Visor for light-sensitive sports players

Visor for light-sensitive athletes

Individuals with sports-limiting vision conditions can now play outdoor sports thanks to a special visor developed by scientists at the University of Alabama.

University optometrists and ophthalmologists who specialise in retina, neurology, low vision and paediatrics worked with medical personnel from the University’s ‘Blazers’ athletics department to create BlazerVision, a tinted-screened helmet that enables those with medical-related, light sensitivity to play American football and other outside sports.

Professor Kathy Weise said, “The light sensitivity that kids with certain health conditions experience can be very significant. We knew we could help maximise comfort, safety and access so more kids with special conditions could play.”

When she was asked to consider ideas that might help kids with light sensitivity, Prof Weise said she immediately thought of her friend Talyn, an 11-year-old whose albinism makes him extremely sensitive to light and unable to play sports outside because of a lack of melanin in either iris. And Talyn is not alone, she said in an Alabama University news article. “In addition to albinism, conditions like light-induced migraines and/or seizures, traumatic mydriasis and aniridia are conditions in which light sensitivity commonly affects vision and sports performance.”

Wearing the new tinted visor, Talyn can now play the sport he loves, she said.

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