Visioncare: The Ins and Outs of Eye Exams

The best way for consumers to maintain good vision and eye health is by obtaining comprehensive professional eye care services regularly.
In the long term, early diagnosis and treatment of eye disease results in savings in health care costs and, by minimizing vision loss, enables persons with these conditions to be independent and productive.

What is an Eye Exam?
Your optometrist will use a number of techniques to assess any potential vision or eye health problems and will keep a file of that information in order to keep track of changes in your eye health or vision. Regular visits to your optometrist are recommended.

Take a proactive approach to your eye health!

Steps that you can expect in a typical optometric examination include:

Case History
You will be asked about your general health, medications you may be taking, your working environment, hobbies, etc. You will also be asked to describe any vision problems you may have been experiencing.

External Eye Examination
Your optometrist will examine the external area around the eye to ensure that there are no abnormalities.

Internal Eye Examination
Using the slit lamp microscope, ophthalmoscope and other instruments as necessary, your optometrist will check your eyes for indications of abnormalities, from front to back. Some problems detected during an internal eye examination may indicate possible disease, such as diabetes or hypertension.

Tonometry
Measures the fluid pressure in the eye and is an important test in detecting glaucoma.

Vision Tests
A number of tests are used to determine the strength of your eyes, assess your ability to see small detail at both near and far distances, to evaluate how well your eyes align or coordinate when working together and individually, and how well you see targets which are not directly in front of you.

Other tests may be undertaken to evaluate your ability to change focus, see color correctly, or perceive depth correctly. The items above are typical in a comprehensive eye examination. Your optometrist will choose those tests required to adequately evaluate YOUR visual system!

The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends that children have their eyes examined by six month, three years of age, before school entry and regularly thereafter. Adults 19 to 64 should have an eye exam every two years or as advised. People with diabetes or age 65 or older should have an exam at least once a year.

This article was taken and edited for content from the May 5th, 2011 edition of the National Post.

The Leslie Group is able to assist you with the design and management of a visioncare plan as part of your organization’s overall employee  benefits program. – The Leslie Group can be reached at 416-510-8966.

The Leslie Group Limited

Visioncare: Wear Those Shades

Squinting in the Sun Can Mean Serious Damage

Most eye care specialists agree people of all ages can prevent some vision loss by protecting their eyes from damaging ultra violet (UV) rays.

Children are especially vulnerable to eye damage caused by sun, according to Dr. George Papadakis, optometrist from the Finch Avenue Optometry & Low Vision Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

“I think kids are most vulnerable to damage from the sun because […] the lenses inside their eyes are clearer than they are as we age, so there’s actually more possibility for those rays to get through to the back of the eye and cause more damage.”

Papadakis suggests buying shatter resistant polycarbonate lenses for children and babies.

An Ever-Increasing Issue
Since sun damage to the eye is cumulative, individuals could be damaging their vision slowly over a long period of time and not realize it until symptoms manifest.

“Whatever is done at an early age can add up. That’s very important to understand because people think ‘Well… it’s not a problem because I still see and everything is OK.’ But you can have the damage gradually building up without even realizing it.”

Shield with Shades
Most often UV rays damage the lens of the eye causing the tissues to age faster, allowing for the early onset of several age-related diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts. Papadakis recommends visiting a reputable retailer to purchase sunglasses that indicate they offer 99 or 100 percent protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
Some brands of contact lenses may offer UV protection, but Papadakis says that’s not enough to protect the whites of an eye or the surrounding tissues.

“They don’t protect the whole eye […] so you still need to wear sunglasses because there are other parts of the eye that can be damaged by sun.”

Anyone doubtful of the UV protection claim can bring their glasses into most eye wear stores to get the UV level of the lens tested, according to Sara Moshurchak, optometrist and president of Opticians BC and owner-operator of Granville Eyeland Framemakers in Vancouver, British Colombia.

When picking out a pair of sunglasses, Moshurchak suggests getting large lenses and choosing a style that wraps around the side to ensure maximum UV protection.

She recommends buyers check the overall quality of the lens by looking for distortions or warped images.
“You can just see it, you really can, especially when you put them on and look through them.”
Moshurchak urges everyone to have annual eye exams and said protecting against UV rays is a must for good eye health.

“[Wear] sunglasses as much as you can. Wearing a hat is good too.”

This article was taken and edited for content from the May 5, 2011 edition of the National Post.

The Leslie Group is able to asset your organization in the design and management of a visioncare as part of your overall employee benefits program. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at 416-510-8966.

The Leslie Group Limited

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