From the mom of our most recent Vision Therapy grad

Comments from a mom whose daughter completed Vision Therapy in August ’17: “Thank you for treating Isabelle this past school year. I think that the vision therapy with Joanne and Leah has made a significant difference in Isabelle’s reading comprehension and reading speed. As well, Isabelle did not read fiction books or read for ‘fun’ before her vision therapy. Now, Isabelle reads almost daily for pure enjoyment. I cannot thank Dr. Donati enough for detecting Isabelle’s vision deficits and for the wonderful treatment Isabelle received from both Joanne and Leah. I would recommend visin therapy to anyone with similar vision and reading challenges. Kind regards, Joanne.”

From our most recent Vision Therapy graduate…

Here are what our most recent graduate has to say about her experience working with Vision Therapy:

  I couldn’t be more thankful for this program. I have always had bad vision and then I had a major concussion and my life turned with everyday routines of headaches, eye pains, issues driving, bright lights, etc. I came to see if those things had anything to do with my eyes due to having symptoms still 6 months later and than i heard of vision therapy. I’m not going to lie it sounded crazy when i first heard it, but now that i am finished my everyday life has completely changed and don’t know the last time i have had any of those symptoms after i was about 3-4 months in. Yes, i won’t lie it isn’t easy and you need to be ready to commit to the exercises to strengthen your eyes and putting in work at home everyday, but your end result is all worth it. The staff of the vision therapy make the hard work fun and help you through so much that can be struggles to you. Would 10/10 recommend to anyone who may qualify for the program because you won’t be disappointed.”

A. Sinton

Our First Vision Therapy Graduate

From our first Vision Therapy graduate, here are her comments about her experience: “Vision therapy has been an amazing experience. Before I started this program I got an instant headache with bright lights, which made school quite difficult. Looking between my school books and the board hurt my eyes and seeing long distance was very straining on my eyes. All of those issues have been resolved through various exercises and eye strenghtening activities. This program was definitely worth it, there has been many benefits and the staff at Barrie Vision Centre have been very pleasant to work with.” Elaina G.

Ray Ban sunglasses

Did you know-Ray Ban sunglasses are one of the most recognizable brands in our era. They actually got their start in the military. Bausch & Lomb developed them to help reduce nausea and vomiting for pilots flying at hight altitudes. The green tint provided glare protection without diminishing the pilot’s vision. And everyone has benefitted in the superior quality lenses!

Some Fun Facts

The following were taken from the magazine “Profitable Practice” (fall 2014):

-While it takes some time for most parts of your body to warm up to their full potential, your eyes are on their “A game” 24/7.
-Eyes heal quickly. With proper care, it only takes about 48 hours for the eye to repair a corneal scratch.
-Seeing is such a big part of everyday life that it requires about half of the brain to get involved.
-Doctors have yet to find a way to transplant an eyeball. The optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain is too sensitive to reconstruct successfully.

That pesky night glare…

A complaint that is becoming more common in my practice is trouble with night glare. Especially with the newer headlights (you know, the ones with the blue tint that seem 10 times brighter when they’re coming at you?), things seem to be worse. My night vision seems to be holding its own (I am in the 40+ club, which is the prime demographic for this). But I thought I would try an old solution anyway. I had my opticians put yellow-tinted lenses in a pair of glasses, and I wore them when I was driving in dark conditions. They did seem to attenuate the brightness of the oncoming headlights, without decreasing my clarity, or making things seem dark. So, they did not limit my vision in any way. The true impact of the lenses was shown to me through my daughter. She was suffering from a headache due to a blow to the head. This resulted in glare sensitivity, especially at night. I gave her the glasses to try, and she found an instant relief to the brightness. She even wore them to school for a few days to help with the glare from the fluorescents. Luckily, the headache has resolved, and she no longer wears them. This has shown me however that a yellow-tinted lens is a good option for those suffering from night glare. They may not get rid of it altogether, but they should make a driver more comfortable with their night driving. So, for anyone with this complaint, have heart. There is something that can be used to help with the glare.

