Nowlan & Moore Optometric https://drrossmoore.ca Quality Eye Care in Winnipeg & Winkler Manitoba Tue, 01 Oct 2019 15:44:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Taking a Close Look at Eye Safety https://drrossmoore.ca/articles/2019/10/08/taking-close-look-eye-safety/?pk_campaign=feed&pk_kwd=taking-close-look-eye-safety https://drrossmoore.ca/articles/2019/10/08/taking-close-look-eye-safety/?pk_campaign=feed&pk_kwd=taking-close-look-eye-safety#respond Tue, 08 Oct 2019 13:36:45 +0000 https://drrossmoore.ca/?p=1095 October is Eye Injury Prevention month, so let’s take a moment to look at what we can do to prevent eye injuries. An important statistic to consider is that, of the more than 700,000 eye injuries sustained in Canada annually, over half happen at home. At work, there are more than 700 eye injuries daily.Continue Reading

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October is Eye Injury Prevention month, so let’s take a moment to look at what we can do to prevent eye injuries. An important statistic to consider is that, of the more than 700,000 eye injuries sustained in Canada annually, over half happen at home. At work, there are more than 700 eye injuries daily. Now consider that over 90 percent of these injuries, both at work and at home, could have been prevented by using proper eye protection. These are eye opening figures.

Protecting Your Eyes at Home

So many day to day chores around the house can put your vision at risk, and most people aren’t even aware of the danger. From grease splashes while cooking, to flying dirt and debris while mowing the lawn, to chemical burns when cleaning, your eyes are constantly being put in danger’s path, while we are blissfully unaware. Many of these dangers can be easily negated by simply donning a pair of wraparound safety goggles while cleaning up around the house, yard or garden. Place a pair of safety goggles with your cleaning supplies, hang a pair on your lawnmower and include a pair with your gardening tools and make wearing them a part of your everyday routine. A simple precaution to assure that you have vision for life.

Workplace Eye Safety

Since over a quarter million people per year sustain a work related eye injury, and since the majority of these injuries result in temporary, if not permanent, time off work, and partial or complete vision loss, finding a way to lower these numbers should be seen as a high priority. The biggest problem is that the vast majority of these injuries could be prevented simply by wearing safety goggles. Ironically, the goggles are often available at the workplace, they just aren’t worn. But why wouldn’t someone wear a piece of safety equipment that is made available?  Some excuses include: “I don’t like wearing glasses over glasses,” “They don’t fit properly,” “They are uncomfortable,” “They look funny,” “I can’t see clearly through them,” “They aren’t really necessary,” “My boss doesn’t wear them, so why should I?” To make sure that your employees actually wear the safety equipment provided, safety meetings should be held to discuss the importance of using proper safety equipment. Invite employee input, find out what they would like to see in safety equipment. Don’t go cheap; get regulation, well fitting, comfortable vision protection that meets both safety standards and your employees’ needs. Above all, follow the same rules that you apply to your employees. Wear the same equipment you require them to wear. They are watching you. As an employee, follow your company’s safety rules. They are in place for a reason.

Eye Safety at Play

Although not as high as home or work related eye injuries, sport related vision damage is also a concern. The highest rate of eye injury comes from sports that involve direct, person to person, contact: boxing, wrestling, martial arts, hockey, football, basketball, etc. Most of these injuries come from a blow to the eye, or from a finger or other object poked into the eye. As with other eye injuries, these injuries can also be prevented through the use of proper safety equipment: helmets with visors or other vision protection. There is no way to protect yourself from every potential eye injury, but proper preventative equipment can lower the chances of it happening to you.

What do I do if I sustain an eye injury?

If you, or someone you know, sustains an eye injury, it is important to act quickly. Do not rub or poke at the injury. In fact, the less you attempt to do yourself, the better. If there is swelling, provide a cool, but not damp, compress, provided there is no bleeding. If there is bleeding, you may bandage it, as long as the material you use does not cling to the eye. Do not apply any ointments of salves. In every case, transport the person as quickly as possible to the nearest medical facility and let the professionals handle it. Once you have seen a medical professional and received emergency treatment, make sure to book an appointment with your optometrist for a follow up. Never take chances with your vision.

