31.10.2008

Laser eye treatment for sports vision mooted

Laser eye treatment for sports vision mooted

The potentials of laser eye surgery for people who play a lot of sports has been discussed in a newspaper article.

A reader question to the Guardian queried how common it is for professional athletes to opt for surgery to correct any vision problems.

The columnist, Nicholas Peirce - lead physician for the English Institute of Sport - replied sportspeople are always looking for "a competitive advantage" and media coverage of laser treatment has brought it very much into the public consciousness.

Citing the example of Tiger Woods, who had the treatment himself, he added "bionic vision" was a myth but laser eye surgery does work for some people.

However, he went on to note some reasons why it was not suitable for some people.

"Assessment is essential: surgery is not suitable for those with thin corneas, extreme visual loss and eye disease," Mr Peirce wrote.

"And athletes in contact sports such as rugby must take special care, as there is an increased risk of rupture through the incision."

For those who do not fancy undergoing surgery or who have been assessed as not suited to a surgical procedure, contact lenses offer a level of vision that is far superior to that given by glasses.

by Emily Tait


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