Sports Vision

Woman With a Bike Helmet Adjusting Her Protective Eye WearAre you an athlete? Most of us are in one way or another. Do you have a child who is an athlete? If so, you may be looking into sports vision testing or vision training programs. At Optometrists of Lansing, we can help you with your sports vision needs from start to finish.

What Is Sports Vision?

Many studies have shown that poor eye coordination or visual acuity can impact performance in sports. Sports vision is a term for vision care that improves the visual abilities of athletes. Helping a baseball player improve hand-eye coordination falls into sports vision. Finding the right type of contact lenses for a college tennis player does as well.

What Is Sports Performance Testing?

Sports vision testing is more comprehensive than a typical eye examination. It includes components such as hand-eye coordination, concentration, and agility/quickness tests. Specific tests may include computerized exams or 3-D light projections that can measure the athlete’s timing and reactions.

Occasionally, a sports vision specialist will even attend games or matches to see how an athlete reacts in a real-life sports situation. These tests can help the specialist determine if an athlete needs sports vision therapy or any eye correction.

What Is a Sports Vision Therapy Program?

Many athletes not only benefit from vision correction such as contact lenses, but also from eye therapy techniques that improve depth perception and eye muscle coordination. Some athletes only require one visit and an examination to see a sports vision specialist. Others, though, might need a long-term sports vision therapy or vision training program.

This program helps an athlete develop the visual skills they need to react during games. Essentially, vision therapy is a workout for the eyes. It can make a big difference when it comes to athletic performance on the field.

Do Athletes Need Special Glasses or Contacts?

Some athletes wear their regular glasses while playing sports. Others, especially those who play contact sports or wear a helmet with a faceguard, find it too difficult. Wearing glasses during sports can also be dangerous. If they break, they might cause injury and are expensive to replace. Athletes sometimes wear sports-specific prescription glasses or goggles. These are more durable and often have a strap that goes around the back of the head, so they do not fall off. Many doctors recommend contact lenses over glasses when playing sports. The only time when contact lenses may not work is for water sports. Wearing contacts while playing water sports can result in irritation or infections.

What Are Some Sports-Related Eye Injuries?

In the United States, 100,000 sports eye injuries send children to the doctor each year. One of the most common types of injuries is blunt trauma. The other most common types of injuries are radiation, ultraviolet light from the sun, injuries. These are common among snow sports and water sports.

Basketball and baseball tend to cause the most eye injuries. Any contact sport or a sport that uses a ball, stick, bat, or racquet is high-risk.

Over 90 percent of eye injuries in sports are preventable. To avoid injuries, make eye protection a priority. Athletes can wear face masks, face guards, or specially designed sports goggles.

What if I Need Sports Vision Services?

Want to make sure the athletes in your life are properly protecting their eyes? Optometrists of Lansing offers sports vision services and emergency eye care to all patients, including athletes at Michigan State University as well as many local high schools.

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