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Port Elgin | Why Diabetic Eye Exams are Essential

Saugeen Shores Family Eye Care Local Diabetic Eye Exams near you in Port Elgin, Ontario

At present, one in 10 Americans has diabetes – and the trend is continuing upwards. While routine comprehensive eye exams are important for diagnosing the early signs of diabetes, that doesn’t mean eye exams become insignificant after diagnosis!

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Port Elgin eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

How does diabetes affect the eyes?

Diabetes, especially when uncontrolled, can affect blood vessels and nerves throughout the entire body. Excess blood sugar can damage tiny blood vessels in the retina, which can lead to ocular inflammation, bleeding and devastating vision loss when left untreated.

The most common types of eye diseases associated with diabetes are:

  • Diabetic retinopathy – small blood vessels in the retina weaken and sometimes leak blood
  • Glaucoma – elevated pressure levels of fluid in the eye
  • Cataracts – a clouding of the eye’s lens that blurs vision

Who needs diabetic eye exams?

If you have diabetes of any type, yearly diabetic eye exams are critical for preserving your healthy, sharp sight. That’s because damage to the eyes can be seen during a dilated eye exam way before vision loss occurs.

Sadly, surveys estimate that about 60% of people with diabetes are not vigilant about booking annual eye exams. As a result, early sight-threatening changes in the inner eye tissues are often missed. Only a diabetic eye exam can reliably detect or rule out the start of many dangerous eye conditions. In addition, when your eye doctor notices changes in your eye health as a result of diabetes, it can indicate that a change in your diabetes management regimen may be needed.

If you’ve been diagnosed with eye disease, such as diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma, diabetic eye exams will be done to monitor your condition to determine the most effective treatment program.

When is a diabetic eye exam needed immediately?

Besides visiting your eye doctor for annual eye exams, the following symptoms are a warning that you should schedule an urgent diabetic eye exam:

  • Seeing red spots
  • Seeing small black lines or spots that don’t glide away
  • Seeing red tinted fog
  • Sudden changes in your vision
  • Taking longer than usual to adjust to darkness

Saugeen Shores Family Eye Care, your Port Elgin eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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Port Elgin | Risk of Vision Loss is Increasing

Saugeen Shores Family Eye Care Eye Doctor in Port Elgin, Ontario

As the elderly population in the US grows larger, millions of American senior citizens are in danger of losing their vision, according to a new study. Federal health data shows that between 2002 and 2017, the amount of people at risk for vision loss rose from 65 million to 93 million.

Scientists at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that while the current numbers are high, they will likely continue to get higher as more Americans pass 65 years old and the prevalence of diabetes increases.

In response, eye care professionals encourage everyone – especially people over age 60 – to visit their local eye clinic for regular eye exams performed by a qualified optometrist or eye doctor. Regular eye exams are vital for preventing vision loss.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Port Elgin eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Who is at the greatest risk for vision loss?

In addition to seniors, people with diabetes and anyone with a pre-existing eye or vision problem is also at an increased risk of losing their sight.

What can you do to protect your sight as you age?

Regular eye exams are essential! They give your eye doctor the opportunity to detect the signs of a dangerous eye disorder before it causes irreversible vision damage. That way, you can receive treatment as early as possible. According to surveys in 2017, about 57% of the approximately 30,000 adults who participated in the survey said they had an annual eye exam.

Not only do eye exams safeguard your vision, but they can also save lives. More than 270 systemic diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and cancer, can be detected by a comprehensive eye exam (NOT by a generic vision test) before these conditions exhibit symptoms.

The bottom line: As you get older, if you care about your vision and your overall health and don’t want to be added to the number of people suffering with vision loss, contact an eye clinic near you to book regular eye exams with a certified optometrist or eye doctor.

Saugeen Shores Family Eye Care, your Port Elgin eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Port Elgin | Tips on How to Have Healthy Eyes

Saugeen Shores Family Eye Care Eye Doctor in Port Elgin, Ontario

You look through your eyes to see the glorious world around you, and your eye doctor looks into your eyes to see a view of your health. In addition to spotting the signs of ocular disease, conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, and possibly your risk for Alzheimer’s can also be detected by an eye exam at your eye clinic.

