World Glaucoma Week 2018: Understanding Glaucoma

World Glaucoma Week 2018

World Glaucoma Week will be observed March 11th – 18th, 2018. As described on the website for the week, glaucoma “is a group of eye diseases that cause progressive damage of the optic nerve at the point where it leaves the eye to carry visual information to the brain”.  Vision loss is a real threat if the condition is left untreated.

Causes of glaucoma

The exact cause and mechanisms of glaucoma are not yet fully understood, although it’s believed that there is some level of mechanical compression and/or decreased blood flow to the optic nerve. Although high pressure inside the eye is often associated with glaucoma, some people develop glaucoma with “normal” eye pressure.

Secondary glaucoma is another form that can result from an injury, infection or a tumour in or around the eye, causing an increase in eye pressure.

Primary open angle glaucoma is the most common type and results in a slow loss of vision with no discernible symptoms. Acute angle-closure glaucoma is less common and results in a sudden elevation of pressure and symptoms of pain, redness and nausea, making it easier to catch.

Risk factors

Glaucoma occurs most frequently in individuals over 40, and a hereditary tendency for the development of the disease exists in some families. Individuals with African American ancestry are at increased risk, with the disease appearing earlier and progressing faster. There is also a greater risk of developing glaucoma when you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a history of eye injuries.

Regular eye examinations by an optometrist are important for people of all ages to assess the presence of, or risk for, glaucoma. It’s not possible to detect the presence of glaucoma without an eye exam.

Detecting glaucoma

A comprehensive eye examination is the first step. A simple and painless procedure called tonometry will be performed during your routine eye exam, measuring the internal pressure of your eye.

We will also inspect the drainage angle inside the eye and examine your eye to observe the health of the optic nerve and take measurements of your peripheral vision. We take a detailed look at your optic nerve through a dilated pupil using a series of hand held lenses.

Treating glaucoma

Given the variety of ways that glaucoma can present, treatment depends on the type, severity and progress of the disease. Glaucoma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled, often with daily eye drops or laser surgery.

In more complicated cases, surgery may be needed to completely bypass the eye’s natural drainage system. Once vision is lost due to glaucoma, it cannot be restored. This is why regular preventive eye exams are so vital.

Don’t wait to get tested, particularly if you have one or more of the risk factors noted above. Contact us today for more information and to book your eye exam.

Article sources:

Congrats to our winners!

Rayban Wayfarers sunglasses

We have our winners to our Rayban sunglasses contest! Thank you to everyone who took part and left such supportive comments.

Yagu Coker (Gloucester) and Doreen Todd (Almonte) have each won a pair of Rayban Wayfarer Sunglasses. Both were able to come in quickly to collect their prize, and we’re delighted that they stopped for a quick photo session. Thank you ladies!

We ran this contest in part to draw attention to the different ways that you can get the latest information and eyecare tips from us. You can follow our blog, follow us on Facebook, and of course, you can always be directly in touch with us.

Our sunglass contest winners!
Doreen Todd, Almonte (left) and Yagu Coker, Gloucester (right)



6 Categories of Essential Foods for Good Eye Health

Healthy foods for good eye health

This article from Tmag Optical Trends recommends including some beneficial foods in your daily diet as an easy way to improve your eye health and take care of your sight.

1) Green Vegetables
Cabbage, spinach, arugula, romaine lettuce, broccoli, peas, beans

These cooked vegetables provide your body with lutein (a pigment abundant in the macula of the eye) and zeaxanthin (nutritive pigment that accompanies lutein) as well as vitamin C.

2) Fatty Fish
Wild salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel and tuna

Research has demonstrated their protective effect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts and dry eyes. The omega-3 acids these fish contain make them strongly beneficial for your overall health.

3) Orange Vegetables
Sweet potatoes, sweet peppers, pumpkins and carrots

These vegetables contain beta-carotene, an essential antioxidant to protect not only your eyes but also your whole body from diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

4) Eggs
2 eggs, twice per week

Eggs contain significant amounts of vitamin E, lutein and omega-3 fatty acids. However, if you have a family history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes, you should seek advice from your doctor regarding the desired amount of eggs to consume.

5) Lean Meats
Turkey, lean beef, seafood

Turkey and lean beef contain a lot of zinc and vitamin E, which is important for the eyes. Crab, oysters, mussels and scallops also provide a beneficial ratio of minerals and vitamins.

6) Nuts, Whole Grains, Beans and Lentils
Almonds, nuts of all kinds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios and all cereals

All these foods are particularly rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and zinc, which are very effective for ocular and general health.

Source: Eye Foods, a Food Plan for Healthy Eyes, Dr Laurie Capogna, O.D. and Dr Barbara Pelletier, O.D.

Photo by Clint McKoy on Unsplash


Protect Your Eyes this Winter

Winter eye care

There are three fairly simple rules to remember if you want to take care of your eyes – and your family members’ eyes – this winter.

1) UV Protection is just as important in the winter as in summer. Sunglasses are always a good choice, but it’s possible to get additional UV protection with both your eye wear and some contact lenses. You can also protect your eyes with a good hat, or limit your time outside on glaringly sunny days when snow is on the ground, as harmful UV rays are bounced right into your eyes under these conditions.

2) Hydration matters. If you wear contact lenses, you may find they dry out more quickly in the winter. Take care and lubricate more frequently. At home you may find that humidifying the air keeps you and your eyes more comfortable. Eye drops can help eyes that are particularly scratchy and uncomfortable. Ask your Optometrist for help choosing the best ones if you’re not sure.

3) Get advice if you’re finding that the winter months are harder on your eyes. A conversation with your Optometrist can help.

Have a safe and comfortable winter season!

Enter to win a pair of Rayban Wayfarer Sunglasses!

Rayban Wayfarers sunglasses

Like us on Facebook and you could win one of two pairs of non-prescription Rayban Wayfarer Sunglasses worth $190.

To Enter:

1) Like this post, and

2) Leave a comment with ‘Almonte’ or ‘Gloucester’ for your preferred location.

Two names will be chosen! One from our Gloucester clinic, one from Almonte.  Contest closes January 31st, 2018.

The Fine Print

Winners must be able to visit either our Almonte or Gloucester clinics by appointment in order to claim their prize.

The prize has no cash value and no substitutions may be requested.

Winners will have 48 hours to respond to a Facebook message indicating they have won; if we do not hear back in that time frame, we will draw new names. It’s up to entrants to ensure that they monitor their own Facebook account and messages and can respond in a timely manner.

Winners will have one month (30 days) to arrange an appointment to collect their prize.

Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer Black G-15XLT Sunglasses convey a classic sophistication that never goes out of style. In addition to making a timeless statement, these sunglasses feature G-15XLT lenses to protect your eyes from 100% of the sun’s harmful UV rays.

This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook and all entrants/participants release Facebook from any responsibility. This contest is the sole responsibility of Gloucester & Almonte Family Optometrists.