Sunday, March 15, 2015

Visors Help Avoid Hockey Eye Injury

Hockey is a popular sport among those who like to watch sports and is even more popular among middle school, high school and college athletes. Eye injury is a series risk among hockey players and it requires that parents and players take some precautions based on research presented at Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The researchers found that wearing visors could cause a four-fold decrease in the risk of eye injuries. The researchers, based at the University of Toronto and Harvard Medical School, examined data from The Sports Network (TSN) and The Hockey News annual visor survey over the last 10 seasons from 2002 to 2013 in the NHL. The data clearly demonstrated that the risk of eye injury is 4.23 times higher for players who do not wear a visor.

The study also found that the majority of eye injuries are caused by being hit by the puck (37%) or struck by a high stick (28%) or by a fight or scrum (18%), while the researchers could not identify the cause of injury for 17%. Interesting, players without visors had a more aggressive style of play, measured by penalty minutes, hits and fights in a case-control study. There was also a weak, but positive correlation between eye injuries and penalty minutes.

As hockey players develop, grow and get stronger their games and playing style become faster and more intense, and the risks continue to increase-thus it is important to maximize protection. Since the majority of hockey injuries are accidental in nature, it is not good enough for players to try to be more cautious. This study strongly supports the common sense notion that wearing visors goes a long way to decreasing injuries among hockey players.

If you or someone you know plays hockey please share this information with them to help them decrease their risk of hockey eye injury, or please feel free to contact  Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham by calling 205-930-0930, visiting Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or

Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham is a leading eye care center located at UAB-Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 and staffed by UAB Medicine Ophthalmologists & Corneal Specialists Marc Michelson, M.D. and Tyler Hall, M.D.