Lynn Valley Optometry
1233 Lynn Valley Rd #255 North Vancouver BC V7J 3H2 (604) 987-9191
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604-265-8272

North Vancouver / 604.987.9191

Eye Conditions

Presbyopia is an age-related eye condition that affects all adults over 45 years old at some point in their lifecycle.  As your eye ages, the crystalline lens inside the eye loses its elasticity and flexibility resulting in less ability to focus on objects close up.  This makes it difficult to read and do close up work including computer work.  Even people with current eye conditions such as Myopia and Hyperopia will also experience this added eye condition.  

Diagnosis is simple during an eye examination with your current eye doctor at Lynn Valley Optometry.  Patients will notice symptoms that will encourage them to make an eye appointment such as eye strain, eye fatigue, difficulties focusing and seeing small print, holding text and printed materials further at arms length and squinting to try to focus.

Treatment includes eyeglasses with new technology multifocal lenses, reading glasses, contact lenses and Lasik.

Myopia is an eye condition that occurs when the light entering the pupil does not bend or refract correctly and falls beyond back of the eye without coming to a single focus on the retina (back of the eye) resulting in blurred vision.  People with Myopia can see objects close up clearly but objects far away can appear blurry or distorted.

Myopia is an inherited eye condition commonly found in the growth phases of young adolescents during regular comprehensive eye exams.

Treatment options are eyeglasses, contact lenses and Lasik.

Hyperopia is an eye condition that occurs when the light entering the pupil does not bend or refract correctly and falls short coming to a single focus on the retina (back of the eye) resulting in blurred vision.  People with Hyperopia can see objects far away clearly but objects close can appear blurry or distorted.

Uncorrected Hyperopia can lead to eye strain, eye fatigue and headaches.  Regular eye health checkups will uncover this eye condition.

Treatment options most often are eyeglasses and contact lenses however Lasik is also an option.

Astigmatism is an irregular curvature of the cornea which is the clear, front surface covering the iris and pupil.  This results in blurred vision in various distances as the light is not focusing properly on the retina (the back of the eye).  Most people have some degree of Astigmatism according to DoctorsofOptometry.ca and it is caused by factors such as hereditary conditions, development of the eye during growing phases and pressure of the eyelids on the cornea.

Diagnosis can be determined during a comprehensive eye examination with your eye doctor.  Symptoms can include blurred or distorted vision, eye strain and eye fatigue and headaches.  

Treatment can include eyeglasses, contact lenses and vision therapy.

What is Strabismus? (Crossed Eyes or Eye Turns)

Strabismus is commonly referred to as a crossed eye or wandering eye. It is a visual condition in which a person cannot align both eyes simultaneously under normal conditions. The result is the appearance of one eye turning in, out, up or down in relationship to the other. A person with strabismus has reduced binocular function and depth perception. People who have strabismus struggle with visual space orientation. This orientation is a mental phenomenon that exists in the visual cortex of the brain. If left untreated, the eye that turns may develop reduced visual acuity, a condition known as amblyopia, or lazy eye. Whether the eye turn is constant (when the eye turns all of the time) or intermittent (turning only some of the time), strabismus always requires treatment. It will not go away on its own and children will not outgrow it.

Strabismus:

What is Amblyopia?

Amblyopia, commonly referred to as lazy eye, is the eye condition noted by reduced vision not correctable by wearing glasses or contact lenses and is not due to any eye disease. Amblyopia is often the result of long-term suppression of the eye’s signal from the brain. Anything that interferes with clear vision in either eye during the critical period (birth to 6 years of age) can cause amblyopia. The most common causes are constant strabismus (constant turn of one eye), anisometropia (different vision/prescriptions in each eye), and/or blockage of an eye due to cataract, trauma, lid droop, etc.

Amblyopia is a neurologically active process. In other words, the loss of vision takes place in the brain. If one eye sees clearly and the other sees a blur, the brain can inhibit (block, ignore, suppress) the eye with the blur. The brain can also suppress one eye to avoid double vision. The inhibition process (suppression) can result in a permanent decrease in the vision in the blurry eye that cannot be corrected with glasses, lenses, or laser eye surgery.

