News & Resources

Fall Prevention: Your Optometrist is here to help

Two seniors walking on a snowy road

Building our awareness of risk factors as we age is a natural process, though we sometimes forget simple things that might help us.

November is actually Fall Prevention Month, and it’s a great time for seniors to book an eye exam. Sudden or gradual vision loss can greatly compromise independence as we age, including through the risk of frequent falls.

“By age 65, one in three Ontarians will have an eye disease that leads to changes in vision, and one in nine seniors experience irreversible vision loss.”

Source: The Ontario Association of Optometrists

For many seniors, a complicating factor comes in the form of medications, many of which can cause dry eye which in turn can lead to impaired vision. Advancing vision problems can intensify the difficulty of common daily tasks, increase the risk of depression, increase medication errors, and lead to double the risk of falls as well as quadruple the risk of hip fractures.

While changes in vision are a very natural part of aging, loss of vision can be avoided through regular eye exams and care under a qualified optometrist. If you or an aging parent has been putting off that eye exam, here’s an important reminder for sticking to regular appointments.

You can schedule a visit with one of our eye doctors either in Gloucester or Almonte. We look forward to seeing you.

Related Links

November is also Diabetes Awareness Month

 

Photo by Atanas Dzhingarov on Unsplash

Hallowe’en eye safety

Woman with face painting

Hallowe’en is fast approaching and it’s a good time to remember some key eye safety points.

Cosmetic Contact Lenses – Be Safe, Not Sorry!

Cosmetic contact lenses are particularly popular at Halloween. Like contact lenses for visual correction, cosmetic contact lenses are classified as medical devices and can pose a risk of harm due to improper fit, use, or care. Complications can be serious, including vision loss.

If you can’t resist the allure of colourful contact lenses, be sure to purchase them from a licensed eye care professional. A prescription and proper instructions will help to minimize the risks associated with these medical devices. A licensed eye care professional can also ensure that the lenses are obtained from a licensed manufacturer.

If blurred vision, redness, discomfort, swelling or discharge occurs, stop using the lenses immediately and see your doctor of optometry. (You can contact our Almonte clinic or our Gloucester clinic if you are in the Ottawa area.)

Ensure Make-up Is Safe

Use products that are hypo-allergenic and make sure that any additives to the face paint are approved (check the recalls list at Health Canada if you are unsure).

When applying make-up near or around the eye, stay away from the lid, or lash line—the area where you would normally apply eye liner. If you are applying make-up very close to the eye, use only products approved for use in that area such as an eye-liner or eye shadow.

Don’t use blush or lip-liner to create a “red” effect, as some ingredients may not be approved for use in the eye and bacteria from the mouth can be transmitted to the eye.

Keep Costumes Safe

Avoid sharp or pointy objects such as swords in costumes. If your child must carry a sword, makes sure it is secured to the outfit. If your child does get poked in the eye, thoroughly inspect it for any signs of redness, decreased vision or pain.

Eye injuries may be more serious than they appear. If your child reports pain or blurred vision in the eye or if the eye is discoloured or bloodshot, you should take your child to see a doctor of optometry as soon as possible. Ensure masks don’t obstruct vision.

Be Seen After Dark

Use reflective tape and stickers on costumes and treat bags to increase visibility. Take a flashlight or wearable LED light so you can see and been seen.

October is Children’s Vision Month

Boy smiling at optometrist

Many vision problems can be treated if caught early, but not all parents realize that regular exams at an early age are important. This October, remember that undiagnosed vision problems can impact a child’s learning and development.

Last month we underscored how vital vision is in the process of learning at school: 80% of classroom learning is visual. Vision problems can affect babies and children of all ages, making early and regular eye exams by a qualified optometrist essential.

Eye Rubbing

In the youngest children, eye rubbing can be a sign of a vision problem. If we see a young child rubbing their eyes we might assume an irritant is present, as with allergies, but it may be their vision is bothering them.

