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Best Contact Lenses for Tennis Players

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A female tennis player wearing a tennis outfit and holding a tennis racket, standing against a blue background

There are some myths surrounding the use of contact lenses during sports like they can get knocked out or they can damage your eye if you get hit. While it’s possible that a contact lens can be dislodged from your eye, it’s unlikely. And if you’re hit directly in the eye, contact lenses are safer than glasses because there is nothing external to break into the eye or your face.

If you’re a tennis player, you may be wondering what the best contact lenses for you to wear are. You might even be surprised at the number of benefits they’ll give you versus wearing glasses. And these benefits can potentially improve your sports performance too.

Are Contact Lenses Good for Tennis?

When it comes to playing sports, contact lenses are actually an ideal way to correct your vision. Not everyone can wear contacts, though. There are options for durable eyeglasses which can withstand some of the abuse that comes with playing sports—even non-contact sports.

In particular, tennis players will notice many more benefits to wearing contacts versus eyeglasses. Some of the benefits of contact lenses include:

Peripheral Vision Improvement

Tennis is one of those sports where unobstructed and complete peripheral vision is critical. No matter what glasses you use, you’ll always have uncorrected spots in your peripheral vision. If you have a severe refractive error, this could be problematic because there will be spots where you may not be able to see at all.

Because of how contact lenses sit on your eye, you’ll have no blurry or blind spots in your peripheral vision.

Increased Field of View 

Depending on the style of frames you’re wearing determines how much of your field of view they block. Unfortunately, even if you have frames with thin edges, there will still be a small amount of your vision being blocked. Contact lenses will solve this issue entirely because there are no edges to block your view.

No Chance of “Fogging Up”

If you wear glasses, you know the struggle of lenses fogging up once you get moving and your body heats up. This is especially the case if there is a temperature change in the air. Contact lenses will prevent this from ever being an issue while you play tennis.

Minimize the Chance of Injury

Whenever there is the chance of something hitting your face, eyeglasses become a hazard. They could break and damage your eye or surrounding area if they get hit hard enough. Even if you’re using glasses designed to withstand the impact, there’s still a good chance of injury.

If you get hit directly in the eye with something while wearing contact lenses, you’ll still likely be injured. However, there’s a better chance of a more minor injury with nothing on your face to dig in or cut you.

No Interference With Equipment

Tennis players don’t wear helmets or anything like that on their faces. However, to help minimize sun glare, many wear hats or sun visors. It’s not typically a big deal to wear either of these with glasses in most cases. However, contacts enable you to wear your hat lower without interfering with your eyewear.

A pair of contact lenses sitting inside of a contact lens case that's white and blue

Best Type of Contact Lens for Tennis Players

Some contact lenses are better suited for a tennis player. Here are three good options for you to consider:

Daily Disposables

Typically, daily disposables are a type of soft contact lens. The significant difference is that they are designed to be used for one day only. They are arguably one of the better lenses to use in most cases because they minimize the chances of contaminating the eye. They also reduce irritation because there will be no buildup on them.

Soft Contact Lenses

These lenses come in several varieties that range from being able to wear them 24/7 for a certain length of time to taking them out every night for a predetermined number of days. They are made from soft plastics and typically need the least time to get used to.

Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP)

Depending on how RGP lenses feel in your eye, these can be an excellent choice for sports players. They typically offer better vision compared to soft lenses. However, they aren’t without disadvantages for sports. RGP lenses are knocked out easier, and it’s possible to scratch or break them.

Making the Right Choice for You

At 20/20 Vision Associates Optometry, one of our specialties is sports vision enhancement. Part of ensuring you have the best vision possible to aid in sports performance is making sure you have the proper eyewear.

If you’re getting more serious about sports and wondering what the best contact lenses are, give us a shout. Our knowledgeable staff is happy to review your options with you and answer all your questions.

Written by Dr. Cheryl Everitt

Cheryl M. Everitt, OD, received her Doctor of Optometry degree from the Southern California College of Optometry in Fullerton, California in 1994. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from California State University, Fullerton. Dr. Everitt takes a special interest in treating patients with a variety of difficult eye conditions, such as chronic headaches and migraines. Dr. Everitt has been a conference speaker on topics ranging from contact lenses to practice management to trigeminal dysphoria. She has also participated in a mobile eye clinic in Riverside, and medical missions to Mexico. Dr. Everitt is one of the original founders of 20/20 Vision Associates Optometry and has practiced for 25 years. She was an associate research scientist for 4 years prior to becoming an optometrist. She is also an active member of her church.
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