Eyes comprise many delicate parts that don’t always age well. That’s why regular comprehensive eye exams by a qualified eye care provider are essential! These check-ups give your optometrist or eye doctor a chance to view the eyes’ inner tissues, where the early signs of a problem often appear.

Approximately 61 million people in the US are at an increased risk for serious vision loss. In fact, researchers at Johns Hopkins found that losing one’s eyesight holds the #1 spot on Americans’ list of worst health nightmares. Learn how you can help prevent this nightmare from coming true.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Port Elgin eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Lifestyle changes that benefit your eyes

Eye care professionals claim that embracing these lifestyle hacks can help keep your vision sharp and healthy for the long-term:

  • Eat a lot of veggies: In particular, choose to munch on produce that’s packed with vitamin A, such as carrots, squash and pumpkin, as well as vegetables high in antioxidants (namely lutein), such as leafy greens like collards, spinach and kale.
  • Don’t smoke: If you’re a smoker, quitting can lower your risk of lung and heart disease, along with helping to prevent age-related macular degeneration, optic nerve damage and cataracts
  • Wear sunglasses: It’s important to protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays all year round. Choose sunglasses with large lenses that block 99% to 100% of radiation from the sun’s rays.
  • Protect your eyes with safety goggles: Safety goggles or eye guards protect your eyes during sports and construction work, especially when you’re engaged in activities such as playing with a speeding ball, using chemicals or grinding metal.

Get eye care for uncomfortable symptoms

If you experienced painful vision with symptoms such as itching, stinging, redness, swelling, or blurriness – don’t ignore it! Contact an eye clinic near you to schedule an emergency eye exam. Only an eye doctor or certified optometrist can assess your condition to determine whether treatment is required. Leaving certain eye conditions untreated can lead to vision damage.

Self-help to safeguard your eye health

Relieve dry eye syndrome

Staring at a screen can cause or exacerbate the symptoms of dry eye. Intense watching of any digital device can make you forget to blink, which dries out your eye surface. Practice the 20-20-20 rule to relax and moisturize your eyes (= every 20 minutes, look 20 feet into the distance, for 20 seconds).

Prevent eye infections and pink eye (conjunctivitis)

Some unhealthy (but unfortunately, common) practices can lead to serious eye infections, such as using old makeup. Be sure to discard eye makeup every three months to prevent bacteria from building up. If you wear contact lenses, inadequate hygiene is another cause of eye infections. Always wash your hands before handling your contacts, take them out nightly (even if they’re labelled for extended wear), and disinfect and store them, or discard them, according to your optometrist’s instructions.

How to Handle Floaters

In general, floaters are harmless clusters of cells that glide around in the clear vitreous gel of your eyeball. Your brain adjusts to floaters, and eventually, you won’t see them. However, if you suddenly notice a bunch of new floaters or you see flashes of light or a shadow cast over your vision, contact your eye doctor immediately. An eye exam is necessary to rule out or diagnose any retinal problems, such as a retinal tear.

Sharp vision is valuable for all parts of life – help keep your eyes healthy by taking care of them with the eye care they deserve!

Saugeen Shores Family Eye Care, your Port Elgin eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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Port Elgin | How to Avoid Eye Injuries at Work.

Saugeen Shores Family Eye Care Prescription Safety and Sports Glasses in Port Elgin, Ontario

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Port Elgin eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Local Eye clinic in Port Elgin, Ontario

Work-related eye injuries occur approximately 20,000 times per year. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, these accidents comprise up to $300 million in lost productivity, treatment and worker compensation, annually.
While you may find these numbers staggering, what’s even more shocking is that about 90% of eye injuries could have been prevented if proper safety precautions had been followed.

Prevention is worth more than your eye doctor’s cure

By adhering to safety guidelines, namely by wearing protective eye gear, you can avoid the vast majority of emergency visits to your local eye clinic!

Look out for on-the-job dangers

Eye injuries can be due to a wide variety of causes, but in general there are four primary categories of hazardous causes:

  • Tools and equipment
  • Flying or falling objects
  • Contact with chemicals
  • Shooting sparks and particles

Ways to safeguard your sight

If you work in construction or with heavy machinery, you can minimize the danger to your eyes by using work screens, machine guarding, or similar protective measures. Most importantly, you should wear eye protection that’s suitable for your job. Goggles and safety glasses are essential gear for anyone who is around machinery or chemicals. Take care to purchase quality eyewear from your eye clinic, free of any defects or scratches that could disrupt your clear vision.

