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Signs That You Might Have Cataracts

Middle Aged Couple Multifocal ContactsThe crystalline lens, which sits inside the eye, allows us to focus on objects near and far. The lens is thin, soft, and clear throughout our youth, but the gradual buildup of protein that begins in our 40s or 50s makes the lens thick, rigid, and opaque. Left untreated, the cataract will disrupt vision, and can eventually cause blindness.

Symptoms of cataracts include:

  • foggy or blurred vision, with less light reaching the retina
  • sensitivity to light, especially strong sunlight
  • difficulty seeing at night, especially while driving, when the headlights of approaching cars appear dispersed
  • frequently needing to update your eyeglass prescription
  • colors becoming less vivid and more yellow
  • images appearing in duplicate, even with only one eye open
  • halos around lit objects

Besides aging, cataracts can develop due to

  • genetics
  • medical conditions, such as diabetes
  • head trauma
  • eye injuries
  • excessive smoking and drinking
  • Poor nutrition

What Can be Done About Cataracts?

Wearing sunglasses, ingesting Vitamins C and E, and eating antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, and nuts can delay the onset of cataracts.

If you suspect you may have cataracts, the first step is to contact , where will conduct a thorough examination, including dilating your pupils to check for possible protein buildup on your crystalline lens. If you have cataracts but can still see well, you might benefit from a strengthened eyeglass prescription.

When updating your prescription ceases to help, cataract surgery is the best solution. In that case, will speak with you about the advantages of cataract surgery. If the examination finds cataracts in both eyes, the procedures will almost certainly be performed on separate days to allow each eye to recover independently.

During cataract surgery, will replace the affected lens with an artificial lens. It is done on an outpatient basis, is virtually painless, and has a very high rate of success.

At , we care for patients with cataracts from Hamilton area, Burlington, Brantford, Cambridge, and throughout Ontario.

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 Why a New Pair of Glasses Is NOT the Best Holiday Gift for Your Child

girl hugging her present 3154363If your child is nearsighted (myopic), it may seem like a great idea to get him or her a new pair of glasses. They will surely improve how well your child sees but, unfortunately, will do nothing to slow myopia progression. You can offer your child MUCH more than a pair of specs — something that will ensure long term vision health care and quality of life: Myopia Management.

Myopia Management is made up of several treatments designed to slow down how quickly myopia, or shortsightedness, progresses. In other words, their prescription will remain the same as they grow older. The treatments include uniquely designed multifocal contact lenses, atropine eye drops, and orthokeratology (“ortho-k”). Evidence suggests that myopia management can reduce the progression of myopia by up to 60% after two years of treatment.

What Makes Myopia Management An Excellent Gift?

Currently, myopia is among the leading causes of permanent vision loss and legal blindness.

As a child quickly develops and their nearsighted vision worsens, the child is at a higher risk of developing dangerous eye diseases later in life, such as retinal detachment, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts.

To thwart any of these sight-robbing conditions, Ancaster Myopia Control Centre offers evidence-based treatment to prevent the onset or reduce the progression of myopia in our pediatric patients.

Myopia management enables your child to experience a more mild form of myopia than he or she would have otherwise had without treatment. Having mild-degree myopia means that your child’s likelihood of developing retinal detachment or macular degeneration is dramatically reduced.

So why don’t you make this holiday gift a particularly special one by protecting your child’s precious gift of sight. And the best part? It will pay off well after the holidays are over.

On behalf of Dr. Vikram Singh and the staff at Ancaster Myopia Control Centre in Hamilton area, we’d like to wish you all the best for the holiday season and the New Year!

woman holding eyeIs It Eye Allergies or Dry Eyes?

Eye Allergy and Dry Eye symptoms tend to be very similar. They both include redness, itchiness, tearing, and a gritty or burning sensation in the eyes.

 

Is it really an allergic reaction, or could it be Dry Eyes? Before running to the pharmacy for some antihistamines, it would be worth digging into the cause of these reactions in order to assure that you’re choosing the right treatment option.

If you’ve been using artificial tears, prescription allergy medication, or other over the counter medicine to relieve the itchy, dry feeling, but see no improvement— it may be worth visiting the Ancaster Dry Eye Centre and speaking with Dr. Vikram Singh, who can provide a diagnosis and solution for your condition.

What’s the Difference Between Eye Allergies and Dry Eyes?

