calgary optometry


Does UV light actually damage my eyes?
May 23, 2018
Ultra violet (UV) light comes directly from the sun, but it is also reflected from the ground, water, snow, sand and other bright surfaces.  While UV-A rays pass through the eye they impact on the health of the retina, UV-B rays are absorbed in the front half of the eye where they can cause damage.
UV light can cause and lead to such conditions as:
1. Macular degeneration- a degeneration of the central portion of the retina which can lead to blindness.
2. Cataracts- the clouding of the natural lens of the eye.  Exposure to UV-B rays can lead to earlier development.
3. Photo-keratitis- an inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva (white of the eye) like a sunburn.  Extreme exposure can lead to snow blindness, a painful but reversible condition.
4. Pterygiums- these start as small bumps or growths on the conjunctiva but can grow over the cornea and interfere with vision. 
5. Skin cancers-  certain skin cancers can develop with UV-B exposure on any portion of the face and eyelids.
Author Vision Source — Published May 29, 2014
What sunglass is best for me?
May 23, 2018
Do you want your sunglasses for the beach, deep water fishing, or just hanging outside with your friends?
There are many different sunglasses available to meet your unique needs. Overall sunglasses can be larger and make more of a statement than your regular frames. The frame may also be a wrap design if you need protection from reflections.
Lenses should always provide complete ultra-violet protection. The best sun-lenses are polaroid which cuts reflected light and glare- perfect for on water, the beach, or the ski slopes! Anti-reflective coatings are also important and can even be applied in a variety of colours in mirror finishes.
Most sunglasses are offered in either non-prescription and prescription lenses and can be customized to your preference.  Ask one of our friendly eyewear specialists what option is best for you.
How Can I Protect my Eyes from UV Light?
May 23, 2018
Blog Title:  How Can I Protect my Eyes from UV Light?
Know the dangers. UV rays can come from many directions. They radiate directly from the sun, but they are also reflected from the ground, from water, snow, sand and other bright surfaces.
Wear proper eye protection and hats to block the UV rays. To provide adequate protection for your eyes, sunglasses should:
• Block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation
• Screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light
• Be perfectly matched in color and free of distortion and imperfection
• Have lenses that are gray for proper color recognition
If you spend a lot of time outdoors in bright sunlight, wrap around frames can provide additional protection from the harmful solar radiation. Lastly, don’t forget about protection for your children and teenagers, as they typically spend more time in the sun than adults.
Author Vision Source — Published May 29, 2014
Ocular allergies; Do you know the symptoms?
April 9, 2018
When you say, "I have allergies," people expect you to sneeze or have eczema on your skin. But your nose isn’t the only part of your body that gets hit during an allergy attack. You can also have red, swollen, and itchy eyes.
The usual suspects -- pollen, dust mites, pet dander, feathers, and other indoor or outdoor allergens -- can set off eye allergy symptoms.  With spring in the air, we also have snow mold, tree pollens and cottonwood fluff, weeds, and flowers that can also affect your eyes.
Eye symptoms of allergies include:
• Itching
• Tearing
• Blurred vision
• Burning sensation
• Swollen eyelids
• Sensitivity to light
Eye allergies also known as allergic conjunctivitis is just like any other allergic reaction.  It is also caused by a misfiring of the immune system, the body's natural defense mechanism in response to an allergen like pollen. Cells in your eyes called mast cells release histamine and other chemicals that cause inflammation. The result: itching, redness, and watering eyes.
Know the enemy; watch out for those allergy triggers!
April 9, 2018
Ocular allergic reactions occur when the body encounters a trigger.  These triggers can be either inside or outside.  Seasonal allergies start in the spring and may continue until the first heavy frost in the fall.
Outdoor Triggers: 
If your eyes well up when you go outside during spring or summer, you may have seasonal allergic conjunctivitis. Grass, tree, and weed pollens are the worst offenders. When pollen counts are high, stay indoors, keep your windows closed, and run the air conditioner. Wear sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes.
If you love to garden or be outside, when you come inside, hit the shower also washing your hair and eye lashes and change your clothes.
Indoor Triggers:
Pet dander, dust mites, and molds top the list. They can cause symptoms all year long. If you have a pet, keep him out of your bedroom. Can't resist playing with Fluffy or Fido at a friend’s house? Wash your hands ASAP when you’re done. Change clothes as soon as you go home.
Action Plan; fight those ocular allergies!
April 9, 2018
Take a Hands-Off Approach
• It’s hard not to touch them, but it’ll only make things worse!
• Skip the eye makeup and apply cool compresses to your eyes. Wash your hands often.
• When pollen counts are high, stay indoors, keep your windows closed, and run the air conditioner.
• If you have a pet, keep him out of your bedroom.
• Clean floors with a damp mop. Don't sweep -- it stirs up allergens.
• Clean bathrooms, kitchens, and basements where mold lurks.
• Get a HEPA filter for your air conditioner, too. It can trap mold spores before they attack your eyes.
Other Ways to Reduce Symptoms:
• Wear sunglasses when you go outside. They'll block some of the pollen and other outdoor allergens from getting into your eyes.
• Rinse your eyes with water or apply a cold, wet washcloth.
• Use artificial tears to moisten dry eyes and wash out allergens.
• Take out your contact lenses and wear your glasses.
There are many medications, both oral and in drop form to help you control your allergies.  Speak to Dr. Penny about your best options.
Eat for your Eyes: The best green smoothie
April 9, 2018
Eat for your Eyes is a carefully curated collection of recipes that are delicious and good for your vision and eye health. Certain foods contain lots of goodness to help keep your eyes healthy, such as beta carotene and vitamin A. The team at Mayfair Eye Care encourages you to be your best and eat healthy to ensure good vision for your best life!
The best green smoothie tastes amazing and contains a super healthy ingredient, kale, which is packed with good stuff for your eyes
Recipe: The Best Green Smoothie
The best basic, smooth, creamy green smoothie. So easy – just blend peaches, mango, kale, almond milk, and ginger. Honey or cinnamon if you want, too! ♡
• 1 cup frozen mango chunks
• 1/2 cup frozen peach slices
• a handful of kale (stems removed)
• 1-2 cups almond milk
• 1/2-inch slice of fresh ginger
• sprinkle of cinnamon
• honey to taste
Blend until smooth!
Recipe is thanks to Pinch of Yum:
What is vision therapy?
March 20, 2018
Vision therapy or eye training develops, improves, and enhances a person’s visual performance. Our programs are:
• Customized to your specific visual problem
• Personalized to your unique situation and responses
• Realistic in the life / vision therapy time balance
• Developed, supervised, and given by an experienced doctor and vision therapists who have over 60 years collective experience
Working together we also provide applications of these new skills into academics, sports and work.
Most of our office sessions are every three weeks, and use:
• Therapeutic lenses, prisms and filters
• Tracking exercises
• Specialized optical equipment to develop binocular vision and focusing skills
• Perceptual activities to develop visual memory, letter and number reversals, eye hand coordination and visual spatial skills.
We provide on-going assessment and re-evaluation throughout your therapy program, and when your program is complete we will provide you with a maintenance program, so you can monitor your vision over time.
Tracking difficulties
March 20, 2018
Losing your place or skipping words when reading?
Eye movements require the highest level of movement precision in the human body.   This skill allows rapid and accurate shifting of the eyes along a line of print in a book, quick and accurate shifts from one point to another, and ability to follow a ball in sports.
Signs of inadequate eye movement control include:
· using the finger to help the eyes maintain fixation during reading
· loss of place when reading or copying from the chalkboard
· skipping words or re-reading
· repeatedly omitting small words
· words reversals such as “on” / “no”, also “was” / “saw”. 
Remediation of tracking difficulties is the most frequent area helped within our vision therapy programs.  With dedication and diligence in your home program, you can correct tracking difficulties in a relatively short period of time.
Importance of eye exams for kids
March 20, 2018
“I am sure my child sees clearly, so why do I need to have their eyes checked?”
Just as a child grows very quickly, the eyes can also change.  Once a child is in school, they should be having annual examinations, and more frequently if their eyes are changing or if they are having difficulties in school with learning.  Children are often unaware they have a vision issue as they believe what they are seeing is normal.
Did you know:
• 80% of learning is visual for a child.
• 1 in 4 school-aged children have visual problems
•Children with visual problems are often misdiagnosed as having a learning or behavioral disability
The earlier an eye health or visual problem is identified, the more likely it can be corrected.  Conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (crossed or wandering eyes) are best treated when a child is young, as a child may see clearly out of one eye, but not out of the other.
If your child is not seeing properly and comfortably, it can impact on their ability to learn.
Source: aao pamphlet
Are you at risk from Ultraviolet light?
February 21, 2018

