Eat your way to healthier eyes

You know the age-old idea of eating carrots to maintain healthy eyes? Well, there is a reason for it. Beta-carotene is an important anti-oxidant that keeps eyes working correctly, and happens to be responsible for the orange color of carrots and other produce. Beta-carotene is converted to Vitamin A in your body which is used in the process of converting light into the actual images you see, and keeping your cornea moist. 

This antioxidant is easy to find: carrots, apricots, cantaloupes, peaches, blueberries, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, and most of the dark green leafy vegetables.

*photo credits: carrots, peaches, winter squashes.

I have diabetes, how often should I have my eyes examined?

Patients with diabetes understand the importance of seeing their primary care physician and undergoing routine blood testing on a regular basis. But many patients with diabetes don’t know that diabetes is still one of the leading causes of vision loss amongst North Americans. As such, routine eye health examinations with an optometrist are crucial for the early detection and intervention of any eye problems that may arise.  

Regardless of whether patients have Type-1 or Type-2 diabetes, the visual or ocular complications are often the same.   Patients with diabetes are at a greater risk of developing early cataract changes, glaucoma, dry eye syndrome, and diabetic retinopathy (bleeding within the eye).

Did you know?

Alberta Health Care now covers patients with diabetes for a detailed ocular health examination by their optometrist every year. This ocular health examination includes a review of any vision concerns, eye pressure testing (glaucoma screening) and a detailed dilated retinal health examination. These visits however, do not include a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, so a routine eye exam is still recommended every 1-2 years.  

To book your next annual diabetic eye health examination with an optometrist at eye-bar, please call us @ 780.467.3341.

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

 

Eye Care Question of the Week: #4

Question:

What is pink eye?

 

Answer:

Pink eye is a general term used to describe the appearance of a red swollen looking eye. An eye can become inflamed or ‘pink’ for a number of reasons including: allergies, viral and bacterial infections, chemical irritants, or because of an underlying disease process.

In general however, ‘pink eye’ is most often used to describe a viral eye infection. Viral eye infections are one of the most common eye infections that optometrists and ophthalmologists encounter. Patients often present with sinus infections, runny noses or other cold like symptoms. Eyes often take on a pinkish hue, water excessively and become light sensitive. Symptoms are usually the worst within the first 3-5 days, with most symptoms resolving within 1-2 weeks.

Because viral pink eye can be extremely contagious, therefore it must be detected and treated properly. Patients should not go to work, school, or day care until they visit an eye doctor to confirm the diagnosis.

 

eye-bar optometry - eye exams, contact lenses, emergency visits & ophthalmology referrals

Eye Care Question of the Week: #2

Question:

How often should I have my eyes examined?

 

Answer:

One of the core beliefs behind eye-bar is that every patient wants to see they’re very best. However, far to often insurance plans, or government policies dictate our personal health care strategy. As Canadians, we also grew up believing that you only saw a doctor when you had a problem.

The concept of preventative health care however is starting to catch on across all areas of medicine. Research consistently shows us that early detection and diagnosis of medical problems helps to improve long term patient outcomes. Knowing your personal health and your risk factors empowers patients to make improved lifestyle choices.

So at eye-bar, we believe that everyone regardless of age should receive a comprehensive annual eye health examination. Annual eye exams by an eye doctor provide piece of mind, knowing that you truly are seeing your best and that your eyes are health.

 

eye-bar optometry – eye exams, contact lenses, emergency visits & ophthalmology referrals

 

Are you at Risk?

Did you know that age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the primary causes of vision loss in people over the age of 60? In fact, 1 in 4 Canadians may develop macular degeneration in their lifetime, compared to only 1 in 10 who may develop glaucoma. The reality is that most people have never even heard of macular degeneration, let alone know whether they are at risk.

Like many other eye diseases, macular degeneration is a slow painless process that tends to occur over a number of years, with very few warning signs. In fact, macular degeneration can only be diagnosed after a thorough comprehensive eye exam conducted by an eye doctor.

Macular degeneration affects the central portion of the retina, or the area of the eye responsible for fine detailed visual tasks like reading or driving. Patients often initially complain of blurred vision, or a spot in their line of sight. But the reality is that most patients experience no problems in mild and even moderate cases of macular degeneration.

Currently, there is no pill or vitamin supplement that can guarantee that you won’t develop macular degeneration and certain risk factors may be out of your control.

Risks that are out of your control

Age – AMD increase with age
Race – Caucasians are at a greater risk then African Americans
Family History – Higher risk of developing late stage AMD
Gender – Females are more likely to develop AMD then men
Eye Colour – Blue or light colour irises


However, there are still some risk factors that you do have control over, that play an equal role in the potential development of macular degeneration.

Risks that you can control

Smoking – Just quit
Heart Disease – Watch your blood pressure and cholesterol
Exercise – Regular exercise
Weight – Obesity increases your risks
Diet – Eat a diet high in green leafy vegetables and fish
Sunglasses – Sunglasses help to reduce harmful UV light exposure
Eye Exams – Book an annual eye exam with an eye doctor

 

Learn more about age-related macular degeneration by visiting the CNIB @ eyeconnect or talk to your optometrist at your next annual eye exam.

 eye-bar optometry - eye exams, contact lenses, emergency visits & ophthalmology referrals