If you're a horse rider, whether you're competitive or simply do it for fun, it's important to keep your eyes healthy. Everyone should see their optometrist regularly, but frequent visits are even more important for riders. Here are 4 reasons you should book an appointment with your eye doctor.
You Need to See Hazards
Having bad eyesight isn't just a danger to you--it's a danger to your horse, too. You and your horse could both be fatally injured if you can't see the hazards ahead of you. This is especially important for riders who cross dangerous, uneven terrain, where even a small rock or pothole could end in disaster if missed. The same goes for being able to check that your equipment is secured to ensure you don't fall off your horse. Seeing an optometrist regularly is essential if you want to make sure your vision is in top condition. Remember that some visual problems (such as reduced field of vision) aren't always instantly noticeable, so you should get regular check ups even if you think your eyesight is fine.
The Sun Can Damage Your Eyes
Anyone who spends a lot of time on outdoor activity should get their eyes tested regularly, and horse riding is no exception. When you're outside riding during the day, UV radiation from the sun can damage your eyes. While sunlight is unlikely to do immediate damage, it can weaken your sight over time and lead to problems like macular degeneration and cataracts. Getting your eyes tested regularly ensures that any damage from sunlight is caught early enough to address.
Debris Can Damage Your Eyes
Sun isn't the only problem riders encounter. Riding on dirt can stir up a lot of dust and grit into the air. While your eyes are strong, your corneas can easily be scratched and damaged. While some injuries only cause discomfort and temporarily reduced vision, others can lead to irreparable damage if left untreated. If you're concerned that you might have an eye injury, a visit to the optometrist will help. Your eye doctor will be able to diagnose the issue and provide you with a treatment plan that will prevent permanent vision loss or damage.
You Can Get Special Glasses
If you've already been diagnosed with a vision problem but you struggle to wear your glasses while riding, your optometrist can prescribe you special equestrian glasses. These glasses are made to stay on your face and fit under your helmet, protecting your eyes from sunlight and debris. Even riders who don't need prescription lenses can benefit from equestrian sunglasses.