If you play sports, then you are likely to have heard the term "sports vision," but do you know what it means? The following is a look at some of the most frequently asked questions our Indianapolis optometrist gets on the subject:
- What does "sports vision" mean? This phrase used to describe an enhanced visual acuity that helps athletes improve their performance. Sports vision goes a step beyond what would normally be considered good eyesight.
- How does good sports vision help me as an athlete? The impact sports vision makes will depend upon the athlete and her sport of choice. For example, hockey and tennis athletes need to be able to track the high speed of the puck or ball. Therefore, improving their sports vision is about improving the visual ability to keep focus on an object as it moves at high speeds across the playing field. In contrast, a golf player's ball isn't moving when she interacts with it and thus eye tracking isn't so important. Instead, what's important for golfers is to have good contrast and color perception in order to analyze the course and keep an eye on the ball.
- I have 20/20 vision, so I must already have sports vision, right? Wrong. This question stems from the misconception that 20/20 vision indicates perfect vision, which it doesn't. Someone with 20/20 vision may still have issues like poor depth perception and color blindness. Sports vision is about training your eyes in order to improve upon a 20/20 rating and enhance all aspects of your sight, including improving depth perception and visual processing.
- Can you test to see if I have good sports vision? Absolutely! The optometrist team at our location utilizes advanced equipment and techniques to determine patients' current visual acuity and overall eye function. In addition to the Snellen vision chart (which is what is used to measure 20/20 vision), our team will run tests to determine ocular alignment, depth perception, color perception, eye-tracking ability, and side visual awareness.
- How can I improve my sports vision? The tests we utilize in combination with our understanding of what type of sports vision improvements you need to aid in your athletic endeavors will guide us in this next step. In other words, once we know your weaknesses, we can create a treatment plan. In some cases, this might mean surgery or the prescription of a special type of corrective lens. In other cases, we might recommend specialized eye exercises in order to improve things like eye tracking and focus.