Seeing “20/20” is only one component of how your vision affects how well you play your sport. Vision involves many interrelated skills that are needed for athletics, such as tracking, focusing, peripheral awareness and depth perception. The eyes direct the movements of the body during sports, and therefore are a crucial element of the game.
Success in sports involves making the proper movement at the proper time in the proper location. Vision provides the information to the rest of the body about when and where to make each sports-specific movement.
Athletic performance relies upon the following visual skills:
Depth Perception: the ability to accurately judge the distance of objects
Eye Focusing: the ability to change focus quickly and clearly
Eye-Body Coordination: the ability to coordinate body movements based on vision
Eye Tracking: the ability to follow a moving object and move from one object to another
Fusion: the ability to use both eyes together
Peripheral Awareness: noticing things out of the corner of your eye
Spatial Awareness: knowing where you are in relation to your teammates, opponents, the ball, the goal, etc.
Vergence: the teamwork of the two eyes together
Visualization: the ability to anticipate an object’s trajectory before
Visual acuity: the clarity of your sight with stationary targets and moving objects
Visual Concentration: to screen out visual distractions and stay focused on the target
Visual Memory: to capture visual images and use them to make instant decisions during a game
Visual Reaction Time: the speed your brain can interpret and react to your opponent’s action
Dr. Beth Knighton, our sports vision specialist, can evaluate your visual skills in relation to your specific sport demands and develop a personalized treatment plan for you. At times, this involves specific glasses, sports goggles or contact lenses to improve visual performance. She may also recommend sports vision training to enhance your visual skills. Each sport requires unique visual skills and sports vision training is custom tailored to each athlete’s sport demands.
Contact our office to schedule an Athletic Vision Evaluation with Dr. Beth to see how we can improve your sport-specific visual skills.
This new video from VSP is great! Not only is it pretty fun and entertaining, but it also makes a great point about the importance of vision and activities like sports. I’ll be honest I don’t know who Tyreke Evans is, because I don’t follow basketball, but I do know that vision is very important for sports! Not only do you need to see clearly, you and have to have good peripheral vision and good visual reaction time; all of these things are necessary to win. The great thing is that if there are problems with any of these things, they can be fixed with corrective lenses or vision therapy!
This video shows that protecting your eyes on the court or on the field is very important. Regular glasses are not designed for sports and are actually less safe than sports glasses. And don ‘t worry, the modern sports glasses are way cooler than the ones I had when I was a kid! Stop by Bright Eyes to check out some of the new models.
The VSP video also does a great job of highlighting the American Optometric Association’s recommendation that the first eye exam should occur at six months, then three years, then before kindergarten, assuming nothing is wrong.
If you have any questions about your little one’s vision, have concerns that vision may be interfering with sports, or whether or not they are protecting their eyes sufficiently during sports, ask us!
According to a report from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, every year in the United States, about 40,000 people suffer sports-related eye injuries. Many of these injuries could be prevented with the proper eye-protection. Some people don’t think they need protection because they won’t get hurt or think of the old-style sports goggles that interfere with vision. But in truth many people do get hurt and sports eyewear is better than ever.
“It’s absolutely necessary for athletes to use protective eyewear because eye injuries can be devastating,” says Ophthalmologist Ruth Williams. “Wearing properly fitted protective eyewear will not harm your performance in a game, and it may save your sight.”
If you play sports, especially sports such as basketball, football or soccer, you should not be wearing your glasses, because they are not designed for sports. Consider getting prescription sport eyewear. They will improve your performance and reduce the chances of injuries.