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What You Should Know About Night Blindness

Our Optometrist in York, explains About The Causes of Night Blindness

Our eye doctor can help diagnose, manage and treat your night blindness so that you can enjoy being out at night again.

Here are 4 things you should know about night blindness:

The inability to see well at night can be the result of a condition such as:

  • Vitamin A Deficiency Vitamin A helps keep your cornea, the layer at the front of your eye, clear; it’s also an important component of rhodopsin, a protein that enables you to see in low light conditions. Although uncommon in North America, deficiency of this vitamin can induce night blindness.
  • Cataracts
    A buildup of protein clouds the eye’s lens, leading to impaired vision, especially at night and in poor lighting conditions.
  • Diabetic retinopathy
    Damage to the eyes’ blood vessels and nerves can result in vision loss, including difficulty seeing at night.
  • Glaucoma
    This group of eye diseases is associated with pressure build-up in the eye that damages the optic nerve. Both Glaucoma and the medications used to treat it can cause night blindness.
  • Myopia
    Also called nearsightedness, Myopia makes distant objects appear blurry, and patients with it describe a starburst effect around lights at night.
  • Keratoconus
    An irregularly shaped cornea causes blurred vision and may involve sensitivity to light and glare which tend to be worse at night.
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)
    A progressive genetic eye disease which can be associated with other diseases, RP leads to night blindness and peripheral vision loss.
  • Usher Syndrome
    This genetic condition causes both hearing loss and vision loss, including night blindness and RP, mentioned above.

Symptoms of Nyctalopia

Since night blindness is a symptom of some serious vision problems, it’s important to get your eyes checked regularly to ensure that everything is in good working order. Contact your eye doctor as soon as possible if you notice that you don’t see as well in dim light as you used to, such as when driving at night or when adjusting from being outdoors in the sunshine to being indoors.

Symptoms of Night Blindness Include:

  • Reduced contrast sensitivity
  • Difficulty seeing people outdoors at night
  • Difficulty seeing in places with dim lighting, like a movie theater
  • Trouble adapting to the dark while driving
  • Excessive squinting at night
  • Trouble adjusting from bright areas to darker ones

Treatments for Night Blindness

Your eye doctor will want to diagnose the cause of your night blindness in order to treat it. For example, in the rare case of vitamin A deficiency, it can be treated with vitamin supplements and vitamin-A rich foods; Myopia can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Other conditions may require medications or surgery.

If night blindness is caused by a birth defect, Usher syndrome, or retinitis pigmentosa, low vision aids and devices can help you make the most of your remaining vision.

Prevention

While there is no proven way to prevent night blindness resulting from genetic conditions or birth defects, consuming healthy, nourishing foods and taking certain vitamin supplements may prevent or slow the onset of some eye conditions that cause night blindness.

If you experience poor vision at night or in dim lighting, we can help. Contact Northwestern Eye Associates in York to schedule your appointment today.

Book an eye exam at an eye clinic near you to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you.

Northwestern Eye Associates, your York eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Frequently asked questions answered by our Eye Doctor in York, Toronto:

  • What are the reasons for Cataract Removal?

    Cataracts can interfere with your ability to live normally. They may make it impossible to drive, read, use a computer, watch TV, climb staircases, or identify faces. Cataracts can also get in the way of medical treatment for other eye diseases, such as macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy because they prevent your eye doctor from inspecting the back tissues of your eye thoroughly. These are all reasons why your eye doctor may recommend cataract surgery.

  • Why Diabetic Eye Exams are Essential?

    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!

  • What is glaucoma?

    Glaucoma describes a type of ocular disease that causes damage to your optic nerve and destroys your quality of vision. With no early symptoms, glaucoma can only be detected by a complete eye examination. When left untreated, glaucoma can result in detrimental vision loss. When treated early by one of our professional, knowledgeable eye doctors, we can help preserve your healthy eyesight.

  • What is Myopia?

