Visual Skills and Sports Vision

Photo by Josh Hemsley on Unsplash

Did your routine eye exam go well? Do you have 20/20 vision? That’s great! However, there’s so much more to vision than seeing with perfect acuity. In fact, seeing 20/20 is only 1 of 17 different visual skills we have. Routine eye exams do not usually cover all of these skills since they tend to focus on ocular health and visual acuity. Skills such as eye tracking, eye teaming, and eye focusing can be measured using a different set of tests that is done during a Functional Vision Assessment (FVA).

Here is a summary of some visual skills that you need in everyday life. FVAs test all of these skills and more.

Visual SkillWhat Is ItExample
Fixationbeing able to hold focus on one main targetfinding an object and maintain eye contact with it
Pursuit (Moving Targets)being able to focus and follow moving targets without moving one’s headwatching a ball through the air
Saccades (Jumping)being able to jump from one object to anotherreading; you usually read one to three words at a time and then move on to the next set of words
Accommodation (Eye Focusin)being able to focus light that enters the eyes seeing an image that’s close to you then looking at an object far away right away
Binocular (Eye Teaming) coordinating both your eyes together as an object is moved from far to near and vice versa watching a moving target come close and moving far away

If you have trouble focusing on objects or have recently been in an accident that have impaired your visual skills, a FVA and Vision Therapy might be an option for you. During vision therapy, you are given the opportunity to improve these visual skills.

If your visual skills are adequate, you can actually improve them further! This is especially applicable if you play competitive sports. Many activities in vision therapy are directly applicable to sports such as basketball, volleyball, football and soccer. It can improve your reaction time, hand eye coordination, and visualization. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out we will be more than happy to provide you with more information.

Dr. Melody Tong

Optometrist | Vision Therapy

T 604 260 1166
E drmelody@helloeyelab.com