Optimizing Sports Vision Performance: Ocular Nutrition and Contact Lenses

In this engaging episode of Defocus Media titled “Optimizing Sports Performance: Vision Wellness, Ocular Nutrition, and Contact Lenses with Dr. Gabriela Olivares,” host Dr. Darryl Glover welcomes back Dr. Gabriela Olivares, a celebrated figure in the eye care and fitness communities. The discussion focuses on the essential role of vision in sports and fitness, emphasizing the importance of ocular nutrition for optimal eye health. Dr. Gabriela Olivares shares her expertise on the connection between our consumption and our vision, highlighting the significance of hydration, balanced diets, and proper nutrition in maintaining healthy eyes. She explains how specific nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, are crucial for eye health and how staying hydrated can alleviate issues like dry eye, enhancing overall visual performance.

A key topic of discussion was the innovative ACUVUE® OASYS contact lenses. Dr. Olivares praised these lenses for their Hydraclear Plus Technology, which keeps lenses moist and comfortable, reducing dryness and irritation even in challenging environments. She also emphasized their UV protection feature, which adds a layer of defense against harmful sun rays, and their stable vision design, which is crucial for athletes engaging in rapid head movements.

In Partnership with Johnson and Johnson MedTech

Optimizing Sports Vision Performance: Ocular Nutrition and Contact Lenses

Macronutrients in Ocular Health

Dr. Olivares explained the three primary macronutrients essential for overall health and eye function:

  • Carbohydrates: Often misunderstood, carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the body. They are crucial for brain function and muscle activity. Athletes can get healthy carbs from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains rather than processed foods.
  • Proteins: These are the building blocks of the body, essential for muscle repair and growth. Good sources include fish, meat, dairy, eggs, and nuts.
  • Fats: Necessary for energy storage and cell function, healthy fats can be found in avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.

Micronutrients in Ocular Health

Micronutrients, although required in smaller quantities, are vital for maintaining eye health and overall well-being:

  • Vitamins: Essential for energy production and immune function. For eye health, vitamins A, C, and E are particularly important.
  • Minerals: Crucial for bone health, heart function, and metabolic processes. Important minerals include calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Practical Scenarios for Athletes

Dr. Olivares shared practical tips for prescribing contact lenses to athletes, stressing the need for daily disposables to minimize the risk of eye infections and maximize convenience. She also highlighted the importance of understanding each patient’s lifestyle to recommend the most suitable contact lens options, such as ACUVUE® OASYS, known for its stability and comfort during intense physical activities. The podcast included detailed discussions of specific cases to illustrate these points.

Scenario #1: ACUVUE® OASYS MAX 1-Day

A healthcare professional with an active lifestyle and young children. Dr. Olivares recommended ACUVUE® daily disposable lenses to accommodate their dynamic schedule and reduce the risk of contamination.


A professional athlete over 40 who enjoys reading, she suggested ACUVUE® OASYS MAX 1-Day MULTIFOCAL lenses for this presbyopic patient. These lenses, with their pupil-optimized design, provide clear vision at all distances.

The ACUVUE® OASYS MAX Multifocal lenses are uniquely designed with pupil-optimized technology. Unlike standard lenses, these are not one-size-fits-all; instead, they adapt to the size of the patient’s pupil. This customization ensures that the power profile changes based on whether the patient is myopic (younger, larger pupils) or hyperopic (older, smaller pupils). As a result, each lens is tailored to provide optimal vision at distance, intermediate, and near ranges, enhancing overall visual performance and comfort for presbyopic patients.

Courtesy of Johnson & Johnson MedTech

Scenario #3: ACUVUE® OASYS 1-DAY with HydraLuxe® Technology

A high school track athlete with astigmatism. Dr. Olivares recommended ACUVUE® OASYS 1-DAY with HydraLuxe® TECHNOLOGY for ASTIGMATISM lenses, emphasizing their Blink Stabilized® Design to ensure stable vision during rapid movements.

Astigmatism lenses must account for lid interaction to ensure stable vision. These lenses have two different powers, and if they rotate during blinking, it can lead to unstable vision. Therefore, rotational stability and resistance to shifting during rapid head or eye movements are crucial. There are four primary stabilization methods: Prism Ballast, which features a thin apex at the top and a thicker base at the bottom; Peri Ballast, which includes peripheral ramps and a thick inferior ballast at the bottom; Dual Thin Zone, which has more thickness in the middle and thinner areas at the top and bottom, allowing the lid to grab the lens; and Blink Stabilized® Design, which is unique to Johnson & Johnson lenses.

The Blink Stabilized® Design is particularly noteworthy because it aligns the lens with every blink using four stability zones, ensuring it remains correctly positioned and provides clear, stable vision. Unlike gravity-dependent designs, the Blink Stabilized® Design considers the natural movement of the eyelids, which do not meet centrally but rather move nasally and downward for the top lid and retract for the bottom lid. This design minimizes lid interaction, preventing the lens from shifting during rapid movements and ensuring consistent comfort.

Additionally, lenses with a low coefficient of friction (lubricity) allow smooth eyelid movement over the lens, enhancing all-day comfort and providing clear, stable vision during rapid movements and activities.

In conclusion, the podcast underscored the crucial role of sports vision and ocular health in optimizing athletic performance. Dr. Gabriela Olivares’s insights provide valuable guidance for eye care professionals aiming to enhance their patients’ vision health and overall well-being through advanced contact lens technology and proper ocular nutritional advice.

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