New Regulations Improve Eye Care

Photograph of woman putting in eye dropsThe Ontario Government approved a regulation today that allows Ontario’s optometrist to start prescribing medications for their patients.

“Optometrists will now be able to prescribe treatments for conditions ranging from routine bacterial eye infections to more serious diseases including glaucoma.

The change will alleviate wait times in emergency rooms and walk-in clinics for patients with eye-related problems.”

This means Dr. Heeney & Dr. Wilkinson can prescribe treatment for conditions including red eyes, infections, allergies, dry eye, glaucoma etc without having to refer you to a walk-in clinic or your family doctor. This means faster easier access to treatment when you need it.

For more information on the eye conditions that optometrists can now treat and prescribe, please visit the Ontario Association of Optometrists website at:

Moving to 127 Spadina Ave

After 8 years at 25 Brant Street, we’re moving around the corner. On Monday, December 20, 2010 you can find us at our new home just around the corner at  127 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON. The new location is about 350 meters away from the old location, here’s directions in case you need help finding us.

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Feel free to stop by next week and say hello. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.

Mirror, Mirror on the iPhone…

Silhouette, the award winning manufacturer of rimless frames has come out with a virtual mirror. The virtual mirror is available online and as a free iphone app.

The iPhone app is really easy to use and very cool. You take a picture of yourself. It works best if your ears show and try to get a close picture that fills the box with good lighting on your face. You then drag the icons for your right/left eyes and your ear to the correct location on your picture. You can play with the positions to get the frame centered on you face. Then try on different shapes of lenses, frame styles and colours. You can email the photos to friends and family to get their opinions. When you have made your choice email us and we can make them up for you. Some of my personal favorites are:

Do e-readers cause eye strain?

Photo by Librarian by Day

The NY Times Bits Blog has a great post about eye strain and new e-readers like the Kindle, Nook, iPad and others.

“Most of what our mothers told us about our eyes was wrong,” said Dr. Travis Meredith, chair of the ophthalmology department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “Sitting close to a television, or computer screen, isn’t bad for our eyes. It’s a variety of other factors that can cause physical fatigue.”

For example, the ergonomics of reading screens and the lack of blinking when we stare at them play a big role in eye fatigue. “The current problem with reading on screens is that we need to adjust our bodies to our computer screens, rather than the screens adjusting to us,” Dr. Meredith said.”

Which e-reader offers the best reading experience?  It depends on where you’re doing most of your reading.

“E Ink has a very low contrast ratio. Although it can offer an excellent reading experience in bright sunlight, the screens can become uncomfortable to use in dark settings because of the lack of contrast and backlighting on the screen.

LCD screens, meanwhile, have long struggled to offer good viewing angles for reading. Apple’s latest IPS LCD screens include extremely wide viewing angles, but the reflective glass on the screen could be a hindrance in brightly lit situations.”

The short answer is if you’re experience headaches and other eye strain symptoms, while it might be your e-reader, you might want to consider scheduling an appointment with your eye care professional.

Back to school time

September marks back to school time for all students little and big.

This fall we have two 4th year University of Waterloo optometry students, Eva and Reena, doing primary care internships at our office. They spent the summer in the US doing medical therapeutic optometry. This fall they join our office in Toronto focusing on primary care optometry. They will back at the University of Waterloo in the winter.

Help us welcome Eva and Reena to Toronto.

Seeing Green in the Optical Industry

I am often asked if glasses can be made from recycled materials. Unfortunately they currently can not be entirely made from recycled materials. In order to produce good optical qualities you need to have very pure materials whether plastic or glass to make the lenses. I talked to one of our favorite lens companies, Hoya about what they do that helps to conserve energy, resources and preserve the environment. Their parent company is in Japan where most of their plastic lenses are made. I’ve been told that the Japanese factories meet rigorous local environmental standards. The facilities here in Canada use equipment that meets similar standards. Hoya’s lenses polishing machines reuse the polish solution as well as the water that runs through them. The anti-reflective coating lab also reuses the coating materials to minimize waste.

Frames that hold the lenses face similar issues. Materials that go into making frames vary from metals like nickel, steel, stainless steel, titanium, gold and platinum to plastics and acrylics. Some plastics even have thermal memory properties. All of these products need to have very pure ingredients that go into making them in order for the frames to have the desired properties of strength, durability and flexibility. Some of these raw ingredients are recycled and refined but tracing and certifying the “greenness” is difficult.

The manufacturing of contact lenses face the same issues as lenses and frames. We tend to forget but contact lenses are medical devices, biocompatibility and ocular health need to be the first priority. I’ve had patients express concern about disposable contact lenses and the waste packaging. Yes, there is more packaging that gets tossed in the garbage but they are much healthier for the eye than conventional lenses. There is less risk of infection and inflammatory responses with disposable contact lenses. We feel that the health benefits far out way the environmental impact of the packaging.

Our suppliers and ourselves, try to do day-to-day activities that can make a difference from recycling, turning lights off and using recycled paper products and email communications. We try to minimize shipping as much as possible and ship items together whenever possible. This past year we have started to do the City of Toronto organics green bin at our office, it is amazing how much less garbage goes out these days.

The best way to make an environmental impact with your glasses is to donate your old glasses to third world programs. At our office we collect glasses for various programs. You can drop off any old glasses at your convenience.