Eye allergies, also known as allergic conjunctivitis, occur when the eyes react to elements that irritate them (allergens). One can develop eye allergies from pet dander, dust, pollen, smoke, perfumes, or even certain foods. To fight off the allergen, the eyes produce a substance called histamine, which causes the eyelids to become red, swollen and itchy — and at times to tear and burn. Those with eye allergies tend to experience nasal allergies as well, which include an itchy, stuffy nose, along with frequent sneezing.

People with Dry Eyes suffer from eyes that feel dry, itchy, swollen, irritated, and at times very painful. Dry eye syndrome can be developed as a result of genetics, age, environment, lifestyle, medications, and the overall health of your eyes. When one has dry eyes, the eyes are either not producing enough tears to keep your eye lubricated, or the tears are not composed of the correct balance of water, lipids, and mucous to maintain proper lubrication.

How Are Eye Allergies and Dry Eyes Treated?

eye drops

Eye allergies can be treated using artificial tears, medicated eye drops, decongestants, antihistamines, or anti-inflammatory medications. Depending on your specific case, Dr. Vikram Singh may recommend a combination of treatments.

However, if it is determined that you have dry eyes, Dr. Vikram Singh may suggest artificial tears or lubricant eye drops to alleviate the discomfort, and in some cases, may even prescribe drops or steroids. For patients with more acute cases of dry eyes, the doctor might suggest alternative treatment options, such as LipiFlow, True Tear, TearCare or scleral lenses.

If you’re suffering from any of the above symptoms, speak with , who will examine and thoroughly assess the source of these reactions, determine whether they are caused by allergies or Dry Eyes, and provide the right treatment.

The Ancaster Dry Eye Centre services patients from Hamilton area, Burlington, Brantford, Cambridge, and throughout Ontario.

Spring Dry Eyes

woman applying eyedroppers, close upSpring is a time of renewal, when the harsh winter is just a memory and the outdoors seem to beckon us to go outside. While spring may be in the air, so are allergens. Allergies during the spring season can cause dry eyes and have a particularly severe effect on people with Dry Eye Syndrome.

During the spring months, pollen, pet dander, mold, and dust can be found in the air. These airborne allergens can trigger uncomfortable reactions like itchy, red, and watery eyes, as well as sneezing and sinus congestion. At The Practice Name Dry Eye Center, we can offer you long-term relief for your seasonal dry eyes.

How Do The Seasons Affect Dry Eyes?

Although certain people with sensitivities to allergens may be more prone to allergic reactions, the seasons of the year can trigger these responses, too. In the winter, for instance, dry eyes can develop in people who live in climates with a lot of dry, cold air or strong winds. Sitting in direct aim of a heater may feel wonderful when it’s cold, but it can also dry out the eyes. In the summer when the heat is intense and people run their air conditioning systems regularly, dry eyes can develop from being in the direction of cold air.

A 5-year study found that 21% of the 3.4 million visits to an eye doctor during that time were related to dry eyes. Each year, there was a peak during April, proving that there is a likely correlation between allergens and dry eye cases.

Common Symptoms Of Seasonal Dry Eyes

The most common symptoms of dry eyes in the spring are:

  • Blurry vision
  • Burning
  • Gritty feeling
  • Itchiness
  • Redness
  • Stinging
  • Soreness
  • Watery eyes

It may seem odd, but watery eyes are a frequent symptom of dry eyes. It’s the body’s way of trying to self-heal the dryness by releasing excess tears, a condition called Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS). This condition gives some relief, but because these tears contain an inadequate amount of water, the relief is temporary and more long-lasting options are needed.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with The Practice Name Dry Eye Center. We have the knowledge, years of experience, latest technologies, and effective solutions to give you relief for your dry eyes this spring season.

Relief For Dry Eyes In The Springtime

Close up of blue eyeDry Eye Doctor Name treats patients from all over CITY 1, State who are suffering from seasonal dry eyes. Depending on your specific case and the intensity of your symptoms, the doctor may recommend daily artificial tears or lubricant eye drops to alleviate the pain. These can stimulate your eye’s natural tear production to moisturize the eyes and provide comfort. In some cases, prescription drops or steroids can produce similar results.

For patients with severe types of dry eyes, the doctor may talk to you about punctual plugs. These are tiny devices that are inserted inside the tear duct. They block your tears from draining out, which forces them to stay in your eye, coating and moisturizing the area.

