While the incidences of blindness from paintball have been extremely rare, the consequences are so serious one should take precaution at all times. When finished playing, a barrel blocking device should be installed immediately onto your paintball gun to prevent any injuries from an accidental firing. Protective eye wear should be worn even when walking off the field after the game is over as long as there are still players carrying guns. Most eye injuries from paintball occur more from being hit by the shrapnel that comes from the exploding shell, rather than a direct impact to the eye. This is why full face paintball masks are preferred over eye coverage only goggles, however both are acceptable as long as they have the proper safety rating.

Regular glasses, sun glasses, ski masks, safety goggles and shooting glasses are not sufficient to protect you from fast flying paintballs. You need an appropriate, purpose made paintball mask ,manufactured to strict industry regulations to withstand the speed of a paintball.

Your paintball mask needs to provide adequate protection whilst still feeling comfortable. If your mask is uncomfortable it will be a distraction and will impair your ability to play well. There should be cushioning around the outer edges of the mask to keep it in place and ensure a comfortable fit.

Your mask should fit well. Paintball is an extremely active sport. Your mask needs to fit securely to withstand many different manoeuvres. You will need to be able to run, twist, turn, dive and crawl without dislodging your mask. If you wear glasses, check that your mask will fit over them comfortably.

When buying protective eye wear for paintball, it's best to purchase from an authorized dealer. This way you are sure to choose from a selection of masks and goggles that have been officially deemed as safe for the sport. While there are many types of goggles and protective masks available for different sports, only masks and lenses that have an approved rating by the ASTM are acceptable for paintball. The ASTM (American Society of Testing and Measures) is an organization that provides unbiased testing for all different products to determine safety standards. If you are unsure of the safety rating of your mask, DON'T USE IT. Goggle lenses that have not been approved for paintball may break or shatter when hit by a high speed paintball contributing to the very injury you're trying to prevent.

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Gamer and Traveler