Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over 40 and are the leading cause of blindness in the world. Cataracts involve the clouding of the lens in your eye. As the degree of clouding increases, your vision becomes foggier. As cataracts progress, you may notice a decrease in contrast sensitivity, halos around lights, colours appearing duller, and an increased glare. Different types of cataracts can progress at different rates - some over a span of months, while others over several years.
If you are noticing any of the symptoms above, please consult with our doctor to assess if you may be developing Cataracts.
Diabetes is a prevalent disease in which there are excessive levels of blood sugar in the body. This excess sugar causes damage to the blood vessels, which can have a significant impact on your entire body, including your eyes.
When diabetes starts to affect the eyes, it is called Diabetic Retinopathy. In the early stages, it may have no symptoms. However, as diabetic retinopathy progresses, it can lead to a reduction or total loss of vision.
The most common impact of diabetic retinopathy is on the retina, which is the thin film-like tissue lining the back of your eye. Diabetic retinopathy involves excessive bleeding and the buildup of fluid in the retina. Diabetics are also prone to developing earlier cataracts, frequent changes in their eyeglasses prescription, infections, delayed wound healing and other diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration.
The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends getting your eyes checked once a year if you are a diabetic. However your doctor may recommend more frequent assessments, depending on your individual needs. The diabetic eye exam is covered by OHIP, once annually.
Dry Eye Disease
Dry eye disease is a complex disease involving either insufficient tear production or the presence of poor quality tears. Traditionally, dry eye has often been overlooked as a disease, and treated with over-the-counter tear drops. However with the advancement in research and technology, today we know that treating dry eye is not so simple. The treatment of one individual might differ from that of another due to the wide range of causes and factors to consider.
Our tear film consists of 3 main components: a mucous, watery and oily layer. Improper proportions of each component can throw off the balance and trigger symptoms of dry eye disease. Individual factors such as unhealthy eyelids, poor blinking, inadequate nutrition, and various health conditions can all contribute to dry eye disease. Certain medications - including antihistamines, antidepressants, birth control pills, blood pressure medications (to name a few), contact lenses and environmental factors may also predispose you to dry eye disease.
• Fluctuating Vision
• Blurry vision
• watery eyes
• foreign body sensation
• mucoid discharge
• The sensation of increased pressure
• Eye feeling tired or heavy
• Increased light sensitivity
• Red eyes.
Dr. Joshi has a special interest in dry eye disease and believes in taking a detailed, targeted approach when it comes to managing this chronic condition. This will ensure that the root cause of the problem is addressed, increasing the likelihood of achieving a successful treatment. If you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed below, contact us to book an appointment for a dry eye assessment.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada. It is a group of diseases that involves damage to the optic nerve and loss of your peripheral vision. The optic nerve is responsible for carrying the information that the eye sees, to the brain. As the nerve gets damaged, there is a decline in the amount of information that reaches the brain, resulting in a loss of vision.
The most common form of glaucoma is primary open angle glaucoma, which is often associated with increased fluid pressure in the eye. However it is also possible to get glaucoma with normal eye pressure. Both of these forms of glaucoma present with no symptoms, until you are in the final stage of the disease. As a result the only way to detect glaucoma is through an eye health exam.
A less common type of glaucoma is known as angle-closure glaucoma. In this form of the disease, the area where the fluid in the eye is drained through is too narrow or completely blocked, resulting in a sudden increase in the eye pressure. This is considered a medical emergency as it can cause vision loss within 24 hours if not treated promptly. Other forms of glaucoma can occur as a result trauma, surgery, and certain medications.
