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Year: 2020

15 Things You Do That Can Harm Your Eyes

Eye health isn’t just about going for that yearly eye exam. Certain actions you take (or don’t take) in your daily routine can also have drastic effects on the health of your eyes and vision. Here’s our list of 15 things you may be doing that could pose damaging risks to your eyes.

It’s important to note that before changing any of your habits, consult with a medical professional to make sure they are right for you and your overall health.

1. Smoking

We all know that smoking can cause heart disease and cancer, but its effects on the eyes are far less known to many. The truth is that smoking can actually lead to irreversible vision loss by significantly increasing the risk of developing macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. It can also cause dry eye syndrome. If you are a smoker, do your eyes (and body) a favor and try to kick or reduce the habit.

2. Not Wearing Sunglasses

Exposing your eyes to the sun’s harmful UV radiation can damage the eye’s cornea and lens. Overexposure to UV rays can also lead to cataracts and even eye cancer. That’s why it’s important to always wear 100% UV-blocking sunglasses while outdoors, all four seasons of the year. Always check the sunglasses have FDA approval.

3. Sleeping with Makeup On

When you sleep with eyeliner or mascara, you run the risk of the makeup entering the eye and irritating the cornea. Sleeping with mascara on can introduce harmful bacteria to the eye and cause an infection. Abrasive glitters and shimmery eyeshadow can scratch the cornea as well. Be careful to remove all makeup with an eye-safe makeup remover before going to bed.

4. Buying Decorative Contact Lenses Without a Prescription

Although ordering decorative lenses without first visiting your optometrist may sound more convenient, purchasing them without a prescription isn’t worth the long term risks. Decorative contact lenses are sometimes made by unlicensed manufacturers who tend to use poor-quality or toxic materials that can get absorbed through the eyes into the bloodstream. They also may contain high levels of microorganisms from unsanitary packaging and storage conditions.

5. Not Washing Your Hands Thoroughly

Frequently washing your hands helps to reduce the possibility of bacteria and viruses entering the eye. Pink eye (conjunctivitis) and corneal ulcers are common eye conditions that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. When washing your hands, be sure to use warm water, soap, and thoroughly wash in between each finger and over the entire palm area. If you plan to insert or remove your contact lenses, wash and then dry your hands completely with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.

6. Overwearing Contact Lenses

Wearing contact lenses for longer periods of time than intended can lead to inflammation of the cornea (keratitis), conjunctivitis, eyelid swelling, and contact lens intolerance. Always follow the recommended wear time as instructed by your optometrist.

7. Being Nutrient Deficient

Poor nutrition can cause permanent damage to the visual system. Try to include lots of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet, along with adequate amounts of Omega-3. Some of the best vitamins and nutrients for eye health include Vitamins A, C, E, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc.

8. Using Non-FDA Approved Products

Whether it’s eyebrow enhancers, eye makeup, or eyelash growth serums, always choose products that have been FDA approved and/or meet government safety regulations. Non-approved products have been known to cause infections or allergic reactions in or around the eye area.

9. Not Cleaning Your Contacts Properly

If you are wearing contact lenses that need to be replaced once every two weeks or once a month, maintaining the highest level of contact lens hygiene is essential. Optometrists will tell you that a common reason patients come in to see them is due to an eye infection from contact lenses that haven’t been properly cleaned or stored. Some patients use their contact lens cases for too long, which can also cause eye irritation. To avoid eye infections, carefully follow your eye doctor’s instructions on how to clean, store, and handle your contact lenses.

10. Showering or Swimming with Contact Lenses

There is a significant amount of bacteria that can be carried in tap water and swimming pools. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that water and contact lenses don’t mix. If you need vision correction while swimming, it may be worth investing in a pair of prescription swimming goggles.

11. Not Following Medication Instructions

When it comes to eye disease, following the medication instructions is crucial. Forgetting to insert eye drops, or administering the incorrect dosage could dramatically reduce the effectiveness of treatment, or even do harm. Speak with your eye doctor if you’re not sure about when or how to take your medication.

