Eyesight and Sport

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woman on bicycle

This is a guest post by Tim Harwood of TreatmentSaver.com

If you are a serious athlete then the last thing you want to be worrying about is your eye sight. There
are enough other issues to concern yourself with, such as making to the end of a grueling uphill
cycle climb! If you are someone who competes and also has poor eye sight, then here are a few tips
on the different options that are available to you:

Wear no glasses or contact lenses: This is obviously only really an option if you have a mild
prescription and even still it is probably not advisable. Having focused vision helps to stimulate the
brain which is crucially important whilst exercising, especially as you are nearing the end of a run/
cycle. If your vision is slightly blurred you may find that you cannot concentrate as well.

Wear glasses: For serious athletes glasses are probably not as good an option as contact lenses as
they can be an annoyance whilst exercising. If you are someone who cannot tolerate contact lenses
then you will need wrap around glasses to ensure they are stable whilst exercising. There are various
tints that you can get and you may find a certain color may stimulate you more than another one,
so don’t be afraid to try a few different types. Wrap around prescription glasses do however tend to
be expensive and bear in mind that if you find a non prescription pair of wrap around glasses that
you like, the Optometrist may not be able to put in the lenses in that you require. This is due to the
problems with glazing an extremely curved frame as it can result in distorted vision. The best thing is
to speak to your optometrist to see what options they have available.

Contact lenses: Contact lenses are generally considered to be the first choice for athletes as they
offer a cheap and easy alternative to glasses. The best option is to choose a daily lens which can be
thrown away at the end of a race and they also tend to be most comfortable. Depending on how
long you train/compete for you need to ensure that the lenses has good hydration problems as the
last thing you want to be worried about is your lens drying out whilst competing. You can discuss
this with your Optometrist but the best way to know is to try a few different types of daily lenses
whilst doing the particular sport that you are involved in. Depending on the sport you do, you should
consider carrying with you some comfort eye drops which can be used to help hydrate a lens that is
drying out or a lens that has become uncomfortable due to sweat or dust getting on it. These drops
can be used whilst the lens is in your eye. It is also easy to carry a spare pair of daily contact lenses
with you just in case one falls out or gets washed out (swimming) whilst exercising.

Laser eye surgery: If laser eye surgery is something that you can afford, then it is definitely the best option as you won’t have to worry about the disadvantages that come with glasses and contact lenses. If you are involved in a contact sport (e.g. martial arts) then your surgeon is likely to recommend that you have PRK surgery as it results in no weakening of the eye following surgery. If you are not involved in a contact sport however, Lasik is your best option as the recovery time is minimal, meaning you can get out competing again in no time at all! Laser eye surgery risks are extremely low nowadays, giving people the confidence to go ahead and have the treatment.

Regardless of which option you choose, the main thing is not to let your vision come in the way of
the sport you love doing. Everyone will have different preferences when it comes to sport and their
visual correction but the most important thing is to find out which is best for you.

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