Sports Vision Testing
Are You an Athlete?
In order to excel in sports such as soccer, hockey, basketball, football, baseball, or any other sport, it takes more than just physical strength and speed. Exceptional visual skills are necessary for success.
Sports Vision Training, a type of vision therapy, is a personalized and supervised exercise program designed to develop specific visual skills and processing in athletes of all ages. These customized exercises retrain the brain to effectively interact with the eyes and improve visual function. Sports Vision Training involves close monitoring and regular follow-up appointments to ensure steady progress.
However, before prescribing a tailored Sports Vision Training program, our doctors will conduct tests to assess your functional vision level and regularly evaluate your progress.
Why Is Sports Vision Training Important?
The ability to track and predict distinguishes a talented player from an extraordinary one.
Regardless of the game or position, an athlete's core skills rely on how quickly and accurately they visually interpret and react to real-time plays. Making the right decision in a fraction of a second sets professional athletes apart.
A study conducted by the University of Cincinnati demonstrated a 10% improvement in batting performance across various parameters after only six weeks of Sports Vision Training.
Different Types of Sports Vision Tests
Below are some tests an athlete may undergo. These tests vary depending on the athlete's specific needs.
Visual Acuity Test
The Snellen Eye Chart is the most common test used to assess visual acuity and identify conditions like nearsightedness (myopia). It involves identifying letters on a chart, with the lines decreasing in size until they can no longer be correctly identified.
Athletes with poor visual acuity may be fitted with shatter-proof eyeglasses or contact lenses to improve their vision. It is surprisingly common to find undetected refractive errors in struggling athletes.
Contrast Sensitivity Tests
Contrast sensitivity refers to the ability to distinguish an object from a similar background, such as a baseball against a cloud-filled sky. Several tests evaluate contrast sensitivity, including identifying parallel gray stripes against a changing colored background.
Eye Tracking Tests
Success in sports requires the ability to quickly and accurately locate landmarks and track moving objects like a ball. Various high-tech methods assess and train the eyes to track moving objects. One method involves training the eyes to follow motion on a computer screen. By analyzing gaze videos from training sessions, our doctors can detect eye movements or lack thereof, and adjust your vision training accordingly.
Eye Dominance Tests
Most individuals have a dominant eye. Identifying it can enhance performance in activities like archery, golf, and target shooting. A popular eye dominance test is the Miles Test, where you form a triangle with your fingers and frame an object while looking through it with both eyes. Alternating between each eye helps identify the dominant eye as the one maintaining a clear view of the object.
Depth Perception Measurements
Improving and stabilizing binocular depth perception (3D vision) allows players to enhance their passes, shots, and spatial judgment. Athletes must accurately estimate distances between themselves and the ball, puck, opponents, teammates, and field boundaries. Frequent misestimation may indicate poor depth perception.
Undergoing a comprehensive eye exam is the first step in fully assessing this visual skill.
Visual Processing Speed and Hand-Eye Coordination Tests
Top athletes rely on their ability to quickly see and react to moving objects, which is crucial in sports like baseball, soccer, tennis, and basketball.
Certain tests evaluate your reaction time when first seeing an object or catching a falling object.
Eye Teaming Tests
Do your eyes work together as a team, aiming and moving in unison? Rapid binocular vision with coordinated eye movements and tracking skills is crucial for high-performing athletes. Impaired eye teaming hinders physical coordination in sports, play, and daily activities.
The Saladin Near Point Balance Card measures how well your eyes work together to achieve near vision focus at different distances.
How Testing Helps with Sports Vision Training
Based on your sport and test results, you may require specific vision training to improve your visual skills and sports performance.
Some tests can even be used as training tools, such as computer simulations that help batters anticipate the location of a fastball or curveball and train them to respond accordingly.
Contact our doctors today to optimize, correct, and enhance your visual skills, enabling you to become the exceptional athlete you know you can be!
Our practice proudly serves patients from The Woodlands, Magnolia, Shenandoah, Tomball, and surrounding communities in Texas.