What’s new in the eyecare world?

Eyecare and Technology

Technology plays a tremendous role in every industry and the eyecare industry is no exception. We see advancements in technology impacting all aspects of the eyecare practice. From new revolutionary diagnostic equipment that help optometrists pick up settle ocular changes that were missed in the past to new advancements in contact lenses and glasses, the future of eyecare is bright.

eye-technology, Metro Eye Care

The OCT

The OCT (optical coherence tomography) is one of the diagnostic tools that have revolutionized the way optometrists and ophthalmologists practice over the last several years. OCT is a non-invasive technology that’s able to take a cross section of internal ocular structures including the optic nerve, macula and other sections of the retina. This advanced technology allows the eye care professional to see beyond what could be discovered on a standard clinical examination through biomicroscopy or retinal imaging. This tool is specially important for patients with family history of macular degeneration or glaucoma. It’s also great for monitoring disease progression in patients who have already been diagnosed with the disease and would need to be monitored closely for change.

Contact lens inovation

Another eyecare area that has been tremendously transformed by technology over the last several years is the contact lens market. The technology in this arena has come a long way over the years. Daily lenses now come in silicone hydrogel material that allows for greater oxygen transmission through the lens and better comfort. Given that these lenses are now manufactured at a larger scale the cost of the lenses has also come down significantly, so wearing these lenses has become much more affordable as well. The custom rigid gas permeable lenses and scleral lenses advancements have also been instrumental in allowing optometrists to help more patients who otherwise would have not been able to help in the past. Example of such cases include those with dry eye disease who had developed intolerance to soft contact lenses or those with corneal disease such as keratoconus, and post surgical patients.

Glasses

On the glasses front, digitally manufactured spectacle lenses now allow for more customization than ever. Such level of accuracy and customization now allows for most optimized vision. The days of having only generic stock lens options are long gone. Thanks to digital lens surfacing, we’re now able to specify how a patient chooses to wear a frame to the fabrication of the lenses for most optimized clarity and comfort.

Surgical front

On the surgical front, we have seen many technological advancements that have increased the options available to patients in need of ocular surgeries. In refractive surgery for example, new laser technology such as the custom all-laser wavefront Lasik or transepithelial PRK has allowed corneal surgeons to deliver more accurate and safer outcomes for their patients.

Emerging Technologies

One of the most exciting technologies that are starting to emerge now is the wearable technology. We are seeing small launches in the eyewear arena but likely there will be much more to come in the near future.

To learn more about eye health, eyewear or to book an Eye Exam or a consultation with one of our Optometrists call or email us at our Downtown Toronto University Avenue location and we’ll be more than happy to assist.

 

 

Diabetes and our Eyes

diabetes and your eyes

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that interferes with the body’s ability to use and store sugar. The food we eat is converted into glucose, or sugar, and used for energy. Diabetes impairs the ability to produce and respond to a hormone called insulin which helps the body process sugar. This causes a buildup in the body and can lead to serious health problems like heart disease, kidney failure, lower extremity amputation and blindness.

There are two types of diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes you are considered insulin-dependent because injections or other medications are required to supply the insulin your body is unable to produce on its own. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. In Type 2 diabetes, the most common type, the body becomes insulin-resistant. Although you produce insulin your body is unable to make proper use of it. The percentage of adults with Type 2 diabetes increases in people 65 years or older.

Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is the most common form of diabetic eye disease. It occurs when high levels of blood sugar cause changes that damage the tiny blood vessels in the retina, which makes them leak fluid or hemorrhage (bleed). Without proper blood flow the retina can become damaged and lead to permanent vision loss. Diabetes can also cause new growth of abnormal blood vessels in the retina which can break and bleed into the clear gel filling the middle of the eye, the vitreous, causing sudden vision loss.

Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) is a complication of DR. In DME, the fluid leaked from the damaged blood vessels causes swelling in the center of the retina, the macula. The macula is the most sensitive part of the retina that is responsible for central vision. DME is the primary cause of vision loss associated with DR and is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults.

