Summer is almost upon us, the weather is getting warmer, and children are anxiously counting the days until summer holidays begin. Let us not forget the celebration that marks the official kick off of summer, Canada Day, July 1st. Canada Day brings with it, picnics, barbeques, concerts and, of course, fireworks. There will be a number of large fireworks displays across the country, but maybe you want to put on your own display. You’ve read the instructions, made sure to find a safe place to launch your fireworks in order not to set the surrounding area on fire. You have a pail of water and maybe even a hose on hand, just in case. But have you considered eye safety when working with fireworks? If not, there are a few things you need to know.
In spite of its name, Photophobia is not actually a fear of light. If you have it, your eyes are extremely sensitive to light. In fact, any form of light can cause extreme discomfort and pain. In most cases, only bright light will cause symptoms, but in some cases, any light can bring on a reaction.
What Causes Photophobia?
I’m sure that everyone has heard about the dangers of alcohol abuse at one time or another; increased risk of heart disease, liver disease, stroke, cancer, depression, the list goes on and on. Add to that the dangers of addiction, the risks of drinking and driving, or the effect excessive drinking can have on family relationships, friendships and job performance. They all paint a pretty bleak picture, yet some people just don’t get the message. So let’s add another effect that most people may not think of. Are you aware that excessive alcohol use can damage your eyes?
Visual Impairment is defined as having a vision problem that cannot be corrected to bring it to a level that we would consider “normal.” The most extreme case of visual impairment, of course, is blindness. When one’s eyes aren’t that severe, but are still impaired, it is referred to as Low Vision. Approximately 1.3 billion people world-wide are living with some form of visual impairment. In Canada, approximately six percent of adults are visually impaired. But what do we know about visual impairment?
What does it mean to be Legally Blind?
Buying sunglasses in February? That means that you are heading south for a winter vacation, right? Not necessarily. In fact, you may have a better reason for wearing sunglasses if you are staying here. Are you aware that the sun’s rays can affect you more in the winter than in the summer? Are you also aware that your eyes may be in danger, even on cloudy days? It may be a good time to update you on winter eye safety.
The Dangers of Ultra Violet Radiation
According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada. Called the “Silent Thief of Sight”, glaucoma is actually the name given to a group of diseases that cause progressive damage to the optic nerve, eventually leading to vision loss and even blindness. Since January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, this would be an ideal time to study the causes and prevention of this condition.
What Do We Know About Glaucoma?
As of yet, we still don’t know the precise cause of glaucoma. For the most part, glaucoma is associated with high fluid pressure in the eye, but there are some exceptions to that rule.
A patient recently sent us a photo — he was thrilled that we were able to find him some round “santa glasses” to finish off his costume for his role at a church Christmas Party!
We were also thrilled to help put the finishing touch on this special Santa. If you need special frames to help you look more like Santa Claus (or John Lennon), let us know!
Since World Diabetes Day was on November 14th, now may be a good time to discuss a condition that often goes hand in hand with Diabetes, and that is Hypertension, or High Blood Pressure. I’m sure that everyone has heard the warnings about high blood pressure increasing the risk of stroke, heart failure and kidney disease. But are you aware that high blood pressure can damage your eyes as well?
Hypertension and Vision Loss
November 14th is World Diabetes Day, a day dedicated to global recognition of diabetes and how it affects everyone. It is a safe bet that virtually everyone in Canada has heard of, and likely knows someone who is living with diabetes. Currently, there are nearly 11 million people living with either diabetes or prediabetes, a disease that causes the body to either fail to produce insulin, or makes it incapable of using it. Since insulin helps the body control blood sugar, people with diabetes suffer from high blood sugar levels. You may be aware that high blood sugar can damage your body’s organs, but were you aware that your eyes were included in the potential damage?
Over the last few weeks we have witnessed the leaves on the trees turning colour and falling, the geese gathering together and bailing out for warmer climates, an extreme drop in temperature and even the first signs of, dare I say it, snow. There is no denying it, winter is upon us once again. Time to get out the heavy coats and boots, put your winter tires on your car, and prepare for another Manitoba winter. But have you thought about including your eyes in your winter preparations? Are you aware that winter can be a dangerous season for your eyes?