Vancouver Optometrists & Eye Doctors

4466 West 10th Avenue
Call: 604-224-3937

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The Darpan Initiative

 

As part of October being Canadian Eye Health Month, the Canadian Association of Optometrists is calling on Canadians of all ages to make eye examinations a part of their regular overall healthcare.

Although 86% of the population fear losing their sight above all other senses, almost 20% have not had an eye examination in the past five years! This is such a contradiction – our vision seems to be the most important and valued of all the senses, yet we do so little as a whole to have the eyes examined – the basis of preventative eye care. DARPAN shares this concern and supports the call of awareness to eye care disorders and the need for preventative measures such as routine eye examinations for all, but more so for those in high risk categories – such as those patients suffering from high blood pressures, diabetes, MS, seniors, children and those with a family history of eye diseases like glaucoma and retinal disorders. “I think there is a misconception in the minds of many people that just because they have clear vision there eyes must be healthy,” says optometrist Dr. Amit Mathur (see Fig. 1). “Many eye diseases, most noteably glaucoma, can progress for years without affecting the clarity in a person’s sight. However, it can devastate the field of vision of that patient very rapidly (ie. how wide of view of the world a person can see). In diabetes, blood leakages or hemorrhages in the retina can form long before they actually start to affect the vision of a person. Certain tumours detected in the eyes can form and progress without causing vision blur, yet be an urgent general healthy concern to the patient.”

 

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Fig. 1. For clear vision light needs to travel through the lens to arrive at a healthy retina

Preventative medicine is the key to a healthy lifestyle, and this is no different when speaking of eye health. At least 50% of sight loss is preventable if identified early enough. For adults, the South Asian populations are more vulnerable to sight-threatening conditions such as cataracts and diabetes-related eye conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy (Fig. 2). Diabetes related eye disease is the second greatest cause of preventable vision loss in North American adults. “Glaucoma is treatable, diabetic eye disease is treatable, and today even macular degeneration is a treatable or manageable eye disease. This is why we encourage and work diligently to educate the South Asian community to take the time and effort to ensure that they give priority to eye health examinations on a routine basis,” explains Dr. Mathur.

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