Dr. Gary Jacobs, O.D.

Dr. Gary Jacobs, O.D. www.DrGaryJacobs.com || Your Vision is our Focus. Schedule an Appointment and learn about our office Eye Doctor in Oxnard, California [Ventura County]

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Sports Vision Skills You can Practice at Home

Methods of improving sports vision skills for optimum athletic performance will vary, depending on your sport.

For example, golfers need good hand-eye coordination, timing and depth perception to determine how and where a ball should be hit.

Visual memory is a crucial sports vision skill for team players who must make split-second decisions about their next move based on where they see people and objects situated on a field or court.

On the other hand, keen visual memory is not as important for bowlers, who operate in a comparatively static environment.

Eye-foot coordination is important for soccer and tennis players, while peripheral vision is crucial for basketball. Contrast sensitivity is a key vision skill for skiers, who must see every shadow in the snow before them so they know when to turn.

Eye Dominance, Focus Flexibility And Other Sports Vision Skills

Here are a few more basic sports vision skills, some that you can practice at home:

Focus Flexibility. This is the ability to change focus from a faraway object to a near one, or vice versa. If you are over age 40, you may have noticed that you are losing this ability (accommodation) and need reading glasses, multifocal eyeglasses or bifocal contact lenses to compensate.

You can't really improve your focus flexibility as successfully through vision training or eye exercises when loss of this skill is caused by presbyopia. However, everyone can practice focus flexibility by concentrating on switching focus between distant and near objects.

Quick Tip: Try frequently changing focus between your computer screen and a picture hanging on the wall across the room, or a scene outside the window. This not only helps your focus flexibility, but it also can relieve eye strain caused by extended time on the computer.

Visual Memory Game

How good is your visual memory? Start by randomly clicking on the above tiles. Try to remember images you see and where they are located. When you match up two identical images, they will stay visible on the screen. Work as fast as you can to match all duplicate images, then write down your time. Restart the game to see if you can improve.
Peripheral Awareness. This ability involves perceiving what's going on at either side of you without turning your head. Eye doctors test for peripheral vision loss by having you look straight ahead while lights flash at various angles off to the side.

Quick Tip: To improve this aspect of your vision for better sports performance, try looking at a busy scene with your head turned to one side (perhaps on TV or a computer screen, or on a sidewalk). Remember to practice from the left and from the right.

Dynamic Visual Acuity. Dynamic visual acuity enables you to see objects clearly when they are moving quickly. You may have 20/20 vision when sitting still and reading an eye chart. But when motion is involved, your visual acuity could be worse. In sports vision testing, you might be asked to view objects or words that move fast across a computer screen and then identify them before they disappear.

Quick Tip: For those who still have old-fashioned record players in the home, the American Optometric Association recommends a homemade way to improve dynamic visual acuity: Cut letters of different sizes out of a magazine, put them on the turntable and — at arm's length — identify them as they revolve. Use different speeds (33, 45 and 78 revolutions per minute, or rpm), and then progress to smaller letters if the test becomes too easy.

Depth Perception. This visual ability enables you to make spatial judgments, including how far away an object or person is from you. One test for this skill involves identifying objects or shapes that are in random, dot-patterned backgrounds.

Some of this ability depends strictly on physical characteristics. For example, spacing between the center of your two pupils (pupillary distance) is thought to play a major role in how well you see in three dimensions.

Quick Tip: Ever try to put the cap on a pen and miss? Practicing this skill at arm's length is one way to improve your depth perception. Another method is to hold a very small pebble or BB at arm's length and drop it into a drinking straw.

Color Vision. Your ability to detect different colors and shades is important in ball sports such as football.

In fact, having a color deficiency can pose extra problems for some athletes. The most common color deficiency is an inability to distinguish red from green, which means a reddish-brown football on a green field could be tough to see.

Color deficiency tests include cards with random dot patterns printed in a particular color, along with an object shown in a different color. If you can't view the object, you can't distinguish between the two colors.

Some tinted lenses enhance particular colors, such as yellow, by filtering other colors. Even if you're not color deficient, enhancing the color of a ball (such as a yellow tennis ball) could help you see it better, so you have more time to react to it. Performance-enhancing sports eyewear and contact lenses can be designed with different tints for specific sports.

Quick Tip: Of course, you can't really practice seeing in different colors if you are color deficient. But you may be able to find special glasses or contacts for color blindness from a limited number of eye doctors in the United States. These specially tinted lenses enhance differences between certain colors to help people with a color vision deficiency better distinguish an object from its background.

Hand and Eye Dominance. Understanding which eye dominates may help an athlete adopt better strategies for improving athletic performance.

