As the pandemic seems to come to an end, things are returning to a more “normal” state. With these changes comes the opening of sports stadiums around the country. That’s right! Fans are starting to be allowed back into stadiums to root on their favorite players, teams, and events. As athletes continue to train and improve their skills, one important element of performance is often overlooked: vision.
Vision for Performance
Of course, simply seeing is important to most, if not all, sports. However, vision for performance goes beyond “Can you see this object?” We call this “visual performance,” and it includes a few important visual functions:
Visual acuity is the term for the sharpness and clarity of your vision. This is what’s tested by an eye chart, and it helps you to see details up close or at a distance, like the stitches or spin of a baseball.
Contrast sensitivity is your ability to identify an image, object, or letters against a similar background. It helps you see subtle differences, like identifying the slopes in the golf green by determining the slight changes in green coloration.
Glare recovery is your ability for your eyes to recover after being exposed to a bright light. It’s the time it takes you to see “normally” looking into the sun or stadium lights to receive the goalie’s punt or catch the ball.
Light sensitivity is where the light level in the environment is too bright and causes discomfort. This discomfort can be caused by both natural and artificial lighting and can affect your performance and lead to on-field mishaps.
Dryness and irritation aren’t directly visual functions, but they can have an impact on your performance and vision. Dryness or overwatering can cause blurred vision, and irritation can distract you from the play in front of you.
Visual processing speed is how quickly your eyes identify what’s in front of you and translate that information to your brain so you can react accordingly. Increasing your visual processing speed increases your reaction time, and who doesn’t want to react faster?
How to Improve Your Visual Function
There are a few ways we can improve visual performance. Getting into your optometrist and correcting any refractive errors is likely your first step. This means getting a comprehensive vision exam to be sure you don’t need corrective lenses/contacts to help you see better.
Sports vision training (SVT) is the term used to describe the techniques and programs that can be used to improve different aspects of visual performance. These programs operate under the assumption that practice makes perfect and create visually demanding scenarios for athletes to train. Just like there are different aspects to visual performance, there are different programs to enhance certain individual performance measures.
Like many other areas of performance, proper nutrition can improve visual performance as well. Like protein and amino acids help your muscles perform and recover, the right blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants helps your eyes perform at their best by improving their visual function. However, it’s difficult to get the amount of nutrients needed to impact your vision through diet alone, which is why many athletes turn to supplementation.
Trusted by athletes at collegiate, professional, and Olympic levels, EyePromise® is the #1 doctor-recommended eye vitamin available. EyePromise developed Vizual Edge Pro™, the most elite performance vitamins, to address and improve each of the beforementioned visual functions. This formulation is regularly and rigorously tested for label quality and purity and is NSF Certified for Sport. Made with the highest quality, natural ingredients, Vizual Edge Pro has been proven to:
- Improve visual acuity and contrast sensitivity
- Reduce glare recovery, light sensitivities, and dryness and irritation
- Increase visual processing speed and reaction time by 10%
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