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 email@example.com ... we are more than happy to answer!
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.
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;
Skin cancer on the eyelid;
Age spots; and
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.
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.
If you have irritated, gritty or watery eyes and fluctuating vision, you may have Dry Eye Disease. The majority of Dry Eye Disease is caused by a malfunction of the oil-producing glands in the eyes and can progress until the glands ultimately atrophy and disappear, leaving the patient miserable.
Until recently, many dry eye treatments were aimed primarily at improving comfort without any lasting effects. However, these previous therapies do not actually treat the disease or prevent progression.
Recent innovations in Dry Eye Disease Treatment, including Lipiflow technology allow us to actually treat the most common root cause of Dry Eye Disease and prevent further progression.
Bedford Eye Care is holding a free public lecture to explain Dry Eye Disease, including its diagnosis and treatment.
It’s been an eye opening week as many Canadians are learning that what you see isn’t always a true reflection of reality.
Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) is a medical condition that causes your eyes to play tricks on you, otherwise known as visual hallucinations. CBS is experienced by 1 in 5 people who’ve experienced some form of vision loss, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.
You might be asking yourself “who is Charles Bonnet”? Charles Bonnet was a Swiss philosopher in the 1700s who documented the visual hallucinations experienced by his elderly grandfather, who also suffered from cataracts. The medical syndrome was coined almost 200 years later in the 1930s.
Those with Charles Bonnet Syndrome report visual hallucinations ranging from simple, still images to more complex scenes playing out before their eyes. This includes patterns, animals, brickwork, flowers, as well as marching soldiers, a woman in a dress sweeping, and quickly moving Oompa-Loompa figures.
University of British Columbia ophthalmologist, Dr. Mary Lou Jackson, describes Charles Bonnet Syndrome like this:
In other words, visual hallucinations are experienced when the brain is trying to ‘fill in the blanks’ visually when the eyes aren’t registering what it’s seeing.
Although visual hallucinations can be a surprising and scary experience, eye experts encourage people to speak up if it happens to them. While there is currently no cure for Charles Bonnet Syndrome, doctors hope that bring awareness to CBS will lead to lead to better research, diagnosis, and treatment methods.
If you’ve experienced visual hallucinations as a result of vision loss, book an appointment today to speak with our doctor of optometry.
A recent report issued by the US-based Vision Council, uncovered that 65% of the population reported experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain. Though this report is based on US data, research shows that internet use per capita, in Canada is even higher than in the US, with Canadian children (aged 10-16) getting a staggering 6.5 hours of screen time per day.
What is digital eye strain? Digital eye strain is the physical eye discomfort felt by many individuals after two or more hours in front of a digital screen.
Instances of digital eye strain are increasing as our lives become increasingly digitized. According to the Vision Council report:
96% of adults use digital devices to find a recipe.
76% look at their digital devices in the hour before going to sleep.
Adults under 30 experience the highest rates of digital eye strain symptoms (73%).
60% use digital devices for five or more hours a day, with 70% using two or more devices at a time.
59% of individuals in their 40s use computers to shop online, more than any other age group.
83% of adults in their 20s use a smartphone as their alarm clock.
Symptoms can vary dependent on the patient, but most experience; eye fatigue; headache; blurred vision; dry eyes and upper back, neck and shoulder pain. While abstaining or limiting your screen time is the best treatment, there are a number of things people can do to help minimize the impact of digital eye strain. Solutions can include specialized computer eyewear, optimal desk set-ups, and taking breaks when needed.
Of the respondents, 90% of patients do not talk with their eye care providers about digital device usage. If you have concerns about your digital device usage, book an appointment with your doctor of optometry to discuss your options.
Dr. Mandelman is featured on CTV news at five, discussing Post Traumatic Vision Syndrome that can occur after a concussion. Symptoms include loss of balance, trouble concentrating, light sensitivity, inability to cope with busy environments, dizziness and difficulties reading. The syndrome is treatable with a combination of speciatly glasses and specialized physiotherapy.
His pictures help us see parts of the eye in impeccable detail. Of particular interest is the iris, the coloured part of the eye that surrounds the pupil.
These stringy looking membranes are pigmented and lie between the cornea and the lens. The iris acts as a contraption that widens or narrows the eye opening. This function is what controls the amount of light that enters the eye, through the pupil. You’ll notice that everyone has a different eye colour, this is due to melancocytes, the same cells that are responsible for the production of our skin colour.
The clear part of the eye you see covering the eyeball is the cornea. The area between the cornea and iris and pupil is known as the anterior chamber. This space holds the aqueous humor, which is a clear fluid that provides nutrients to the cornea and the lens.
To learn more about your eyes, book an annual eye exam with on of our doctors of optometry, to make sure your eye health is in optimal shape.
As kids we used them to disturb a class presentation, tease our pets, or reenact Star Wars, but little did we know, these handheld tools have the capacity to cause significant eye damage.
A recent rise in patients with severe eye injuries (including retinal burns, blurry vision, even blindness) have been popping up all over the world – due to a tiny handheld tool, the laser pointer. Many don’t recognize the seriousness in playing with these devices, largely due to lack of knowledge when it comes to the power they emit. Laser pointers outputting more than five milliwatts of power seriously increases your risk for eye damage when the laser comes in direct contact with your eye.
Through ease of ordering these ‘toys’ online, the risk is being put into the hands of many children. Products may be lacking labelling or testing to determine the output – which can put many at risk for exposure to the powerful beam.
Improper use of these tools have affected pilots, vehicle operators and the public by impairing their vision. The eye only needs to be exposed to a five milliwatt laser before the natural protective mechanisms of the eye, such as blinking, are helpless.
To avoid damage to yourself and others, follow these guidelines:
Never direct your laser pointer or aim it in someone’s direction
Keep laser pointers out of reach of children
Prior to purchase, ensure the product is properly labelled (the label should include the manufacturers name and date of manufacture, a warning of exposure to laser radiation, a class designation)
If you’re ever exposed to a laser pointer and begin experiencing eye irritation, call us immediately.
This past year, up and coming musician Willie Maxwell, more commonly known as Fetty Wap, revealed that he had lost his right eye due to congenital glaucoma when he was a child.
Fetty lives without a prosthetic eye and is inspiring children and those living with similar circumstances to be confident with their eye conditions. Fetty wrote to 10-year old Jayden, who has always worn a prosthetic after losing an eye to retinoblastoma, ‘…it’s not how you look or what you see it’s how you see it and what you’re looking for from yourself…’
Other famous celebrities that are living with eye conditions include Mila Kunis who was blind for many years due to chronic iritis, John Goodman and Larry King both underwent treatment for cataracts, Bono who suffers from glaucoma, Dame Judi Dench lives with age related macular degeneration, and most famously Stevie Wonder who was born blind with a condition called retinopathy of prematurity.
The key to prevention and diagnosis with many of these eye health issues is to book a comprehensive eye exam. Call us today and book an eye exam today.
Photo credit: ROBB D. COHEN/ROBB D. COHEN/INVISION/AP
Bedford Eye Care is a Finalist for Business of the Year!
We are so very grateful to our patients, the community and the outstanding service team in the practice for the support you all continue to show to us in our many years in business.
We're honoured to be selected by the Halifax Chamber of Commerce among a diverse group of outstanding and well-known finalists for this prestigious award. We believe it's a reflection of the commitment we have to delivering the highest quality care to our patients and for pushing into new areas of innovative care, including our new dry eye and traumatic brain injury clinics, as well as our commitment to patient and public education in these critical new areas of research and treatment.