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How Common Are Eye Injuries In Pickleball? – Overall Ratio

How Common Are Eye Injuries In Pickleball
Written by Alex

If you have ever been down in the court especially when teaming with someone that you already have, you would be surprised how easy it is to get injured, one misstep and you are in for a collision.

However, it’s still astonishing to know How common are eye injuries in pickleball, in fact, eye injuries are spiking more than ever corresponding to ER visits, operations, and the whole shebang, it’s outrageous how things can get sloppy if you aren’t careful enough.

But don’t let this fact discourage you from hitting the courts, because luckily for you, there are a whole lot of tips and workarounds to prevent this fiasco from arising. That being said let this guide be your shield against such injuries.

Eye Injuries Ratio In Pickleball

As per National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) data from 2016-2018, there are around 67000 visits to ophthalmologists annually among which seniors are prone the most in the wide array of demographics playing pickleball.

Keep in mind, with the advent of Pickleball and its being stretched across the globe through tournaments and official leagues, the number is nowhere near stopping, in fact, there is been an exponential increase of at least 8% ever since.

You must also take into account that not all injuries are reported or recorded by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, so it is highly possible the number might fluctuate, nevertheless, the risk of eye injuries is extremely common and more than you could think.

Reasons Of Eye Injuries In Pickleball

Every sport brings upon a whole host of risks and hazards and pickleball is no stranger to such fiascos, here are a couple of reasons why eye injuries are so common.

  • A pickleball, even though made from plastic can reach speeds up to 70mph when it’s hit with a robust shot especially around the center of the paddle, known as the sweet spot. Engaging these shots head-on makes them virtually invisible to the eye, let alone allowing you to react.
  • Another common reason to get an injury across the orbital or ocular region is the swatting of the paddle especially when teamming up or during stacking. Players without proper communication channels can get wrangled eventually, especially when stacking aggressively.
  • Collisions due to improper footwork are undoubtedly one of the biggest culprits which presumably pumps the numbers of injuries related to the ocular region in pickleball.

How To Avoid Getting Injured In the Court?

This might sound trivial to you but remember your vision is precious and protecting it at all costs is certainly pivotal, here is how you can do it.

1. Protective Gear

You may think that wearing protective glasses may make you look like a true nerd but trust me your future self a favor by protecting your eyes from a pesky shot that you most probably would see coming and if that is a well-placed countershot from a lob, God forbid you would be seeing any ball at all, ouch!

So be a smart pickleball and use protective gear such as polarized glasses which will not only protect your eyes from a direct shot at your orbital region but will also filter out any form of sun glare that you might be viewing directly when taking a shot.

Read Here: What to Wear to Play Pickleball?

2. Mind The Gap

Not many players might know this but apparently, pickleball without proper communication even if it is a quick gesture when teaming up could end up in a disaster being a professional, that’s the last thing you would want as not only will it make you look like a slouch but you could also be a potential hazard as you are putting yourself and your teammate at risk of injury.

Make sure you follow proper discipline and pay attention to the footwork of your teammate, try staying in your zone, and don’t cover the whole court whenever you are playing in duos or round-robin format.

Moreover, keep a fair distance whenever you are playing in an aggressive playstyle because I have seen people hitting their elbows on orbital regions resulting in extreme injuries that require immediate visits to the ER.

3. Whacky Shoelaces

Tripping and falling on the court especially when it’s not even raining can be embarrassing and to top it off it could also lead to some serious eye injuries.

Apparently, as per reports tripping plays a huge role in injuries related to the orbital region and around the eye socket which often arise due to improperly tied shoelaces or even kicks that aren’t designed for pickleball.

Try wearing shoes that have plenty of grit and grip so that you can gain enough traction so you can easily maneuver in the court without slipping or falling. This tip is highly oriented towards seniors who often make the grave mistake of not wearing appropriate shoes resulting in injuries that could have otherwise easily been prevented.

4. Lack of Illumination

Public courts, especially the ones that aren’t maintained on a regular basis tend to have lesser lighting due to a lack of floodlights which eventually results in poor visibility causing players to struggle and even miss their shots and hit each other. 

Avoid playing in such scenes and install proper lamps before stepping into the court to minimize the chances of eye-related injuries in the court. As an added bonus, less lightning could also put a strain on your eye and could potentially introduce optical degeneration which could passively harm your eyes in the long run.

How Common Are Eye Injuries In Pickleball? – Bottom Line

Being a pickleball enthusiast, it’s downright amusing for me to know common eye injuries in pickleball even if most of the part of the session is played out in laid-back fashion. But then again none of us are Superman or at least have eyes made of diamonds to protect us from speedy shots. 

Keeping that in mind, following my workaround mentioned above can work wonders, so how about you ditch the bare-eyed bandit routine and follow an eye-protective guide so you can dominate the court like a true warrior?

About the author


Hello, I'm Alex, and welcome to PicklerSpot – your ultimate resource for all things pickleball! I've curated this blog to share my 5 years of expertise and tips to enhance your pickleball skills.

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