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The Most Common Eye Diseases in Children & Adults

Regardless of our age, over time our eyes keep changing, and this affects our vision. Your eye doctor can detect these changes and identify eye conditions or diseases early enough to treat them and prevent vision loss. Read on to learn more about common eye conditions and diseases one may encounter.

Eye Conditions and Diseases in Adults

Cataracts

If your vision is starting to get blurry, you may be developing cataracts. Protein buildup on the once-clear crystalline lens, a small transparent disc inside your eye, creates cloudy patches. Over time these patches become bigger and, if left untreated, can eventually lead to blindness.

Macular degeneration

Macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss among seniors. This happens when the small central portion of your retina, called the macula, no longer functions effectively as the retinal nerves and blood vessels start to deteriorate. The sooner AMD is diagnosed, the higher the chances of maintaining your clear vision.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve. This damage is usually permanent and often caused by abnormally high pressure in your eye. It can lead to significant vision loss, including blindness. Early intervention can often prevent or limit vision loss.

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when high blood sugar levels damage blood vessels in the retina. These blood vessels can swell and leak into the back of your eye. Left untreated, this can rapidly lead to vision loss, even blindness. Keeping blood sugar levels under control and careful monitoring by your eye doctor can prevent or limit the damage.

Eye Conditions and Diseases in Children

Refractive errors

Refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness) cause blurry vision. Prescription glasses and contact lenses can correct your child’s refractive error.

Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

Amblyopia, also called lazy eye, can occur when one eye does not develop the same level of visual acuity, depth perception, or visual skills as the other eye. Children can develop amblyopia if they do not get treated early for problems like refractive errors, strabismus (misaligned eyes), droopy eyelids, or cataracts.

Strabismus

Strabismus occurs when there is a misalignment between the two eyes and they point in different directions, This occurs in about 4% of children. One eye may look straight ahead while the other turns in, out, up or down. Strabismus needs to be treated as soon as possible. Without treatment, the brain may ignore the crossed eye to avoid double vision, potentially leading to vision loss in that eye.

Cataracts

This is when the eye’s normally clear lens gets cloudy. Older people mostly get cataracts, but some children are born with them or acquire them following an eye injury. Most need surgery to remove a cataract and see clearly again.

Regular comprehensive eye exams are essential to keeping your eyes healthy and identify problems as early as possible. To schedule your appointment, contact Calgary today.

At Browz Eyeware, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 587-600-0644 or book an appointment online to see one of our Calgary eye doctors.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. George Fung

Q: Can you request lenses made from glass? Is glass still used for lenses?

  • A: Yes. Opticians still sometimes use glass for lenses. However, glass is not used very often because they aren’t as safe. If these glass lenses breaks, they can shatters into many pieces and can injure the eye. Glass lenses are much heavier than plastic lenses, so they can make your eyeglasses less comfortable to wear.

Q: Can a coating be added to eyeglasses to protect them from further scratches?

  • A: A protective coating can’t be added to a lens after it’s scratched. The coating is applied when the lens is manufactured and can’t be put on later.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Calgary, Alberta. Visit Browz Eyeware for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

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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 Browz Eyeware, 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 Browz Eyeware in Calgary today.

Kids Can Wear Scleral Lenses Too!

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), about 14.5 percent of all kids under age 17 wear contact lenses. While it’s most common to prescribe daily disposable contacts for kids, they’re not suitable for all eye and vision conditions.

At our eye care centres in Calgary, Bridgeland and Macleod Trail, we regularly perform pediatric eye exams to fit kids with contact lenses, including scleral lenses. Many of our young patients who couldn’t achieve crisp, comfortable vision with regular contacts have been thrilled with their scleral lenses!

What are scleral lenses?

Custom-fit scleral lenses vault over the cornea, coming to rest on the whites of the eye (sclera), and forming a new optical surface. Sclerals also create a reservoir of saline between the contact and the eye surface, perfect for soothing sore eyes.

When do kids need scleral lenses?

Very young children, as small as toddlers, who have a serious ocular surface disease are recommended to wear full scleral lenses because they provide protection over as much of the eye as possible.

When kids have a normal cornea and high refractive errors, or have a corneal condition such as keratoconus, mini-scleral lenses may be worn. These specialty pediatric lenses range from 15 to 18 mm in diameter.

Sclerals can also be helpful for kids with disorders such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, congenital corneal anesthesia syndromes and corneal scarring after trauma.

What are the benefits of scleral lenses for kids?

Due to their oversized shape, sclerals rest on the eye with more stability than conventional contacts, so they’re less likely to be dislodged. The stability also promotes higher comfort, especially for sensitive eyes. Since they have high oxygen permeability, scleral lenses are healthy for the eyes too.

To find out if your child is a candidate for scleral lenses, book a pediatric eye exam with our eye doctor in Calgary, Bridgeland or Macleod Trail.
At Browz Eyeware, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 587-600-0644 or book an appointment online to see one of our Calgary eye doctors.

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