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Are Contact Lenses Safe For Young Children?

Here’s a question we often get at our practice: ‘Is my child too young for contact lenses?’ This is an important question, and the answer may surprise you.

For children with myopia (nearsightedness), contact lenses can be a convenient method of vision correction. It allows kids to go about their day without having to worry about breaking or misplacing their glasses, and enables them to freely participate in sports and other physical activities.

Some children and young teens may ask their parents for contact lenses because they feel self-conscious wearing glasses. Contact lenses may even provide children with the confidence boost they need to come out of their shell. Moreover, these days, it is very popular for children to wear single-use one-day disposable soft contacts, since there is no cleaning or maintenance involved.

Some parents may deny their child’s request for contacts due to concerns about eye health and safety. There’s no reason to worry: contact lenses are just as safe for children as they are for anyone else.

At Corktown Eyecare, we provide children, teens, and patients of all ages with a wide variety of contact lenses. If you’re concerned about the safety of contacts for your child, we’ll be happy to explain and explore ways to ensure maximum safety, optimal eye health and comfort. To learn more or to schedule a pediatric eye exam for contact lenses, contact us today.

What Are the Risks of Having My Child Wear Contact Lenses?

A study published in the January 2021 issue of The Journal of Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics found that kids aren’t at a higher risk of experiencing contact lens complications.

The study followed nearly 1000 children aged 8-16 over the course of 1.5-3 years to determine how contact lenses affected their eye health.

The results indicate that age doesn’t have an effect on contact lens safety. In fact, the researchers found that the risk of developing infections or other adverse reactions was less than 1% per year of wear — which is comparable to contact lens wearers of other ages.

But before you decide that contact lenses are right for your child, you may want to consider whether your child is ready to wear them. During his or her eye doctor’s appointment, the optometrist may ask about your child’s level of maturity, responsibility, and personal hygiene. Since many children are highly motivated to wear contacts, they tend to display real maturity in caring for their lenses. That said, in the initial stages, parents may need to play an active role, as their child gets used to inserting and removing the new contact lenses.

It’s important to note that just as with any other medical device, contact lenses are not risk-free. Anyone who wears contact lenses has a chance of developing eye infections or other complications with contact lenses. However, when worn and cared for according to your eye doctor’s instructions, contact lenses are low-risk and perfectly safe for children and teenagers.

So, go ahead and bring your child in for a contact lens consultation! We’ll help determine if your child is ready for contacts and answer any questions you or your child may have. To schedule your child’s contact lens fitting or eye exam, contact Corktown Eyecare in Toronto today.

What Do Your Eyes Say About Your Health?

Eyes show much more than a glimpse of your soul! They also give your eye doctor a view of your general health. Even if you have 20/20 vision, plenty of other body conditions can be revealed by an eye exam. That’s why it’s important to book a visit to an eye doctor near me – even if you aren’t having any trouble seeing.

What health conditions can your eye doctor see?

Beyond evaluating your visual acuity and inspecting for any signs of ocular disease, our Toronto, Ontario , eye doctor spends part of every eye exam searching for signs of a general health problem. The following diseases can cause symptoms that can be detected in your eyes:

  • Diabetes – When blood sugars are elevated for prolonged periods, it can affect the tiny blood vessels in your retina, leading to leakage. This condition is called diabetic retinopathy, and it can cause vision loss.
  • High Cholesterol – This dangerous health condition puts you at a higher risk for heart disease and heart attacks because fat deposits narrow your arteries. They can also form a ring around the edge of your cornea. If your eye doctor spots this ring of fat deposits in your eye, it can indicate that you have high cholesterol.
  • Arthritis – Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory type of arthritis that can lead to swelling in your iris. Your eye may be painful, highly sensitive to light and red. If this form of arthritis progresses, it can spread and become debilitating.
  • Liver damage – Yellow eyes and/or skin can highlight the presence of jaundice. This condition happens when the liver manufactures too much bilirubin, in response to damage or swelling caused by autoimmune disorders, viruses, genetic diseases, or alcoholism.
  • Sickle cell disease – When a person has sickle cell disease, the blood cells are sickle shaped, leading to anemia, extreme fatigue and pain. The blood vessels in the eyes are also typically affected, and people experience eye pain, loss of peripheral vision, redness, jaundice, blurred vision and floaters. If the retinal blood vessels get blocked, a hemorrhage of the retina or vitreous gel may occur.
  • Heart disease – Just like heart disease affects blood vessels in other organs of your body, it can change the blood vessels in the retina – causing narrowing or swelling. If your eye doctor discovers minor signs during an eye exam, it can indicate you’re at risk of developing heart disease. This information serves as an essential warning – because it enables you to make diet and lifestyle changes to decrease your risks.
  • Myasthenia gravis – This autoimmune disorder often expresses itself first by causing drooping eyelids. Over time, the condition attacks and weakens body muscles.
  • Brain and nerve disorders – It’s normal to have eye twitches when you’re tired or stressed, or even if you have some eye irritation. However, this symptom could also indicate a brain or nerve condition, such as Parkinson’s disease or Bell’s palsy.

