LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The weather has finally warmed up, and that means we've entered prime playing time for athletes.

Unfortunately, an increase in physical activity usually means an up-tick in sports eye injuries.

Dr. Dan Hennessey of the Little Rock Eye Clinic was heretoday to talk to us about ways to protect your eyes from sports injuries.

1. Assess your activity's eye injury risk. Some common activities popular in the warmer months, like boating or cycling, carry relatively low risk of eye injuries. Sports like baseball, golf and tennis that use balls and bats, clubs or racquets are much riskier.

2. Get an eye evaluation before playing. Getting the right uniform or gear for sports activities doesn't stop with uniforms and equipment. Before hitting the field, ask your eye care specialist how to best prevent putting yourself at risk, especially if you wear contact lenses or have had eye conditions such as a previous eye surgery or retinal detachment.

3. Wear protection. For all outdoor activities, especially water sports (including fishing), wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection and a hat with a brim. For baseball and lacrosse, a helmet with a full face shield should be worn. For football, a polycarbonate eye shield should be attached to the helmet. For basketball and racket sports - even tennis - protective goggles are important. Finally, for paint ball and air-soft play, a polycarbonate face shield is advised.

4. Getting back in the game. If you've had an eye injury - including blunt trauma injuries such as a black eye caused by a racquetball; penetrating or piercing eye injuries such as an air-soft pellet; or radiation burns from sun exposure - you should be evaluated by your eye doctor before participating in sports and outdoor activities.

You can get more information on recommended eye care by going to

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