If you are an athlete with a vision impairment and either go without glasses or with glasses during games you may be at a disadvantage. Glasses host a number of disadvantages on the court or field. They can impair vision, fog up, and even simply fall off. If this is the case then should consider switching to contact lens.
There are a few main reasons why optometrists recommend contact lenses for athletes:
- Glasses impose on peripheral vision since you can see your frames. By using contacts you will have a completely unobstructed field of vision.
- Contact lens will not steam up which is important in intense games or hot weather.
- You field of vision will be more stable since glasses can bounce around or even slip down your nose. For sports requiring headgear you’ll find that glasses can cause issue with fit. Contact lens solves this.
- Contact lens also allows the athlete to have better depth perception.
There are many different types of contact lens on the market. If you only use your contacts during practice or games than disposable lens may be your best option. There are even special lens for those with Astigmatism or other eye defects. The most popular lens is called soft contact lenses. However, rigid gas permeable lens of RGPs are becoming more popular.
The benefits of RGP lenses over soft contact lens include:
- Dirt and foreign matter can’t stick easily to these lenses since they have a hard, slick surface. If you play in areas with a lot of dirt or dust then these lens will stay clear for longer than soft lens.
- Since RGPs are rigid in shape they will keep shape better. This will help improve your vision if you have any corneal abnormalities.
- RGPs actually allow oxygen through to your eye better than soft lenses. This equals healthy eyes and increased comfort.
- Lastly, soft lens will absorb moisture or tears, thus creating dry eyes. RGPs do not absorb which mean you are less likely to develop dry eyes.
Even though it may take longer to get used to wearing rigid lenses many athlete swear by them. Since there is a period where they will feel odd it is advised that you wear them long term rather than just while playing sports. Since RGPs are much smaller than soft lenses there may be an issue with them coming out if you participate in especially rough sports. However, you can get custom made lenses that solve this issue.
Contacts are a wonderful alternative to glasses since they improve vision and also lessen the chance of glasses related injuries such as broken glass or frames. They are overall the best option for improving sport performances. If you participate in activities that may cause dirt or dust in the eyes, or even water, disposable lens will be your best option since you don’t have to deal with cleaning.
If you do play sports such as skiing or snowboarding, or even play as a goalie, you may suffer from dry eyes when using contact lens. Those who play cold weather sports or positions in which you do not blink often, like goalies, are prime candidates for using glasses. While RGPs may improve your dry eyes, your best option is glasses since they will no inhibit eye moisture and tears. Prescription goggles are another excellent solution.
Always speak to your optometrists to see what your best option is based on your eye and choice of sport. Contact lenses may be superior but some sports may require glasses as your safest option.
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