When playing baseball or any sport that requires precision and accuracy, having your best vision is crucial for achieving peak performance.
Pitchers need to aim at the umpire, batters need to swing at the right time, and catchers need to see everything as they unfold. For those with sight issues, whether they’re near-sighted, far-sighted or light-sensitive, wearing corrective eyewear is an absolute necessity.
Most baseball leagues allow players to wear glasses, contact lenses and other corrective eyewear, but which option is the best for you?
Let’s go over the many factors you and other players should consider before making a purchase.
Different Options And Risks
On average, most baseball games typically last 3 to 3 and a half, or sometimes even 4 hours.
That’s a considerable amount of time to be playing out on the field.
Anybody in the sun for that long will sweat, but baseball players who run, pitch and hit, they’re definitely going to be sweating a lot. As such, you’ll also want to ensure that anything and everything you’re wearing is comfortable.
Additionally, you’ll want to minimize any potential safety risks.
Glasses come in several different shapes, sizes and materials.
They’re the most varied option, making it easy to find a good fit. If you already wear glasses regularly, you may even consider using your everyday pair of glasses.
However, glasses can fall off, get dirty and even shatter during a baseball game, so you should be careful when using your daily pair.
Goggles are another option. They come with straps, which some may find uncomfortable as they tend to be tight.
Additionally, if it’s humid, the lenses may even fog up. You’ll worry less about goggles falling off, but you will still run the risk of them being shattered by a baseball moving at 90mph.
Your last option is contact lenses. Contact lenses go directly on your eye, and unless you rub your eyes, you won’t have to worry about them falling off your face. You also won’t have to worry about them shattering and impairing your vision.
Your only real risk is anything getting blown into your eye and irritating it, which may happen regardless of whether or not you’re wearing lenses.
However, not everyone is comfortable putting on contact lenses. Some may find it mildly difficult, while others find it nearly impossible to do.
Coverage And Size
Another thing you’ll want to consider, especially with glasses, is how much of your vision is actually covered by the lenses you’re wearing. Glasses come in different sizes, and some may provide you with better coverage than others.
This is not an issue with goggles and contact lenses as they completely cover your field of vision. Players should also note that bifocals have specific regions that cover seeing in near and far distances.
Prescription Glasses And Lenses
For those with blurry vision, nearsightedness and farsightedness, it’s important to get prescription lenses.
They aid your eyes in focusing light and creating a clear picture, and they also ensure that you’re able to judge distances correctly.
If you’re unable to tell how fast a ball is going or predict where it’s going to land, this may cost you and your team the game.
Sunglasses, Shades And Polarized Lenses
Another thing to consider is whether or not you should get colored, filtered, or polarized lenses.
For those with light sensitivity, wearing shades is not just a fashion choice; it may mean the difference between seeing the ball coming at them at all!
Mirrored lenses function similarly, but are not advisable as some leagues may ban them as the glare they create may affect other players, including your own teammates.
Besides the common gray and neutrally colored lenses, you can also get glasses with contrast-enhancing lenses.
These allow for certain colors to be more vibrant, making something like a white baseball much easier to see against a green field or blue sky.
These specialized lenses are also available for goggles and contact lenses.
You may also want to consider transition lenses which shift from clear lenses to filtered lenses when lighting conditions change, allowing you to play regardless of whether it’s cloudy or sunny.
A Matter Of Comfort
Regardless of which option you choose, each comes with their own set of risks and benefits.
What it comes down to, however, is how comfortable you are and if you feel you’re getting the best performance out of your chosen option.
Contact lenses generally carry the least risk, but you may find them difficult to use or even prohibitively expensive. The choice is ultimately yours.