Finally, my son is using sports goggles when playing basketball. It took over a year and two broken eyeglass frames for me to make this choice. We’ve been lucky so far that he wasn’t injured during those times when his eyeglasses broke during basketball, but I don’t want to take that risk again.
I delayed this decision because special eyewear is expensive. When I brought my son to an opthalmologist after his glasses broke during basketball for the first time in 2013, I asked for the doctor’s advise on buying sports goggles. At that time, my son was 8 years old and just starting to learn basketball, and his interest in playing the game was on and off. The doctor suggested that new plastic frames with his existing polycarbonate (shatterproof) lenses would be good enough. In her opinion, we didn’t need to invest in expensive sports goggles for as long as my son wasn’t playing competitive (rough) basketball. A year ago, sports goggles with special-order polycarbonate lenses would have cost us around PhP12,000! (My son needs special-order lenses because of his high astigmatism.)
Thankfully, during our Singapore vacation soon after that, we found a new pair of semi-flexible plastic frames that could hold my son’s old polycarbonate lenses. I just needed to pay for new frames which weren’t expensive (maybe about SGD 50/PhP1,750), and viola, new glasses for my son!
Ten months later, my son is still playing basketball (after a few months hiatus). Lately, he is really enjoying basketball and he wants to get better at it. Which is all great. Until last week, when during training, a basketball hit him in the face and broke his eyeglass frames. Luckily, his lenses stayed true to their claim of being shatterproof and he wasn’t injured.
That was my wake-up call. Twice we’ve been lucky. Who knows what could happen a third time?
I brought my son to an opthalmologist again, to confirm the grade of his astigmatism and to ask again for advice. This time, with a different doctor, I was advised to buy sports goggles for my son, but not necessarily with the expensive special order polycarbonate lenses. He said that in his many years of eye care, he has never actually seen or heard of plastic lenses shattering during sports play, so plastic lenses would be good enough. Besides, in maybe two years, my son will need a bigger sized pair of sports goggles, which would mean another investment then. Perhaps a bigger investment can be made for eyewear that’s meant to last him for several years.
I figured that while my son needs safer eyewear when playing sports, he still needs safe daily eyewear, perhaps more so because it’s what he will be wearing most of the time. Possibly while horsing around with his friends, throwing a frisbee or biking to the park. For daily wear, he uses eyeglasses with a plastic frame (with metal wire inside) and polycarbonate lenses. And now, whenever he’s playing basketball, we both feel better knowing that he’s using sports goggles to help keep his eyes and face safe from injury.