Living with Photophobia

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?

The Facts About Alcohol and Your Vision

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?

The Connection Between Vision and Diabetes

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?

What You Need to Know About UV Rays

Spring brings with it longer daylight hours and everyone loves a bright, sunny day. The positive effect of sunlight is manifold. Sunshine provides Vitamin D, which is necessary for good health, it warms the air and is very important in the growing process of plants, flowers and trees. It also is great in raising the spirits. Research has shown that sunlight improves a person’s mood and can decrease depression. Unfortunately, the effects of sunlight are not all positive. Ultraviolet light coming from the sun can damage your skin. It can also do damage to your eyesight.

What is Ultraviolet Light?

Dry Eye Syndrome and You

Have you ever had sore, itchy, irritated eyes? Have you experienced burning or aching sensation in your eyes? Does it happen regularly? You may want to schedule an appointment with your Optometrist because there is a good chance that you have Dry Eye Syndrome.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry Eye Syndrome occurs when your eyes aren’t getting enough lubrication to keep them clean and healthy. Your eyes need constant moisture which is provided by your tears, usually through blinking. Every time you blink, your tear glands (lacrimal glands) release fluid that is wiped across your eyeball by the inside of your eyelid. This liquid is a combination of water, oil and mucus, and its sole purpose is to moisturize and protect your eye. But sometimes your tears don’t provide enough moisture.

What does 20/20 Vision Mean?

20/20 is a term commonly used as the definition of perfect eyesight. But is that really what it means? Actually, it is much more complicated than that.  In fact, even the term perfect, isn’t that easily defined when it comes to your vision.

Visual Acuity

In 1862, Herman Snellen developed a system for measuring the sharpness of vision, known as visual acuity. The system measures your ability to see letters or numbers on a chart at a prescribed distance, generally 20 feet.  The measurement system is known as Snellen fractions and read as: 20/20, 20/40, 20/60, etc. Using this measurement system, a person with 20/20 vision would be considered as having “normal” vision, meaning that they can see letters and numbers at 20 feet that they average person should be able to see at 20 feet. A person with 20/200 would be considered legally blind.

What is Vision Therapy?

So your Optometrist has discovered a problem with your, or possibly your child’s, vision. The next thing they will do is suggest a treatment plan. Depending on the problem, this could be corrective lenses (glasses or contact lenses) medication, or even eye surgery. Or they may suggest Vision Therapy. Vision Therapy? Do you mean eye exercises? Well, not exactly.

Vision Therapy by any other name

Getting to Know Your Optometrist

March 23rd is World Optometry Day, an excellent time to get to know your Optometrist. Question 1: What do you know about your Optometrist? Do you know what they do?  Question 2: When was the last time you saw yours?  Question 3…Wait! Why don’t we work on questions one and two first, and that sneaky Question 1.5 I snuck in the middle.

What is an Optometrist?

Vision and Your Brain

March 12th to 18th is Brain Awareness Week. Considering that vision is controlled by your brain, this would be a great time to discuss how your brain affects what you see, how it works, and what can go wrong.

How the Eye and Brain Function Together

Nutrition and Your Eyes

March is National Nutrition Month, a very good time to discuss the effect of diet on your vision. The average rabbit can tell you about the importance of carrots for your eyesight, but what other foods can help?

Aging and Eye Disease

We all know that as we get older, our bodies wear down and need more maintenance and upkeep. The same is true for our eyes. Some common eye diseases that are related to getting older are: Cataracts, Diabetic Retinopathy, Dry Eye Syndrome, Glaucoma, and Macular Degeneration.  Many of these age related conditions can be avoided or controlled by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, not smoking, getting regular exercise, and eating healthy. But what is a good diet to maintain eye health?