Sports, Sports Performance and your Vision
Approximately 90 million Americans of all ages avidly participate in sports and approximately 84 million participate in a sport occasionally. Many of these patients do not understand the importance of eye care to their health, safety and how well they perform.
What is sports performance vision and who needs it?
Sports performance vision (SPV) is the science of helping athletes reach peak levels of performance through the enhancement of visual skills. Those patients that benefit from this level of vision are child athletes, “weekend warriors”, first responders, military, adult athletes.
What is the role of SPV?
Safety and Health – ensure appropriate safe eyewear is used, monitor for visual impairments that may impede performance
Sight – the clarity of an image
Information Processing – quick interpretation and processing
Motor – saccadic eye movements, accommodation, fusion
How does “Performance” vision differ from vision?
Vision is clarity – the 20/20 line
Performance vision incorporates in the eyes working together as well as the eyes working with the body during competition.
Includes: vision, eyes working together, eyes working with the body, contrast sensitivity, eye-hand/body/foot coordination, dynamic visual acuity, and peripheral awareness
In sports, do we prescribe correction at a lower level of refractive error?
Yes, we prescribe at minimal amounts of refractive error to enhance vision.
Myopia (near-sightedness): beginning at -0.25D
Hyperopia (far-sightedness): beginning at +1.00D
Astigmatism: beginning at -0.50D
Anisometropia (difference b/w eyes refractive error): beginning at 0.50D
Types of correction in sports performance vision:
Glasses: polycarbonate or high-impact resistant lenses are a must
Contact lenses: easiest and quickest to improve performance
Orthokeratology: contrast sensitivity may be negatively effected
Refractive surgery: wave-front superior to conventional LASIK
Eye Injury Prevalence
2.5 million cases of eye injuries/year in US
600,000+ sports-related each year
42,000 of these require emergency room attention
Sports with highest injury percentages
Basketball (20.8%), baseball (14.9%), swimming/pool sports (8.4%), racquet and court sports (7.8)
Eye Injuries Associated with Sports
Prevention: 90% reduced sport-related eye injuries with the use of protective eyewear.
Most Common sports related injuries
Laceration of the eyelid/brow
Periorbital Ecchymosis (Black eye)
Corneal foreign body
Hyphema (blood in front of the iris)
Traumatic retinal detachment
Take care of your eyes – make sure your athletes wear proper eyewear and protection during sports!
And for those spectators of sports – protect your eyes from the sun. Metrolina Eye Associates carries not only a variety of amazing sunglasses, but we now also carry the brand new Acuvue Oasys Transition contact lenses. These contact lenses turn into a sunglass like contact lens with UV activation. Come in and try them out!