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Eye Doctors in Bedford

Serving Bedford, Halifax, and Lower Sackville

Patient Learning Centre

Every week, the Bedford Eye Care, eye doctors in Bedford, posts topics of interest, including eye health and general health news as well as news about our office. Feel free to comment on any of the blog posts or ask us a question at info@bedfordeyecarecentre.ca ... we are more than happy to answer!

Eye Doctors in Bedford

Another great source of patient information is the Doctors of Optometry Canada website. http://doctorsofoptometry.ca/

They also have a great selection of answers to eye patient questions on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/DoctorsofOptometry


Links


Combatting Dry Eyes During the Winter

December 21 marked the first official day of winter which means subzero temperatures are in full swing across Canada. Some enjoyable aspects come with the cold, like delicious hot chocolate and ski season, but it also has its downsides as well – icy roads, wind burned cheeks, and chapped lips.


Dr. Mandelman gives free lecture on Dry Eye Disease and Treatment

Learn about the latest in dry eye treatments when Dr. Mandelman lectures on Monday, October 3rd at 6:00 pm at Future Inns, 30 Fairfax Drive in Halifax. Registration required. Space is limited.


SWEEPSTAKES: Wear sunglasses to help prevent eye damage

Sunshine. Rays. Vitamin D. Tanning. Who doesn’t love that warm feeling of the sun hitting their skin? Our eyes!

It’s become second nature to lather up in sunscreen to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays, unfortunately the same can’t be said for our eyes. Year round, our eyes are exposed to invisible ultraviolet radiation (UV), which causes cumulative damage as we age.

Overexposure to UVA and UVB rays can lead to many eye issues, including:

  • Age-related macular degeneration;
  • Cataracts;
  • Skin cancer on the eyelid;
  • Age spots; and
  • Tissue growths.

To prevent or reduce the risk of sun damage, follow these tips this summer:

  • Avoid the ‘high-risk’ hours. The sun’s UV rays are most powerful between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., when the sun is at its highest. Be cautious of early and late hours as, those are times when the sun is at an angle and rays may slip through the gaps of your sunglasses.
  • Be wary of high doses of UV exposure. Those who work outside are naturally prone to UV overexposure. If you work outdoors, remember to protect your eyes by wearing a hat and sunglasses.
  • Wear your sunnies. Sport sunglasses with anti-UV coatings at all hours of the day, even when it looks cloudy, UV rays are out in full force.
  • Recognize the warning signs. Immediate pain and inflammation of the cornea are signs of a UV burn. See your optometrist right away if you’re experiencing these symptoms.

Remember that sun damage prevention is key to maintaining happy healthy eyes.

Show us how you’re protecting your sight this summer by snapping a pic of you wearing your sunglasses for a chance to win a summer prize pack valued at $1,000! Visit the DOC Facebook page and show us the steps you’re taking to maintain your eye health and overall health this summer.


Quiz: How well can you actually see colour?

When you look at an apple and see the colour red, it’s because the apple itself is red, right? Wrong. The perception of colour is really just a visual effect.

There are six colours in the visible light spectrum (wavelengths of energy visible to the human eye), these include red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. When light hits an object, some of it is absorbed while the rest is reflected. Cone cells in our eyes recognize this reflected visible light and works with the brain to translate it into colour.

To put it simply, colour is not inherent in objects, it’s the light the surface of an object reflects. For example, when an object is seen as red it’s a reflection of the wavelength of light our brain translates as red. We see white when all light has completely reflected off an object, and alternatively, black when all light is absorbed.

Cone cells in our eyes work in the daylight and help us determine the colour of objects, thus, those that are colour blind have faulty cone cells. To test how well you can actually see colours, take this fun Buzzfeed quiz.

To ensure your eyes are healthy and continue to operate at their fullest potential, book regular visits with your local doctor of optometry.


Surviving Allergy Season

Spring has officially arrived which means allergy season is here – or quickly approaching. If you’re amongst the 8 million Canadians (one-quarter of the country) that has seasonal allergies, you’ve probably experienced some form of itchy, red, dry, or watery eyes.

Seasonal allergies are caused by the high pollen released by trees, grass, outdoor moulds, and ragweed. They begin in the spring, peak in the summer, and can last as late as fall.

Most of us know when seasonal allergies strike because we start to experience mild to extreme discomfort in our eyes, but have you ever wondered what’s actually causing our eyes to react? Dr. Marino Discepola from McGill University’s Department of Ophthalmology explains:

When an allergen affects us, it binds to receptor cells called mast cells… we have 50 million of them in a mucous membrane on the surface of our eyelids called the conjunctiva.

When mast cells in the conjunctiva come into contact with an allergen, they release a chemical called histamine, which stimulates the nerves in the eye, making it itchy and watery. The eye is trying to remove the allergen, not realizing that it is harmless.

The release of histamine also causes dilation of the blood vessels on the surface of the eye, which makes your eyes red.”

Most allergens are seasonal, which in most cases last between four to six weeks.

Here are the best -and safest- ways to manage your eyes this allergy season:

  • Get in the habit of checking your local pollen forecast, which provides you with a daily outlook on the types and severity of pollen in the air.
  • Pick up over-the-counter eye drops, or speak with your local eye doctor about prescription eye drops if discomfort persists.
  • Place cold compresses on your eyes, this can help relieve the itching sensation.
  • Despite temptation, DO NOT RUB YOUR EYES, as this will only make your eyes worse and can potentially cause long-term damage.

If you’re experiencing persistent eye discomfort as a result of seasonal allergies, be sure to book an appointment with your doctor of optometry to discuss your options.