Recent scientific research has disproven the long held belief that children with lazy eye, or amblyopia, can’t be helped after age 7. The tradition of patching the good eye is not as effective as vision therapy and constant patching can damage the binocular cells of the eye. Newer treatment methods utilize minimal patching combined with appropriate activities that stimulate both the monocular and binocular cells of the eye.

Eye Health Articles

It’s the time of year where we see an influx of patients suffering from dry eye and allergic conjunctivitis (eye allergies). Unfortunately, both of these conditions tend to flare up in the spring and are often confused with each other because they share similar symptoms.

It goes without saying that if you need dry eye treatment that we are here for you. We have ample experience and significant medical training (not to mention equipment) that gives us an edge when assessing dry eye.

Two Things You Can Do At Home That Can Improve Your Dry Eye

While working with one of our Optometrists is your best bet for combatting dry eye (especially if your dry eye is chronic), that isn’t to say that there aren’t things that you can do that will positively influence your dry eye symptoms.

If your dry eye is bothering you, here are a couple of things to try:

Control Your Environment as Much as Possible

Dry eye is often caused by a combination of factors, and because of that it can be difficult to isolate its cause(s). For that reason we always recommend that our patients do what they can to control all the variables possible.

Your home is one such area where you can have significant influence. Try the following:

 

  • Ensure your ambient humidity levels average around 55% or more – This isn’t an issue for most homes in Vancouver, but it’s important to mention just the same. 
  • Avoid areas with smoke – Smoke, be it caused from a bonfire or from a cigarette, can play havoc with dry eye. Smoke is an irritant, and your eyes are particularly sensitive. As an aside: if you are a smoker, you may find relief from quitting or reducing how much you smoke.
  • Stay indoors when it’s windy – Wind is annoying when you don’t have dry eyes; it’s sometimes deliberating for those that do. Wind blowing against the eye will cause tears to evaporate even faster and can also blow dust (or other debris) into your eye.

    If you are unable to avoid the outdoors, where glasses or sunglasses to minimize how much wind impacts your eyes.
  • Avoid dusty areas – Airborne dust/particles can make dry eye feel that much worse. Whenever possible, stick to areas that have good air quality.

 

Take Breaks When Reading or Working at a Computer

Often, when reading or working at a computer, people neglect to blink as often as they should. Given that dry eye is caused by a lack of proper eye lubrication, blinking at a reduced rate is only going to make things worse.

Take frequent breaks and follow the 20/20/20 rule (every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds).

We’re Here to Help When You Need Us

It goes without saying that we are here to help with your dry eye. We are dry eye specialists, incorporating some of the latest technology available for the treatment and management of dry eye (such as IPL dry eye treatment).

Summer is our favourite time of year. The warm weather really makes Vancouver look and feel beautiful. However, for some, the boon to local fauna has a nasty side effect: seasonal allergies.

Even if you don’t have seasonal allergies, chances are that you know someone who always carries an ample supply of tissues during the summer months. Not only is sneezing and plugging a runny nose frustrating, but our eyes sometimes like to join the allergy party!

You can minimize the impact of your seasonal allergies by:

  • Keeping windows and doors closed – Especially in periods where pollen/dander counts are high. In this case, air conditioning becomes your new best friend.
  • Wearing glasses/sunglasses when outdoors – They help keep wind and allergens out of your eyes.

Eye Allergy Symptoms & Treatments

Every person is different. You may not respond to all the treatments discussed here. If your seasonal eye allergy symptoms are really causing you problems, we welcome you to schedule an appointment to speak to one of our Optometrists- we will help you alleviate your symptoms and enjoy your summer in comfort.

Itchy, Scratchy, or Burning Eyes

We all know the uncomfortable stinging or burning sensation that comes with irritated eyes. This sensation may abate somewhat with your eyes closed, though it usually persists regardless.

Treatments include:

  • Lubricating eye drops – If the sensation is caused by dry eye, you may find lubricating eye drops provide relief (albeit temporarily). You can find these in any pharmacy or in our office.

  • Antihistamines – Antihistamines, taken either orally or as eye drops, prevent your eye and eyelids from release the histamines that cause inflammation. You can get these over the counter, though you’ll need a prescription for the high-strength versions. Be mindful of potential side effects, which include dry eye.

