So we’ve finalized a name and logo (thank you again, Heather) and we’ve officially opened our Sports Vision Center for business. To promote this new service we’ve done radio and print ads offering free sports vision screenings during June and we will probably extend that in to July.
Up until yesterday, our only patients were staff and family members. To the left, you see my daughter Jillian using the saccadic fixator to work on eye-hand coordination. She loves coming up to the office to work/play with the instruments we have. Secretly, I’m hoping it will rekindle her interest in sports after having a rough season in baseball. So I invite her up to the office when I have time between patients, and she enjoys the challenges of each test. We’ll see what happens there.
Our first real screening was yesterday afternoon. The patient was a 16 year old female going in to her junior year of high school. She had never had an eye exam, but her mom had heard my ad on the radio and decided to bring her in for a screening. Although she was almost 6 feet tall, she had always been considered klutzy and never enjoyed any success in sports. But her goal is to try to make the high school volleyball team in the fall.
A simple vision check on the eye chart revealed a lot. She was able to read 20/20 with her left eye, but struggled to read 20/40 letters with the right eye. So there goes depth perception and the ability to accurately judge and track a fast moving ball. And they wondered why she was so much better at catching soccer balls with her nose instead of her hands when she tried to play goalie!
Additional testing showed that her eyes tended to turn together too far inward when fixating on both near and far objects, which can make the brain think that objects are closer than they actually are. Indeed she said that she often didn’t pull the car up far enough in to parking spaces. And of course she always backs up the car by looking over her left shoulder instead of the right, because the right eye can’t see very well.
So both mom and daughter learned a lot about the importance of clear binocular vision by the time we were finished. They scheduled a full exam and hopefully we can get a contact lens on to that blurry right eye and balance out her vision. That should definitely improve a lot.
Since she’s getting a relatively late start on athletics, I’m really hoping they will consider getting some additional sports vision training in an effort to accelerate her progress. Training with us could help her see the whole court better and make quicker decisions.
And then there’s my daughter, Jillian. She’ll never be almost 6 feet tall, but you never know where this could take her!
Have a great weekend!