It has been estimated that at least 242 million people in the world suffer from some form of ocular disease or condition. Amazingly, up to 80% of these conditions can be treated and even cured. At Dr. Diane Shin & Associates in Streetsville, we would like to provide some information that some patients may find useful. For a professional consultation, please call Dr. Diane Shin & Associates for an appointment.
Who is Covered by OHIP?
*Note: many private insurance plans cover eye exams. Please check with your insurance provider.
Common Eye Conditions
Refractive Eye Disorders, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatisms are among the most common visual disorders treated in Canada. Below, you will find descriptions of these and other common eye conditions.
“Nearsightedness” or Myopia
The most common refractive error, myopia is the inability to clearly see objects at a distance. Myopia can cause difficulty reading road signs, night vision problems, squinting in the distance, and headaches.
“Farsightedness” or Hyperopia
Hyperopia is the inability to see close-up objects and in severe cases can cause objects in the distance to appear blurry. Hyperopia can cause headaches, reading difficulties, and eye strain.
Astigmatism is an eye condition that causes the cornea to be rounded like an American football. It can also accompany myopia and hyperopia. Astigmatism can cause distorted vision at all distances, as well as headaches, eye strain, and squinting.
Occurring naturally with age, presbyopia is the eyes’ loss of focusing ability, resulting in reading difficulty. Presbyopia often begins at the age of 40. Presbyopia can lead to headaches and having to hold reading material further away.
Amblyopia or “Lazy Eye”
Amblyopia is a vision development disorder that prevents the eye from achieving normal visual acuity. This disorder begins at infancy and can be caused by a “turned eye” (strabismus), cataracts, as well as one eye being affected by myopia or hyperopia. If a lazy eye is detected and treated early on, a reduction in vision can be avoided. If left untreated, it can cause severe visual disability in the affected eye. It is important for children to have their vision checked before the age of three.
Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelid that can lead to redness, tearing, conjunctivitis, styes, or chalazion.
A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s crystalline lens which lies behind the iris and pupil. This can result in blurred vision. Some causes of cataracts are age, diabetes, eye trauma, steroid use, and ultraviolet (UV) light exposure.
Known as the “silent thief of sight,” glaucoma usually causes a painless loss of peripheral vision. It is caused by an increase of eye pressure, which slowly damages the optic nerves, leading to blindness. Glaucoma can be controlled and vision loss can be slowed when detected early.
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 50. It is a degeneration of the maculae, which is part of the retina responsible for “sharp” vision. As the disease progresses, it will blur the person’s central vision. It is caused by a slow breakdown of photopigment and light-sensitive cells of the maculae, which can lead to loss of central vision. This is known as “wet” macular degeneration.
Posterior Vitreous Detachment
“Eye floaters” appear as tiny spots, “cobwebs”, specks, or “hairs” that appear to float aimlessly in your field of vision. This is a common condition, especially for those over the age of 65, and is a visual sign of the eye’s vitreous breaking loose within the retina.
If this phenomena is paired with flashes of light it is important to seek medical help as quickly as possible as it may be a sign of retinal detachment (see below).
Retinal detachment is the detachment of the retina, which can lead to sudden and permanent vision loss. Early symptoms may include the appearance of flashes of light or floaters. Retain detachment is an ocular emergency.