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    Tips for establishing a sports vision practice

    Fred Edmunds, OD, FAAO, says there’s no one right way to provide sports vision services.

    “The interesting thing about sports vision, for better or worse, is that there are many ways to do things,” he says. “Every other sports vision practitioner has different evaluations, training, their own protocol to evaluate, so it’s a bit of a challenge. But that’s the beauty of sports vision—you have a lot of latitude. There are many ways to create a desired outcome with our clients.”


    Related: Vision therapy: 10 more tools for your practice

    Raise awareness

    Dr. Edmunds shared some of the tips he’s learned through his own trial and error during a session at Vision Expo West 2015.

    Athletes at all levels are generally unaware that sports vision services exist, let alone what those services could do for their performance, he says. Another problem is that most athletes think that as long as their vision is 20/20, they have “perfect” vision.

    “We all know that there is more to perfect vision than 20/20,” he says. “20/20 isn’t perfect vision—it’s average vision. So you start off by saying, ‘Is average good enough? Do you want to be average in your performance?’”

    Sports vision care looks to optimize how the eyes work individually, how well they work together, and how well they work with the body, he explains.  

    “You can think of this as speed/strength/agility training for the eyes,” says Dr. Edmunds. “20/20 tells me how well you can see a small black letter on a bright white background while sitting still. How often during a sport do you have the opportunity to look at something black on white?”

    He says that approaching the conversation this way can get athletes thinking differently about how vision affects their performance. 

    Next: Different sports have different visual demands

    Colleen E. McCarthy
    Colleen McCarthy is a freelance writer based in the Cleveland area and a former editor of Optometry Times. She is a 2010 graduate of the ...


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