protect eyes while playing hockeyWhen the temperatures drop and the snow starts to fall (and football season ends), hockey dominates stadiums and television screens across the country.  Whether you have a child who enjoys playing hockey or are an avid player yourself, you know there’s nothing better than slicing up the ice and scoring goals for the home team…

Until you injure your eyes, that is.

Hockey injuries are extremely common, thanks to the physical nature of the sport.   Add flying pucks and sticking to the equation, and it’s no wonder many hockey players experience a multitude of eye injuries on the ice.  Now, new research demonstrates that hockey visors can help reduce the amount of eye injuries on the ice.

According to GetEyeSmart.org, a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto and Harvard Medical School demonstrated that wearing visors can cause a whopping four-fold decrease in eye injuries experienced during games and practice.  Researchers collected this data over the course of the past ten years from the National Hockey League (NHL), The Sports Network (TSN), and The Hockey News annual visor survey.  During this study, they estimated that there were 149 eye injuries, which is 4.23 times higher for players who do not wear hockey visors.  These visors can help prevent eyes from getting hit by a puck or a high stick, which are the most common hockey injuries (37 percent and 28 percent, respectively).  Surprisingly, hockey fights only accounted for 18 percent of eye injuries.

These eye injuries aren’t just dangerous for players; they also cause considerable financial losses for the NHL.  It’s estimated that the NHL has lost over $32 million as a result of players experiencing eye injuries on the ice.

Despite this compelling research, the NHL still maintains its optional stance on hockey visors, although they recently announced that they’ll make it mandatory for new players to wear visors, starting in 2013.

Whether you’re a professional player or the parent of a child in a local league, ensure that you prioritize wearing a hockey visor.  These visors can help protect your eyesight, making it possible for you to keep playing the best winter game without worrying about the health and safety of your vision.

For more information about protecting your eyesight and ocular health, visit Dr. Griffiths at NewView Eye Center in Reston, VA, and serving the Washington DC metro & Fair fax County, today. To learn more just fill out the form in the top left corner or call 703-834-9777.