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Is an Eye Screening the Same as an Eye Examination? https://drrossmoore.ca/articles/2019/09/10/eye-screening-same-eye-examination/?pk_campaign=feed&pk_kwd=eye-screening-same-eye-examination Tue, 10 Sep 2019 13:45:03 +0000 https://drrossmoore.ca/?p=1092 When was the last time you took your child to the optometrist for an eye examination? You’re not sure? But it’s okay, because your child’s whole class had their eyes tested at school and the result was that everything was fine. So that means we can skip going to the optometrist this year, right? Actually,Continue Reading

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When was the last time you took your child to the optometrist for an eye examination? You’re not sure? But it’s okay, because your child’s whole class had their eyes tested at school and the result was that everything was fine. So that means we can skip going to the optometrist this year, right? Actually, not really. A school eye screening isn’t the same thing as a comprehensive eye examination. Here are the differences.

What does Vision Screening entail?

The vision screening often offered in school generally checks for visual acuity, meaning that they have your child identify letters (or pictures, depending on age) on a wall chart. Some tests include a reading or close vision test as well. These tests help to catch some basic vision problems, such as Myopia (Nearsightedness), Hyperopia (Farsightedness) or Astigmatism. This is very helpful, but cannot be considered an adequate replacement for a comprehensive eye exam.

What does a Comprehensive Eye Exam entail?

Not only does a comprehensive eye exam test visual acuity, it also involves examining the overall health of the eye. Peripheral vision, eye pressure and reaction speed will be tested. Your optometrist will also look for early signs of eye diseases such as Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) or conditions such as Amblyopia (Lazy Eye) or Strabismus (Misaligned Eyes). Another common condition an optometrist is trained to watch for is Computer Vision Syndrome, which is becoming more common in our technological society. Early detection of eye conditions, problems or diseases can save your child from more serious problems in the future.

What signs can I watch for at home?

Symptoms of potential vision problems to watch out for in your child include repeatedly blinking or rubbing his/her eyes, lack of interest in reading (or outright refusal to read) and sitting close to TV, tablet or computer screen. Another warning sign is a sudden dislike for school, often accompanied by a gradual drop in performance. Complaints of sore eyes or headaches may also be a symptom of vision problems.

What do I do if my child is exhibiting signs of potential eye problems?

The best solution is prevention, so it is a good idea to make sure that they have regular eye appointments. School aged children should see an optometrist at least once per calendar year. But even if your child has been having regular eye examinations, book an appointment at the first sign of potential vision problems. Never take a chance with your child’s eyes.

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What You Should Know About Your Child’s Vision https://drrossmoore.ca/articles/2019/08/13/what-you-should-know-about-your-childs-vision/?pk_campaign=feed&pk_kwd=what-you-should-know-about-your-childs-vision Tue, 13 Aug 2019 13:39:11 +0000 https://drrossmoore.ca/?p=1090 Mid-August may not be the time you want to be thinking about kids going back-to-school, but unfortunately, September is right around the corner, and your kids need to be ready. Along with those school supplies, have you made sure that their eyes are ready for another school year? After all, the best high-tech equipment inContinue Reading

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Mid-August may not be the time you want to be thinking about kids going back-to-school, but unfortunately, September is right around the corner, and your kids need to be ready. Along with those school supplies, have you made sure that their eyes are ready for another school year? After all, the best high-tech equipment in the world won’t do any good if your child can’t see it properly. When was the last time your child saw an optometrist?

How Often Does my Child Need to Have His/Her Eyes Tested?

