We are pleased to announce that our affiliated disease management and dry eye practice, Vision Support and Dry Eye Centre, Doctors of Optometry, previously located in Rutland, is now operating from our Glenmore location. We are pleased to provide continuing quality disease management and dry eye treatment and care to current patients and to new patients under the Glenmore Optometry name. Visit Visionsupportcentre.ca for more detailed information on our disease management and dry eye treatment.
The health and safety of our patients, doctors and staff is our top priority. We have implemented some changes to the way we practice to help protect you and provide a safe environment for everyone. Your next appointment will be a little different to what you have seen before but you will be given the same high-quality care that you have come to know us for.
Some of the changes you will see:
- You will be asked a series of questions about your health and travel prior to attending your appointment.
- We will obtain your personal information over the telephone prior to your appointment.
- When you arrive for your appointment you will be asked to wait outside until called in when we are ready for you.
- On entry you will be provided with a face mask and asked to sanitize your hands.
- We have installed plexi-glass shields at our front desk and dispensing table.
- We have installed plastic breath shields in front of examination room equipment.
- Our doctors and technical staff will be wearing face masks and face shields when close contact is required.
- Gloves will be worn and disposed of after each patient.
- We will reduce patient numbers to allow a limited number of people in the office at one time.
- All equipment and surfaces will be thoroughly disinfected between patients.
- Our practice will be cleaned daily and undergo additional deep cleaning regularly.
- All frames touched by a patient will be disinfected before being placed back on the board. We will not allow browsing of our frames without being accompanied by a staff member.
Please help us to keep everyone safe
- Please call and reschedule your appointment if you are feeling unwell, have a fever, cough, sore throat or any other symptoms of illness. You will not be charged for any late cancellation.
- Please call and reschedule your appointment if you or any member of your household has travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days.
- Please call and reschedule your appointment if you or any member of your household has, within the last 14 days, had contact with any person known to have Covid-19.
- Please come in to your appointment alone (unless accompanying a young child to their visit). Any person who accompanies you to your appointment must wait outside or in your car. If you have a carer who you need to attend with you, please let us know.
- Please leave all belongings you do not need in the car or at home including your cell phone. Please do not place personal items on counters or other surfaces in the clinic.
- Please keep your conversation with doctors and staff limited to details relevant to your exam.
- Please bring a debit or credit card for payment.
If you have any concerns about your appointment, please let us know. If you would prefer a telephone or video consultation, we are pleased to continue to offer this service.
Thank you and welcome back!
We had so much fun at our Glenmore Family Fun Day sharing with our patients the latest in eyewear, advancements in eye care, and the importance of scheduling annual eye exams! Thank you to everyone who stopped by.
A Way to Uncover Macular Degeneration in Your Future
Some risk factors for macular degeneration can be controlled, such as losing weight and smoking. However, your genetics – one of the strongest risk factors – cannot be changed. At this point you may be wondering what’s the benefit in knowing your genetics if you can’t alter them? Basically, once you are armed with the knowledge of a genetic predisposition for macular degeneration, you can seek aggressive and personalized treatment as early as possible.
Interested in finding out your eye health risks for macular degeneration? Our eye doctor at Glenmore Optometry, serving Kelowna, BC, will answer your questions and help determine if the macula risk test is for you.
How Does Genetic Testing Work?
You have DNA in every cell of your body, and DNA consists of pairs of chromosomes that determine your body’s characteristics. Altogether, these chromosomal clusters make up your genes. In addition to dictating your features (eye and hair color, etc…), genes also send messages to form molecules that allow your body to function efficiently and protect itself against disease. Yet, these genes don’t always work perfectly.
In 2005, a number of scientific studies discovered the particular gene that sends information to either protect the retina against inflammation and damage, or increase its susceptibility to macular degeneration. When this gene is defective, it causes unintended injury to retinal tissues. According to this scientific research, people who have this genetic variant are two to four times more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Later research studies isolated even more variants on the gene, and found that some genes can lead to as much as 40 times the risk of developing AMD!
How Can the Macula Risk Test Help?
The Macula Risk Test cannot predict the future. It cannot tell you with 100% certainty if you will develop AMD. Instead, it assesses your genetic risk in comparison with the general public. If you find out that you are at an increased risk of macular degeneration, you will know to visit your eye doctor more regularly for comprehensive eye exams and close monitoring. That way, intervention and treatment can begin from the moment a change in your retinal health is detected. And the earlier that macular degeneration is diagnosed and treated, the more successful the treatment is at preventing vision loss.
