News & Resources

The gift of sight

We’re delighted to share this story of a patient in our Almonte office who went out of their way to help a young boy they met while on a holiday in Cuba.

Boy with glassesIn the course of their time together, they discovered that this little boy had a very high prescription and was in absolute need of new glasses which his family simply could not afford.

Our patient took photos and arranged for the boy’s prescription from his eye doctor in Cuba to be sent to us, and we were able to make a pair of glasses that were delivered to the boy on a return trip to Cuba.

Amazingly, the glasses fit the boy quite well. Our patient prefers to remain anonymous, but we really want to recognize this lovely act of generosity.

The world is a big place, and sometimes simply helping one person can make all the difference.

Eye Exams Help Detect & Manage Diabetes

Diabetes and your eyes
November is Diabetes Awareness Month and it’s a perfect time to reflect on this statistic from the Canadian Association of Optometrists, and what you can do about it:

Over the course of the next nine years, 6.4 million Canadians will be diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. What’s more, one third of Canadians today already have diabetes or prediabetes and many don’t know it.

Many people don’t realize that regular eye examinations by a qualified optometrist can help in both the early detection and management of Diabetes. This is true for both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.

Read more about how our team of optometrists can help you take positive action to take the best possible care of your eyes: Diabetes and Your Eyes.

Diabetes increases the risk of early onset cataracts, doubles the risk of developing glaucoma and is a significant risk for vision loss. There is no time like the present to have your eyes checked!

Stay Active, Stay Safe

Protecting your eyes while staying active

In the fall many of us, adults and children included, are involved in our favourite sports and activities. It’s easy to forget how vulnerable our eyes can be when we engage in sports, particularly higher risk ones.

It’s worth considering that appropriate protective eyewear is a smart choice when you choose to enjoy sports with a higher risk factor to your eyes. (Not to be confused with your regular glasses or contact lenses, both of which can increase risk in certain situations.)

Friends for Sight notes the following levels of danger to eyes for a number of popular activities:

High-risk sports include: hockey, ringette, paintball, basketball, and racquetball.

Moderate-risk sports include: tennis, soccer, and golf.

Low-risk sports do not involve high-speed balls, swinging clubs or bats, or close aggressive play, and include swimming and cycling.

Safe sports include track and field and gymnastics.

And, of course, sports that put us in contact with higher levels of UVA and UVB exposure from the sun can also make sun protection a smart choice (both skiing and snowboarding are good examples).

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind notes that 35% of eye injuries happen to children, and more than half of these occur when they are playing or engaged in sports. Boys are generally at higher risk, accounting for 73% of injuries. This makes it even more important to make sure your child(ren) understand the need to protect their eyes.

Earlier this year we wrote about Eye Safety at Home and the fall is a good time to remind ourselves of the risks we can mitigate and avoid. We can take our eyes for granted, and changes in season and activities are good times to remind ourselves of all they do for us.

If you have concerns about an eye injury or appropriate protection for a certain activity, please feel free to contact either our Almonte clinic or our Gloucester Clinic.

Eyewear for Children: What You Need to Know

Choosing glasses for children

Glasses for children

There are a few possible indicators that your child may need glasses and we covered these in our previous blog post, Why Eye Exams Really Matter for Your Child.

When choosing their first pair of glasses, start by ensuring that your child likes the style and colour of the frames that are being selected. A child will be likely to wear their glasses every day when they are happy with their appearance.

For a child to keep their new glasses on, the frames do need to provide a comfortable fit. For this reason the frame sizing and selection needs careful attention by an experienced fitter. Children often have small, flat bridges of their nose and since much of the weight of the frame is carried at that point, certain types of frames, often with adjustable nose pads, will be recommended. Children’s skin can be sensitive and large areas of frame contact should be avoided particularly if they have metal sensitivities.

Lens safety, frame durability, and fashionable design are all important features. We stock a large selection of quality frames that will also support active use.

All lenses should be provided with a very good quality scratch resistant coating and in some cases anti-reflection coatings, although the latter will require frequent cleaning to ensure the maximum benefit and are more of a necessity as the child gets older or the prescription increases. Another consideration is transition lenses, which provide UV protection and darken when your child is outdoors. These lenses are beneficial for children who are prescribed glasses for full-time wear.

For children under 15 years, we offer an Essilor Junior Package that provides a second set of lenses at no charge for a period of 15 months from the date of purchase. There is no extra charge for this program. Please ask us for details.

Trying on a new pair of glasses is an exciting time for your child. Our team will work with your child to make sure they fit well. They should not slip out of position with head movements and there should not be noticeable red marks on the nose or behind the ears after a few hours of wear. Your child will be excited to receive them so use this time to impress upon them the doctor’s wearing instructions. Also, build good care habits such as showing them how to use both hands to remove them and how to set them down properly, lens-side up.

Many coatings have specific cleaning instructions or products and we’ll make sure you know what these are. You may allow your child to personalize their eyeglass case.

For children in junior kindergarten, the Ontario Association of Optometrists’ Eye See…Eye Learn® program offers one complimentary pair of glasses to children who need them, following their annual OHIP-covered eye exam. Both of our clinics participate in this program; find out more on our Kids page.

There is usually a period of getting used to any new pair of glasses. Initially, your child may resist wearing the glasses as he or she may feel that their vision is not clear or things look a little funny. With continued wear of the glasses these symptoms should resolve. However, any problems that persist beyond two weeks should be reported to us. To encourage your child to wear his or her glasses, make it a part of their daily routine. Also, remember to make your child’s teacher aware of this new routine.

Contact us today to book your child’s appointment in our Almonte Clinic or our Gloucester Clinic.

