10 Warnings Signs Of Eye Trouble

In our last blog post we talked about seven bad habits that can age your eyes. Today, our Calgary optometrists are going to discuss 10 warning signs of eye trouble. Read these warning signs over and be sure to take care of your eyes.

  1. Transient Vision Loss A greying over of vision in one eye that may last seconds or minutes which could signal a risk for Stroke or other types blood vessel blockage disease.
  2. Double Vision This may be as simple as your eye teaming or binocular vision which is very common or rarely could be a sign of a more serious health problem such a stroke or tumour.
  3. Sudden Blurry Vision If it improves by blinking or using tear supplements it is probably related to dry eyes.
  4. Gradual Blurry Vision Could just mean you need a new prescription for glasses (most likely) Cataracts are another common cause.
  5. Painful, Sudden Blurry Vision When accompanied by nausea  and vomiting it may be caused by an eye disease called “ Narrow Angle Glaucoma “ the pressure may rise acutely in one eye causing the symptoms, this is an urgent situation, go immediately to your Optometrist’s office or Emergency Ward at the Hospital if after hours.
  6. Flashing Lights/ Floaters Extremely common symptom for Physician referrals to Optometrists, could however signify a change in the gel inside the eye and carries a very small risk for a tear in the Retina.
  7. Curtain Or Veil Across One Side Of Your vision Even though it is painless if it is often ignored for weeks which is unfortunate as it may signal a retinal detachment. It must be diagnosed and treated immediately to prevent permanent vision loss.
  8. Distorted Vision In One Eye If you are over 50 years old it could be due to Macular Degeneration, under 50 they look at different diseases of the Macula.
  9. Unequal Pupil Size Usually not a serious symptom, if accompanied by blurred vision or droopy eyelid or double vision seek immediate Medical care.
  10. Scratchy Irritated Eyes Usually due to dryness but could have a more serious cause, an annual eye exam is the best way to ensure the health of your eyes. If you’re experiencing the more urgent symptoms don’t delay in consulting with your Calgary optometrist.

If you are experiencing any of these warning signs, contact us today to book an appointment for an eye exam in Calgary.

Seven Bad Habits That Will Age Your Eyes

Here at Dr. Alex G. Wilson and Associates are all about eye care. After all, without your eyes you wouldn’t be able to watch the Flames or Stampeders play. You wouldn’t be able to take in the sights of the Stampede either.

We want you to take care of your eyes. Today’s blog is on seven bad habits that will age your eyes. Read on and make sure you stop with these bad habits.

  1. Not wearing sunglasses Ultraviolet light breaks down the collagen fibers on the skin on the eyelids. The result makes your eyes look older and ultraviolet light can lead to cataract development, macular degeneration, skin cancer and growths on the surface of the eye that can be difficult to remove surgically.
  2. Inadequate hydration  Our bodily cells are made up of at least 55 to 60% water and we may not realize how much our eyes need hydration as well.  Failing to keep hydrated throughout the day can leave the eyes dry, bloodshot and unable to produce enough tears.
  3. Not sleeping enough Poor sleep habits can accelerate the aging process, studies have shown a lack of sleep can make it harder for the body to repair skin damage.
  4. Rubbing your eyes If you find yourself frequently rubbing your eyes the mechanical pressure can damage the connective tissue around the eyelids. Rubbing and stretching of the eyelid muscle similarly can cause drooping of the eyelid and possibly other symptoms such as watering of the eyes.
  5. Smoking If you need another reason to quit smoking add your eye health to the list of it’s harmful effects on your body. Smoking can increase the risk by four to sixfold of blindness as well as age related eye diseases such as Macular Degeneration.
  6. Poor diet Nutrients in dark, leafy green vegetables, berries and cold water fish actually have preventative benefits for diseases of the eyes such as Cataracts and Macular Degeneration.
  7. Failure to get regular eye exams An eye exam is the best way to be sure your eyes are healthy and well corrected for your daily vision needs. Excess eye strain happens from computer work as we tend to blink as much as 50% less while staring at the computer screen, so wearing corrective glasses if you require them provides a moisture barrier.  Even if you have no symptoms an annual visit  to your Optometrist will detect any problems and early treatment can be started and vision loss prevented.

