During the critical development period of visual cortex, a pathology in the eye (strabismus, hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism, deprevation) prevents the brain from developing to its full capacity. Even if the the eye tissues and structures are perfectly normal, the brain’s ability to process information is rendered poor.
The critical period stretches until the age of 8. If the child does not receive the proper corrections to assess the disease, the cortical problem will be permanant.
We recommend an exam once children are 10-12 months old to determine if a problem could lead to amblyopia. Such problemen can be hidden and remain undiagnosed unless identified by an optometrist!
”But my child can see an airplane far away in the sky!” you might say.
A child’s eye can do very well and see small objects from afar, whereas the second eye only fuctions at 20%. Don’t assume your child sees well out of both eye, because amblyopia is permanent. Ensure your child has perfect vision in both eyes!
A cataract is an opacification of the internal lens of the eye (crystalline). This opacification is mainly caused by age. It is accelerated by exposure to the sun’s radiations as well as diabetes, smoking, steroids and genetic predisposition.
For the last twenty years, cataract surgery has been quite successful as the procedures have been improved. It only takes a few micro-incisions and around 10 minutes to remove the clouded lens and replace it with an artificial plastic lens.
Glaucoma is a disease that obscures peripheral vision. Over the years, peripheral vision goes dimmer at such a slow rate that it is imperceptible. The process is so slow that the patient will not notice the effects of glaucoma until it is too late.
During your complete eye examination, several tests are done in order to ensure the patient does not suffer from glaucoma (visual field, intraocular pressure, photos and necessary OCT scan).
Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Macular degeneration causes you to lose central vision. Imagine trying to read a word or to determine the look on someone’s face. With advanced AMD, you will lose these abilities.
There are two kinds of AMD: the slow (dry) and the fast (wet). Once obtained in its slow form, the central vision begins to get distorted. It is possible to slow down its course by using mutlivitamins (AREDS II).
We reserve injection treatment for patients who suffer from fast (wet) AMD. It aim is to slow down the progression but cannot repair any damages already obtained.
Precautions you can take: Beginning in childhood, all exposure to the suns’ radiation damage the retina and in particular, the macula. It is essential to protect your eyes through out your life from the sun. For toddlers, a suncap is enough as to not develop photophobia. For children and adults, wearing sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection will reduces chances of AMD
Having a balanced and healthy diet and smoke free lifestyle also contribute to decrasing the chances of suffering from AMD.