Kristine Dalton is an Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry & Vision Science. She created the Vision & Motor Performance Lab in 2013 and the Sports Vision Clinic in 2014.
Download the poster (.pdf) which was originally shared at the American Academy of Optometry annual meeting in 2014.
Visual characteristics of varsity athletes
Kristine Dalton1, Michael Cinelli2, S. Khizer Khaderi3, Amy Willms1
1VAMP Lab, School of Optometry & Vision Science, University of Waterloo, Canada
2Kinesiology & Physical Education, Wilfred Laurier University, Canada
3Ophthalmology, UC Davis Health System, USA
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the results of a vision screening program for varsity athletes at the University of Waterloo (UW). Vision screenings are part of a 4-step sports vision program conducted with UW Warrior athletics and are used to identify vision problems that require further examination. The complete program includes vision screenings, full eye exams, sports vision assessments and vision training.
Methods: Vision screenings were conducted over 4 days at UW. Screenings consisted of: a brief history questionnaire, logMAR visual acuity (VA), contrast sensitivity (CS), autorefraction, binocular vision (BV), stereopsis, colour vision (CV), eye-hand (EH) and eye-foot (EF) visual-motor reaction times (RT), coincidence anticipation (CA), King-Devick concussion test (KD), balance and ocular health. Athletes passed (current eye exam, no vision problems) or failed (outdated eye exam and/or vision problems) based on their results.
Results: 79 athletes from 17 different sports participated in the screenings. 34 passed and were offered training; 45 failed and required a full eye exam before training. 27 had outdated eye exams (>2yrs), 5 had no eye exam. 36 reported vision symptoms everyday, 29 reported vision symptoms in sport. VA and CS were normal (OU-VA = -0.09±0.12, Range: 0.42 to -0.28; OU-CS = 1.78±0.16, Range: 1.05 to 2.20). Mean refractive error was OD: -0.47D±-0.58Dx110, OS: -0.47D±-0.61Dx79. BV was abnormal in 1 athlete but stereopsis (28.7±12.9sec) was normal overall. Ocular health was normal in all athletes, but 1 CV defect was found. EH-RT, EF-RT, CA, KD and balance results appeared to be within normal limits.
Conclusions: Over half of the varsity athletes examined in this program (56%) failed their vision screening. Outdated eye exams (34%) and visual symptoms (36-46%) were the most common reasons for failing. In addition to identifying athletes in need of full eye exams, this vision screening program allowed for the collection of a large amount of normative data on sport-specific visual function tests. This data can now be used to help determine population norms on these tests for future use.