Badminton players have been told to wear safety goggles as shuttlecocks and other players pose a blindness risk.

Researchers at Capital Medical University, Bejing said fast-moving shuttlecocks and the racquets of other players can cause injury to the eye and even blindness.

Dr Yi Liu, co-author of the study, said: ‘Use of protective eye wear is highly recommended, based on expert professional guidance, safety education and awareness of the ocular injuries that can occur.’

Researchers examined 85 badminton players ­– 52 men and 33 women – between the ages of 15 and 65 who had suffered an eye injury. Surgery was needed for 26 people (31%) and some even suffered blindness.

There are currently no rules requiring protective eyewear in badminton.