Athletes have unique vision needs. For many athletes, their particular
sport may require more than 20/20 vision. Depth perception, peripheral
vision and hand-eye coordination are all aspects of vision that may affect
an athlete’s performance. Athletes who have less than perfect vision,
or who suffer from refractive errors, may require vision correction.
There are numerous
vision care options for an athlete, these include:
LASIK eye surgery - LASIK eye surgery can treat common vision problems caused by refractive errors, such as
nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. LASIK can eliminate the
need for athletes to wear contact lenses or eyeglasses while playing sports,
providing stable vision, which may even improve an athlete’s performance.
In addition, by undergoing LASIK, an athlete will no longer have to worry
about breaking his or her eyeglasses, or losing a contact lens on the
Contact lenses - Athletes with nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism may benefit
more from contact lenses than prescription eyeglasses. Contact lenses
provide better peripheral vision and an unobstructed field of view for
athletes. Additionally, contact lenses are less likely to become foggy
and won’t get waters spots on them if playing sports outside in
the rain. Contact lenses won’t break, as some eye glasses might,
reducing risk of eye injury and are more compatible with sports safety
equipment. Contact lenses can also be tinted or polarized to improve vision
for certain sports.
Polycarbonate protective lenses - For athletes, protective eyewear can prevent up to 90% of sports-related
eye injuries. Polycarbonate plastic lenses are 10 times stronger than
other lenses, and better able to withstand direct contact during sports
like racquetball, hockey and baseball.
Colored lenses - Lenses tinted with yellow are popular with skiers, snowboarders, cyclists
and other athletes as they are known to help produce a sharper image in
low light. Green-colored lenses are worn by many golfers and are thought
to heighten contrast, making the white ball stand out against the green.
Polarized lenses - Designed to reduce glare from reflected surfaces. Sunglasses with polarized
or mirrored lenses are popular with boaters, water skiers and snow skiers
as they limit light coming into the eye in bright conditions.
Goggles and other eye protection - According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 42,000 sports-related
eye injuries occur every year; 72 percent of these injuries occur in people
younger than 25. Eye injury can lead to blindness, and many times injuries
to the eye are entirely preventable. If you play sports like racquetball
or lacrosse (among others), always wear protective eye wear. Hockey and
football players as well as catchers in baseball and softball should wear
face shields (cages or polycarbonate shields) to protect their eyes from
injury caused by contact with a ball, puck or another athlete’s
body. These shields should also be worn when playing paintball.
If you are considering LASIK eye surgery to correct your vision and reduce
your dependence on contact lenses or eyeglasses, contact the Key-Whitman
Eye Center for a
free LASIK screening.