Many eye disease don’t exhibit any symptoms until they have progressed to an advanced stage with accompanying vision loss. That is one of the many reasons it is so important to see your optometrist annually. Using sophisticated diagnostic technology, including digital retinal imaging and optical coherence tomography (OCT), our knowledgeable and skilled optometrists are able to detect, diagnose and treat eye diseases before they cause severe problems.
If you are experiencing sudden changes in your vision contact our office immediately.
Cataracts are a normal aging change and occur when the lenses inside your eyes becomes cloudy with time. The initial symptom of cataracts is blurry vision that may be able to be corrected by a change in prescription. As cataracts progress they result in further blurring, dimming of colours and glare at night.
Cataract surgery is recommended once your cataracts begin to impact your vision and daily life, preventing you from seeing well enough to do your habitual tasks such as driving or reading. We will refer you to an ophthalmologist who will perform cataract surgery. During surgery, which only takes about 15 minutes, the natural clouded lens is removed and replaced with a clear plastic intraocular lens (IOL).
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve that is usually due to high intraocular pressure. The increase in pressure inside the eye may be from too much fluid being produced, or not enough fluid being drained from the eye. The result is damage to your optic nerve, disrupting the transmission of visual information and an eventual loss of peripheral vision. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause permanent and irreversible damage, resulting in the loss of some central vision as well.
Glaucoma is slow and symptomless during the early stages, so most people don’t even realize they have the disease. That is why it is so important to have an annual eye exam.
Glaucoma can be treated and good vision maintained if caught early enough. Initially your optometrist may prescribe eye drops to lower the pressure in your eyes. If your glaucoma is more severe, your optometrist may refer you to an ophthalmologist for selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) or minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGs) to treat your glaucoma and reduce the number of eye drops you need to use.
At Elite Vision Therapy Centre every comprehensive eye examination includes testing for glaucoma. Schedule an appointment today.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) occurs when the macula, the part of the retina responsible for central vision, begins to deteriorate, causing blurred or distorted vision, blind spots and central vision loss. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in North America in people over the age of 55. Initial signs of AMD include drusen which are yellow lipid deposits under the retina that can be diagnosed with a dilated eye exam.
Dry AMD, accounts for nearly 90% of all cases and tends to be the less severe form. Generally, most patients with the very early stages of dry AMD will have some small drusen in their maculas but will be asymptomatic, not even knowing they have the disease unless they visit their optometrist or the disease progresses.
Dry AMD may progress to wet AMD or geographic atrophy with severe blind spots in the central vision.
Neovascular, or wet, AMD only accounts for about 10% of all AMD cases. This advanced form occurs when the retina creates new, abnormal blood vessels in the macula. Unfortunately, these new blood vessels are weak and often leak blood and fluid beneath the macula causing it to swell. Wet AMD results in severe vision loss.
Family history and advancing age are both risk factors for AMD but there are steps you can take to minimize your risk. A healthy diet rich in green leafy vegetables and fish oil may help lower your chances of developing the disease. Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV light is also beneficial.
Smoking can increase your chances of developing AMD, so it is recommended that you avoid tobacco products. Other healthy lifestyle choices such as exercising regularly and maintaining normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels are also suggested.
There are currently no approved treatments for dry AMD, but a healthy diet, rich in green leafy vegetables and omega 3, as well as beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E can help reduce the risk. If it is difficult to get all of the nutrients you need from your diet, there are ocular vitamins available to supplement. Talk to your optometrist about which ocular vitamins are right for you.
Wet AMD is treated with monthly injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF), which stops leaky new blood vessels from growing in your retinas.
Diabetes damages the small blood vessels or microvasculature in the body, including those in the retina. These small blood vessels may leak, releasing blood and fluid into the retina. This is called diabetic retinopathy. In Canada, it is expected that almost all patients with type 1 diabetes and 60% of patients with type 2 diabetes will develop some form of diabetic retinopathy in the first 2 decades after the diagnosis of diabetes.
If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy may lead to diabetic macular edema. The macula is the central part of your vision that you use to read and recognize faces. If the weak retinal microvasculature leak blood and fluid into the macula it may swell causing distortion of your central vision. Left untreated diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema may progress to permanent vision loss.
The best way to prevent diabetic retinopathy, or at least minimize its devastating effects, is to monitor and maintain your blood sugar levels closely, to prevent blood sugar spikes and fluctuations. It is also essential to have an annual diabetic eye exam.
Early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy is vital to limiting retinal damage. That is why it is so important that people with diabetes visit their optometrist annually, even if they are not experiencing any vision problems. Management of diabetic retinopathy may involve laser treatment or injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF), which stops leaky new blood vessels from further damaging the retinas.
According to the American Diabetes Association individuals with diabetes are 40% more likely to develop glaucoma and 60% more likely to develop early cataracts than individuals without diabetes. Both develop slowly, but are progressive and can greatly affect your vision. Glaucoma can be treated using medicated eye drops in its early stages and surgery at later stages, while cataracts are treated with surgery.
Other health problems including inflammatory conditions, autoimmune diseases and infections can also affect the eyes. According to Statistics Canada, approximately 20% of adults between 20 and 80 years of age have hypertension or high blood pressure. Over the long-term hypertension can cause significant damage to the body’s circulatory system, harming the organs including the eyes. Hypertensive retinopathy can damage the walls of the blood vessels in the retina, causing them to thicken and harden. This condition can lead to arteriosclerosis and over time can result in vision loss.
The best way to prevent hypertensive retinopathy is to manage hypertension itself. Eat a healthy diet low in processed foods, sugar and saturated fats, and get sufficient exercise to manage your weight. It is also recommended that you stop smoking. Healthy lifestyle choices and lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol can reduce your risk of stroke, heart attack, aneurysm, heart failure and kidney disease. If you take blood pressure medication, be sure to use it as directed by your physician. Hypertensive retinopathy is best monitored by your optometrist through annual eye examinations.
In addition to making sure that you see clearly and your eyes are healthy, regular eye exams are one of the most effective tools for diagnosing the early stages of systemic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Digital retinal imaging allows your optometrist to take pictures of your retinas, including the vasculature, and monitor for changes over time. Changes in the blood vessels can point to early signs of diabetes or hypertension, sometimes before other signs and symptoms are noticed.
To request an appointment for an eye exam, please contact us.
Located on Scarlett Road in Etobicoke, just south of Eglinton Avenue W. and across from the Humber River, Elite Vision Therapy Centre is centrally located to achieve your primary eye care and vision therapy need.
|Tuesday||8:30 AM - 5:00 PM|
|Wednesday||8:30 AM - 5:00 PM|
|Thursday||8:30 AM - 8:00 PM|
|Friday||8:30 AM - 2:00 PM|
|Saturday||8:30 AM - 2:00 PM|