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Flexible Spending Accounts & Vision Benefits

Prescription Eyeglasses & Eye Exam in Toronto

Prescription Eyeglasses & Eye Exam in Toronto

Over 50% of consumers didn’t use their vision benefits last year! Make the most of your 2021 vision benefits by understanding what your Flexible Spending Account and Health Savings Account cover.

How Does FSA Work?

When you sign up for an FSA, money from each paycheck is automatically deposited into an account. An FSA provides you with tax-free dollars that can be used to pay for health care expenses, including eye care needs.

An FSA usually covers vision expenses like:

  • Copayments and deductibles (but not insurance premiums)
  • Routine eye exams
  • Contact lenses
  • Prescription sunglasses

But here’s the catch: You must use your FSA benefits or you’ll lose them since they don’t roll over to the next year, unless your employer offers a short grace period to use the previous year’s benefits. To take advantage of this valuable benefit, schedule your annual eye exam.

How Does HSA Work?

Depending on your insurance plan, your employer may offer an HSA instead of an FSA. An HSA, which also offers tax-saving benefits, is typically offered with high deductible insurance plans. The difference between your FSA and your HSA is that the money put into an HSA does not have a “use it or lose it” policy. It can be used the next year.

Like an FSA you can usually utilize your HSA dollars to purchase glasses and pay for other vision-related expenses like eye exams, prescription sunglasses, and contacts.

The Importance of Eye Exams

During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor can not only determine whether you need prescription glasses or contact lenses, but can also check for common eye conditions like glaucoma and cataracts.

Regularly scheduled eye exams keep you and your eye doctor up to date with changes in vision and general health as you age. During a typical eye exam, your eye doctor will perform a series of tests designed to catch eye conditions and diseases early, before they cause irreversible damage.

After the age of 40, the risk of eye diseases increases, making regular eye exams even more important. Early detection is key to preventing and detecting eye health problems.

Visit your Eye Doctor Today!

The importance of a yearly eye exam is not only about safeguarding your vision; it’s also about safeguarding your general health. By observing changes in your vision and the eye itself, your eye doctor can detect early warning signs of health issues such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure before serious symptoms may occur. Start the new year looking great with clear, healthy vision by using your FSA and HSA benefits Go ahead and schedule that exam with Corktown Eyecare to keep your eyes healthy.

Protect Your Children’s Vision By Getting Them To Play Outside This Winter!

child playing snow 640As temperatures drop, some parents may be wondering how to get their kids outside for some healthy outdoor play.

Below, we share tips on fun outdoor activities you can do and explain why playing outside can help your child’s vision.

How Outdoor Play Impacts Myopia

Studies have shown that children who spend at least 11 hours per week outside during daylight hours have a slower rate of myopia progression than children who don’t. Although researchers aren’t exactly sure why, it appears that sunlight and the child’s use of distance vision outdoors may play a role.

So why would parents want to slow down their child’s myopia? The answer may surprise you.

Having myopia in childhood places the child at heightened risk for developing sight-threatening eye diseases later in life. These include cataracts, macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and glaucoma.

3 Outdoor Activities to Do With Your Kids This Winter

Play With Snow

Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, playing with snow is something that everyone can enjoy. Bundle up your child so they stay safe and warm, and send them out to build a snowman, have a snowball fight, build an igloo, or make a snow angel. Older children and teens may enjoy building a snow maze.

If your kids like a bit of competition, you can conduct a snow castle building contest. This activity can be fun for the entire family!

If you don’t have enough snow to build a snowman or castle, you can play tic-tac-snow on the snow-covered ground.

Go Sledding

Sledding and tobogganing are classic winter activities that your child will love. All you need is a sled and a snowy hill — easy, right?

But before you soar down those snowy slopes, here are some guidelines that will ensure a safer sledding experience:

  • Use a sled that can be steered and has a brake
  • Protect your head with a helmet
  • Dress warmly, but leave your scarf at home, as it can get caught under the sled
  • Children under the age of 6 should always sled accompanied by an adult

Create Outdoor Art

This activity is perfect for kids who like to get a little messy. To make a colorful masterpiece on a canvas of snow, give your child a few squirt bottles filled with water and a few drops of food coloring gel. They’ll have heaps of fun squirting the colored liquid on snow or ice.

They can also paint on snow using watercolors and a paintbrush.

If it doesn’t snow where you live, you can always give your child some sidewalk chalk and let them get creative on the pavement. The important thing is to have your child play outdoors.

At Corktown Eye Care Myopia Control Center, our goal is to help slow down your child’s myopia progression and keep their eyes healthy for a lifetime.

To learn more about our myopia management program or to schedule your child’s eye exam, call us today!

Corktown Eye Care Myopia Control Center serves patients from Downtown Toronto, Canary District, Distillery District, Lake Shore, and throughout Ontario .

Help Protect Your Child’s Vision From Blue Light

Whether your child is learning, playing games, watching videos, or reading on their digital device, they may be harming their vision. By spending so much time on their digital devices the blue light emanating from the screen can be affecting not only their eyes with digital eye strain but their sleep as well.

As technology transforms the way we live, those who will be impacted the most are our children. Parents and professionals are concerned with the impact these devices currently have on our children, and they want to find the best ways to manage the time spent using them in order to keep kids healthy and strong.

What is Blue Light?

Every color of visible light has a different wavelength and energy level. Colors like red, orange, and yellow have longer wavelengths and carry less energy than colors like blue and purple.

Because blue light carries higher energy, it can easily reach the retina at the back of the eye. Although some of the eye’s structures filter out harmful rays like ultraviolet light, they allow blue light to penetrate.

The sun, digital screens, LED and fluorescent lighting all emit blue light.

