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Why Get a Diabetic Eye Exam?

Why Get a Diabetic Eye Exam?

Diabetes is a complicated disease and affects all sorts of functions within the body.  From foot problems to damaged blood vessels to cataracts and glaucoma in the eyes. The eyes are a powerful and obviously an incredibly important organ in your body, so it is important to have regular eye exams when you have diabetes. Read on to learn more about what problems can occur in the eyes that are caused by diabetes. At Vision Care Centre in Langley, we want to give you the best eye care possible, and that includes detecting eye problems related to diabetes. Diabetic Retinopathy This eye condition affects the blood vessels in the retina, which is a light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye. This is the most common eye disease that impairs vision and can cause cancer in people who have diabetes. The biggest symptom of diabetes is high blood sugar and this is known to damage tiny blood vessels located in the retina, which leads to diabetic retinopathy. Sending signals through the optic nerve to the brain, the retina detects light and converts it to these signals. With diabetic retinopathy, these blood vessels can leak fluid or hemorrhage, which causes distorted vision. This disease progresses by the blood vessels becoming more and more damaged. First losing the ability to transport blood, then new blood vessels grow, but are weak, thin, and have a high chance of leaking. Scar tissue eventually forms causing the retina to become detached which can cause permanent vision loss. People with diabetes type one and two are at risk for diabetic retinopathy, but the longer one...

Glaucoma: Avoid Irreversible Vision Loss

The other day, I was having lunch with a friend who had just gotten her yearly eye exam at her local optometrist. Besides her expected nearsightedness and some trouble with dry eyes, her eye doctor did not have much to tell her, but that didn’t stop her from worrying over her husband. He refuses to have an eye exam, and he’s in his mid-forties. My friend asked me if she was worrying for no reason; after all, her husband’s vision has seemed to be fine for years. My response to my friend was the inspiration for this blog: hadn’t he ever heard of glaucoma, the leading worldwide cause of irreversible vision loss? Keep reading to learn about this “silent thief of eyesight” and how regular eye exams can prevent it from stealing your vision. What is glaucoma? As briefly discussed in a previous blog post, glaucoma describes a group of conditions that cause damage to the optic nerve, which is a paired nerve connected to both eyeballs and responsible for relaying images from the retina to the brain. Without a properly-functioning optic nerve, these images cannot reach the brain, but how does damage to the optic nerve occur? The optic nerve is made up of millions of delicate nerve fibers; when these fibers are damaged, it will have a negative effect on your vision. Some experience a loss of peripheral vision followed by a progressive darkness while others develop blind spots from the damaged nerve fibers. How these fibers get damaged is not fully understood at this point, but we do know that both high eye pressure and low...

Why Are Regular Eye Exams Important?

We all have long lists of things we need to do in order to stay healthy. We visit the dentist twice a year, take multivitamins every morning, commit to exercise routines and nutritious diets, and much more. With so much to constantly think about, it can be too easy to let certain things slip through the cracks, especially seeing your optometrist on a regular basis. Typically, it is recommended that you get an eye exam at least once a year, especially if you’re over the age of forty or are a contact lens wearer. Keep reading to discover the importance of having regular eye exams. The Importance of Regular Eye Exams Accurate Prescription When you consider the purpose of an eye exam, your first thought is likely to get an accurate prescription to improve your poor vision, and this is definitely an important aspect of an appointment with your optometrist. Only a professional optometrist is going to be able to provide you with an accurate prescription, whether you suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness, or an astigmatism. Check for Common Eye Conditions Besides the obvious purpose of providing patients with accurate prescriptions, optometrists also check your eyes for other common eye conditions. During your eye exam, your optometrist will be keeping an eye out for the signs of the following conditions.   Cataracts The lenses in your eyes are made up of water and proteins, which allows light to pass through and create a clear image. These proteins can begin to clump together over time (this is a common effect of aging), causing part of the lens to cloud over. These...

Signs That Your Child May Need Glasses Part 2

As a parent, it’s important to keep an eye out for things your child may not recognize or be thinking about, especially when it comes to his or her vision and eye health. Whereas adults who have worn corrective lenses for years can recognize their own vision problems, kids may not even realize they can’t see as clearly as their peers. Does your child struggle in school because he or she can’t see the board? Does he or she often have to squint to see things more clearly? We fully discuss these two signs in part one on this topic. Keep reading for two more signs that your child may need corrective lenses. Signs That Your Child May Need Glasses Frequent Headaches If your child has headaches quite often, he or she may be suffering the ill effects of undetected nearsightedness (also called myopia; closer objects appear clear while distant objects appear blurry). When a child is nearsighted, he or she will often try to exert more effort to clear up the blurry vision. This compensation can cause headaches, usually in the frontal or brow areas find out. Tilting the Head Besides nearsightedness, your child could also be contending with double vision (diplopia). If you notice that he or she often tilts his or her head to the side, this could be because tilting the head can minimize double vision to be more manageable. Be sure to check out part one if you haven’t already, and keep an eye out for these signs to keep your child’s eyes healthy. Do you suspect your child may have a vision problem?...

Signs That Your Child May Need Glasses Part 1

As adults with eyeglasses, it’s easy to tell whether or not we have our glasses on or our contacts in. We’re so used to being able to see that when we remove our corrective lenses, it’s obvious to us that we suddenly can’t see as clearly. Now, think back to the time before you wore your glasses. Do you remember recognizing your sight problems as a kid? Children who have never worn corrective lenses may not even realize they’re having issues with their vision, so instead of waiting to be told, parents must keep an eye out for common signs. Pay attention to these indications that your child needs corrective lenses. Signs That Your Child May Need Glasses Trouble in School If your child is having difficulties in school, this could be an indication of a vision problem. Nearsighted children often have trouble seeing the board, and vision problems can also interfere with desk work. If your child is having trouble in school, investigate how close to the board he or she sits in class, and find out if his or her teacher has noticed any of the following signs. You can always simply ask your child, too, if you think he or she will be honest with you. (Some kids will purposefully ignore vision problems to avoid having to get glasses.) Squinting or Covering One Eye We’re all likely familiar with squinting our eyes in order to see something more clearly. This works because reducing the size of the opening you’re looking through also reduces the size of the image on the retina, making it briefly easier to...