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Off Highway 50 – Down from Water Depot

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COVID-19 Office Updates

Our office is open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm

Please call us if you need contact lenses or check our NEW ONLINE STORE – free shipping

Virtual Vision Therapy is available – contact us.  

Visiting Your Optometrist During COVID-19

Is your eye doctor’s appointment coming up? Are you worried about going to the eye clinic during the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic? Rest assured, keeping our patients and staff are safe is our top priority. 

You may have heard that our office is closed for all routine eye care.  We remain open for urgent problems so please call us if you have concerns.  We anticipate that this outbreak will continue for a while, and do not want our patients to neglect their eye care needs during this critical time. Our optometric clinic is prudent and has adopted specific measures to protect our patients and staff from potential exposure to COVID-19 during this time of uncertainty. 

The guidelines for slowing the spread of this epidemic are rapidly changing. Please pay close to attention to local regulatory changes to get the most up-to-date information on whether practices continue to remain closed/ accept only emergency cases. 

Here Are the Precautions Our Eye Clinic Is Taking to Limit COVID-19: 

We employ a strict office policy that mandates that all eye doctors, opticians, office staff, and patients not enter if they are feeling unwell or have a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, or have been exposed to a known case of COVID-19 or traveled outside of the country within the last 14 days.

The staff may ask you to wait outside rather than in the waiting area in order to protect yourself and others from any circulating germs. Furthermore, we are trying to schedule our appointments in such a way that our waiting room remains as empty as possible.

During your eye exam: 

  • The eye doctor may use a special plastic barrier called a slit-lamp breath shield to block the exchange of breath between patient and doctor. 
  • The optometrist may wear a mask with a plastic shield over the eyes. 
  • The practitioner will wait for your slit-lamp eye exam to be over before speaking with you or answering any questions you may have. 
  • We sanitize all equipment and patient contact surfaces after every use and at the end of the day. 
  • We sanitize all surfaces and equipment (front desk counters, telephones, pens, door handles, waiting room chairs) with antibacterial wipes. 
  • All staff members wash their hands after contact with each patient and throughout the day.
  • Our office is equipped with several sanitizing stations.
  • We request that patients sanitize their hands prior to and after trying on frames. We also make sure to clean frames that have come into contact with patients with soap and hot water.
  • If we don’t shake hands with our patients during this time, please don’t take it personally.

Please call Bolton Optometry Clinic at 844-402-3443 with any questions or concerns you may have. If you feel it’s best for you or a member of your family to reschedule your appointment, we encourage you to do so.

To stay abreast of the coronavirus pandemic, please visit the following official health organizations:

  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) at www.CDC.gov
  • World Health Organization (WHO) at www.WHO.int 
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation at www.CBC.ca/news

Thank you and stay safe!  

Can Pediatric Vision Therapy Help Your Child Perform Better in School?

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Learn How to Spot the Signs of a Learning-Related Vision Problem

Many parents are unaware of the powerful link between vision and learning – and how an eye problem can get in the way of academic success. In addition, many parents think that if their kids are not complaining, then their eyesight must be crystal-clear. Sadly, this is not the case! Even when children can’t see the classroom board or letters seem to jump around on the pages of a book, many kids don’t say a word. They simply adapt to what they see.

To complicate matters even further, even if your young student passes a school vision test with top grades, it still doesn’t rule out the presence of a vision disorder. So, how can you identify the symptoms of a learning-related vision condition? And what is there to do about it?

How to Diagnose a Learning-related Vision Problem

The only reliable way to diagnose certain vision problems is by bringing your child for a comprehensive pediatric eye exam. Our Bolton, ON, eye doctor will evaluate much more than a school vision screening that utilizes a basic eye chart. We will check visual skills such as tracking, eye mobility, eye teaming, and accommodation (focusing). Problems with these parts of vision can affect learning, because your child needs full functional vision to:

  • Follow the lines on a page and keep one’s place
  • Read a book without getting eye fatigue or a headache
  • Switch focus smoothly back and forth between a classroom board to a book
  • See single images, as opposed to double
  • See clearly from morning until bedtime, all day long

If we identify a problem, our Bolton, ON, eye doctor will recommend the most helpful pediatric vision therapy as treatment.

Warning Signs for Parents

The following behaviors may indicate that it is time to locate a vision therapy doctor near me:

  • Eye rubbing
  • Squinting
  • Closing or covering one eye
  • One eye turning in or out
  • Excessive blinking
  • Dizziness, headaches, or nausea after reading
  • Head tilting
  • Blurry or double vision

Vision-related Learning Problems vs. Learning Disabilities

Our Bolton eye doctor cautions parents against confusing a vision-related learning problem with a learning disability. Many of the signs (such as trouble copying from the classroom board, reversals of letters or words, poor handwriting, and weak reading comprehension) appear the same on the surface, yet the cause of the problem is very different.

