Sports vision therapy refers to a method of improving visual skills. The eyes are the focal point of your body, and help you take in information about what is in your physical surroundings. Many sports require these visual skills so that players can see who or what is around them, and then respond with precise movements to accomplish an event, such as catching a ball or crossing a finish line. I have been in sports my whole life, and it wasn’t until my sophomore year of college did I find out I had several very bad habits when it comes to sports vision.
What can Sports Vision Therapy do for me?
- Increase your visual skills and reaction time.
- Improve your balance and coordination.
- Increase strength, endurance, and flexibility of the eye muscles.
- Improve the tracking ability of your eyes.
- Enhance your hand-eye coordination.
- Help you achieve better depth perception and peripheral awareness.
Sports Vision Therapy can make you a better athlete in any sport that requires good visual skills, including baseball, softball, basketball, football, volleyball, soccer, golf, tennis, hockey, bowling, gymnastics, figure skating, and more!
What are the different treatment options for Sports Vision Therapy?
Bioptic Telescope Training – The bioptic telescope is a miniature telescope mounted in a spectacle frame. It is used for distance vision tasks such as watching a baseball game or football game, reading the chalkboard in class, watching television, or looking at a picture on the wall. The patient will wear the telescope part-time and then practice to see how long they can use it before their eyes get tired.
Glasses with Prisms – In some cases, prisms may be added to glasses to help patients with double vision. This may be used during sports vision therapy to help improve visual performance.
Visual-Motor Skills – These relate to your ability to coordinate your hands and feet with what you see. Many sports rely heavily on the use of visual motor skills such as catching a ball, hitting a ball, or batting and throwing. Eye-hand coordination is particularly important when it comes to sports that require fine motor skills like golfing or shooting hoops. Other examples include catching a pass or free throw, kickboxing, fencing, and basketball.
When should I seek out Sports Vision Therapy?
- Injury – If you experience an eye injury while playing sports or otherwise, you may need to visit a sports vision therapy center. A sports vision therapist will evaluate your injury and administer treatment to help you recover.
- Eyestrain – Many people who play sports find themselves experiencing eye strain from time to time. If this is a problem for you, a sports vision specialist can help you develop the visual skills you need to avoid eye fatigue and discomfort.
- Strabismus – If you have any eye conditions (such as strabismus), you need to seek out a qualified optometrist who specializes in Sports Vision Therapy.
- Improvement – If you have 20/20 vision but still want to improve your ability to see the ball or other objects clearly during sports competitions or practices, Sports Vision Training may be right for you.
Should my child see a sports vision therapist?
The answer is yes if your child has any of these symptoms:
- Inability to maintain eye contact with the ball when batting or catching.
- Difficulty tracking the ball from the pitcher’s hand to his glove.
- Difficulty visually locating the ball in front of him while running bases.
- Difficulty judging distance/throwing errors in baseball.
- Difficulty catching fly balls or ground balls in baseball and softball.
- Difficulty reading signals from a coach.
If you’re dealing with vision issues, then it’s very important to talk to the Family Eye Care Center of Atlanta about possible ways to improve them. Depending on your symptoms, vision therapy could be the best solution!