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What to focus on in the new year?

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What to focus on in the new year?

 Happy New Year!

What are you investing in this year? Better health or more specifically, better vision protection?

As our eyes are two of the organs in your body that you use from the minute you wake up to going to sleep, how much time and resource do you spend on checking it and maintaining it in a year?

I am often surprised by the number of people that haven’t check their eyes yearly when they wear contact lenses, or the number of people that haven’t check their retinal health while they have family members that have diabetes. There are also those whose family members have stroke or glaucoma, but avoided to check themselves routinely to prevent it from happening to them. 

In Asian, most people gave up on contact lens early (late 20s) due to improper care and education. We are slightly better than Asia in checking for proper contact lens fit and going for continued education for contact lenses and monitoring for changes in the eye, with respect to increased hormonal change, tear evaporation, changes in base curve (eye size change), and update patients on the newest contact lens technology. People know that it’s a foreign device that is rubbing on the eyes daily, but it’s still not common for many to check their contact lens fit yearly. There is so much more could be done to create the environment for the eyes to continue to wear contact wear past the age of 30yo, or even 40yo. (Asia’s contact lens Market, 2018)

Diabetes is often delayed in diagnosis in adults, as there is no pain or early symptoms. The retina has the blood vessels that also connects to our heart, brain and legs. When I can see and show bleeding in the back of someone’s eyes, I can help motivate that individual to choose a more healthier lifestyle to minimize that bleeding in their eyes and other parts of the body, including the toes and legs. This can avoid amputation in the long run, and keep those with early diabetes from having to do surgery to survive in life. It’s more than treating the sick, but to prevent vision loss, keep them mobile,and better their daily function. 

When someone in the family has a stroke, it’s not happening just by old age. It’s from the clogging of the blood vessels from all those years. In identifying which blood vessels in the retina are at risk, I can help empower that individual to prevent the blood clog from happening at that site. It can be done lifestyle change, which is easier said than done. 

Similarly, glaucoma can be controlled if found early. Glaucoma is a vision loss at the peripheral. In late stages, vision is gone at the side, there is regaining it. In early stage, the process can be slowed, so there would still be enough function to help them stay mobile before they retire. Can it be done by sitting at home and just watching doctors shows, and googling on Reddit? Not so much. It starts with the routine eye exam. Glaucoma can happen at any age. If there is someone in your family that has it, check yourself yearly. Otherwise, check at least once in two years. I know someone who is at a suspect for glaucoma, she’s looking into checking monthly in the first year for risk progression. It’s probably more reasonable to check every three months with OCT (CT for the eyes)  and a visual field test if one is at risk. 

While people spend $40 a month on coffee, they are spending $2.00 a day on coffee.
While those that drive spend $175 a month on gas, they are are spending $5.83 a day for gas.
While you spend $1000 two year on a pair of glasses, you are spending only $1.40 a day on eye care. 
And if you don’t need glasses, only eye exams, the fees per day are a lot lower. They eyes are worth the investment to protect. 

Hope you feel great about empowering yourself by protecting your vision and health this year!

Dr. Yan Ling Liang 
Markham Optometrist

Contact Warden Optometry
 to book your appointment today.
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