The cornea plays a crucial role in focusing light onto the retina. In individuals with keratoconus, the cornea progressively thins and bulges, taking on a cone-like shape. As a result, vision becomes distorted and blurry, often accompanied by nearsightedness and astigmatism.
Keratoconus doesn’t appear overnight; rather, it develops gradually, usually during adolescence or early adulthood. As the condition progresses, several symptoms become noticeable:
Blurry and Distorted Vision
Halos and Glare
Eye Strain and Headaches
Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the condition, but may include
Soft contact lenses
Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses
Surgical interventions like collagen cross-linking or corneal transplant
If you suspect you have keratoconus or experience any unusual changes in your vision, it’s crucial to consult an eye doctor. Early diagnosis and appropriate management can make a significant difference in preserving your vision and overall well-being.
Did your routine eye exam go well? Do you have 20/20 vision? That’s great! However, there’s so much more to vision than seeing with perfect acuity. In fact, seeing 20/20 is only 1 of 17 different visual skills we have. Routine eye exams do not usually cover all of these skills since they tend to focus on ocular health and visual acuity. Skills such as eye tracking, eye teaming, and eye focusing can be measured using a different set of tests that is done during a Functional Vision Assessment (FVA).
Here is a summary of some visual skills that you need in everyday life. FVAs test all of these skills and more.
What Is It
being able to hold focus on one main target
finding an object and maintain eye contact with it
Pursuit (Moving Targets)
being able to focus and follow moving targets without moving one’s head
watching a ball through the air
being able to jump from one object to another
reading; you usually read one to three words at a time and then move on to the next set of words
Accommodation (Eye Focusin)
being able to focus light that enters the eyes
seeing an image that’s close to you then looking at an object far away right away
Binocular (Eye Teaming)
coordinating both your eyes together as an object is moved from far to near and vice versa
watching a moving target come close and moving far away
If you have trouble focusing on objects or have recently been in an accident that have impaired your visual skills, a FVA and Vision Therapy might be an option for you. During vision therapy, you are given the opportunity to improve these visual skills.
If your visual skills are adequate, you can actually improve them further! This is especially applicable if you play competitive sports. Many activities in vision therapy are directly applicable to sports such as basketball, volleyball, football and soccer. It can improve your reaction time, hand eye coordination, and visualization. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out we will be more than happy to provide you with more information.
Migraines are often associated with pounding headaches, but they can also affect your vision. Ocular migraines, also known as retinal migraines or visual migraines, are a unique type of migraine that primarily manifests as visual disturbances. This means that the symptoms revolve around your eyes and the way you perceive the world around you. The visual disturbances associated with ocular migraines are short-lived, lasting less than an hour.
Visual disturbances can include:
Shimmering or zigzag lines
Temporary blind spots
Momentary loss of vision in one eye
Triggers can include:
Exposure to bright lights, or even distinct patterns
Although ocular migraines are relatively benign, it’s essential to distinguish them from more serious conditions that can cause similar visual disruptions, such as retinal detachment.
Always seek prompt medical attention if you experience sudden visual changes.
When ensuring optimal health for your child, it is crucial to include eye exams as a routine component. As a parent, it may be unclear when to get your child tested and what to expect. Fear not! Here we outline all the information you must know.
Why should my baby’s eyes be checked?
Vision develops rapidly after birth. Any undetected vision problem can have a significant impact on infant and childhood development. The earlier a problem is detected and treated, the less likely it is that other areas of development will be affected. As your infant grows, they increasingly engage with their surroundings, requiring the use of their eyes to focus on objects near and far and to coordinate body movements.
When should I bring in my child?
An eye exam is recommended within the first 10-12 months of life. At this age they are able to sit on their own, fixate on objects, and follow light. If there are known cases of eye diseases within the family, such as glaucoma, strabismus (eye turns), or eye tumours, it may be in your best interest to bring your child in for an exam earlier. Routine eye exams can mitigate the progression and severity of potential eye conditions if caught early!
What to expect in an infant eye exam
If you’re concerned that your child may not be mature enough to communicate sufficiently, there is no need to worry! These exams are largely objective, meaning an optometrist needs to simply observe and measure your child’s eye response to various stimuli.
In a typical eye exam for infants, one can expect:
The infant will be sitting on the parent/guardian’s lap
Preferential Looking to test how well the infant can see
Looking and following different objects or lights
Lights shone into the infant’s eyes
What are the optometrists looking for during the eye exam?
Are they farsighted or nearsighted? How much?
Is there a large difference between the two eyes?
For example, your child may have large amounts of far-sightedness in one eye but none in the other
It is important to note, children are unlikely to complain about this phenomenon because they cannot tell the difference
Large prescription differences between both eyes may require an optometrist to put in eye drops to get a more accurate assessment
Eye turns can manifest at different stages of your child’s life, such as during infancy and commonly between the ages of 2-3 years old, where children are more engaged and aware of their surroundings
Assess the eye health
To check for infections, redness, in-turned lashes, tumour growths, cataracts, or glaucoma in the back of the eye
What to look for as a parent
It is important to observe your child’s eyes in order to determine any concerns worth bringing up.
Symptoms to look for and consult an eye doctor if observed
Excessive rubbing of eyes
In pictures, their eye reflexes look different
One is red one is white
Eye turns – either in or out
Clumsy – bumping into objects in their surroundings
Developmental delays can be a sign of vision issues
Have not been crawling at their expected age
What can parents do to help ensure their baby learns to see well?
Birth – 6 months:
Lots of tummy time
Follow faces up, down, sideways, closer, farther
Make noises to the side so baby turns toward them
Change position frequently so their view of the world changes
Let baby bounce on the bed with support for both hands to encourage balancing
Lots of toys to touch, grasp, listen to and find with eyes and ears
Hold and feed your infant from alternating sides to promote development of both eyes
6 – 12 months:
Lots of creeping and crawling time – do not rush your baby into walking
Creeping on all fours is very important for developing coordination of both the body and the eyes