In the early stages of DR there are often no symptoms, but as it progresses it can cause spots or floaters in your vision, blurred and/or distorted vision, fluctuating vision, double vision and cataracts. In the early stages it is important to monitor the condition with an eye exam every six months and control the blood sugar with diet and exercise. Treatment in advanced stages includes eye injections and laser surgery. People with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are at risk for DR and vision loss. Additional risk factors include race (Hispanics and African Americans are at higher risk), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and pregnancy.

Because Diabetic Retinopathy can go undiagnosed until it causes vision loss, an annual eye exam is recommended for all diabetics. Early detection and treatment are key in the management and control of diabetes and diabetic eye disease so schedule your appointment with Metro Eye Care today.

What is Chronic Dry Eye

chronic dry eye

Chronic Dry Eye

A healthy eye produces an adequate amount of tears to keep the eyeball moisturized. Tears are made up of oil, water and mucus. Each of these is an important component in protecting the front of our eyes and keeping them comfortable. An oil layer helps prevent evaporation of water, while the mucin layer spreads the tears evenly over the eye. If the tears evaporate too quickly or do not spread evenly over the cornea due to issues with any of the tear layers, you will begin experiencing dry eye symptoms. Most people at some point will experience these symptoms, but people with chronic dry eyes experience symptoms almost daily.

What Causes Chronic Dry Eyes?

Causes of chronic dry eye depend on a variety of factors such as living in a dry climate, exposure to smoke and wind which increase the rate in which tears are evaporated. Women are also more likely to experience chornic dry eyes due to hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy and menopause. Medications such as antidepressants and high blood pressure medications are known to aggravate dry eyes. Age is another cause of dry eyes, most people over the age of 65 experience symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of Chronic Dry eyes?

If you’re experience chronic dry eyes you most likely feel your eyes heavy and out of focus most of the time. Additional symptoms are as follows:

  • Difficulty driving at night
  • Sore Eyes 
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Itching, burning
  • Gritty feeling, like there is sand in your eyes
  • Eye redness and eyelid soreness

How is Chronic Dry Eye diagnosed?
The only way to obtain a proper diagnosis is to be evaluated by a reputable eye doctor. It is important to find an eye care provider with the proper technology to make the most accurate diagnosis and match you with the best treatment for your specific condition. 

What treatments are available?
Once your eye doctor has examined you, the best course of treatment will be determined. Fortunately, you have plenty of options on how to treat Chronic Dry Eye depending on the severity of the discomfort:

  • Steroid Eye Drops
  • Restasis
  • Xiidra
  • Meibomian Gland Expression
  • Punctal Plugs

Contact Us here at Metro Eye Care for more information.

Child Eye Exam – Why Should I Get My Child’s Vision Checked?

Child Eye Exam

child eye examUnless a child is showing obvious signs of vision impairment or poor eye health, many parents and guardians assume they don’t need to schedule an eye exam. Some even think their children’s eyes will be examined in school as a part of regular health screenings. Both of these are mistaken assumptions. At Metroicare, we agree with the the Canadian Association of Optometrists’ recommendations that children have at least one comprehensive eye exam before they start school and once a year thereafter.

Children often don’t complain about vision impairments because they don’t know whether their vision is abnormal. To them, blurry vision, not being able to follow words on a page, or straining to see a blackboard (or whiteboard) may seem perfectly normal. As they say, a fish doesn’t question how it swims, it just swims! Many vision impairments are only discovered once a child begins school or starts playing organized sports. Both situations require clear sight. But a comprehensive vision examination isn’t just a test of sight. It’s an examination of eye health. And for children, it can be one of the first steps in diagnosing an eye disorder.

Why Should I Get My Child's Vision Checked

At Metroicare, our pediatric eye exam includes a full review of a child’s health and vision history as well as tests for farsightedness, nearsightedness, color perception, astigmatism, and other common vision conditions. Identifying an eye impairment or disorder early greatly aids a child’s ability to learn and feel comfortable in a classroom, or on a playing field.