If you need an eye exam, please contact us for more or to schedule an appointment.

What Are Those Specks I See In My Vision?

It is not out-of-the-ordinary to begin to see dark specks in your vision as you get older. These specks are called eye floaters and they can affect your ability to read, but they do not have to be a cause for concern if you learn more about them and the options available for treatment.

Eye floaters are fibres that travel in your vitreous humor

The vitreous humor is a fluid that is located between your retina and your lens, and the fibres that move around in them can become visible to you in the form of dark spots. This is due to their ability to cast a shadow on your retina, creating the phenomenon of eye floaters.

No medications yet exist to treat milder forms of eye floaters

If the specks in your vision are currently not a major concern for your ability to see properly, you can try out some natural remedies or wait for your brain to adjust to the change in your vision.

In terms of natural remedies, no methods have been scientifically proven to be effective but some people have found improvement by cutting back on caffeine, participating in stress-relieving activities (such as yoga), or increasing the amount of magnesium they receive from their diet.

Something to keep in mind if these specks are not yet majorly interfering with your vision is that your brain may adjust so you do not notice the specks. As well, the specks could go away on their own. For as long as they appear to remain a minor problem, you can retain some assurance that the specks could decrease. However, large increases to the number of specks or to the impact that they have on your vision can be a sign that you should see an optometrist.

Surgery is possible, but risks are involved

You can opt to have the eye floaters surgically removed. This can be done through either laser treatment, to vaporize the specks, or a Vitrectomy, which will rid your eye of the current vitreous fluid and replace it. Each of these procedures has benefits and potential risks, which your optometrist in Calgary can discuss with you.

Please contact us at Dr. Alex Wilson & Associates to schedule an eye exam or to learn more about our eye care treatments.

At What Age Can My Child Wear Contact Lenses?

The decision to get contact lenses for your child is one to be made between you, your child, and your optometrist. Many parents wonder whether their child has to be a certain age before they can wear contact lenses, but the truth is that contacts can be used by kids of very young ages, including infants and toddlers–but they are not ideal for everyone.

Here are a few factors to take into consideration as you decide whether contact lenses are the ideal eye care solution for your child.

Is your child capable of and willing to keep the lenses clean and well cared for?

Many optometrists find that kids are diligent in the cleaning and care of their contact lenses–even more so than adults are. Whether your child is ready to take on this responsibility will ultimately be decided upon by your optometrist, who will not prescribe contact lenses if a child is not ready for them or they will not benefit from their usage. And if your child ends up showing they aren’t yet ready to wear contact lenses, the optometrist will be willing and able to unprescribe them.

Is your child nearsighted?

If your child has myopia–that is, they are nearsighted–some specialized contact lenses could help to decrease the speed of eye growth. This is beneficial because it is this growth of the eyes that increases myopia–so a slowing down of the progressive growth can help.

Does your child participate in active activities?

Wearing glasses while playing sports can lead to injury, even if the lenses are of high quality–broken frames can be a hazard. On top of this, glasses don’t allow your child to use their peripheral vision to the best of their ability.

Contact lenses can help with both of these concerns, and they can even make it possible for your child to wear protective goggles if this would increase their safety in whatever activity they are participating in.

Will your child’s self-esteem improve if they begin wearing contact lenses?

Being a kid or teenager is tough, with many of them dealing with concerns about fitting in and achieving the confidence they need to reach their goals. If contact lenses will help them with this, and they are otherwise capable of taking care of them, then a prescription may be an ideal option.

Contact our optometrists to learn more about contact lens solutions for your kids.