Sports and Contact Lens Wear

Sports Contact Lenses

Whatever sport or physical activity you choose, don’t let poor eye sight limit your involvement. If you want the edge over your opponents, contact lenses could be the answer. By providing the best of vision correction, contact lenses can help you achieve optimum eyesight. This allows you to enjoy a variety of sporting and leisure activities.

Whether improving poor eyesight, correcting a small astigmatism or adjusting short or long sight in just one eye, contact lenses can be beneficial from everything to daily tasks to actively participating in sports.

Advantages of wearing contact lenses for sporting activities

Wider Field of View

As opposed to spectacles, contact lenses provide all round vision as well as better peripheral vision. This vision is taken for granted by people who do not require corrective lenses.

Weather conditions

Contact lenses do not mist up or get wet, thus there is no interference with sporting activities. Contacts can also be worn under goggles, masks or helmets.


There is less risk of dislodging a contact lens than there is of dislodging spectacle frames from the face. In addition, if a contact lens is dislodged, the financial loss of this is much lower than if a spectacle frame becomes damaged, broken or lost.

Less minification / magnification effects

With contact lenses, all dimensions are real. This means the images you see are not altered in shape or size. The size of the viewed objects is also more constant.

Depth Perception

Contact lenses provide more stable vision and better depth perception due to less magnification difference between the eyes.

No Reflections

Contact lenses eliminate reflections that can be found on a spectacle lens surface.

Fewer Distortions

Contact lenses move with the eyes. This means the centre of the lens is always in line with the centre of the eye, unlike glasses.

Types of contact lenses for sport

For the majority of sport activities, you’ll find Daily disposable soft contact lenses have many advantages. In addition to being ideal for occasional use, daily contact lenses are relatively inexpensive to replace and can be thrown away after use. This means no cleaning solution is required, making them hassle free too.

Brands like Acuvue are contact lenses with UV filters to protect your eyes when playing outdoor sports. Protection against harmful UV Rays which can damage the eye.

“Physically active individuals benefit from optimal vision, comfort, and safety that contact lens wear provides.”

However while this is largely the case, when deciding on the best type of contact lens for your chosen activity, there are a number of factors which need to be taken into consideration. This includes:

Duration of activity

For endurance events such as mountaineering, ocean racing and rally driving or in environments where lens handling is impractical, contact lenses approved for extended wear may be advised. In cases like this, recommends that highly oxygen-permeable silicone hydrogel contact lenses should be worn such as Air Optix or Acuvue Oasys.

Environment of activity

Some sports are played in dirty environments which increases the potential for lens contamination and handling problems. Remember that you should not use contact lenses for swimming or water sports unless you wear tight-fitting goggles over the top. If reusable contact lenses are worn, they should be discarded if they accidentally come into contact with water. Daily disposable contact lenses may therefore be a better choice for swimmers.

Physical demands of the sport

How many rugby players have you seen on the pitch wearing spectacles? High contact sports are all about body contact and rough tackling, which means spectacles versus contact lenses are a no brainer.

With a vigorous sport like running, wearing spectacles will most definitely mean you are likely to have to keep pushing them up on your nose every other second.

Ball games such as basketball, netball and volleyball require a 360 degree field of vision at all times. Unlike glasses which restrict your peripheral vision, contact lenses help you keep everything in sight.

Also Racquet games such as tennis, badminton or squash would be so much smoother if you did not have to worry about glasses falling off and getting broken every time you reached for a shot.

Certain sports are restricted by regulation. For instance in some sports, such as rugby, glasses are not allowed whereas in amateur boxing, neither glasses nor contact lenses can be worn. On the other hand in karate, soft lenses are the only contact lenses of choice. Protective eye wear is also either mandatory or recommended for some sports, such as squash.

Whatever the reason, always discuss your options with an eye care professional. They will carefully examine your eyes to find the best solution for your individual needs.