12. Not Taking a Holistic Approach

Your eyes are just one part of the whole system — your body. Ignoring health conditions you may have, like high blood pressure or elevated blood sugar, can pose serious risks to your eyes.

13. Not Wearing Protective Eyewear

Shielding your eyes with protective glasses or goggles while working with potentially sharp or fast-moving objects, fragments or particles (wood working, cutting glass, welding, doing repairs with nails, certain sports) is the best defense against eye injury. In fact, 90% of all eye injuries could have been prevented by wearing protective eyewear.

14. Using Unsafe Home Remedies

Some might think that because something is “natural” that it is safe for use around the delicate eye area. Home remedies, like using breastmilk to cure pink eye, could introduce harmful bacteria to the eye and cause infection. If your eyes are giving you trouble, make an appointment to see your local optometrist.

15. Skipping Your Recommended Eye Exam

Your eye doctor will advise you how often you need to come for an eye examination. Adults should visit their eye doctor at least every year for a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether their optical prescription is up-to-date, and to check for the beginning stages of eye disease. Catching eye diseases in their early stages offers the best chance of successful treatment and preserving healthy vision for life.

At Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 250- 655-1122 or book an appointment online to see one of our Sidney eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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Gift The Gift Of Sight Month

Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists How Do I Know If Contact Lenses Are Right for Me?

The month of December has been declared “The Gift of Sight Month” by Prevent Blindness — the nation’s oldest non-profit voluntary eye health organization. Never heard of Prevent Blindness? Read on to learn more about the organization and what “The Gift of Sight Month” means to them.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Myopia or Nearsightedness , Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Sidney eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

What Is Prevent Blindness?

Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness was established by volunteers to decrease the amount of preventable blindness in children. They helped to almost eliminate a condition called ophthalmia neonatorum, a leading cause of blindness in infants at the time.

Over the years, volunteers at Prevent Blindness have conducted the first nation-wide glaucoma screenings, assembled resources for the development of vision-testing equipment for infants, and conducted a national study which showed that blindness prevention is the third most important eye health concern among Americans.

With over 8 million individuals affected by blindness in North America, the work of Prevent Blindness is significant and necessary for the betterment of everyone’s eye health, sighted or not.

To this day, Prevent Blindness continues to spread awareness and spearhead legislation of various health concerns.

So, What is “The Gift of Sight Month”?

Prevent Blindness has given December this title in hopes of giving people an opportunity to contribute to their cause. They are asking that fully-sighted people reflect on the joys and privileges that accompany healthy vision and to donate to Prevent Blindness.

Because Prevent Blindness is operated by volunteers and is not for profit, they need financial help to continue their mission of preventing blindness and preserving sight.

Why not be part of the cause and help protect and preserve healthy vision? Prevent Blindness is asking that anyone who is able to donate to their organization, please do so. To be part of this important cause, go to the Prevent Blindness website and show your support.

To learn more about how to keep your vision healthy for a lifetime, visit an optometrist near you. For all eye health matters in the Sidney area, call Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists for an eye exam.

Book an eye exam at an eye clinic near you to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you.

Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists, your Sidney eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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The Importance of Eye Exams for Contact Lenses

Are you planning on wearing contact lenses for the first time? Do you need a new contact lens prescription? Are your current contacts not as comfortable as you wish they were? Your eye doctor will perform a contact lens eye exam to ensure that your vision with contacts is clear, comfortable, and safe, providing you with the right lenses for you.

What is a contact lens exam?

If you wear or want to wear contact lenses, you’ll need an eye exam for contact lenses, in addition to your regular comprehensive eye exam. Special tests are performed during a contact lens exam to evaluate your eyes and vision with contacts.

Are eyeglass prescriptions the same as contact lens prescriptions?

No, a prescription for glasses cannot be used for contact lenses. An eyeglass prescription is for lenses that are positioned approximately 12 millimeters from your eyes, whereas a contact lens prescription is measured for lenses that sit directly on the surface of your eye.

