Many of our children in the region have been away from school for a super extended March break. The COVID 19 pandemic has shifted student's learning environment online and onto digital devices. Between ZOOM video chats, staying indoors, and virtual learning, studies show children are logging twice as much screen time as they did before COVID 19.
This September is full of unknowns for students returning to school either full time or part time. One thing we can be sure of is that increased screen times from March to September will require your students to get their eyes tested. Too much screen time makes the eyes work harder, which can lead to vision problems like "digital eye strain."
Symptoms of digital eye strain include: headaches, blurred vision, and dry eyes.
Since 80% of our learning is visual, it's important to start kids off back to school with a full eye exam. A change in vision can effect how your child learns. Academic difficulties for school-aged children are often linked to vision problems, but eye exams go frequently overlooked when diagnosing a child's learning discrepancies.
So many things are out of our control during this uncertain time, but being proactive and staying on top of your child’s eye health is one thing parents can do to make sure their student is ready for school in the Fall.
Book your eye exam with Dr. Kar today!
Seniors with Low Vision Twice as likely to Fall
Although there are many factors that can cause a fall, vision loss is often the primary cause. Even the smallest change in a person’s vision can increase the risk of a fall, especially in seniors.
“Seniors with visual impairment are twice as likely to fall,” says Dr. Joshua C. Smith, President of the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO). “And often they are not aware of how subtle forms of impairment, such as changes in peripheral vision and depth perception, can contribute to accident occurrence and avoidance.”
Age-related vision conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, and even simply not wearing glasses, can prevent seniors from seeing objects in their way and lead to falls.
Falls can be quite serious and often result in injuries such as hip fractures and head trauma, which can have a debilitating effect on a person’s quality of life. However, many falls can help be prevented through a comprehensive eye examination. An optometrist can diagnose vision-threatening conditions so that appropriate action can be taken before an accident occurs.
“As primary eye care providers, it is our responsibility not only to address patients' vision and eye health needs, but also to discuss safety and injury prevention concerns, so that our patients can continue living safely and independently," says Dr. Smith.
Annual eye exams for adults over the age of 65 are covered by OHIP.
Welcoming back our valued customers, starting this Wednesday, June 3, we are accepting appointments!
Please call ahead to book your eye exam with Dr. Kar (905) 751-0169 or book online!
Our re-opening will be implemented in stages with social distancing and disinfecting processes to be strictly adhered to.
Your safety is our priority.
In an effort to protect our staff, our customers, and our communities we are temporarily closing our doors. Thank you for your continued support during this time.
In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 the provincial government has closed the doors to many non-essential businesses. Optometry and optician services are not non-essential, and we are open for emergency purchases ie. broken glasses, re-ordering of contact lenses, but we are closed to the public.
If you have an emergency order call us at (905) 751-0169 the phone line has been forwarded to a staff member who can take your call.
Stay safe everyone, and remember to stay home whenever possible. The faster this is all over, the safer for everyone #StayHomeStaySafe
With the majority of the population stuck in isolation, many of us are spending a great deal more of our time staring at screens from laptops, computers, smartphones, gaming systems and televisions. This can put a lot of strain on our eyes and cause eye fatigue.
To protect your eyes when using your screens, you must remember to give your eyes a break! Use the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away.
This video from the Canadian Association of Optometrists explains the 20-20-20 rule very well.
The human eyes are sensitive to a narrow band of light wavelengths that range from blue (short wavelength and high energy) to red (long wavelength and lower energy). Blue light makes up approximately one third of the visible spectrum. The sun is our main and natural source of blue light. However, with advances in technology, we are also being exposed to other sources of blue light such as computer monitors, smartphone screens, flat screen televisions and LED lights.
While these sources generate blue light at much lower intensity than the sun, we are exposing ourselves to them for longer periods of time and at much closer distances. This can cause eye strain because blue light scatters more in the eye and is not focused as easily as lower energy wavelength light. This scatter creates “visual noise” that reduces contrast and can contribute to digital eye strain.
Natural blue light from the sun is important for maintaining the circadian rhythm (our natural sleep/wake cycle). It also helps to boost mood, memory and cognitive function. Exposure to too much artificial blue light, especially at night, from electronic devices may lead to poor sleep quality, difficulty falling asleep, and daytime fatigue because it has been shown to suppress melatonin production, sleepiness and morning alertness This is especially problematic for adolescents, who prefer sleep/wake cycles that are considerably delayed compared to younger children or adults.
Extended exposure to blue light over a lifetime, particularly from the sun, is likely to cause harm to the eye. It leads to conditions such as cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye resulting in decreased vision) and signs resembling macular degeneration (a deterioration of the central part of the retina, which is essential for reading, driving and recognizing colours and faces). Studies have shown that it is the cumulative exposure to blue and ultraviolet light that causes these effects. Children are more vulnerable to the effects of ultraviolet and blue light because their eye lenses are less able to filter out high energy blue light
Evidence suggests that exposure to blue light in the 470-490nm wavelength range (lower energy) is less damaging to the eye than blue light in the 400-470nm wavelength range (higher energy) and essential for maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm. Development of LEDs with a peak emission in the safer range may represent an important advancement for ocular health.
