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All posts by Dr. Rebecca Anidjar

3 Reasons To Book an Eye Exam in 2020

3 Reasons To Book an Eye Exam in 2020

A new year is upon us. It’s estimated that 1 in 3 adults in Canada will make a New Year’s resolution this year. Of these, 73% will break their resolutionsMany of us focus on better health as a New Year’s resolution. In fact, up to 55% of all resolutions are health related. From hitting the gym more to watching what’s on our plate, coming out of the holiday season we clearly have health and wellness on our minds. 

What you may not realise is that your eyes can be an indicator of underlying health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis and tumors to name just a few. When was the last time you had an eye exam? If it’s been over two years, it’s time for a check-up. An eye test is one health resolution that’s easy to stick to in 2020!

3 Reasons to Book an Eye Exam in 2020

Just like your annual dental check ups, an eye test is an important part of your overall health checks. Here are 3 reasons to book an eye exam in 2020. 

1. Many of us are overdue 

We all lead busy lives. Between work, social commitments, family and general day to day admin, an eye exams often drops to the bottom of the priority list. Alarmingly, a study commissioned by the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) found that up to 59% of Canadians experience some symptoms of a potential eye disease, with only 54% seeking advice from a healthcare professional. 

Promisingly, the Canadian Association of Optometrists notes that “over 75% of vision loss is preventable or treatable.” Don’t delay any longer, make 2020 the year that you book in your eye exam. 

2. An eye exam can help detect other health conditions

We’ve all heard that our eyes are the windows to our soul. But did you know that an eye exam can actually help to detect underlying health conditions? Some health problems that an eye test can detect include:

  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol 
  • Inflammatory conditions 
  • Increased intracranial pressure
  • Tumors 

3. Your eyesight is constantly changing

Just as our body’s change with age, so do our eyes. Our eyes will operate differently in our 60s than they did in our 30s. Most changes are entirely normal and can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or in some cases, surgery. 

Ignoring changes to your eyesight can often make the problem worse. Squinting to read or holding items close to your face may provide a temporary solution, but it’s certainly not a permanent one. 

Make 2020 the year that you commit to better eye health. The team at Yonge & College Optometry provides full comprehensive eye exams, vision testing, glaucoma testing, binocular vision testing, and complete dilated retinal evaluations. To book an appointment, please call us on (647) 748-3937 or click here to request an appointment online


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Contact Lens Recycling

Contact Lens Recycling Program

For contact lens wearers, there’s just a bit more effort that goes into their every day. Making sure you’ve got enough contacts and solution, ensuring you’ve got your spare glasses in case of emergency. Maintaining eye health can require a bit more vigilance as well. A tiny scratch can mean glasses for a few days or even weeks. Depending on the type of contact lens you use can mean changing out your lenses daily, biweekly, or monthly. 

Regardless of the length of use for your brand of contact lens, it’s important to know you have some options for lens disposal that can leave less of an impact on the environment. Did you know that more than 290 million contact lenses end up in Canadian landfills or waterways every year? Contact lens recycling programs can help reduce landfill waste as it allows for the proper disposal and recycling of packing material and lenses. But why should you participate? And just how easy is it to help out our planet by recycling your contact lens materials? We’ve got a few answers to your frequently asked questions below.

Contact Lens Recycling – Things to Know

Bausch and Lomb has launched an extensive contact lens recycling program to help keep the byproducts of contact lens use out of landfills. One of the biggest environmental concerns with single use packaging is how irresponsible and wasteful it is. Contact lens users, especially those using a daily disposable lens, produce a large number of foil and blister pack waste. Thanks to Bausch and Lomb, this waste can now be sent to them for recycling. Before this recycling system was put in place, contact lens plastic waste unfortunately got filtered out from normal plastic recycling waste in processing plants because of their small size.

What Type of Products Can Be Recycled?

