The Importance of a regular eye exam for adults
During your eye exam the optometrist is not only evaluating your eyes for visual correction (if you need eye glasses or contact lenses), there is also an examination of the overall health and function of your eye.
Most eye diseases have very little or slow symptoms and cannot be detected unless you have a comprehensive eye exam. It is important to catch eye diseases early as some diseases, like Glaucoma, are not reversible, but they can be managed and prevented.
Examples of what the doctor looking for:
- Refractive Error: This refers to your prescription and is corrected with eye glasses, contact lenses or surgery;
- Strabismus: This has to do with the muscular function in the eye;
- Eye Diseases: These can be detected by looking at the eye’s blood vessels, retina and so forth. Diseases include Glaucoma, Cancer, Cataracts, Retinitis Pigmentosa and many others;
- Eye Problems: Dry eyes or computer syndrome.
The importance of an eye exam for children and infants
Since many eye problems arise from conditions that can be identified by an optometrist in an infant’s first year of life, a parent can give an infant a great gift by seeking an eye assessment in addition to the wellness evaluation of the eyes that is done by a pediatrician or family practice doctor.
Did you know?
- 80% of a child’s learning is based on vision;
- 1 in 5 children have a vision problem;
- 1 in 6 school-aged children experience learning difficulties which are a result of unknown or uncorrected vision conditions;
- One in 30 children will be affected by amblyopia — often referred to as lazy eye — a leading cause of vision loss in people younger than 45 years;
- One in 25 will develop strabismus — more commonly known as cross-eyes — a risk factor for amblyopia;
- One in 33 will show significant refractive error such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism — irregularly shaped cornea;
- One in 100 will exhibit evidence of eye diseases such as glaucoma;
- Correction of Strabismus is most effective when diagnosed and treated before the age of 2;
- Motor skills among children 3-5 improved significantly after appropriate eyewear was prescribed and worn;
- Detecting and correcting vision problems in children could contribute to a reduction of illiteracy and drop-outs.
Source: BC Association of Optometry, Archives of Ophthalmology, allaboutvision.com an InfantSEE
How often should I get an eye exam?
Children: An assessment between six and 12 months of age is recommended to determine if an infant is at risk for eye or vision disorders. Children should at least have had one eye examination by the age of three, and then every two years after that (more often if recommended by the optometrist).
Adults: We recommended every two years, especially after the age of 40 as age increases the risk of many eye diseases.
Seniors: Over the age of 70 an annual eye exam is recommended.
What to expect during an eye exam?
Before you begin: You will undergo a series of preliminary tests that will be performed by an optometric assistant. These results provide vital information that the optometrist will use in determining the overall health of your eyes. The optometrist will also take a thorough case history to determine factors like hereditary eye diseases, eye injuries, diabetes and various medications that may influence your eye examination.
A standard examination takes about 30 minutes. The optometrist will take the power measurement of your eyes to determine if you require eyeglasses and what strength they should be. The optometrist will also determine how well your eyes work together as a team.
Next will be an examination of the front of your eye, including the eyelids, cornea and your pupil reflexes.
In order to examine the interior of your eye for cataracts and other diseases, the optometrist will insert dilation drops – these take about 15 minutes to take effect. This procedure will not hurt, but you will notice that your vision becomes blurry as they take effect. Your eyes will also be sensitive to light after this procedure, so make sure you bring a pair of sunglasses along for the trip home.
Choosing contact lenses
Contact lenses are medical devices which, like drugs, provide benefits while posing certain risks. Many people wear contact lenses to correct their vision. The reasons for choosing contacts over glasses or refractive eye surgery (which corrects the shape of the cornea) include lifestyle, sports and appearance.
With all of the convenient and healthy options available today almost anybody can wear contact lenses, including bifocal and progressive (no Line) eye glass wearers as well as those with astigmatism.
In order to use contact lenses safely you will require a contact lens examination, please ask our staff to set up this appointment for you.
Laser Surgery co-management
Most people with vision correction issues want to know more about LASIK and whether it is right for them.
To see one patient's experience with corrective eye surgery, click here
Here is a brief description of the procedure:
A flap is surgically cut in the cornea and gently folded back. An Excimer Laser is used to reshape the cornea into a flatter shape (this is much like a contact lens corrects vision by forming a new shape on the cornea). The flap is then put back in place, acting like a natural bandage. The healing process is quick and the discomfort level is quite low.
People will often say that they did not feel anything, and could see well the very first day. Most people have improved vision in 24-28 hours, but it must be noted that each person will heal at a different rate. Vision, although greatly improved immediately after surgery, often continues to improve for some weeks, even months.
LASIK is not for everyone. Eye conditions vary and only after a comprehensive examination will we be able to decide if LASIK surgery is the best course of treatment for you. If you are interested in laser vision correction, we will be happy to guide you in picking the right surgeon, procedure and laser appropriate care for you.
Fitting and repairs
We have an on-site laboratory to assist with fitting and repairs to a wide range of spectacles. Ask our Optical Assistants for more information.
Spectacle frames and selection
We have a wide range of frames for your selection, brands that we carry include:
D&G, Roots, Alfred Sung, Bellagio Ice Cream, Fysh, Guess, Kliik, Flexon, Easy Clip and Humphrey.
Here are a few general guidelines on frame selection:
- Choose a frame in proportion to your face.
- Choose a frame that contrasts with your face shape i.e. if your face is round consider frames that have square angles.
- To lengthen your face: consider selecting mid to high temples, and frames with little or no colour on the bottom rim.
- To shorten your face: consider mid to low temples, and narrower frames
- To lengthen your nose: consider a high nose bridge that is clear or light coloured. Avoid solid colour bridges.
- To shorten your nose: consider a low nose bridge in a solid colour. Avoid clear nose bridges.
- To lengthen a wider nose: Use a clear or metal nose bridge that sits close to the nose, use nose pads.
- A small face: Use thin metals and lightweight frames.
- A larger face: Consider balancing your features with a slightly oversize frame.
Sunwear and UV Protection
Ultraviolet radiation reaches the eyes not only from the sky above but also by reflection from the ground, especially water, snow, sand and other bright surfaces. Protection from sunlight may be obtained by using both a brimmed hat or cap and UV absorbing eyewear.
Ultraviolet radiation may play a contributory role in the development of various ocular disorders including cataract, pterygium, ocular cancers, photokeratitis (flash burns) and corneal degenerative changes. It may contribute to age-related macular degeneration.
Ultra Violet (UV) Protection — A Must for Children
- The average child receives three times the annual UV exposure of an adult.
- 7.5 times greater UV ray transmission through the lens inside a child’s eye.
- 75% transmission at age 10, 10% at age 30.
- Damage from UV ray is cumulative.
As your eye care professional we consider UV protected sunglasses to be an integral part of your eye care needs.
The brands we carry include: Bolle and Serengeti or you can make your own pair from our range of spectacle frames.