Watery Eyes/Excessive Tearing

Eyes that water can make it difficult to see. If this is chronic you may find it difficult to perform everyday tasks like reading or driving.

Treatments include:

  • Using a warm compress several times per day – This can help unclog any blocked tear ducts or drainage canals.

  • Antihistamines – Either oral or as eye drops. Same as described above.

  • Surgery – If your watery eyes are significantly impacting your life, we may recommend surgery to clear/create drainage ducts.

  • Prescription eye drops or corticosteroids – If your case is quite severe, corticosteroids may be used to reduce inflammation and tearing. However, this is a short-term solution as corticosteroids have been linked to an increase in eye pressure (which can influence the development of glaucoma4) as well as cataract development5.

Red or Pink Eyes

Also known as allergic conjunctivitis1, pink eye is a common seasonal allergy symptom.

Treatments include:

  • Antihistamines – Either orally or via eye drops.

  • Mast cell stabilizers – Taken as eye drops, mast cell stabilizers prevent the mast cells in your eyes/eyelids from releasing histamines and other allergic-mediators.

There’s no universal advice as to what sunglasses to pick, which brands to choose, or what style to go for- so much depends on you and your tastes!

We’ve cultivated a few helpful tips that will point you in the right direction. Don’t forget we’ve got one of the largest selections of designer eyewear in North Vancouver- come pay us a visit1!

Sunglass Style & Aesthetics

Face Shape

There are different shapes of faces. Sunglasses are designed to compliment your natural face shape. Whether you have an oval, square, diamond, or found face, you’ll find a certain shape and style complements you perfectly.

When you have a good idea of what shapes best compliment your face, shopping for sunglasses gets a whole lot easier!

Skin Tone

When picking the frame, colour is a major factor to consider.  You want the colour to compliment your skin tones and your hair colouring.   

If you have a warm skin tone, you want a frame colour that flatters your skin.  With warm skin tones, you want to stay away from contrasting colour in the frames.  You also want to stay away from pastels, as they conflict and compete with your skin tone.  

For those with a cool skin tone, you do not want to pick a colour that will wash you out (like pastels)- go towards the darker frames.

What is “In”

It is always fun to follow fashion trends and know what is popular on the market. However, just because certain colours are in style now does not mean that your glasses need to follow suit.  

We recommend that you pick a style that you really enjoy, and not a style on the basis of shock value or that it’s popular at the moment. Your investment in sunglasses should last you years- there’s nothing worth than a nice pair of prescription sunglasses that you don’t/won’t wear because they’re a little too last year.

Lifestyle and Personality

Your sunglasses are much an unspoken statement about your personality as they are about blocking UV rays and looking good. With so much variety available in terms of design, style, colour, and utility, we strongly encourage you to find a pair of sunglasses that match your personality.

Also consider your lifestyle when choosing sunglasses. If you want to wear them while running or being athletic, you may find yourself better served by athletic sunglasses. Conversely, if the most activity your sunglasses will see is a leisurely walk along the ocean’s edge, you could probably have some fun with some more relaxed styles.

Visit Us for Your Next Pair of Sunglasses

No matter what you’re looking for, we’ve got a new pair of sunglasses that you’ll love. Check out our sunglasses brands, and pop on by- we’d love to help you try on a new pair!

We encounter many families who are unaware of how vision therapy can be used in replacement of – or in conjunction with – several surgical procedures that are used to correct eye alignment problems.  As optometrists and vision therapy practitioners, we know the value and ability of vision therapy first hand.

Eye alignment surgery is relatively common in both children and adults. In many cases, vision therapy could have prevented the need for alignment surgery. In cases where vision therapy may have been insufficient on its own, it acts as an ideal complement to surgery and drastically shortens recovery times.

Vision therapy is a non-surgical process that can have tremendous benefits for children and adults. While there are a lot of ways that vision therapy can help an adult, for the purposes of this post we’re going to focus on how it helps children- specifically, how vision therapy helps correct eye alignment problems in young children.

Eye Alignment Problems Vision Therapy Can Address

Proper eye alignment is essential for overall eye health. In addition to the impacts eye alignment has on your appearance (and self-esteem), proper alignment encourages ideal eye teaming and coordination.