    Cataracts can interfere with your ability to live normally. They may make it impossible to drive, read, use a computer, watch TV, climb staircases, or identify faces. Cataracts can also get in the way of medical treatment for other eye diseases, such as macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy because they prevent your eye doctor from inspecting the back tissues of your eye thoroughly. These are all reasons why your eye doctor may recommend cataract surgery.

York Eye Clinic – Is a Blinding Eye Disease Hiding?

Vision loss can occur with early signs only an eye doctor can see

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 York eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

During the very early stages of many eye diseases, most people never notice a problem. For example, when age-related macular degeneration (AMD) first appears, blind spots can develop that people don’t see because their brain is compensating. But while the individual with AMD may not be aware of the disease, an eye doctor will detect it during a comprehensive eye exam. That’s why the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) strongly recommends people over age 40 to protect themselves from vision loss by visiting an eye clinic regularly for dilated eye exams.

How common is age-related macular degeneration?

Estimates report that more than 2 million Americans live with the most progressive forms of AMD, and this number is expected to rise to 4.4 million people by 2050. Age-related macular degeneration is the top cause of blindness among white Americans who are older than 40, and it’s one of the most common reasons for permanent vision loss in the world.

What is AMD?

This eye disease occurs when your macula, a part of the retina, is damaged. The macula is responsible for giving you a crisp, clear vision in the center of your field of view. A loss of central vision has far-reaching effects on your life, hampering your ability to read, drive, and see faces.

How often do I need to visit an eye care professional?

According to the AAO, adults with no signs or risk factors for ocular disease are advised to start with regular eye exams from age 40. Then, until age 54, guidelines recommend visiting an eye clinic every two to four years; between age 55-64, you should see your eye doctor every one to three years. By the time you are 65, annual eye exams are encouraged – even if you don’t experience any visual or eye symptoms. Of course, if you have additional risk factors for eye disease, your eye doctor may instruct you to visit more frequently.

Can vision loss from AMD be prevented?

Nowadays, eye doctors have even more technologies to diagnose age-related macular degeneration as early as possible – as long as you are vigilant about visiting your eye clinic for eye exams! Why are all these eye exams so important? Because the earlier AMD is detected and treated; the more effective treatment can be.

Possible treatments to help prevent vision loss from age-related macular degeneration include:

  • Injections of drugs to stop new blood vessels from forming and to block leaking from unhealthy blood vessels (symptoms characteristic of wet AMD)
  • Laser therapy to destroy abnormal blood vessels that are actively growing
  • Photodynamic laser therapy that causes damage to abnormal blood vessels
  • Taking vitamins as eye health supplements

Don’t let your brain fool you into thinking your vision is fine! Instead, let an eye doctor make that decision. In the year 2020, you couldn’t pick a better time to focus on your eyes. Contact an eye care center near you to book an eye exam today.

Call Northwestern Eye Associates today to make an appointment: 833-289-1611 or alternatively you can book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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York Eye Clinic – How to Improve Your Vision

Northwestern Eye Associates Our eye doctor in York, Ontario explains

Your eyes give you so much, isn’t it time to give back?

In the US, it’s been estimated that 12 million people over the age of 40 have some type of vision impairment! Yet, while the numbers are overwhelming, it doesn’t mean poor eyesight is simply inevitable as you age. In addition to taking advantage of our expert eye care services, our eye doctor shares 7 ways to improve and protect your eyes against problems.

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 York eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Eat a nutritious diet

Eating heart-healthy foods also helps to protect your vision. That means following a diet with minimal saturated fats and salt, a moderate amount of lean proteins (legumes and nuts are great options), whole grains, and plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. In particular, antioxidant-rich foods, such as strawberries, walnuts, and dark leafy greens, can help decrease your chances of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Visit your eye doctor for eye exams

A comprehensive eye exam can pick up on problems you may not have noticed, because many eye diseases don’t present symptoms at the early stages. That’s why regular eye exams by an eye care professional (not the same as basic vision screening done at your local pharmacy!) are critical, even if you have no vision complaints. Plus, as you age, it’s common for your vision to naturally change, and keeping your prescription up to date is a no-brainer keeping your vision clear.

