Did you know that vision training improves skiing performance, making you a faster, smoother skier?
Seeing 20/20 isn’t the only measure of good vision. You may see far off objects well, but your vision isn’t just one skill. Vision is a set of several skills, including depth perception, reaction time and peripheral vision. Theses skills can be improved with vision training to enhance performance and avoid injury.
Sports vision testing evaluates how you use your vision while moving around outdoors and navigating through obstacles. Performance testing also deals with hand-eye or eye-foot co-ordination, anticipation, concentration and speed.
At Discover Vision Therapy, we specialize in sports vision training and getting you to that next level of performance.
Here are the top 5 vision skills skiers need to improve their ability:
- Focus Flexibility- Skiers need to be able to shift focus and react quickly to features on the mountain
- Contrast sensitivity- this is a key visual skill for skiers because they must see every shadow in the snow before them so they know when to turn and anticipate changes in the snow or mountain conditions
- Depth perception- good awareness of space is so important when doing any sport at speed
- Reaction time- Remember, the faster you see it, the faster you react, the faster you move!
- Peripheral awareness- When we are stressed or our adrenaline is running high, we tend to shut down our peripheral vision. Opening up your awareness of obstacles and other skiers helps you to quickly plan your best line.
People often tell me they’ve had vision problems since their concussion because vision is the only sense that has connections to every region of our brain. The wiring for vision is a brain process, so visual disturbances after a concussion are very common. Visual symptoms may be temporary or may persist after other problems have resolved.
Common vision problem post concussion include:
- Blurry or unstable vision
- Double vision
- Sensitivity to Light
- Trouble reading or viewing your computer
- Dizziness driving or in the supermarket
- Lack of depth perception
- Difficulties with gait
“Post-Trauma Vision Syndrome” or PTVS is the term for the combination of the eye co-ordination issues and dizziness that occur post-concussion.
These functional vision problems are easily diagnosed and treated by a Neuro-Optometrist. During Optometric therapy, the concepts of neuro-plasticity help the brain to improve its’ ability to co-ordinate the eyes as a team and visually organize the world around us.
If you or someone you know has had a concussion or head trauma and struggles with symptoms of double vision, blurred vision, headaches or feeling visually overwhelmed find a Neuro-Optometrist to help you in your recovery process.
Addition links on vision therapy following a concussion:
Are you struggling to help that child who is bright, but is just not reading at grade level?
Vision problems may be contributing and they can affect learning. Reading difficulties stem from a combination of problems, rather than just one. Learning to read and then reading to learn involves a number of visual skills.
In the classroom, 80% of learning comes through visual pathways, so vision problems can affect learning.
The 5 most common signs of vision problems that affect learning are:
- Loses place and skips lines, or rereads lines
- Poor reading comprehension
- Homework taking much longer than it should
- Reverses letters like b and d
- Short attention span with reading and schoolwork
Vision skills required for reading are:
- visual acuity
- visual fixation and attention
- eye tracking
- accommodation (eye focus)
- binocular vision (eye teaming)
- visual perception
The typical school eye chart test only evaluates distance visual acuity.
I worked with a young boy a few years ago. He was bright but struggled in school. Reading frustrated him to no end! He soon became disheartened and started to believe that perhaps he was just dumb. This worried his parents and the constant battles over homework made everyone in the family miserable.
His teacher could not understand why he did well in everything, except school. In her search for a solution, she came across vision therapy and recognized many of the signs of vision related learning problems. A developmental eye exam revealed that he had difficulty with eye tracking and eye teaming. Vision therapy retrained his brain to use his eyes efficiently and expanded this boy’s learning potential. It enhanced his self-esteem and improved the family dynamics. He developed confidence at school, better grades and a love for reading.
So what can you do as the educator? Keep a lookout for the common signs and symptoms of vision problems that impact learning. 80 percent of what children learn comes through their visual processing of information. If you suspect a vision problem may be interfering with a student’s ability to learn, bring it to the attention of their parents. Help them to find a developmental optometrist who will test for those specific skills.