In kids we tend to see two alignment problems: strabismus, and amblyopia.

Strabismus

What is Strabismus?

Strabismus is usually referred to as a “crossed eye”. When a child has strabismus, one (or rarely, both) of their eyes appears out of alignment. Approximately 4% of children will have pediatric strabismus.

To clarify, it’s normal for a newborn to have misaligned eyes. In most kids, the alignment problem will resolve itself by the time the child is six months old. If the child is older than six months and alignment problems continue to appear, even if infrequent, strabismus is likely to blame.

How Vision Therapy Helps

Vision therapy utilizes several exercises as well as eye-patching. The process strengthens the mind/muscle connection between the brain and the eye alignment/focusing muscles. It also teaches the brain how to better utilize the strabismic eye and utilize both eyes as a team.

Vision therapy is quite effective in addressing strabismus.

Amblyopia

What is Amblyopia?

Amblyopia is usually referred to as a “lazy eye” and is the result of the brain favoring the one eye over the other. This favoritism can be due to several reasons, though it’s usually due to the brain choosing to prioritize the information from the other (good eye) due to the amblyopic eye being unable to see properly (because of an alignment problem, or a vision problem such as a refractive error or congenital cataract).

Approximately 3% of children have amblyopia.

How Vision Therapy Helps

Vision therapy utilizes a variety of exercises, techniques, and some eye patching to address amblyopia. In particular, vision therapy emphasizes binocular vision treatment. Eye patching is used as minimally as possible in order to encourage patient compliance.

Visit Our Vision Therapy Clinic

We welcome you and your child to our vision therapy clinic whenever you are ready to learn more about vision therapy and the benefits it can provide. Our optometrists will assess you or your child and determine your individualized needs.

All vision therapy programs are customized for the needs of the patient. To get the process going, schedule an appointment and pay us a visit!

Short, to-the-point and filled to the brim with useful information.

Pediatric strabismus is a condition which predominantly affects newborn infants but it can develop over childhood up to ages 5 or 6.

The simplest introduction to pediatric strabismus is that it is a misalignment of the eyes. One or both eyes may turn in, out, up, or down, or may wander in different directions.

If your child shows any unusual misalignment, please visit us at Lynn Valley Optometry. We have the tools to help. Learn more about how vision therapy can help.

What Causes Pediatric Strabismus?

Each eye has several muscles which are dedicated to controlling its movement and orientation, as dictated by the neurological commands of the brain. When either the neurological control or physical muscle function experience problems, strabismus often occurs.

Unfortunately, strabismus may also be part of your genetic make up. If you or your partner suffered from this condition then your children face a higher-than-average risk.

Symptoms

It is important to remember that young children are unlikely to complain of their strabismus, because they do not experience pain or irritation.  Many children who have strabismus assume that what they are seeing due to their strabismus is normal.

Misaligned or Lazy Eyes

Since one eye can often seem to drift out of position when a child is tired or closely examining an object, mild strabismus can go a while without being diagnosed. Parents, guardians and teachers are usually the first to notice when a child’s eyes aren’t quite straight.

Limited or Confused Vision

Children who are old enough may describe double vision, a common problem with strabismus. For younger children, there are other small signs which could indicate a problem:

  • Squinting at objects regularly.
  • Rotating and tilting their head to view an object more clearly.

Treatment

Let’s take a quick look at some of the most popular corrective treatments for pediatric strabismus.

Glasses

For mild strabismus, prescription eyeglasses may be able to realign the eyes.

Vision Therapy

Vision therapy is a series of exercises that provide natural, non-invasive correction.  It may seem like “eye exercise”, but the exercises actually form strong pathways in the brain to ensure a life-long change of your child’s visual abilities. Vision therapy has an impressive success rate in treating strabismus, both cosmetically and functionally.

Atropine Drops

Inevitably, some children refuse an eye patch. These eye drops slightly blur vision in the stronger eye, forcing the weakened eye to go to work and improve. Atropine drops may be part of the treatment for strabismus.

