Athletes who devote their lives to training to become better at their sport should not neglect to factor their vision into that equation. Having great eyesight can certainly be an asset during competition, which is why athletes like LeBron James, Tiger Woods and Troy Aikman have all chosen LASIK to boost their performance. In this blog, Beverly Hills ophthalmologist Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, who is known for his trademark Fortified LASIK® procedure, explains some of the benefits athletes receive from LASIK.
LASIK Improves Depth Perception
In pretty much any sport that involves a ball, having sharp vision is obviously an asset. An athlete needs to be able to track a ball in motion; with great depth perception, a batter is more likely to make contact with the ball, and a wide receiver has an easier time catching a football. Studies have found that LASIK does an amazing job of boosting depth perception, particularly among patients with profound nearsightedness.
LASIK Is Typically More Convenient Than Conventional Eyewear While Playing Sports
Quite simply, it is often not feasible to wear glasses while swimming in a pool or wearing a football helmet. Those athletes who do find a way to keep their glasses on are constantly at risk of breaking them due to the physical nature of sports. While contact lenses are safer overall, they are vulnerable to falling out mid-game, which can send an athlete to the bench, at least temporarily. With LASIK, there is no need to worry about protecting or adjusting eyewear.
LASIK Is Not Impaired by the Elements
Most sports are played outdoors where athletes are subject to the day’s weather conditions. Wind and rain can fog up an athlete’s lenses, making it difficult to perform with limited visual capabilities. Even the heat can cause problems, as sweat runs down the face and into the eyes. Fortunately, LASIK is not impacted by the weather and can allow athletes to see as well as the other players with 20/20 vision out on the court.
LASIK Has Very Little Downtime
While many types of surgeries require an extended recovery period that will force athletes to miss multiple games or an entire season, LASIK is remarkably quick. After just one or two days, patients can often start seeing better than they could before having the surgery. They can be back out on the field without ever having to skip a practice session.
Keep in Mind an Alternative: PRK
PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is another type of laser vision correction surgery. The main way it differs from LASIK is that it does not create a tiny tissue flap to reshape the cornea. While the LASIK flap poses minimal risk to most people, athletes in contact sports like boxing or MMA may worry about an eye injury that could lead to complications related with the flap. Athletes who have this concern should discuss both LASIK and PRK with Dr. Brian to determine the best course of action for the type of competition they participate in.
Schedule a Consultation
Dr. Brian has helped improve the vision of many high-profile celebrities, including athletes, with laser vision correction — LASIK and PRK alike. If you are an athlete looking to sharpen your performance with help from laser vision surgery, make an appointment with the talented Dr. Brian by calling (310) 860-1900.