Eye injuries are increasing in frequency among soccer players. When the ball hits a player in the eye, many types of injuries can occur. Damage may occur in the eye globe, retina, or conjunctiva and may cause a hemorrhage or rupture. A study in Europe identified 5 cases of severe eye injury from soccer in 2001-2005. Three of the injuries healed completely with no residual symptoms; however two cases had lingering problems.
By looking at the nature of the injury as well as the mechanism, it is reasonable to conclude that eye protection may become mandatory in the near future. Increased popularity of the sport may lead to an increased prevalence of eye injuries.
Kent JS, E. R. (2007). Indoor soccer-related eye injuries: should eye protection by mandatory? Canadian Journal of Ophthamology , 42(4): 605-8.