Too Much Screen Time Can Lead to Vision Issues

Blue light has more energy and scatters more freely than other light making it difficult to focus on it. As the scattered blue light rays enter the eye, they create visual “noise” that is believed to be partly responsible for digital eye strain symptoms such as watery eyes, headache, blurry vision, and dry eyes. The more time spent staring at screens, the higher the chance of developing eye strain symptoms.

Gazing at the same distance for an extended time can cause the eyes focus to spasm, which causes blurred vision. Another possible symptom that may occur when concentrating on a screen for an extended period of time is eye fatigue which can cause concentration problems and headaches.

Tips on Limiting Screen Time in Young Children

Encouraging children to engage in other activities is important to their health and development. Establishing positive media viewing habits will keep their visual, mental and physical health in check.

  • Avoid digital media use in infants under 18 to 24 months of age.
  • If you want to introduce digital media to your 18-24 month old, choose high-quality programming and make sure to use the media together with your child. Solo media use at this age should be avoided.
  • For children 2 to 5 years of age, limit screen use to 1 hour of high-quality programming per day.
  • 20-20-20 rule: make sure your child takes a 20-second break every 20 minutes and views something 20 feet away.
  • Avoid fast-paced programs and any violent content.
  • Make sure to turn off screens (including television) and other devices when not in use.
  • Refrain from using media as the primary method of calming your child. Although there are cases when media is a useful soothing strategy, doing so regularly can lead to problems with setting limits and can hinder a child’s emotional regulation.
  • Make sure that one hour before bedtime, your child doesn’t use his or her digital device.

While your child uses a digital device, there are ways to protect their eyes from blue light.

  • Purchase glasses with lenses that filter out the amount of blue light that enters the eyes from computers, e-tablets and smartphone screens.
  • Get anti-reflective coating for the eyeglass lenses, as it blocks blue light.
  • Purchase glasses with photochromic lenses. These are sun-sensitive lenses that block some blue light indoors and automatically block additional blue light from the sun.

Technology is the present and the future. By following these tips and measures, you’ll go a long way toward keeping your tech-savvy child seeing clearly and feeling healthy for many years to come.

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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Tips on How to Take Care of Your Eyes

Guidelines from your eye care specialist in Toronto, Ontario

There are many routine daily actions you can take to preserve your eye health and keep your vision crisp and clear. By following a few simple practices outlined below, you can reduce your risk of developing many common ocular diseases and vision problems.

Book regular eye exams

First and foremost, visit your local eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam near you. This is the most significant way to take care of your eyes. It is typical to have a problem and not know about it, because many eye diseases don’t present with symptoms during the early stages. Once your eye care provider detects the signs of an ocular condition, you can receive treatment – and early treatment goes far towards preventing vision loss.

Be aware of your risk factors for eye diseases

Normal aging raises your risk of certain eye diseases. Additionally, your risk is higher if you:

  • Are obese or overweight
  • Have a family history of ocular disease
  • Are African American, Native American, or Hispanic
  • Have diabetes or high blood pressure

Some ocular conditions run in families, so it’s important to speak with other family members to find out about any eye problems. Then, visit a center for eye care near you to discuss your personal risk factors. The optometry team can inform you about various ways to decrease your chances of developing specific eye diseases.

Make healthy lifestyle choices

Eyes are a part of your whole body, and protecting your overall well-being can help safeguard your vision too. Healthy habits are essential, such as eating nutritiously and being physically active. These behaviors can reduce your risk for diseases that can lead to vision problems, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes. Our eye doctor in , Ontario , shares the following guidelines for taking care of your whole body:

  • Be active: regular exercise and cardiovascular physical activity are effective ways to keep yourself healthy
  • Eat well: include plenty of dark, leafy greens in your daily diet, such as spinach, arugula, collard greens, and kale. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, halibut, and tuna are also recommended for healthy eyes.
  • No smoking: smoking increases your chances of developing eye disease, such as cataracts and macular degeneration, and it can also damage the optic nerve.

Use eye protection

Everyone knows about the need to slather on sunscreen before spending time outdoors, but many people neglect to give their eyes the same attention.

  • Wear sunglasses and sunwear: choose sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB radiation, and wear whenever you’re outdoors, even on cloudy days. Hats with a visor are also helpful at blocking the sun’s rays from reaching your eyes.
  • Let your eyes rest: gazing at a computer screen for hours on end can lead to eye fatigue. Give your eyes a break by looking at something 20 feet away, every 20 minutes for 20 seconds.
  • Put on safety glasses: certain activities, such as playing sports, doing home repairs, and working in construction all expose your eyes to potential hazards. Protect your eyes from injury by wearing safety glasses and goggles.
  • Practice eye hygiene: always wash your hands before you insert or remove your contact lenses, and follow proper cleaning and storage guidelines for your contacts, as recommended by your eye doctor. Even if you don’t wear contacts, avoid rubbing your eyes – because fingers are exposed to a lot of dirt and bacteria, which can be transferred easily to your eyes. Also, don’t forget to remove eye makeup nightly to avoid a build-up of bacteria in your ocular area.
  • Don’t dry out your eyes: make sure to stay adequately hydrated by drinking enough water, and direct air vents in your car and home towards your torso, instead of blowing directly at your eyes.

When in doubt – book an eye exam near you

If you notice any new symptoms and don’t know what they are, such as the sudden appearance of many floaters and/or light flashes in your peripheral vision, call your eye doctor immediately. These could be signs of a retinal tear or detachment, which requires urgent eye care to prevent lasting vision damage. Or if you experience blurry vision, pain, or any oozing discharge, you may have an eye infection that needs medical treatment. Any time you aren’t sure about a symptom, it’s best to practice caution and contact a center for eye care near you.

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.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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