The London 2012 Summer Olympics have just concluded, but the importance of vision in sports continues on. Recent statistics show that about 75 percent of Americans wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, and we can imagine the number of athletes included in that figure. For anyone who has played sports and worn contacts or glasses, especially, what a hassle! One of our patients remembers when he was in his early teens and started wearing glasses and playing baseball. the glasses made my eye-hands-feet coordination worse, and had to stop wearing them – he never got used to them and wonders if that’s why he quit playing baseball!
But also just the “hardware” itself can hinder athletic performance, or even make it unsafe. In whatever sport, you know what can happen to glasses frames if you fall, collide with another player, or be struck on the face. Contacts can actually pop out, and dirt or dust can get into your eye and under a lense, irritating your eye in the heat of competition. The “end game” is visibility is very easily compromised by wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses in sports.
Having LASIK surgery in 2009, Thomas Hopkins competed on the USA men’s water polo team at the London 2012 Olympics. Before surgery, he could only read the very top line of the eye chart but after LASIK surgery his vision was better than 20/20. Obviously, corrective lenses in the pool is difficult and dangerous.
At our practice, we have many patients whose active lives and sports ambitions are enhanced with the option of laser vision correction. “A person’s sense of strength and power are enhanced with their new found visual freedom,” says Dr. Schneider. Often times, patients who were not particularly active will phase in to new activities like paddle boarding, power walking, and hiking. Those who are serious athletes will find that their game is taken to a new level in ways they hadn’t imagined!
Your sights might not be set on the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but what would you do with visual freedom?