As the summer of sports continues, the College of Optometrists is urging sports participants and spectators to consider their vision when enjoying their favourite sports. With a range of high profile tournaments and sporting competitions, including Euro 2016 and the Olympics, ongoing and taking place later this summer, the College is advising that having a sight test and getting fitted with corrective eyewear if needed could enhance participants’ and spectators’ sporting experience.

Dr Susan Blakeney, Clinical Adviser at the College of Optometrists said: “Whatever your chosen sport this summer, make sure you get your eyes tested to ensure your vision is the best it can be. Many people put a lot of thought into their sports equipment but may not realise that having a sight test and wearing the right eyewear could help improve their performance and enjoyment of the sport. Another factor you should consider is protective eyewear.  You should ensure you protect your eyes by making sure that your eyewear is impact resistant and, if you wear sunglasses, choosing lenses that protect against UV and have a tint that’s appropriate for your chosen sport. Your optometrist will be able to advise you on what will be best for you.  Sunglasses can be made with, or without prescription.”

When to see your optometrist:

  • If you can’t see the ball when watching sport
  • If you cannot see the score or menu on your TV
  • If your child has poor hand-eye coordination, as this may indicate that their eyes are not working well together, or that the sight in one eye is weaker than in the other.

Eye or sight problems can occur at any time, but those over 40 are more likely to develop problems because presbyopia (where you have problems seeing things close up), and conditions like glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and cataract, are all more frequent in older people. Those with eye conditions in their family and people from African-Caribbean and South Asian ethnic groups also have a higher risk of developing glaucoma.

If you are over 40 or in a group of people that is at-risk of developing an eye condition such as glaucoma you should have your eyes checked regularly.  This is at least every two years or more often if your optometrist recommends it.