“Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” was the battle cry of the Dillon Panthers football team on the TV show, “Friday Night Lights.” Coach Taylor was speaking metaphorically, but clear eyes certainly do make a difference to athletes. For example, Olympic skier Bode Miller considered getting LASIK before the 2014 Winter Games, and after finishing a disappointing eighth in the downhill skiing competition, he said that he regretted not having done it.
While not every team can win the championship, and not every athlete can be an Olympian, everyone wants to maximize his potential and have as much fun playing as possible. Making your eyesight the best it can be is an important element of that, in part because there are a variety of complex functions that make up the vision needed for sporting success:
While prescription eyewear improves the clarity of your straight-ahead vision, it encumbers other aspects of how you see, which affects your sports performance. For example, glasses don’t correct peripheral vision, thus impairing your ability to see things outside your direct line of sight. Contacts can dry out, causing discomfort and blurriness. LASIK reduces your dependence on glasses and contacts, allowing your eyes to function more naturally. This helps you concentrate on the game and not your eyewear.
Even if you don’t consider yourself an athlete, your leisure time probably includes having fun moving and sweating — whether from camping and fishing in the woods, woodworking in the garage or playing with the kids. Trying to see through foggy, slippery or dirty glasses doesn’t add to the enjoyment. Anyone can appreciate the improvement in safety, performance and enjoyment that better vision can make to her active life.
Discuss recreation and sports with your eye care provider to make sure you’re taking the proper safety and protection precautions. You may also find that LASIK could help take your game to the next level!
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