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Optical accuracy: Study of commercially available non-prescription golf sun eyewear

1 May 2003


Background: Visual benefits from sun eyewear are well documented, however golf has been a sport slow to embrace the use of sun eyewear. This study subjectively and objectively investigated the amount of induced prism in four popular brands of commercially available golf sun eyewear.

Methods: 40 subjects evaluated the amount of perceived induced prism in four pairs of golf sun eyewear under monocular and binocular conditions in both primary gaze and 30 degrees lateral gaze using a golf ball on a putting green. Prismatic deviation for each eyewear was also measured objectively in primary gaze and 30 degrees lateral gaze using a custom-built laser headform.

Results: Average prismatic deviation as reported by the subjects was found to be significant from zero in many of the gaze positions. Of the 12 possible combinations of gaze position and deviation directions, the Bolle eyewear had significant prismatic jump in 6, the NYX eyewear in 4, and the Nike and Oakley eyewear both in 2. Objectively in primary gaze, using a ranking system, the Nike eyewear ranked highest, the NYX ranked second and the Oakley and Bolle ranked lowest. In 30 degree lateral gaze the Nike eyewear ranked highest, the Oakley eyewear ranked second, the NYX eyewear ranked third, and the Bolle eyewear ranked lowest.

Conclusions: Sun eyewear can be used to both protect the eye and to enhance the golfer's game under bright conditions during the visually demanding game of golf. Significant amounts of prism were found in both subjective and objective measures. It may be beneficial to the golfer to use sun eyewear that induces the least amount of prismatic deviation, however the impact of this induced prism on overall golf performance should be assessed in future studies


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