Have you heard about scleral lenses? These are contact lenses that are made from rigid materials and contain a tiny pool of water, which provides moisture to dry eyes. Scleral lenses have a large diameter that covers the entire sclera (white part of the eye) without touching the cornea, so they can fit more comfortably. Because each person’s eye is unique, scleral lenses must be custom-fitted for each patient.

When It’s More Than Allergies

If your symptoms persist long after spring is over, and especially if they worsen, this may indicate signs of a more serious eye condition.

Examples can include any of the following:

  • Blepharitis (inflamed eyelids)
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Corneal Abrasions
  • Dry Eye Disease
  • Styes (an oil gland infection that causes a bump in the eyelid

We hope you take the time to enjoy this spring season. Should you experience any visual discomfort or are naturally prone to dry eyes, contact Dry Eye Doctor Name and the caring staff at The Practice Name Dry Eye Center. We’ll examine your eyes and discuss your personal needs to create an action plan that’s right for you.



Infants First Eye Exam & Why Some Infants need Glasses?

baby girl yellow glassesIt is recommended that an infant’s first eye examination be at the age of 6 months. At this point, we can make sure the visual system is developing properly as well as the structures inside the eye. If any hindrances to visual development are detected, early intervention can be provided to ensure healthy and normal development.

Vision, unlike the other senses, is under developed at birth. Vision then quickly develops after birth, to where a smiling face can be seen at about 1 month of age, and then colour vision is achieved at about 2-3 months of age. Depth perception and vision keep progressing as the infant gets older unless there is something hindering development.

Hindrances to visual development can range from a congenital cataract to a high spectacle prescription that may lead to amblyopia (“lazy eye”). If something like a cataract is found at this age, surgical intervention can be initiated. If something like high spectacle prescription is found at this age, we may prescribe spectacle correction or monitor. For clear vision to development, the eye must possess the ability to see clearly, if there is a condition like amblyopia then the eye cannot see clearly and thus will not develop the ability to see clearly. We typically like to treat amblyopia before the age of 6, however the earlier the easier and more successful treatment is, as the brain is more “plastic” at a younger age. Therefore, if there is a significant spectacle prescription, your eye doctor may prescribe glasses at as young an age as 6 months. These glasses are given to ensure proper visual development is achieved, allowing the child to have clear comfortable vision for the rest of their lives.

When looking for spectacles or glasses for your child, some eye doctors who deal with a lot of children will carry brands like Miraflex; which are flexible, non toxic, hypoallergenic spectacles that work well for infants and toddlers as well as older children who are rough on their spectacles. Our office deals with many children and infants and thus we carry this Miraflex line for these patients.

Miraflex collage

Are You Missing Your Child’s Hidden Vision Problem?

Cute smiling boy with glasses 1280x853

Your toddler may show every sign of good eyesight including the ability to see objects in the distance, however that doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she doesn’t have a vision problem.

Amblyopia is one common eye condition that is often hidden behind the appearance of good eyesight.

Also known as “lazy eye” it usually occurs when the brain begins to ignore the signals sent by one eye, often because that eye is weaker and doesn’t focus properly. Sometimes it can occur in both eyes, in which case it’s called bilateral amblyopia. This eye condition is especially common in preemies, and tends to run in families as well, so it’s important to provide your eye doctor with a complete medical and family history.

There are several factors that can cause amblyopia to develop. These include:

  • astigmatism,
  • high nearsightedness or farsightedness,
  • uneven eye development as an infant,
  • congenital cataract (clouding of the lens of the eye),
  • strabismus (where the eyes are misaligned or “cross-eyed”)

However in many cases of amblyopia there may be no obvious visible structural differences in the eye. In addition to the fact that the eyes may look normal, vision often appears fine as the brain is able to compensate for the weaker eye by favoring the stronger one. Because of this, many children live with their eye condition for years before it is diagnosed. Unfortunately, as a person ages, the brain loses some of its plasticity (how easy it is to train the brain to develop new skills), making it much harder – if not impossible – to treat amblyopia in older children and adults. That’s why it’s so important for infants and young children to have a thorough eye exam.

Are There Any Signs of Amblyopia?

If you notice your child appears cross-eyed, that would be an indication that it’s time for a comprehensive eye exam to screen for strabismus and amblyopia development.