Most athletes know they are either right-handed or left-handed, and they adjust body movements accordingly. But they may not realize that their dominant eye may process visual information more fully and accurately than their non-dominant eye.

Sophisticated tests can conclusively determine which eye is dominant. But if you want to try your own quick test, use both hands to form a small triangle between the thumbs and first knuckles of your forefingers.

Please click here to watch a video about how to find your dominant eye.

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As an example, knowing which eye dominates can help an athlete achieve better head and eye positioning to interpret fast action in sports such as basketball or baseball.

Some athletes are cross-dominant, meaning that a right-handed person is left-eye dominant or a left-handed person is right-eye dominant. This can be an advantage in some sports, but potentially a serious disadvantage in sports such as archery and target shooting where one side of the body is used to both aim and shoot.

Quick Tip: In target shooting, a dominant hand and dominant eye tend to work together much more efficiently when they are on the same side of the body. So if you have trouble hitting the target, cross dominance might be the reason. You may need to make adjustments such as switching the hand you usually use to hold your firearm to make sure you are able to view the target with your dominant eye.*

Bionic Eyes.........
Bionic Eye: Eye Implants and Surgery

Bionic Eyes.........

Bionic eye implants are beginning to restore sight to people blinded by retinitis pigmentosa and other eye diseases.



Have you considered purchasing cheap glasses online? Or maybe you've been tempted to buy cheap sunglasses at a mall kiosk...or cheap reading glasses at a discount store?

After all, why should you pay hundreds of dollars for prescription eyeglasses when cheap glasses look every bit as good, right?

As much as we all want to avoid spending hard-earned money unwisely, deals that seem too good to be true when buying glasses are no different than deals that sound too good to be true when buying anything else — you may save money up front, but the product often doesn't live up to your expectations.

And when it comes to eyewear, some cheap glasses can actually cause harm to your eyes that you're not even aware of.

Cheap Glasses: Buyer Beware

Being a wise eyewear consumer requires a little due diligence to understand factors that affect the quality and value of eyeglasses and sunglasses.

Here are 10 things to be aware of if you're considering cheap eyeglasses or sunglasses:

Man wearing a pair of broken eyeglasses that have been repaired with adhesive tape.
Frame durability is just one factor that separates cheap glasses from quality eyewear.
1. Know what's being cut to offer lower prices.

Online retailers that sell cheap eyeglasses and sunglasses often say they can offer low prices because they don't have the same expenses associated with a "brick-and-mortar" store, such as the high rent paid in retail shopping areas.

But what they often don't tell you is their lower prices come with a hidden cost — you no longer get the personalized attention and fitting expertise of a qualified optician. That's a huge part of the value equation.

Instead, you're on your own to select a frame and lenses for your cheap glasses and hope for the best.

2. Beware of claims of "same top quality."

Sellers of cheap eyeglasses and cheap sunglasses are quick to claim they are providing glasses of the "same top quality" as eyewear you purchase from your local eye care professional.

But how do they determine that?

The fact is, there are significant differences in the scratch resistance of different lenses and lens coatings, different levels of optical performance among different lens materials and brands, and different levels of comfort and durability among different frames — even among frames with the same brand name.

Also, many online retailers who sell cheap prescription glasses fabricate the lenses in their own optical labs rather than using a wholesale optical laboratory that specializes in providing this service to eye care professionals. And while this might help you get your cheap glasses quicker than eyewear purchased in an optical store, in some cases quality of the finished product may suffer.

3. A bigger selection often isn't a better selection — it's just more confusing.

Online retailers of cheap glasses point out that optical stores cannot match their vast virtual inventory of frames. This may be true. But how many of those hundreds or thousands of frames are a good fit for your head and face? And who will help you choose?

4. Virtual and home try-ons can't insure satisfaction.

If you're buying cheap glasses online, you often will have access to a "virtual try-on" feature — where you upload a forward-facing, closeup photo of yourself and you can then superimpose images of different frames on your face to see how they look.

Quality children's eyeglasses should include impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses and a durable, adjustable frame.
But while a virtual try-on can give you a rough idea of how you'll look wearing different frames, it can't tell you anything about how the frames will feel. It also can't demonstrate the detailing and workmanship of the frame.

Also, depending on the quality of the virtual try-on tool, the size of the eyewear might not be accurate — the frames might look larger or smaller than they actually are. And it's not unusual for the color of the actual frame to look noticeably different than the color shown online.

Even if an online retailer sends you a sample of frames to try on at home before you make your final purchase, you won't know whether the glasses will be too heavy after the prescription lenses are added...or how thick those lenses will be. This is especially important if you are sensitive to the weight of eyeglasses because you have sinus problems or delicate skin.

