A quick quiz: how many proteins exist in the thin film of tears that coats our eyes?
The answer: d) over 500 unique proteins exist in our tear film! We are just beginning to understand the complex nature of our eye’s tear film, which serves several incredibly important functions:
Our comprehensive Dry Eye Disease treatment strategy involves a careful assessment of your eye’s tear film as well as treatment geared towards improving its overall health.
Contact us for an appointment if you suffer from red, irritated or dry eyes to see if your tear film needs some help.
As a patient of MVO, you know we are committed to protecting your eyesight – our Number One goal. We recently became certified as a Care1© Integrated Clinic – read on to see how this will benefit you.
The field of medical eye care is expanding rapidly with new technologies and research to help find eye disease sooner as well as treat more effectively. We have always maintained close working relationships with ophthalmologists (medical doctors trained in eye surgery and other advanced disease treatment) and strongly feel that eye disease should be managed in a team environment. To this end we have partnered with Care1© Telemedicine to provide an increased level of collaborative care.
How does it work?
Cost to you for this additional level of care: Zero! As in any optometrist’s office we can bill Alberta Health for many of the special tests that are needed, in some cases coverage is not available for additional tests within a benefit period. In this case you will be informed in advance.
Our patients who have already benefitted from Care1© are delighted at the high level of care they are receiving. As we are able to handle even advanced cases within our offices they are also very pleased that no in-person specialist referral is necessary!*
We are proud to be one of the few Care1© Integrated Clinics in the Calgary area, and look forward to continued industry-leading levels of eye care at MVO.
* While a large percentage of our patients are benefiting from Care1©, not all risk factors/disease can be managed through telemedicine.
Many people complain that they have to remove their glasses in photos because of the glare in their lenses.
Watch this quick video to learn a few quick tips to get you (and your glasses) looking great in your next photoshoot!
Addition of height
Are you one of the many people who suffer from the following symptoms:
You may be suffering from Blepharitis, a common inflammation of the eyelid margins.
Several of our patients have already benefited from Blephex®, a new treatment for blepharitis (read about it in our newsletter archives here). Blephex® involves a rapidly rotating sponge that gently deep-cleans the buildup at the base of your lashes, restoring them to healthy levels and removing symptoms described above.
Book your next eye exam here and see if Blephex® is right for you.
“You notice a change with your eyes the very next day. The redness and irritation were gone and I was functioning normally. I would highly recommend this procedure!” – Nick S.
Many parents are surprised to hear that we recommend a child’s first exam between the ages of 6 and 12 months of age. “How can you test a baby’s eyes, when they can’t tell you what they see?” is a common question.
The fact is, we test most of the same systems during an infant eye exam as an adult eye exam. We just go about it (very) differently. Here’s what we do:
1. Test for eye teaming – do the eyes work together? A baby’s eyes may look aligned but there may be subtle problems interfering with eye teaming that can only be picked up by an eye doctor. Note: many infants will have a noticeable eye turn on occasion, this is not necessarily a serious concern.
2. Test for fixation – does the baby “lock on” to interesting targets like a small toy or a person’s face? We will test each eye for the ability to fixate which implies good vision. While we can’t tell how low on an eye chart a baby can see, we can infer what their level of vision is by how they fixate on a target.
3. Test for normal eye movements – do the eyes move in the proper direction, and do the pupils constrict while the baby looks at an object very close?
4. Test if your baby is nearsighted, farsighted or has astigmatism – yes, we can tell this information WITHOUT asking any questions or using computerized devices – using a hand-held instrument called a retinoscope. While we may not prescribe glasses on an infant we can often tell if there is a risk of amblyopia (lazy eye) by using a retinoscope.
5. Test for any eye health concerns – we will look carefully at the outside as well as the inside structures of your baby’s eyes to make sure there are no signs of eye disease
There’s a new treatment for dry eyes – IPL or Intense Pulsed Light. It’s been used for a number of years in dermatologist’s offices to shrink unwanted blood vessels and tighten up areas of loose skin. It was found that some of these patients experienced improved comfort in and around their eyes after having had this treatment on the skin of their face. Now a redesigned version is being used to treat certain forms of dry eye.
Here’s a video that explains what IPL is about.