The prescription for contact lenses also includes the brand, lens diameter and curvature, which are not part of an eyeglass prescription.

Contact lenses fitting: One size does not fit all

One contact lens size doesn’t fit all eyes. If a contact lens is too flat or too steep for your corneal shape, you may experience discomfort or even eye damage. Your eye doctor will take certain measurements to determine the best contact lens design and fit for your eyes.

Corneal curvature

This measures the curvature of your eye’s clear front surface (cornea) so the eye doctor can select the optimal curve and diameter for your contact lenses. If your eye’s surface is somewhat irregular because of astigmatism or other conditions, you may require a special lens.

Pupil and iris size

The size of your pupil and iris (the colored part of your eye) is also important in determining the best contact lens design.

Tear film evaluation

This test evaluates the quality of your tears, to determine whether they will be able to keep contact lenses and your cornea sufficiently hydrated throughout the day. If you have dry eye disease, standard contact lenses may not be right for you.

Trial lenses

Following the eye exam, you will be provided with trial lenses to verify that the chosen contact lenses offer clear and comfortable vision. This will allow the eye doctor to make any fine adjustments to the prescription.

Contact Lens Eye Exam Near You

Wearing the correct contact lenses for your eyes allows you to enjoy all of the benefits of wearing contacts, while keeping your eyes healthy and comfortable.

If you’re already a contact lens wearer, visit your eye doctor at least once a year to make sure the lenses are still providing you with optimum vision and comfort.

Contact Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists in Sidney to book your contact lens eye exam today!

Sidney Contact Lenses Supplier

Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists How Do I Know If Contact Lenses Are Right for Me?

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Sidney eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Local Contact Lens exam in Sidney, British Columbia

Have you been wearing eyeglasses for years, but now, you can’t deal with the way your glasses fog up when wearing a face mask? Or were you just diagnosed with a vision condition and can’t figure out whether to choose contacts over glasses? Our eye doctor shares some facts to help you make the right decision for you.

Contacts Fit an Active Lifestyle

If you’re an athletic type and constantly on the move, glasses can shift or slip off your nose. Also, flying objects can hit your eyeglasses, breaking the lenses or frames and possibly causing an eye injury. Tell our optometrist about your lifestyle so we can fit you with the most appropriate type of contact lenses; we stock a wide variety of types in our modern eye clinic.

Hard vs. Soft Contact Lenses

Depending on your particular eye condition, our eye care professional will recommend either soft or hard contact lenses.

Soft contact lenses are certainly the more popular option nowadays. Made from silicone hydrogel, they allow a large quantity of oxygen to reach the eye. Soft lenses also come in various wearing schedules: daily disposables, bi-weekly disposables, and monthly disposables. The advantage of dailies is that you insert a fresh pair every morning, which drastically reduces the chances of eye infection, dryness and irritation.

When contact lenses first hit the market, they were available only as hard lenses. But the uncomfortable hard lenses of yesteryear bear little resemblance to today’s hard lenses – usually called rigid gas permeable lenses. These rigid GP contacts are often ideal for people who have an irregularly shaped cornea.

How to Reduce the Risks of Contact Lenses

Our eye doctor is careful to point out that anytime you insert something into your eye, you’re introducing the risk of infection. As we mentioned, daily disposables decrease the incidence of infection, but there are effective ways to lower your risks even if you wear a different type of lenses, such as:

    • Always wash your hands before touching your contacts or your eyes.
    • Follow proper hygiene by soaking your contacts in disinfectant overnight. Replace the solution entirely each day, and never use water to rinse or store them.
    • Replace your contact lens case every three to six months.
    • Don’t try to make your contacts last longer than the wearing schedule recommended by your optometrist. Discard them according to schedule.
    • Don’t sleep in your contact lenses, unless directed to by your optometrist.
    • Use moisturizing artificial tears eye drops if you have dry eyes.