Just like the rest of their body, children’s eyes grow, develop and change considerably in their first few years. Your pediatrician will usually check your newborn’s eyes for general eye health before your child leaves the hospital. Premature babies or those with a family history of eye trouble should see an optometrist within the first month or two. Otherwise, your child’s first eye examination should be around age three. The next exam should be around age five, or just before entering school. After that, children should see their optometrist annually until age 18, or more often if there are eye problems, or if your optometrist recommends it.

What Types of Vision Problems Commonly Affect Children?

Children are subject to virtually every eye condition that adults are, but there are a few that you should try to catch early. Amblyopia (lazy eye) and Strabismus (misaligned eyes) are both conditions that can be corrected if caught early. In the case of Retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer which is almost exclusive to children three and under, early detection offers the best chance of retaining vision. With eye conditions such as Myopia (nearsightedness), Hyperopia (farsightedness) and Astigmatism, little can be done to prevent the conditions, but early detection can give the opportunity to prescribe corrective lenses, thus giving the child optimum vision.

New Vision Concerns

In our era of modern technology, a new concern for your child’s vision has been detected. That is the danger of excessive exposure to blue light. Blue light is the light that makes the sky look blue. It is also the light that is reflected back from florescent tubes, and television, computer, tablet and smart phone screens. Natural blue light that we get from the sun helps to improve your mood, boost alertness and improve your reaction speed. However, excessive exposure, especially later into the evening and at night, can lower your production of melatonin. This can lead to headaches, dry, itchy, watery eyes, restlessness, physical and mental fatigue and depression. Excessive exposure to blue light can even lead to early onset macular degeneration. The best thing you can do for your whole family is to limit exposure to blue light, especially later in the evening. Set a time when all devices are turned off for the night, and stick to it.

Don’t forget about Sunlight

While you are out enjoying the summer sunshine, keep in mind that your children’s eyes need as much protection from harmful Ultraviolet (UV) radiation as your’s do. Make sure that they have a good quality pair of sunglasses that protect vision from 100 percent of UV rays, and make sure that your children wear them. The best way to do this is to have them be part of the buying process. Make a bid deal of getting the perfect pair of sunglasses. That way the odds are better that they will wear them properly.

What Else Can I Do to Protect My Child’s Vision?

The best thing you can do to protect your child’s vision is to keep your eyes open. If you see them rubbing their eyes, or if they seem to have trouble reading something, or seeing something clearly, ask them about it. If they complain about sore, itchy eyes, or headaches, or if they say something looks blurry, don’t wait. Schedule an appointment with your optometrist immediately.  Don’t take chances with your child’s vision.

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July is UV Awareness Month https://drrossmoore.ca/articles/2019/07/09/july-awareness-month/?pk_campaign=feed&pk_kwd=july-awareness-month Tue, 09 Jul 2019 13:33:01 +0000 https://drrossmoore.ca/?p=1088 At long last, summer is finally here. We can finally put away our winter wear and enjoy the long, glorious days of basking in the sunshine. Picnics, barbeques, camping, going to the beach, or just staying home and lounging by the pool. But don’t forget that the warm sunshine we miss so much during outContinue Reading

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At long last, summer is finally here. We can finally put away our winter wear and enjoy the long, glorious days of basking in the sunshine. Picnics, barbeques, camping, going to the beach, or just staying home and lounging by the pool. But don’t forget that the warm sunshine we miss so much during out long, cold winter, can do much more than provide us with light, warmth and Vitamin D. The Ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun is capable of doing as much harm as good. Make sure you use sunscreen to protect yourself from getting a nasty sunburn and potential skin cancer. But remember that sunburn isn’t the only thing you have to fear from UV rays. Your eyes also need to be protected.

How Can Ultraviolet Radiation Damage My Eyes?