Eye exams protect your body too

We care about your overall health and well-being and use top-tier technologies to perform comprehensive, dilated eye exams at Corktown Eyecare. Let our Toronto, Ontario , eye doctor near me take a look at what’s happening in your eyes and your body!

At Corktown Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 647-694-7600 or book an appointment online to see one of our Toronto eye doctors.

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Are Burning Eyes Keeping You Up at Night?

Burning may be the only eye symptom that’s stopping you from sleeping, or you may also suffer from pain, tearing, discharge, and itching. Either way, these uncomfortable sensations could indicate that you have dry eyes. While dry eyes aren’t dangerous, they can be very painful and get in the way of enjoying both your daytime activities and your restful night’s sleep. To get a clear diagnosis and treatment for dry eye syndrome, visit Dr. Vakani, our Toronto, Ontario , eye doctor for a personalized eye exam at Corktown Eyecare.

What causes dry eyes?

Often, environmental conditions lead to dry eyes – such as a high pollen count, an arid desert climate, freezing cold air, or strong winds whipping into your face. These causes may be unavoidable, yet there are steps to take that can minimize their effects. For example, avoid spending too much time outdoors when the pollen count is up and wear wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes totally from the elements. Wearing contact lenses for too long is another cause of dry eyes that you can easily prevent. For more tips on how to prevent the burning symptoms of dry eyes, visit our Toronto, Ontario , eye care center for a consultation.

Why do dry eyes burn?

Your healthy eye surface is coated in a moisturizing layer of tears that has three parts – a mucous layer that helps to spread tears evenly, a thick and watery middle layer, and an outer layer with an oily composition. The outer oily layer is what protects the water layer from evaporating. Glands in your eyelids are responsible for producing the oil, and blinking stimulates this production. But when your oil glands get clogged, blinking becomes less effective, and your tears can dry out. Once your eye surface isn’t lubricated properly, it gets inflamed and irritated – leading to painful burning eyes.

How can you put out the fire in your eyes and get to sleep?

Often, using over-the-counter lubricating eye drops, also known as artificial tears, can be a quick way to relieve burning dry eyes. At Corktown Eyecare, Dr. Vakani recommends purchasing a brand of artificial tears that is preservative-free, especially if you need to use the eye drops frequently. Another soothing tip is to gently apply cool compresses over your closed eyelids.

If these remedies don’t give you relief, book an eye exam so we can recommend the most effective, personalized dry eye treatment for your unique eyes and condition. Remember, no two eyes are the same, so what works for one person may not work for another.

When are burning eyes a reason to book an urgent eye exam?

If your symptoms are accompanied by extreme light sensitivity or pain, or if you have blurry vision, see floaters or flashes, experience double vision or blurry vision – contact an eye care center near you for assistance.

Or, even if you don’t have any of the above symptoms but your burning eyes don’t get better within a few days, schedule a visit to our Toronto, Ontario , eye doctor.

At Corktown Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 647-694-7600 or book an appointment online to see one of our Toronto eye doctors.

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Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?

What’s the difference between types of eye doctors?

There are many reasons to visit an eye doctor. You may be having trouble seeing, you may have reached age 40 and want to get an annual eye health exam, or maybe you just want to update your look with a new pair of glasses? However, even when you’re certain of your reason for scheduling a visit to an eye care clinic, you may be uncertain about which type of eye doctor you need. Should you visit an optometrist or ophthalmologist?

Our optometrists in Toronto and Downtown Toronto, Ontario , help to clarify the differences between these two types of eye doctors, as well as give an explanation of the services they provide.

How does someone qualify as an ophthalmologist?

Ophthalmologists study in medical school for four years and then complete a four-year residency. Afterwards, many ophthalmologists continue their education with a one or two-year fellowship to specialize in a particular area, such as pediatrics, retinal disease, or glaucoma. You can identify an ophthalmologist by the MD (Medical Doctor) after their name.

How does someone qualify as an optometrist?