    What Type of Contact Lenses Are Best?

    That’s not a question that can be answered without an eye exam and advice from a qualified eye care provider. There are a wide range of types of contacts, such as soft, rigid gas permeable, toric, multifocal, monovision, scleral, hybrid and ortho-k lenses. Book a consultation at our eye clinic to learn more about the types of contact lenses suitable for your eyes.

    Contact lenses are medical devices, which means it is illegal to sell them without a prescription from an eye doctor. When not fitted properly to the shape and curvature of your eye, contacts can deprive your eyes of oxygen and cause infection. They can also lead to a sore on the surface of your eye, which can result in scarring and permanent vision loss. Well-fitting contact lenses allow tears to flow beneath the lenses, providing your eyes with essential oxygen and nutrients. Also, your eye care provider will provide instructions on how to insert, remove and care for your contact lenses responsibly.

    Book an eye exam at an eye clinic near you to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you.

    Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists, your Sidney eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

    Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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    The Surge In Cosmetic Procedures During COVID Raises Eye Health Concerns

    COVID-19 has indirectly impacted eye health in ways that few would have anticipated. With many classrooms, business meetings, and hang-outs being relocated to virtual settings like Zoom and FaceTime, people are spending more time scrutinizing other people’s faces — and their own.

    For some people, the more time they spend watching themselves in the thumbnail, the more time they focus on real or imagined imperfections and features that make them feel insecure.

    In fact, plastic surgeons and cosmetic doctors all over the world are reporting something called the ‘Zoom Boom’ — the recent surge in cosmetic procedures to perfect ‘Lockdown Face.’ Yep, it’s a thing.

    What many don’t realize is that cosmetic facial procedures can pose serious risks to eye health and vision, and in some cases result in serious eye damage or vision loss.

    While opting to undergo a cosmetic procedure is a personal choice that each individual should make for themselves, a fully informed decision requires a visit to your eye doctor. Also, those interested in having a cosmetic eyelid lift should consult with a reputable oculo-plastic surgeon who has experience in this particular procedure.

    How Can Cosmetic Procedures Impact Your Eyes?

    Before undergoing a cosmetic facial procedure, it’s important to know which procedures pose potential risks to your eyes and vision.

    Eyelash Extensions

    The adhesive used for eyelash extensions has been known to cause allergic lid reactions, infections, styes, and dry eye. Eye doctors unanimously agree that eyelash extensions should be the last resort for those who want fuller, thicker lashes.

    Additionally, the addictive nature of eyelash extensions make them particularly risky. A side effect of lash extensions can be reduced eyelashes, which often drives the individual to have this procedure done repeatedly.

    A safe alternative to getting eyelash extensions is using a medication called Latisse. This eyelash enhancing product can be prescribed by your eye doctor and may reduce the need for false eyelashes or extensions.

    Laser Procedures

    Lasers are used for various cosmetic procedures due to their high efficiency and accuracy. However, exposing the naked eye to a laser beam can be dangerous.

    All laser procedures should be performed while the patient wears specialized goggles or corneal shields for protection. If the procedure is performed by an unlicensed individual, there is a much greater chance that effective eye protection won’t be used.

    A study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found that ocular injuries can occur even when protective shields are utilized correctly.

    Episcleral Tattoos

    This procedure is the tattooing of the whites of the eye. Dye is injected beneath the conjunctiva and into the sclera (the white of the eye) to make it appear the desired color.

    Episcleral tattoos can cause headaches and severe light-sensitivity, and increase the risk of eye infections, conjunctival hemorrhaging, and permanent vision loss.

    Botox Injections

    Botox injections are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures offered today, but they can harm eye health and vision when injected around the eye area.

    Some common complications include allergic reactions, blurred vision, and droopy eyelids. Most of these reactions are temporary, but if symptoms persist and if blurred vision is prolonged, see an eye doctor immediately.

    Always choose a qualified and licensed doctor to perform the procedure.