Metroicare’s comprehensive eye exams also look at eye function such as how well the eyes focus and work together, as well as overall health screenings. Did you know that in children, some binocular vision disorders are mistaken for behavioural disorders such as ADHD? Many family doctors treating children for ADHD often don’t detect or even consider that an ocular disorder, or malfunction, is the cause. Disorders such as convergence insufficiency, where the eye do not work in unison, may not be apparent in simple vision checks. Only optometrists with expertise in eye-teaming abnormalities, would be able to diagnose—and properly treat—these issues in children.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, it is also important for children to learn early about eye care and protection. Who better to impart this knowledge than the trained professionals at Metroicare? We know that too much screen time, or time spend in front of Ipads, tablets, computers, smartphones, and TVs can harm a child’s eyesight. Since the eyes of children and teens continue developing until they are about 20, many eye care professionals believe long hours spend in front of electronic devices can cause myopia, or near-sightedness. Both the Canadian Ophthalmological Society and the Canadian Association of Optometrists agree that the strain of “near work”— or looking at things close up—effects vision and can lead to conditions such as dry eye. Many experts are now recommending that children spend more time outdoors looking at things far away and absorbing beneficial sunlight and vitamin D.

Vision can be so important to learning and behaviour. A comprehensive eye exam will start your child’s school years off right. Call Metroicare today to book an appointment today.

Dry Eye Disease

dry eye diseaseYou may have seen the commercial on TV. An attractive doctor diagnoses her patient with chronic dry eyes, prescribes a drug to alleviate the symptoms, and announces that the drug helped her too. It was one of the most memorable American TV ads of 2013—making it to the Neilson top ten in advertising. One reason for its top-ten status was that it skillfully announced to the public how dry eye disease or dry eye syndrome (DES) is actually a disease, and not just an annoying temporary symptom.

It’s not often that eye disorders get such public attention, but dry eye disease confirms how important regular comprehensive exams are in treating conditions that patients sometimes brush off. Your optometrist can diagnose dry eye disease and set you on a path to better, more comfortable vision.

Dry eye disease is a chronic, or long-lasting condition. It happens when your eyes do not produce, or maintain enough tears to adequately lubricate the surface of the eye. Sometimes this is because of reduced tear production. In other cases, it arises as a result of the lack of lipid in tears. As medical professionals, we learn from current research—and dry eye is one condition where research and corresponding treatment is ongoing.

Dry eye symptoms run the gamut from dry and itchy, to burning and watering. They can also be painful, stinging, and irritated. It can even feel like you have a grain of sand in your eye. Dry eye effects different people in different ways, and treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms.

As for the contributing factors and causes? Dry eye can happen as a result of normal aging or hormonal change, environmental factors such as living or working in dry or dusty conditions. Air conditioning in summer and heating in winter can exacerbate the condition, as can staring at a computer or television screen for long periods of time. Researchers know that age and gender are factors in who gets dry eye. Women over 50 have a greater risk than men of the same age. Certain medications for blood pressure, allergies, and depression, can contribute, as well as having medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and thyroid disease.

Optometrists have a number of weapons in their arsenal for treating dry eyes. Treatment depends on isolating the cause and determining the severity. Often, we examine the effects of lifestyle with an eye on alleviating major contributors to discomfort. If the cause is environmental, you may be able to eliminate or avoid it—such as wearing wrap-around glasses or goggles in dusty environments, or making sure you blink often while staring at a computer, video, or television screen.

Dry eye treatment could also include using over the counter eye drops, prescription drops, or even prescription drugs (such as the one promoted in the television commercial). Many people find the limiting their use of contact lenses, and warm compresses on the eyes, can help, as well as eye scrubs. Long term treatment plans include eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, keeping hydrated with water and blinking fully and consistently.

If you believe you have been suffering from dry eyes, give us a call, we have a number of treatment options that can help replenish moisture on the surface of your eyes and help you feel better.

Glasses or Contact Lenses

Glasses or Contact Lenses

glasses or contact lensesSome people are contact lovers, some people are glasses fans. And some love both. The contacts vs glasses debate has a lot to do with personal style, usage, and comfort. Luckily, with the array of contacts and eyeglass lenses now available through metroicare.com and a little knowledge of the pros and cons, you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics for comfort or convenience. You can choose what works for you when it works for you.