An authentic learning disability stems from a problem in the brain, and no amount of pediatric vision therapy will help correct it. In contrast, a vision-related learning problem can be resolved effectively by prescription eyewear and/or sessions with a vision therapy doctor near you.

If your child is struggling in school – either academically or behaviorally, we encourage you to contact our Bolton eye care office to schedule a thorough pediatric eye exam. That’s the only way to figure out whether an eye problem is at the root of your child’s learning or behavior problem.

All About Vision Therapy Doctors Near Me

If we recommend vision therapy for your child, the first step will be an assessment of your child’s condition in order to custom-design the most helpful eye exercises. Our pediatric vision therapist will teach your child a series of exercises to strengthen ocular muscles and bolster the eye-brain connection. Generally, vision therapy sessions will be scheduled once a week for a few months, and homework will be also be assigned. Our experienced vision therapist will use a variety of specialized instruments, such as wands, prisms, swinging balls, and computer programs. Improvement is usually seen after only a few months of treatment, as long as your child remains committed to doing his or her eye homework too!

Book a Vision Therapy Consult

Vision And Dyslexia

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Many people are under the impression that dyslexia is an issue with the person’s visual system. The truth is that Dyslexia is a difficulty processing language, having nothing to do with vision.

According to the International Dyslexia Association: “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.” (https://dyslexiaida.org/definition-of-dyslexia/)

However, while dyslexia is not caused by a vision problem, the symptoms are very similar. Like a person with dyslexia, a person with a developmental vision issue share common symptoms such as:

  • Spelling
  • Slow reading
  • Problems with comprehension
  • Difficulty focusing on text or close objects for long times
  • Seeing double
  • Skipping lines

Because of the overlap of symptoms, many people who think they have dyslexia actually have a vision problem that can be fixed with therapy. A developmental optometrist can assess your vision with a focus on aspects of vision that are not always focused on at an annual eye exam. If there is a visual process that requires therapy, our optometrist will discuss the options.

6 Habits That Cause Dry Eyes

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Our Dry Eye Specialists Explain Causes of Dry Eyes

Are you always rubbing your eyes or blinking constantly to spread more moisture across the surface? Dry eyes can be extremely irritating, even painful for some people. Inadequate lubrication may cause sore eyes, redness, an inability to wear contact lenses and overall uncomfortable vision. At our eye care clinic, our experienced, expert eye doctors will perform a thorough eye exam to diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome.

As every patient is unique, our eye exam will include questions about your personal lifestyle in order to identify what’s causing your dry eyes. Finding the cause is the best way to find an effective solution!

Depending upon the results of your eye exam, we’ll recommend a number of lifestyle changes to help alleviate the annoying symptoms caused by your dry eyes. We asked our Bolton Dry Eye Specialists and they’ve offered 6 possible culprits for Dry Eye Syndrome:

1. Extreme Weather Conditions

Whether it’s summer or winter, extreme weather can stress your eyes so that they can’t produce enough tears to keep your eyes lubricated well. In the winter, it’s helpful to wear goggles or glasses to protect your eyes from frigid temperatures and wind. This is particularly beneficial when you hit the ski slopes or lace up your ice skates. In the summer, heat can lead to dehydration, which saps the moisture from your eyes too. The best way to avoid this problem and stay comfortable is simply to drink enough!

2. A/C or Indoor Heating

Air-conditioning, fans and indoor heating are directly linked with drying out your eyes. Blowing air evaporates moisture from your eyes more quickly, and it also dries out the atmosphere inside your home or office. A humidifier is a worthwhile investment to solve this problem. In the winter, a humidifier will give you an extra bonus of keeping your sinuses moist too, which helps to relieve the symptoms of your winter cold.

3. Seasonal Allergies

Recent studies have shown a strong link between spring allergens and dry eyes. When pollen counts are highest. an increased number of patients visit our eye doctors with complaints of dry eye symptoms. During allergy season, using an air filter indoors may be the most efficient way to avoid the effects of pollen on your eyes.

4. Skin Conditions

Specific skin conditions and disorders are associated with dry eyes. Blepharitis, which refers to an inflammation of the skin along the edge of your eyelids, often leads to Dry Eye Syndrome, because the oil-producing glands are often clogged. This ruins your eyes’ ability to produce tears with a healthy composition of oil. Rosacea, an inflammatory skin condition that generally appears on the face, may also block the oil-producing glands of your eyes.