Preschoolers with amblyopia sometimes show signs of unusual posture when playing, such as head tilting, clumsiness or viewing things abnormally close.

However, often there are no signs or symptoms. The child typically does not complain, as he or she does not know what normal vision should look like. Sometimes the condition is picked up once children begin reading if have difficulty focusing on the close text. The school nurse may suggest an eye exam to confirm or rule out amblyopia following a standard vision test on each eye, though it might be possible to pass a vision screening test and still have amblyopia. Only an eye doctor can make a definitive diagnosis of the eye condition.

So How Do You Know If or When To Book a Pediatric Eye Exam?

Comprehensive eye and vision exams should be performed on children at an early age. That way, hidden eye conditions would be diagnosed while they’re still more easily treatable. An eye exam is recommended at 6 months of age and then again at 3 years old and before entering first grade. The eye doctor may need to use eye drops to dilate the pupils to confirm a child’s true refractive error and diagnose an eye condition such as amblyopia.

Treatment for Amblyopia

Glasses alone will not completely correct vision with amblyopia in most cases, because the brain has learned to process images from the weak eye or eyes as blurred images, and ignore them. There are several non-surgical treatment options for amblyopia. While your child may never achieve 20/20 vision as an outcome of the treatment and may need some prescription glasses or contact lenses, there are options that can significantly improve visual acuity.

Patch or Drops

In order to improve vision, one needs to retrain the brain to receive a clear image from the weak eye or eyes. In the case of unilateral amblyopia (one eye is weaker than the other), this usually involves treating the normal eye with a patch or drops to force the brain to depend on the weak eye. This re-establishes the eye-brain connection with the weaker one and strengthens vision in that eye. If a child has bilateral amblyopia, treatment involves a regimen of constantly wearing glasses and/or contact lenses with continual observation over time.

Your eye doctor will prescribe the number of waking hours that patching is needed based on the visual acuity in your child’s weak eye; however, the periods of time that you chose to enforce wearing the patch may be flexible. During patching the child typically does a fun activity requiring hand eye coordination to stimulate visual development (such as a favorite video game, puzzle, maze etc) as passive activity is not as effective.

The earlier treatment starts, the better the chances are of stopping or reversing the negative patterns formed in the brain that harm vision. Amblyopia treatment with patches or drops may be minimally effective in improving vision as late as the early teen years (up to age 14) but better results are seen in younger patients.

Vision Therapy

Many optometrists recommend vision therapy to train the eyes using exercises that strengthen the eye-brain connection. While success rates tend to be better in children, optometrists have also seen improvements using this occupational therapy type program to treat amblyopia in adults.

The key to improvement through any non-surgical treatment for amblyopia is compliance. Vision therapy exercises must be practiced on a regular basis. Children that are using glasses or contact lenses for treatment, must wear them consistently. Your eye doctor will recommend the schedule of the patching, drops, or vision therapy eye exercise and the best course of treatment.

Amblyopia: Take-home Message

Even if your child is not showing any signs of vision problems, and especially if they are, it is important to have an eye examination with an eye doctor as soon as possible, and on a regular basis. While the eyes are still young and developing, diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions such as amblyopia are greatly improved.

Should I be Concerned about Blue Light?

Blue light eye doctor in ancaster on
In today’s world, we spend the majority of our time in front of a screen at a close distance. Whether it is at work in front of a computer screen or at home during our leisure time in front of a laptop, tablet or smart phone.

As a society, we do not yet know the long term affects that this will have on our general health and the health of our eyes. What we do know is; shortwave length blue and purple light is harmful to our eyes and this is the reason we protect our eyes from the sun!

So, why not protect our eyes from the harmful effects of this blue light that we get from our devices?

Wearing sunglasses when we are indoors looking at a device is impractical, however we have other options. At our office, we have two coating which help block out bad blue light, Seecoat Blue (Nikon Lens) and Recharge (Hoya Lens). These both block out a portion of the harmful shortwave length blue and purple light. Now, we do not want to cut out blue light entirely as that would have a deleterious effect on our sleep patterns and vision. However, about a 30% reduction helps with our sleep patterns and cuts out a lot of the harmful blue light. As well, this amount of reduction will not affect our vision and the way we perceive colours.

There are other ways to help reduce the amount of exposure to harmful blue light, but this involves reducing the amount of “screen time” which is hard in a world where we all work on screens and live on our smart phones.

