Study of Visual Function in a Population of Elite Athletes

LLuïsa Quevedo

Marina Castañé i Ferran

Joan Solé

Genís Cardona i Torradeflot

*Corresponding author: Lluïsa Quevedo i Junyent

Original Language

Cite this article

Quevedo i Junyent, L., Castañé i Ferran, M., Solé i Fortó, J., & Cardona i Torradeflot, G. (2014). Study of Visual Function in a Population of Elite Athletes. Apunts. Educación Física y Deportes, 116, 69-79.



There is some controversy in sports optometry over whether the visual performance of athletes is better than that of the sedentary population. Most of the studies in this field have involved analysing the specific visual skills of each sport. In this paper we have evaluated the most basic aspects of visual function (anamnesis, visual acuity, refraction, accommodation, binocularity and hand-eye dominance) of a sample of 536 elite athletes aged 17.4 ± 3.7 years resident at the High Performance Centre in Sant Cugat to determine their level of development and compare it firstly with participants in the various sports studied and secondly with the sedentary population using previously published data. The results show that 28% of the athletes tested had visual and/or eye symptoms and 18.3% used optical neutralisation for sport. With respect to refraction 78.4% presented emmetropia with the average of the right eye at –0.15 ± 1.05 D. As for the near point of convergence and accommodative flexibility, 95.6% and 70.8% respectively exceeded the regulatory values. In some sports such as golf the hand-eye dominance percentages for the general population are reversed. The comparison between sports evidences the visual superiority of pentathletes above the rest. 

Keywords: Ocular Dominance, Types of Sports, Vision and Sport, Visual Examination, Visual Profile.

ISSN: 1577-4015

Received: August 20, 2013

Accepted: March 14, 2014

Published: April 1, 2014