A good athlete requires excellence in visual memory, hand-eye coordination, peripheral vision, eye-foot coordination, contrast sensitivity, and focus flexibility.
As a result, they need to take good care of their eyes both on-field and off the field.
In honor of Sports Eye Safety Month, we're sharing a few ways athletes can protect their eyes and maintain good eye health so they can perform their best on and off the field!
Wear The Right Gear
When it comes to preventing injuries, make sure you are wearing the right protective gear for your sport. For example, wear proper safety goggles (lensed polycarbonate protectors) for racquet sports or basketball.
Use batting helmets with polycarbonate face shields for youth baseball. Use helmets and face shields approved by the U.S. Amateur Hockey Association when playing hockey.
Prevent Blindness recommends that athletes wear eye guards appropriate for their particular sport.
Live A Healthy Life
Simply put, your lifestyle can either protect your eyes or damage them. A healthy lifestyle consists of what you eat, how active you are, and the life choices you make that impact your overall health and wellness.
As every athlete knows, a healthy lifestyle is important. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and ensure you eat foods rich in antioxidants that will keep your eye healthy and in tip-top shape for performance.
Most athletic games are played in bright weather, which further increases the time athletes spend in the harsh rays of sunlight.
A good yet easy way to protect your eye is by wearing sunglasses. Sunglasses protect the eye from UVA and UVB light radiation while you play.
Know Your Family History
If you've never had a round table conversation with your family about certain topics, now is the time to do so. If a number of individuals within your family tree are predisposed to an eye issue, chances are high you may develop the same issue.
Knowing your family history as it concerns eye health is the first step to being proactive in protecting your eyes. Based on what the doctor says, you might need to schedule a checkup.
Go for Regular Checkups
Keeping up with your regular eye checkups is pretty essential, but it is the holy grail for athletes. Detecting an eye issue early ensures that it gets treated on time to allow you to perform effectively.
If you don't know the appropriate eye exam to go for, do a dilated exam test. This test would show if and why you need regular eye checkups.
Avoid Blue Light
Blue light is the biggest threat to the eyes. Long-term exposure to blue light can cause age macular degeneration. It also strains the eyes and messes up with other functions like sleep patterns.
Blue light can't be eliminated. It is in your lamps, bulbs, phones, tablets, and televisions. You can, however, limit how much you expose your eyes to blue light by using healthy light sources and reducing screen time, especially at night.
Changing your lamps and bulbs to minimize blue light is a little effort that goes a long way. Just that action can save your eyes years of strain down the line.