Healthy eyes protect vision

Keeping your eyes healthy is an important factor in protecting your eyesight. Some eye diseases can lead to vision loss. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your eyes healthy and protect your vision. The first step is to have your eyes checked as often as your healthcare provider recommends or as soon as you develop any new vision problem.

Many of the lifestyle choices that contribute to your overall health will also have a beneficial effect on your eye health. Unfortunately, sometimes even making healthy lifestyle choices and taking precautions doesn’t prevent all vision problems. Just getting older can bring changes that can weaken our eyes and affect our vision. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the most common causes of vision loss in people over the age of 60. According to the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, AMD affects nearly two million Canadians and accounts for 90% of the new cases of legal blindness in Canada. If not diagnosed until the condition is advanced, there is no cure for AMD, but laser surgery and injection of medication directly into the eye may help.

You can browse our selection of eye care products, from eye drops to contact lens solution in-store and online at and read other health-related articles in our BetterCare magazine here.


Summertime and your eyes

Summertime and yes, the living is easy, but on that ever-present other hand, the living can also be hard, especially on your skin – something you all know, I’m sure – but here’s the one you may not know, summertime is also very hard on your eyes.

Why is sunlight bad for your eyes?

senior-sunglassesBecause long-term excess sunlight exposure raises the risk of at least two very common eye disorders.

One is cataracts which are “hardenings” in the lens of the eye (usually in both lenses, of course) and which eventually very often result in the need to have surgery to remove one or both lens.

That risk has been known for a long time but the eye problem linked to sunlight that’s been discovered more recently is macular degeneration (that’s a more recent link), the most common cause of blindness in North American seniors.

So if you want to see well into your senior years, and trust me, you do, you really want to protect your eyes from too much sunlight.

To that end, buy a good pair of sunglasses, and try to wear those sunglasses as often as you can when outside (remember that you still get some UV exposure even on cloudy days), and remember, too, that some surfaces such as water magnify the effect of sunlight on your eyes.

But be especially careful to wear your sunglasses on sunny days even if you are planning on being outside just for a few minutes.

Itchy, scratchy eyes? Managing dry eye

Do you wake up feeling like you have grit in your eyes? Do your eyes feel dry, sore and scratchy, particularly when you are driving, working at your computer or reading?

If so, you likely have dry eye or keratoconjunctivitis sicca—an uncomfortable condition where the eye does not produce a sufficient amount of tear film, or the film produced lacks the appropriate composition to prevent fast evaporation from the eye’s surface. Since the tear film serves to lubricate the eye when blinking, a lack of it can cause extreme discomfort.

Dry eye can be caused by a number of factors, including aging, environmental issues, and medications such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), diuretics, antihistamines, nasal decongestants, beta blockers, oral contraceptives and antidepressants. Sometimes, the dryness is temporary but, for most, it is a chronic condition that needs to be addressed for the ongoing comfort of the eyes.


Protect your Peepers, Healthy Eyes for Life


Few people take their eyesight for granted, but did you know that most eye conditions and mishaps are preventable? Here are ways to ensure your eyes—and those of your family—remain healthy throughout life.

The early years

The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends that babies have their first eye exam between the ages of six and nine months. Children should have at least one eye exam between the ages of two and five, and yearly after starting school.