Surgery

If previous treatments didn’t work, your optometrist may recommend surgery. Strabismus surgery comes with several risks, and sometimes may improve the eye turn cosmetically, but not always improve a child’s functional vision.  This means that your child may still experience the same symptoms (i.e. double vision, etc.), despite the appearance of the eyes being aligned.  As a result, surgery should only be recommended if there truly is a problem with your child’s eye muscles.


Your child will not outgrow strabismus, so it is important that you bring your child in for an eye examination, or schedule a Developmental Vision Evaluation to assess the best treatment plan.

Exposure to allergens such as pollen and mold spores may make your eyes become red, itchy, and watery. These are all symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis.

Allergic conjunctivitis is an eye inflammation induced by allergens such as the ones listed above. The name comes from the membrane inside of your eyelids and the covering of your eyeball which is called conjunctiva. Allergic conjunctivitis is extremely common as the conjunctiva is very susceptible to allergens.

For information on conjunctivitis (pink eye), read through our article.

Allergic Conjunctivitis Comes in Two Types

There are two main types of allergic conjunctivitis: acute allergic conjunctivitis and chronic allergic conjunctivitis.

  • Acute allergic conjunctivitis is a short-term condition that is most common during allergy season. With acute allergic conjunctivitis, your eyelids will swell, itch, and burn. Those with acute allergic conjunctivitis may also experience a runny nose.
  • Chronic allergic conjunctivitis is a less common condition that may occur year-round. It tends to be a milder response to allergens, with symptoms such as burning and itching of the eyes and light sensitivity.

Allergies Often Run in Families

People who have allergies are more likely to develop allergic conjunctivitis. A study shows that 30% of adults and 40% of children are affected by allergies.

Allergies can be passed down through generations of family. They affect people of all ages, though mostly common in children and young adults.

Symptoms of Allergic Conjunctivitis

Symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis include:

  • Red eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Puffy eyes

Although symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis, it is possible these symptoms may be caused by another eye condition, or health related issue. As such, it is important to schedule an appointment with our optometrist to have the cause of your symptoms accurately diagnosed.

Diagnosing Allergic Conjunctivitis

Our optometrist will examine your eyes and review any allergy history. Our optometrist may order an allergy skin test to determine which allergens your body reacts to.

A blood test may be required in order to determine if your body is producing adequate proteins and antibodies to protect itself against specific allergens.

Common Causes of Allergic Conjunctivitis

When you are experiencing allergic conjunctivitis, your body is trying to defend itself against a harmful threat. This occurs when something triggers the release of histamine, forcing the body to produce the chemical to protect itself from the threat.

Allergic conjunctivitis can be caused by any allergens, such as:

  • Household dust
  • Pollen
  • Mold spore
  • Chemical scents

Allergic conjunctivitis may also be caused by a reaction to certain medications or substances that make contact with the eyes. A common substance that causes allergic conjunctivitis is contact lens solution (especially when contaminated) and medicated eye drops.

Completely Avoiding Allergens is Difficult

Although it is extremely difficult to avoid all allergens that may cause allergic conjunctivitis, the best thing you can do is limit your exposure to them. For example, if you know that you are allergic to pollen, wear a face mask and protective eyewear when outside during allergy season.

Treating Your Allergic Conjunctivitis

Oral antihistamines are available over-the-counter that reduce or block histamine release, providing relief from allergic conjunctivitis. The downside of oral antihistamines is that they tend to dry out your eyes and are not as effective as topical antihistamines. Unfortunately you need a prescription for topical antihistamines.

Prescribed Medications

If over-the-counter medications are not strong enough to provide you with the relief you seek, schedule a consultation with our optometrist. You may require a prescribed medication to ease your symptoms.

Our staff are equipped to provide both professional and friendly service for all your eye care needs.

Procedures

LASIK is a type of refractive surgery for correcting myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. LASIK is performed by ophthalmologists using a laser and is a viable alternative to wearing corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses for many patients.

There are several necessary preparations in the preoperative period. The operation itself involves creating a thin flap on the eye, folding it to enable remodeling of the tissue beneath with a laser. The flap is repositioned and the eye is left to heal in the postoperative period.

Book your Lasik referral consultation today with an Eye Doctor at Lynn Valley Optometry.

