Column: Defending your eyes 


Commentary by Dr. Katherine Schuetz

Did you know that injuries are the No. 1 cause of blindness in children? Not genetics, but injury. That means we could easily prevent many cases of blindness in our young people, as well as active adults, simply by wearing protective eyewear for sports. It’s so easy, but requires a shift in our culture, much like the acceptance of wearing a helmet every time your child rides a bike. 

Let’s start small: if a person wears glasses full time, he or she needs sports glasses. We have sleek, durable, fashionable sports goggles that will protect your eyes in any sport. 

Not every patient is ready to take the leap to contact lenses, and the only thing worse than wearing no eye protection for sports is wearing a pair of glasses that aren’t designed for the rigors of sports. Your everyday pair of glasses should be durable, but that doesn’t mean they can withstand being hit with significant force. We have seen serious injuries to the eye and surrounding tissue from regular glasses breaking during sports. That is 100 percent preventable when sports glasses are worn. 

Certain sports have already made huge strides in preventing eye injuries by requiring eye protection. Sports such as basketball, baseball, softball, lacrosse, racquet sports and fencing are the most likely for eye injuries to occur, so those are the most important sports for protective eyewear. It’s important to find a frame that fits the sport you play. Some sport goggles will be too bulky for certain helmets, so we recommend bringing along your gear to try on with the glasses. 

Make sure all the athletes in your family are seeing their best to play their best, and above all, make sure you’re protecting their eyes! 

Dr. Katherine Schuetz is based at Little Eyes in Carmel. She is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Optometry. Learn more at