    When to Visit Your Optometrist

    If you are considering having any facial or eye procedures done, speak with your optometrist about how to keep your eyes safe during the process.

    An eye exam with Dr. Samantha Bourdeau will determine the state of your eye health and what risks would be involved with the procedure you want.

    If you’ve already undergone a cosmetic procedure or surgery and are experiencing any eye health or visual symptoms, call Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists in for a prompt eye exam.

    We want you to feel confident in the way you look, while keeping your eyes healthy and safe. Call Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists to schedule your eye exam today.

    At Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 250- 655-1122 or book an appointment online to see one of our Sidney eye doctors.

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    Sidney Digital Eye Strain relief.

    Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists Rising Risks of Digital Eye Strain During Quarantine

    Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Myopia or Nearsightedness, Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Sidney eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

    Our Eye Doctor Shares Tips to Prevent Painful Computer Vision

    You and your kids are staying home, practicing social distancing in order to reduce the potential spread of Covid-19. It’s certainly the responsible, safe thing to do. However, the current stay-at-home lifestyle has also led to people spending more time on digital devices. Screen time is dedicated to both work and leisure, which keeps everyone busy and entertained, but unfortunately, it has also led to a higher rate of digital eyestrain and other vision complications.

    More people of all ages have been visiting our eye clinic complaining of uncomfortable or painful vision, and our optometrist regularly diagnoses digital eyestrain. To protect yourself from a range of annoying symptoms, read these eye care tips to prevent computer vision problems:

    • Pay attention to position

      When you sit down at your office desk, it’s probably equipped with ergonomic furniture and set at the perfect height. But your home workspace may not meet the same requirements. Take care to position your computer screen about an arm’s length and slightly beneath your line of vision. This will protect both your eyes from strain, as well as your posture and neck. Additionally, good back support will reduce discomfort caused by sitting for long periods. To reduce glare and accompanying eye fatigue, point your screen away from any bright lights.

    • Take coffee breaks

      Even if you’re not in the mood for another java, regular breaks to stand up and stretch are vital for your body and eyes! Get up and walk around your house a bit. Any activity that allows you to look away from your screen will give your body and eye muscles a well-needed respite.

    • Watch for warning signs

      In general, our eye doctor hears patients complain about the following computer vision symptoms when they visit our eye clinic:

      1. HeadachesWhen the pain is concentrated at the front of your head, it’s typically vision related. When it’s at the back of your head, it’s usually posture related. If your temples are throbbing, it’s probably tension.
      2. Neck and shoulder painThis is a direct result of a poorly positioned workspace. Your chair, screen, desk and keyboard all need to be aligned correctly for healthy posture.
      3. Blurry visionIf blinking clears up your sight, it could indicate a dry eye problem. But if your blurred vision usually occurs at the end of the day, it could point to mild farsightedness that’s being exacerbated by so many hours of close work.
      4. Dry eyesProlonged screen time leads to reduced blinking, which leaves your eyes exposed and compromises your moisturizing tear film. Burning or itching eyes are usual symptoms of dry eye syndrome.

      Computers can compromise children’s eye health

      During quarantine, kids depend heavily on digital devices for entertainment and socializing. There are no afternoon clubs or groups to attend, minimal opportunities to socialize, and education itself has become remote in most places. Computers are filling a range of roles in kids’ lives.

      While digital tech has been highly successful at keeping children occupied and happy, research also shows that kids who don’t spend time outdoors are at an increased risk for myopia (nearsightedness) and progressive myopia, especially if it runs in the family.

