How Sports Become Easy With Contact Lenses?

How Sports Become Easy With Contact Lenses?

Over the years, playing sports has evolved from being a leisurely activity to a profession. Athletes and their training staff, across all disciplines of sports, work towards improving the performance of the sports professionals.
If any athlete experiences visual impairment due to injury or eye issues, they need the necessary visual assessment and correction so that their performance is not affected. Earlier, athletes were provided prescription eyeglasses; however, this soon became an impractical decision as these glasses were cumbersome, provided limited peripheral vision, and shattered easily (especially in contact sports such as football and hockey).
With the introduction of contact lenses, athletes and sports professionals no longer have to deal with the limitations of prescription eyeglasses. Instead, they can focus on their on-field performance with a renewed visual acuity.

Why Is Eyesight Important While Playing Sports?

When playing sports, different senses come together. For example, in team sports such as cricket, football, or hockey, hearing becomes crucial as players need to communicate at all times. However, in all sports, vision is critical, regardless of the sport. This happens because athletes take in a large amount of sensory input through the eyes.

In sports, clarity of vision is a crucial attribute. Both eyes and brain coordinate together to process visual cues and judge speed and distances – recognize, trace, and respond to moving objects. In simple words, our eyes and brain come together to support hand-eye (or foot-eye) coordination.

Without proper vision acuity, athletes may face difficulty in managing their body alignment and coordination, react to situations, and perform to the best of their ability. Thus, any improvements made to an athlete's eyesight does have a direct impact on their performance – across all skill levels and sporting disciplines.

Athletes across disciplines, therefore, undergo comprehensive sports vision evaluation by experienced optometrists. The evaluation measures different facets of an individual, such as visual acuity, accuracy, consistency, and ocular stamina.

Also, various tests are administered to determine eye dominance1, hand-eye coordination, visual tracking, depth perception, color identification, peripheral awareness, light sensitivity, contrast sensitivity, and visual reaction timings.

What Are The Advantages Of Contact Lenses In Sports?

Compared to prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses offer several advantages, along with increased clarity of vision, such as:

  • Visual acuity
    Contact lenses help improve the visual acuity of an athlete. Take cricket; for example - a batsman with a clear vision can easily see the ball come out of the bowler's hand and landon the pitch, identify changes near the boundary line and keep the eyes as the ball meets the bat. Similarly, in other sports, athletes can easily keep an eye on the sails (in sailing), the stepping mark (in the long jump and triple jump), and the far side of the court (in tennis).
  • Better peripheral vision
    Contact lenses offer a complete field of view, which is more than eyeglasses. Having an impeccable peripheral vision is crucial in team-based sports, wherein athletes are required to maintain awareness about the competitors' positions2. In rugby, for example, the players need to keep an eye on when the tackle is coming. Similarly, in football, defenders need to have the opposing forwards in sight at all times.
  • No distractions
    Regular prescription eyeglasses often have lenses that can fog up, get caught on equipment and clothing, and accumulate dust. On the other hand, contact lenses do not create such issues.
  • Better depth perception
    In the case of eyeglasses, athletes found it difficult to judge distance accurately due to several reasons, such as the thickness of eyeglass lenses and the distance of the objects from the eye. Depth perception is a crucial skill for athletes in golf, cricket, tennis, archery, basketball, and many other sports. Contact lenses have an ultra-thin design – there is no minification or magnification like glasses. Instead, contact lenses rest directly on the eye; thus, athletes can enjoy proper depth perception.

    Another advantage of contact lenses for sports professionals comes in the form of daily disposable contact lenses3. Given the fact that daily disposable contact lenses are replaced daily, athletes do not have to worry about their cleaning and storage. They can wear a fresh pair of contact lenses every day.

    Like all sporting equipment, contact lenses are a crucial addition to an athlete's kit that significantly impacts his or her performance. Regardless of the sporting discipline, contact lenses provide comfort and vision acuity to the players, while taking care of their eye health3.

At Bausch+Lomb, we design various types of contact lenses to suit your requirements. If you have an active lifestyle and prefer to sweat out there in the field, we have the right pair of contact lenses to help you achieve maximal vision clarity, without the hassles. You can choose from daily disposable contact lenses or go for monthly replaceable contact lenses, based on your requirements.

Sources:
[1] https://www.medic8.com/healthguide/contact-lenses/sports-lenses.html

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