Posted July 16, 2024

Since the heat has risen in Alberta, our clinic has seen an influx in the number of patients seeking relief from dry eyes. July marks Dry Eyes Awareness Month, emphasizing the importance of understanding and managing this prevalent condition that affects daily comfort and eye health, particularly in our dry climate and with increased screen time during the pandemic. 

dry eyes

At Erin Ridge Vision Care, we recognize the importance of understanding and managing dry eyes—a prevalent condition that can impact daily comfort and eye health.This month presents a timely opportunity to raise awareness about dry eyes, covering its symptoms, potential causes, and effective relief strategies. Let’s understand the main causes behind dry eyes to better address this issue and ensure clear and comfortable vision throughout the year.

What are the common symptoms of dry eyes? 

Dry eyes can manifest in various ways, including persistent dryness or grittiness in the eyes, excessive tearing, redness or irritation, occasional blurred vision, and sensitivity to light. These symptoms may worsen during activities like prolonged screen use or exposure to dry, windy environments, making it essential to address them promptly to prevent discomfort and potential complications.

What are the causes and triggers of dry eyes?

Dry eyes can be influenced by various factors:

  • Aging: As we age, our tear production naturally decreases, leading to dryness and discomfort in the eyes.
  • Environmental conditions: Alberta’s dry climate can exacerbate dry eye symptoms by increasing the rate at which tears evaporate from the eye’s surface.
  • Prolonged screen time: Spending extended periods staring at screens can contribute to dry eyes due to reduced blinking, which is necessary to distribute tears evenly across the eyes.
  • Underlying medical conditions: Conditions such as arthritis or diabetes can impact tear quality and quantity, contributing to chronic dryness and irritation.

How can I manage dry eyes at home? 

Effective home care includes using preservative-free artificial tears or lubricating eye drops regularly. Applying warm compresses over closed eyes can stimulate tear production, while taking frequent breaks during screen use helps rest your eyes. Using a humidifier indoors maintains optimal humidity levels, reducing dryness and irritation.

When should I seek professional care for dry eyes?

Knowing when to seek professional care for dry eyes is essential:

  • Persistent symptoms: If you continue to experience dry eye symptoms despite using over-the-counter remedies or adjusting your environment.
  • Sudden changes: Any sudden changes in your vision, such as increased blurriness or sensitivity to light, warrant a professional evaluation to rule out underlying issues.
  • Severe discomfort: If dry eyes cause significant discomfort or pain, interfering with daily activities and quality of life.
  • Impact on quality of life: When dry eyes begin to affect your ability to work, drive, or enjoy daily activities comfortably, it’s time to consult with an eye care professional for tailored treatment options.
  • These guidelines help ensure timely intervention and effective management of dry eye symptoms, promoting long-term eye health and comfort.

At Erin Ridge Vision Care, we offer advanced treatments tailored to manage dry eyes effectively. From prescription eye drops for inflammation to punctal plugs that conserve tears, our dedicated team provides personalized care to enhance your eye health and comfort.

This Dry Eyes Awareness Month, prioritize your vision by scheduling an appointment at Erin Ridge Vision Care. Whether you’re experiencing symptoms or seeking preventive care, our experienced team is ready to support you on your journey to optimal eye health. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and discover personalized solutions for managing dry eyes effectively.

Posted June 22, 2024

Summer is a season full of outdoor activities, bright sunshine, and vacation fun. However, the increased exposure to sunlight and environmental elements can pose risks to your eye health. In this blog, we will explore how to take care of your eyes during the summer, the potential eye problems caused by summer conditions, and provide practical tips to keep your vision safe and healthy.

Eye care in summer

Can summer cause eye problems?

Yes, summer can cause several eye problems due to increased exposure to UV rays, dry air, chlorine in swimming pools, and other environmental factors. Common summer-related eye issues include:

  • UV damage: Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, and photokeratitis (sunburn of the cornea).
  • Dry eyes: Hot and dry conditions can reduce tear production, causing discomfort and irritation.
  • Allergies: Pollen and other allergens are more prevalent in summer, leading to itchy, red, and watery eyes.
  • Infections: Swimming in pools or natural water bodies can expose your eyes to bacteria and chemicals, increasing the risk of infections like conjunctivitis (pink eye).

How to protect your eyes from UV damage?

Protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays is crucial during summer. Choose sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound styles provide additional protection by blocking rays from the sides. Using a wide-brimmed hat can also reduce the amount of UV rays reaching your eyes by up to 50%. Additionally, limiting sun exposure by staying indoors or in the shade during peak sunlight hours can significantly reduce UV damage.

What can you do to prevent dry eyes in summer?

