News & Resources

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.

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.