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Athletes With Previous Concussion Have 4 Times the Risk of Another

skiing with protective gogglesEvery year, about 33 million children worldwide sustain a concussion. Even more worrying, children who have already experienced a concussion are at heightened risk of experiencing a second concussion, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of seven research studies, the British Journal of Sports Medicine reported.

While protective gear and non-contact rules are reducing the incidence of concussions, many coaches, athletes and parents aren’t aware that sports vision training can lower the risk of sustaining a head injury like a concussion by developing an athlete’s visual skills. Find out what sports vision training is and how it can help prevent a concussion.

What is Sports Vision Training?

The goal of sports vision training is to improve the way the eyes communicate with the brain to achieve maximum efficiency while playing sports.

Sports vision training is a customized program created by your optometrist to hone visual skills, including hand-eye coordination, eye tracking, and peripheral vision. By boosting these skills, the brain is able to quickly and efficiently process the messages sent to it by the eyes, and transmit these signals to the body.

Children and adults who cannot accurately gauge the velocity of a ball rushing toward them, or the distance between them and opposing players, are more prone to accidents on the field, resulting in concussions. Sports vision training mitigates this risk by providing athletes of all ages and abilities with the visual skills needed to react quickly. These same skills improve sports performance.

How Does a Concussion Affect Your Vision?

People who sustain a concussion, which is the most common form of brain injury, often experience dizziness, difficulty focusing, headaches and double vision. Sports vision training can help improve your visual skills by focusing on:

  • Balance
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Depth Perception
  • Dynamic Visual Acuity
  • Eye Tracking
  • Focusing
  • Hand-Eye or Body-Eye Coordination
  • Peripheral Awareness
  • Reaction Time

How Can Vision Training Help Prevent a Concussion?

More than 50% of people with concussions (or post-concussion syndrome) experience visual problems like double vision and delayed eye tracking — the same visual skills an athlete needs to play safely and well. It’s not surprising, then, that concussed athletes are at greater risk of experiencing additional head injuries.

Sports vision training involves a personalized regimen of in-office and at-home visual exercises and scenarios to train the eyes, brain and body to work more efficiently, regardless of the sport. Athletes experience improved reaction times, speed and accuracy as a result.

Rather than simply hoping to avoid serious accidents on the field, take action and start a sports vision training program.

To learn more about how sports vision training can help prevent a concussion, or future ones, contact us at to schedule an appointment with one of our sports vision experts.

 

Nutrition is a vital part of maintaining vision and overall eye health, with many expert studies suggesting that up to 25% of all nutrient intake goes to supporting our invaluable visual system. Beyond your eyes, this system also includes the nerves, blood vessels and parts of the brain that help to obtain and interpret the images that we see. Excellent overall eye health also helps prevent potentially vision threatening eye conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma, as well as minor conditions, such as dry eye.

Maintaining a balanced diet is an essential part of proper nutrition. Whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts, are very important and will help the body to receive and absorb nutrients that play an essential part in eye and vision health. Intake of sweets and other junk foods should also be limited, since the body loses chromium and B vitamins as it attempts to process white sugar, and medications, preservatives and caffeine all deplete vitamins and minerals that are important for healthy eyes and vision.

Health experts have recommended specific foods that have proven to help keep your eyes healthy and your vision good. Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale and brussels sprouts, as well as dark berries like blueberries and blackberries can protect against serious illnesses such as macular degeneration, a very serious eye condition that is the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 60. Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be obtained from salmon and tuna, have proven to reduce inflammation in the blood vessels of the eyes, which, along with proper control of blood sugar can also protect against diabetic retinopathy. Wheat grass has also proven effective in the boosting of immune systems and reducing the chances of developing all diseases, including those that affect the eyes.

Unfortunately, not all of us have an easy time eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day. In this case, health professionals recommend incorporating at least one fruit or vegetable smoothie per day into your overall diet, which will allow you to get the required amount of greens per day in one easy meal or snack. Nutrients tend to absorb more quickly and effectively into the body in a liquid form, since the body does not have to work as hard to break it down.

Eating your way to good eye and visual health is easy with the right motivation and information. To learn more, contact your eye doctor today.

 

Tackle 2017 with Improved Self-Esteem

Most people associate the month of February with Valentine’s Day, love, romance, roses and chocolate. But did you know that February is also International Boost Self-Esteem Month? This is a great time to take a moment to think about how you feel about yourself. If you feel negative thoughts creeping in, stop those toxic thoughts and focus on something that is positive in your life. Or you can also take action to improve your current situation.

Sometimes a negative self-image can stem from a physical trait that causes you either physical or mental discomfort. Take, for example, bad vision. Some of the Toronto eye care patients we see at View Eye Care are simply fed up with not being able to see clearly when they wake up in the morning. Others become frustrated because they can’t excel in sports (like water or snow skiing, basketball or football) because their glasses make it too difficult.

If your poor vision is lowering your self-esteem, it might be time to schedule a laser eye surgery consultation in Toronto. Ontario optometrist Dr. Shirley Blanc can analyze your vision to determine if LASIK might be the boost you need to reduce your symptoms of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

Don’t let poor vision bring down your self-image. Find out what eye care technologies in Toronto exist to improve your vision. Contact eye doctor Dr. Shirley Blanc at View Eye Care in Downtown Toronto to schedule an appointment. Call (416) 923-8439 or visit drshirleyblanc.com.