Fast near vision focus after forty is a fleeting thing! Think of that tennis ball or softball coming at you!
Our eyes have lenses in them behind the colored parts (iris) whose purpose is to focus clear at objects far away and then zoom in like a camera lens to focus at small things up close.
Some athletes are born with a weaker focusing system and in my book, See To Play, we give several exercises to help improve the focusing system. This focusing systems starts weakening in all of us after the age of forty, and sometimes the same exercises found in my book for the young, will also help the over forty athlete.
Since I wrote my book in 2012, there are several vision exercise developments that aided people in keeping their focusing systems working better instead of succumbing to the aging process.
One such app that has been recommended to me over and over is the Glasses Off App.
This app as been shown to help people keep their focusing ability moving so they can put off grabbing reading glasses to help them see a menu or focus on the computer. If we extrapolate that out to the athletic world, it quite possibly is helping them focus better on incoming targets such as tennis balls and softballs.
You can follow this link to get more information on this app:
In my book, See To Play, I discuss the benefits of using Nike Sparq Strobe glasses in vision training. This improves concentration and also helps athletes filter out visual noise to enhance their athletic performance.
Nike has moved out of the vision training world since my book was published five years ago.
But don’t fear!
Senaptec has stepped in to make this technology available to athletes. These glasses are very similar to the Nike strobe glasses that you read about in See To Play.
Follow this link to find out more information about this technology and purchasing information:
Allergy season is here!! Baseball, soccer, lacrosse and track athletes are out there in the pollen…many suffer the effects of seasonal allergy symptoms in their eyes.
These symptoms include watery, itchy, red eyes and may even develop into a mild sticky white discharge.
Many people take over the counter allergy medication such as Allegra and Zyrtec.
What eye drops can you use to help clear the eye symptoms further?
My favorite over the counter drop to recommend is Zaditor. It can be found in many pharmacies and grocery stores. This drop used to be prescription only but is now over the counter. Contact lens wearers can use the drops before they put in their contact lenses and then use a drop at night after contact lens wear is over for the day.
Another drop that people find useful for allergy eye symptoms is Alaway.
I recommend staying away from drops that state they whiten the eyes such as Visine, Optocon and Naphcon A. The agents that cause the blood vessels to shrink can also cause the pupils of the eyes to mildly dilate which may interfere with vision.
Now…..get out there and enjoy the day!
Are you getting ready to sink the game winning free throw or tournament winning putt? Are you getting ready to throw the ball for the winning touchdown or pitch the last strikeout to win the game? Are you getting ready to pull the trigger for the clay target or bag the trophy hunt? Do you see that spot that opens the net for the game winning goal?
So.....how do you aim?
There is an art to aiming.
I cover it in detail in my book, See To Play: The Eyes of Elite Athletes. I also give you tips on aiming more accurately and exercises to improve your aim.
In my blog today, I’ll go over a few of those pointers;
This is the art of aiming in a nutshell.
Do you want to improve how you aim?
It’s a simple as going to your eye doctor to fix the first four steps. Many athletes fool themselves into believing they see well enough. The problem with that thinking is that the best athletes see the best. Why do you want to give them a head start? (why don’t you just tape a few fingers together....that will really help them beat you)
There are many ways to help you improve insteps 4 through 7. My book is full of such vision exercises.
I also developed, the See To Play Gaze Stabilization Exercise (also known as the “Eye Baller”) which trains all of those areas.
I wish you only the best in your aim and the outcome of your sports move.
See the Best and Be the Best!!
Injuries are a part of sports. For those of you that have read my book and blogs, eye injuries are no exception.
This is why players and athletic training staffs need to be prepared.
Baseball is the leading cause of sports related eye injuries for athletes under the age of 18. Basketball causes more eye injuries for athletes over the age of 18.
This video is graphic....and brand new. A player had his eye poked out of his eye socket. He was lucky. The teams medical staff immediately treated this sports related eye injury.
The eye ball is kept in place in the eye socket by eye muscles. Muscles can stretch so the eye ball can "pop out". That doesn't change vision.
What changes vision in this injury is if the optic nerve is damaged. The optic nerve hooks the eyeball to the brain. It transports vision to the brain. If it breaks, it's like power being ripped out your house: the TV dies, computers die, the heater/air-condition die.... Everything electrical ceases to work.
In the eye, a ripped optic nerve causes a person to be blind.
The average optic nerve...like a power cord..has a certain length. Everyone has a little extra length in their optic nerve. Some more than others.
This player was lucky. He had enough extra length of his eye power chord so that when the eye was popped out of the eyes orbit, the nerve wasn't broken causing blindness.
My book, See To Play, educates players, trainers and medical staff about sports related eye injuries...and more importantly... how to take care of athletes when these injuries occur.