5. Environmental Effects of the Great Outdoors

While fresh, outdoor air is generally healthy for your eyes, skin and lungs, too much exposure to smoke, wind, dust, and extreme temperatures can certainly lead to eye dehydration. Global climate change has been blamed for many of these ill effects, as your tear film depends upon natural humidity to stay moist. Yet as our environments have changed (and continue to change), the amount of hydration that your eyes can obtain from the outdoor environment has been reduced. Air pollution is also detrimental to healthy eyes, damaging and drying out your tear film.

6. Low-Tear Production

Our eye doctors diagnose many cases of dry eyes that are due to a reduced tear production. Officially termed keratoconjunctivitis sicca, a decreased manufacture of tears can result from a variety of causes. To stimulate tear production, it may be helpful to up your intake of omega-3 fish oil.

Aging is a common reason for inadequate tear production, as well as certain medical disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, diabetes, thyroid conditions, scleroderma, vitamin A deficiency and Sjorgen’s syndrome. If you’ve undergone radiation treatments, your tear glands may have suffered damage. Laser eye surgery is another potential culprit, however symptoms of dry eyes due to these procedures are generally short-lived.

When your eyes are unable to keep up with healthy tear production, it’s a good idea to take a look at any medications you’re taking. Common household drugs, such as decongestants and antihistamines are known to affect the moisture level of your eyes. Other medications that could cause dry eyes include: antidepressants, hormone replacement therapy, acne drugs, medication for Parkinson’s disease, hypertension treatment and birth control.

How Do I Treat My Dry Eyes?

 

Dry Eyes

Sometimes a person is unable to produce enough tears or their tears do not possess the right qualities to keep eyes healthy and comfortable. This can cause a consistent lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye, known as dry eyes.

Normally, the eye constantly lubricates itself with tears by producing them at a slow and steady rate, keeping itself moist and comfortable. Usually these tears consist of three layers, an oily, a watery, and a mucus layer. Each layer has a specific role in lubricating your eyes. The oily layer is outermost. It’s main purpose is to slow evaporation of the tear. The watery layer is in the middle. This makes up the majority of what a person normally thinks of as tears. This layer cleans the eye and helps to wash away small foreign objects and particles. The inner layer consists of mucus. This mucus allows the watery layer to stick to the eye and spread evenly over the eye in order to keep it lubricated. In a person with dry eyes, either hormonal changes, side effects from medication or some other factor causes the eye to either not produce enough tears, or leave out parts of the tear that make proper lubrication possible.

If your home or office has air conditioning or a dry heating system, that too can dry out your eyes. Another cause is insufficient blinking, such as when you’re staring at a computer screen all day.

Symptoms of dry eyes include stinging or burning in the eyes, scratchiness, and excessive irritation from smoke or wind. Although it may sound counter-intuitive, the eyes’ response to the consistent irritation caused by dry eyes may also cause a person to experience excessive tearing. In this case, the eye is attempting to flush and lubricate itself by producing more tears, but is unable to do so successfully due to the rate of evaporation or inability to spread the tears properly.

Although dry eyes are not always curable, your optometrist may prescribe artificial tears to help with some of the symptoms. Artificial tears are lubricating eye drops that may help with dry, scratchy feeling eyes. Different artificial tears work in different ways. Some help replenish parts of the tear that your eyes are not producing on its own, others help to produce more tears overall. Your eye doctor will assist you to choose which will help you most. These artificial tears should not be confused with eye drops that are advertised to ‘get the red out.’ These eye drops may indeed reduce the appearance of redness in your eyes, but this is accomplished by making the blood vessels in your eyes smaller rather than actually lubricating your eyes. As such, these drops can sometimes actually make your symptoms worse. One should also be aware that if you wear contacts, some eye drops require you to take them out before using the drops and wait 15 minutes or more before reinserting your contact lenses.

Some cases of dry eyes are seasonal, such as those which occur as a result of cold, dry winter air. In this case, your eye doctor may recommend wearing sunglasses or goggles when outdoors to reduce your eyes’ exposure to the sun, wind and dust. For indoors, your optometrist may recommend an air cleaner and humidifier to take dust out of the air and add moisture to air which is too dry.

Studies have also shown that nutrition may have a part in helping to relieve some symptoms of dry eyes. Your eye doctor may recommend nutritional supplements such as omega-3. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are cold-water fish, cod, herring and salmon, as well as flaxseed oil. Mild dehydration can make symptoms worse too, so be sure to drink plenty of water, 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices and milk.

For more information be sure to make an appointment with your eye doctor today.

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Learning Disability or Vision Issues?

