Olympic Vision: Eye Infection in Sports

bob-costas-eye-infection

Athletes are familiar with the risk of being sidelined for injuries.  It’s a risk that comes with sport, but you want to avoid them if you can.  One upper body injury that you want to try to avoid is the eye infection.  Most following the Olympics are familiar that NBC news anchor Bob Costas was sidelined from Olympic coverage for a few days because of an eye infection.  I was watching Day 2 coverage when I said to my wife, “Hey, it looks like Bob is developing some type of conjunctivitis”; sure enough, Bob was pulled from coverage the next day due to red eyes, sensitivity to light and the need to wear glasses.  While NBC had Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira to cover for him, athletes may not have that luxury.

The risk of eye infections due to contact lens wear can be significantly reduced by wearing a daily disposable lens.  Wearing a contact lens even once will allow proteins and lipids to deposit on the lens.  These deposits then give something for bacteria to adhere to and are a major factor in contact lens related eye infections.  You can minimize the chance of infection by replacing your lenses every single day.  Ideally athletes should wear daily disposable lenses.

 

Olympic Vision Day 14: Hockey Vision

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Team Canada has been criticized for the lack of goal production from their forwards and that if it wasn’t for the defense they would be dire straits.  During the preliminary rounds Team Canada has 7 goals from defensemen and 6 from forwards.

If you are looking for a possible answer perhaps it has to do with hand-eye reaction time.

In a previous post we looked at what it takes to stop a slapshot in the NHL.  Let’s say you have an average NHL defenseman with an 85mph slapshot, shooting at you from the blueline, about 55 feet away.  It will take that slap shot 430 milliseconds to reach you.

olympic ice

Everyone knows that the Olympic ice is wider, but you may not remember that the goal line and blue line are closer together as well….6 feet closer.  That means the defense is shooting from 6 feet closer.  So now that 85mph slapshot is reaching the goalie in 393 milliseconds.

To save it the goalies must react 10% faster.

So knowing this, do you think the increased goal production by the defense is an accident?

 

Stickhandling Research Study

eyegym studyEyeGym Stickhandling Study 2014 DETAILS
Waverley Eye Care Centre, home of EyeGym Canada, is currently investigating the potential benefit of strobe glasses on stickhandling training in youth hockey players.  A recent study conducted with the Carolina Hurricanes showed the use of strobe glasses were beneficial in training hockey skills.  If you are born in 2001 or 2002 and are enrolled in a youth hockey program you may be eligible to participate.  Contact Dr. Michael Nelson to find out more information.

Assess Your Sports Vision At Your Annual Eye Exam

sports eyechartIt’s back to school time and that means it is time to schedule your annual eye exam.  Annual eye exams will ensure that you are seeing well for the upcoming school year.  We will check and improve your vision so you are seeing well and we will also check the health of your eyes to make sure there are no underlying concerns. 

If you play sports, why not book a sports vision baseline assessment at the same time?  In addition to the comprehensive eye exam and the Optomap Retinal Photos ($45)  that we would perform at your regular eye exam we will also perform the following:

  • Evaluation of 8 sports-relevant visual skills
  • Review of sports related skills and recommended areas for improvement
  • Baseline Concussion Testing: Used to assist in diagnosis and return to ice readiness
  • $50 credit towards a 5 week sports vision training program

The additional fee for this sports vision assessment, in addition to the annual eye exam fees ($45 for Optomap photos), is only $30.

For more information or to book an appointment call or email us.

Heads Up Stickhandling

 

Hockey Player Skating with Puck

When you are watching a hockey game have you ever noticed that some kids that always seem to make that perfect pass.  Announcers describe players like this as having ‘great vision’.  Sports vision specialists can measure the size of an athlete’s detailed vision zone but the first step is quite simple – look up.  If you are stickhandling with your head down you can’t see who is open and you can’t avoid collisions with other players. 

The great news is that heads-up stickhandling can be trained, the bad news is that it is rarely trained in regular hockey practices or even hockey camps.  You can train your eyes and your brain to use your peripheral vision for viewing the puck while keeping your eyes up watching the play.   Our Pre-Season Hockey Tune-Up will train your visual system to use heads-up stickhandling as well as improve your stickhandling speed and precision.