Connection Between AREDS Vitamins and Macula Risk Results
In March 2016, the Macular Degeneration Association released an urgent warning to anyone with intermediate dry age-related macular degeneration. This warning advised people to discuss their Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) vitamins immediately with their eye doctor. The reason for the urgency is because studies revealed that some AREDS vitamin formulas with zinc may actually be harmful for AMD patients with a particular genetic profile. Some people with this genetic profile experienced a significant deterioration of their macular degeneration, when taking AREDS with zinc. These findings give new meaning to the Macula Risk Test, because eye doctors can now use a patient’s genetic profile to figure out the best eye supplement formulations that they should take for AMD.
How is the Macula Risk Test Done?
Within the comfort of our Kelowna eye care center, our eye doctor will swipe a cotton swab on the inside of your cheek. This swab is then sent for DNA testing in a specialized genetics lab.
Should You Be Tested?
Macula Risk provides important information about a person’s risk of developing AMD, as well as how a patient with AMD will progress. Macular degeneration advances differently between individuals, and not everyone with AMD ends up with severe vision loss. In addition to genetics, other risk factors that contribute to the disease are gender, age, sun exposure, diet, and smoking. Given all of this information, your eye doctor is best suited to make the decision about how you would benefit from Macula Risk.
Kelowna patients are invited to make an informed decision by visiting one of our Optometrists, at Glenmore Optometry, to discuss their potential benefits from Macula Risk testing.
LASIK is a modern surgical way to reduce or eliminate your need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. During this refractive laser surgery, your eye surgeon will use the cool light of an excimer laser to change the shape of your cornea, thereby correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. This advanced procedure generally produces outstanding results. Many of our Kelowna, BC, patients enjoy clear and comfortable vision after LASIK!
What is LASIK Co-Management?
Co-management is a service that our eye doctor provides before and after your LASIK surgery. We will partner with your eye surgeon to ensure that you receive comprehensive instructions and expert eye care. In our Kelowna optometry office, LASIK co-management consists of the following parts:
- Consultation: We will explain the surgery to too, with a discussion of the benefits and risks. You are encouraged to ask questions, and our eye doctor will answer them as best as possible. We will also perform an eye exam to check your candidacy for LASIK, evaluating corneal curvature and thickness, vision prescription, tear film, and eyelid structure. If the results indicate your eyes are appropriate for LASIK, we will refer you to a leading eye surgeon in the area.
- Pre-operative eye care: Our optometrist will help you to arrange your surgery with an experienced eye surgeon, and we will handle your preoperative check-up. When we meet, you will also receive clear instructions for the day of your surgery, information about what to expect, and guidance about the healing process.
- Post-operative eye care: Usually, you will visit your Kelowna optometrist on the day after LASIK to confirm that your eyes are healing well. Afterwards, you will need to return for regular check-ups throughout the following weeks and months.
What are the Main Advantages of LASIK Co-Management?
- Personalized, compassionate eye care from an experienced eye doctor who knows you
- Convenience and comfort– all your appointments are in our pleasant local clinic (no need to travel far!), and not in an impersonal hospital setting
- Comprehensive explanations – your optometrist will take the time to address all of your concerns, provide detailed instructions, and reassure you, whereas many eye surgeons do not have the time to do this
- Accessible and affordable care after LASIK – we are open six days a week, from morning until evening. So if you have any problems, you can contact us to receive immediate assistance
If you are interested in LASIK and want to find out whether you are a good candidate, contact us to schedule a consultation today!
Eye Doctors Weigh In: How Smoking Can Harm Your Vision & Eye Health
We all know that smoking is bad for you, especially the risks that it poses to your heart and lungs. What many people do not know is that cigarette smoke negatively affects your eyes and vision too. Smoking has been directly linked to an increase in the risks of both cataracts and macular degeneration, two leading causes of vision loss, and it is believed to be a factor in a number of other eye and vision issues.
Smoking and Cataracts
Studies show that smoking doubles the risk of cataracts and with heavy smoking, the risk triples. In fact, there seems to be a direct correlation between the amount of smoking and the likelihood of cataracts. Cataracts are characterized by the clouding of the lens of the eye and it is believed that smoking affects the cells of the lens, accelerating this process.
Cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss worldwide, however, they can be treated surgically by removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial one. Symptoms include:
- Blurred, cloudy or dim vision
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Presence of halos around lights
- Increasingly poor night vision
- Fading color vision
- Double vision
- and frequent prescription changes with minimal improvement in vision
Smoking and Age-Related Macular Degeneration
According to medical research, smoking increases the likelihood of developing age-related macular degeneration between two and four times the normal risk – the more you smoke, the greater the risk. Unfortunately, there is also an increased risk for those exposed to cigarette smoke for extended periods of time.
Age-related macular degeneration or AMD is a condition in which the macula, which is the center of the retina, begins to to deteriorate, reducing central vision and the eye’s ability to see fine details. The disease is characterized by blurred and distorted eyesight and blind spots in the central vision. With time, the disease can progress to leave the person with low vision, which is significant vision loss that cannot be corrected by eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.
Other Eye and Vision Risks of Smoking
Smoking has also been linked to dry eyes, optic nerve damage and diabetic retinopathy (for those with diabetes).
“Eye Vitamins” are often used without doctor’s recommendations. Smokers are cautioned not to take beta-carotene supplements, specifically, (or multi-vitamins containing this ingredient) as studies indicate there is increased the risk of cancer even in people who quit smoking.
What to Do?
Even if you have been smoking for years, quitting will reduce the risks of developing these conditions, for yourself and those around you. If you do smoke, make sure to schedule a comprehensive eye exam every year to catch any developing disease early. Early diagnosis and treatment can be the key to saving your vision and preventing permanent vision loss.
Hey women! Did you know that women are more likely to suffer from vision problems and are at higher risk of permanent vision loss than men? Well 91% of the women surveyed recently didn’t know that, which means that many of them aren’t taking the necessary precautions to prevent eye damage and vision loss.
According to a recent study, the statistics for many of the major vision problems show that women have a higher percentage of incidence than men. These include:
- Age-related Macular Degeneration 65%
- Cataracts 61%
- Glaucoma 61%
- Refractive Error 56%
- Vision Impairment 63%
Women are also more susceptible to develop chronic dry eye, partially because it is often associated with other health issues that are more common in women such as ocular rosacea which is three times more prevalent in women. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause can also contribute to dry eye.
It’s important for women to know the risks for eye-related diseases and vision impairment and the steps they can take to prevent eventual vision loss. Here are some ways that you can help to protect your eyes and save your eyesight:
- Find out about family history of eye diseases and conditions.
- Protect your eyes from the sun by wearing 100% UV blocking sunglasses when outdoors.
- Don’t smoke.
- Consume a healthy diet with proper nutrition and special eye health supplements as prescribed by an eye doctor.
- Adhere to contact lens hygiene and safety.
- Adhere to cosmetic hygiene and safety precautions.
- Protect your eyes against extended exposure to blue light from computers, smartphones and LED lamps.
- If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant and have diabetes, see an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam. In women who have diabetes, diabetic retinopathy can accelerate quickly during pregnancy and can present a risk for the baby as well.
Mothers are often charged with caring for the eye health of the entire family, but too often their own eye health needs fall to the wayside. It is critical that mothers take care of their eyes and overall health so that they can be in the best condition to care for their families.
Speak to your eye care professional about your personal eye health and vision risks and the precautions and measures you should take to protect your eyes. Encourage the other women in your life to do so as well. Once vision is lost, it often can’t be regained and there are many steps you can take to prevent it with proper knowledge and awareness.
The most important way to prevent vision loss is to ensure you schedule regular eye exams. Don’t wait for symptoms to appear as many eye issues are painless and symptomless, and sometimes by the time you notice symptoms, vision loss is untreatable.
There is nothing worse than a dirty spot on your glasses – well except perhaps many dirty spots or smudges. When that happens, most of us are tempted to grab the corner of our shirt and wipe it off, but resist the temptation – this is actually not a good idea.
There is a right way and a wrong way to clean your glasses. Cleaning your glasses properly will not only remove irritating dirt and smudges, but will also prevent your lenses from getting scratched allowing you to see your best.
You want to make sure that the materials you use to clean your lenses are clean and soft. The reason your shirt corner is not the best option is because it likely contains dust or particles that can scratch your lens. However, you don’t need fancy, lens cleaners either. In truth the best cleaner for your glasses may be more simple than you expect –
Gentle Dish Soap
That’s right, a gentle dish soap, warm water and a clean, dry soft cotton towel are the best tools you can have for cleaning your lenses.
