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Optometric trends in sports vision: Knowledge, utilization, and practitioner role expansion potential in 1994

1 May 1994


Background: The optometric discipline of sports vision is a relatively young and actively growing area which has spurred the interest of optometrists and sports organizations at all levels of athletics.

Methods: 473 optometrists were surveyed and compared to a similar survey sent to 100 optometrists in 1980, 1983, and the same 473 in 1987-88. Also, 290 college and 108 professional teams were surveyed.

Results: Optometrists felt there were more opportunities available in sports vision. Contact lenses are preferred over spectacles for most general sports, and optometrists usually consider the specific visual demands of the athlete when providing services. Vision therapy was reported to be used in nearly half the practices surveyed. College and professional team results suggest a broader acceptance and utilization of sports vision services.

Conclusions: Since the establishment of the American Optometric Association Sports Vision Section (AOA-SVS) seventeen years ago, advances have been made in utilization and acceptance worldwide. The results of this survey, however, show that there. is still an unmet need for vision care and screening services at both the collegiate and professional levels.


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