Sports Vision Physicals: Importance of Athlete Pre-participation Eye Exams

Millions of people in the United States participate in organized sports. Nowadays, a sports vision physical is the standard of care for these people. Basic vision can play an important role in an athlete’s success in their preferred sport. 




Relationship Between Vision and Athletic Performance



One of the most important aspects of your vision is visual acuity. This visual ability is important in all types of sports, especially in sports where athletes need to hit or catch a small object moving fast. This includes sports such as tennis, softball, and baseball. 

 




Visual Acuity



If you have poor visual acuity in one or both of your eyes, you will find it more difficult to make it to the upper levels of your sport. According to a study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, 77 percent of MLB players had visual function better than 20/15. On the other hand, 42 percent of them had greater than 20/12.5 visual acuity. 




Pre-participation Exams



This type of eye examination has been around for many years. It aims to determine whether an athlete has a health condition that could make participation in sports unsafe. The pre-participation exam can also establish the general fitness and wellbeing of an athlete. It can help detect health conditions that can predispose athletes to physical harm during competition. 




Pre-participation Eye Exams



The pre-participation exam checks for many physical aspects of an athlete, such as cardiovascular health and high blood pressure. The eye exam part of the PPE involves checking for any problems that may leave one or both of an athlete’s eyes with greater than 20/40 corrected vision.


Eve doctors require their patients’ ocular history. This includes earlier cases of injury, eye surgery, myopia, infection, and any other eye conditions. It is also important for the eye doctor to know whether the patient has a family history of eye disorders. 


Are you an athlete? If you have a history of eye diseases and disorders, you are at a greater risk of suffering a serious eye injury. If you fail to undergo a proper pre-participation eye exam, you will be at greater risk for harmful eye injuries. These include radiation, penetrating, and blunt injuries, leading to long-term or permanent eye damage.




Types of Sports Vision Physicals



Many types of pre-participation eye exams can assess an athlete’s eye and vision health. The types of tests you undergo will depend on your specific needs and chosen sport. Some of the most common eye tests for athletes include:
 

  • Eye teaming test.
     

  • Contact sensitivity test.
     

  • Visual processing speed test.
     

  • Eye chart reading.
     

  • Right eye tracking.
     

  • Depth perception test.
     

  • Ocular alignment test.
     

  • Eye dominance test and more.




Importance of Pre-participation Eye Exams



The results of these eye examinations will determine the type of treatment that an athlete needs. A skilled and experienced eye doctor can customize the treatment to meet each athlete’s specific needs. These exams are an essential component of ensuring the well-being and improving the performance potential of athletes at all levels of competition and ages.




To learn more about sports vision physicals, visit Horizon Eye Care & Optical at our office in Sugar Land, Texas. You can call (281) 843-4020 today to schedule an appointment.

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