Tag: retina

Solar Eclipse Safety Tips

There will be a total solar eclipse on August 21, between 1:10pm-3:49pm!! The last total solar eclipse visible in North America was in 1979, and the next one won’t be until 2024, so you won’t want to miss this one!
 
Here are some safety tips for viewing the eclipse:
– In Ontario, we will not be in the path of totality, so it will NOT be safe to look directly at the eclipse at any time.
– You must wear eclipse glasses with special filters. Here is a list of reputable vendors: https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters
– Looking through binoculars, regular sunglasses, polarizing filters, and other home-made filters, etc, is NOT SAFE.
– While you may be able to find something to dim the sun to a “comfortable” viewing level, it may not block to whole spectrum, so you could be damaging your retinas with infrared radiation… and you wouldn’t notice until afterwards. This video talks about how you can get solar retinopathy by looking at the sun

Eye Cancer Found On Routine Exam

People always think they would notice if something was wrong with their eyes, but that’s not always the case!

I had a patient last year, who had come in just because she felt like she needed stronger reading glasses. In fact, she almost cancelled her appointment because she was busy that day. Everything checked out: distance vison was great, and she did just need a boost for up close. Everything appeared normal up until the very last step of the exam. After dilation, I was able to see to the edges of her retina, and found a choroidal melanoma. Choroidal melanoma is the most common primary malignant eye tumor and the second most common type of primary malignant melanoma in the body. She was referred immediately and received radiation therapy. I saw her again this year, and so far she is doing well  

The first picture below is a straight on view of her retina. Everything looks normal. The second picture is what was visible when she looked to the side. The melanoma was way off on the edge of her retina, which is why she did not have any symptoms or notice any changes in her vision.

A “virtual” sight test would not have caught this. If she was issued a renewed prescription online without a comprehensive eye exam, this would not have been found. #VisionHealthMonth

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Diabetic Retinopathy Video

The back of your eyes is the only place we can actually SEE blood vessels without cutting open skin. Not only can your Doctor of Optometry see changes due to diabetic retinopathy, but also other general health conditions such as high blood pressure, and more!
The Ontario Association of Optometrists recommends a comprehensive eye exam every 1-2 years for healthy adults, even if you are not noticing any changes in your vision. Adults over age 60 should be seen yearly.
#VisionHealthMonth

 

Eat More Pumpkin for Eye Health

Thanksgiving is just around the corner!
Did you know eating pumpkin has lots of benefits for your eye health? Pumpkins contain beta-carotene, which is a form of vitamin A which helps protect the surface of the eye and decrease the risk of eye diseases like macular degeneration. It also contains antioxidants which help protect the body from diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
However, beta-carotene supplements may increase the risk of lung cancer in people who smoke. The best way to get it and avoid toxicity is from fruits and vegetables. Try a variety of ORANGE vegetables, such as sweet potato, carrots, butternut squash, and of course – pumpkin! Pumpkin seeds also contain a healthy dose of zinc, which helps bring vitamin A to the retina, where it produces melanin as a protective pigment in the eyes. Roast them in the oven for a delicious snack!
 
Sounds like the perfect excuse to have an extra piece of pumpkin pie this weekend 😉 (just watch out for the added sugar and butter!) Use fresh pumpkin or 100% canned pumpkin rather than pumpkin pie mix to get the maximum benefits.
 
Wishing everyone a happy and safe long weekend! 🙂

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