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Power of Vision: Enhancing Sports Performance

When we think of sport performance, we think of the importance of fitness, sport specific skills, and nutrition. But what about vision? Good vision and visual skills are important to see and track a ball, obstacle or target, and to improve reaction time.

How can we improve vision in sport?

Improve clarity

- A simple, yet easily forgotten step: Make sure your glasses and contact lens prescriptions are up to date!

- If glasses get in the way of your sport equipment or are constantly sliding down or being knocked off your face, consider contact lenses or sport specific frames or goggles to provide better fit and stability

- For outdoor sports, use the benefit of different sunglass tints to your advantage. Depending on your environment, different lens tints can help to enhance contrast and maximize clarity on both sunny and overcast days.

Train your visual skills

Tracking and rapid eye movements can be trained just like any other aspect of your fitness. These visual skills allow you to improve reaction time and hand eye coordination.

Sports vision is a subspecialty of optometry that involves creating a training program to develop and maximize your visual skills. It is offered by some optometrists who often also provide services such as vision therapy. Reach out to your optometrist to see if they offer these services or can refer you to someone who does.

Don’t forget about eye protection in sport!

According to the American Academy of Optometry, nearly 30,000 individuals each year suffer from an eye injury secondary to sport or recreational activities, 90% of which are preventable(1).

Sports related ocular injuries include blunt trauma, UV damage (commonly referred to as “snow blindness”, occurs especially with water and snow sports like surfing and skiing/snowboarding) and anything from ocular surface abrasions to penetrating eye injuries.

Remember how important vision is to your sport performance (let alone your day to day life)? Don’t neglect your eye health and keep your eyes safe with sport goggles and protective eyewear.

Don’t let vision slow you down this season, visit your optometrist to make sure you are seeing your best so you can perform at your best!



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