I wanted to use December's blog to thank those of you that have joined See To Play's mission of educating athletes about their vision. One of the best ways to reach their genetic potential is by taking care of their vision and honing their visual skills.
I'm also very excited at how many of you are implementing the See To Play Gaze Stabilization Exercises and our See To Play Vision Concussion protocol. I continue to be contacted by colleagues, coaches and athletes throughout the year...and this year the number was even larger.
It's also overwhelming for me to see all the different countries involved! We're global!!
Please feel free to contact me so that I can help you with any of your questions on helping athletes See The Best to Be The Best!
Happy New Year!
Unfortunately, injuries are a part of sports. Training staffs are prepared for most injuries. The question is: "Are you prepared for game time eye injuries and eye issues?"
Recently, on a Monday Night Football game, we got to see such an incident occur. This picture shows a trainer attending to an athlete who has having a game time right eye issue.
You can be prepared for the majority of game time eye issues by following these rules:
1. Have a bottle of eye wash available to wash debris out of eyes.
2. Have extra contacts available for players who lose contact lenses in play.
3. Learn this simple method: For athletes who feel something is stuck in the upper lid, simply have them close there eyes, grab the eye lashes of the upper lid and then drag the upper lid over the eyelashes of the bottom lid. Many times, the lashes of the lower lid will knock out trash and dirt stuck under the upper lid.
4. Carry a bottle of artificial tears for athletes to use after the above instances occur.
5. Have cold compresses availabel for any time the eyes sustain blunt trauma.
These are just five quick steps to be ready for the majority of game time eye issues. Athetes should be rushed to the eye doctor's office when there are penetrating wounds or issues where athletes lose vision out of an eye.
We are going to be updating our website page before the new year.
Feel free to stop by frequently as we try to streamline information and also bring you new information on ways to improve athlete's vision.
In June 2013, I had the honor of being interviewed for Fox Sports Ohio Broadcaster Chris Welsh's Tech Talk (a segment found on most of Cincinnati Reds pregame shows). We recorded three segments and one of the segments talked about the importance of athletes eating the right foods so that they will have peak vision for their athletic performance. I even held up some fresh kale, broccoli and spinach during the interview to provide visual aides.
This topic was actually not new news to the players. Many of them had already incorporated greens into their diets. Their favorite was to eat kale chips (kale leaves that had been baked). Some even were taking a supplement to improve vision, Eyepromise.
Fast forward three years to the June 2016 Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science Journal and you can now read a study which documents that not only do the ingredients found in green leafy vegetable help protect your eyes from the harmful affects that blue light and aging have on your eyes, but they also help you see better as well as improve your depth perception. (Click here to read the study).
Visual acuity is formed by receptors known as cones in your retina. The larger the number of cones and the more dense they are packed in together allows athletes to have better than 20/20 vision. A larger area of these cones covering the retina give athletes larger areas of central vision (the detailed vision zone) allowing them to see more of the playing field in one gaze.
Let's look how vision works.
The image, say a baseball, enters the eye and hits cones. The cones fire off an impulse of the image to the brain. The brain sees the image....a fastball....swing!
Lutein is an antioxidant which allows the cone to fire quickly, allows the nerve impulse to move faster and digests the waste products of this chemical reaction to be removed by the blood stream preparing the cone for the next image. This topic is also referred to as macular pigment.
Lutein is found in green leafy vegetables which maximize vision. Lutein cannot be absorbed into the body without the help of Zeaxanthin. The daily recommendation of Lutein is 10 mg to 2 mg of zeaxanthin.
Chapter 11 of my book, See To Play, is dedicated completely to the topic of nutrition and the eyes. I break down exactly what nutrients are needed and how they help vision and ocular health.
Now, we have more proof that if athletes eat the best....they can see the best!
This month, we had a patient graduate from our concussion protocol. We call it "graduation" because their visual system has return to normal functioning after being negatively affected by a concussion. Graduation means the patient does not have to return to our office for continued follow up but should continue care with their neurologist as well as continuing their vision exercises.
This particular patient was a 39 year old patient who had hit her head on a concrete wall and had visual symptoms for 4 months or so before being referred to me. She graduated after about 4 weeks of vision therapy.
She was very excited that she was feeling more normal in her world. She also wanted me to know that it was very hard to describe what she was seeing while she was hurt. Mainly, because her brain was hurt and she just couldn't pinpoint the words or thought.
She had a friend show her a youtube clip which really seem to represent how the world appeared to her since she was hurt. She asked that I share this with people. So, I've put it in this blog for you to see. (She stated that it was how the world moved and the heightened sense of color and light sensitivity.) She also said to ignore all the animals! (She didn't see them).
Not all concussions are the same, so this does not represent all visual concussions. But, it is a neat tool for understanding what the injured may experience.
Welcome to my blog! I hope this helps you learn a little more about me and also keeps you up to date on my fun world of sports vision.