Thanks to Bausch and Lomb, their contact lens recycling program is incredibly inclusive. As a result, you can recycle all brands of contact lenses along with their used top foil, and empty blister packs. The program is not exclusive just to Bausch and Lomb lenses! Don’t send in unused blister packs. You won’t need to wash any of your used materials, and you’ll be able to drop your contact waste off at your eye doctor or print out a label at Bauschrecycles.com. If you print out a label, you’ll be able to schedule a pickup or you can drop it off at a local post office. Your package won’t have a weight limit, either, so you’ll be able to mail as many or as few as you’d like. Once received, your contact waste will be sorted and cleaned and recycled respectively.

What Does Bausch and Lomb do with Recycled Materials?

Bausch and Lomb, in collaboration with TerraCycle®, announced on Nov. 13th, 2019 that materials from the recycling program would be donated as custom training modules to the Guide Dog Foundation. The training materials are set to include tables, benches, waste stations and an agility ramp. All materials are made from used contact lens materials collected through the recycling program.

Participating in the contact lens recycling program can help reduce how much waste comes out of the disposable lens industry. Therefore, it leaves less of an environmental impact on this gorgeous planet we live on. Not only this, but recycling your contact lens materials helps to support a great cause. 

We are proud to announce that Yonge & College Optometry is one of the first sites in Toronto to offer a recycling system for our patients’ contact lens waste. For more information, please call us on (647) 748-3937 or click here to request an appointment online

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How Does Diabetes Affect My Eyes

How Does Diabetes Affect Your Eyes?

Diabetes is a fairly common disease that roughly 10% of the public deals with in their daily lives. Whether you’re born with a childhood type of diabetes or it’s a disease you are afflicted with later in life, it’s important to know the symptoms and other ways the disease can affect your health. Blindness and diabetes can unfortunately go hand in hand – this is why it’s incredibly important to be vigilant and take potential symptoms seriously. In our blog today, we discuss how diabetes can affect your eyes. 

Blindness and Diabetes – How Does Diabetes Affect Your Eyes?

The changes our bodies make when we’re handling any stage of diabetes can be unpredictable and hard to process. If diabetes is new to you or someone you know, it can be scary to process all the changes that may be taking place. While the things you should be aware of are numerous, one big change to pay attention to can be the health of your eyes and the quality of your vision. It may be surprising but diabetic retinopathy or diabetes related loss of vision may be a sudden onset health issue. There is typically not much warning, so it’s very important to be aware of sudden changes in eyesight if you have diabetes.

Below are some things to look out for when it comes to your vision if you have been diagnosed with diabetes:

  • Dark floating spots or streaks in your line of vision – In later stages of the diagnoses, blood vessels may rupture or leak into the vitreous centre of the eye. If left untreated, this bleeding can cause scarring or become worse with time.
  • DME – DME, or Diabetic Macular Edema, is when the blood vessels of the retina leak fluid which causes swelling in the macular part of the eye. This can cause blurry vision in patients who are experiencing this issue.
  • Neovascular glaucoma – Another unfortunate issue that can be caused by diabetic retinopathy can be a condition where the blood vessels actually grow out of the retina and cause proper drainage of fluids from the retina. 
  • Retinal detachment – In very severe cases, if other ailments are left untreated, scar tissue and trauma can cause the retina to separate from the eye. 

Can Diabetes Cause Blindness – Who is at Risk?

Aside from other serious symptoms, your vision health can be severely impacted by diabetes. It doesn’t matter what stage of the disease you’re living with, the effects can impact your vision in a negative and permanent way. If a person’s blood sugar is allowed to elevate to an uncontrollable and dangerous level, it can impact blood vessels and cause damage that may be irreversible to your eyes structure and anatomy.

