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Sports, Sports Performance and your Vision

Summer is coming soon and sports are in full gear!  Whether you are an athlete or a spectator, eye care and eye protection is very important to enhance your experience.

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)

Blow-out fracture

Subconjunctival hemorrhage

Corneal abrasion

Corneal foreign body

Traumatic iritis

Hyphema (blood in front of the iris)

Dislocated lens

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!

By Dr. Michelle Beachkofsky

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