lens case reports
Testing a New Sport Tint Lens
PATRICK J. CAROLINE, FAAO, & MARK P. ANDRé, FAAO
In the late 1990s Professor Alan Reichow from
the Pacific University College of Optometry and Nike Vision began work on a series
of contact lenses to enhance visual performance during sporting activities. Today, the lenses are
co-marketed with Bausch & Lomb under the brand name Nike MaxSight. The lenses
are currently available in two sporting tints: Amber (Figure 1) for sports that
require acute object recognition such as baseball, tennis, soccer, hockey, etc.,
and grey-green (Figure 2) for sports that require acute contour recognition such
as golf and running.
Figure 1. The MaxSight amber tint for improved
How They Work
The lenses incorporate Nike's trademarked Light Architecture Technology
that controls both the quantity and quality of light reaching the eyes. The lenses
filter out most of the visual spectrum below 500nm (blue light) and provide improved
image clarity and definition by reducing haze and glare as well as reducing chromatic
aberration, according to the manufacturer. The lenses also provide light transmission
in peak areas of the visual spectrum for selective filtering of wavelengths to aid
in object and contour recognition.
the selective transmission of the lenses provides a perceived brightening effect
despite the overall reduction in light transmission.
Put to the Test
We conducted a study at Pacific University in which we fit four
myopic starters of the university baseball team in both clear and tinted MaxSight
lenses. Throughout games 1 through 19, the four starters wore clear contact lenses
with their maximum distance prescription. After game 19 their average batting average
was .262. Over the next 20 games the players wore MaxSight amber lenses, and after
game 40 their average batting average improved to .349 (a 30 percent improvement).
The remaining four starters (those not wearing contact lenses) had batting averages
that improved only 14 percent from the end of game 19 to the end of game 40.
Figure 2. The MaxSight grey-green tint for
improved contour recognition.
related to athletic performance are always plagued by physical, environmental and
psychological variables that are difficult to control and measure. Despite these
obstacles, studies such as the Pacific Baseball Study and individual case reports
such as Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, who had a .264 career batting average
with clear contact lenses and .320 with the amber MaxSight lenses, may provide some
insights into the lens' performance.
Ultimately, the subjective responses of individual athletes may
provide the most accurate assessment of the overall performance of the lenses. In
the case of the MaxSight lenses, many of our professional and amateur athletes report
improved focus and spatial recognition of objects with the amber lenses, and with
the grey-green they often report more comfortable vision under high luminance conditions
and improved recognition of surface contours such as a putting green.
Patrick Caroline is an associate
professor of optometry at Pacific University and is an assistant professor of ophthalmology
at the Oregon Health Sciences University. He is also a consultant to Paragon Vision
Sciences and SynergEyes, Inc. Mark André is an associate professor of optometry
at Pacific University. He is also a consultant for Alcon Labs, CooperVision and
Contact Lens Spectrum, Issue: July 2006