Dry eyes can be particularly troublesome during the summer months. Staying hydrated is essential, so drink plenty of water to maintain healthy tear production. Using artificial tears or lubricating eye drops can help keep your eyes moist and comfortable. Avoiding direct airflow from wind, fans, and air conditioning is also important, as these can exacerbate dryness. Wearing protective eyewear, such as sunglasses or goggles, can shield your eyes from drying elements and help maintain moisture levels.

How to prevent eye infections during summer activities?

Enjoying water activities is a staple of summer, but it’s important to take precautions to prevent eye infections. Wearing swim goggles can protect your eyes from chlorine, saltwater, and bacteria when swimming. It’s crucial to avoid touching your eyes to reduce the risk of introducing germs. Regularly cleaning your sunglasses, swim goggles, and contact lenses can prevent bacterial buildup and lower the risk of infections. Taking these steps can help ensure that you enjoy your summer activities without compromising your eye health.

Taking care of your eyes during summer is essential to maintain your vision and overall eye health. If you experience any eye discomfort or need professional advice on eye care, Erin Ridge Vision Care is here to help. 

Our expert team provides comprehensive eye care services tailored to your needs. Contact Erin Ridge Vision Care today to schedule an appointment and ensure your eyes are well-protected and healthy all summer long!

Posted June 10, 2024

June is Cataract Awareness Month, a perfect time to shine a light on this common eye condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Cataracts, characterized by the clouding of the eye’s natural lens, can lead to vision impairment and, if left untreated, blindness. Through this blog we aim to help you understand more about this condition and how it can be treated.


What are cataracts?

Cataracts occur when proteins in the eye’s lens begin to break down and clump together, causing the lens to become cloudy. This cloudiness can obstruct light from passing through the lens to the retina, leading to blurred or impaired vision. Cataracts typically develop slowly and can affect one or both eyes. They are more common in older adults but can also occur due to other factors such as diabetes, injury, or prolonged exposure to UV radiation.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

The symptoms of cataracts can vary depending on the severity and progression of the condition. Common signs include blurry or cloudy vision, difficulty seeing at night, sensitivity to light and glare, seeing halos around lights, frequent changes in prescription glasses, and fading or yellowing of colors. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to schedule an eye exam to determine if cataracts are the cause.

How are cataracts diagnosed?

Cataracts are diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam. During the exam, your eye doctor will perform several tests, including a visual acuity test to measure how well you see at various distances, a dilated eye exam to examine the retina and lens for signs of cataracts, tonometry to measure the pressure inside your eye, and a retinal exam to see the back of your eye, including the retina and optic nerve. These tests help in assessing the presence and severity of cataracts, enabling the doctor to recommend the appropriate treatment.

What are the treatment options for cataracts?

The primary treatment for cataracts is surgery. Cataract surgery is a safe and effective procedure where the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. There are two main types of cataract surgery: 

  • Phacoemulsification: It uses ultrasound waves to break up the cloudy lens that is then removed and replaced with an artificial lens, and 
  • Extracapsular surgery: It involves removing the cloudy part of the lens through a larger incision and replacing it with an artificial lens. In the early stages, changes in glasses prescriptions, improved lighting, and anti-glare sunglasses may help manage symptoms, but surgery is the only permanent solution.

How can you prevent cataracts?

Preventing cataracts involves adopting a healthy lifestyle and protecting your eyes. The following tips can help reduce your risk:

  • Wear sunglasses: Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
  • Maintain a healthy diet: Eat foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking increases the risk of cataracts.
  • Limit alcohol consumption: Excessive drinking can contribute to cataract development.
  • Manage health conditions: Keep conditions like diabetes under control.
  • Regular eye exams: Early detection can prevent serious complications.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of cataracts or it’s been a while since your last eye checkup, don’t wait. Come to Erin Ridge Vision Care for a comprehensive eye checkup today. Our experienced team is here to help you maintain optimal eye health and clear vision. Contact us to schedule your appointment.

Posted May 24, 2024

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common vision problem that often begins in childhood. It occurs when the eye grows too long, causing light to focus in front of the retina rather than on it. As a result, distant objects appear blurry while close-up objects are clear. With the increasing use of digital devices and reduced time spent outdoors, myopia rates among children are rising. However, there are effective strategies to control its progression. In this blog, we’ll explore practical methods to manage myopia in kids, helping to preserve their vision and quality of life.


What are the causes of myopia in children?

Myopia in children can be attributed to various factors. Some of the major causes are mentioned below: 

  • Genetic factors: Myopia often runs in families. If one or both parents are nearsighted, their children are at a higher risk of developing myopia. While genetic predisposition cannot be changed, being aware of this risk can help in early detection and management.
  • Environmental factors: Modern lifestyle changes, such as increased screen time and less outdoor activity, contribute significantly to myopia progression. Prolonged close-up tasks, like reading or using digital devices, can strain the eyes and promote myopia development.
  • Eye growth patterns: Myopia results from abnormal eye growth. During the critical years of eye development, typically between ages 6 and 14, the eyeball may elongate excessively. Regular eye exams can monitor these growth patterns and help manage myopia progression.