While there is no clinical evidence of a damaging effect of exposure to artificial high energy blue light, children’s exposure to artificial light from electronic devices should be monitored and controlled. Over time, there might be accumulated damage to the eye from blue light exposure.
A healthy diet, rich in leafy green vegetables and colourful fruits, is important for general good health as well as for vision health. A healthy diet provides the vitamins and minerals that are essential for vision health and contribute to the eyes’ own natural defenses against the effects of blue light.
Good sleep is also essential for attention, learning, mood, and general well-being. The effects of blue light on the sleep cycle may be minimized by avoiding bright screens for two to three hours before bedtime and seeking outdoor light exposure earlier in the day.
Do I need blue-blocking lenses?
Research has demonstrated that extended exposure to sunlight is damaging to the eye. Therefore, it is good practice to protect the eyes from the sun, including wearing UV-blocking sunglasses. There is no clinical evidence that artificial blue light at low intensity and shorter exposure periods is harmful to the eye. Research suggesting a damaging effect of blue light on eye cells has only been conducted in vitro (in the lab) rather than on the living human eye.
There are filters and apps that reduce blue light from screens without affecting visibility and special glare-reducing lens coatings that block high-energy visible blue light. Whether or not to add blue-blocking coating on your prescription lenses is an individual decision that should be made with an optometrist, who as a primary eye care provider, is your best resource for making an informed decision. Together you can discuss your individual risk factors such as age, risk and length of exposure, history of or current eye conditions, and general eye health.
Who caught the Oscars last night? From the red carpet to the after party we've rounded up a few of the spectacular fashion eyewear photos. Spike Lee and Elton John caught our eyes in particular... it might be the purple though! We're pretty fond of the lavender hues here at Inisght Eyeworks!
Whenever someone thinks about sunglasses, they typically conjure up one particular image in their mind: a man or woman lying waterside at the local beach, soaking up the warm summer rays and relaxing in nothing but their bathing suits and their most stylish protective lenses. And, while summer is the optimum season for people to get outside and hide their eyes behind their fabulous new designer frames, it is not the only time of year where you should be protecting the health and safety of your vision.
Wearing sunglasses during the winter season is just as important, if not more so, than wearing eye protection during the summer months. While it may be difficult to feel the effects of the sun’s rays when you are outside in the freezing snow or ice, many times you may actually find that you have double UV exposure during the heart of winter.
During the snowy season, the winter sun sits at a different angle and is at a lower position in the skin. This means that your eyes can fall victim to more exposure from the sun’s harmful UV rays if you are not taking proper steps to protect them. The snow of the winter season can also act as a mirror, reflecting up into your eyes which could potentially cause snow blindness.
So, how do make sure that you are protecting your eyes from bright winter sun? The best, most efficient way is by wearing sunglasses, even on the coldest days of the year. Here is just a little more information about the dangers that the winter sun may bring to your vision:
Whenever you are walking around, whether it be in a great, big city or just a nearby small park, the cold, winter wind are constantly playing a role in your eyesight and your vision safety. When the wind begins to whip towards your face and sting your eyes, it can lead to direct dryness to the skin and eyes. One of the best ways to prevent this problem is to give your eyes periodic breaks throughout the day to stay closed and hydrated.
Excessive exposure to the sun can have dangerous, significant effects on many different parts of our body, including our eyes. Dangerous exposure to these harmful UV rays can lead to frequent vision problems, as well as the onset of several serious eye diseases, such as the development of cataracts.
Sun And Snow Blindness
Anyone who has ever driven while there was snow on the ground knows just how reflective and distracting this festive holiday treat can be. Even when there is no snow falling, you are still at risk of the UV-related vision problems commonly caused in the winter because it is glaring off of the top of the cement you are driving on, creating a bright, blinding reflection in your eyes.
While, for some people, sunglasses may be more about picking out a lens and frame that works best for your facial type and features, there are many other factors that you should keep in mind when purchasing sunglasses. After all, there is nothing that looks cooler than a pair of sunglasses that protect your eyes and the health of your vision.
In an increasingly digital world, we are exposed to artificial lighting more than ever before. Artificial lighting not only causes issues such as eye strain, headaches and blurred vision, but also impacts one of our most important internal biological processes: sleep.
Our sleep cycle is regulated by our internal body clock or circadian rhythm, which uses the light sensors in our eyes to track what our body perceives as daylight in order to match our schedule to our environment.
This process can be disrupted when exposed to artificial light, which contains blue light. Blue light is used by LED screens including televisions, computers and our phones, and can be problematic as it closely mimics natural sunlight. Because of this, our body interprets blue light as sunlight and sends signals to the brain that we should be awake. This can throw off our circadian rhythm and contribute to insomnia and other sleep-related issues.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help alleviate some of the issues caused by blue light to ensure a good night’s sleep:
With over 30 years experience licensed optician Joe Bushara and his highly experienced team, bring you the latest trends in frames and technologies in lenses from around the world.