As we age, the eye’s lens begins to change. Cataracts form in most people by the time they reach age 60. In fact, more than 2.5 million Canadians have cataracts.
There is currently no definitive reason the medical community can determine why the lens changes as we age, only that it does.
Known risk factors include:
There are several types of cataracts, including:
While many people assume that poor vision is an inevitable part of ageing, vision loss due to cataracts can be restored to very good acuity (between 20/20 and 20/40) with a routine and safe surgical procedure.
Cataract surgery is the most popular surgery performed in North America and is long-term successful in over 90% of cases.
The first step is a comprehensive eye exam to determine the type and development of your cataracts. Assuming your surgical viability, we will then refer you to an Ophthalmologist.
The Ophthalmologist will remove your clouded lenses and replace them with a clear intraocular lens (IOL) made of plastic. The IOL mimics the function of the original lens and is very successful in restoring vision quality.
The surgery is relatively painless, with mild postoperative discomfort for a couple of weeks.
First, we diagnose the cause of your symptoms. As conjunctivitis has several different causes, a diagnosis is required before administrating the appropriate treatment.
We regularly treat patients for conjunctivitis and quickly test to determine its cause. We can treat the symptoms with eye drops and antihistamines to provide relief of your discomfort.
Most forms of pink eye/red eye respond quickly to treatment, and a visit to our office is much faster than a trip to the walk-in.
What is Conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is often called pink eye or red eye because of how its symptoms present. These terms are sometimes used interchangeably.
It results when the conjunctiva – the thin layer of clear cells that on the white portion of the eye and inside of your eyelid – become inflamed.
Symptoms of Conjunctivitis
Your specific case of conjunctivitis may display a combination of all or some of the symptoms below:
Do Not Wear Contacts if You Have Pink Eye
If you have conjunctivitis, do not wear your contact lenses. The lenses may irritate the eyes further, exacerbate existing symptoms or prolong their duration.
Causes of Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis has several varied causes. For this reason, a proper diagnosis is needed to determine the appropriate treatment.
An eye exam is painless and enables us to get an accurate picture of your eye health. If you have diabetes, OHIP provides coverage for annual eye exams.
Damage to the blood vessels within and around the retina causing cloudy, hazy, blurry vision. It can cause blindness if left untreated.
Prolonged periods of hyperglycemia causes glucose to accumulate in your blood vessels. High blood glucose levels eventually weaken the walls of the blood vessels in your eye, causing diabetic retinopathy. The risk of developing retinopathy is directly related to how long you’ve had diabetes, or how well maintained your blood sugar levels are.
During your eye exam, we will use specialized equipment to look at the inside of your eye. We will dilate your eyes using eye drops in order to provide a better view of your retina.
After the exam, your eyes will be blurry for a few hours, though you should be able to return to normal activities shortly after the exam. Your eyes may also be sensitive to light- we recommend bringing sunglasses with you.
Though diabetes increases your risk for some eye diseases, those risks can be managed by effectively controlling your blood sugar levels. Periods of hyperglycemia or hypertension can have a dramatic impact on your eye health.
When it comes to eye health, prevention is far more effective than restoration. Unfortunately, most vision loss is permanent and blindness can occur if it is not treated appropriately.
Living a healthy lifestyle is recommended for all people, but especially if you have diabetes. Eating well, following your treatment plans, and exercising regularly do a great job in helping manage your blood sugar levels.
If you are struggling to formulate or stick to a diet, we can help. Learn more about eye wellness and nutrition.
Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that damages your optic nerve. The vision loss caused by glaucoma is progressive and irreversible.
Unfortunately, Glaucoma often develops asymptomatically (shows no symptoms) until vision loss has already occurred.
Glaucoma is not a defined disease but rather a group of diseases. There are many types of Glaucoma; the three most common are:
During Glaucoma’s initial development you may not experience any symptoms. The most popular variant – open-angle – happily develops without your noticing it until it is quite developed.
The only way to catch glaucoma before it causes vision loss is to catch it preemptively. During an eye exam we test for glaucoma using advanced equipment and testing processes (such as OCT Imaging).
An annual eye exam will be sufficient for most people, though if you have a family history of glaucoma (or other eye diseases) it is recommended you have more frequent eye exams.
It’s difficult for us to properly articulate the importance of preventative eye care. We find it incredibly distressing when people discover the importance of preventative care too late.
We implore you: care for your eyes. If you are an adult with normal vision, have them checked at least once every one or two years- your future self, enjoying the benefits of great eyesight, will thank you!
If you are over age 65, OHIP provides coverage for annual eye exams- please, use it! As well, certain conditions (such as diabetes) also impact your eyesight, and OHIP provides coverage for more frequent eye exams as a result.
Unfortunately, no cure for glaucoma exists, though its symptoms and impacts can be managed effectively through eye drops (and in some cases, surgical procedures). In fact, treatment is effective enough that we have to remind our patients to continue their prescribed treatments despite a lack of obvious symptoms.
The most common cause of vision loss from glaucoma is when patients fail to strictly follow their treatment.