Eyeglasses Make a Statement

Most people begin their vision correction journey with glasses. Eyeglasses allow wearers to define their personal style and make a statement. Maybe you want to assert yourself like Clark Kent, or show the world your eccentric or artistic side like Andy Warhol. Eyeglasses will convey your message whatever your tastes. In addition, glasses are generally cheaper than contacts over the long run, and they offer some protection from dust, wind, and light. Glasses are easy to pop on and off for tasks and naps. In addition, if you have sensitive or dry eyes, glasses are also gentler on your peepers.

Convenience for Active Lifestyles

Contact lenses are great for people with active lifestyles who don’t like the feel of an appliance on their face when they play sports, hike, or run. Because they fit to the curvature of your eye, contacts give a wider field of vision than eyeglasses and won’t distort or reflect your view. As an added bonus, contacts don’t steam up when it is muggy out or fog up in freezing weather. There are also contacts available now that fit specific prescription issues such as astigmatism, as well as multiple prescriptions, far sightedness, and near sightedness.

The optometrists at Metro Eye Care would be happy to advise you on the proper fit for your eyeglass prescription, or the right contact lenses for you. We are conveniently located in downtown Toronto and are accepting new patients.

Does OHIP Cover Eye Exams

DOES OHIP COVER EYE EXAMS

does ohip cover eye examsIn order to obtain publicly insured health care services in Ontario, a resident of Ontario must possess a valid health card.

OHIP COVERAGE FOR OPTOMETRY SERVICES

OHIP covers the following service for:
• Children who are under the age of 19: A complete annual eye examination in addition to following up on the assessment that is needed.
• Seniors above the age of 65: A complete annual eye examination performed annually for the age group in addition to any follow-up assessment that is needed.

Adults between the age of 20 - 64: There is no thorough eye exam for the age group. They have the option of accessing private eye care or personal insurance eye treatment. Although it’s subject to some exceptions depending on the medical condition of the person. Consult your optometrist to see if you are qualified. The cover conditions are:
• Glaucoma
• Diabetes
• Amblyopia
• Cataract
• Retina disease
• Visual field defects
• Strabismus
• Corneal disease
• Optic pathway disease
• Recurrent uveitis

Here are some of the optometric services that OHIP does not cover:
• An additional full eye exam in the same year with an OHIP-covered exam.
• Eye examinations that are deemed compulsory by potential employers and third parties.
• Fitting exams for content lenses and progress check.
• Retina imaging like ocular coherence, tomography, retinal photography, Heidelberg retina tomography, etc.
• Laser refractive surgery-management (pre and postoperative) visits.
Treatment like:
• Contact lenses
• Eyeglasses
• Low vision aids
• Vision therapy (eye coordination exercises)
• Medications to apply to surrounding tissues and diseases of the eye.

PRIVATE THIRD-PARTY INSURANCE

Regular eye checks up was excluded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term care for adults’ patients of age 20-64 years old. The annual eye exam covers only adults with some specific medical problems under the Benefits for Optometry services schedule.

The significance of a regular eye examination is endorsed and promoted by the Ontario Association of Optometrists. You should check your health insurance company’s benefit plan (Sun Life, Manulife, Green Shield of Canada, Great-West Life) in case OHIP does not cover your eye exam for vision care coverage for eyewear, eye exams, and other optometric services. Some employers have extended health care benefits for employees. You are advised to contact your insurance carrier for further details.

An optometrist has the option of choosing if they should bill a third-party insurance provider directly or bill the patient. A third party might be entitled to reimbursement if the third party had already paid for an insured service.

Always Confirm What Coverage OHIP will and will not cover by visiting the Ontario Government website.

Coloured Contact Lenses

COLOURED CONTACT LENSES

coloured contact lensesColoured contact lenses are used to change the coloured look of your eyes, and helps you to look your best. If you want to rock a particular style or you simply want a crazy feel for special occasions such as Halloween, then coloured contact lenses could suit your sense of taste. They are found in Plano and prescription forms.

