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Prescription Glasses and Contact Lenses to Correct Your Vision in Victoria, BC

Regularly scheduled eye examinations are an essential part of maintaining healthy eyesight. While prescription glasses and contact lenses are some of the most commonly prescribed corrective eyewear, there are also other ways to correct refractive errors, such as laser refractive surgery. We created a general guide listing the type of vision correction options available. Always seek the advice of an optometrist for recommendations about your particular eye health.

Prescription glasses or contact lenses can help to correct refractive errors. Refractive errors typically result from the shape of the cornea or inner lens not refracting light correctly. Some of the most common conditions that cause refractive errors include:

Myopia (nearsightedness)
Presbyopia (age-related loss of near vision)
Hyperopia (farsightedness)

If the symptoms of one or more of these conditions become evident in daily life, it is always a good idea to get an eye exam done to diagnose any issues and clear up your doubts. In case you develop more severe conditions like cataracts, you may require cataract surgery. Are you looking for prescription glasses or contact lenses in Victoria, BC? Get in touch with an optometrist in our directory to get prescription glasses or to learn more about how the eye works.

Prescription Eyeglasses

First designed in the 13th century, corrective eyeglasses have fortunately become more fashionable and sophisticated over the years. Eyeglass frames are available from numerous brands and in a nearly endless selection of styles. They can be worn for a cosmetic appeal or to correct your vision.

Single-Vision, Bifocal and Progressive Lenses

After an eye examination, your optometrist may recommend either single-vision, bifocal, or progressive lenses. A majority of individuals with refractive errors start off with single-vision lenses, which are only correct for distance. Later in life, those who wear single-vision lenses may move onto bifocal or progressive lenses to address age-related presbyopia (loss of near vision) and other conditions. Schedule an appointment with an optometrist now in case you are facing any issues with your vision. 

Lens Prescription Levels

Eyeglass lenses come in a range of lens compression levels, referred to as the lenses’ “indexes.” Even among the same prescription lenses, a thinner lens with a higher corresponding index number may be prescribed to bend incoming light more efficiently while still allowing room for the lens to fit in the frame. You are advised to consult your optometrist about the specific lenses you should use for your prescription eyeglasses before you choose to purchase anything. Find an optometrist near you to improve and maintain your vision right away!


Many new eyeglass-wearers are surprised to learn that most glasses aren’t actually made of glass, but high-strength, scratch-resistant specialty plastics. Lenses come in a variety of coatings designed to resist UV ocular damage, computer glare, as well as scratches and impact damage.

Depending on your prescription needs, your optometrist may give you the option of traditional- or digital-surfaced lenses. Digitally surfaced lenses use a diamond-pointed lathe cutter to precisely cut the lens from a semi-finished blank lens. Since less labour is involved, digital lenses are also completed faster.

Specialty Lenses and Frames

Are you currently working in an industrial setting or have sensitivities to screen glare when using computers? Your optometrist can most likely fit you with specialty frames, lenses, and glare-resistant coatings to improve your comfort and extend the performance of your prescription eyewear.

Lenses, tints, and coatings can be selected based on your personal preferences but may also be recommended by your optometrist after discussing your profession or lifestyle.

Choosing the Right Frames

To ensure a comfortable fit, your optometrist may recommend eyeglasses of a particular lens width, frame size, bridge width, material, shape, temple length, and general fit. Your eyewear professional will also look at the form of your face, the size of your eyes, as well as temple lengths. These are all important aspects that need to be considered before selecting a particular size and style of frame.

The professional fitting your new eyeglasses will take measurements to find your optical centres (OC) and pupillary distances (PD). Those with MSP coverage should note that these measurements may be considered part of the fitting process and not part of your optometrist’s prescription or annual checkup. Check out our blog to know more about eye health and tips to boost and maintain clear vision!

Contact Lenses

The first functional contact lenses came about in the 1800s. Although these lenses were usable, they were entirely fabricated from glass and covered a majority of the visible surface of the eye. Fortunately, contacts have come a long way over the past centuries, and comfortable, extended wear lenses are now much easier to come by.

Since contact lenses are considered medical devices in Canada, they do require a special prescription that varies from your typical eyeglass prescription. Your contact lenses must also be fitted by an eye care professional licensed to perform fittings in Victoria. Each eye (even on the same person) is uniquely different. Therefore, certain considerations are necessary to ensure a proper fit. Wearing ill-fitting contact lenses can cause unintentional friction, corneal scratches, infections, and in serious cases, blindness. It would be best to consult with a professional optometrist before you buy contact lenses.

