By Steve Roberts
Contact lenses for sport worn only while sleeping could be the solution for South Korean archer Im Dong-hyun who has proved himself to be one of the best bowmen in the world despite being very short-sighted (known as myopia). Im suffers from strong myopia but refuses to wear corrective lenses when he shoots as they make him uncomfortable. "I don't have any problem or difficulty when I shoot, so I don't wear glasses. The target looks somewhat unclear, but it's not much of an inconvenience," Im told Reuters. The 26-year-old, who won gold in the team event in Athens and Beijing, has learned to "feel" the shot to such an extent he spurned offers of laser surgery to correct his vision.
This is where ortho-k corrective contact lenses for sport could offer Im a new treatment for his myopia. The lenses gently flatten the surface of the eyes during sleep using just the mild pressure of closed eyelids but this is sufficient to correct the focusing distance and ensure light entering the eyes lands directly on the retina rather than in front of it. The correction lasts for over 24 hours so the wearer enjoys perfect natural vision all day long until the lenses are reinserted at night. Up to now, the former world number one and double Olympic gold medallist has endeavoured to compensate for his poor vision with an amazing consistency, reproducing the same drawing action over and over again in training to imprint it into muscle memory.
However, Im has slipped to number two in the world behind American Brady Ellison who he says has benefitted from the training of South Korean Lee Ki-sik, the U.S. team coach since 2006. "I think he has been taught systematically, including basic skills, since he met a Korean coach. I believe he has good 'feel' as an archer now." While South Korean men have dominated the team archery event, winning gold in Sydney, Athens and Beijing, the individual title has always eluded them, an omission that Im hopes to change in London this summer. Despite his extraordinary technique honed over years of intensive training, it could be that ortho-k corrective contact lenses for sport would help him achieve the further small improvement required to ensure he can stand on top of the medal-winning podium at the London Olympics.
Check if you are suitable for overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses for sport.