Anyone who has ever gotten sunburned is well aware of the potential danger of spending too much time under the sun’s rays. It is no different with your eyes. Overexposure to UV rays can cause cataracts, macular degeneration and even skin cancer around the eyelid. And don’t be fooled by clouds. Just like you can get a sunburn on a cloudy day, so can your eyes be damaged, even if you can’t see the sun though the clouds. But unlike your skin, where the heaviest damage occurs around midafternoon, eyes are effected most often in the early morning and late afternoon, when you are most likely to be looking directly into the rising or setting sun.

Photokeratitis, Not Just A Winter Problem

Photokeratitis, better known as snow blindness, is most often associated with winter activities, but you can get it just as easily in summer. It is, quite literally, a sunburn on the eye, and although it is usually caused by sunlight reflected off the snow, it can just as easily be reflected off the water. So if you are playing water sports, swimming, or just hanging around the pool or beach, you are just as likely to get photokeratitis as you would when skiing or snowboarding. When you consider the symptoms, mild to severe pain, bloodshot eyes, light sensitivity, blurred vision, headaches, you may want to give photokeratitis a pass.

How Do I Avoid UV Related Eye Problems?

Avoiding eye issues caused by UV rays can be done as easily as avoiding sunburn. Limit your exposure. When out in the sun, where a good pair of UV blocking sunglasses. Remember that not all sunglasses are created equal, so make sure that the ones you buy are guaranteed to block 100 percent of UV radiation. Wear a hat when out in bright sunlight, and make sure not to stare directly at the sun, or onto light reflecting surfaces, such as water. Use eye drops, to keep your eyes from drying out, especially on particularly dry, windy days. And as much as you enjoy the sun, take a break now and then, to rest both your eyes and body.

What Do I Do If I Think I Have Overexposed My Eyes To UV Radiation?

If you experience pain, blurred vision, red eyes, headaches, or other symptoms that may be caused by overexposure to UV radiation, see your optometrist immediately. Don’t take chances with your vision.

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Fireworks and Your Eyes https://drrossmoore.ca/articles/2019/06/11/fireworks-and-your-eyes/?pk_campaign=feed&pk_kwd=fireworks-and-your-eyes Tue, 11 Jun 2019 13:52:29 +0000 https://drrossmoore.ca/?p=1086 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 aContinue Reading

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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.

Fireworks and Eye Injuries

Thousands of people are injured by fireworks every year, many of them children, and many of those injuries are eye injuries. With all the excitement surrounding the Canada Day celebrations, too often fireworks are treated as toys, often with tragic results. One of the most important things you need to learn is that they are not toys, they are potentially dangerous and need to be treated as such.

Sparklers and Children’s Eyes

First and foremost, all fireworks are potentially dangerous and should never be handled by children. This includes sparklers. Due to their small and non-explosive nature, sparklers are often overlooked when considering fireworks safety. Because of this, they end up being the one most often associated with severe burns and eye injuries in children. Sparklers burn at nearly 2,000 degrees, heat great enough to melt some metals. A single spark in a child’s eye can cause permanent damage and even blindness.

Protecting your Eyes When Handling Fireworks

When setting off fireworks, first make sure that all spectators are a safe distance away from the area where you are lighting them. The instructions on the fireworks should tell you what a safe distance is, the norm being at least 20 metres. If different packages give you different parameters, always go with the most distant to guarantee safety.  The person lighting the fireworks should always use fire resistant safety goggles. Always use a long match, not a cigarette lighter, when lighting the fireworks. If one or more firework does not go off, do not touch it or attempt to relight it. Wait approximately 30 minutes then carefully drop it in a bucket of water. All fireworks should be doused in water after the display, for safety’s sake.

What happens if an Eye Injury Occurs, due to Fireworks?

If someone does get an eye injury, act immediately. Do not rub the eye or apply any pressure, nor should you attempt to rinse it or apply ointment.  Do not use any over-the-counter pain medication. Get the injured person professional medical attention immediately. Nothing you can do yourself will help more than an emergency physician can, and any attempt at home remedies may damage the eye more. Once the eye is healing properly, be sure to pay a visit to your optometrist to do a follow up. Never take chances with your eyes.

