This 4-part series has highlighted the many options available to help athletes see their sport better. Let’s recap.
The first step is a thorough evaluation of visual performance abilities with consideration of the visual demands of the sport. A vision examination should carefully measure refractive error to determine if refractive compensation or a change in refractive prescription is merited. With recent advances in the understanding of the role of nutrients in visual and cognitive performance, it may be beneficial to also discuss dietary and supplementation options with the athlete.
After the evaluation, we moved into training options. Sports vision training (SVT) provides another opportunity for the athlete to enhance visual performance factors that are important for their sport. Consideration should be given to the enhancement of component visual skill training, as well as naturalistic training options. It is also reasonable to expect that supplementation with lutein and zeaxanthin (L & Z) would have a synergistic effect with SVT, where increased macular pigment optical density produces larger improvements in visual performance factors targeted with training.
In most sports, vision is a critical element for successful performance. Optimal vision is important for the athlete so that visual performance is not responsible for limitations in sports success. There is ample evidence that SVT and proper nutritional intake approaches can provide the athlete with optimal vision for the demands of their sport.
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If your interested in reading more, Dr. Erickson published a similar perspective piece in Vision Development & Rehabilitation. Find it on page 221.