Common problems that can occur, sometimes together, include:

  • strabismus (misaligned eyes)
  • myopia (nearsightedness)
  • hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • astigmatism (causing distorted / blurred vision)

Glasses may be prescribed to treat these types of conditions successfully.

In addition, it’s possible that an eye disorder or disease may be present that needs to be addressed differently. One such example is Keratoconus, a progressive condition which causes thinning of the cornea at the front of the eye.

And not just any eye test will help to identify these conditions. Without the expertise of an optometrist and a comprehensive eye exam, your child’s vision problem could go undetected.

Regular Eye Exams

Young child using binocularsChildren should have their first routine eye examination between two and three years of age. However, if there are concerns such as a misaligned eye, frequent rubbing and blinking, infections, or failure to meet developmental milestones, infants as young as 6 months of age can be examined by our eye doctors.

Your child does not need to be able to read or to identify letters to have an eye examination.

The good news is that OHIP covers an annual comprehensive eye exam up to and including the age of 19.

Start a great yearly tradition with a visit to have your child’s eyes checked.

Schedule a visit with one of our eye doctors either in Gloucester or Almonte. We look forward to seeing you.

Back to Regular Friday Hours, Saturday Openings

As school gets back underway, both of our clinics will resume full Friday hours starting this Friday, 6 September. However, please note that on Friday September 13th, the Gloucester office will close at 2pm.

Our Almonte clinic will also resume Saturday openings from 8am to 2pm, and these dates are currently confirmed openings:

Fall 2019 Saturday Openings

September 7, 21
October 5, 19
November 9, 16
December 7, 21

Watch for scheduled 2020 Saturday openings later this fall.

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

 

Choosing the right sunglasses

It can often take a few weeks of bright sun exposure to realize that perhaps your current sunglasses aren’t really up to the job or in need of replacing. As we approach the midpoint of summer, it’s a good time to take stock.

Our Gloucester and Almonte offices carry an excellent and fashionable range of frames for men, women and children.

Your lenses must have 100 percent UVA and UVB protection

UV Protection

The most important thing to consider in choosing new sunglasses is UV protection. The damage incurred from too much UV exposure can lead to sunburn, age-related cataracts, macular degeneration, and growths on the surface of the eye.

These conditions present themselves through symptoms like irritation, blurry vision, redness, tearing, and even vision loss – both temporary and, in some cases, permanent. Don’t get caught without adequate protection.

Sunglasses for Men

Our clinics carry the following brands for men:

Oakley, Adidas, Nike, Champion, RayBan, Serengeti, Hugo Boss, Revo

Please note the frames pictured here are just for illustration; our stock is regularly changing.


Sunglasses for Women

We carry these brands for women:

Oakley, Adidas, Rayban, Fysh, Vera Wang, Champion, Ann Taylor, Kate Spade, BCBG, New Balance, Revo, Elle, Nicole Millar, Serengeti

Please note the frames pictured here are just for illustration; our stock is regularly changing.


Sunglasses and sun safety

Take this super quick quiz from the Canadian Association of Optometrists and see if you know how to protect your eyes this summer.

Take the sun safety quiz


Featured photo by Griffin Wooldridge on Unsplash

Summer Hours begin this week

Fireworks and your eyes

Summer hours at both of our clinics mean early closures on Fridays (2pm) starting this Friday, 28 June and running throughout July and August. We wish you and yours a fun and safe Canada Day and a great summer ahead.

Tips for you and your family: Fireworks and eye safety | Summer fun & keeping safe

Statutory Holidays

We’re always closed for statutory holidays, including:

Canada Day (July 1st), the August Civic Holiday (August 5th) and Labour Day (September 2nd)

Almonte Saturday Openings

There are no Saturday openings in the summer. After a break in July and August, Saturday openings will resume on the following schedule in Almonte (8am to 2pm):

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

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.