Adults and even children who work or play in the sun for extended periods of time are at the greatest risk.  The risk of sun-related eye problems is even higher for the following people! Ask yourself:

  • Have you had cataract and refractive surgery?
  • Do you or your family have retinal degeneration including macular degeneration?
  • Are you on certain medicines, such as tetracycline, sulfa drugs, birth control pills, diuretics and tranquilizers (that increase the eye’s sensitivity to light)?
  • Are you a welder, medical technologist or do you work in the graphic arts or in the manufacturing of electronic circuit boards?

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, talk to Dr. Penny or one of our eyewear specialists to help you select the best option for you to protect your eyes!

Posted In Eye Health Awareness


How can I improve my child’s eyesight?
February 21, 2018
Parents often ask “How can I improve my child’s eyesight?”  Good vision habits are a great starting point to ensure proper use of the eyes by keeping your focusing relaxed, and the two of them working well together.  Here are some simple, but effective tips!
  • Practice the 20:20:20 Rule. Every 20 minutes, look greater than 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
  • Your ideal reading and desk work distance should be from the centre of the middle knuckle to the centre of the elbow, measured on the outside of the arm. This distance is unique to every person. 
  • When studying, place a book mark three or four pages ahead. Get up and move around for at least one minute each time you reach the book mark. 
  • When reading, occasionally look off at a specific distant object and let its details come into focus. Maintain awareness of other objects and details surrounding them. Do this at least at the end of each page. 
  • Sit UPRIGHT. Practice holding your back arched while you read and write. Avoid reading while lying on your stomach on the floor. Avoid reading in bed, unless reasonably upright.
  • Provide for adequate general lighting as well as good central lighting at the near task. The lighting on the task should be about three times that of the surrounding background.
Loving your eyes: what vitamins do I need to maintain good eyesight?
February 21, 2018
With normal aging, the eyes become more susceptible to damage caused by an unhealthy lifestyle and overactive immune system. This results in the body becoming flooded with defense cells and hormones that damage parts of the eyes including the retina. While certain conditions, such as macular degeneration is also hereditary, a proactive lifestyle including diet, exercise, sun protection, and vitamin supplements is also mandatory. 
The top eye vitamins are lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, vitamin A and omega-3. They help stop free radical damage; preventing macular degeneration; reduce glaucoma, eye fatigue, flare and light sensitivity; and strengthen tissues in the eyes and elsewhere in the body.
Some of the best foods that provide eye vitamins include the brightly coloured fruits and vegetables such as carrots, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, green beans, whole eggs, berries, papaya, mango, kiwi, melon, guava, red bell peppers, peas, nuts, seeds, wild-caught seafood, grass-fed meat and pasture-raised poultry.
Talk to Dr. Penny to see which supplement is best for you to add into your daily routine.