 

Vision Health Concerns

Treating Persistent Dry Eye Symptoms With the Lumenis M22 IPL Machine

IPLThis innovative technology is at the forefront of dry eye treatments. In fact, we are only the third Optometry clinic in Canada that has introduced IPL treatments to our patients!

Anyone with dry eye knows how frustrating the symptoms can be. This is especially true if traditional dry eye treatments are proving to be ineffective. Since we opened our clinic nearly 24 years ago, we have worked with many patients towards relief of their dry eye symptoms.

As we move into spring, we wanted to highlight two main points: the potential relationship between seasonal allergies and dry eye, as well as how IPL treatment can provide relief for the associated symptoms.

Seasonal Allergies & Dry Eye: Potentially Closer Than Originally Thought

Conventional wisdom states that dry eye and seasonal allergies are two distinct things, despite having some similar symptoms. However, recent research suggests that there may be a larger relationship between allergic conjunctivitis (seasonal eye allergies) and dry eye.

Studies Looking at the Relationship Between Dry Eye and Seasonal Allergies

An April 2015 article published on AAO.org notes a correlation between peak seasonal allergy season and dry eye diagnosis’.

Looking at the data, a fairly strong connection between seasonal eye allergies and dry eye can be seen. While more information on this area is required (and further research is ongoing), it’s worth noting that a correlation between allergens and dry eye may exist.

If you experience symptoms similar to what is outlined above, and especially if these symptoms occur when allergy season has died down, we recommend you visit us for an eye exam3.

Treating Dry Eye Symptoms With IPL Technology

IPL (intense pulsed light) is a state of the art treatment that is safe and effective. The treatment uses powerful pulses of light (in the 500 to 800 nm wavelengths) to introduce an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory response in the eyelid and surrounding tissues (notably, the meibomian glands, which are targeted directly).

It sounds complicated, but in reality, it’s simply a very technologically advanced warm compress.

This treatment causes the glands to secrete more normal fluids, improving your tear quality. As you can imagine, this has a notable impact on the severity and and frequency of dry eye symptoms.

Treatments typically require three to five sessions to normalize the glands, with maintenance sessions once or twice per year thereafter.

We Invite You to Learn More About How IPL Treatment Can Benefit Your Dry Eye Symptoms

Book an appointment with us to examine your eyes and discuss your symptoms. We would be happy to talk more about IPL treatment and whether or not it’s a viable treatment option for you.

The Pro’s and Con’s of Photochromic Lenses

Photochromic lenses are nothing new, first making their debut in late 1960s. They remain a popular option because of their convenience; the “cool” factor plays a part in their popularity, too.

Photochromic lenses are a pretty cool piece of eyewear technology. They may not be new, but they’re not nearly as common as traditional lenses, and when people first see them in action they always seem to get a kick out of it.

These lenses automagically darken when exposed to sunlight, making them convenient to wear whether you are inside or out. They are also often referred to as “transition lenses” because of how they transition from clear to dark.

Today, you can get photochromic lenses for just about any application and prescription. We get a lot of people asking us about photochromic lenses and whether or not they are a good fit for their lifestyle. We thought we’d put our “pen to paper” and outline a bit about the pros and cons of photochromic lenses.

Photochromic Lens Pro’s

 

  • You can get them in nearly any prescription and application – Monofocal, bifocal, trifocal, progressive, high index, and more… there’s a photochromic lens available for just about everybody.

  • They protect your eyes from UV radiation – Almost all photochromic lenses available today are rated for UV 400 protection (meaning they block light up to 400 nanometres, or about 100% of UV light).

    As you may know, UV light has been linked to serious eye conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and even ocular cancer.

  • They are ultra convenient – Many people only want to own a single pair of eyeglasses. With photochromic lenses, those glasses can also act as your sunglasses.

  • They darken according to light conditions – The more intense the light, the more they darken. This means that they are unlikely to be too dark or too light. We find that they are always quite comfortable to wear.

 

Photochromic Lens Con’s

 

  • They can take anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes to darken – Most modern photochromic lenses darken in under 45 seconds, though some can take a little longer than that. Most will continue to darken for around 15 minutes before reaching “peak darkness”.