      During the pandemic, more and more parents are bringing their children to our eye care provider for eye exams. The most typical signs of a problem include:

      • Squinting at the TV or moving closer and closer to the screen
      • Headaches, particularly at the end of the day
      • Difficulty reading (when they didn’t have previous trouble)
      • Problems sleeping at night

      Tips from our optometrist

      • Practice the 20-20-20 rule for ocular health: every 20 minutes, look 20 feet into the distance for 20 seconds. This will help your eyes feel comfortable for longer.
      • Keep appropriate distance from screens: mobile phones should be about one foot from the face, desktops and laptops should be about two feet away, and TV screens should be about 10 feet away
      • Encourage kids to engage in physical activity outdoors, taking permitted walks or even kicking a ball around the backyard
      • Drink enough to stay hydrated
      • Remember to blink regularly
      • Don’t use digital devices within 2 hours of bedtime, so the blue light doesn’t disrupt your circadian rhythms

      Suffering from digital eye strain? Our eye doctor can help! Stop by our eye clinic to learn more about various strategies and products that can prevent and soothe the painful symptoms of computer vision.

      Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists, your Sidney eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

      Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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    8 Ways Your Eyes Change With Age

    Our eyes and vision change with age. Your eye doctor can monitor these changes — some of which are a natural part of the aging process — and identify any eye conditions or diseases early enough to treat them and prevent vision loss. Read on to learn more about the different types of eye changes one may encounter with age.

    Age-Related Eye Conditions and Diseases

    Cataracts

    If your vision is starting to get blurry, you may be developing cataracts. There are a few types of cataracts, but the one usually caused by aging is known as a “nuclear cataract”. At first, it may lead to increased nearsightedness or even a temporary improvement in your reading vision. But with time, the lens gradually turns more densely yellow and clouds your vision. As the cataract slowly progresses, the lens may even turn brown. Advanced yellowing or browning of the lens can lead to difficulty distinguishing between shades of color, and left untreated, it can eventually lead to blindness. Luckily, cataract surgery, where the cloudy lens is replaced with a clear lens, is an extremely safe and effective treatment option.

    Blepharoptosis

    Blepharoptosis or ptosis is a drooping of the upper eyelid that may affect one or both eyes. The eyelid may droop only slightly or may droop enough to cover the pupil and block vision. It occurs when there is a weakness of the eye’s levator muscle that lifts the eyelid. This condition is usually caused by aging, eye surgery, or disease affecting the muscle or its nerve. Fortunately, blepharoptosis can be corrected with surgery.

    Vitreous detachment

    This occurs when the gel-like vitreous fluid inside the eye begins to liquefy and pull away from the retina, causing “spots and floaters” and, sometimes, flashes of light. This occurrence is usually harmless, but floaters and flashes of light can also signal the beginning of a detached retina — a serious problem that can cause blindness, and requires immediate treatment. If you experience sudden or worsening flashes and increased floaters, see Dr. Samantha Bourdeau immediately to determine the cause.

    Other Age-Related Changes

    In addition to the above eye conditions and diseases, the structure of our eyes and vision change as we get older.

    Presbyopia

    Why do people in their 40s and 50s have more difficulty focusing on near objects like books and phone screens? The lens inside the eye begins to lose its ability to change shape and bring near objects into focus, a process is called presbyopia. Over time, presbyopia, also known as age-related farsightedness, will become more pronounced and you will eventually need reading glasses to see clearly. You may need multiple prescriptions – one prescription to enable you to see up close, one for intermediate distance, and one for distance vision. In that case, people often get bifocals, multifocals or PALs, and they can be combined with contact lenses as well.

    Reduced pupil size

    As we age, our reaction to light and the muscles that control our pupil size lose some strength. This causes the pupil to become smaller and less responsive to changes in ambient lighting. The result? It becomes harder to clearly see objects, such as a menu, in a low-light setting like a restaurant.

    Dry eye

    Our tear glands produce fewer tears and the tears they produce have less moisturizing oils. Your eye doctor can determine whether your dry eye is age-related or due to another condition, and will recommend the right over-the-counter or prescription eye drops, or other effective and lasting treatments, to alleviate the dryness and restore comfort.

    Loss of peripheral vision

    Aging causes a 1-3 degree loss of peripheral vision per decade of life. In fact, one may reach a peripheral visual field loss of 20-30 degrees by the time they reach their 70s and 80s. While peripheral vision loss is a normal part of aging, it can also indicate the presence of a serious eye disease, like glaucoma. The best way to ascertain the cause is by getting an eye exam.

