Summer Hours for Our Clinics

Notice on clinic hours

Following a challenging start to the spring, it’s hard not to think ahead to the summer. We have updated our clinic hours and holiday dates. Please take note of the following dates to help you with planning eye appointments in the warmer season ahead:

Statutory Holidays

We’re always closed for statutory holidays, including:

Victoria Day (May 20th), Canada Day (July 1st) and the August Civic Holiday (August 5th).

Almonte Saturday Openings

During the school year we typically open two Saturdays per month. Please note that in June we recently modified our Saturdays to:

June 1, 22

After a break in July and August, Saturday openings will resume on the following schedule in Almonte (always 8am to 2pm):

Sept 7, 21 | Oct 5, 19 | Nov 9, 16 | Dec 7, 21

Myopia in children

A new study on nearsightedness in Canadian children has revealed a big jump in this condition between grades 1 to 8. The research tells of a fivefold increase in cases in this timeframe for schoolchildren, noting that a third of cases are believed to be undiagnosed and therefore uncorrected.

“Myopia, or nearsightedness, occurs when the eye grows too long and causes light rays to focus at a point before the retina. Close objects look clear but distant objects are harder to distinguish and appear blurred.” University of Waterloo

The research team, from the University of Waterloo and CNIB, noted that myopia rises from just 6% of children ages 6 to 8 to nearly 29% in children ages 11 to 13. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has noted that myopia is “increasing globally at an alarming rate” and can add more pressure to the risks for vision impairment. With myopia appearing earlier in this generation’s children, these individuals may be at risk for a greater decline in eyesight over the course of their lifetime. Retinal degeneration and detachment are two complications that arise from myopia.

Read the full study from the University of Waterloo, Myopia and a prescription to slow down progression.

Contact our Gloucester clinic or Almonte clinic if your child or teen needs a checkup or you have specific concerns.

Are your kids wearing sunglasses?

Protecting your kids' eyes with sunglasses

As our kids head back to school after the March Break and the winter starts to give way to spring, it’s a really good time to remember why kids should wear sunglasses too.

We often forget that children’s eyes are actually more sensitive than our adults eyes to UV rays. The sun’s rays inflict damage on the outer layers of the eyes in the very same way that its rays can harm our skin. Damage to eyes incurred in childhood won’t show up for many years, but this is when the most damage can be done. Down the road, issues like macular degeneration can be accelerated because of this early, unchecked exposure.

We usually remember hats for our children, whether for warmth in winter or sun protection in summer, but appropriate eye protection should include sunglasses.

The most important considerations in choosing sunglasses for any age include 100% UV protection and larger lenses. The more lens coverage the better. Polarized lenses are not essential, but really help to reduce the harsh glare from reflective surfaces (think water, sparkling snow, cars, rooftops, etc.).

Of course, kids are often clumsier with accessories and sunglasses can become casualties. You don’t need to pay a fortune for adequate protection; many sunglasses options come at affordable prices. Just look for the 100% UV protection guarantee.

Also remember that teens with contacts or glasses who are driving will need sunglass protection.

Contact our Gloucester clinic or Almonte clinic if your child or teen needs a checkup, prescription sunglasses, etc.

February is AMD and Low Vision Awareness Month

Blurry letter through magnifying glass

We’ve talked about Age-related Macular Degeneration here before and it’s a great time to raise awareness again of this particular vision problem.

A condition that causes blurring in your central vision, macular degeneration is not usually noticeable in the early stages, but your eye doctor can detect it during a routine exam. This makes regular exams all the more important.

Optometrists use several tests, including Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and dilated retinal evaluation, to assess a patient’s central vision during an eye examination. If you are at particular risk of macular degeneration or other eye disease, you may find it helpful to monitor your vision at home with an Amsler Grid. Self-monitoring should, however, never replace having regular, comprehensive examinations by your eye doctor.

Take care and make your next eye appointment with your eye doctor. Click for appointments in Almonte, and for appointments in Gloucester.

Avoiding Eye Strain During Exam Time

Students - how to avoid eye strain during exams

For many students, January can mean culminating activities and exams as the term comes to an end. Spending a lot of time looking at books and computer screens can lead to eye strain. Follow these tips to look after your eyes, or to help your kids to remember what they can do.

Books & Screens

It used to be that cramming and studying involved paper, books and blackboards, but students today are met with information to absorb across multi-media. Studying very often involves a lot of time on digital screens, which can lead to computer vision syndrome.

As the Canadian Association of Optometrists notes:

Having uncorrected hyperopia or myopia ,astigmatism or presbyopia can all make computer use less comfortable and efficient. Depending on your condition, your eyes could be exerting extra effort or be forced to work harder to maintain a clear image when viewing the screen. Even people with perfect vision may experience symptoms such as blurred vision, eyestrain and headaches with prolonged computer use.

Good habits around prolonged screen use can go a long way to helping to reduce strain, including:

  • using good habits around how you’re positioned in relation to your screen (for PC screens, this means at least arm’s length, and it’s a good idea to try the same with your phone)
  • taking 20-20-20 breaks, which means looking away from your screen at something at least 20 feet away from you for a minimum of 20 seconds every 20 minutes (it’s a great chance to have a stretch and take a body break at the same time)
  • finding other ways to chill during mini breaks that don’t involve yet more screen use so you really give your eyes a rest

Easing the Strain

If long days and evenings of study are taking a toll, you can give eyes a break by making an eye mask – this can be as simple as a cool, damp facecloth placed on your eyes, or chilled tea bags or cucumber slices. Saline eye drops can be helpful if dry eye is a real problem.

If you wear contacts, remember not to over wear them – if you’re pulling really long hours, stick to your routines for when you normally remove your contact lenses and instead use your backup glasses for a change.

See an Eye Doctor About Any Ongoing Issues

Don’t suffer in silence if ongoing headaches or visual problems are present during or after study periods. You or your child may be experiencing a genuine issue that should be explored with your eye doctor.

Our doctors are always here if you’re experiencing any issues that concern you or cause discomfort. Call or schedule online with our Almonte Clinic or our Gloucester Clinic.

Winter Hours for Our Clinics

Notice on clinic hours

Following the holiday season, we are now back to regular hours for both our Almonte Clinic and Gloucester Clinic.

Family Day 2019

Please note that both clinics will be closed on Mon, February 18 for Family Day.

2019 Saturday Openings in Almonte

January 5, 19 | February 9, 23 | March 2, 16 | April 6, 13 | May 4, 25 | June 1, 15

Contact our Gloucester clinic or Almonte clinic to make your appointments, or book online.

2018 Holiday Hours for Both Clinics

Holiday hours

In order to help you plan for the upcoming holiday period, we’re sharing our holiday hours for both clinics. We wish you a very happy holiday season!

Gloucester Hours

Friday, December 21st: 8:30am to 2:00pm
Dec 24th – 26th: CLOSED
Mon, December 31st:  8:30am to 1:30pm

Almonte Hours

Friday, December 21st:  8:00am to 2:00pm
Dec 24th – 26th: CLOSED
Mon, December 31st – 8:00am to 1:30pm

2019 Saturday Openings in Almonte

January 5, 19 | February 9, 23 | March 2, 16 | April 6, 13 | May 4, 25 | June 1, 15

Contact our Gloucester clinic or Almonte clinic to make your appointments, or book online.

Picture by Annie Spratt, Unsplash