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For some people, just about everything can look slightly (or greatly) out of focus. Often, this is the result of astigmatism - slanting or skewing of all images. “Astigmatism” sounds scary - but really it is just a scary name for a normal variation in the shape of one’s eye(s). If the front surface of the eye is not completely 100% spherical, there is some amount of astigmatism. The less spherical the surface, the more the astigmatism, and the greater out of focus things will look. Someone can be nearsighted (myopic) plus have astigmatism - things will look more blurry in the distance and less blurry up close. Similarly, someone can be farsighted and have astigmatism - images in the distance will be less out of focus than images nearby.
Even mild amounts of astigmatism can be more bothersome when on digital devices for long periods of time, or driving at night or in poor conditions. This is because astigmatism creates more glare perception. Glasses and contacts lenses can help to reduce the discomfort, glare, eyestrain and blur associated with astigmatism. When was your last eye exam?
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Can't See Something Right In Front of You?!

Some people have great distance vision, but can’t see the words on a page right in front of them. This is called hyperopia, or farsightedness.
Images coming into a hyperopic eye are out of focus because the length of the eye is shorter than where light focuses clearly. When looking at something farther away, a mildly hyperopic eye can see the object clearly, but the closer they get to the object, the more blurry it becomes. If someone has a moderate to high amount of hyperopia, his/her distance vision will also be affected. This is corrected using plus-powered, convex lenses, that are thinnest at the edges and thickest in the middle, causing light to converge (or focus sooner). High plus powered lenses can be reminiscent of “coke-bottle” glasses, causing the wearer’s eyes to appear larger behind the glasses due to the magnification they cause.
Many hyperopes only require glasses (or contacts) for certain tasks, and some require their glasses most or all of the time; this depends on the strength of correction required, and one’s visual demands.
Do you get headaches, eyestrain, or eye pain when reading? You may have hyperopia. When was your last eye exam?
Learn more about hyperopia in our Education Centre - www.LookandSee.ca/education
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What Does That Sign Say?!

When someone is nearsighted (literally, not figuratively!), we call this being myopic. Why do some people have so much trouble seeing far away? They have long eyes!
No really, their eyes are longer than where light can focus in clearly. When light comes in to the eye, it narrows to a point of focus, and then starts to spread (or blur) again. If the eye is longer, the retina gets blurry information that it passes on to the brain. The closer something is, the less the blur on the retina. The farther something is, the more blurry it is. We correct for this by using lenses (in glasses or contacts), to create a domino effect of pushing that clear point of focus right onto the retina so images are seen clearly. The lenses used are concave shaped, causing light to diverge. The lenses are thinnest in the centre, and thickest at the edges. Diverging lenses cause things to look smaller, called minification - this is why someone very nearsighted will appear to have smaller eyes behind their glasses.
If you’re having trouble seeing things in the distance, you may have myopia. Some people have small amounts of myopia, and only need to wear correction for certain tasks. An eye exam is recommended at least once every 2 years - when was your last eye exam?
Learn more about myopia in our Education Centre - www.LookandSee.ca/education
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Air Travel & Contact Lenses
February 21, 2017
If you’re headed to the airport to catch a flight for a quick business trip, last minute getaway, or dream vacation, here are some tips to keep your eyes happy, healthy, and comfortable. First of all, as you’re packing, don’t forget to pack an extra (couple) pairs of lenses. Just. In. Case.
As the air pressure changes in the cabin, the air becomes excessively dry - ever notice how thirsty you can get on a plane? These changes in air pressure and moisture can cause your contacts to become dry and change the properties of the lens. The longer the flight, the more uncomfortable your contact lenses, and eyes, become. The best advice I can give you is to remove your lenses for flights longer than 2-3 hours, and wear your glasses instead.
Travel-size solution bottles (usually 2 oz.) are available for most lens solutions, making solution and a case an easy addition to your carry-on bag. Also, full-size bottles of solution are allowed in carry-on bags (as long as they are declared at security); contact lenses solution is considered a medically-necessary liquid. Remoisturizing drops for contact lenses are also available and can help keep you comfortable on shorter flights, but again, removing your contacts for the duration of your flight is best practice.
Once you’ve reached your destination, don’t forget your sunglasses! Safe and happy travels, and feel free to send us a postcard! :)
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WinterEyes
February 16, 2017
Do you wear your sunglasses in the winter? Did you know that freshly fallen snow can actually increase your eyes’ UV light exposure close to 200%?! We may not discuss or hear about sunscreen nearly as much in the winter months, especially since we wear longer layers and are less exposed. Our eyes however, are exposed every single day to ultraviolet light. This makes our sunglasses necessary year-round.
Photokeratitis or “snow blindness” is when prolonged or excess exposure to UV light causes temporary painful loss of vision. Think of it as a sunburn to the eyes. The best way to prevent this, and other long term effects of UV exposure, is to limit exposure and to wear sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection.
So don’t pack away your sunglasses with your shorts and flip flops - Sunglasses are a year-round accessory and a year-round necessity!
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What's In Your Blind Spot?!
April 12, 2017
No matter how aware you are of your surroundings, we all have blind spots. In our vision that is! The back of our eyes is lined with a 10-layer tissue called the retina. One of the layers is the Photoreceptor layer - literally cells that detect light. There is only one area in the back of the eye that does not have photoreceptors or retina; this is where your optic nerve is, the cord that collects all the information from the retina and takes that info to your brain for processing. Since there are no photoreceptors here, this creates a blind spot in each eye!
Want to find your blind spot? Centre your nose between the cross and circle in the image. Cover or close your right eye and look at the black dot. Move the image forwards and away from you until the cross disappears. This is your left blind spot! Now open your right eye and close your left eye, and look at the cross; the black dot should disappear. This is your right blind spot!
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