64% of glasses & lens wearers make do with poor eyesight during sport
One in six chose to avoid it all together
‘Eyesight prejudice’ is rife
Swimming, martial arts and rugby all lose out
Ultralase, the laser eye specialist, together with Olympic gold medallist, Jonathan Edwards, are working together to highlight how amateur sportspeople are compromising their performance or avoiding sport all-together because they’re afraid to wear glasses or contacts whilst competing.
The company conducted a study questioning 1,000 contact and glasses-wearing sportspeople across the UK to find out about attitudes towards eyesight and sporting performance.
100% of the people questioned admitted their performance was compromised in some way by their poor eyesight, with the majority, 64%, admitted to NOT wearing their glasses or lenses during sport.
A third of people (36%) said this caused them to misjudge distance, one in six said it caused coordination issues such as missing the ball, and a blundering 12% said they thought they’d scored a point when they hadn’t, or mistook a member of the opposition for one of their own team!
Even more damming is that the sixth of respondents – a potential 5.5 million adults* – who avoid sport completely because wearing glasses or contacts is too inconvenient and their eyesight isn’t good enough, with swimming topping the list, followed by martial arts, and in third place, rugby.
As if that’s no bad enough, people with perfect eyesight were asked how they viewed opponents or team mates who wore glasses or contacts while playing. More than a quarter (30%) admitted they would take advantage in some way; viewing them as potentially inferior and playing less rigorously, or conversely, being even more aggressive.
Overall, the vast majority, 92% of people, recognised that perfect eyesight is necessary for top class sporting performance, with 27% admitting if they had better eyesight themselves, they would be much more confident competing and likely to try new sports.
Olympic hero, Jonathan Edwards, who has had laser eye surgery himself, is supporting the campaign. He said: “While certain sports are more practical than others when it comes to wearing contacts or glasses, there’s no doubting that perfect eyesight can give you a huge advantage – no matter what sport you’re taking part in, or what level of ability.
“The research findings are fascinating, and while it’s encouraging people are braving the playing fields, athletic tracks and courts with poor eyesight, it’s sad to see that so many people are being put off all together. There are many options out there so people don’t have to discouraged from taking part just because of poor eyesight. I chose the laser eye surgery route.”
Jon Hughes, Ultralase director, said: “We treat a large number of sportspeople, from professional athletes to amateurs, all of whom want freedom from wearing glasses and lenses. Contact sports such as rugby or martial arts are particularly popular, as is anything involving water. But whatever your sport, laser treatment takes only a matter of minutes, but the benefits are life-long.”
With prices starting from £995 per eye, Ultralase has 31 clinics across the UK and Ireland. For more information visit www.ultralase.com or call 0800 9888 237.
* Figure based on research conducted by NOP on behalf of the College of Optometrists revealing two-thirds of adults in Britain currently wear glasses or contact lenses – equating to 33.3m adults.
For more information about Ultralase or the research findings, or to arrange an interview with Jonathan Edwards, or Mark Korolkiewicz, clinical services director, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0113 243 1117 and speak to Tori, Janine, Will or Tamarind.
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