To ensure that you’re wearing the best protective eyewear for your needs, it’s vital to consult with your optometrist or eye doctor. Eye care professionals are familiar with all the features of goggles and safety glasses, and they can recommend the most appropriate options.

Eye emergency? Don’t delay – seek expert eye care immediately!

In the event of an eye injury, respond rapidly; contact your eye doctor promptly for assistance. If you suspect that a piece of metal or shard of glass pierced your eye, head to a nearby hospital for emergency eye care, because these types of injuries can cause permanent vision damage.

While not every work-related injury can be foreseen and prevented, taking common-sense precautions and seeking treatment from your optometrist or eye doctor as soon as possible can certainly minimize your risk of vision loss.

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Port Elgin contact lenses, Are contact lenses better than glasses?

Saugeen Shores Family Eye Care Eye Clinic in Port Elgin, Ontario

Do contacts make your vision worse?

You have just visited our eye care clinic for an eye exam in Port Elgin, Ontario and you received a new vision prescription. Now it is time to purchase new eyewear – should you buy eyeglasses or contact lenses? As long as your eyes are healthy, the choice is yours.

Many differences exist between glasses and contact lenses, and people wonder whether one type of eyewear is more effective and more suitable for their lifestyle. To help you make an educated decision, Dr. Larry Carr, OD, your optometrist for Port Elgin and the Port Elgin area, has put together this outline of what you need to know about glasses and contact lenses.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Port Elgin eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Contact lenses supplier in Port Elgin, Ontario

Features Shared by Glasses & Contacts

First of all, let’s look at the similarities between contacts and eyeglasses:

    • Both can precisely treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism to give you sharp vision
  • You need to clean them properly to ensure crystal-clear vision; with glasses, this means spraying and wiping the lenses, and with contacts, there are varying degrees of care (depending upon which type you select)
  • Both glasses and contacts are affordable

All About Eyeglasses

Nowadays, glasses are made from plastic, making them much lighter than years ago. Also, plastic lenses can be coated with various treatments to protect your eyes, such as against dangerous UV light or to block blue light from digital devices. Polycarbonate or Trivex lenses are ideal for children and people who play sports because they do not shatter on impact. Another option for people with very strong prescriptions is high index lenses, which are a thinner and lighter form of vision correction.

There are two primary types of glasses: single vision and multifocal. Single vision eyeglasses correct problems with seeing close or seeing far, while multifocal glasses help with seeing both distance and near-vision issues.

Multifocals come in a few versions:

  • Bifocal lenses are bisected into two zones. The upper half helps with seeing distance and the lower half of the lens helps with reading and other close tasks.
  • Trifocals have three areas in the lenses. The top is for distance, the bottom is for up close, and the region between the two is for middle vision.
  • Progressive lenses are essentially the same as bifocals and trifocals, yet with no dividing line in the lens. The visual transition between the different lens powers is gradual and smooth.

What’s Good About Glasses, and What’s Not

Pros:

  • Eyeglasses are easy to use. You just put them on your face and out you go. There are no specialized cleaning solutions and care is minimal. If you have a particular style or fashion statement you want to make with your glasses, a range of frame designs is available from our optometrist for Port Elgin. Also, if you work in a job that leaves your fingers dirty all the time, you don’t need to touch your eyes when putting on glasses. So the risk of eye infection is very low.

Cons:

  • The main disadvantage of eyeglasses relates to how they look and feel. Many people simply don’t like their appearance in glasses. Also, you also may find them uncomfortable on your nose or pressing above your ears. Another con of glasses is that the lenses can fog up, get splashed in rainy weather, and fall off (or slip down your sweaty nose) during sports. The plastic lenses can also scratch.

