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?
Halloween may be the most stress free, fun holiday we have. In spite of its origins, steeped in pagan harvest festivals and honouring the dead, Halloween has turned into a fun night involving children dressing up in costumes, varying from scary to funny, and going door to door begging for candy. Adults even get in on the fun by going out to parties and dances that often involve a contest for the best, scariest and most original costume. But it isn’t always just fun and games. Halloween comes with its own dangers. Some people have been known to put unhealthy substances in the candy they hand out, so parents have to be sure to go through the candy their kids bring home, throwing out anything that looks suspicious. On October 31st it gets dark early so visibility is poor, and there may be rain or snow to deal with, so walking outside may be challenging. But what about the costumes themselves? Have you safety proofed them? Are you aware that some costumes, masks and accessories could be dangerous to your child’s vision, or even your own if you dress up for Halloween?
World Sight Day is a global event, originally created in 2000 by the SightFirst Campaign of the Lions Club Foundation to raise awareness of vision impairment and blindness worldwide. Since then it has been picked up and coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO). It is held on the second Thursday of October every year. This year’ World Sight Day falls on Thursday, October 11th and the theme is Eye Care Everywhere.
What are the Statistics of Vision Impairment and Blindness Worldwide?
The Canadian Association of Optometrists has declared October Children’s Vision Month. In their words, “Regardless of your age or physical health, an annual comprehensive eye exam helps detect vision issues at an early stage, improving treatment options.” That is why they recommend that a child’s first visit to the optometrist should be between six and nine months of age, the second visit at age three, the third just before he/she begins school, then annually thereafter until age 18.
Why Should my Baby Visit the Optometrist?
We are used to people having different eye colours, brown, blue, green, hazel, etc. We may even have seen someone whose eye colour appears to change, depending on lighting. But have you ever met someone who has two distinct different eye colours? Have you ever wondered what may cause something like that to happen?
What is Heterochromia?
The eyes have it. Colour that is. Blue, brown, green, hazel and more. But what does eye colour mean? And what determines what colour your eyes will be? Over the years there have been attempts to predict a new baby’s eye colour based on the eye colour of its parents and grandparents, but the fact is, it isn’t that simple.
What Determines Eye Colour
How much do you know about what makes your eye work? Do you know what the retina is? The retina is made up of light-sensitive layers of tissue lining the back of your eyeball. This tissue collects visual input and send it through your optic nerve to your brain. Your brain uses this input to see the world around you. Now imagine what would happen if your retina was damaged. Unfortunately, this is a very real possibility.
What is Retinal Detachment?
September is Arthritis Awareness Month. Arthritis is a chronic disease that currently affects more than six million Canadians, or over 20% of the population over the age of 15. Nearly 24,000 children have arthritis, as do almost 50% of seniors over the age of 65. Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that can attack the joints in your fingers, toes, hands, arms, legs, the ligaments of your spinal column from neck to low back, hips and shoulders. But were you aware that it can also affect your eyes?
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Your Eyes
Many of you have probably heard the term Colour Blind before. You may even know someone who is colour blind to a greater or lesser degree. But do you know what it means? Does it mean that you see the world in black and white? Well, not exactly. In fact, some people may be colour blind and not even aware of it.
Colour Vision Deficiency
We know that many things that make us who we are can be inherited from our parents, hair and eye colour, facial features, height, or the lack thereof. Even some personality traits can be attributed to genetics, an easy going manner, or conversely, stubbornness, a love for reading or for taking apart and rebuilding things, a love of the outdoors. Other less desirable things can also be hereditary, such as arthritis, heart conditions or high blood pressure. But what about vision related problems? Can they also be inherited? Well, in some cases yes, but not necessarily.
Will you get your parent’s poor eyesight?