Sports Vision: Improving Athletic Performance

Essential Vision Skills For Sports

Dynamic visual acuity

  • Enables you to clearly see objects moving at a high speed
  • Especially important when you and the object are in motion
  • Essential for sports like football, baseball, tennis, and hockey

Visual concentration

  • Ability to maintain focus in game-speed scenarios 
  • Keeps you from getting distracted by whatever is happening about you
  • Essential for hitting a baseball or taking a foul shot in basketball

Peripheral vision

  • Allows you to see things happening that aren't directly in front of you
  • Increased awareness of surrounding environment without losing focus
  • Essential for basketball, soccer, and hockey

Visual reaction time

  • Time it takes for your brain to interpret and react to an action
  • Generally, the faster the reaction time the better the athlete
  • Essential for returning a tennis serve, protecting the goal in soccer, or hitting a fastball

The Contact Lens

German ophthalmologist, Adolph Fick, made the first glass contact lens in 1888. However, modern day contacts were not invented until 1972 by Otto Wichterle. The early glass lenses were thick and unlike today's models, covered not only by the iris, but the whites of the eyes as well. By accident, in 1948, optical technician Kevin Tuoby realized glass contacts could still work while just coving the iris. 

Unlike the rest of the human body which gets oxygen from the blood, the eyes get oxygen directly from the environment. However, glass is impermeable to oxygen which is the primary reason glass lenses can only be used for a short period of time. Now extended wear lenses can be worn day and night for numerous days. 

Contact Facts:

  • 75% of Americans use a corrective lens
  • 125 million people globally wear contact lenses 
  • Early glass lens could be worn for about 4 hours
  • 67% of women wear contacts, while only 33% of men do 

Are you interested in contacts? We carry all the major brands, and Dr.Ephraim can fit you to the exact brand and shape right for you. 

Foods To Fight Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a complicated disease in which damage to the optic nerve leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness.

Everyone is at risk for glaucoma. However, certain groups are at higher risk than others. People at high risk for glaucoma should get a complete eye exam, including eye dilation, every one or two years.

However, there are some foods that have shown signs of helping to fight glaucoma:

  • Animal-based omega-3's
  • Krill oil
  • Dark colored berries
  • Green, leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli, collard greens)
  • Egg yolks
  • Seaweed

Some foods you might want to avoid include white, refined carbs like sugar, white pasta, white bread, white rice and potatoes. 

While these foods might help, you should still get your eyes checked regularly to ensure you keep your eyes healthy. 

 

Understanding The Diabetic Eye

Almost 26 million Americans have diabetes and 27% of people don't know they have it. With over 4.4 million Americans over the age of 40 affected by diabetic retinopathy, along with diabetes being the most common cause of blindness in the U.S, we wanted to share some facts. 

Inside the Diabetic Eye:

High blood sugar can damage blood vessels in the eye and cause a cataract to form. Tiny blood vessels in the retina start to leak. New blood vessels also leak, causing hemorrhages and damage to the retina. Eye problems and vision loss are caused by lack of oxygen in the blood. 

Types of Diabetic Eye Disease:

Diabetic Retinopathy:

  • Most common type of diabetic eye disease
  • Risk goes up the longer a person has had diabetes
  • 4 stages begin with microanuerysms and lead to new blood vessels on retina's surface
  • These new blood vessels on the retina's surface leak fluid and lead to vision loss or blindness

Cataracts:

  • A clouding of the lens that blocks light and causes blurry vision and trouble with glare
  • Often age-related, but diabetic patients tend to get them younger 
  • Causes range from mild to severe and may require surgery 

What You Should Know About Diabetic Eye Disease:

  • Diabetic eye conditions often have no symptoms or warning signs 
  • By the time symptoms arise, damage may have already occurred 
  • Early detection is key to preventing permanent damage
  • People with diabetes should have an eye exam at least once a year
  • Women with diabetes who become pregnant should see an eye doctor as soon as possible

Smoking And Your Health

Did you know that cigarette smoke contains as many of 4,000 different chemicals (most of them toxic) including carbon monoxide? Chemicals like butane (found in lighter fluid), methane (sewer gas), ammonia (cleaner) and arsenic (poison). If that's not enough to stop you from smoking, check out these facts about smoking and your eyes.

  • Smokers are 4 times more likely to go blind in old age. 
  • According to some studies, people living with a smoker double their risk of developing macular degeneration. 
  • Female smokers over the age of 80 are 5 1/2 times more like to develop AMD (age-related macular degeneration) than non-smokers of the same age. 
  • Children exposed to tobacco smoke have a 20% greater chance of developing allergic conjunctivitis. 
  • Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to give birth prematurely, and increase their risk of their baby developing crossed eyes and potentially a blinding disease called retinopathy of prematurity. 
  • Cataracts are the leading cause of vision and studies have shown that people who smoke double their risk of developing cataracts. 

If you smoke please try and stop!