Your child's education is very important. His/her success or failure in this most important part of life will effect him/her from childhood into adulthood. If your child is falling behind, it is important to understand the proper way to help. Many parents who see their child trying their best and failing, time and again, will assume that their child has a learning or other related disability such as ADHD, and doctors will often misdiagnose based on the presenting symptoms. However, it may be important for your child's success for you to know that the issue may not be related to a learning disorder, but rather may be an undiagnosed visual problem.
 
One visual difficulty that your child may be having is convergence insufficiency. Our eyes are designed to work in tandem, but each one functions independently. When a person looks at an object, each eye records an image independently, and the two images are interpreted in the brain into a single, unified image. This process is called binocular fusion. With convergence insufficiency, the eyes do not aim at the exact same spot when looking up close, making binocular fusion impossible. This can cause your child to see words on a page with double vision and/or cause the words to look as though they are moving across the page. The resulting difficulty in learning and reading can lead to a misdiagnosis that your child has a learning disability or dyslexia. Furthermore, the resulting difficulty can cause the child to have problems maintaining attention on a task, leading the child to be misdiagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD).
 
Your child may also be having difficulty with vision tracking. This is the ability of the eye to control the fine eye movements necessary to successfully move across a page of text. Proper control of fine eye movements allows one to avoid overshooting or undershooting the next word or words on a page, and allows one to stay on the same line of text until it's finished. “The child's inability to control these finer eye movements at close range causes the child to lose his/her place easily, skip or transpose words, and have difficulty comprehending what was read. These are all symptoms which are also commonly associated with dyslexia, and could lead to a misdiagnosis.
 
Children should have routine comprehensive eye exams to detect if any problems such as tracking difficulties or convergence insufficiency are present. This is important to catch any problems before your child begins to fall behind, and will avoid misdiagnoses that could adversely effect your child's learning for years to come.
 
For more information, contact your eye doctor today.

Back to School

The new school year is coming up fast, and parents and students are getting ready to embark on new adventures and experiences. But this is also a reminder to parents that good eyesight is possibly the most important school supply your child may not have. A good education for children doesn't just mean good schools, good teachers and good friends. Good vision is just as important. Your child’s eyes are his/her gateway into the world of learning. When your child’s vision is not functioning properly, learning and participation in recreational activities will suffer. Children are not likely to recognize vision problems or report them, and it is therefore the responsibility of parents and teachers to recognize signs of visual problems in their children.

There is a basic set of vision skills that are needed for school. The first is near vision. This is the ability to see clearly at a distance of about 10-13 inches. This is obviously important for reading, writing and close work at your child’s desk. Distance vision, the ability to see clearly and comfortably beyond arm’s reach, is also important in order to see the board in the classroom, and Binocular coordination, or the ability to use both eyes together, is important for extra-curricular activities. Both are vision skills needed to be successful in school. Additionally, focusing skills, peripheral awareness and eye-hand coordination are also important. As a parent, it is your job to be alert for symptoms that may indicate your child has a vision or visual processing problem. A few examples of common conditions that may effect your child's ability to learn are below:

If your child gets headaches while trying to read or do other close work, exhibits a short attention span during visual tasks, and/or has to use a finger to guide reading, it is possible your child may have a condition called convergence insufficiency. This is a condition in which the eyes have a hard time converging on a certain point close up. This may also cause the words to “jump” or “blur” when your child attempts to read.

You may also find that your child's eyes do not seem to move together, that the eyes do not face the same direction, and/or that your child tilts his/her head or squints in order to see better. This could indicate a condition called Strabismus. This results from muscles in one or both eyes being misaligned or underdeveloped. This can cause severe difficulty for your child, and may cause more significant problems, including loss of depth perception, if not treated promptly. Other symptoms to look out for that may signal vision related problems are difficulty remembering or identifying shapes, difficulty remembering what was read, excessive blinking or rubbing of his/her eyes, or placing his/her head very close to the book or desk when reading or writing.

Because changes in your child’s vision can occur without you or your child noticing them, your child should visit the eye doctor every year or more frequently if specific problems or risk factors exist. Remember, school vision or pediatrician’s screenings are good, but they are not a substitute for a thorough eye exam.

To learn more, contact your eye doctor today.

Eye See…Eye Learn!

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We are pleased to advise that Bolton Optometry be participating in the EYE SEE EYE LEARN Program, which entitles any child born in 2010 and registered for Junior Kindergarten this Fall to obtain an eye exam and one FREE pair of glasses if required.

To find out if your child is eligible, and to learn more about this exciting new program, visit www.eyeseeeyelearn.ca.

We can't wait to start providing FREE glasses to children that need them for clear vision and maximum learning in the classroom!

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For more information and up-to-date COVID-19 Procedures and Protocols, please click HERE.