Ensuring Your Contact Lenses Fit Properly

During your evaluation, the optometrist will determine whether contact lenses are the right option for you. This is based on several factors, including your ocular health and prescription level. If you have previously worn eyeglasses and have not experienced any recent changes in vision, your optometrist may simply convert your prescription over to contact lenses.

To find the appropriate style of contacts, your optometrist will measure the shape, size, and curvature of your eyes using a keratometer. They will also assess your general eye health, allergies, corneal health, as well as eye dryness in order to determine the right solution and lens composition. Each type of contact lens is uniquely designed with a particular function in mind. These functions include oxygen permeability, fit, curvature, material, moisture content, lifespan, and deposit resistance. Therefore, you should never switch contact lens brands before consulting with a licensed eye care professional.

Types of Contact Lenses

Multifocal Contact Lenses

Icon of an eye under a lens

Multifocal contact lenses function the same way as bifocals and progressive eyeglasses, correcting refractive errors for multiple distances.

Scleral Contact Lenses

Icon of an eye

Scleral contact lenses are designed to sit atop the cornea and the whites of the eye. Scleral contacts are typically prescribed for those with chronically dry eyes, keratoconus (cone-shaped cornea), Sjögren's syndrome (autoimmune disease-causing dry eyes), microphthalmia (a developmental disorder where one or both eyes are abnormally small), aniridia (absence of the iris), as well as other eye conditions, disorders, and injuries. As they are designed to overlap the sclera, scleral lenses are larger than regular contact lenses. These types of contacts also feature a reservoir over the cornea to moisten the area with artificial tears.

Decorative and Cosmetic Contact Lenses

Icon of laser eye surgery

Decorative and cosmetic contacts do not typically correct refractive errors of your eyes but are designed to alter their appearance and/or colour. Previously, decorative and cosmetic contact lenses were unregulated but highly scrutinized for unintentional injuries to wearers. That changed on July 16th of 2016 when a new federal law came into effect that regulated contact lenses as a Class II medical device in Canada. Under this new regulation, cosmetic and decorative contact lenses in Victoria can only be fitted by a licensed eye care professional.

Benefits of Wearing Contact Lenses

Once your optometrist has helped you choose the right contact lens suited for your requirements, you can start enjoying the benefits of wearing them daily. 

The advantages of wearing contact lenses are:

It makes your viewing easier by correcting refractive errors like astigmatism, far and nearsightedness and any other combination of specific issues.
It provides better peripheral and central vision by conforming to the curvature of your eye, thus giving you an entire field of focused viewing with less distortion. Contact lenses also reduce image distortion, glare reflections and obstructions, which are common issues with glasses.
It makes your daily routine easier since you don’t have to worry about falling off, breaking, or losing them. You can play any sports or do hard exercise.
When it’s hot, humid or raining, you’ll still be able to see clearly as water splashes. Steam and fog won’t obscure your vision.
It offers a natural look by eliminating frames that may not suit your personality or aesthetic. You can also enhance your look with coloured lenses for a quick and fun change.

Speak to an optometrist in Victoria, BC, to find the right glasses prescription contact lenses for your look and lifestyle!

That’s a Wrap!

Once your newly cut lenses have been placed into your frames, the fitting professional will have you try them on for fit, comfort, and optical clarity. If you notice any kind of discomfort, they will also adjust the frames to better conform to your unique facial structure. Periodic adjustments may be necessary to maintain the perfect fit. And just like that, you can find your perfect pair of eyeglasses in Victoria.

Buying Contacts and Eyeglasses Online

While you can buy contacts and eyeglasses on the internet, be mindful that these products are unregulated and many do not use medical-grade materials or design standards. Researchers have found over 50% of eyewear purchased over the web failed at least one crucial parameter of optical or impact testing. Serious, permanent injuries have resulted from web-purchased contacts and eyeglasses, so always talk to an eye care professional before putting your eyes and vision at risk. Wearing the wrong eyeglasses or contact lenses can worsen your condition and make treatment even more difficult.

Laser Refractive Surgery

Laser refractive surgery is known by most as “LASIK,” the most common form of laser refractive eye surgery. If you have been dreaming of the day when you could ditch those eyeglasses or contacts, laser refractive surgery may be your best option. This type of surgery is performed to correct refractive errors, such as:

Myopia (nearsightedness)
Hyperopia (farsightedness)
Presbyopia (age-related farsightedness)
Astigmatism (irregularly shaped cornea)

Laser refractive surgery works by reshaping your cornea, the eye’s natural focusing lens covering the pupil and iris. Another type of eye surgery includes implanting a lens directly into the eye. Like all surgeries, laser eye surgery is not without its risks and is not recommended for those with certain medical conditions. To learn if you are a candidate for laser refractive eye surgery, first consult with your eye care professional.

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