Wearing sports contact lenses rather than eyeglasses can be a big performance enhancer for athletes. Wearing contact lenses while taking part in sports reduces the hassle experienced otherwise with glasses. Along with this, they offer other more compelling advantages as well.
Advantages of using contact lenses
- Improved peripheral vision: Contact lenses give much better peripheral vision to the wearer enabling a good view of other players and the field.
- A clear field of view: Besides improved clarity, contact lenses allow the sportsperson to see more of what is around him/her (due to the lack of frames that obstruct the line of sight). This means a better reaction time and an ability to see more of the arena.
- All weather wear: Unlike glasses which may fog up in the cold/rain, contact lenses are less likely to be impacted by weather conditions.
- Reduced injuries: In case of injuries or impact, eyeglasses could break and shards of glass or pieces of metal could damage the eye. With contact lenses, players of high contact sports can play with less worry about injury to the eye from their glasses.
- Increased mobility: While eyeglasses get easily dislodged, lenses stay in place. This is of particular importance in sports involving quick movements.
- Ease of using safety equipment: Helmets and other protective gear are easier to wear with contact lenses since they won’t get in the way. This provides a more comfortable experience to the player.
Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses (RGP) versus disposable soft contact lenses
Soft contacts are the more popular option with athletes, but some prefer rigid gas permeable lenses. This kind of lens being rigid, takes some getting used to and therefore cannot be tried as a one-off. The smaller size (than soft lenses) also increases the chances of it getting dislodged in a contact sport.
Doctors are able to create custom lenses which have a larger diameter, so if this is the lens you choose, do remember to check for that option.
However, they have some benefits over soft lenses that make them a better option for some people.
- Useful for long use: In case one needs to keep them in for a longer time, they permit more oxygen to flow to the eyes and are a better option.
- Stay cleaner: Particulates and debris tend to accumulate less since the lens itself is hard and won’t let the dirt in.
- Reduces chance of dry eye: RGPs do not absorb tears allowing the eye to stay well hydrated and moist. Cold weather athletes like skiers, as well as those who need to focus unblinking like goalies, find this feature invaluable.
- Better for people with astigmatism and other corneal abnormalities: Since they retain their shape on the eye, they are able to better correct for these conditions.
Daily disposable lenses may be a more convenient option for those who wish to avoid cleaning and storing their sports contact lenses after a game.
If lenses are not an option due to other conditions like dry eye, it is possible to have a pair of sports glasses created with wraparound frames that don’t dislodge easily. Polycarbonate goggles serve the dual purpose of also being a safety feature for the eyes.
Tinted lenses and UV protection
Soft contact lenses can also be custom tinted to help the wearer see things quicker and clearer. Gray-green lenses are popular with runners, cyclists and golfers while soccer, tennis and baseball players favor amber lenses.
Athletes in Oakville with perfect vision too can choose to wear custom tinted lenses. Most lenses offer UV protection but do not cover all parts of the eye. Sports eyewear may help supplement a pair of contact lenses.