If you have concerns about blue light or would like more information please feel free to contact our staff and doctors at Ancaster Family Eyecare

What is the Ancaster Pachymeter?

eye exam ancaster onA Pachymeter is a medical device used to measure the thickness of the cornea. Pachymetry, the corneal thickness measurement, has a number of uses in comprehensive Optometric care.

Modern devices use ultrasound technology, while earlier models were based on optical principles. The ultrasonic Pachymeters traditionally have been devices that provide the thickness of the human cornea in the form of a number in micrometres that is displayed to the user. The newer generation of ultrasonic pachymeters work by way of Corneal Waveform (CWF).

Using this technology the user can capture an ultra high definition echogram of cornea, think of it as a corneal A-scan. Pachymetry using the corneal waveform allows the user to more accurately measure the corneal thickness, have the ability to check the reliability of the measurements that were obtained, have the ability to superimpose corneal waveform to monitor the change of patients cornea over time, and ability to measure structures within the cornea such as micro bubbles created in the cornea during femto-second laser flap cut.

Pachymetry is extremely important in determining whether laser eye surgery (PRK, LASIK or Intralase) is suitable for a patient. No matter which type of refractive laser surgery is performed, corneal tissue is removed in the re-contouring of the cornea. The higher the prescription, the more tissue removed. Naturally, there must be a limit to the amount of tissue removed. Pachymetry allows us to determine if a patient has enough tissue to safely have laser surgery.

Corneal pachymetry is an important test in the early detection of certain types of glaucoma. It also can be used in the screening of Keratoconus, a progressive corneal condition.

Our Ancaster Optometrist office prides itself on being a progressive optometry office with state of the art equipment and technology. We embrace new technology and advances in eye health, while providing the highest level of care and a pleasant environment for our patients.

Visiting Annunciation of our Lord in Hamilton Ontario

Ancaster ON eye doctor community

Dr Singh, Dr. Maharaj and Fribbit were visiting Annunciation of our Lord in Hamilton Ontario last week. They were giving a presentation to JK kids about the Eye See Eye Learn (ESEL) program! We would like to remind everyone that kids under 19 are covered for eye exams by OHIP yearly and if they are in JK they are eligible for a free pair on spectacles at a participating ESEL office! Approximately 80% of learning is through our visual system, thus it is so important for children to have their eyes examined before entering school and definitely in JK. Unfortunately, we know about 1 in 4 children have a problem with their visual system and are thus hindered in their ability to learn.

The Eye See Eye Learn (ESEL) program is a partnership between the Ontario Association of Optometrists (eye doctors), the Provincial Government, Nikon (lenses) and OGI (frames).

It is recommended that a child’s first eye examination should be an infant examination at 6 months of age and then every year thereafter until the age of 20. An exam can be done with your child whether they know their letters(alphabet) or not. We also cannot forget that an integral part of a pediatric eye examination is checking their ocular health, to ensure the child vision is good today and that it will remain so in the future.

Our office offers same day or next day appointments for all ocular emergencies for children, whether they are suffering with “pink eye” or have had an injury. This saves time spent in waiting rooms either at the ER or the walk in clinics. As well, for “pink eye” our doctors can correctly determine the cause, whether it is a viral or bacterial infection, an allergic reaction or inflammation from a systemic condition.

If you have any questions about pediatric eye care or the ESEL please feel free to contact our office.

Happy Halloween!

Alcon colored lenses ancaster ontario

 

If you are going to wear coloured contacts this Halloween as part or your costume, be sure to pick the right contacts. See your eye doctor for the right choice in coloured contacts. Some coloured contacts can be dangerous for your eyes, potentially leading to sight threatening conditions. We want you to have a great Halloween and not end up with an eye related illness because of the contacts your are wearing for your costume.

Have a happy Halloween from the team at Ancaster Family Eyecare!

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Attention: We will be closed on New Year’s Eve (December 31st)

Please note that any pick up order, adjustments, eye exams and frame selection are by appointment only.

Please click here to read our new office protocols

Of course if you need to contact the office about any emergency matters during this time please email us at reception@ancasterfamilyeyecare.com with details and we will get back to you as soon as possible. These emergencies would include sudden changes to vision or ocular injuries. We will also be checking our voicemails on a regular basis.

Lastly, to order contact lenses and other products please click here

Thank you for your understanding, we are looking forward to seeing you soon.