  • They darken even under cloud cover – Since the photochromic lenses darken because of UV light (which easily passes through clouds), they darken when it’s cloudy.

 

Not all photochromic lenses darken when behind a windshield – UVA light is actually blocked by glass, meaning that unless the lens was designed to darken with UVB light, they won’t darken when you get into your car.

There are many photochromic lenses that do darken behind a windshield. If this is important to you, make sure you opt for a pair that won’t give you sass when you’re behind glass.

Many Canadians understand that Diabetes is a disease that prevents the body from making or using insulin.  This results in increased levels of sugar in the bloodstream causing high blood sugar. What a lot of people don’t know is that Diabetes can also affect the eye in many ways.  

Diabetes can cause changes in current eye conditions such as Myopia, Hyperopia and Presbyopia.  It can result in early onset of Cataracts and Glaucoma.  It can cause visual distortion including blurring, eye fatigue, double vision, flashes and floaters, loss of peripheral field and fluctuation in clarity.  Some signs of diabetes can be detected through an eye examination at Lynn Valley Optometry.  Your Eye Doctor will review with you the digital retinal image of the back of the eye that can show systemic signs of Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy in the retina.  

Treatment for Diabetes is best prescribed by your general practitioner but may include removing certain risks associated with Diabetes such as smoking, alcohol, obesity and sedentary lifestyle. Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy may be treated with laser therapy or intraocular injections as prescribed  by your Optometrist and Ophthalmologist.  

Have you ever noticed a spot in your vision?  You may be experiencing a floater.  Floaters are tiny floating particles in the fluid inside the eye.  As they float they move in and out of your vision and are sometimes noticeable.  Floaters are more common as you age due to normal degeneration of fluid and tissues in and surrounding the eye.  They may also be caused by a trauma to the eye or eye area releasing particles into the fluid.  

Most floaters are a normal occurrence and are more annoying than an issue.  However, if you are experiencing a higher than normal volume of floaters or flashes of light seek an eyecare professional opinion immediately as it could be an indication of something more serious such as a retinal detachment or retinal hole.  Ongoing, regular eye health examinations will ensure that there is no cause for concern.  

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada according to the CNIB. It is a disease that causes damage to the eye’s optic nerve. This damage, which is a fluid build- up and increased pressure on the eye, can lead to gradual vision loss and blindness.

Fluid build-up and optic nerve damage can result from various factors although it can also occur when eye pressure is normal.  A trauma to the eye or area can also increase pressure.  It is more common in adults over 40 and the risk increases if you have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, suffered from a concussion, high blood pressure and eye trauma.  Most patients are unaware they have the eye disease until irrevocable damage to the optic nerve is done.  An important reason to have ongoing, regular eye health examinations with your Lynn Valley Eye Doctor.

Treatment for Glaucoma is only available if caught early.  Eye drops and/ or laser surgery are options for assisting in maintaining current level of vision.  Once vision loss occurs due to Glaucoma it cannot be restored.  

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the front surface of the eye and inner eyelid.  Conjunctivitis comes in several forms such as an infection, an allergic reaction or chemical reaction.  Pink Eye, a common form of Conjunctivitis is caused by a bacteria or virus.  An allergic reaction can be seasonal (pollen), material (fabrics) or man-made (cosmetic).  Last is the chemical reaction that can be caused by irritants like chlorine or cleaning products.

Symptoms include red eyes, tearing, watery eyes, itchy or scratchy feeling, inflammation and swelling in the inner eyelids.  There may be a discharge with certain forms of Conjunctivitis.

Treatment at the root is to remove the irritant.  Wash hands and refrain from touching eyes and eyelids.  Wash all materials in contact with eyes such as linens, towels, facecloths and eyewear.  Toss all eye makeup that has come in contact with your infected eyes as you may be re-infecting by applying those products.  Avoid swimming and any chemical products.  Seek immediate professional help from a qualified eye doctor.

More than 2.5 million Canadians have cataracts (CNIB).  It is one of the main causes of vision loss in Canada.  Cataracts develop as the crystalline lens ages and starts to harden and become cloudy and opaque.  It is most common in seniors over 60 years of age but can be found in young children and adults.  If an infant is born with a cataract it is known as a congenital cataract.

