What Are The Best Contact Lenses For Rugby?
When playing rugby, clear and focused vision is absolutely critical. Because so much of body coordination begins with what the eyes see, it's vital to make sure your eyesight is as good as it can possibly be. Any improvements that can be made to your eye sight will have a direct improvement on your performance on the field.
For rough sports like rugby contact lenses are a clearly superior alternative to eye glasses. But there are several factors that need to be understood before choosing the right lenses. Because of how different contact lenses are from eyeglasses, there are several features and functions unfamiliar to eyeglass wearers that need to be considered. There isn't one single contact lens for rugby players that's better than the rest. But because each lens and each person are different, you can narrow down your options and find the best lens for you based on your preferences and requirements.
The first thing to consider is wettability, the amount of tears on the surfaces of both the eyes and contact lenses. Each need to be kept at an ideal level of wetness to remain comfortable and functional. Different contacts require different levels of moisture, and different environments can effect how moist your eyes are at any given time. Discuss with your eye doctor which options available to you will keep you eyes hydrated best.
Replacement schedule and cleaning regiment are also important. Some lenses are designed to be used every day for several weeks or months before being disposed of. They will require daily cleaning, and delicate care when not being worn. Unfortunately, even the best cleaning solutions can remove all of the proteins and lipids that accumulate on the surface of the lens, and over time they may impede vision. For rugby players,daily disposable lenses are ideal. They are thrown out after a single use, and there's no need to clean or maintain them.
Unlike past contact lenses, modern contacts are very well suited for correcting astigmatism. They are designed to be slightly off balance, so they will naturally settle on your eye in the correct position to counter the astigmatism. Very precise fittings are required, with extra care taken to ensure they maintain proper orientation for all directions the eye can move. Rugby players move their heads and eyes quite a bit, and lenses that move too much can cause vision problems at inconvenient moments.
It's very important to make sure that contact lenses remain comfortable at all times. Uncomfortable contacts will be a distraction, and can affect an athlete’s performance. They could even cause damage to your eyes. Certain environments are more likely to cause discomfort for contact lens wearers, like dusty outdoor conditions, or indoor air conditioning. Lenses that have lower levels of surface friction, and are more wettable are much more likely to remain comfortable while in action.
Like most other types of sporting equipment, contacts need to fit well to perform well. The fit of a contact lens will effect comfort, vision, and even eye health. A poor fitting lens can cause irritation, and blurred vision. Lenses shouldn't be too tight, or too loose. If a lens moves too much on the eye, it can cause light scatter, which is most notable in brightly lit environments.
With this information, you can discuss with your eye care professional what options and features are most important to you and your rugby play style. Together you can choose a lens that fits your needs, and helps you perform better on the field.
Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 11 Sep 2016, Last modified: 17 Jul 2019