Glare & Contrast


Sensitivity to glare and the ability to recognize an object that has nearly camouflaged into the background color is useful in every day life as well as in high performance situations.

​​​​​​​Picture this: you’re driving a country road late at night. There are no streetlamps or other light sources besides your headlights. A grey raccoon is crossing the grey asphalt of the road in front of you. Do you see it in time to swerve safely around the obstacle or is your speed bringing things into view too late for your eyes to tell you to react. Can your eyes detect the presence of the grey animal against the grey road? Baseball players use contrast sensitivity to spot a clean new baseball against a white cloud in the sky before making an amazing catch.

Glare Recovery is the ability of the eyes to recognize detail after a bright light.

Picture this: rather than a country road, you’re driving on a city street at night and there are so many competing light sources each with their own halos and streaks, an apposing vehicle shines the brightest headlights you’ve ever seen into your eyes and two pedestrians decide to cross at different rates from either side of the street. Can you recover from the bright lights to determine which pedestrian is crossing more slowly so you can swerve to avoid hitting them? Can your eyes see the detail necessary to make the split-second decision that keeps your clean driving record? This is when the baseball player uses glare recovery to still track that ball that went past the cloud and wound up in the line of sight with the sun. With glare recovery the professional is able to make slight adjustments to hand position and make the catch where most mere mortals see the ball only after it’s reached the ground.

We measure both and we use standards that are well documented and established in the eye care industry. Comparing your glare and your contrast sensitivity to normal can give you a sense about where you are on the continuum, and this service is done separately from your comprehensive eye exam, but prescribed to those who benefit based on screening tests performed at your annual eye exam.

​​​​​​​Here are the standards we compare your ability to:

glare diagram
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