Eye Loss and Sports

Eye Loss & Sports.

There are advantages and disadvantages to adjusting to monocular vision with sports.

With the loss of binocular vision it is more difficult to judge the position of a moving ball. Games such as tennis and squash pose a challenge to people with one eye as the ball is moving relatively fast. This is not to say it can’t be done. There are people who play A grade squash and are able to remain competitive.

Many people with an artificial eye play ball sports.  You will need to practice and adjust to the new distance perception.  There is more concentration required to correctly identify where the ball is.  If you were passionate about sport and you are prepared to put in the work you will reclaim your place on the field.

If you were good at a sport before you lost an eye, chances are you can be good at it again.  If you were looking for a sport to take up now that you have one eye – here are a few that will have extra challenges for you.

Artificial Eyes and Sports

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Badminton
  • Cricket
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Volleyball

Some sports are not so dependent on distance perception and are therefore an easier choice for people with monocular vision.  There may be certain adjustments you might need to make in each area.  For example wearing a set of quality goggles while swimming helps protect you from accidentally losing your prosthetic eye in the water.

Sports where you have an advantage

There are sports, such as the target sports like snooker, archery and shooting, where an artificial eye gives you an advantage.  You don’t have to close one eye to line up a target.

The Australian championships for snooker were once played out between two people who both wear an artificial eye. You can read the victors (James Bonner) story here

Here is a list of sports that are generally a more comfortable choice for people with monocular vision.

  • Abseiling
  • Archery
  • Bowling
  • Canoeing
  • Croquet
  • Darts
  • Diving
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Mountain climbing
  • Rowing
  • Shooting
  • Skiing
  • Surfing
  • Snooker
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Water skiing

Tony Armenti has shared his story on this site.

Tony tells us that while ball sports may be more of a challenge; don’t use it as an excuse not to participate. Tony was told at a young age “You poor thing, you won’t be able to do this or that.”

“What I really want to say to you is don’t just dream the dream.  Get out there and LIVE the dream.  Having an artificial eye won’t stop you having a great life – only you can.”

You can read his full story here

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