The prescription coloured contacts enable you to correct myopia which is commonly known as nearsightedness, astigmatism or hyperopia (farsightedness). While the plano coloured contact lenses are worn as part of makeup to change the color of the eyes.

Coloured contacts are rather expensive compared to regular contacts but they are well worth it according to its wearers.

TYPES OF COLOURED CONTACT LENSES

Mostly, colored contacts are designed to resemble the Iris, which is the colored part of the eye. These colored contacts are made of colourful shapes and lines or a series of coloured dots to enable the lenses have a natural appearance. Hence, the center of the lens is clear enough for you to see. Basically, they have three types of tints.

VISIBILITY TINT

This usually comes in a light blue color and it’s added to a lens to help you have a better view of it during insertion and removal. Although they are fast like in appearance, they have no effect on your eye color.

ENHANCEMENT TINT

This tint is translucent, hence; it’s a bit darker than a visibility tint. Its purpose is to enhance the natural color of your eyes. It’s perfect for people with light colored eyes when combined with tinted lenses because it causes the eyes to become more intense.

OPAQUE TINT

It can completely change your eye color because it’s non-transparent. People with dark eyes can use it to change the color of their eyes. They are available in different colors like green, hazel, brown, gray, amethyst, blue and violet. And it also includes theoretical or costume contact lenses. They are frequently used in the movies, and recently, they have become more available for novelty purpose because they create special effects.
With opaque lenses, you can take the role of a vampire and other specialized roles in movies.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT COLOR

For contact lenses, some factors determine its suitability such as skin tone and hair color, but it also got to deal with your desired look, be it subtle, dramatic, romantic, or natural.
Color contacts are suitable for light eyes. And meant for those who want to change their approach subtly. It’s best to choose the kind of enhancement tint that deepens your natural color and defines the edges of your iris.

If you want your eyes to have a different color while still looking natural, then gray or green contact lenses are appropriate, especially when your eye color is naturally blue.

However, if you need a dramatic look that catches the attention of everyone, and if you have light colored eyes alongside a calm complexion with a blue-red undertone, then you should go for contact lenses such as light brown.
But if you have dark eyes, then, color contact lenses for dark eyes and opaque tints are the best for you. To have a change and still look natural, you can choose a hazel colored lens or lighter honey brown. However, contact lenses in vivid colors will enable you to stand out from the crowd easily such as violet, blue, and green. If you have dark skin, bright color lenses can create a superb new look for you.

If you are looking for coloured contact lenses in downtown Toronto contact our office at eyedocs@x8t.d92.myftpupload.com to book your appointment with one of our optometrists today. 

Types of Eye Emergencies

TYPES OF EYE EMERGENCIES

Your eyes are extremely delicate and complex too. They tend to get injured easily and they are irreplaceable. They are easy targets for infections and other forms of sickness. Have you ever thought about the reason for an eye emergency or when you should start going for one? Then this information is meant just for you.

WHAT AN EYE EMERGENCY IS AND WHAT IT’S NOT

Eye emergencies arise as a result of a sudden accident. It might be a foreign object in the eye, exposure to injury or harmful chemicals. Although, most eye infections can be very painful, makes you feel uncomfortable and unpleasant, some eye infections cannot be categorized as such that needs an eye emergency.

SYMPTOMS OF AN EYE EMERGENCY

types of eye emergenciesThere are several symptoms when it comes to eye infections and diseases. And a lot of them could be a warning that you should go for an eye emergency. They include:
• A sudden loss of vision or blurring of objects.
• A stinging, burning or painful sensation in the eyes.
• When one of the eyes fail to move in accordance with the other one as a result of paralysis or bulging of the eye.
• When one of the pupils of the eyes is different from the other.
• Severe sensitivity to light or double vision.
• Bleeding around the eyes.
• A severe headache that can not be explained.
Some of these symptoms occur suddenly in a severe state. When such happens, then you should know that you are experiencing an eye emergency, you should seek medical attention immediately.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO AND NOT DO WITH EYE INJURIES

If a foreign body enters your eye, you should seek medical help immediately. Your eyes will be checked thoroughly by a trained professional who will use the right tools to examine your eyes and remove any foreign body without causing any damage to the eyes.
Avoid attempting to remove the foreign body on your own to avoid damaging your eyes. It’s important to cover your eyes when a foreign body enters the eye mistakenly. So that your eyes can stop tracking movement and light to avoid further injury.

