In competitive sport the difference between success and failure is measured in hundredths of a second or fractions of an inch. Uncorrected visual problems can have a dramatic effect on sporting ability, not just in terms of visual acuity but also balance, timing, anticipation, glare recovery and colour perception.
Research has firmly established a direct link between vision and sporting performance, both for the general public and for elite athletes. Additionally many sports require protection from impact, dust and glare, and the use of coatings to enhance contrast has become widespread.
Despite this, many sportspeople still do not associate visual skills with sporting performance:
- 50% of Olympic athletes have never had their eyes tested.
- Up to 30% attended the games with known visual problems.
Traditionally, the clinical and commercial sides of the ophthalmic profession have tended to operate separately. Sportvision is a unique opportunity to bring all sectors of the industry together. Such a partnership brings benefits to the industry as a whole...
- New markets opened up
- Increased dispensing rate and return
- Specific optical requirements in each sport
- New testing and screening equipment
- Sports vision clinics in leisure centres and sports clubs
This is a new approach to optometry which concentrates on youth, vigour, visual enhancement, healthy living and high fashion. It gets away from the traditional perception of eye tests associated with old age, failing eyesight, disease and the stigma of wearing glasses.