Most Cataracts are the natural result of the aging process the eyes go through however there can be other developmental factors including hereditary, trauma, disease, ultraviolet exposure and smoking.  Prevention recommendations include protecting your eye sight from UV rays, eating food rich in antioxidants and adding vitamin supplementation to your diet.  

Your Lynn Valley Optometrist will monitor the progression of cataracts and recommend treatment options.  Luckily, treatment is highly advanced today for Cataract surgery and many patients comment on improved vision after the removal of the cloudy lens and the replacement of an artificial lens. It is one of the most perfected and safe procedures performed every day in Canada.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration is a deterioration of the macula which is a small area in the retina (back of the eye).  This degeneration of the macula happens as part of the natural aging process but with regular eye health examinations early diagnosis and the addition of vitamins prescribed by your Optometrist can assist in a slowing of the eye condition.

As AMD affects central vision it is important to know that patients are often unaware they have this eye disease until there is noticeable vision loss or it is detected during regular eye.  Another reason to schedule regular eye health checkups for the entire family.  

There are two forms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration:

  • Dry Macular Degeneration
  • Wet Macular Degeneration

Treatment depends on which form of AMD is diagnosed.  Only your qualified Optometrist can determine a best course of treatment to prevent severe vision loss and slow the progression of the disease.  Book an eye exam today!  

Many Canadians are affected by seasonal allergies.  This can cause red, puffy, itchy and burning eyes.  Allergens such as grass, pollen and ragweed are common in reactions with symptoms include sneezing, coughing, nasal congestion, red, itchy, and watery eyes.

Treatments prescribed by your general practitioner or Optometrist could include over the counter eye drops and antihistamines as well as allergy shots.  An Optometrist has some specific remedies including compresses and pharmaceutical prescribed eye drops.

 

Dry Eye Disease is very common and affects over 30% of Canadians. Unfortunately, many of them remain undiagnosed or are ineffectively treated with over the counter artificial tears. This is one of the reasons we have opened the Dry Eye Center of Excellence at Lynn Valley Optometry. The symptoms of dry eye are diverse and can result from many different causes. However, there are certain factors that may increase your risk of experiencing Dry Eye Disease.

  • Environmental causes * High altitude * Air conditioning * Smoke * Medications
  • High Blood Pressure * Antihistamines * Diuretics * Antidepressants * Anti-anxiety medications
  • Sleeping pills * Pain medications * Cold & allergy products * Motion sickness medications
  • Certain diseases (Diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome, Parkinson’s, Thyroid disease, Auto-immune disease)
  • Aging * Computer use * Contact lenses * Diet * Vitamin A deficiency * Hormonal Changes

There are many symptoms of Dry Eye Disease, which can vary from one person to another. The severity of symptoms ranges from mild discomfort to acute pain, and in many cases, symptoms can affect quality of life. The most common symptoms of Dry Eye Disease include:

  • Achiness * Burning * Discomfort (irritation) * Pain * Eye Redness * Soreness * Stinging
  • Watery Eyes * Blurry (fluctuating) vision * Dryness * Foreign body sensation * Itching
  • Sensitivity to light * Sticky tears * Swollen, red eyelids * Tired Eyes
Why should I visit the Dry Eye Center of Excellence at Lynn Valley Optometry?

Too often patients with Dry Eye Disease or other signs of Ocular Surface Disease are dismissed by doctors and told to get some over the counter drops.

Our eye doctors at Lynn Valley Optometry, have been trained specifically to look for possible signs and symptoms of Dry Eye Disease. Sometimes the dry eye symptoms may worsen with computer use and prescription eyewear for the computer with proper high contrast lenses will help. For others with Dry Eye Disease, there might be increased light sensitivity and headaches in bright sunlight and polarized sunglasses with the appropriate colour tint will be recommended. We understand that no two patients are alike and therefore our goal is to customize a treatment plan for each patient.

We approach Dry Eye Disease collaboratively with our patients. Communication and education are critical. We want patients to know this is a common and progressive disorder, but it’s one we can treat and control so it doesn’t affect the quality of your life or vision.

Learn more about treatment options for Dry Eye under services