Looking out for eye health
By: Vicky Sanderson
Canadians don’t pay enough attention to their vision. Consider that while 59 per cent may experience symptoms of eye disease, only 54 per cent of that number seek medical help, according to the Canadian OphthalmologicalSocietywww.cos-sco.ca
That worries Dr. Mark Bona, an ophthalmologist specializing in vision rehabilitation.Working through the South East Ontario Vision Rehabilitation Service at the Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston, Dr. Bona’s focus is how well patients can function in day-to-day activities, and in the home.
“As a health community, we do a really good job managing vision loss through medical and surgical strategies, but until recently we have not been doing the rehabilitation portion justice.”
A patient with macular degeneration may be treated with injections to reduce swelling in the eye, but that may not actually translate into what patient is actually experiencing, explains Dr. Bona. Visual rehabilitation addresses a patient’s personal needs and seeks to optimize independence — so that they can, for example, read and pay bills, or move about freely and safely in the home and in the community.
While there’s no evidence that certain types of light directly impact eye health or safety, having appropriate lighting in the home helps in many ways, says Dr. Bona, citing adequate stairway lighting as way to reduce the risk of falls.
Light is characterized by intensity (how much light is hitting the page or the task you are doing) and temperature — think of the scale that goes from warm yellow of a lit match to a cold blue florescence bulb. The direction of light, its distance from the task being performing, and how reflective the surface is will also factor in vision “comfort”.
There are also lots of individual variables, says Dr. Bona, including individual light sensitivity or dry eyes — issues that can require specific remedies, such as taking breaks from reading or using lubrication….
Source: Toronto Sun