How can outdoor activities help control myopia?

Spending more time outdoors has been shown to slow the progression of myopia in children. Exposure to natural light and engaging in activities that require looking at distant objects can help. Aim for at least two hours of outdoor play each day. Activities like playing sports, hiking, or simply taking a walk can be beneficial. Encouraging kids to take regular breaks from close-up tasks and looking into the distance can also reduce eye strain and support eye health.

What are the effective treatments for controlling myopia?

There are several effective treatments available for controlling the progression of myopia in children:

  • Atropine eye drops: Low-dose atropine eye drops have been shown to slow myopia progression in children. These drops are typically applied once daily and work by relaxing the eye’s focusing mechanism. Consult your eye care professional to see if atropine drops are suitable for your child.
  • Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) lenses: Ortho-K involves wearing specially designed contact lenses overnight to reshape the cornea temporarily. This method can slow the progression of myopia and provide clear vision during the day without the need for glasses or contact lenses. It’s important to follow your eye care provider’s instructions for safe and effective use.
  • Multifocal contact lenses: Multifocal contact lenses have different zones for near, intermediate, and distance vision. These lenses can help reduce eye strain and control myopia progression. Regular monitoring and fitting by an eye care professional are crucial for the best results.

What lifestyle changes can help control myopia progression?

Implementing these lifestyle changes can help control myopia progression:

  • Limit screen time: Encourage breaks from screens and close-up work every 20 minutes by looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds (the 20-20-20 rule).
  • Increase outdoor time: Aim for at least two hours of outdoor activities daily.
  • Ensure proper lighting: Make sure children have adequate lighting for reading and other close-up tasks.
  • Encourage regular eye exams: Schedule annual eye exams to monitor vision changes and adjust treatments as needed.

If you’re concerned about your child’s myopia, Erin Ridge Vision Care is here to help. Our experienced optometrists specialize in managing and controlling myopia progression in kids. Schedule an appointment today for a comprehensive eye exam and personalized treatment plan. Let’s work together to protect your child’s vision and ensure their eyes stay healthy!

Posted May 6, 2024

As we embrace the blossoming beauty of May, it’s essential to remember that this month holds significance not only for its vibrant blooms but also for its focus on vision health. May is recognized as Vision Health Month, a time to raise awareness about the importance of maintaining healthy eyesight and preventing vision-related issues. Moreover, May brings the cherished occasion of Mother’s Day, a perfect opportunity to show appreciation for the special women in our lives.

This Mother’s Day, consider giving your mom the gift of eye health by scheduling a checkup at Erin Ridge Vision Care, where we prioritize your family’s vision wellness.

How does regular eye checkups contribute to overall health?

Regular eye checkups are not just about ensuring clear vision; they also play a vital role in safeguarding your overall health. Eye examinations can detect early signs of systemic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and even certain types of cancer. By monitoring your eye health regularly, you can take proactive measures to maintain your well-being and address any underlying health concerns promptly.

What are the common vision problems that people should be aware of?

Awareness is key when it comes to preserving vision health. Understanding common vision problems such as myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and age-related conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration empowers individuals to recognize symptoms early and seek timely treatment. By staying informed about potential vision issues, you can take proactive steps to protect your eyesight and maintain optimal visual acuity.

Why is it important to protect your eyes from UV radiation?

While enjoying the warmth of the sun, it’s crucial to remember the harmful effects of UV radiation on eye health. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can increase the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye conditions. Wearing sunglasses with UV protection and seeking shade during peak sunlight hours are simple yet effective ways to shield your eyes from potential damage and maintain long-term vision health.

How can lifestyle choices impact vision health?

Healthy lifestyle choices extend beyond diet and exercise to encompass vision wellness. Factors such as smoking, poor nutrition, excessive screen time, and inadequate eye protection can all contribute to vision problems over time. By adopting habits that promote eye health, such as maintaining a balanced diet, staying hydrated, practicing good digital eye hygiene, and wearing protective eyewear, you can safeguard your vision for years to come.

At Erin Ridge Vision Care, we are committed to prioritizing your family’s vision health year-round. This May, in honor of Vision Health Month and Mother’s Day, take the first step towards preserving your loved ones’ eyesight by scheduling a comprehensive eye examination with our experienced optometrists. Together, let’s ensure a future filled with clarity, comfort, and optimal vision. Contact Erin Ridge Vision Care today to book your appointment and embark on the journey to lifelong eye wellness.

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