October is Eye Health Month Iqaluit NU

Are you doing everything you can to protect your eyes? Because visiting an eye doctor can uncover any issues, it is important to make sure you have a yearly exam.

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October is Eye Health Month

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(NC)-Are you doing everything you can to protect your eyes? Chances are you aren't! A recent survey showed that Canadians consider their vision to be important but are failing to take care of their eyes with regular check-ups.

"Many Canadians will only visit an optometrist if they are already experiencing a vision problem but sometimes there are no symptoms or warnings," said Dr. Koltun, President of the Canadian Association of Optometrists. "Since there are more treatment and rehabilitation options than ever before, early detection is critical."

Real patient stories are being used during Eye Health Month in October to attest to the importance of preventive eye health examinations. These include:

• Lindsay, a 7 year old girl from New Brunswick, had an eye exam but only because her brother was scheduled for a visit. It turns out Lindsay, who passed a vision screening at school, was the one who needed glasses. Her reading went up four levels.

• Robert, a 20-year old grad student from PEI, went for a regular eye exam and ultimately discovered he had a 5 cm brain tumour.

• Michelle, a 33 year old from Toronto, had been complaining to her boyfriend of cloudy vision but everyone thought she was being dramatic. A regular eye exam diagnosed cataracts.

• Jodie, a 32 year old from Calgary, was tolerating obstructed peripheral vision for a few weeks before deciding to get her eyes checked. Her optometrist found a large portion of her retina detached and Jodie was subsequently scheduled for surgery the next day. She would have lost her vision in one eye had she not visited her optometrist.

• Deborah from Essex, Ontario found out that she had glaucoma at the age of 38. She had no symptoms or signs that the disease was present but with early detection, her eye condition is being treated and is under control.

• Richard, a 38 year old male from Ontario, went to update his prescription for his glasses before going on a 3-week cruise. His eye exam revealed he was on the verge of acute angle closure glaucoma. If he had gone on the cruise, he would have become permanently blind in one eye.

• Carole, a 35 year old from Mississauga, says that her vanity saved her. She wanted a pair of Chanel prescription sunglasses. During her visit to an optometrist, he recommended a dilated eye exam and it revealed a detached retina that needed to be treated immediately before permanent damage was done.

• Raymond, a 34 year old male truck driver in Ontario, was not examined at a young age to correct his amblyopia and now has LP vision in one eye. Raymond ensures his son gets preventative eye examinations, whether he is seeing well or not.

CAO recommends that Canadians have their eyes examined along the following minimum recommended guidelines:

• Infants and toddlers (birth to 24 months) - By age 6 months

• Preschool (2 to 5 years) - At age 3, and prior to entering elementary school

• School age (6 to 19 years) - Annually

• Adult (20 to 64 years) - Every one to two years

• Older adult (65 years and older) - Annually

For more information about eye health or to find an optometrist in your area visit www.opto.ca.

- News Canada