Steps to Prevent Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when the structure of the central seeing part of the eye (the macula) starts to change and degrade. We can see yellowish specs called drusen, which when sufficient in number, can cause distortion and loss of acuity. In more advanced stages, there can be more generalized scarring, or at its worse, the development of blood vessels that eventually bleed and cause massive vision loss. The former is referred as “dry”, since there is no leakage or bleeding. Once fluid and blood is present, it is then categorized as wet. Unfortunately, we are limited in treatments. The only major developments have been for the wet form, where ocular injections of specific medications that help with the bleeding are done. Therefore, prevention is the best route to take. The following is taken from an article on p.13 of “Profitable Practice”, the Spring 2014 issue:
“1. Don’t smoke. Period.” Never mind lung cancer. The toxins in those cigarettes can make you up to 18x more likely to develop AMD.
“2. Eat plenty of dark, leafy green vegetables, such as raw spinach.” Blueberries and carrots are excellent to add to that as well.
“3. Take a multivitamin/multimineral supplement (…) unless your doctor advises otherwise.” Vitalux healthy eyes or Centrum Silver are 2 good options.
“4. If you already have AMD, ask your doctor about one of the AREDS formulations, such as Alcon I-Caps, B&L Ocuvite PreserVision (…)”. Vitalux is also an excellent option.
“5. Eat fish or take a fish oil supplement. (…)taking two enteric-coated fish oil capsules every day on days you don’t eat fish”. The optimal dosage is 2000mg daily, and an enteric coated capsule ensures that the oil is digested in the intestine, thus avoiding any fishy after-taste.
“6. Excercise regularly, and stay at at healthy weight.”
“7. Eat fruit and nuts daily.”
“8. Reduce refined carbohydrates.”
“9. Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.”
“10. Wear appropriate sunglasses outdoors to block UV and blue light that may cause eye damage.”
“11. Have regular eye examinations.”

Essentially, it boils down to what is good for the body will be good for the eyes. And just as we have our regular physicals and dental apointments, it’s important to keep up with eye examinations,as the earlier we find damage, the better the chances of keeping it under control.


Summer has come to an end, so it’s time to put the sunglasses away-right? Actually, there is a higher risk of uv exposure in the winter. Not only do the rays come from overhead, but the snow also reflects them back upwards. This gives us a double whammy, and puts the eyes at risk for uv burns, which we call snowblindness. Symptoms for this include sore, watery eyes, blurred vision and the feeling of having grit in the eye. This can last for several days before the eye heals itself. Lubracating drops and cold compresses can help with the irritation. Sometimes, your eye doctor can prescribe medicated drops (such as steroids) to reduce the inflammation. However, prevention is the best solution. So keep those sunglasses handy. A material that provides 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays (UV400) is ideal. Also, a polarized lens will help cut the glare from the multi-faceted reflections. If you’re skiing, a good set of goggles will be just as useful; just make sure you’re getting the proper protection. Also, a quality set will allow you to have unrestricted peripheral vision to avoid obstacles (and other skiiers) on the course. Enjoy the outdoors this winter, there’s lots that we can do. Just make sure that your eyes are protected to avoid any unwanted outcomes.

The Many Colours of Pink Eye.

“Pink eye” is a generalized term that is used to describe and eye that is irritated and red. There are many causes that can lead to this condition, and the treatments are just as varied. Infections are usually the standard designation for pink eye. A viral infection (the most infections) will usually cause the eye to be red, sore, with some tearing. Like a cold, these are self-limiting, and will usually resolve within a couple of weeks. Treatement is usually limited to lubricating drops, as other avenues will be ineffective. When the cause is from bacteria, then the eyes will produce a yellow-green mucus, and tend to be stuck shut in the morning. Here an antibiotic is prescribed to clear the eye. This usually clears up within a week with the treatment. Allergies will also cause some changes. Tearing and itchiness are the main symptoms, and usually tag along with stuffy noses and sneezing. They also tend to be seasonal. Anti-allergy drops will help to keep things in check until the offending plants quiet down. Another cause of red eye is iritis. This is an internal inflammation of the eye, which comes on as an aching eye, and light sensitivity. Steroid drops are necessary to quiet the eye back to its normal state. As you can see, “pink eye” is an umbrella term that can be used in many situations. The trick is to identify what is the source, so as to apply the appropriate therapy to get things back to normal.

Why get my eyes checked if my vision is fine?

Assessing someone’s vision is just a small part of a full eye exam. True, things may seem like they’re functionning well, but sometimes an underlying issue is waiting to take over. On top of visual assessment, we verify that the muscles and the nerves that control the eye are not limited in any way. This may help alleviate some headaches and fatigue if there’s an imbalance. We also make sure that the pupils react properly and equally to light stimulation. Any changes at this level may indicate a problem in the brain itself. Let’s not forget the eye health. Several diabetics and people with high blood pressure are asymptomatic, and only find out there’s an issue when we spot changes in the retina (the inside of the eye). They are immediately sent to their family doctor for prompt treatment, as things are headed in a bad direction. There are plenty of other diseases (eye tumour…) and structural abnormalities (retinal tear, anyone?) that can be found and taken care of before the eyesight is compromised. So, yes, even though the vision is still fine, it is to your advantage to have your eyes checked on a regular basis. This way, you can avoid heading from disaster to complete catastrophe. After all, you can’t go to the eyeball store to get a new set…