Most of us don’t make major bank on the gridiron — but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn a few things about life from those who do.
As we launch full steam into preseason professional football, let’s look at lessons of the game we can take away for life both on and off the field. Namely, consider what professional athletes have taught us all about LASIK and other permanent vision correction procedures.
An elite athlete relies on his or her vision on the field to gauge distances between himself and other people on the field, visually measure the depth of action, and decipher movement to make instant decisions. On the gridiron, a quarterback must locate his wide receiver on a crowded and bustling field, dodge an aggressive defensive line and throw the ball with laser precision to the receiver, all at once and all in the blink of an eye. Imagine doing that with poor 20/600 vision!
That was the situation legendary QB Troy Aikman faced when he opted for LASIK vision correction in 1998. After wearing contact lenses from the age of 14, the former Dallas Cowboys legend went from 20/600 unaided to 20/20 vision after LASIK.
It’s easy to see how better vision can translate into better performance, whether on the field or in your personal hobby shop. You can do that with visual aids or through permanent vision correction, but there are advantages to LASIK that we’ll address later.
Tiki Barber, former New York Giant, had LASIK in 2000 and reported 20/15 vision after surgery. Many credit his improved vision for helping him reach several important accomplishments in the second half of his decade-long career as a pro running back. In 2002, he had his best season, rushing more than 1,300 yards and scoring 11 rushing touchdowns. He retired from professional football in 2006 as part of the elite 10,000 Rushing Yards Club, and with three pro bowls and an NFC Championship under his belt.
For many athletes, it’s not just the physical improvement that moves their game forward. After all, 90 percent of the game is mental. When there’s one less weakness to take your eye off the ball — one less insecurity to mentally overcome — you’re more fully in the game. That focus can do wonders for your confidence and performance, no matter how you make your living.
Some prospective LASIK patients hesitate out of fear of surgery. We remind every patient no surgery is without some level of risk, however small. Not even a safe and effective procedure like LASIK. But visual aids, especially contacts, come with risks, too.
Eyeglasses can interfere with the ability to fully see everything that’s happening, as the frame blocks out a small part of an athlete’s field of vision. And contact lenses can present other hazards in a contact sport like football: from minor irritations like trapped dust, grit and sweat, to a damaged or slipped contact lens that could cause career-threatening eye damage.
In fact, CDC data shows that nearly 1 million doctors’ appointments and ER visits occur each year due eye infections, most of which are caused by the improper use of contacts.
Whether you’re the star receiver, armchair quarterback or a weekend warrior with a killer fantasy football lineup, odds are you can improve your game through better vision. Get started with a quick LASIK self-test to see if you might be a candidate, then make an appointment with an eye doctor at Missouri Eye Institute to learn more.
Missouri Eye Institute has helped thousands of patients attain freedom from glasses and contact lenses. Contact us at (800) 383-3831 to schedule a LASIK consultation or visit MissouriEye.com to learn more about our services.
Very professional and friendly. I have been here twice in the last two years and I would highly recommend them to anyone.
Staff was informative and caring. They explained what to expect at every step of the procedure. Lots of caring and information.
The entire staff at MEI was very kind and professional. I highly recommend them for your eye care. Very friendly!