Article outline provided by the Ontario Association of Optometrists

Why Eye Exams Really Matter for Your Child

Why eye exams really matter for your child

We know that an undetected vision or eye health problem can affect a child’s academic performance, but have you also considered how it might affect your child’s behaviour and social skills?

“Most parents and guardians aren’t aware that an undiagnosed vision problem goes beyond poor academic performance,” says optometrist and member of the Ontario Association of Optometrists, Dr. Rajvinder Pabla.

In fact, poor vision can lead to reduced social interaction because of the inability to see properly.

Signs your child may have a vision problem: Click on the infographic to enlarge.

Infographic for child's vision problemsA child may shy away or be excluded from playing team sports since their vision problem is affecting their hand-eye coordination. They may also avoid watching the latest 3D movie with their friends because they have reduced depth perception and can’t enjoy the movie the way their friends can.

“It’s unfortunate. They could be interacting with their peers and developing socially, but because they have an undetected vision problem they avoid certain social activities or are excluded from them,” says Dr. Pabla.

Along with social interactions, an undetected vision problem can affect a child’s behaviour in the classroom.

Dr. Pabla explains, a child who is hyperopic (farsighted) may have problems reading and focusing on their textbooks. If their hyperopia continues to go undiagnosed, they may try avoiding their work and in the process become disruptive out of frustration.

“Too often, some children are labelled as the ‘problem’ or ‘bad’ child when in fact their behaviour stems from an undiagnosed vision problem,” says Dr. Pabla. “Most of these kids don’t complain about their vision because they either have a hard time articulating their vision problem or think everyone sees like them.”

That is why a comprehensive eye exam is critical to a child’s overall development. Eye exams conducted by an optometrist can detect, diagnose and treat eye conditions that may be the root cause of a child’s behaviour or reclusive tendencies.

The Ontario Association of Optometrists recommends children start receiving comprehensive eye exams at 6 months, before starting kindergarten and every year thereafter.

OHIP covers a comprehensive eye examination once per year for children and adolescents up to 19 years of age. Find out more on our Pediatric & Kids page.

“A child’s eye health status can change yearly, so as parents and guardians, we have to make sure our children go on a yearly basis once they start school. Even if they are fine one year, with growth, their prescription can change as well as the status of their binocular vision – how the two eyes work together,” says Dr. Pabla.

An undetected vision or eye health problem may be holding your child back socially and interfering with their behaviour.  Our eye doctors can help remove the vision-related barriers that may be hindering your child from living a full and enriched life.

Contact us today to book your child’s appointment in our Almonte Clinic or our Gloucester Clinic.

Article provided by the Ontario Association of Optometrists

Regular Friday Hours & Saturday Openings Resume

With the summer behind us, both of our clinics will resume full Friday hours starting this Friday, 7 September.

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

Fall 2018 Saturday Openings

September 8, 22
October 13, 20
November 10, 17
December 1, 15

In 2019, we tentatively have scheduled the following Saturdays, but these could change. Watch for confirmation closer to the time.

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.

Photo by Mitch Lensink on Unsplash

Under 35? Why Getting Your Eyes Checked Makes Sense

When we’re young, we’re usually at our best physically, but our youth can also make it easy to overlook problems. Ask yourself: could an undiagnosed vision problem be preventing you from reaching your full potential? Could a vision problem be affecting a family member in this way?

Don’t wait, if you’re not sure. If you find night driving difficult, or have issues with your vision under other circumstances, book an appointment to see your optometrist.

A full eye exam by one of our doctors will help to properly identify any issues and the best way to correct them. Book an appointment in Gloucester or Almonte today.

Summer Fun & Keeping Safe

Summer eye safety tips

Canada Day may be behind us, but the love of fireworks seems to extend all summer long especially when celebrations are involved. Being outdoors and active comes with risks and when things go wrong, there can be serious damage— especially to your eyes.

Summer Eye Safety

UV Rays: Consider investing in a good pair of sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection. The sun can cause cumulative and even irreversible damage to your eyes. UV exposure can contribute to the development of macular degeneration and cataracts, as well as cancers of the eyelids.

Sports: Our favourite summer sports can also be risky for our eyes. Remember to protect your eyes from flying objects when fishing, zip-lining, playing sports like badminton, and generally from the effects of wind, sand and sun. Snug-fitting, wrap style goggles will offer the best protection.

Alcohol: Broken glass and champagne corks aside, remember that alcohol and other forms of substance impairment can significantly increase the risk of injury.

Make the most of your favourite summer activities and look after your eyes at the same time. You’ll be glad you did!

If you have questions or concerns about your eyes this summer, please contact us.

Fireworks & Your Eyes

Fireworks and your eyes

It’s no surprise that the period surrounding Canada Day (June 20-July 20) is the busiest season for fireworks. It’s also a time when many people inadvertently put their eyes at risk. Burns and eye injuries are the most common risks and almost always result from improper handling and safety neglect.

If you choose to enjoy consumer fireworks, remember these key tips to keep yourself, your family and friends safe:

  • Do not allow children to operate fireworks and make sure appropriate adult supervision is provided. Did you know that sparklers are most associated with fireworks-related injuries in children under five?
  • Make sure you know the municipal by-laws regarding fireworks and to follow guidelines carefully.
  • Plan the order of fireworks before you begin.
  • Use a reliable firing base, like a pail filled with earth or sand and only light one firework at a time.
  • Keep a safe distance, choosing a large clear site away from any obstacles. Most fireworks come with minimum distance guidelines for spectators.
  • Never light a firework as you hold it unless it was designed for handheld use (e.g. sparklers).
  • Always light the fuse from the tip.
  • If a firework fails to ignite, wait at least 30 minutes before approaching it and never try to relight or reuse it.
  • Always have water at hand.
  • Wear appropriate protection. We recommend using safety goggles and gloves when operating fireworks.

Happy Canada Day!