All About Contact Lenses

Contacts are thin discs made from either glass or plastic, depending upon whether you have soft or hard (GP) lenses. These discs rest directly on your eye to correct vision. Our Port Elgin contact lenses collection includes a full inventory of single vision, bifocal, and multifocal versions. Soft contact lenses, which are much more popular, come in several types:

  • Daily wear lenses: worn during the day; removed and cleaned nightly
  • Daily disposables (dailies): worn once and then thrown away
  • Extended wear lenses: can be worn overnight; taken out at least once a week for disinfecting

What’s Good About Contacts, and What’s Not

Pros:

  • Contact lenses provide more natural vision than eyeglasses, as well as a more natural appearance that doesn’t block your face. They give a wider field of view and a clear peripheral vision. Because contacts move with your eye, no frame ever gets in your way or disturbs your line of sight. Also, contacts never fog up or get splashed with water droplets when it rains. When playing sports, contact lenses can be ultra-convenient.

Cons:

  • Contacts require higher maintenance than glasses. You must clean and store them properly or you risk getting serious eye infections. If you have high astigmatism, contacts may not be able to provide sharp vision all the time – because you’ll see blurry when they rotate. Toric contacts, which are specialized for astigmatism, have less of a tendency to move around, but they are more costly. You may also need a short adjustment period to adapt to wearing contacts, and more follow-up care from our optometrist for Port Elgin.

That’s the basic rundown of contact lenses versus eyeglasses! Dr. Larry Carr, OD provides comprehensive eye exams for Port Elgin and the entire Port Elgin area, and he will issue your accurate, up-to-date prescription for eyewear. Our optical staff will then be pleased to assist you with your decision whether to choose glasses, contact lenses or both!

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The Causes and Treatment of Dry Eyes, Dr. Carr – Saugeen Shores Family Eye Care, Port Elgin, ON

This can cause a consistent lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye, known as dry eyes.

Normally, the eye constantly lubricates itself with tears by producing them at a slow and steady rate, keeping itself moist and comfortable. Usually these tears consist of three layers, an oily, a watery, and a mucus layer. Each layer has a specific role in lubricating your eyes. The oily layer is outermost. It’s main purpose is to slow evaporation of the tear. The watery layer is in the middle. This makes up the majority of what a person normally thinks of as tears. This layer cleans the eye and helps to wash away small foreign objects and particles. The inner layer consists of mucus. This mucus allows the watery layer to stick to the eye and spread evenly over the eye in order to keep it lubricated. In a person with dry eyes, either hormonal changes, side effects from medication or some other factor causes the eye to either not produce enough tears, or leave out parts of the tear that make proper lubrication possible.

Appointments OJ checkmark

Although dry eyes are not always curable, your optometrist may prescribe artificial tears to help with some of the symptoms. Artificial tears are lubricating eye drops that may help with dry, scratchy feeling eyes. Different artificial tears work in different ways. Some help replenish parts of the tear that your eyes are not producing on its own, others help to produce more tears overall. Your eye doctor will assist you to choose which will help you most.



Dr. Carr

Dr. Carr

“Symptoms of dry eyes include stinging or burning in the eyes, scratchiness, and excessive irritation from smoke or wind. Although it may sound counter-intuitive, the eyes’ response to the consistent irritation caused by dry eyes may also cause a person to experience excessive tearing. In this case, the eye is attempting to flush and lubricate itself by producing more tears, but is unable to do so successfully due to the rate of evaporation or inability to spread the tears properly.”, , Port Elgin eye doctor.





Some cases of dry eyes are seasonal, such as those which occur as a result of cold, dry winter air. In this case, your eye doctor may recommend wearing sunglasses or goggles when outdoors to reduce your eyes’ exposure to the sun, wind and dust. For indoors, your optometrist may recommend an air cleaner and humidifier to take dust out of the air and add moisture to air which is too dry.

“These artificial tears should not be confused with eye drops that are advertised to ‘get the red out.’ These eye drops may indeed reduce the appearance of redness in your eyes, but this is accomplished by making the blood vessels in your eyes smaller rather than actually lubricating your eyes. As such, these drops can sometimes actually make your symptoms worse. One should also be aware that if you wear contacts, some eye drops require you to take them out before using the drops and wait 15 minutes or more before reinserting your contact lenses.”

Studies have also shown that nutrition may have a part in helping to relieve some symptoms of dry eyes. Your eye doctor may recommend nutritional supplements such as omega-3. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are cold-water fish, cod, herring and salmon, as well as flaxseed oil. Mild dehydration can make symptoms worse too, so be sure to drink plenty of water, 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices and milk.

Please don’t forget to make an appointment to see our Eye Care Specialist


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