Keep chronic health conditions stable

Many chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, put you at higher risk for vision of complications. However, controlling your condition drastically reduces your chances of a problem. With diabetes, keeping blood sugars in the parameters recommended by your physician can help prevent diabetic retinopathy from developing and progressing. Controlling blood pressure also helps prevent retinal bleeding and swelling.

Quit smoking

While genetics may be the number one risk factor for age-related macular degeneration, smoking is the number two risk factor! Smoking is also linked to cataract progression. You may not be able to control the genes you inherit, but you can control whether or not you smoke.

Call Northwestern Eye Associates today to make an appointment: 833-289-1611 or alternatively you can book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Pink Eye Treatment Clinic York

Local Pink Eye Treatment Clinic in York, Ontario

If you wake up and find your eyes sealed shut with crusty gunk, you probably have conjunctivitis, better known as pink eye. This type of eye infection can look and feel pretty nasty, but you’re in good company. It’s one of the most common eye conditions in the world, and it’s highly treatable. Contact your eye clinic as soon as possible to get treatment and relief from the icky symptoms.

Northwestern Eye Associates Our eye doctor in York, Ontario explains

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 York eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

What is conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the thin, transparent membrane that lines the whites of your eyes and the inside of your eyelids. It can be caused by a variety of things, and your eye doctor will help figure out the cause in order to recommend the best treatment.

What causes pink eye, and what are the symptoms?

  • Viral infection a virus, such as the common cold, leads to viral conjunctivitis. This type of eye infection is highly contagious, but it also tends to clear up on its own within a few days. Most of the time it affects both eyes, and you may have a cough or runny nose along with it.
  • Bacterial infection a bacterial infection is to blame for bacterial conjunctivitis. This is the kind of pink eye that most often leads to yellow, crusty, and sticky discharge that builds up in the corner of your eye and along the lash line. When this discharge is severe, it can glue your eyelids together as you sleep. Typically, bacterial conjunctivitis starts in one eye and moves to the other.
  • Allergic reaction allergic conjunctivitis is caused by airborne eye irritants such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. It is often seasonal, although cases can flare up all year round. Even people who aren’t allergic to these substances may experience allergic conjunctivitis, just because the lining of the eye is easily irritated and can get inflamed.

How do eye doctors treat pink eye?

Treatment for conjunctivitis is largely dependent on which type of infection you have. Your eye doctor will perform an eye exam – paying close attention to your symptoms to determine if your pink eye is viral, bacterial, or allergic.

Like other viruses that you pick up, there’s no treatment for viral conjunctivitis; it just needs to run its course. You can apply warm compresses to help alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms. For bacterial conjunctivitis, your eye doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic ointment or eye drops. The symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis may be diminished and relieved by allergy medications.

Should I stay home if I have conjunctivitis?

If you suspect you or your child has conjunctivitis, don’t rush off to work or send your kid to school! Instead, head to an eye clinic for an eye exam with an eye doctor near you as soon as possible. In the meantime, the golden rule is to practice good hygiene to avoid spreading your infection to family and friends.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is spread through direct contact with infected hands or any objects that made contact with your infected eye. Try not to touch others when you have pink eye, and do your best not to touch any shared items to your eye. If you have viral conjunctivitis, sneeze and cough into your elbow or a tissue.

No matter which type of pink eye you have, our eye doctor’s best advice is to wash your hands often! And even when you’re feeling better, follow your eye doctor’s advice about when you can be around others without the risk of spreading the infection.

Call Northwestern Eye Associates today to make an appointment: 833-289-1611 or alternatively you can book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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York Eye Clinic – 14 Eye Care Secrets

Why didn’t my eye doctor tell me?