Risk factors of glaucoma include:
- family history
- medical conditions like diabetes, high and low blood pressure, & heart disease
- trauma to the eyes
- history of corticosteroid use
- high intraocular pressure (the pressure in your eye)
- thin corneal thickness
The good news is that If detected promptly, Glaucoma can be treated with various medications and surgical procedures. Come speak to our optometrist if glaucoma runs in your family.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in Canada for adults over the age of 55. This disease affects the macula, which is the central most part of the retina; the inner film like tissue that focuses everything that we see. The macula is responsible for our central vision; hence AMD results in increased blur and distortion of your central vision, which can eventually progress to complete loss of central vision.
There are 2 forms of this disease: Dry AMD and Wet AMD.
Dry AMD - involves the accumulation of drusen, which is cellular debris that accumulates underneath your retina, cutting off the transfer of nutrients between your blood supply and retina. This results in eventual loss of retinal cells and loss of vision. Dry AMD usually progresses gradually over time.
Wet AMD - this is the more severe form of the disease, involving the growth of new blood vessels which are prone to leaking, causing bleeding at the back of your eye. This can result in rapid loss of vision.
In the early stages of the disease, there may not be any symptoms. As the disease progresses, you may develop increased distortion, and central blur, which are usually noticed when engaging in detail oriented tasks. The best way to diagnose AMD and to assess how you are progressing through the disease is with regular eye examinations. Talk to our doctor if you may be showing signs of AMD or have more questions regarding treatment.
Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, refers to a vision condition where individuals have clearer vision for objects in the distance. This occurs because of the eye being either too short, or the front part of the eye (cornea) being too flat. As a result, the light rays focus behind your retina, instead of on your retina.
When we are young, small amounts of hyperopia can be overcome by using our internal focusing ability. However, as we get older and our visual demands increase, symptoms of difficult reading, eye strain, headaches and intermittent blur may arise.
Depending on the degree of hyperopia and the severity of your symptoms, the optometrist may prescribe a pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Also known as nearsightedness, myopia is a vision condition in which individuals experience increased blur when looking at objects in the distance. In myopia, the eyeball is too long or the cornea (front part of the eye) is too curved. As a result of these two factors, light rays tend to get focused in front of the retina, instead of on the retina. This results in the individual seeing a blurred image in the distance.
Myopia can be corrected with a pair of eyeglasses, contact lenses or laser eye surgery. Get your eyes tested regularly to ensure that any untreated myopia is corrected appropriately and on time.
Astigmatism is a very common vision condition in which the cornea is not evenly curved along all meridians. As a result, light does not focus evenly on the retina, creating a distorted image to form. Depending on the degree of astigmatism, one may experience blurred vision at all distances. Furthermore, uncorrected astigmatism can lead to eyestrain and headaches.
Astigmatism can be easily treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery. Early and prompt treatment can prevent further complications.
Presbyopia is a normal, age-related condition that most people experience after the age of 40. This has to do with changes in the thickness of the lens in the eye. When we are young, our lenses are soft and it is easier for the muscles in our eyes to adjust its shape, allowing us to focus on objects up close. With age, the lens has a tendency to thicken and become more resistant to reshaping. After ~40 years, we start noticing a reduction in our ability to focus on close up objects. You might be noticing you are unable to read fine print, or have to put in more effort to engage in detail oriented tasks. Other symptoms include headaches and eye strain.
Presbyopia can easily be treated with a pair of reading glasses, multifocal eyeglasses (progressives or bifocals) and multifocal contact lenses. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, come and speak to our optometrist to learn more and how we can offer a solution.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is also known as digital eye strain. This is a relatively new term in the field of eye care that refers to problems associated with prolonged use of computers, tablets and cell phones. Common symptoms include eye fatigue, headaches, eye discomfort, dry eyes, and neck/should pain, which increase with a greater amount of screen usage. Many of these symptoms may be associated with individual factors like uncorrected refractive error, poorly managed dry eye disease, eye focusing and coordination problems. However your work environment can also play a significant role; factors such as poor lighting and posture, improper viewing distances and glare have shown to exacerbate symptoms.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, please book an appointment with our optometrist to help discuss how we may help you overcome this issue.