Should You Wear Contact Lenses While Playing Sports?

The next time you’re enjoying an evening at the ballpark with seats close to home plate, glance over and see if the batter up has a look of fire in his eyes. When he first started in the minors, MLB Star Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals caused a few eyebrows to rise as he wore a pair of bright red contact lenses at the plate.

Bryce Harper Contacts

The red contacts weren’t put in to intimidate, but rather to lessen the glare of the sun. The 21-year-old slugger told a Washington Post reporter that his sports contacts, combined with the exercises he does to strengthen his eye muscles, have improved his ability to process the movement of the ball faster than ever before.

Harper isn’t the only major player to use sports lenses on the field; former New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes also wore red contact lenses while catching touchdowns. Broncos’ player Von Miller, who loves to model stylish eyeglasses when out on the town, also prefers wearing contacts during a game. (Side note: He even created a non-profit charity that helps to provide eye exams, glasses, contacts and Lasik eye surgery for underprivileged children!)

If the pros are wearing contact lenses to enhance their game, does that mean you should, too? By all means, yes! With more than half of all American adults requiring corrective lenses, many sports professionals choose to wear contacts to even the playing field. As an added benefit, contact lenses offered by Acuvue, like Oasys for Astigmatism and Advance Plus, also provide UV protection in order to shield the player’s cornea from harmful UV rays.

Contact Lenses vs Eyeglasses in Sports

Given the demand for sports-friendly eyeglasses and contacts, many contact lens companies market their products by pointing out some basic advantages over sports eyeglasses, including the following:

  • Better and more stable version – Contact lenses cover more of your natural field of vision than glasses do, especially as frames can easily slide and shift while running or bending over. These vision disturbances are eliminated when sporting contact lenses.
  • Less chance of injury – In rugged sports on the field, track and in the water, eyeglasses are in constant danger of being broken, and this accidental mishap can potentially cause an eye injury.
  • Better peripheral vision – Most sports require sharp peripheral vision, which is limited by eyeglass frames.
  • Unobstructed field of view – Contact lenses also provide a wider, more unobstructed field of view. This helps the individual wearing contacts to react faster to moving objects.
  • Anti-Fog – Have you ever worked up such a sweat that your eyeglass lenses fogged up? Contacts remain unaffected by body heat and perspiration.
  • Better compatibility with safety equipment – Contact lenses do not interfere with essential gear including helmets or goggles in the way that glasses do.


santonio-holmes-contactsEven if you prefer the comfort and reliability of eyeglasses, you might decide to give contacts a try when engaging in sports and other activities. Bryce Harper himself could not tolerate contact lenses when he tried them back in high school; however, with the advances in materials and technologies, Harper claims the contacts he wears today are a highly comfortable fit. New generations of silicone hydrogel contact lenses and disposable contacts provide a fresh alternative to glasses that allow plenty of oxygen to reach the eye and reduce dryness and irritability.

Wearing contact lenses during sports can offer a great advantage, and most professional athletes enjoy the freedom provided to them during workouts and in competition. If you engage in sports and other high-energy activities, talk to your eye doctor and determine which contact lenses might be best for you.

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