Optometrists study in optometry school for four years and may continue for an extra year of residency to specialize in treatments such as myopia control or vision therapy. They have an OD (Doctor of Optometry) after their name.

What are the primary differences between eye care services provided by an optometrist and ophthalmologist?

Both optometrists and ophthalmologists can prescribe medicines, issue vision prescriptions, and diagnose and treat ocular diseases. However, a major difference is whether the eye doctor performs surgery or not. Optometrists can provide expert eye care services for nearly all the medical parts of ophthalmology, but they do not perform surgery. While optometrists are licensed to provide pre and postoperative care for eye surgery, ophthalmologists are also eye surgeons.

Which type of eye doctor should I visit?

That depends on what you need! For a comprehensive eye exam, both types of eye doctors are professionally qualified to do the job. If you need a new vision prescription, both types of eye doctors are also trained to test vision and prescribe glasses or contact lenses. As for the rest of the eye care services you may require, the most appropriate eye doctor can vary. For example:

  • Fittings for specialty contact lenses should generally be done by an optometrist. Optometrists often have specialized training in hard-to-fit contact lens fittings.
  • Laser surgeries, such as LASIK or PRK, cataract removal, and other surgical procedures are done by an ophthalmologist.
  • Eye disease in serious condition (not the early stage), such as severe diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration often requires medical care by an ophthalmologist, but screening and early-stage ocular disease management are carried out by optometrists.
  • Eye problems, such as blurred vision, floaters, or eye pain can be treated well by either type of eye doctor. If your optometrist diagnoses a complex medical condition, such as medically unmanageable glaucoma or serious retinal problems, he or she will direct you towards the most suitable ophthalmologist to provide treatment.
  • Vision therapy is generally provided by an optometrist.
  • Myopia control is an area of eye care handled by optometrists.

If you’re not sure which type of eye doctor you need, contact Corktown Eyecare and ask! Our optometrists offer eye exams and a wide range of eye care services in Toronto and Downtown Toronto, Ontario .

At Corktown Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 647-694-7600 or book an appointment online to see one of our Toronto eye doctors.

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My Vision is Dim and Foggy. Do I Have Cataracts?

Cataracts are one of many different eye conditions that can cause foggy, blurred vision with a dimming of colors and lights. So yes, it may be possible that your symptoms are the result of cataracts. However, the only way to diagnose this eye disease for certain is with an eye exam. Instead of wondering what’s wrong with your eyesight – find out precisely what’s going on with a comprehensive eye exam with our Toronto, eye doctor at Corktown Eyecare.

Introducing cataracts

Cataracts occur when damaged proteins in the lens of your eye clump together, preventing light from refracting onto your retina clearly, which causes vision distortion. It’s so common in the elderly population, that some consider it to be a normal part of aging.

As cataracts progress, the eye disease can eventually cause blindness. However, in North America, this rarely happens because cataracts are easy to diagnose and treat. Most of the time, during the early stages when the symptoms are minimal, we don’t bother treating it; once cataracts begin to have a negative effect on daily living, which is typically after several years, cataract surgery will likely be recommended.

Vision with cataracts

The early symptoms of cataracts can masquerade as many other conditions. Some people feel that their glasses are smudged all the time or their contact lenses are dirty. Other people notice that they need more light to read. Your eyes may be more sensitive to glare, and driving at night can become challenging. A reduced intensity or yellowing of colors is also typical. If you notice any of these symptoms (or even if you don’t, because the symptoms are so mild), an eye exam in our Toronto eye care centre will detect or rule out the presence of cataracts.

As cataracts progress

If you’re diagnosed with cataracts, your eye doctor will monitor their progress. In the beginning, you may be given updated vision prescriptions – such as higher power lenses for your glasses or contacts; many people find this helpful for years.

Ultimately, cataracts dim your eye’s lens to the point that you can’t perform normal daily activities – even with your prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. When that happens, it’s time to consider cataract removal surgery.

Cataract removal

Our eye doctor will evaluate your condition to recommend when to get cataract surgery. Rest assured, it’s a very common surgery. In fact, half the population of people who reach the age of 80 will have undergone cataract surgery by then. Cataract surgery, which involves replacing the cloudy lens with an artificial, clear one, has a very high success rate, and is considered one of the safest surgeries worldwide.
If you notice that your vision is blurry, dimmed, yellowed, or you see fuzzy smudges that get in the way of clear sight – it could be cataracts. Contact our Toronto eye doctor to schedule an eye exam!

At Corktown Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision.

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