Although there are dedicated athletes who are blind or visually impaired, most professional athletes rely on their sense of sight to perform at the highest level. Sports and performance vision, or SPV, is a branch of optometry that helps athletes get better vision. Learn more about sports vision from Christensen Eye Care in Dodge City, KS.
Importance of an Eye Exam
Most health insurance plans do not cover the cost of glasses, contact lenses, or even annual eye exams. Having to pay out of pocket keeps many people away from the eye doctor. People dedicated to sports need to have their eyes examined not only to protect the vision they have but to detect any eye problems that could worsen and become more expensive to treat over time.
Eyewear and Eye Protection
An eye doctor trained in SPV helps athletes maintain healthy eyes and protect them from injuries. This often includes suggestions for special eyewear to protect the eyes during competitions. Regular glasses or sunglasses are just not safe enough to protect the eyes from flying objects. Our optometrist helps athletes choose eyewear or contact lenses to help protect and improve their vision.
Importance of Good Nutrition
As the old saying goes, “You are what you eat.” Diets have been shown to impact athletic performance. An SPV specialist helps athletes choose the best foods to help maintain and improve their vision. For example, foods high in carotenoids, like fresh vegetables, and antioxidants, like in fresh berries, help athletes see better by reducing the accumulation of free radicals, atoms that can damage cells in the body.
SPV exercises help improve the ability to detect moving objects, depth perception, and hand-eye coordination. Some exercises can be done at home, such as visualizations, while some use computer simulations that need to be done in an optometrist’s office.
Does SPV Work?
A 2012 German study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine looked at a team of young field hockey players. After six weeks of SPV training, there was a marked improvement in peripheral vision and reaction time. A 2020 study done by Duke University looked at baseball players given ten weeks of SPV training. In just that short amount of time, players improved their ability to hit a pitched baseball.
Still Have Questions?
If you still have questions about sports vision that have not been answered here and live in the Dodge City, KS area, contact Christensen Eye Care at (620) 227-5433 to make an eye exam appointment today. You can also email us at [email protected], and we will get back to you as soon as possible.