If you or someone you know feel as though you may be suffering from any stage of diabetic retinopathy, please get in touch with us at Yonge & College Optometry. In the early stages, correction and treatment may be possible. Aside from the obvious ocular symptoms, it is also important to seek assistance from a doctor to get any diabetic problems under control as they can affect many aspects of your overall health. Being vigilant and proactive can help save your body from the negative effects of diabetes, it just takes staying on top of it! Call us today on (647) 748-3937, or click here to request an appointment online. 

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2020 Vision

What Does 20/20 Vision Mean?

Have you ever wondered what it means when someone says you have “20/20 vision”? You’re definitely not alone! This is one of the most common questions we get asked on a daily basis, so I’ll explain what it means.

20/20 vision is  a common term used to describe normal visual acuity or clarity of vision. It is determined by testing a person’s vision at a distance of 20 feet away from a visual target of a specific size. So if someone has 20/20 vision, it means that they are able to see a specific target 20 feet away in the distance.


How does your eye doctor determine if you have 20/20 vision?

Ever notice those strange mirrors and projectors in the eye exam room? They’re not for wacky decoration! These mirrors are used to “extend” the length of the room to simulate a distance of 20 feet for this type of vision testing. The instruments project the eye chart onto a wall and then the image is bounced off mirrors to be visible directly in front of you. This makes things seem 20 feet away, rather than the actual length of the exam room (which is usually only ten feet long).


Objects Closer than they Appear

It is important to have regular eye check ups even if you feel your vision is good or if you think you are not having difficulty seeing. Most eye diseases begin with little or no visual symptoms at all, so waiting until something feels wrong can have consequences on your vision health. The earlier your eye doctor is able to detect these problems, the better the outcome will be – and the better the chances of your eyes remaining healthy. A regular eye exam can also give your eye doctor insight into your overall systemic health, and a comprehensive eye exam can pick up health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, anemia, stroke, and brain lesions. So while it may feel like no big deal to skip that annual eye exam, make sure to keep your appointment and get checked out. Don’t neglect your eyes – they can be the first line of defense for disease detection!

Focus Chart 20/20 Vision

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The Light Spectrum and Blue Light

Digital Eye Strain: Your Smartphone and Bad Blue Light

Have you wondered if computers, tablets, or smart phones can damage your eyes?

New research suggests that extended use of digital devices like smart phones increases our exposure to “Bad Blue Light” that can be harmful to our eyes.

What is Bad Blue Light?

Blue light wavelengths between 415-455 nanometers – a wavelength range found to be detrimental to our eyes. Sources that emit higher portions of “Bad Blue Light” include Daylight, Cool White LED screens, and Compact Fluorescent light bulbs. High-resolution computer screens and smart phones have been found to emit up to 30% blue light.

Exposure to Bad Blue Light

A study by the American Association of Optometry explored the relevance of this to our current lifestyles. It found that 67% of adults spend more than 7 hours a day on their computer or cell phone, and 65% of people reported experiencing symptoms of digital eyestrain.

Most surprising was that the study found the most vulnerable age group is children. Nowadays, children are exposed to digital devices from a much earlier age than previous generations. However, young children have not yet built up the natural crystalline lens pigment that would otherwise help protect them from blue light damage.

Blue Light Filters and Digital Devices

How can you help reduce your exposure to blue light?

Blue light filters.

New lenses have been specially designed to block these harmful wavelengths from entering the eye and causing damage. These filters are especially useful for people who spend their workday in front of a computer or who experience eyestrain from using digital devices for extended periods of time.

The Balance of Blue Light Exposure

Interestingly, other studies have found that some level of blue light wavelength absorption is important to regulating our circadian (sleep/wake) cycle; what that exact level is still being studied. Therefore, we should aim for a balance of how much blue light we expose ourselves to and protect ourselves from excessive and prolonged exposure that is proven to be harmful.

In the meanwhile, computer-users should stick to regular eye exams to help prevent and manage any eye conditions.

Want recommendations to fit your lifestyle? Book an eye exam and we can help ensure you’re on the path to eye health.

Blue light infographic

Image: Essilor Canada

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