The Vision Care Institute™, LLC, Helps 2008 U.S. Olympic Hopefuls and Athletes See Gold Through Its New AchieveVision™ Program
New State-Of-The-Art Vision Program to Optimize Vision of U.S. Athletes
Jacksonville, FL – The Vision Care Institute™, LLC, a Johnson & Johnson company today announced it will offer its new AchieveVision™ Program to Olympic athletes and hopefuls. The program will assess and help optimize athletes’ visual skills in preparation for the upcoming Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Members of the men’s and women’s U.S. archery and soccer teams will be the first to use the AchieveVision™ Program.
Research suggests a strong correlation between peak performance and excellent visual skills, making an athlete’s eyesight one of the most important pieces of equipment they have. In fact, a study of professional baseball players found that they have visual skills that are significantly better than the general population.1 Despite this information, surprisingly few people, including elite athletes, have had a comprehensive eye exam to check the health of their eyes or to determine if they need vision correction. A survey conducted with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) found that less than half of current Olympic athletes and hopefuls received an eye exam within the last year, yet 87 percent believe vision plays an important role in being successful in their sport. Similarly, an additional study found that 25 percent of American adults had not had an eye exam within the last two years and shockingly, 35 percent of adults had never taken their child to an eye doctor.2
“What many people do not know is that vision is more than 20/20 – it includes visual skills that can be improved. As evidence grows supporting the connection between optimized vision and peak performance, especially for elite athletes, training programs for Olympic hopefuls are beginning to place more importance on the role of vision,” said Dr. Daniel Laby, assistant professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. “The AchieveVision™ Program will help athletes improve their vision by fine tuning their visual skills, particularly those most relevant to their sport.”
The first step in improving vision is regular eye exams, which are critical for everyone – not only elite athletes.
The AchieveVision™ Program
The AchieveVision™ Program is a customized, state-of-the-art visual skills assessment and improvement program designed to maximize each individual’s vision for his or her specific sport and lifestyle. The AchieveVision™ Program was developed with input from a council of experts, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, coaches, sports trainers and academics. Not only does the program assess maximum visual acuity (how well a person can potentially see on the 20/20 scale) but it also evaluates and helps optimize dynamic visual skills such as hand-eye coordination, peripheral vision and reaction time.
“In archery, my target is 70 meters away and I need to use the target’s colors to guide my aim. If I am slightly off in my aim, it can mean losing in competition, so clear vision and contrast sensitivity are key in being successful in this sport,” said Vic Wunderle, United States Olympic archer and silver medalist. “I always thought my vision was strong, but had never gone through comprehensive visual testing. The AchieveVision™ Program helped identify areas of my vision that I could train and optimize, which will benefit my performance both on and off the field.”
There are several tests used to determine an individual’s visual skills. The tests span from computer-based systems to assessments that can cause a person to work up a sweat. This is definitely not your typical eye exam! The AchieveVision™ Program tests visual skills such as visual acuity, hand-eye coordination, contrast sensitivity and depth perception, among others.
In addition to the AchieveVision™ Program, The Vision Care Institute™ will work with athletes and their eye doctors to provide the vision correction and contact lens fittings they may need. Through these efforts, The Vision Care Institute™ and Johnson & Johnson are committed to helping the United States 2008 Olympic hopefuls and athletes see gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and in their everyday lives.
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