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Living with Photophobia https://drrossmoore.ca/articles/2019/05/07/living-with-photophobia/?pk_campaign=feed&pk_kwd=living-with-photophobia Tue, 07 May 2019 13:30:16 +0000 https://drrossmoore.ca/?p=1072 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 aContinue Reading

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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?

Photophobia is often caused by the onset of another condition, such as a migraine. Approximately 80% of migraine sufferers also have photophobia; some only during the onset of the attack, some even when they aren’t experiencing a migraine. Some eye conditions which could cause photophobia are, Corneal Abrasion, Scleritis, Conjunctivitis, Uveitis, Keratitis, Iritis, Cataracts, Blepharospasm, and Dry Eye Syndrome. Other conditions that may cause photophobia include, Meningitis, Encephalitis, brain injury, or tumors in the pituitary gland. Photophobia may also be brought on by eye surgery, including laser surgery.

How Can I Prevent Photophobia?

Although there is no guaranteed way of preventing photophobia, there are some ways of reducing the risk. Maintaining good hygiene and healthy habits to avoid disease and infection, including eye infection, is a great way to look after your all around health. Remember to wash your hands regularly, and to avoid touching your eyes as much as possible. Try to avoid being around people with conditions such as meningitis, conjunctivitis, etc. Be sure to get vaccinated against diseases such as encephalitis. Wear a helmet and other safety gear to help prevent head injuries when on the job or engaging in sporting activities. If you are prone to migraines, do your best to avoid potential triggers. These types of preventative measures not only help to avoid getting photophobia, they are also a great part of a healthy lifestyle.

What Do I Do If I Think I Have Photophobia?

How to respond to potential photophobia would depend upon the severity. In some cases a good, dark pair of sunglasses may solve the problem. Avoid going out in bright sunshine whenever possible, and when you can’t avoid going out, make sure to add a broad brimmed hat to further block the light. Stay indoors when possible, and consider using dimmers on your interior lighting. Taking time out of your day to relax in a darkened room with the lights out can also decrease discomfort. If problems are severe, make appointments with both your family doctor and your optometrist. Medical professionals who know you and your history can help by getting to the root of the problem, whether through eye drops or ointments, antibiotics to deal with potential infection, or through anti-inflammatory medications. In any case, always consult your optometrist when there is any sign of a problem with your vision. Never take chances with your eyes.

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The Facts About Alcohol and Your Vision https://drrossmoore.ca/articles/2019/04/09/facts-about-alcohol-and-your-vision/?pk_campaign=feed&pk_kwd=facts-about-alcohol-and-your-vision Tue, 09 Apr 2019 13:30:00 +0000 https://drrossmoore.ca/?p=1070 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 familyContinue Reading

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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?

How does Drinking Alcohol Affect Your Vision?

To start with, it is important to mention that there is no record of any negative effects caused by having an occasional drink or two of an alcoholic beverage. And even though a one time binge of a large amount of alcohol may cause temporarily blurred and distorted vision, these effects will dissipate once the alcohol is out of your system. As long as you don’t do anything extremely foolish while you are intoxicated, such as attempting to drive a motor vehicle, a full recovery can be expected, in spite of the red, bloody looking eyes and severe headache you will likely experience the next morning. No, lasting negative effects usually come from long-term exposure to excessive amounts of alcohol. But for those who fall into this category, the effects may include light sensitivity, headaches and/or migraines, permanently red or bloodshot eyes, constant blinking or twitching eyelids, regular blurred or double vision, and more.

What Long-Term Effects Can Drinking Have on My Vision?

Over a period of time, excessive drinking begins to weaken the eye’s muscles, causing involuntary Rapid Eye Movement (REM), blinking or eyelid twitching usually associated with sleeping and dreams, except that this will occur while the person is awake and attempting to function. Other effects of weakened eye muscles include blurred or double vision, slow pupil reaction, making it difficult to adjust to different lighting, and decreased peripheral vision. Excessive alcohol use can also bring on early onset Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). From there it is a slippery slope.

