Sports Specific Contact Lens Fitting
Sports specific contact lens fitting refers to the custom prescription and fitting of contact lenses tailored for individuals involved in sports activities. The primary objective is to improve visual performance during athletic participation while ensuring safety, comfort, and convenience.
What it Involves:
- Comprehensive Eye Examination: Before considering sports-specific lenses, the optometrist will conduct a comprehensive eye examination to determine the user’s prescription and assess eye health.
- Discussion on Sports Activities: The optometrist will discuss the sports and activities the individual participates in to understand the demands and visual needs. Different sports have different requirements; for example, a golfer might need sharp depth perception, while a soccer player would benefit from broader peripheral vision.
- Lens Selection: Depending on the sport, the optometrist will recommend the best type of lens. For instance, daily disposables might be ideal for someone participating in outdoor activities to minimize allergens or dust accumulation. For contact sports, soft lenses are typically recommended over rigid ones due to safety concerns.
- Trial Fitting: A trial lens will be placed on the eye to evaluate comfort, fit, and visual acuity. This ensures the selected lens provides optimal vision and comfort during physical activity.
- Education on Proper Use: The optometrist will provide guidelines on how to insert, remove, clean, and store the lenses. Emphasis will be given to hygiene, especially if the sport involves outdoor or dirty environments.
- Follow-up: After a period of using the lenses during sports activities, a follow-up appointment might be scheduled to assess comfort and make any necessary adjustments.
Why a certified Optometrist or Optician Should Assess and Complete the fitting:
- Optimal Vision for Performance: Superior vision can enhance performance in many sports. Optometrists can provide lenses that offer the sharpest and most accurate vision tailored to the individual’s needs.
- Safety Concerns: When engaged in sports, especially contact sports, it’s essential that the lenses don’t pose additional risks. An optometrist can recommend lenses that are suitable for the sport in question, ensuring they don’t exacerbate any potential eye injuries.
- Comfort During Physical Activity: Engaging in sports can involve a lot of movements, which can cause lenses to shift or even fall out. Properly fitted lenses remain stable, providing consistent vision.
- Protection from External Elements: Many sports are played outdoors where players might be exposed to dust, pollen, or water. An optometrist can suggest lenses that resist these elements or even recommend additional protective gear, like sports goggles.
- Legal and Regulatory Reasons: For organized sports, especially in schools or professional settings, there might be regulations or guidelines concerning vision and eyewear. Having documentation from an optometrist ensures that the athlete meets these guidelines.
In summary, while many athletes might prefer contact lenses over glasses due to convenience and improved peripheral vision, it’s essential to ensure that these lenses are safe, comfortable, and provide optimal vision for the sport in question. Optometrists play a crucial role in ensuring this balance between performance and safety.