    Decreased color vision

    The cells in the retina responsible for normal color vision tend to decline as we age, causing colors to become less bright and the contrast between different colors to be less noticeable. Though a normal part of aging, faded colors can at times signal a more serious ocular problem.

    Beyond the normal changes that come with age, the risk of developing a serious eye disease, such as age related macular degeneration and glaucoma, increases. Routine eye exams are essential to keeping your eyes healthy. Your eye doctor can determine whether your symptoms are caused by an eye problem or are a normal byproduct of aging.

    If you or a loved one suffers from impaired vision, we can help. To find out more and to schedule your annual eye doctor’s appointment, contact Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists in Sidney today.

    Sidney Optometrist – Protect Your Eyes

    /our-doctors/ Eye Doctor in Sidney, British Columbia

    Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Myopia or Nearsightedness, Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Sidney eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

    Remote Learning? Blue Light Glasses Can Protect Your Eyes

    In normal amounts, blue light can be beneficial for your health, setting your sleep-wake cycle and boosting your mood. But overexposure to blue light, especially when the source is digital devices, can increase certain health risks. In particular, it can strain your eyes and lead to a slew of painful symptoms. Nowadays, as the number of students learning remotely has risen dramatically, the damaging effects of blue light on eyes has become a hot topic. To protect and soothe your vision, our eye doctor near you recommends purchasing a pair of blue light glasses, available at our eye clinic.

    What do blue light glasses do?

    Blue light glasses help to filter out blue light rays. If you have a pair, you can see the difference for yourself – point a blue light pen at one lens, and you’ll notice immediately that the brightness getting through the lens becomes much weaker compared to what happens with a regular unfiltered lens.

    Are all blue light glasses the same?

    No. In addition to coming in all sizes and crafted for just about all prescriptions, blue light glasses come in different color tints that filter out varying amounts of brightness. That’s because blue light comes from various sources that have different intensities, such as the sun, laptops, smartphones and all LED lights. To find the best blue light glasses for your lifestyle, consult with our eye care professional.

    What problems can blue light cause?

    If too much time is spent exposed to blue light, it can interrupt your circadian rhythm, making it hard to sleep, or it can put tremendous strain on your eyes. Consequently, all that time spent learning remotely can make you tired, distracted and less able to focus on your school work.

    Additionally, overexposure to blue light may be linked to an increased risk of vision loss as a result of macular degeneration in the future, as well as potential overstimulation for anyone on the autism spectrum.

    In sum, blue light glasses can enhance your visual comfort and eye health. Stop by our eye care center to book an eye exam with our knowledgeable eye doctor near you, and to learn more about how to stay safe from blue light.

    /our-doctors/, your Sidney eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

    Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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    Protect Your Eyes From Vision Loss: Diabetes Awareness Month

    What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

    Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is one of the most prevalent eye diseases affecting the working age population. It is thought to be caused by high blood sugar levels which, over time, damage the tiny blood vessels of the retina at the back of the eye, making them swell and leak. Left untreated, DR can lead to vision loss and eventually blindness.

    Since diabetic eye disease is typically painless and shows no symptoms until its advanced stages, it’s critical to get your annual eye evaluation, as an optometrist can detect the developing signs early enough to prevent vision loss.

    Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy 

    Diabetics may not realize they have diabetic retinopathy, because it develops silently. As the condition worsens, it may cause: 

    • Blurred vision
    • Poor night vision
    • Colors to appear faded or washed out
    • An increased presence of floaters
    • Vision loss
    • Blank or dark areas in your field of vision

    Diabetic retinopathy symptoms usually affect both eyes.

    Risk Factors

    If you are diabetic, caring for your eyes by undergoing routine eye exams and taking care of your body by controlling blood sugar levels are critical to preventing vision loss. There are several risk factors associated with diabetic eye complications, including: 

    • Poor blood sugar control
    • Smoking
    • High cholesterol 
    • High blood pressure
    • Pregnancy
    • Excess weight/obesity

    Are There Any Treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy?

