Difficulty in hitting a curve ball may stem from the eye’s inability to track it properly. Underlying this theory is the fact that the middle portion of the retina responsible for sharp central vision (the fovea) is densely packed with cells while the periphery is composed of loosely packed cells. During the first third of the curveball’s trip to the plate, the fovea picks up the ball. Then, the batter switches to his peripheral vision, which isn’t able to track ball movement as clearly. It is during this transition that the ball seems to curve. Finally, as the ball nears the plate and the batter reverts to central vision, the ball seems to “fall off the table,” completing the illusion.
If you plan to attend some games this baseball season, you’ll frequently see highly experienced players missing balls. Seeing clearly is critical for high-priced players in any sport. Whether you’re an accountant, a manager, or a painter, clear vision helps you get your work done. Please call to schedule a routine eye examination that includes visual acuity and refraction testing and screening for glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal diseases. We carry eyewear to suit all tastes and occupations.
P.S. When batters facing curveballs return to their central vision after seeing the ball with their peripheral vision, the ball seems to be in a different location than expected, which contributes to the perception that the ball has suddenly changed positions.