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 FYidoctors 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.
Up to 29% of Canadians suffer from Dry Eye Disease which can affect vision, comfort and overall ocular health. And with the increase in digital technology usage like smartphones, there’s a greater number of younger people being affected.
The first step in determining if you might suffer from Dry Eye Disease is identifying the symptoms such as:
- Gritty, burning, watery or red eyes
- Eyes sometimes feeling uncomfortable or irritated
- Watering of eyes in the wind
- Blurriness and/or need to over-blink
- Uncomfortableness reading digital screens
If you experience any of the above, you may be suffering from Dry Eye Disease. Thankfully, FYidoctors now offers Dry Eye Disease Personalized Treatment Plans. These programs, along with our sophisticated technology can provide relief from dry eyes — allowing you to focus on what’s really important.
What is Dry Eye Disease?
Normally eyes are bathed in tears all day long. Tears are a complex, three layered fluid that consists of a watery layer, an outer oily layer to prevent tears from evaporating, and a slippery inner layer to ensure tears spread evenly over the eyes. If any of these layers aren’t working properly, the tears become unstable and dry spots develop on the surface of the eyes, making them stressed. When this happens, the immune system responds with inflammation, which causes the uncomfortable symptoms associated with Dry Eye Disease.
The FYidoctors three-tier solution
Until recently, treating dry eyes effectively was a challenge for doctors. Many of the underlying issues didn’t have simple remedies and most treatments simply recommended artificial tears. Although this is sometimes all that is needed, many cases require more complex regimens. At FYidoctors, we’ve developed a three-tier approach for the diagnosis and management of Dry Eye Disease that allows patients to feel at ease while addressing the issue properly.
Tier one – Diagnosis and treatment of mild dry eye. Tears are key to healthy eyes, and the first step is to perform an easy, non-intrusive examination along with filling out a questionnaire. Depending on your situation, treatment can be as simple as prescription tears, supplements and easy lifestyle changes.
Tier two - If a tier one approach isn’t providing adequate solutions to your dry eye issues, or if in the exam it’s apparent that simple measures won’t be enough or there is a risk of long-term ocular damage, a tier two approach is recommended. The diagnosis and treatment at this level goes beyond what occurs in a regular comprehensive eye examination and your doctor will prescribe a personalized plan.
Tier three – Tier three diagnostic testing is used to determine the same issues as in the previous tiers — the severity of Meibomian Gland dysfunction in the upper and lower eyelids. If the approaches in the previous tiers didn’t achieve the desired results, there are three other tools to treat Dry Eye Disease, with a new technology called iLux being the most preferred. All three options have been shown to be equally effective.
Dealing with Dry Eyes
With some relatively simple lifestyle changes, there are steps you can easily incorporate into your daily routine to make symptoms of Dry Eye Disease less severe. These include:
- Using a humidifier
- Getting enough sleep
- Reducing contact lens wear
- Wearing sunglasses to block the sun and wind
- Taking breaks from your smart phone and computer and reducing screen brightness
For more details about Dry Eye Disease including treatments and tips, visit a proud partner of ours, eyelove.
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 FYidoctors 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.