formation and retinal degeneration. It has also been linked to pterygium, a fleshy, triangular growth in the eye that is a slow-growing, benign lesion. While mostly harmless, pterygium may sometimes grow over the cornea, and in rare cases, grow large enough to cover the central cornea and affect vision. It is common to see cataracts and pterygium in athletes like golfers and sailors who spend long hours under the sun. Protect your eyes and keep these conditions at bay by heeding the following advice from Dr Lee.

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