To do well in sports, you need to have your eyes working at the top of their game. Here are a few quick tips to help you or your athlete perform better:
- Make sure you have a proper prescription on, whether it is contact lenses or glasses. Having your vision dialed in correctly is the most important step to get your eyes working their best.
- Be sure to protect your eyes! Polycarbonate or other protective plastic lenses can keep your eyes protected while you play as well as keeping dust or wind from getting in your eyes while you play the sports you love. This table can help you determine which types of eye protection are best for the sport you play. (http://www.allaboutvision.com/sportsvision/eyewear.htm )
- Consider color filters for your field of play. Certain types of filters or tints can increase your contrast sensitivity and thereby increase your reaction times. Allaboutvision.com has an excellent table for different tints to help in different sports (http://www.allaboutvision.com/sportsvision/lens-tints-chart.htm ). Remember, the faster you can recognize that curve ball, the easier it will be to adjust your swing!
- Certain visual skills can help when playing sports. Depending on your sport and what you need to improve, a sports vision doctor can help you train your eyes to work better. The American Optometric Association has compiled a list of important vision skills for sports (http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/sports-and- vision/important-skills-for-sports ). If you feel the need to improve in any of these vision skill areas, be sure to check the California Optometric Association’s website www.EyeHelp.org to find a doctor near you.
~Ranjeet S. Bajwa, OD