How much do you really know about eye care? Here’s a rundown of how you should treat your eyes so you can enjoy clear, healthy vision for as long as possible.

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 York eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

1.Sunglasses offer more than style

Just like you slather on the sunscreen before a day outdoors, you also need to protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays. Putting on a pair of trendy sunglasses will give you more than a fabulous look, it will also help safeguard your eyes against damage. Wraparound frame designs are ideal.

2.Polarized sunglasses aren’t always best

When you shop your eye clinic for sunglasses, don’t automatically reach for the ones with polarized lenses. While they are exceptional for reducing glare, they can make it near impossible to read the LCD display on your navigation system or phone. Banking at an ATM also becomes challenging when wearing polarized sunglasses.

3.Carrots are not the ultimate eye-healthy food

We’re not out to debunk your mother’s wisdom, but to let you in on a secret – dark, leafy veggies like kale and spinach are just as good, if not better for your lasting eye health than carrots. But that doesn’t mean orange and yellow foods don’t have anything to offer. Carrots, pumpkin, and other sunshine colored foods are also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which help protect against age-related macular degeneration.

4.Eye make-up should smell fresh

Did you know bacteria can lurk and breed in your eye cosmetics? By using old make-up, you risk exposing your eyes to nasty germs that can lead to eye infections. Rule of thumb is to toss your eye cosmetics every three months. But if you can’t bring yourself to do that, sniff the product before applying. If it has a funky “off” smell, it’s possible bacteria have taken root.

5.Eye drops are better when chilled

To prevent your eyes from stinging when inserting eye drops, store them in the refrigerator.

6.OTC eye drops aren’t always safe

Before buying eye drops off the drugstore shelf, speak to your eye doctor! Even better, visit your eye clinic for an eye exam. If you have an infection, steroid drops can clear up the redness but worsen the infection. Your eye doctor will recommend the best type of eye drops for your condition.

7.Don’t be afraid of the dark

You may be surprised to hear that reading in dim light won’t damage your eyes. However, you may get a headache.

8.Eyeglasses need special care

Tissues and toilet paper aren’t made for cleaning your glasses. Think about it, paper is made from wood, which can scratch your lenses. Soft and silky microfiber cloths are best.

9.Smoking can affect your eyes

Everyone knows about the effects of smoking on the lungs and heart, but did you know smoking has also been linked with the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)? Cigarette smokers are at a 4x greater risk of being blinded by AMD than non-smokers – and even more frightening is that the risk lasts for up to a decade after you quit smoking.

10.Over 60? Get LASIK after you have a cataract

If your insurance is paying for cataract removal surgery, your eye doctor can fix your vision at the same time. Also, if your finances make it hard to get cataracts removed as soon as they are diagnosed, waiting is rarely dangerous. Cataracts may blur your view, but generally they won’t hurt you.

11.Pink eye isn’t always harmless

Pink eye can be caused by various culprits, including bacteria and viruses. If you have pink eye as a result of a bacterial infection, you need antibiotic treatment. Leaving it untreated can lead to lasting problems, such as light sensitivity or vision loss.

12.Keep your feet cold, not your face

Aim the a/c vents in your car at your feet, not at your eyes. Hot and cold dry air from car a/c units can rob your eyes of all moisture, leading to dry eye syndrome and an increased risk of eye infection.

13.Regular eye exams are a must

We know the typical question – “Why should I visit my eye clinic until I have a problem?” The answer is that many sight-threatening eye diseases don’t have symptoms until they’ve already damaged your vision permanently. A yearly routine eye exam is the only way to spot the signs of certain problems early on.

14.Don’t sleep in extended-wear contacts

Even though they’re called extended-wear, these contact lenses post a 10-15x greater risk of eye infection if you sleep in them. It’s best to remove them before bed.

Looking for more eye care tips? Head to your eye clinic to learn more about how to benefit from clear vision and healthy eyes.

Northwestern Eye Associates, your York eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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