Sports vision or performance training is really a type of optometry many students gravitate to when they first find out about it. Why, you may ask? Maybe it is that one last chance to relive those glory days from high-school or college, or maybe it is that possibility of getting to work with the best talents the world has to offer. No matter the motive, many students tend to lose their interest as they enter into the work force.
Here are five instant ways you can incorporate sports vision into your practice and things to think about when working with a patient:
- Educating about sports nutrition: Studies are suggesting the use of xanthophylls for the reduction of photosensitivity and glare in athletes who perform in bright settings.
- Sports eyewear and details in the lens choice: Picking the right type of lens and tint for the outdoor activities. What about individuals who can use contact lenses? Sports that require eye protection?
- Contact lenses: What type for what sport? Different modalities for different activities? Toric vs. sphere and soft vs. rigid vs. hybrid? Comfort with contact lenses?
- Primary provider for ocular injuries: Corneal abrasions, orbital fractures, or any flying projectiles to the eye? Ocular surface disease? Is that patient at high risk for retinal detachments?
- Vision performance training/concussion management: This is a large category that varies depending on the athlete who comes through your door. Even though it is an important component, it is still one part of sports vision.
What about number 5? Well, the AOA Sports Vision Section (SVS) saw a need to help students become more educated about sports vision with the SV Club Kit that provides discussion guides, sports vision equipment and more to some of the schools that have a Sports Vision Club. I encourage you to incorporate these five different principles by signing up FREE to the SV Section, the Contact Lens and Cornea Section and the Vision Rehabilitation Section. These sections have great resources that should be taken advantage of while they are still free to AOSA member students.
If your school is interested in starting a Sports Vision Club or if you have any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook at AOSA Sports Vision Section for resources on different sports and the role of vision.