Pickleball Glasses: Open Your Eyes to Protection

Pickleball glasses can be the difference between a good time and a trip to the ER.

It seems a day doesn’t go by where I don’t see a Facebook or blog post surrounding eye damage caused by pickleball. While it appears the odds of an eye injury while playing pickleball is relatively low, you still might want to consider wearing ocular protection when playing.

The number of people who suffer eye injuries from recreational sports each year is quite staggering, with more than 600,000 cases, including many who go blind. You never think it will be you, but with racquet/paddle sports the fourth largest offender–and with up to 90% of eye injuries avoided by using protective glasses with polycarbonate lenses–why not put safety on your side?

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For those who think a plastic ball can’t cause much damage, you’ve never played pickleball! With players at such a close range, getting pelted in the face is par for the course.

Eye injuries can include bruising, swelling, bleeding, and even retinal detachment, a full-blown medical emergency.

So, what can you do to protect your eyes when playing pickleball? The most obvious solution is to wear pickleball glasses. But we’re also fans of increasing your hand speed. 🙂

pickleball eye injury

Pickleball Glasses

Pickleball glasses come in a variety of styles, including those with clear lenses, tinted lenses, or no lenses at all, and are designed to protect your eyes from the impact of the ball. Glasses are made from a variety of materials, including plastic and metal. But the most critical component is to ensure they are shatterproof.

Pickleball Safety Glasses

This type of eyewear is designed to fit over your existing glasses, allowing you to wear your prescription glasses while playing. With anti-scratch wraparound lenses, pickleball safety glasses are worn over your current eyeglasses. If you tend to play outside, your glasses should be polarized, as extended sun exposure comes with its own set of potential eye issues.

Pickleball Goggles

Some players prefer safety goggles, given the durable protection they provide. Once goggles are on, it is unlikely that they will change position or fall off while you are playing. However, goggles can be uncomfortable to wear and can fog up. If you wear safety goggles when playing pickleball, ensure they fit snugly and do not obstruct your vision. Also, be aware of any rain/humidity events as anything impeding your vision can lead to other injuries.

Lensless Pickleball Goggles

Lensless pickleball goggles are a great way to protect your eyes from damage during pickleball play. These goggles have removable lenses, so you don’t have to worry about them fogging up or obstructing your vision. And, because they don’t have lenses, they’re also very lightweight and comfortable to wear. As opposed to the lens offering defense, it’s the frames that deliver a safeguard from injury. Plus, there are no glare or shatter issues that can come along with standard lenses.


Another option is to wear a visor. A visor will protect your eyes from the sun and potentially the ball’s impact. However, a visor is less likely to protect your eyes from flying debris. A hat can help, too, though visors can often have an elongated bill. 

Eye Drops

Eye drops, or ocular lubricants, keep eyes moist and can provide temporary relief from discomfort by moistening and lubricating the eye’s surface. Many recreational players, like the Pickleball Rookie, tend to play at night after spending many hours staring at a computer screen. Keep your eyes fresh by using drops 30 minutes before hitting the court. 

If you are worried that pickleball safety glasses will be viewed as an on-court fashion faux pas, think again! Many players use eye accessories to take their pickleball motif to the next level. Here are a few other pickleball glasses to choose from.

Still on the Fence About Pickleball Glasses or Goggles?

  1. Outdoor pickleball exposes players to wind and bright light, affecting their vision. Safety glasses shield the eyes, ensuring clear sight and a comfortable playing experience in varying conditions.
  2. Dust, pollen, and sweat can irritate the eyes and disrupt focus. Safety glasses provide a barrier against these elements, allowing players to concentrate on the game and avoid unnecessary discomfort.
  3. A perfect fit, lightweight design, and stylish appearance make safety glasses more enjoyable to wear. They should feel like an extension of the player, allowing for seamless movement without distractions.
  4. When choosing safety glasses, consider features such as anti-fogging, UV resistance, better contrast, impact resistance, and scratch resistance. These factors contribute to a reliable and effective eyewear solution for pickleball enthusiasts.
  5. As eye injuries become more common in pickleball, the debate on mandating safety glasses in competitive play grows. Implementing such a rule could prevent injuries and promote a safer playing environment.

I’m not a huge fan of wearing goggles, but after seeing so many of my pickleball friends showing up to the court with bruises, I’m starting to think, ‘safety first!’

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