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Sports vision testing helps athletes determine how well their eyes perform. These tests go beyond standard eye tests that only evaluate the ability to see letters and objects clearly on a standard eye chart. Sports vision testing takes eyesight evaluation one step further, which is vital to overall athletic training as well as specifically enhancing visual function.

While sports vision testing can vary greatly depending on an athlete’s specific needs, in general, sports vision testing can be beneficial for assessing athletic abilities associated with hand-eye coordination, eye tracking, and depth perception. If you are a local athlete looking to improve your performance, Dr. Wallace can help.

Sports Vision Training Enhances Athletic Performance

Our Houston optometrist offers several different vision tests for assessing athletic performance and capabilities. The first test is the classic Snellen Eye Chart. Patients are asked to read lettering on a standard eye chart that is placed 20 feet away. You must identify the letters along the lines of increasingly smaller sizes until the letters can no longer be identified. Usually the 20/20 line is the fourth from the bottom; if you can correctly read this line, you have 20/20 vision. If you can read the smallest line, then you have 20/15 vision. This basic eye test is very important for identifying an athlete’s visual acuity.

While correcting visual acuity can seem like an obvious step, some athletes are unaware that they suffer from an undetected refractive error. Refractive errors are any number of different size and shape abnormalities that affect the eye’s ability to focus light on the retina, affecting vision. Depending on your athletic goals, you may wish to undergo a vision correction procedure like LASIK, which could eliminate the need for glasses and contacts.

Contrast sensitivity is also important for athletic performance. During a contrast sensitivity test, you will be asked to identify the orientation of parallel gray stripes against backgrounds of various colors. The backgrounds gradually begin to match the shades of the stripes. Low contrast sensitivity, especially in low-light conditions, will make it more difficult to track objects. A variety of solutions can be effective for addressing contrast sensitivity concerns. These solutions include wearing eyeglasses with a special lens tint to increase visibility, depending on your vision needs.

Ocular alignment tests, like the Hirschberg test, evaluate how well both eyes work together. Alignment problems are detected by analyzing specific points on the cornea where reflections occur. Dr. Wallace also recommends eye dominance tests. Dominance is determined by focusing on an object as it moves closers; when one eye diverges or loses focus, this means that the other eye is dominant. If one eye loses focus too soon, you may be suffering from binocularity, a condition where both eyes struggle to work together to manage depth perception and visual coordination.

Athletic performance is not only enhanced in the gym; it also requires excellent visual processing speed and hand-eye coordination. Contact our local optometrist to learn more about the benefits of sports vision training and to schedule your sports vision test today.

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Dr. Crosby Wallace  received his Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from The University of Texas, Masters Degree in Public Health from The University Of Texas and also received his Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Houston College of Optometry. Dr Wallace is licensed as an Optometrist / Glaucoma Specialist by the Texas Board Of Optometry. 

Dr Wallace was an Optometry intern the United States Navy where he received a letter of Commendation for outstanding performance of duty from the Commanding Officer, Naval Medical Clinic. 

"You consistently demonstrated outstanding clinical skills and knowledge as assisted in the care and treatment of military beneficiaries. Your devotion to your profession and your patients was demonstrated through numerous patient expressions of satisfaction with the thoroughness and quality of care you rendered. It gives me great pleasure to extend my sincere appreciation for a job "well done" and wish you continued success in all your future endeavors". - R L Finke, Captain, Medical Service Corps, United States Navy

Dr. Tihomira Petkova is a therapeutic optometrist and optometric glaucoma specialist practicing in Humble, Texas

Dr.PetkovaDr. Tihomira Petkova received her Doctor of Optometry and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Houston College of Optometry in 2012. She gained extensive experience in the diagnoses and treatment of ocular diseases during her externships and practice at the University Eye Institute, Good Neighbor Clinic and La Nueva Casa de Amigos Health Center and practicing at TSO. Dr. Petkova is certified by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry and the Texas state Optometry Board. As a therapeutic optometrist she is actively involved with the management of dry eyes, ocular infections and allergies. She is also an optometric glaucoma specialist who has gained most of her clinical experience in Houston while diagnosing and managing diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age related macular degeneration. She also co- manages LASIK and Cataract surgery patients with local ophthalmologists.
As a scientist Dr. Petkova seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in retinal development and optic nerve regeneration and has completed post-doctoral fellowships at Weill Cornell Medical College and Baylor Medical College. She has presented her work at multiple international research conferences and is a published author of research articles and a book chapter. For her contributions to vision research Dr. Petkova has received multiple rewards amongst which most notably are the American Optometric Foundation Ezel Fellowship and Fight for Sight Foundation Fellowship.
Dr. Petkova’s primary focus in patient care is is always clear communication with each patient and providing comprehensive eye care to patients of all ages.
Dr. Petkova lives in Houston with her husband and daughter she is an avid cyclist, an amateur artesian bread baker and a supporter of the Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Symphony. She is fluent in Bulgarian, proficient in Russian and has knowledge of medical Spanish

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