Sports vision testing helps athletes determine how well their eyes perform. These tests go beyond standard eye tests that only evaluate the ability to see letters and objects clearly on a standard eye chart. Sports vision testing takes eyesight evaluation one step further, which is vital to overall athletic training as well as specifically enhancing visual function.
While sports vision testing can vary greatly depending on an athlete’s specific needs, in general, sports vision testing can be beneficial for assessing athletic abilities associated with hand-eye coordination, eye tracking, and depth perception.
Sports Vision Training Enhances Athletic Performance
Many optical shops offer several different vision tests for assessing athletic performance and capabilities. The first test is the classic Snellen Eye Chart. Patients are asked to read lettering on a standard eye chart that is placed 20 feet away. You must identify the letters along the lines of increasingly smaller sizes until the letters can no longer be identified. Usually the 20/20 line is the fourth from the bottom; if you can correctly read this line, you have 20/20 vision. If you can read the smallest line, then you have 20/15 vision. This basic eye test is very important for identifying an athlete’s visual acuity.
While correcting visual acuity can seem like an obvious step, some athletes are unaware that they suffer from an undetected refractive error. Refractive errors are any number of different size and shape abnormalities that affect the eye’s ability to focus light on the retina, affecting vision.
Ocular alignment tests, like the Hirschberg test, evaluate how well both eyes work together. Alignment problems are detected by analyzing specific points on the cornea where reflections occur. We also recommend eye dominance tests. Dominance is determined by focusing on an object as it moves closer; when one eye diverges or loses focus, this means that the other eye is dominant. If one eye loses focus too soon, you may be suffering from binocularity, a condition where both eyes struggle to work together to manage depth perception and visual coordination.
Athletic performance is not only enhanced in the gym; it also requires excellent visual processing speed and hand-eye coordination.