Sports Vision Specialists Athletes face unique visual demands that present interesting challenges for their eyecare needs. Although they may have good visual acuity excellent sports vision is a result of many factors including depth perception visual memory and eye-hand-body co-ordination. Developed vision skills are essential to superior athletic performance as the eyes lead the body in most of our actions movements and perceptions.
Sports vision specialists commonly referred to as behavioural optometrists can help both recreational and professional athletes optimize their athletic ability. These professionals provide screenings evaluations and treatment to athletes that are more specialized than standard eyecare procedures.
By testing every facet of an athlete’s visual system sports vision specialists aim to determine and correct any visual weakness than can hamper performance. A sports vision specialist will normally test an athlete’s vision for the following things:
* Dynamic visual acuity and tracking to see fast moving objects * Visual memory to process and remember a fast moving complex image of people and things * Peripheral vision to see action and images that occur to the side * Visual reaction time which is the speed with which the brain recognizes and reacts to an action * Depth perception which allows athletes to estimate the distance between themselves and another object quickly and accurately * Focus flexibility or the time required between focusing on distant objects and near objects * Speed of eye movement and eye alignment
Treatments for identified visual weaknesses depend on the time effort and resources that an athlete can commit to his or her improvement. This may range from weekly intervals of specific exercises to a comprehensive training program that requires several months of work and several visits with the sports vision specialist to complete.
Examples of athletes who could benefit from vision training include: race car drivers baseball and basketball players hockey goaltenders archers and the list goes on.
Race car driver s unique eyecare need is to quickly process visual information while their surroundings fly by them at nearly 250 km/hr.
Baseball players and goaltenders have similar visual demands. They require the ability to accurately track fast moving objects and to react accordingly.