July is UV Safety Month. Did you know that UV rays can penetrate cloud cover? Did you know you can get a sunburn on your eyes? Wear sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes all year round, not just in the summer.
Visit The American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Summer UV Eye Safety page for more information.
August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month! Make eye exams a part of your back to school routine. Children’s eyes can change rapidly, so it’s a good idea to get them checked every year. Luckily, Alberta Health covers eye exams for kids! Learn more about how often to get an eye exam on our Frequency of Eye Exams page.
Did you know: Early detection of children’s eye conditions like Strabismus or Amblyopia is important for intervention; Make sure you get your child screened at least once before they are school aged, to detect any problems that can be corrected in their first years of life.
Learn more about Children’s Eye Health and Safety from the Alberta Association of Optometrists.
September is Healthy Aging Month! As you age, your eyes age too.
Presbyopia occurs naturally as you get older, and it’s the reason most seniors require reading glasses (if you’re myopic, your vision may seem to improve as you age). You can’t stop presbyopia from happening, but there are other age related vision conditions that can be slowed. Practice healthy eating and exercise, don’t smoke, and visit an eye care specialist for more frequent eye exams. Check out or Frequency of Eye Exams page for information on how often you should visit an optometrist.
Take care of your body and you’ll take care of your eyes, now and in the future.
For more information about Healthy Aging from the Glaucoma Research Foundation page.
Early Bird Registration begins! Get your registration done early and we will enter you into a draw for prizes. Early Bird Registration runs from October 1st to October 31st, when we will have our draw.
October is Halloween Safety Month! Scary makeup and spooky contact lenses are fun additions to your Halloween costume, but they can pose hazards to your eyes. Make sure that you apply eye makeup on the outer edge and not the inner rim of your eyelids, and always visit a regulated health professional, such as a Registered Contact Lens Practitioner (RLCP) for cosmetic contact lenses and training. Remember: your eyes are precious, and contact lenses can be dangerous if you don’t know how to properly insert, remove, and care for them.
Do you have costume contacts from last year that you’re planning to use again? Never use contacts past the expiration date; 3 months doesn’t mean “3 months of wear,” it means “3 months from the time you open the package.” Microorganisms can contaminate your contact lens case in the interim, posing a risk to your eye health.
Decorative lenses are amazing as long as you make sure you’re smart about what you put in your eyes. Visit our Contact Lens page for more information.
Diabetic Eye Disease
November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. Do you have or know someone who has diabetes? Diabetic eye diseases include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema (DME), cataract, and glaucoma. These eye diseases can cause severe vision loss and blindness.
Did you know?
The most common type of diabetic eye disease is Diabetic retinopathy. Because diabetic retinopathy often goes unnoticed until vision loss occurs, people with diabetes should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. Early detection and treatment, and appropriate follow-up care of diabetic eye disease can protect against vision loss.
Your vision is one reason why it’s important to make sure you keep your diabetes under control.
Luckily, there are ways to slow or halt the progression of diabetic eye diseases. Taking medications as prescribed, staying physically active, and maintaining a healthy diet can all help to prevent or delay vision loss.
Learn more about diabetic eye diseases by visiting the National Eye Institute’s website.
December is Safe Toys (and Celebration) Month. Does Ralphie want a BB gun for Christmas? He’ll shoot his eye out, kid!
In all seriousness, though: Please make sure that the cool new toys you buy your kids this season are safe for them to use! Don’t let kids under the age recommendation on the package use projectiles; also, make sure to supervise them. And of course, never forget the importance of safety eyewear!
Roughly 1 in 10 of the eye injuries that bring children to the ER are caused by toys. Don’t become a statistic: play safe!
For a checklist to ensure you’re choosing safe toys, visit this article from the Mayo Clinic!
February is AMD Awareness Month. With Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) you lose central vision, usually in both eyes; this condition is the leading cause of vision loss in people ages 65 and older.
There are two types of macular degeneration: wet and dry.
The most common form of the disease is Dry AMD; it’s characterized by blurred central vision or blind spots. Dry AMD can progress at any time to wet AMD. When the wet version of this disease occurs, symptoms usually progresses very rapidly, and may make things appear visually distorted.
There is currently no cure for AMD, but taking multivitamins or eating foods rich in zinc, vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene may slow the progression of the disease. Omega3 fatty acids, as found in fish, are excellent for your eye health too.
For more information about Age Related Macular Degeneration, visit the Friends for Sight webpage.