Since most adults have some degree of vision impairment, and sports often require keen eyesight for optimal performance, it’s no surprise that LASIK is so popular with athletes here in Charleston, SC, and beyond. Of course, there are other vision correction options available for athletes, including contact lenses, glasses, and prescription goggles. Unfortunately, these additions to your athletic gear can be expensive and difficult to maintain. With the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this year, I thought this would be the perfect time to explain how LASIK vision correction surgery can help athletes and patients with active, outdoor lifestyles — in perhaps more ways than they realize.
No More Hassle
Let’s be frank: Glasses and contact lenses can be a hassle. Whether you enjoy sailing, snorkeling, tennis, yoga, rugby, or any number of other active pursuits, these methods of vision correction can sometimes be more irritating than helpful. Glasses can get in the way, fog up, slide off a sweaty nose, break, or even cause injury; contacts can rotate, tear, cause irritation, scratch, or slip out unexpectedly. If you wear contacts or glasses and have an active lifestyle, you can likely attest to a few of these frustrations. With LASIK, those issues are completely eliminated. Because LASIK reshapes your cornea and usually offers results that are better than 20/20, corrective lenses will no longer need to be part of your sports equipment.
It’s not uncommon for athletes to feel that performance issues may have something to do with their vision. For better or the worse, vision can influence hand-eye coordination, depth perception, and balance. Numerous professional athletes have trusted LASIK to give them the visual acuity they need for peak performance. Recently Danny Green of the San Antonio spurs underwent LASIK. I also had the privilege of performing LASIK on National Football League player Ryan Succop, a placekicker for the Tennessee Titans, a few years back. You can read more about his, and other patient testimonials below.
"...After wearing contacts and glasses for nearly 31 years, I still surprise myself with how well I can see...."
- LASIK Patient of Dr. SolomonPatient Testimonials
In contrast, some athletes have even expressed regret over not receiving the treatment sooner, like decorated U.S. Olympic skier Bode Miller. According to a Fox Sports report, his 2014 Olympic games were impacted due to vision issues when clouds were present.
Decreased Risk of Infection
Regardless of the sport you play, dirt and bacteria that come from equipment, playing surfaces, and other sources can pose a risk for contact lens wearers. Once bacteria enters the eye and becomes trapped under the contact lens, it can lead to an infection. This CBS Sports article shows Czech professional tennis player Radek Stepanek licking a contact lens and placing it back into his eye before returning to the court at the 2016 French Open – a trick that many athletes have used, but definitely shouldn’t! This method of quick contact cleaning is a surefire way to trap that harmful bacteria and cause a serious eye infection.
Less to Pack
If you’re a contact lens wearer, you know that simply tossing some extra contacts in a bag isn’t exactly an option when you’re on the go. It can sometimes feel like you need an entire case of extra equipment to care for your glasses and contacts. With your contact lens case, spare lenses, glass cleaner, wipes, a case to store your glasses, and rinsing solution that meets TSA guidelines, you’ve taken up a lot of valuable room in your carry-on, not to mention how much is added to the list of important items to pack and keep track of. With LASIK, you can leave the extra behind and go!
Whether you’re a competitive athlete or a weekend warrior, LASIK can help you get more enjoyment and satisfaction out of your sport. If you think you’re ready, we’ve created a short quiz to help you determine if this surgery may be right for you. After you take the quiz, I invite you to request a consultation at my practice to discuss your candidacy further. An improvement in your vision can be a very exciting change, and may be just what you need to really step up your game!