May is an exciting time for eyes. Not only do our eyes have to fend a bombardment of pollen, but they also have to contend with an increase in sunshine. After months of grey, overcast winter, sunny days are a most welcome prospect. But sunshine comes with its dangers. Some of the best selling sunglasses can protect you from the harm caused by UV rays.
This week Verizon launched its See Better = Learn Better Mobile Vision Program between Smart Vision Labs, OneSight and SUNY Optometry to provide free vision care for school children children across Omaha. The program will roll out to several more districts across the next two years.
Hundreds in South Africa are able to read and see family and friends more clearly because of vision screenings provided by EyeXam, Smart Vision Labs, Engage Africa, Valley Christian High School and VisionSpring.
In baseball, hitters are said to have a ‘good eye’ when they can distinguish between balls and strikes better than average. A ‘good eye’, though, is associated more with good judgment and restraint than with excellent vision. Sports vision care is vital to athletic success.
For all the physical traits valued in young athletes—strength, agility, speed, endurance, etc.—there is little focus on vision. And yet it appears self-evident that good vision is of utmost importance in any sport.
“Participation in sports and recreational activities continues to increase exponentially each year, and there has never been a greater opportunity or need for optometrists to meet the unique vision care needs of athletes.” –AOA Sport Vision Section
The Sports & Vision Section of the American Optometric Association (AOA) states, “Vision, just like speed and strength, is an important component in how well you play your sport.” For baseball alone, the AOA lists 17 skills important for success: peripheral vision, depth perception, speed of focusing, color perception, and eye dominance, to name a few. Excellent depth perception, for example, is crucial for fielders judging the trajectory of balls hit high into the air.
Mobile optometry equipment can increase the ease and frequency of eye exams for athletes. At the highest levels of competition exercise regimens are planned down to the minute and nutrition measured down to the gram. Here, the ability to fine-tune a prescription month-to-month or week-to-week could prove essential.
The low cost of new handheld mobile optometry equipment expands opportunities not only for optometrists specializing in sports vision care but also the number of optometrists that can explore this specialty. Sports vision care is essential for athletes at the highest level of play as well as developing athletes at all levels.
In sports, there are winners and losers, but the advent of handheld, mobile optometry equipment is a win-win situation.
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