SPORTS VISION THERAPY HELPS ATHLETES IMPROVE RECOGNITION AND RESPONSE

Whether they’re swinging at a fastball, shooting free throws, lining up a putt or setting up a dig, athletes depend a great deal on their vision. They have to keep their eye on the ball in order to connect properly and hit a homer, make the basket, sink the putt or send a spike between two opponents.  Many pro teams have a vision therapy program for their players. The program works on improving the athletes’ recognition and response. A sports vision therapist will show a baseball player .....

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SENSORY INTEGRATION IMPORTANT FOR BALANCE

What happened the last time you went on the Mad Tea Party ride at DisneyWorld? Did you enjoy yourself initially, but as the ride went on, did you start to feel sick and disoriented? When you closed your eyes, however, you probably felt much better. And you were immensely glad when the ride ended and you could get your bearings again.

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NEW TECHNOLOGY INSTRUMENTAL IN RECOVERING FROM CONCUSSION

Professional sports teams, as well as high school and college teams, are increasing their awareness and protocols for assessing acquired brain injury, also known as concussions. Teams want to be sure their athletes are 100 percent ready to return to the field after suffering a concussion.  One crucial thing a concussion does is affect your ability to point your eyes, so a prime way to evaluate the severity of a hit is through eye tracking. Eye tracking measures the eyes’ ability to work together.

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LOOK OUT FOR YOUR EYES

The average person sitting or walking will blink about 22 times a minute, but when someone is staring at a computer, he will blink about seven times a minute. Blinking distributes fresh tears across the eyes, keeping them lubricated and helping stave off dry eye. Try pressing a warm wet cloth to your eyes to soothe them and unclog the tear ducts.


An active therapy program can help you improve your eyes’ tracking, pointing and moving skills. It will also improve your spatial awareness and judgment. All these skills are learned and anyone can improve them at any point in time. Playing games such as corn hole or shooting baskets is beneficial as well because these activities make you track and follow the bag and ball. You’ll get instant feedback on how accurately your eyes are pointing and working together.


A Youtube video featuring Sir Paul McCartney doing eye yoga or eye stretches can be found at www.youtube.com/watch?v=00XqvNwYMoc. McCartney demonstrates simple exercises involving all six of the pointing movements of the eye, and they can have a great impact on your eyes’ strength and abilities. They’re also an excellent way to relax your eyes after a rough day or use as a warm-up to get ready for the next workday spent in front of a computer.



The bottom line is, vision is a very complex sense. It takes a multi-pronged multi-faceted approach to care for and preserve this most precious of senses.

DR. RICK GRAEBE

Dr. Graebe received both his B.S degree in Visual Science and Doctorate of Optometry from Indiana University. He is a Behavioral Optometrist and learning expert. He has been in private practice here in the Bluegrass area for the past 32 years.

more articles by dr rick graebe

As you begin making your resolution to be healthier this new year, don’t leave out two of the most important parts of your body: your eyes. With the demands that are put on our eyes every day, it is essential to take care of them and even exercise them to strengthen them and possibly improve your vision.


In the past, people were hunters, farmers and gatherers. They were used to looking over far distances to seek prey and other possible sources of food. But now we live in a 2D world, where all day long we stare at flat computer and telephone screens that are 6 to 24 inches away our eyes. The stress that puts on our eyes creates more eyestrain, more headache and more fatigue. The backlit screens have more blue light to them, and this can actually cause damage to the macula at the back of the eye.


There are several things you can do to combat eyestrain. Try adjusting your schedule so you’re not staring at computer as much. Have proper, adequate lighting to work and read by – the more natural light the better. Another thing you can do to help your eyes is to follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away from your computer for 20 seconds. Time often gets away from us when we’re playing a game or typing or researching on the Internet, so it’s imperative to take regular breaks. You could even set a timer on your phone to remind you to do your 20-20-20 routine.