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‘Vision is a gift’: Collingwood optometrist taking lead on eye care

All eyes on Collingwood as Dr. Jayne Cation opens second optometry clinic

Dr. Jayne Cation is making it easier for residents of the Georgian Bay area to maintain healthy, happy eyes.

Now, to help clear up a pandemic-induced backlog and to help serve Collingwood’s burgeoning population, Cation is putting the final touches on her second location.

The goal, Cation said, is to get patients some much-needed care to keep their eyes in top shape.

“Historically if you wanted to book an eye exam in the area, you generally needed at least two months' notice to get one,” Cation said. “Whereas now we're making it possible to have an eye exam much sooner.”

That should come as a relief to people who have been put on waiting lists since the pandemic began.

“This just enhances the access to care, making sure that undiagnosed eye conditions don't go undetected for several months while they're waiting to get an appointment.”

According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO), 5.9 million Canadians live with vision- threatening conditions which, left unchecked, could put an increased burden on the country’s health care system.

The CAO also estimated that the modern lifestyle – with its indoor work, and constant squinting at screens – is contributing to an overall decline in our vision.

Cation said optometrists now play a more central role in making sure that doesn’t deteriorate further.

“Eye doctors are there for a reason, we’re the front line of vision care,” Cation said.

“I've heard too many horror stories of people ignoring their eyeballs for 10 years, because they don't have coverage.”

Even missing a few exams over the course of a decade can have a negative impact, she said.

“Sometimes, unfortunately, once disease has been able to run rampant, you can't undo the various damages.”

And Cation said she’s not shying away from helping people understand why eyewear can take a bite out of your chequing account. A cursory search on Google can dredge up plenty of deals on eyewear, and cost-conscious consumers may opt to save some money.

But Cation said choosing cost over quality can sometimes be a recipe for discomfort, or worse.

“A lot of people will see things online about two pairs of glasses for $200,” she said “And those are, generally, not products that I personally would be willing to stand behind.”

Sometimes, patients who choose the lesser-made goods will be disappointed in the quality of the product, where it doesn’t hold up to day-to-day use or the optics result in poorer vision.

“Sometimes the prescription is actually done wrong,” Cation said. “We’ve had people come to the clinic upset with their vision and the entire lens has been inserted upside down. So the quality assurance isn't there especially when it is done online”

Quality is something Cation knows about. She’s a quality assurance assessor with the College of Optometrists of Ontario, and has an interest in enhancing the quality of care delivered across the province.

That kind of hands-on care is especially important for people moving into higher prescriptions, where the quality of your vision is determined by the fit of the lenses and frames.

“Unless you have an expert helping you, it's really easy to make mistakes,” Cation said.

“Then unfortunately, you as the consumer will have lower quality vision, headaches, eyestrain, or simply not be able to see well.”

To look after those patients with tight budgets, Cation said her clinics offer price-conscious packaging, where the quality assurance will ensure patients don’t deal with some of the headaches they meet online.

“Seeing is a gift, it really is. Don't take your vision for granted.”

Dr. Cation suggests that everyone consult their optometrist at least once in two years for their regular checkup, and more frequent eye check-ups for children, diabetics, seniors and people with various ocular conditions.

Connect with Dr. Cation online here or call them at 705-445-2970 (Hume St location) or 705-444-2552 (Hurontario St location).