Some common eye conditions
Myopia decreases distance vision while near vision is usually ok hence “nearsightedness”. This is due the eye being too long and/or the curvature of the cornea (front surface of the eye) being too steep. A minus lens is used to bend the light to place the image onto the retina so it can be seen clearly. Myopia does increase the risk of developing a retinal detachment, macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts.
Hyperopia usually decreases near vision while distance vision is ok but over time or with certain amounts of hyperopia, even distance vision can become blurry. This is due to the eye being too short and/or the curvature of the cornea being too flat. A plus lens is used to correct this condition.
Presbyopia decreases near vision which usually starts after the age of 40. It is due to the weakening of the muscle in the eye and as well as the hardening of the lens.
Astigmatism decreases both distance and near vision. It is mostly due to the cornea being oval shaped which creates doubling or distortion of the images. Lens and other changes inside the eye can also contribute to the distortion.
A cataract is the clouding of the lens inside our eye. It causes blurry vision and can change our colour vision. Cataracts form naturally with age but also UV exposure, medications, disease and trauma can induce it.
Age related macular degeneration (AMD) can lead to central vision loss when deposits called drusen collect in the macula. It is “age-related: since it is mostly seen after the age of 50 years old. The degeneration typically progresses slowly but if bleeding occurs, loss of vision can be rapid and severe. Risk factors are: family history, UV and blue light exposure, smoking and poor diet. Early detection and prevention are vital to help preserve vision.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve which causes loss of peripheral vision. It is mostly related to the pressures in the eye being too high however in some cases the pressures can be normal. People typically do not notice any symptoms until it is more advanced therefore early detection by an optometrist is important.
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of vision loss in Canada. It can cause damage to numerous parts of the eye including the retina (e.g. diabetic retinopathy), optic nerve (e.g. glaucoma), lens (cataracts), cornea and eye muscles. Therefore, it is critical to have the eyes examined at least annually.
When the retina begins to pull away for the back of the eye, it is called a retinal detachment. It may be due to some pre-existing conditions such as thinning in the retinal tissue or trauma. This can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated immediately therefore it is considered an ocular emergency. Some symptoms of retinal detachment are sudden spots, flashing lights on the side and sudden loss of vision.
Diagnosis & Treatment:
Dr. Bassi will ask about any eye problems that you are experiencing, personal and family eye and health history, medications, and any special visual demands of your occupation or hobbies.
Checks the level of vision with an eye chart.
Determines how well the eyes work together in coordinated movement.
Determines the prescription that will give the best possible vision.
This is a painless examination that checks the external and internal structure of the eye. It also checks for signs of ocular conditions as well as chronic conditions that may affect the eyes.
After the examination, Dr. Bassi will review the status of your vision and eye health. She will determine a treatment plan and discuss the various options available. Referral to other health care providers will be made when necessary.
It is recommended that children’s eyes be examined at 6 months, 3 years and every year after that to reduce potential learning and behavioral problems. Studies have shown about 80% of our learning is visual therefore many children become misdiagnosed as having behavioral disorders when in fact it is due to decreased visual function. Also, if children do not get the proper treatment in time, it can lead to a permanent reduction of vision therefore it is very important for them to have their eyes assessed. Schools may conduct vision screenings but they are inadequate for detecting eye disease and other eye disorders.
We also offer treatments to slow down the progression of myopia in children.
Dr. Bassi examines kids 3 years of age and older which is covered by OHIP once every year until the age of 19.
Our eyes continuously change as we age. Therefore, it is important to keep monitoring for certain eye diseases such as glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve which decreases peripheral vision), cataracts (clouding of the lenses in the eyes) and macular degeneration (damage to the macula which decreases central vision) throughout your life. Also, our near vision deteriorates over time which is more noticeable once we reach our 40’s. This may mean changing from single vision to bifocals or progressive lenses.
Adult (ages 20-64) eye exams are typically not covered under OHIP unless you have certain medical conditions such as diabetes that is managed with medications or if you on social assistance. Private insurance may cover some of the eye exam. We do offer direct billing to most insurance providers. If you would like more information regarding coverage, please contact our office.
As we enter our golden years, it becomes more likely we will need more treatments to manage eye disease such as cataract surgery, laser or injections for diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration, surgery and medications for glaucoma, surgery to correct droopy or malpositioned lids and medications for dry eyes. We will co-manage with eye specialists and your health team to ensure proper care.
Seniors (ages 65 and older) are covered by OHIP once a year except for the recommended advance testing (e.g. retinal photos). These advance tests help detect and monitor disease to prevent loss of vision.
We also offer more in-depth examination of the retina and optic nerves by Optical Coherence Tomography or OCT for short, retinal camera and visual fields (peripheral vision test). These tests help detect diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic complications earlier which help prevent further potential damage. The OCT and retinal photos are not covered under OHIP. Visual fields are covered under OHIP for children and seniors but not adults (except under certain medical conditions such as glaucoma).
MTO & Employer Reports
We help determine if your eyes meets Ministry of Transportation driver's license and occupational requirements and complete the required forms.