Is it right for you? What we now know as a result of working with dozens of dry eye patients at MVO is that IPL is an exciting new treatment that is helping many people with dry eye disease. Dry eye is a multi-factorial problem that must be correctly diagnosed in order to arrive at the best therapy plan.
Book your eye exam now if you suffer from dry eyes to learn about the latest treatments available.
The 2017 North American solar eclipse is less than a week away! We wrote about it in last month’s newsletter.
Here’s a short video all about the upcoming eclipse. Remember: protect you and your family’s eyes – do not look directly at the eclipse without proper protection. Sunglasses are not enough and will damage your eyes.
Have fun and be safe!
Most contact lenses are used to correct vision problems. Some of these contact lenses are available in shades that change the colour of the wearer’s eyes. Until recently, contact lenses sold purely for cosmetic reasons could be sold without a license in Canada.
Countries such as the US, UK and Japan have had regulations in place since 2009 to protect consumers from cosmetic contact lenses sold without a license. Such products may be contaminated, defective or poorly fitting, all of which may cause damage to a wearer’s eyes.
Lyndon Jones, director of the Centre for Contact Lens Research at the University of Waterloo feels this decision is in the best interests of protecting Canadians from harm. He states that contact lenses, when professionally fit by an optometrist, are very safe to wear. The lack of any fitting process whatsoever with off-the-shelf cosmetic contact lenses puts the wearer’s eyes at significant risk. “Literally, they are blinding” said Jones.
The choice of wearing a coloured contact lens used to mean a step backwards in technology. Less oxygen to the eye, a less comfortable wearing experience or poorer vision was often the result. We now have access to many modern materials that do not compromise eye health, comfort and vision
Book your eye exam now to learn if they are right for you.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness in older people. It affects the central portion of the retina (tissue at the back of the eye) known as the macula, causing a loss of central vision. While it does not result in complete blindness it can cause severe problems with daily tasks such as reading, driving or even recognizing faces.
A new FDA-approved telescope implant has been developed in the US to treat certain patients with end-stage AMD, defined as severe loss of vision due to advanced AMD in both eyes. The tiny device is smaller than a pea and implanted in the area where the eye’s lens would normally be, behind the iris. The telescope will magnify images and project them to an area of the retina located outside the diseased portion of the macula. The telescope is implanted only in one eye, leaving the other eye to be used for tasks involving peripheral vision. Studies done show that patients gained 3-4 lines on the vision chart and had improved quality of life after receiving the procedure.
Once the surgery is complete the patients participate in a program lasting 6-12 weeks during which they learn to use the device properly. Currently it’s available only to patients who have not had cataract surgery in at least one eye with end-stage AMD, but research is being done and it will hopefully soon be extended to others.
For more information visit www.centrasight.com
Your Dry Eye Therapy should include fish oil supplements – here’s how to choose the right one
Fish Oil supplements are also known as “Omega Fatty Acids (OFA’s)”. They have been shown to have many health benefits such as lowering high blood pressure, improving brain function, nerve and blood vessel health and reducing heart disease. They do all this by lowering inflammation in our bodies – the starting point for most diseases. Since dry eye is also a disease caused by inflammation, Omega Fatty Acids are an important part of your dry eye treatment program. OFA’s ability to reduce inflammation helps repair AND protect damaged cells on the surface of your eyes, improving the symptoms of dry eye and even reversing the harmful effects.
There are dozens of OFA’s on the market. How do you know you are taking the right one?
There are two things you should look for:
How much to take? The verdict is not clear on this yet for dry eye treatment. We have had good results by starting our dry eye patients on a dose of 2,100 mg of EPA/DHA, but we will often increase this if needed. The safety of Omega 3 supplements is very good, but if someone is at risk for bleeding (due to taking blood thinners for example) we will be cautious with higher doses (above 3,000 mg).
We prescribe Ascenta™ brand Omega 3 supplements as part of our complete Dry Eye Therapy program. It’s available in a liquid format as well as a capsule.
Now you know the facts about fish oil supplements. Talk to us at your next visit to find out if your dry eyes can benefit from OFA’s.
Source: Review of Optometry, May 2017 “From Alpha to Omega: How Fatty Acids Fight Dry Eye”
* The exception is GLA (Gamma-linoleic acid) a beneficial health-promoting Omega 6 that is recommended in addition to Omega 3 supplementation