Shooting For The Stars with Clear Vision

Another international event that will have us glued to the television is the Olympic and Paralympic Games. As always, we will cheer on our Australian athletes and hope they achieve their personal best.

Whatever the outcome we are proud of the young people who give so much time, energy and commitment to realising their potential. They are an inspiration to us all, and a reminder that accepting and rising to the challenge is a worthy goal.

We know our athletes train years on end for this moment, but have you ever wondered how much of a role vision plays in their performance? Well surely most types of sports require some degree of good vision whether it be:

  • Good eyesight,
  • 3D vision,
  • night vision,
  • peripheral vision,
  • underwater vision, or
  • distance estimation.

However, one sport stands out to me for requiring good eyesight at multiple distances, and that is shooting. You often hear the saying that a person has hawk or eagle vision, while this is impossible as these birds of prey see 3-4 times better than an average person, you do need pretty good vision to hit that bullseye while shooting.












Last week we had the pleasure of seeing the paralympian shooter Natalie Smith at our Eyecare Plus Roselands store. Dr Shereen Kassir, the optometrist her test her eyes said, “It was an absolute delight to meet her. She was able to demonstrate exactly the distances she required good vision at for shooting.”

Together with the help of our professional optometrists, optical dispensers, and Essilor Australia, we were able to design the most appropriate shooting lens for her to compete in the coming Rio Paralympics. Contrary to the common belief, it is not the target that is important to have in clear focus, but it is actually more important to have the rifle’s far sight in focus, which is in this case about 1 meter away. Thanks to Essilor Australia, Natalie was able to have the best quality lenses for shooting that are highly impact resistant with the latest anti-reflection technology of Crizal UV Forte lenses.

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Dr Shereen said, “Natalie is an inspiration for all our children to shoot for the stars and never let anything in life hold them back. She reminds me of one my favourite quotes that says ‘don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon’.”

She competes in several competitions, including both 10meter and 50 meter ranges. She took bronze in the women’s 10m air rifle at the London Paralympics; and more recently, in January, she came home from a Paralympic qualifier in Dubai with gold, silver and bronze. We wish Natalie all the best and we will be cheering her on, hoping for gold in Rio.



For more information on eye health and eye conditions or to find your local Eyecare Plus optometrist visit:

About optometrists:

Optometrists are experts in vision care who diagnose, manage and treat a wide range of vision problems, eye diseases and ocular conditions. By prescribing spectacles, contact lenses, vision aids and other treatments, optometrists help their patients maximise and retain good vision for life.

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