Visual Info

Digby Eye Care Center Visual health reference

Caring for your eyes:

Sun exposure and tanning

Canada is full of outdoors enthusiasts. Whether relaxing, exercising or just working in the sun, there are some important factors to keep in mind. This includes those who enjoy indoor tanning beds especially.

Indoors or out, people are exposing themselves to ultraviolet (UV) rays to an unprecedented degree. With the increased penetration of UV rays in our atmosphere today, outdoor exposure is not so different from the UV-rich, indoor tanning beds that have been the subject of much debate.

This is true of cloudy days as much as sunny ones. Don’t forget that water and snow environments, as well as higher elevations, also demand UV protection.

Significant exposure to these UV rays can damage your retina, cornea and can cause cataracts or macular degeneration. Ensure that you wear UV-protected sunglasses or a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors for a prolonged time. Sterilized protective goggles are essential for any duration of indoor tanning. In any environment, closing your eyes is no protection from UV, and there is no substitute for proper UV-blocking eyewear.

Common Vision Problems

Eyeglasses and Contact lenses


Eyeglasses have come a long way over the years. As the general population continues to age, more and more people are wearing glasses. Eyeglasses themselves have become fashion accessories. The variety of lenses on the market, meanwhile, has made consumer awareness more important.


• Glass is more durable and resistant to scratches, but less impact resistant.
• Plastic lenses are thinner and lighter, more impact resistant, but scratch more easily.
• Polycarbonate is like plastic, but even more impact resistant.


• Unifocal
• Bifocal
• Invisible bifocals
• Progressive lenses
• Trifocal or multifocal
• High index (thinner lenses for strong prescriptions)
• Photochromatic or light sensitive
• Safety lenses
• Tinted lenses can be functional, fashionable, or both.
• Unifocal
• Sunglasses soften indoor or outdoor light. Lens tints can be uniform or gradient, lightening gradually from top to bottom.

Chemical coatings serve many purposes: anti-scratch coating minimizes lens abrasions; anti-reflective coating eliminates frustrating reflective glare; metallic or mirrored coating is popular with sunglasses; and UV coating blocks solar ultraviolet radiation.

Contact Lenses

EContact lenses have long been the corrective choice for people who prefer not to wear eyeglasses. For particularly active people, eyeglasses may not be the most appropriate solution.

These small plastic lenses require greater responsibility for those who wear them. Your Optometrist can specify for you the precise cleaning and care requirements of your contact lenses. They can also provide a complete fitting and consultation, allowing you to choose between a variety of contact lens styles. The provincial Medical Services Plan (MSP) does not provide coverage for contact lens therapy, although there are some medical exceptions. Your Optometrist will inform you of any charges that may apply to your contact lens-related visits.


• Soft contact lenses are easy to wear, particularly for the first-time wearer, coming in a range of disposable options from one day to one year—your Optometrist can recommend the best one for you.
• Rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses are more durable and may provide sharper vision, but since they are not water permeable, they may be more difficult to wear.
• Ortho-Keratology is a treatment for myopia involving a progression of rigid contacts designed to alter the shape of the cornea and eventually reduce the wearer’s nearsightedness.


• Extended wear lenses can be worn overnight and continuously for up to one month (with the latest lens materials available), but require more attentive care to prevent infection and related extended wear problems
• Disposable lenses are the most common, and are discarded after a specified length of time—reduced cleaning time, costs and healthier eyes are among the benefits.
• Toric lenses are specially curved lenses designed to correct astigmatism [link to Common vision problems > Astigmatism].
• There are a variety of other types, including coloured, novelty and UV-blocking lenses, and lenses for astigmatism and bifocal needs.

Visual Training

Digby Eye Care Center Visual training


Skill Trained: Visual Memory

Athletic Value: Visual memory is an essential skill for athletes in team sports, who must constantly see and record where teammates and opponents are on the field. Athletes with well-trained visual memory skills tend to be in the right place at the right time.

Perceptual Threshold Test

Skill Trained: Peripheral Awareness

Athletic Value: Peripheral awareness is the ability to know what’s happening on either side of you without turning your head. It’s an essential skill for athletes and can help them improve reaction speed, anticipation, field awareness, team play and creativity.


Skill Trained: Eye-Hand Coordination

Athletic Value: Eye-hand coordination is a crucial athletic skill involving how effective we are at translating what our eyes see into appropriate physical responses, such as anticipating the motion of a ball thrown our way so we can catch it.

Escaping Sheep

Skill Trained: Visual Reaction

Athletic Value: In any sport, the faster the reflexes and the better the eye-hand coordination, the better the performance.

Mental Quickness

Skill Trained: Peripheral Awareness

Athletic Value: Helps athletes to react faster than opponents.