Luck Won't Improve Your Sports Stats, but Improving Your Vision Will!
We loved cheering on our country last month during the Olympics in PyeongChang. Olympic athletes need to be in peak condition in order to compete at the levels that may bring home the gold, but you don't need to be a sports superstar to improve your stats! Sports like hockey, baseball, and football, for example, are a few sports that require tracking of an object and excellent depth perception.
Athletes with good depth perception have an easier time accurately tracking the puck (or object) as it approaches them because they can accurately see where it is in their space. Hockey players make split-second decisions about when to move their stick to make contact with the puck. Athletes with good depth perception see the puck as appearing bigger, thus making it easier to hit.
Just because you may have poor depth perception now doesn’t mean it’s too late to improve your vision and your game. Depth perception can be improved at any age!
What Causes Poor Depth Perception?
Types of Depth Perception: Monocular (one eye) and binocular (both eyes). Both of these depth perceptions are needed to determine with accuracy where an object is in visual space.That means that each eye must be able to correctly perceive space and work together for optimal sports performance! If there is poor space perception in one eye, it will negatively impact the depth perception.
There are a few vision problems that can relate to poor depth perception but Strabismus and Amblyopia are the most common and are both able to be corrected.
* Strabismus-also known as “crossed eyes” or a misalignment of a person's eyes. One or both eyes may point in a different direction than the other - either up, down, left, right,or even diagonally.
The term suppression refers to when the brain stops communicating with one of they eyes to avoid seeing double. This allows the brain to receive ONE clear image instead of two. Since both eyes are essential to seeing depth and dimension, the brain's compensation preventing double vision impacts depth perception significantly.
* Amblyopia - also known as "lazy eye" is when one eye produces an unclear image in comparison to the other eye. Just like suppression that occurs with strabismus, the brain will ignore the less clear eye, and this also reduces depth perception.
If your child's or your own sports performance is suffering, start with testing the vision and depth perception! Book your exam today!