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Eye Health for Athletes: Selecting the Best Dry Eye Drops

It’s crucial to highlight the importance of eye health in the athletic arena. At the Holtebeck Eye Center, we recognize that around 100,000 sports-related eye injuries occur annually, with approximately 13,500 resulting in permanent vision loss. Many of these injuries can be prevented with proper eye protection, but participating in an active lifestyle also raises other concerns like eye strain, dryness, and irritation. While we encourage you to book an appointment with Dr. Holtebeck to discuss further ways to protect your eyes while participating in sports and other activities, in this blog, we offer a primer on some of the primary considerations when choosing the best dry eye drops for your symptoms and lifestyle.

Understanding the Environmental Impact on Eye Health

Selecting the right eye drops for sporting activities isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Different sporting environments significantly affect which type of eye drops will be most effective. Consider the various factors affecting indoor and outdoor activities.

Outdoor vs. Indoor Sports

  • Outdoor Sports: Activities like golf, baseball, and running expose athletes to environmental elements like pollen and air pollution, which can exacerbate eye dryness and allergies. In these cases, eye drops that offer anti-allergic properties and protect against environmental irritants may offer the most relief.
  • Indoor Sports: Sports played indoors, such as basketball and volleyball, often involve air-conditioned environments that can dry out the eyes. Here, a lubricating eye drop that provides a moisture shield can be most beneficial.

Special Considerations for Swimmers

Swimming poses unique challenges for eye health, as chlorinated water strips natural lubrication from the eye surface, leading to dryness and irritation. Opt for preservative-free eye drops specifically designed for swimmers, which help restore moisture without irritating the eyes further.


Whether you’re an indoor volleyball player or an avid golfer, understanding the specific environmental challenges of your sport can help you choose the right eye drops to keep your vision clear and your eyes comfortable, ensuring you perform at your best.

Duration of Relief & Application Frequency

The effectiveness of eye drops also depends on the duration of relief they offer and how often they can be reapplied during sporting activities:


  • Long-lasting Relief: For sports where frequent application is impractical, such as during a marathon or a baseball game, choose eye drops that provide extended protection.
  • Instantaneous Relief: In sports where clear vision is crucial and there are breaks to reapply, like in tennis or golf, shorter-acting eye drops might be preferable for immediate comfort.


Tailoring the use of eye drops to the specific demands of your sport’s schedule and intensity can make a significant positive difference when it comes to your comfort and performance.

Selecting Eye Drops for Specific Sports’ Needs

Selecting the right eye drops depends heavily on the sport and its unique visual demands:


  • Golf and Baseball: These sports require precision and clarity. Opt for eye drops that enhance focus by maintaining moisture without causing blurriness or residue.
  • Cycling and Running: Facing elements like wind and dust, athletes need eye drops that provide long-lasting lubrication and possibly UV protection.
  • Tennis and Racket Sports: Quick visual adjustments are crucial. Choose fast-acting, non-blurring eye drops that maintain clear vision for rapid gameplay.
  • Basketball and Indoor Court Sports: Indoor conditions often dry out the eyes. Look for moisture-retaining, preservative-free eye drops suitable for sensitive eyes.


Finding Your Perfect Match

Choosing the best dry eye drops for your preferred sport requires understanding the specific demands of the activity and its environment. At the Holtebeck Eye Center, we’re dedicated to helping you find the most suitable eye care solutions that support your athletic lifestyle. Whether you’re a swimmer battling chlorine or a cyclist facing the windy outdoors, proper eye care is a game-changer.

Ready to enhance your athletic performance with the right eye care? Book an eye care appointment at the Holtebeck Eye Center in Brookfield to protect your vision and stay on top of your game. Schedule your appointment today and ensure your eyes are at the top of their game!