Millions of Canadians suffer from eye diseases and conditions that can result in loss of vision and even blindness.
Many who suffer from common conditions don't exhibit symptoms until the later stages—when they may be too late to reverse.
Your regular eye exams are your best preventative measure. Problems can be detected early on and treatment can be made a priority.
Learn more about common eye problems.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is one of the leading causes of vision loss in people 65 years or older. AMD involves the breakdown of the macula of the eye (which is responsible for the sharpness of your vision). A person with AMD may be able to clearly see a calendar on a wall, but the numbers and letters would appear blurred.
That's why it's important for those over the age of 60 to have regular, comprehensive eye exams.
Blepharitis is a common eye condition in which the eyelid becomes inflamed resulting in redness, dryness and a feeling of grit in the eyes.
Usually, blepharitis occurs when tiny oil glands located near the base of your eyelashes come into contact with bacteria (such as from contact lenses and makeup) or become clogged or irritated. While the condition is uncomfortable and may be physically unattractive, it's usually doesn't lead to permanent eyesight damage.
Blepharitis can, however, be difficult to treat. Schedule an appointment with a Visique optometrist if you notice any symptoms.
Cataracts are one of the leading causes of vision loss in people over the age of 40 and remain an uncomfortable side effect of growing older.
Usually painless, cataracts develop as you age and your eyes' lenses naturally begin to harden and turn cloudy or white. The cloudy lens in your eye then blocks light from reaching your retina (the part of your eye that transmits visual information to your brain). The result is a reduction in vision—not unlike looking through a dirty car windshield.
While cataracts often occur naturally as you age, you're more likely to develop them if you have diabetes and hypertension, are obese, a regular smoker or have a family history of the condition.
Getting cataracts treated early on is essential to maintaining proper vision. Schedule an exam on a regular basis if you notice any symptoms.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer Vision Syndrome is one of the most common health complications in the workplace. It's caused by staring at a computer screen for extended periods of time. Pixelated images cause your eyes to constantly refocus on different objects resulting in eyestrain, blurred vision, headaches, neck and back pain.
Avoiding Computer Vision Syndrome is simple if you follow a few guidelines from your eye doctor. We offer lenses that are specifically designed for computer use. They can help improve your vision and eliminate eyestrain.
If you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, you may be at risk of diabetic retinopathy, one of the leading causes of blindness among North American adults.
The disease is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina (the part of your eye that transmits visual information to your brain). In some cases, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In other cases, abnormal new blood vessels may grow on the surface of your retina.
If you suffer from diabetes, you may have diabetic retinopathy and not even know it. Symptoms often go undetected at first, but they gradually worsen and result in vision loss and even blindness in one or both eyes.
There is currently no cure for diabetic retinopathy, but the disease can be treated and its symptoms slowed and managed if caught early. If you have diabetes, you should schedule an eye exam every year.
Dry eyes affect individuals of all ages and backgrounds and are one of the most common reasons why patients visit an optometrist. The condition is caused by tear ducts producing an insufficient amount of fluid causing the eyes to become red, dry and uncomfortable. For most patients, it's only an annoyance, although it can be indicative of a more a serious condition or health problem.
Dry eyes can be treated easily. We can offer a variety of solutions to help you overcome the symptoms.
Eye Floaters & Flashes
Eye floaters and flashes are small moving spots that may appear in your field of vision and are particularly noticeable when you look at bright lights or single colour objects (such as a piece of white paper or the sky).
While eye floaters can be incredibly annoying, they generally don't interfere with your sight and many people learn to live with them. The condition often improves over time.
Eye floaters can, however, be indicative of a more serious condition, particularly if they're accompanied by sudden flashes of light or a sudden loss of peripheral vision. If you experience these symptoms, or want to learn more about eye floaters and flashers, you should book an eye exam.
Glaucoma is a serious condition that damages your optic nerve. Untreated glaucoma can result in permanent loss of vision. Glaucoma tends to be inherited and may not show up until later in life. It is also often asymptomatic until the late stages of the disease. If you're over the age of 40 and have health problems such as diabetes or a family history of glaucoma, you should have an eye exam every year.
1 in 1,000 people are likely to suffer from this degenerative eye disease. Teenagers are most at risk.
Keratoconus is a slowly occurring, progressive eye disease in which the normally round cornea (the clear outer part of the eye) thins and begins to bulge into a cone. It then bends the light as it enters the eye and results in blurred vision. While the exact cause of the disease remains unknown, many doctors suspect that it is due to a combination of genetics and environmental conditions.
Early detection is key in minimizing the more severe symptoms of the disease.
Your retina is located at the back of your eye and is responsible for focusing on objects and transmitting visual information to your brain. Retinal detachment is an extremely serious disorder in which your retina actually peels away from the underlying layers of tissue that hold it in place. In most cases, this is caused by other vision problems or a serious injury in or around your eye. Without immediate treatment by an eyecare professional, retinal detachment can lead to vision loss and even blindness.
If you think you may have a retinal detachment, contact us immediately.
The vitreous is the fluid that makes up the majority of the inside of your eye. As you age, your vitreous may decrease in volume, pulling on your retina at the same time. This is known as vitreous detachment and can result in a possible retinal tear, leading to a loss of vision and even blindness.
Your Visique optometrist can examine the fluid in your eye and determine whether or not you're at risk of developing this serious condition—particularly if you're over the age of 60.