Recent news on the results of the LASIK procedure that Dan Uggla underwent to treat his astigmatism sound promising. He’s reporting that his vision is 20/15 and he is now busy learning to hit with his new vision.
There are several hurdles he’ll have to clear, but hopefully it won’t take that long.
1. Dryness: The cornea tends to dry out more after LASIK for the first few months. He will have to make sure he uses plenty of artificial tears.
2. The dryness leads to haze or glare in the vision. People will talk about how their vision fluctuates, develops a general haze, and may notice rings or halos around lights at night.
3. Increased light sensitivity: Most people complain of increased light sensitivity for the first couple of months after LASIK and need to wear sunglasses. In Dan’s case, he’ll want to make sure he’s wearing non-polarized lenses so that he can see the spin of the ball better.
4. Changes in visual perception: Looking through eyes with astigmatism distorts the image of the ball. After surgery, he’s seeing a clearer ball but the image size is different. Probably a little bigger. This will cause him to pull the ball more when hitting.
Most people adapt to these new issues after a couple of months. Athletes tend to have a little more hyper-sensitive vision, so we would hope Dan will that adjustment even quicker.
This story is also a great example on how athletes’ vision is not static and can continue to change throughout one’s career. The best time to test and address any visual issues is couple of months before the season starts. Dan started noticing changes with his vision before spring training but decided to wait. His hitting struggled, he hit crisis mode and decided to make this drastic step mid-season.
4 out of 10 athletes won’t make it to the pros because their vision interrupts their athletic success. Dan had the good fortune to have great vision until it changed most recently. Athletes whose vision change several times a year for many years have considerable more trouble fine tuning their eye hand coordination and reaction time.
Another great reason to get your athletes to the eye doctor’s office at an early age and return often.
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