Simply rinse your glasses in warm water and apply a small drop of soap (make sure to use a brand of soap that is lotion and moisturizer free). Rub the soap into the lens with your fingers and rinse thoroughly until all of the soap has been removed. Gently shake the glasses to remove excess water and then dry with a clean, dry, lint-free towel.
You may be wondering about the microfiber lens cloths and spray cleaner you get from your optician. These lens cleaning packs are great for when you are on the go and don’t have access to a sink and dish soap. The microfiber cloths are also great for polishing dry lenses after any dust or particles are blown away- just make sure they are cleaned regularly. For a real, thorough clean however, we advise that you use the technique above.
Don’t use vinegar, glass or window cleaner, bleach, ammonia or spit/saliva for cleaning your lenses. The chemicals could strip off the coatings on your lenses, and saliva – well, it just doesn’t work. In particular, many lenses these days have anti-glare treatments that are especially prone to damage if not cleaned properly and are particularly vulnerable to window cleaners and alcohol.
Remember once your glasses are scratched, there is little to do to repair them. If you see something on your lens try to blow or brush it away carefully before you use a cloth to clean your lenses.
Keeping Your Lenses Clean
To avoid dirt and smudges, always take your glasses off with two hands using the arms of the frame and avoid touching the lenses. Further, the best way to preserve your glasses and keep them clean is to keep them in a case when they are not in use. It’s worthwhile to get an extra case or two to have on hand in the car or in your purse for times that you need to take your glasses off. If you notice swirled or circular scratches on your lenses, those are almost always from improper cleaning so make sure to take the time to clean them properly the next time.
We invite you to take a look around our new site to get to know our practice and learn about eye and vision health. You will find a wealth of information about our optometrists, our staff and our services, as well as facts and advice about how to take care of your eyes and protect your vision.
Learn about our Practice specialties including comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings and the treatment of eye diseases. Our website also offers you a convenient way to find our hours, address and map, schedule an appointment online, order contact lenses or contact us to ask us any questions you have about eye care and our Practice.
Have a look around our online office and schedule a visit to meet us in person. We are here to partner with you and your family for a lifetime of healthy eyes and vision. We look forward to seeing you!
Conjunctivitis, also called pink eye, is one of the most frequently seen eye diseases, especially in kids. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria or even allergies to pollen, chlorine in swimming pools, and ingredients in cosmetics, or other irritants, which touch the eyes. Some forms of conjunctivitis might be quite transmittable and quickly spread in school and at the office.
Conjunctivitis is seen when the conjunctiva, or thin transparent layer of tissue covering the white part of the eye, becomes inflamed. You can identify conjunctivitis if you notice eye redness, discharge, itching or swollen eyelids and a crusty discharge surrounding the eyes early in the day. Pink eye infections can be divided into three main types: viral, allergic and bacterial conjunctivitis.
The viral type is usually a result of a similar virus to that which produces the recognizable red, watery eyes, sore throat and runny nose of the common cold. The red, itchy, watery eyes caused by viral pink eye are likely to last from a week to two and then will clear up on their own. You may however, be able to reduce some of the discomfort by using soothing drops or compresses. Viral pink eye is transmittable until it is completely cleared up, so in the meantime maintain excellent hygiene, remove eye discharge and try to avoid using communal pillowcases or towels. If your son or daughter has viral conjunctivitis, he or she will have to be kept home from school for three days to a week until symptoms disappear.
A bacterial infection such as Staphylococcus or Streptococcus is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops or cream. One should notice an improvement within just a few days of antibiotic drops, but be sure to adhere to the full prescription dosage to prevent pink eye from recurring.
Allergic pink eye is not contagious. It is usually a result of a known allergy such as hay fever or pet allergies that sets off an allergic reaction in their eyes. First of all, to treat allergic pink eye, you should eliminate the irritant. Use cool compresses and artificial tears to relieve discomfort in mild cases. When the infection is more severe, your eye doctor might prescribe a medication such as an anti-inflammatory or antihistamine. In cases of chronic allergic pink eye, topical steroid eye drops could be used.
Pink eye should always be diagnosed by a qualified eye doctor in order to identify the type and best course of treatment. Never treat yourself! Keep in mind the sooner you begin treatment, the lower chance you have of giving pink eye to loved ones or prolonging your discomfort.