Sports Vision

Contacts and Glasses That Enhance Performance

Sports glasses are eyeglasses specially designed to: 1) fit securely and comfortably during physical activity, 2) keep your eyes safe, and 3) enhance your vision to give you an extra performance “edge” in the sports you love.

In most sports, vision drives performance. So to excel during competition, you should make sure your eyesight is in top shape. Even if you have 20/20 vision, the right sports eyewear can reduce glare and enhance contrast to help you see even better and react faster.

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Protective Sports Eyewear

Not long ago, athletes rarely wore eyewear specifically designed to protect their eyes during sports, and sports-related eye injuries were widespread.

Today, sports eyewear can be spotted on almost anyone who picks up a ball, bat, racquet or stick — whether they play in the major leagues or the Little League.

Fortunately, coaches, parents and players now realize that wearing protective eyewear for sports pays off in several ways. The risk of eye damage is reduced, and the player’s performance is enhanced by the ability to see better. In fact, many athletic and fitness clubs today do not permit their members to participate without wearing proper eye gear.

Initially, there was some resistance by children to “looking funny” when they wore protective eyewear. Today, sports goggles are an accepted part of everyday life, much the way bike helmets have become the norm. In addition, both children and adults like the image that wearing protective eyewear gives them: It shows they mean business on the playing field.

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Scuba Diving Masks and Swim Goggles

Scuba diving masks and swim goggles can sharpen your vision and keep you and your eyes safer while you swim, snorkel or explore underwater.

If you normally wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, prescription swimming goggles and dive masks will increase your enjoyment underwater and help you avoid possible hazards.

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Shooting Glasses and Hunting Eyewear

Eye protection is essential for anyone using a firearm, whether at a shooting range or in a forest or field.

All firearms have a certain amount of recoil, and many shooting activities take place outdoors where wind, sun and dust also can lead to eye and vision problems.

Shotguns and rifles are held on the shoulder, while handguns are no more than an arm’s length away. These different shooting activities occur in close proximity to the face, which means you should take every precaution to shield your eyes from harm.

Good eye protection makes sense and often is required during organized matches or while shooting on a range. Some rangemasters allow shooters to wear any kind of eyewear they like, but sometimes certain safety standards are required.

Generic, contoured nonprescription sports goggles are acceptable if you don’t require vision correction or if you wear contact lenses. These goggles have a slight wrap around the face and keep out wind and dust.

If you need prescription lenses in order to see clearly, or if you simply want to use the best shooting eyewear available, shooting glasses in styles similar to aviator sunglasses tend to be popular.

Eyewear designed for shooters, however, has a few more features to make you more comfortable while using a firearm:

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What Sports Vision Doctors Can Do for You

Seeing 20/20 or better isn’t the only measure of good vision. You may focus well on objects, but your vision isn’t just one skill — it’s a set of several skills, including depth perception and peripheral vision.

And vision skills are important in sports performance, whether you play golf, soccer, baseball, basketball or racket sports. Most of what we understand about our surrounding environment is experienced through our eyes, rather than our other sensory organs.

Even if you have an eye exam every one or two years and your eyes are healthy, you still can benefit from seeing an eye care practitioner who specializes in sports vision. A typical eye exam doesn’t test every single vision skill; sports vision testing is more extensive. This is because it evaluates how you use your vision while moving around outdoors and interacting with other objects and players.

Performance testing also can deal with hand-eye coordination, anticipation, concentration, agility and quickness.

Many professional athletes work on their sports vision, but so do high school and college athletes as well as recreational golfers, tennis players and even billiards players. Some professionals can benefit from the same vision training, including law enforcement personnel and pilots.

When you visit a sports vision specialist, he or she will probably give you a complete eye exam and will ask you many questions about your activities. More testing will determine your sports-related needs. These tests may include:

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