An athlete's vision needs go beyond the vision requirements of daily
life. Many sports require excellent depth perception, peripheral vision
and hand-eye coordination—all aspects of vision that may affect
an athlete’s performance.
Like anyone without 20/20 vision, athletes must rely on corrective lenses,
such as contact lenses or eyeglasses, to see clearly. Unfortunately for
athletes, contacts and glasses can be a big nuisance and may even inhibit
the athlete’s game.
In contact sports such as football, wearing glasses can be downright dangerous.
And in many sports, eyeglasses can make wearing protective headgear or
goggles uncomfortable or even impossible. Contact lenses, while a better
option, aren’t always ideal, either. Dirt and sweat can cause irritation
with contact lenses, and if the contact lens moves out of place or even
falls out, an athlete’s precision vision can be immediately affected.
So what is the best vision option for athletes? LASIK eye surgery.
LASIK eye surgery is used to treat common vision problems caused by refractive
errors, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. LASIK
provides stable vision and eliminates the need for athletes to wear contact
lenses or eyeglasses while playing sports, which may even improve an athlete’s
performance. Additionally, after LASIK, an athlete will no longer have
to worry about breaking his or her eyeglasses or losing a contact lens
on the field, court or in the swimming pool.
LASIK eye surgery is an outpatient procedure that requires little down
time. Most people are able to return to normal activities the following
day, once they’ve been examined at their one-day post-op appointment.
Healing does, however, vary from one person to the next.
When it comes to playing sports, your eye doctor may ask you to wait a
week or two before returning to your game to ensure that corneal flap
created during the LASIK procedure can heal without damage. Contact with
the eye after surgery may re-open or damage the flap or cause infection.
Athletes who play contact sports are at the greatest risk of injury following
If you’re considering LASIK eye surgery, you aren’t alone.
Many professional athletes have undergone the procedure with no negative
impact on their performance. Some of the pro athletes who have had LASIK
include: J.J. Henry, pro golfer from Fort Worth; Richard Hamilton, retired
NBA player who led the Detroit Pistons to an NBA Championship; LeBron
James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who had LASIK in 2007; and the list goes on.
You may notice that some athletes still wear protective goggles even after
LASIK surgery. This is simply to protect their eyes from damage.
If you are considering
LASIK eye surgery to correct your vision and reduce your dependence on contact
lenses or eyeglasses,
contact Key-Whitman Eye Center for a free LASIK screening.