Staying Healthy: Kicking Uncomfortable Vision Aside
Education and Advocacy Kaylyn Kyle, Canadian professional soccer player, Olympian, and vision ambassador, educates aspiring athletes on the importance of contact lens comfort, on and off the field.
Mediaplanet As a child, what got you into playing soccer?
Kaylyn Kyle: To be honest it was my dad who was a professional hockey player that made me to fall in love with sports and then I found soccer.
MP What has the journey been like, starting off in Saskatoon to where you are now?
KK: It has been phenomenal. I’ve met so many amazing people and visited so many beautiful places around the globe because of my sport. I’ve been extremely lucky and owe everything to everyone that has believed in me. Soccer has taken me abroad to play professionally in Europe. And, over the past few years, throughout the United States in the National Women’s Soccer League. I have been able to play at the Olympics in London where we brought home Canada’s first Team Sport Summer Olympic medal since 1936, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada this past summer — truly, it’s been incredible.
MP What were the downsides to having to wear glasses during games years ago compared to how far things have come with today’s amazing contact lenses?
KK: To be honest with you it was difficult. I’d constantly have to be adjusting my glasses on the field — something other kids wouldn’t have to deal with, which meant I wasn’t always focusing on my game. Even years later, when contact lenses first became available, I could only wear them for an hour or two before they started to irritate my eyes and I’d have to take them out.
I think nowadays it’s cool that I can tell kids I wear contact lenses and if they’re having trouble with their vision, or they are wearing glasses on the field, they have another option — just like I do.
It is not an issue any more with today’s contact lenses. The ones I wear offer me comfort all day. It feels like I’m wearing nothing on my eyes. So, as opposed to when I was younger, I’m able to focus completely on my game. Even off the field, I travel a lot — so it’s one less thing I have to worry about. They allow me to be the best I can be in any endeavor or goal in life I’m pursuing.
MP You frequently speak to hundreds of young athletes at soccer clinics across Canada. What advice do you give them regarding the significance of healthy, comfortable vision and overall vision health?
KK: I think it is super important for young athletes to have the opportunity to benefit from a comfortable contact lens. I think back to the beginning of my soccer experience and where we are today. I try and let the kids know they need to tell their parents if something doesn’t feel right with their contact lenses or if they have to use glasses like I did growing up.
In my own case, when I was playing with glasses, occasionally a soccer ball would hit me on the frame and my face would be cut. Unfortunately, at the time it was not an uncommon occurrence. I think nowadays it’s cool that I can tell kids I wear contact lenses and if they’re having trouble with their vision, or they are wearing glasses on the field, they have another option — just like I do.
MP What seems to resonate with young athletes the most when talking to them about their eye health and comfort?
KK: I think they like to know they are not in this alone — that a player like myself and others have had to go through the same experience they have. I think they appreciate it when we can pass along our knowledge of what we use ourselves when playing a game or going to a practice. I am lucky that I came across DAILIES TOTAL 1, I had been using another brand in the past and didn’t know how comfortable I could be in these lenses, all day. If you feel good, you play well. If you play well your team has a better shot to win. Being confident in your equipment and getting the best — from cleats to contact lenses — is an important part of your overall game.