Health & Medical

Can I Still Play Lawn Bowling After Cataract Surgery?

Lawn Bowling

You can still play lawn bowling after cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is undoubtedly a life-changing opportunity for its patients to regain a clearer vision.

However, now that you may be in your post-operative period, you could be asking how soon can I go back to my normal day-to-day activities. Especially those that are active or recreational.

Cataract Surgery and Recovery (My Experience)

Light physical activity can resume 2-3 weeks after the operation. This rest time is needed to help stabilize vision, as vision may fluctuate during the first few weeks postoperatively. 

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Two to three weeks can be a long time to wait to resume life back to normal, but it’s for a good reason. This post-operative period protects vision and ensures that the eyes heal appropriately before adding any excess strain. Lawn bowling requires heavy concentration. It also may cause extra stress on vision and requires interaction with unpredictable or uncontrolled environments. 

Lawn Bowling - Senior Living

 

What Aspects Of Lawn Bowling May Be Affected By Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is one of the most sensitive operations, with some of the most advanced technology we have in the health industry today. With a sport like lawn bowling, it is necessary to grasp an understanding of depth perception and distance. This allows the player throwing the ball to assess the environment accurately and gauge the angle to throw the ball.

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Here are some other factors of cataract surgery that may affect the sport of lawn bowling:

Understanding the Biased Ball

The main objective of lawn bowling is to use a biased ball. This is a unique ball that isn’t necessarily round as you would see a baseball or basketball. Instead, it curves due to its unsymmetrical nature. The player must interpret their position and purposefully roll the ball in an outwards manner. This allows a proper angle so that the ball hits its desired target accordingly.

This Sport is Played Almost Exclusively Outside

This is an issue with cataract surgery. The eyes are still susceptible to bright light and other hazards. It’s advisable to avoid activities where dirt or dust can kick up into the eyes. If unable to prevent these scenarios, use protective goggles as glasses do not provide enough protection. Foreign particles can still irritate the eyes. 

Strenuous Activity Could Cause Harm Post-Op

Although lawn bowling may seem like a light activity, it could quickly become a more massive undertaking than expected due to its outdoor nature. Either through longer than anticipated walks, more time spent outside, and the potential risk of injury in an uncontrolled environment

Generally, the playing spaces of lawn bowling are flat. However, there are still areas of potential risk that are very dangerous when recovering from cataract surgery. Until your physician or surgeon gives the okay, it is best to wait it out and not take any chances. 

Eye Protection is a Must

As mentioned before, protecting the eyes is an essential component of recovery, especially when considering the environment. When recovering from cataract surgery, it’s also necessary to protect the lenses from UV damage.

Have a discussion with your doctor to see what recommendations they have about sunglasses for your long term health. Also, ask what their expectations for when it is safe to have direct sunlight hit your eyes. Usually, after the post-operative period, doctors ask for UV protection glasses to warn outside for up to a year. 

What Are The Objectives of Lawn Bowling?

The main objective is to get the ball as close as possible to ‘the jack,’ a small white ball. Before the game starts, the jack is rolled onto the field to serve as the target. An experienced player will know how to angle the ball to reach the jack, while novices will experience a bit of a learning curve.

To start, the player should step slightly forward. Then, they should bend their legs slightly to roll the ball onto the grass with precision. This will successfully move the ball.

Lawn bowling may appear to be a simplistic game. But, long-time players know that it takes a great deal of focus on body movement and mind. This focus produces an accurate assumption of where the curved ball will turn. 

To practice, throw the ball several times on the ground. Note the unsymmetrical differences of the ball’s weight in hand. Recognizing each ball’s distinct differences will help the player understand the behavior of the ball when rolled. 

The scoring system varies for each tournament of lawn bowling. Typically played between 2-4 players or singles, the target number for shots is just under 25 shots. Each set is about nine ends when playing professionally. The competitor with the highest amount of shots wins. If playing in teams, the teams may consist of two to four players, alternating. 

Although this sport is in all areas of the world, it specifically gained popularity in Belgium and the Netherlands. As it gained traction in the United States and Europe, clubs develop their keeping score methods. Some have pre-printed cards to take a written record of scores. Others use a red cup or can to place chips where a player learns where and with whom they will be competing. 

How To Tell If My Bowls Are Biased? 

Initially, balls were made with weights inside them. However, as the sport has grown and evolved, they’re now manufactured with the ball’s bias.  

Bowls have specified symbols in four. The bowl’s side with a larger sign indicates that side opposite the bias. The side with a small mark and a smaller circle tell the bias’ side, and the ball will curve. 

Is Lawn Bowling Ever Done Indoors?

Generally, lawn bowling is an exclusively outdoor sport. But, some alternatives have recently have been created to be played indoors. Indoor versions may be safer as you ease back into lawn bowling after cataract surgery.

Short Mat Bowling

This sort of bowling is an extension of lawn bowling. It is not impacted by the weather restrictions of typical lawn bowling, so it may be played all year round. These mats have gain popularity because they can be rolled up and transported to functions at schools, colleges, and events as a versatile way to play the sport.

Tra Bowls

The word Tra means ‘hollow road‘. It’s different from other forms of lawn bowling either outside or short mat bowling that is flat. Tra Bowling is played on a path that is already curved, which allows for the unsymmetrical balls to bend significantly.

The Tra bowls are a bit different in the setup and the scoring. For tournaments set up within these perimeters, every shot that is taken that brings the ball closer to the jack receives a point. 

Can I Lawn Bowl In My Backyard? 

Lawn bowling can be practiced anywhere with relatively level terrain. It may be a good introduction to test out vision and depth perception after surgery. After the allotted time of rest, consider placing a billiard ball or the jack out in the yard to practice. Starting in the back yard will be a controlled environment to practice that is familiar. 

However, foreign particles, sun exposure, and risk of injury are still a concern. So, make sure it is only after the post-operative period of two to three weeks or when your surgeon gives the ‘okay’ to proceed with recreational, outdoor activities. 

The bottom line: it’s always better to play it safe, especially when it has to do with health. Take precautionary measures and rest up before stepping on the field. Preventative measures are much more comfortable and less painful than treatment or correction.

Ask your doctor when it’s all right to return to activities as usual, and with protective measures and sunglasses, enjoy the game, and all the great outdoors has to give.


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