How is Alcohol Connected to Optic Neuropathy?

Optic Neuropathy, also known as Tobacco-Alcohol Amblyopia or Toxic Amblyopia, is a serious condition which can decrease peripheral vision, colour vision, and may lead to complete vision loss. The condition is painless and is directly linked to the toxic effects of excessive drinking and/or smoking.

What Can I Do To Avoid Alcohol Related Vision Problems?

The best thing you can do for, not only your eye, but your whole body, is to limit your alcohol consumption. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you have to give it up entirely, just be cautious about how much you drink. Don’t feel that you have to keep up with your buddies when you are drinking, take a break and have a glass of water, juice or coffee. Think seriously about how often you drink. When was the last time you went a day without drinking? Is your tolerance increasing; does it take more to get a “buzz”? These are warning signs. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to talk to both your family doctor and your optometrist. Don’t take chances with your health or your vision.

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What Does it Mean to be Visually Impaired? https://drrossmoore.ca/articles/2019/03/12/what-does-mean-visually-impaired/?pk_campaign=feed&pk_kwd=what-does-mean-visually-impaired Tue, 12 Mar 2019 13:22:08 +0000 https://drrossmoore.ca/?p=1068 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 billionContinue Reading

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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?

Legally blind does not necessarily mean total sightlessness. It means that your level of visual impairment has reached the point where you cannot safely drive a car or operate machinery, even with the use of corrective lenses. In Canada, that means having a visual acuity, using the eye chart designed by Dr. Herman Snellen, of 20/200 in your better eye, even when using corrective lenses. A second way of recognizing legal blindness is to test your field of vision. If your field of vision is 20 degrees or less in your better eye, even using corrective lenses, it would give you ‘tunnel vision,” which would also make you legally blind.

What is the difference between Legal Blindness and Low Vision?

Low vision is recognized as having uncorrectable blurred vision, blind spots or tunnel vision that has not yet reached the point where it is considered legal blindness. Even though it is not yet considered legal blindness, it may feel that way to those who have it, and it may, eventually lead to legal blindness. Low vision is often brought on simply by the process of aging, but it can be caused by a side effect of eye surgery, or by Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Quite simply, low vision is an uncorrectable visual impairment.

What can cause Visual Impairment?

As already mentioned, visual impairment can be caused by AMD, by eye surgery, or by the aging process. Other causes include excessive exposure to Ultra Violet (UV) Radiation, untreated Cataracts and Glaucoma, and Diabetic Retinopathy. In children, visual impairment can be caused by untreated Amblyopia (Lazy Eye), Strabismus (Crossed Eyes) or eye infections such as Pink Eye. The simple fact is, not all visual impairment can be prevented, but some can, and others can be delayed by proper care.

What Can I Do to Prevent Visual Impairment?

The best thing you can do for your vision is to take care of it. Wear sunglasses when out in the sunlight, especially in the winter, when glare from the snow can damage your eyes. Wear eye protection when working or playing sports. Most importantly, make regular appointments with your optometrist, and if you have any reason to suspect a problem with your vision, don’t hesitate to book an appointment immediately. Don’t take chances with your vision. You’ll miss it when it’s gone.

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Winter Sunglasses, Not Just for Snowbirds https://drrossmoore.ca/articles/2019/02/12/winter-sunglasses-just-for-snowbirds/?pk_campaign=feed&pk_kwd=winter-sunglasses-just-for-snowbirds Tue, 12 Feb 2019 14:25:26 +0000 https://drrossmoore.ca/?p=1065 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 alsoContinue Reading

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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

Everyone knows that sunlight is good for you, when taken in moderation. The sun’s rays provide our bodies with much needed Vitamin D, as well as warming our skin and improving our mood. However, too much exposure to sun can give us a nasty sunburn. Ultra Violet (UV) rays are the part of the sun’s light that both warms and eventually burns our skin. An unfortunate fact is that those same UV rays can also have a negative effect on our vision. There are a number of eye conditions that can be either caused or exacerbated by prolonged exposure to UV radiation, including, Dry Eye Syndrome, Cortical Cataracts, Presbyopia, Uveal Melanoma, and Macular Degeneration, to name a few. In winter, the risk is even greater.

