Ice skating is a cool activity whatever your age or ability and a plethora of temporary outdoor skating rinks are popping up in cities across the country to provide some outdoor fun for you and the family.
With the return of Dancing on Ice to our screens the popularity of ice skating is expected to soar as we become hooked on celebrities donning sequins and body stockings, twirling their way into our affections.
But as the popular reality show showcases the glamour of the sport, you may be skating on thin ice if you ignore the inherent dangers of ice skating and potential hazards to your eyesight. Ice skating is one sport associated with the most eye injuries in children age 14 and younger. Wearing protective eyewear can help prevent nearly all of these injuries.
Those of us with poor eyesight relying on glasses or contact lenses face our own challenges. Wearing glasses is not advisable for a lot of sports, but there is obvious danger when ice skating. Even the most experienced skaters may fall foul to those less steady on their feet unexpectedly crashing into them or the winter air causing lenses to steam up.
It is possible to wear protective headgear over your own glasses for additional safety. For those who choose to wear their glasses unprotected, proceed with care.
For contact lens wearers the challenging environment of dry air and wind leave the eyes feeling tired and dry, affecting the ability to see clearly, especially in the generally uncomfortable atmosphere of indoor rinks. Use artificial tear drops to keep your eyes hydrated or opt for moisture rich contact lenses to help prevent dry irritation.
Canadian Olympic medal winning figure skater Joanie Rochette had worn glasses since the age of six and used to strap them to her head in her early years of competing so they wouldn’t fall off. Not the most attractive look for such a glamorous sport. Contact lenses became intolerable for her to wear for longer than a few hours and even then would often fall out while skating.
It became obvious to Rochette that her problems could be solved by having laser vision correction, an experience that would change the way she lives her life and have a profound impact on her performance as a figure skater.
“Everything goes through your field of vision, especially in figure skating because you’re rotating in the air,” says Olympic hero Joannie Rochette. “The lifestyle benefits of laser vision correction are priceless”.
It also helped her skating, which led her to a bronze medal in the Vancouver Olympics 2010.