All these potential problems can be avoided by being fitted with glasses in person by a skilled optician.

5. Cheap sunglasses can do more harm than good.

Cheap sunglasses sometimes look nearly identical to premium quality sunglasses. They can even seem to provide equal performance in bright sunlight. But they also can be doing more harm than good.

Lens color and darkness are not indicators of how well your sunglasses protect your eyes from UV. The only way to know for sure is to ask your eye care professional.
The level of protection sunglasses provide to shield your eyes from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays has nothing to do with the color or darkness of the lenses. And it's impossible for you to feel how well your eyes are being protected from these damaging rays while you're wearing the sunglasses.

So it's possible for two different pairs of sunglasses to look (and even feel) the same, but one is providing a much better level of eye protection than the other.

Cheap sunglasses — even those labeled "polarized" and "100% UV protection" — often allow harmful violet ("near-UV") and blue light to pe*****te the eye and potentially cause damage over time.

Your eye care professional can explain which trusted brands of sunglass lenses offer the best protection from harmful rays and the preferred visible light transmittance for your outdoor activities and visual needs.

6. Cheap reading glasses can cause eyestrain — or worse.

Cheap reading glasses sold in discount stores can help you see more clearly up close if you're over age 40 and experiencing the normal age-related loss of focusing called presbyopia.

But it's easy to choose the wrong power, and the optical quality of cheap reading glasses typically is not as good as a customized pair of glasses for computer use and reading.

Also, cheap reading glasses often provide no protection from high-energy blue light emitted from computer screens and other digital devices. [Learn why blue light from digital devices may be harmful.]

7. Cheap eyeglass frames can cause skin irritation — or worse.

At first glance, some cheap eyeglass frames may look like more expensive frames. But often, they are made of low-grade materials that can cause skin irritation over time. Cheap plastic frames can get bleached by UV rays and the finish can roughen after a few months of wear. Cheap metal frames often contain nickel alloys that can cause skin irritation; others can discolor your skin.

Also (and more disturbing), cheap eyeglass frames and cheap sunglasses occasionally are recalled and removed from the market because they contain lead paint or other toxic substances.

8. Can you be sure sellers of cheap glasses will be around tomorrow?

Warranties on eyeglasses and sunglasses are only as good as the reliability of the retailer who provides them. Can you really trust an online start-up or mall kiosk to honor a warranty on their cheap glasses and sunglasses?

9. Does the "At this price, I'll buy two pair of glasses and still save money" argument make sense?

The bargain basement price of some cheap eyeglasses and sunglasses makes it tempting to buy several pairs. But does it really make sense to spend money on something as important as eyewear when there's a good chance it won't be durable enough to last more than a few months?

And what if the quality of your vision with cheap glasses and sunglasses isn't as good as it should be? What do you do then?

10. Cheap eyeglasses and sunglasses can rob you of the opportunity to see and look your best — and fully protect your eyes for a lifetime of good vision.

Though you may see acceptably well with cheap glasses, are you really seeing your best and doing everything you can to protect your eyesight?

A knowledgeable optician can educate you about the latest advances in eyeglass lens technology, including:

Photochromic lenses
Progressive lenses
Computer glasses
Anti-reflective coating
Impact-resistant (polycarbonate) lenses
Sports eyewear
Even if you choose only one or two of these premium products, it will help you come closer to seeing your absolute best and/or more fully protecting your eyes from injury and damaging radiation.

Budget-Stretching Tips When Buying Glasses

So what can you do if you or your family members need glasses and you want the best value possible?

Here are a few tips to help you stretch your budget and get all the benefits of high quality eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses:

Take advantage of your vision insurance benefits. Many people fail to use the vision insurance plans (such as VSP and EyeMed) that they are enrolled in as part of their benefits package at work. These plans essentially work like a gift card program — just show your card and you get significant discounts on eye care and quality eyewear. Your HR representative at work can help you locate a participating eye care provider.
Ask about bundles. Many optical stores provide a discount on premium eyewear products such as anti-reflective coating, photochromic lenses and progressive lenses if you purchase them as part of a bundled package. Ask your optician for details.
Know the terms and conditions of warranties. Premium eyewear can be a better value than cheap glasses if it comes with a warranty against lens scratches and frame materials and workmanship. Warranties are particularly valuable if you work or live in a harsh environment and for children's eyeglasses. Ask your optician to explain the terms and conditions of warranties included with your eyeglasses and sunglasses.
Also, ask your eye care professional about possible discounts for multiple purchases, special promotions on specific frames and lenses, and financing plans for eyewear purchases to make quality eyewear more affordable.


300 E Esplanade Dr, Ste 560
Oxnard, CA


Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 05:00


(805) 485-5831


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