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All Posts Tagged: Eye health

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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Sunshine and UV Protection Myths

Whenever you’re out enjoying the sunshine, it’s crucial you wear sunglasses. Many people are aware of the harmful effects of UV radiation on the skin, however, very few realize the dangerous effects it can have on our eyes.

There are different types of UV radiation; the 2 types that predominantly affect our eyes are UV-A and UV-B, both of which can have short term, as well as long term effects.

Being exposed to large quantities of UV radiation in a short period of time can cause a condition called photokeratitis, sometimes referred to as a “sunburn” of the eye. This condition is extremely painful and can cause symptoms such as redness of the eyes, excessive tearing, light sensitivity, and a burning/gritty sensation. More often than not it is caused by artificial exposure to UV light, such as during welding, when the eyes are not properly protected, but it can also occur with direct exposure to intense sunlight.

Longer term effects of unprotected UV exposure are the increased risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts or their occurrence at an earlier age.

There are many way to ensure protection of our eyes from harmful UV rays.  Wearing sunglasses that block out 99- 100% UVA and UVB is a good way to start. Many eye care specialists recommend wearing wrap-around styles that block rays from getting around the frame.

Another good idea would be to wear a hat with a wide brim if you know that you’re going to be in the sun for a long time. Additionally, certain contact lenses also provide some UV protection as well.

Kids need UV protection more than adults do! Children are actually more susceptible to retinal damage caused by UV radiation, because the lens inside their eye is clearer than an adults’ lens, making it easier for more UV to penetrate deep into the eyes and cause damage to it’s internal parts.

Common Misconceptions:

The amount of UV protection is related to how dark sunglasses are.
This is not true. A very light colored lens can have 100% UV protection and vice versa, a dark lens can have little to no UV protection.

There is less UV radiation emitted on an overcast, cloudy day.
this is also not true. UV rays are invisible and can easily penetrate clouds, so it’s extremely important to wear sunglasses outdoors on these days as well!

Sunglasses are not necessary in the winter.
The exact opposite is true. Fresh snow can reflect 80% of UV rays, nearly doubling your exposure to solar UV radiation, especially if you enjoy skiing or snowboarding. Choosing proper ski goggles is very important!

If I wear UV protected contact lenses I don’t need to wear sunglasses.
This is not true. A contact lens only covers the cornea. It does not cover the conjunctiva or any other portion of the eye and the surrounding eyelids. Wearing sunglasses is always important to wear when you’re using your contact lenses outdoors.

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TOMS Eyewear for Kids Toronto

Look Great and Give Back with TOMS Eyewear in Toronto

We love eye health, and we love fashion. So it’s a natural fit for us to announce that you can now buy TOMS eyewear in Toronto – right at our clinic.

Our optical partner (and next door neighbor), Economy Optical, is proud to be a carrier of TOMS Eyewear. While you may know TOMS for their trendy and charitable footwear, they also have a line of glasses and sunglasses that live by the company’s One for One model. TOMS Eyewear is stylish, well-crafted, and innovative in design with a wide range of styles for men, women, and kids.

But this line of stunning frames and sunglasses has also helped to restore sight to over 360,000 people around the world.

Each TOMS Eyewear purchase provides a sight-restoring service to a person in need – meaning that the person receives an eye exam and then a treatment such as prescription glasses, medical treatment, or sight-saving surgery. Through their network of Sight-Giving Partners, TOMS is able to invest in clinics, hospitals, and local organizations so ophthalmologists and optometrists can provide sustainable eye care to communities in need.

If you’re looking to update your look with a new set of frames or sunglasses, visit us to check out  the collection of TOMS Eyewear in downtown Toronto. Why not update your look and give back?

 

Here are some Neat Facts and How TOMS Eyewear Makes a Difference

  •   90% of the world’s visually impaired people are in developing countries. TOMS seeks out ways to bring sight services to remote communities.
  •   Two-thirds of people who are blind are female. Over 50% of TOMS sight services are dedicated to women and girls.
  •   80% of what we learn is through sight – which makes a difference when kids can’t see well in school.

Check out a video about the program here:

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