    Today’s treatment options may improve your vision, even if you feel your eyesight has begun to deteriorate. Medications can be injected to reduce swelling, and laser surgery can be used to shrink and seal off swollen and leaking blood vessels — preserving and, in many cases, even improving vision. 

    While certain treatments may work, frequent monitoring of your eyes coupled with managing your blood sugar levels can go a long way toward preventing or reducing diabetic retinopathy complications. 

    If You Have Diabetes, Make Sure to: 

    • Control blood sugar and blood pressure to prevent long-term damage to the fine blood vessels within the retina.  
    • Keep a healthy lifestyle routine, especially during stressful times such as the COVID-19 pandemic. (Plus, while diabetics are in the high-risk category, your chances of developing serious COVID-19 related complications is lower if your diabetes is under control.)
    • Maintain a steady diet and exercise regimen to help the body and mind feel better. 
    • Quit smoking, if applicable; you can reach out to a medical professional for guidance.
    • Get yearly diabetic eye exams.

    Preventing and managing diabetic retinopathy require a multi-disciplinary approach involving your eye doctor and other medical professionals. Your eye doctor will perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether you have diabetic retinopathy, assess its severity, and discuss preventative strategies as well as the latest treatment options. 

    Contact Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists at 250- 655-1122 to schedule your diabetic eye exam today, and to learn more about what you can do to protect your vision and general health.

    Sidney Optometrist – Local Eye Doctor

    Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists Eye Doctor in Sidney, British Columbia

    Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Sidney eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

    Priorit-eyes Your Vision During Covid-19v

    The global pandemic can be overwhelming, and investing so much daily energy into staying healthy is certainly stressful. However, with all the health concerns facing us, your eye doctor reminds you that it’s still essential to make your eyes a top priority!

    Our eye care team shares a few simple steps you can take to keep your eyes in good shape, as you protect your overall health.

    Visit Your Optometrist for an Eye Exam

    One of the best ways to value your vision is by getting regular comprehensive eye exams. According to a recent study co-conducted by VSP Vision Care and YouGov, a market research agency, almost 97% of people surveyed agreed that healthy eyes are essential and vision loss is feared, but only about half of these people actually go for yearly eye exams!

    Practice Proper Contact Lens Hygiene

    If you wear contact lenses, following safe hygiene practices can help you prevent eye irritation and infection:

    • Be sure to wash your hands before inserting or removing your lenses.
    • Rinse and disinfect your lenses with the solutions recommended by your eye doctor.
    • Don’t wear your contacts for longer than the wearing schedule you were given.
    • Keep your contact lens case clean, so harmful bacteria don’t find their way into your eyes and cause an infection.
    • Don’t swim or sleep in your lenses (unless directed to by your optometrist).

    Switch to Dailies – Daily Disposable Contact Lenses

    If you wear weekly, bi-weekly or monthly contact lenses, now may be a good time to consider switching to daily disposable contacts. Generally, people who wear daily disposable lenses tend to experience fewer problems. Every morning, you insert a fresh pair of lenses so there is minimal maintenance required to keep your eyes safe and healthy.

    Pay Attention to Comfort

    Touching your eyes is never a smart move, but during Covid-19, it’s even more important to keep your fingers away. However, if you’re wearing uncomfortable contacts – not touching your eyes is much easier said than done. In fact, studies show that 89% of contact lens wearers in the US say they manually adjust their lenses or rub their eyes when vision feels uncomfortable. If your contacts are causing discomfort, book a visit to your eye care provider. A new type of contact or a better fit can help reduce your eyes’ exposure to the germs on your fingers. Not all contacts are created equal, and we offer a wide range of types in our eye clinic.

    Additionally, if you find that your contact lens solution seems to dry out your eyes, book an eye exam with our optometrist; a new solution may be advised.

    Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists, your Sidney eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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