What is Snow Blindness?

Photokeratitis, or Snow Blindness is, in essence, a sunburn on the eyeball. It is caused by the sun’s UV radiation being magnified when it hits the surface of the snow, then reflected back into your eyes. Snow can increase the amount of UV radiation that reaches your eyes by 80 to 85%. This magnified radiation can damage your eyes as quickly as direct exposure to the sun, although, much like a sunburn, you may not notice until the damage is done. Symptoms include painful, blurry, swollen, watery eyes. Extensive exposure can lead to vision loss and possibly even blindness.

How Do I Prevent Snow Blindness?

The best way to protect your eyes from damage caused by UV radiation is to get yourself a good pair of sunglasses. If you are into winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding or snowmobiling, be sure to get a good pair of wraparound goggles with UV protection. Not all sunglasses or goggles are created equal, so make sure that you get ones that block 100% UV rays. Lens darkness or colour is less important than UV protection, and be aware that that UV radiation can reach your eyes, even on cloudy days.

What Else Can I do to Protect My Vision?

If you are concerned that your eyes may have received excessive exposure to UV radiation, if you aren’t sure about the quality of your sunglasses, or for any other vision concerns, always make sure to ask your optometrist. Your optometrist will be happy to answer any questions you have, and advise you on the best way to protect and preserve your eyesight. Don’t take chances with your vision.

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Understanding Glaucoma https://drrossmoore.ca/articles/2019/01/08/understanding-glaucoma/?pk_campaign=feed&pk_kwd=understanding-glaucoma Tue, 08 Jan 2019 14:41:42 +0000 https://drrossmoore.ca/?p=1061 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 GlaucomaContinue Reading

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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.

There are four known types of glaucoma: Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma, is the most common type and is caused when either the aqueous fluid produced by the eye is over produced, or if it does not drain properly. This gradual build-up of fluid puts pressure on the optic nerve. It often happens so gradually that a person may not notice any symptoms until vision is impaired. The second type is Angle-Closure Glaucoma, which is caused when fluid drainage between the iris and cornea is blocked, creating pressure on the optic nerve. This blockage can happen gradually, as a person ages, or may come on suddenly and potentially cause vision loss within 24 hours. Another form of glaucoma is known as Secondary Glaucoma, and is usually brought on by an infection or injury that causes a build-up of pressure. The final type is Normal-Tension Glaucoma, which develops even though eye pressure remains normal. Although the actual cause is unknown, it is believed that it may be the result of an overly sensitive optic nerve, or potentially by a reduction in blood supply to the optic nerve.

Who is at Risk for Developing Glaucoma?

People at risk of developing glaucoma include anyone over 40 years old, those of African-Canadian, Inuit, Russian, Scandinavian, Irish, Hispanic or Japanese descent, and those who have a family history of glaucoma. You are also at risk if you already have an eye condition, and in particular Myopia (Nearsightedness) or Hyperopia (Farsightedness). People who have an eye injury or trauma can develop glaucoma. There is also a connection between glaucoma and diabetes and/or high blood pressure. Those using corticosteroids for prolonged periods may also be at risk.

What Can I Do To Protect Myself From Developing Glaucoma?

The best defense against glaucoma is to take care of your health. Regular exercise and a healthy diet will go a long way to prevent health issues related to glaucoma such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Use proper eye protection when at work and play to prevent injury. But, since so little is known about the cause of glaucoma, and since it often occurs with little or no symptoms, your best protection is early detection. Remember to see your optometrist regularly and don’t take chances with your vision.

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