Great vision is essential for any sport, from basketball and tennis to ice hockey and golf; and it’s necessary for recreational activities like hunting and fishing too. But, seeing "20/20" is not the whole picture. Excellent eyesight, the kind that gives you the upper edge in a competitive game or allows you to enjoy and succeed at your leisurely activity, includes other visual skills, like:
- Hand-eye coordination
- Depth perception
- Peripheral vision
- Motion sensing and tracking
- Eye teaming
A regular eye exam won’t necessarily include testing for such eyesight capabilities, but a sports eye exam will include an examination of the skill set associated with your activity. If you are a pro level player, we may even refer you to a professional sports vision expert. Sports eyesight screening is much more detailed, and could be customized to the particular sporting activity you participate in. Sports vision specialists who work with high level competitive athletes will sometimes assess eyesight in vivo outdoors in a simulated game, using computer simulation, or watching the athlete play in a real competition. Other careers that rely on excellent eyesight also make use of these vision services, like pilots and policemen.
It should go without saying that some activities require special eyewear for safety purposes to prevent eye injuries. Of course, many outdoor sports benefit from sunglasses with treated lenses, which are available in both prescription sunglasses and non-prescription sunglasses options. Water activities and snow activities are particularly helped by anti-glare lenses or goggles. Outdoor sports athletes can further protect their eyes from wind and sand using wraparound sunglasses.