What do the eyes of a professional athlete and an eye care patient have in common? They both need proper protection from injury. This is because accidents frequently happen on any playing field, whether it's soccer, lacrosse, or football. That is why our eye doctor at Progressive Eyecare & Eyewear in Indianapolis and Fishers, IN, offers athletes special eye care services for recovery and improvement.
What Is Sports Vision?
Sports vision is the visual skills and abilities needed to participate in sports. It encompasses peripheral awareness, depth perception, eye tracking, and focus. Poor sports vision can lead to decreased performance and an increased risk of injury. That's why athletes of all levels must have their eyes checked regularly by an optometrist.
Visual Skills Required in Sports
Each sport has its own unique visual skills requirements. However, some general skills are needed for most sports. These include:
1. Peripheral Awareness
This is the ability to see what is happening around you while focusing on a specific task. Peripheral awareness is vital for athletes who need to keep track of the other players or where the ball is at all times.
2. Depth Perception
Depth perception is the ability to judge distances between objects. This skill becomes more important when playing sports that involve throwing or kicking, such as baseball and soccer.
This is the ability to quickly focus on an object while it's in motion, like a tennis ball being served toward you.
This is the ability to follow an object moving at various speeds. Eye-tracking is crucial for sports like basketball and baseball, where athletes need to track a ball as it goes toward them.
Training to Boost Your Sports Vision
If you're interested in playing a sport that requires good eye-hand coordination, training is important. One of the best options would be to work with an optometrist on specific visual and lifestyle exercises that could help improve your sports performance. Here are some examples:
1. Use a Brock String
This is a piece of string with tiny beads attached to it. The goal is to move the beads from one end of the string to the other as quickly as possible while keeping your eyes focused on the string.
2. Include Crucial Nutrients in Your Diet
An eye doctor will recommend certain nutrients that are essential for good vision. These include omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, and zinc. Eating foods that contain these nutrients can help improve your sports vision.
3. Near and Far Focus Exercises
These exercises help improve your ability to focus on objects at different distances. They can be done with or without a visual aid, such as a book.
Improve Your Sports Vision Today
Being proactive about your vision health can help you achieve better results in any sport you choose. At Progressive Eyecare & Eyewear serving Fishers and Indianapolis, IN, we understand why an optometric examination is crucial for athletes. Contact us today at (317) 595-8855 (Indianapolis) or (317) 913-0700 (Fishers) to schedule a sports-related exam.