Who & Why

Who can treat my eye problem?
The Ontario Government approved a regulation on April 6, 2011 that allows Ontario’s optometrists to start prescribing medications for their patients. Optometrists will now be able to prescribe treatments for conditions ranging from routine bacterial eye infections to more serious diseases including glaucoma. The most common acute eye problem is a red eye, most of the time this is an inflammatory condition and not infectious. Optometrists have the equipment required to determine the cause, and can now prescribe the proper treatment. This decision by the Ontario government will alleviate
wait times in emergency rooms and walk-in clinics for patients with eye-related problems resulting in better healthcare and reducing costs for taxpayers. While Ontario is one of the last provinces to en-act this regulation, the new regulation has the widest scope in Canada and brings about the most benefits to patients. Optometrist are eye doctors who are university educated, completing a four year eye professional doctorate degree program and clinically trained to diagnose and treat disorders of the eye and visual system.

Why are my eyes watering or feeling gritty?
Dry eye is one of the most common eye conditions we encounter in daily practice. Your tears are a crucial part of clear comfortable vision. Without a smooth healthy tear film on the surface of the eye, the world you see can be very blurry. Surprisingly, one of the most common symptoms of a dry eye is a watery eye. This excessive tearing is often in response to irritation or even inflammation on the front surface of the eye. This excess watering however does not help with the dryness. It can actually make it worse – similar to how your skin wrinkles or dries out if in a bathtub for too long. Dry eye can make routine tasks such as reading, working on the computer or driving more frustrating and even uncomfortable. If left untreated, it can lead to pain, ulcers, or even scars on the front surface of the eye. Other common symptoms are a burning gritty sensation, stringy discharge, blurred vision, contact lens intolerance or redness. Dry eye can be caused by age, certain medications, hormonal changes, medical conditions (diabetes, Sjogren’s), environmental factors and even incomplete blinking. If you feel you are suffering from some of these symptoms, give our office a call for an assessment and we’d be happy recommend a treatment plan.

Why is it becoming harder to read?
Presbyopia is the loss of ability to focus that comes with getting older, and everyone must tolerate it eventually. Most people are between the ages of 40 and 50 when they first become aware that they are losing the ability to see near objects or reading material close to their eyes. They have to hold the newspaper farther from their eyes to see it clearly. At the same time, their focus for distant objects remains normal. In the early stages of presbyopia, your eyes may become strained after a long period of close work, or eventually blur. You may have difficulty shifting your focus from near to far - when you look up from reading, your distance vision may stay blurred for several seconds or even minutes before it clears. These symptoms worsen later in the day, when you are tired. Presbyopia is caused by the lens within the eye losing its flexibility, which decreases the eye’s ability to change focus between close-up and faraway objects. Whenever the time comes that your eyes can no longer generate enough extra optical power to focus up close, you will need help in the form of glasses or contact lenses. People sometimes notice that their presbyopia gets “worse” after they start wearing reading glasses. The fact is, presbyopia will “worsen” whether you wear glasses or not, and putting off the use of corrective lenses will not slow down the presbyopia. Whether you are nearsighted, farsighted, astigmatic, or have perfect vision without glasses,you will still become presbyopic by middle age.

Why is my eyelid droopy?
Ptosis - an upper eyelid that droops - is an annoying condition that can affect one or both lids. It is usually not serious unless the eyelids are drooping so much that they are interfering with vision. Ptosis is caused by any number of conditions that affect the muscle (levator) that holds the upper eyelid in proper position and moves it up and down. Most cases of ptosis in an adult comes on gradually during the later years of life, as part of the normal aging process. Newborns and infants can also appear to have a droopy eyelid. Less common causes include injury, previous eye surgery, and neurological and muscular problems. The levator muscle itself or its nerve supply can be involved in a systemic condition, such as diabetes. It is important in all of these scenarios to see your optometrist to determine the proper course of action. If the ptosis is not bothering your vision, and you are not concerned with its appearance, your optometrist may not recommend doing anything. If further testing or surgery is required, your optometrist will be able to make these arrangements .Make sure to contact your eye doctor if you have any questions regarding this condition.