Squash is an intense game. You and your opponent have to hit the ball with the utmost power and speed. However, since you are not directly hitting each other, you may think you do not need protection. After all, the majority of pro players do not wear them. So should you wear squash goggles?
Most experts recommend wearing squash goggles. This is probably even more important in the amateur game than the pro game, as you will come up against players with less accuracy, wilder backswings, and collisions with either balls or rackets are more common.
There are of course pros and cons to wearing goggles. I will have a look at the reasons why you might want to wear them, as well as talk through some problems you may encounter.
Wear Squash Goggles
You probably should wear squash goggles when playing or practicing. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Wearing squash goggles can prevent serious eye injuries. This type of injury is probably the biggest risk when playing squash. The main issues are getting struck either by:
This could happen during any rally. However, it is especially risky during shots such as the body serve. The chance of you being hit straight in the eyes by the ball by a body serve increases exponentially. Since Body Serves are quite common in squash, this should only inspire you even more to wear goggles.
Other shots that have an element of risk are defensive boasts from the back of the court.
Also cross courts drives will often strike the opponent, particularly in less-accurate amateur games.
2.Your Opponent’s Racket
There are dangers beyond the ball. Being struck by the racket in the eye is at least as common as being hit by the ball. This will especially happen during:
- When shots are taken near the middle of the court
- When a player is not clearing the space near a shot
- When players are anticipating and not staying on the T
Goggles alleviate this issue, and are a simple but safe solution.
Eye Injuries – The Facts
Here are just a few of the many issues that could happen if you do not wear goggles and get struck in the eyes:
- You could end up having bleeding in your eye which can cause glaucoma (this condition is known as hyphaema)
- Your pupils could be ripped which will make you unable to focus on anything visually
- Your retina could swell or hemorrhage which will damage your vision and even orbital fractures can happen, which usually need surgery to correct and even then there are often permanent side effects such as facial disfigurement or double vision.
Eye Injuries In The Professional Game
With all this, you should realize the moral of the story is that you should wear goggles when playing squash. Otherwise, many problems can ensue. Even if some squash professionals themselves don’t wear goggles, you should. Better to be safe than sorry.
For example, those aforementioned squash professionals who don’t wear goggles…a few of them have been gravely injured by their lack of goggles. A lucky athlete in this regard was Jonathan Power whose eye was hit by his opponent’s racket, leading to Power not being able to finish the match and not being able to even open the eye for weeks.
Someone much more unlucky would be Will Carlin whose retina was torn and detached after a ball hit hm. Due to that, he had to do multiple surgeries, pay over $50,000 for medical costs and even got problems like nausea, anxiety and extreme pain; not to mention losing two years of his career.
Issues You May Encounter
There are a few easy to solve issues that may prevent you from wearing squash goggles.
What if the squash goggles get broken or you lose a pair? Make sure you have a few extra pairs to avoid this issue.
What if the squash goggles get dirty? There are sprays you can use to de-fog the goggles. For all other dirt, you can wipe down the goggles with a dry cloth and blow on them to make sure nothing is left on that can scratch the goggles. Then you can put the goggles in lukewarm water and use liquid soap to make a foamy mix. Leaving the goggles for a couple of minutes will lead to the harder stains becoming much weaker. When you take out the goggles you can remove the stains with a soft cloth. Then you can rinse the goggles with cold and hot water to removed any leftover soap. Lastly, dry them with a towel.
What if you wear glasses?
Obviously, you could wear contacts rather than try to put goggles over your glasses.
But for those of you who want to wear glasses or need to wear glasses at all times, there is another option. There are certain squash goggles you can buy which are made to be placed over glasses. A couple of these are the Unique Over Specs Eye Guard and the BSN Overglass Eye Protectors. The prices for these are $17.55 plus shipping and $17.93 plus shipping for each of these items on www.amazon.com respectively.
If you are wearing glasses under the goggles, this is doubly important. This is because if the goggles break from impact, then your glasses will almost definitely shatter.
Your goggles can damage your eyes if they break, but if this is combined with the glasses breaking, you are almost guaranteed to ruin your eyes as the force will push the shards from the goggles into the probably broken glass lenses, which will push them straight back into your eyes.
Prevent this from happening by selecting goggles that are extremely durable and that they safely and fully fit over both your glasses and face.
What Should You Look For When Buying Goggles?
When buying goggles, you should choose goggles that reduce fog, are scratch-resistant, have adjustable head straps and are built for squash. If you wear glasses, there are special goggles to wear over them.
When you are buying goggles, you need to know that often the most common squash goggles do not give the most protection. It is best to invest a bit more and buy professional squash goggles.
There are a few things you must look for when buying goggles. The first thing to look for are vents on top of the lens. These remove fog that will accumulate as you play, preventing the fog from ruining your vision as you play.
Another important thing is having adjustable head straps. It is best if the side arms are adjustable so you can remove the goggles with ease. Also, you want to make sure the material and frame are designed with squash in mind. It could be dangerous to get goggles made for sports with less potential impact involved.
Finally, you must think about scratch resistance. You need to make sure both sides of the lens are proofed against scratches.
Keep all these factors in mind as you make your decision.
Price Of Goggles
Next, let’s discuss the issue of price.
Above we discussed the prices for a couple of options for goggles which glasses can comfortably fit under. But let’s discuss the prices for squash goggles that aren’t designed for glasses.
Here are prices for a few different brands of normal squash goggles.
Head Impulse Eyewear is $7.95 and is a very cheap option.
Head Icon Pro Eyewear is more expensive at $22.95 and has anti-scratch lenses.
Harrow Radar Eyewear is very expensive for squash goggles at $49.99 but comes with a case and technology to reduce any fog on the glasses, which helps preserve your vision when you are playing squash (sometimes goggles can get foggy from all the sweat).
Squash goggles are very important to keep you safe as you play. Make sure to choose your goggles carefully, keep them clean and wear them each and every time you play. It cannot be stated enough that it is better to be safe than sorry. But it cannot also be stated enough that the more you play squash, the more enjoyment you will find.