If a chemical substance mistakenly splashes into your eye, bend your head towards the affected eye, so it will face downwards. Then pour cool and clean water into the eyes for about 15mins to flush out the substance from the eyes.
In some cases, a small object that enters the eye can be flushed with clean water or by blinking the eye. This will enable the object to move to the corner of the eye where it can easily fall off. Avoid rubbing the eye if it itches you, instead; seek medical help.

OTHER EYE INJURIES

There are other types of eye-related diseases that need urgent attention such as:
• A cut or a scratch on the surface of the eye.
• A black eye as a result of injury or a severe medical condition.

Sudden swelling in the eyes may be as a result of an allergy, disease or symptom of another illness.
Time is crucial for any eye related problem. So, it’s good to seek help even if you are unsure whether it’s an emergency or not. Rather than wasting time and the condition will only get worse.

Pediatric Eye Care

The National Health Interview Survey, in the United States, recently conducted a research and discovered that about 3% of children who are 18 years and below suffer from various forms of visual impairment, blindness or could not see even with the aid of glasses.
Some of the commonest visual impairments that where identified include:

Pediatric Eye Care - AMBLYOPIA

Some children between the ages of 6 months to 5 years were discovered to have cases of Amblyopia. It primarily causes vision loss in children. It is generated as a result of abnormal development of the neural connectivity between the eye and the brain during the child’s early life. Amblyopia is also referred to as “lazy eye.”
A typical case of a loss in vision can only affect one of the eyes, but children who suffer from Amblyopia are more likely to suffer from vision impairment in their later life than those who do not have it. With this, it’s therefore vital to detect amblyopia at its early stage so it could be treated and curbed in time before the child gets to the age of seven. If it’s neglected or not treated on time, it could lead to loss of vision permanently in one or both eyes.

Pediatric Eye Care - STRABISMUS

Strabismus is best described as the non-arrangement of the eyes, and it has affected 2% to 4% of children under the age of 6. Strabismus causes the brain to receive complex visual inputs because the eyes are oriented in different directions. This impairs the perception process and binocular vision development.

Pediatric Eye Care - REFRACTIVE ERRORS

This represents the most common causes of visual disorder in children. It can consist of hyperopia, astigmatism, and myopia. It results in blurred vision because the lights are not focused on the retina. When such refractive errors are not corrected in infants, and children in pre-school age, due to parental concerns regarding the developmental delay. Also, the clinically based deficiency in visual-motor and cognitive functions that might later affects the child’s readiness for school. But its prevalence varies among different studies due to different examination techniques and diagnostic criteria.

Pediatric Eye Care - MYOPIA

Myopia refers to any condition whereby the visual images focuses on the front of the retina and causes a defective vision of distant objects. According to reports, about 4 percent of children between 6 months to 72 months old and 9 percent of older children between 5-17 years are suffering from myopia. Its prevalence varies by ethnicity, race, and age.

Pediatric Eye Care - HYPEROPIA

Hyperopia occurs when the visual images focus at a point beyond the retina resulting in a defective vision of near objects. It’s also known as farsightedness because it makes nearby objects to appear blurry. Its occurrence is about 21 percent among children (6 months to 5 years of age) and 13 percent among children (5 to 17 years of age). Its appearance varies among race, age, and ethnicity.

Pediatric Eye Care - ASTIGMATISM

This is an irregularity in the shape of the lens or cornea which leads to a blurred vision of distant objects. About 15 and 28 percent of children under the age of 17 years old have astigmatism. Most children who suffer from myopia and hyperopia tend to have astigmatism too.

To book your Pediatric Eye Exam and consult with one of our optometrists call our downtown Toronto today.