If you are an athlete or if you are the parent of an athlete considering wearing contact lenses during sporting activity, you may be wondering about their safety and other issues related to their use. Here are four facts you need to know about wearing contact lenses during athletics.

Contact Lenses Have Many Advantages Over Eyeglasses and Safety Goggles

Many athletes prefer contact lenses to eyeglasses and/or safety goggles because they offer the wearer a more natural view of the world in front of them than the alternatives. This is especially important when playing sports.

Regular glasses can distort your depth perception, which can make a huge difference in your athletic performance. Glasses and goggles also obscure your peripheral vision, which can affect team sports, like soccer, football, and basketball. Also, you don't have to worry about fogging and similar issues with contact lenses.

Contact Lenses Can Be Worn During Rough Sports

Many athletes mistakenly think that contact lenses can't be worn during rough sports like football or ice hockey. Actually, most athletes are fine wearing contacts during these sports.

If you have a choice about what type of lenses to get, most eye specialists these days recommend soft contact lenses. They adhere better to the eye because they are more flexible, and so they are therefore less likely to be knocked loose during play.

For athletes with conditions like astigmatism (an irregularity in the curvature of the pupil) who need the pressure of hard lenses to correct their vision, there is a solution. Newer hybrid lenses offer a rigid gas permeable center with a softer silicone outer ring--the best of both worlds.

Contact Lenses Cannot Be Worn While Swimming

While contact lenses can be worn during most sports, they should not be worn during swimming. The chlorine in pool water and the salt and silt in oceans and lake water can invade the fabric of your lenses and cause them damage, as well as bring those elements in closer contact with the surface of your eyes. You are better off in this case wearing prescription swim goggles.

Contact Lenses for Sports Are Fit Differently Than Regular Lenses

If you are getting contact lenses to wear during sports, be sure to tell your eye doctor. Contact lenses for athletes are often fitted tighter than regular lenses so they stay in place better, both during contact in play and when moving your head to see things like balls, pucks, teammates, and obstacles. You may need to have two separate pairs of lenses: one for sport and one for regular wear.

Today's world of eye care offers many benefits that people needing vision correction didn't have even ten years ago. Ask your eye doctor about contact lenses for sports activities, and you may be pleasantly surprised by your options.