A Dilated Fundus Examination in "Regular English"

Reading through the purpose and procedure for a Dilated Fundus Examination (DFE) can sound like science fiction. Here’s our regular language interpretation.

What is it?
A DFE is an exam that uses special eye drops to enlarge the pupil of the eye. This gives optometrists a better view of the internal surface of the eye. It is a more effective method for checking internal eye health – similar to receiving an X-Ray at a dentist. It allows doctors to see the peripheral part of the retina, lens, and fluid inside your eye.

Why should I have one? 
This gives optometrists insight into your retinal health (cataracts, glaucoma, optic nerve head disease, plus many others) and about your overall health – this exam can find evidence of systemic disease prior to symptoms showing up elsewhere in the body.

What can I expect?

  • Medicated eye drops are administered to enlarge the pupil. This takes about 20-30 minutes to start working.
  • At first, you’ll notice that your near vision will start to blur slightly, then eventually you may notice distance blur. You may also become more sensitized to light. Depending on the drops used, your vision may remain blurry for 4-6 hours.
  • Interesting! People with light coloured eyes will often react quicker to the drops than those with darker coloured eyes. Their pupils will often dilate more, but the effects of the drops will often wear off quicker, too.
  • After the procedure, we recommend you wait for the effects of the eye drops to diminish or have someone pick you up. It’s a great idea to wear sunglasses after the procedure to reduce light sensitivity. 

Who should have a DFE?
A DFE is recommended for anyone with visual concerns, headaches, diabetes, hypertension, over the age of 65, or on medications that may affect vision. Anyone undergoing ocular surgery is required to have a DFE to ensure there are no underlying problems beforehand.

*Images found here and here

Back to School Eye Test

There’s more to school than book bags and lunch boxes. It’s also the perfect time for your child’s eyes to be checked by an optometrist.  Just when you think your child is seeing well, there could very well be a problem. And vision problems are responsible for a staggering number of learning challenges due to the fact that 80% of classroom learning is done through the eyes.

Do you know how well your child can see? It isn’t always obvious to a child or a parent. Children assume everyone sees the world exactly as they do and rarely complain. As parents, the signs of vision problems are not easily detectable.

Here’s a big statistic:  1 in 6 children have some form of vision problems.

Good vision is vital to developing skills such as reading, copying and hand eye coordination. So before your children hits the books again this fall book them in for an eye exam with an eye-bar optometrist.

Eye exams are covered under provincial health insurance when you show your child’s health card. This means that there is no out-of-pocket cost for the eye exam.

Book your child’s eye exam.

A Common Vision Problem – Nearsightedness

Nearsightedness (myopia) is a common vision condition by which people have problems focusing on objects in the distance. Close up vision tends not to be altered however, except in cases of very high nearsighted.

Nearsighted is one of the primary reasons why people schedule an eye exam with an eye doctor. Symptoms may include difficulty driving, taking notes in the classroom or boardroom, or recognizing a friends face from afar. Nearsighted people may find themselves trying to squint their eyes in order to better focus on distant objects, which can lead to frontal and temporal headaches.

Perceptually, nearsighted people often experience greater distance blur at night or in low lighting versus during daylight or bright lighting. This sends conflicting messages and can delay booking an appointment with an eye doctor. Regardless of the lighting though, images tend to seem slightly fuzzy and lack definition.

Nearsightedness can be a progressive condition, where by the amount of correction required may slowly increase over time. Nearsighted is the result of light focusing in front of the retina. This can be the result of an increase in the overall lenght of the eye. As such, routine eye exams by an eye doctor are recommended.

Common urban myths surround nearsighted include:

Wearing eyeglasses makes your vision worse - False

Not wearing your eyeglasses helps to strengthen or improve your vision - False

People who are diagnosed as being nearsighted by an eye doctor have treatment options. Treatment options for nearsightedness include: eyeglasses, contact lenses and refractive eye surgery procedures. Your eye doctor can help you to determine which treatment option is best suited for you.

Are you nearsighted?

Book your next eye exam in Sherwood Park with an eye-bar optometrist.

eye-bar optometry in Sherwood Park - Eye Exams, Contact Lenses, Emergency Visits & Ophthalmology Referrals

The 20/20/20 Rule

The 20/20/20 rule is a great little acronym to remember when trying to deal with excessive eyestrain at work. If you spend a large portion of your workday on a computer or doing paperwork, then this rule can help to prevent or reduce the onset of those frontal & temporal stress headaches that you may be experiencing. It may also help to eliminate that blurry vision you experience on the drive home.

Patients who have extended near point demands for work or hobbies can actually develop a pseudo-nearsighted posture by the end of a long session.  This can result in patients thinking that their eyesight has gotten worse, when really their eye muscles are just over worked and tired.

So remember – 20/20/20

  • Take a break every 20 minutes
  • Look at something 20 feet away
  • Look at it for at least 20 seconds

If none of these tips help, please make an appointment to see an eye care professional as soon as possible.

eye-bar offers complete optometry services and has 3 optometrists on staff to help you with all of your vision needs. 

Book your next eye exam in Sherwood Park with an eye-bar optometrist.

eye-bar optometry in Sherwood Park - Eye Exams, Contact Lenses, Emergency Visits & Ophthalmology Referrals

Eye Care Question of the Week: #7


Are there any alternatives to laser eye surgery?


If you have been seriously contemplating going for laser eye surgery then this is an important question to ask yourself. This topic is also of interest for anyone who has already inquired about refractive surgery options but has been denied for any number of reasons: age, unstable prescription, thin corneas, high farsightedness or high nearsightedness, etc. Most patients who present to our clinic for a preliminary laser eye surgery consultation are looking to get away from eyeglasses. This may be for cosmetic reasons, lifestyle, or occupational requirements.  But do you know some of your alternatives?

One alternative to laser eye surgery is overnight or continuous wear contact lenses such as the Air Optix Night & Day by Ciba Vision. This product is one of the most studied contact lenses in the world and has a proven track record. For the right candidate this type of contact lens can offer excellent vision quality. Also, if your prescription changes you can quickly update your contact lens power as opposed to having to go through a laser eye surgery enhancement procedure. The other benefit of overnight contact lenses is that you know instantly how well you’re going to see, as there is no waiting period or healing time. From a financial perspective, an annual supply of these contact lenses is about one tenth the cost of laser eye procedures. On the downside however, there is still a small chance of developing an eye infection from sleeping in an overnight contact lens. Also, these contact lenses do not provide correction for astigmatism, which means that about 20% of patients are unable to wear them.

Another alternative to laser eye surgery is 1-Day disposable contact lenses, such as Dailies Aqua Comfort Plus or Acuvue TruEye. For many contact lens patients it’s simply the hassle of taking care of their contact lenses or forgetting when they last changed them. For these individuals a single use 1-Day disposable contact lens may be a great alternative. 1-Day disposable contact lenses also show a reduced prevalence of eye infections when compared to continuous wear overnight contact lenses or traditional 2-Week or 1-Month disposable contact lenses. These contact lenses may also be a great alternative for patients who suffer from dry eye syndrome and are not a candidate for overnight contact lens wear. Once again, an annual supply of these contact lenses are about one tenth the cost of laser eye surgery procedures, and your prescription can be quickly be updated.

To book a preliminary laser eye surgery consultation or to discuss some of your alternatives, please book an eye health examination with one of the optometrists at eye-bar.


eye-bar optometry in Sherwood Park - Eye Exams, Contact Lenses, Emergency Visits & Ophthalmology Referrals