Yes.  Visual examinations look at the clarity of vision and screen for eye diseases that can be asymptomatic.  Eye strain is a common symptom for people working on screens all day and often visual intervention can relieve the eye strain and tiredness.

A viral conjunctivitis is a highly contagious, acute infection of the thin outside membrane covering the eye (conjunctiva).  This is commonly known to the public as a pink eye.

Ocular signs and symptoms associated with a viral conjunctivitis:   light sensitivity, eye irritation, red eye and a watery discharge or teary eye.  These signs normally start in 1 eye and will rapidly spread to the patient’s other eye.  It is important for the health care professional to differentiate between an actual viral conjunctivitis and other causes of conjunctivitis like bacterial and non-infectious conjunctivitis.

A viral conjunctivitis is self-limited and takes 1-3 weeks to disappear. Patients are treated by the healthcare professional for symptomatic relief and precautions needs to be taken to prevent the spread of the virus.

  • Washing Hands thoroughly or use 70% alcohol hand sanitizer
  • Avoid eye contact to prevent transmission
  • Disinfect equipment in-between different patients
  • Avoid touching the non-infected eye after you touched your infected eye
  • Do not share towels or linen with someone with a viral conjunctivitis

What is the Corona virus?  The highly contagious virus can cause a severe respiratory disease known as COVID-19. 

The Corona virus can cause a mild conjunctivitis that appears to be very similar in signs and symptoms to the other viral conjunctivitis group with signs like teary eyes, conjunctival congestion (red eyes), and/or chemosis (swelling of the conjunctiva).  These signs occur mostly in patients that have more severe systemic manifestations of Covid-19.

The transmission to the conjunctiva is possibly due to aerosol contact with the outside surface of your eyes.

Systemic symptoms include fever and respiratory symptoms with coughing and shortness of breath, headache and fatigue and diarrhea in the early stages.

The results of a small study in China found that about 1-3% of patients present with conjunctivitis and another study suggests that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission through tears is low.

Despite conflicting reports,contact lens wearers are just as safe as ever, as long as patients adhere to proper wear and care instructions. Please remember to be cautious when using hand sanitizers to clean your hands before handling your contact lenses. The alcohol content causes burning if the hands are not properly dry before handling contact lenses.

Currently no vaccine is available to prevent the infection with Corona virus.

The examination will take approximately 30 -45 min and 45 – 60 min for children.  The optometrist will ask you questions regarding  your medical and ocular history and you can explain your visual needs to them.  The visual examination does not hurt and you will be asked to look at lights, small objects, letters or picture charts and into optometric machinery.

The aim of visual screening is to identify patients that need to be referred for a comprehensive visual examination. A visual screening is not an optometric eye examination and during the visual screening the optometrist do limited investigations regarding eye movements, colour vision, basic eye health and possible prescriptions to identify possible vision problems.

Hygiene first! Contact lens patients are fortunate that they have mastered the skill of washing their hands before handling their contact lenses and their eyes. Now with the Corona virus we all need to learn this habit quickly.

What can happen if we touch our eyes with dirty hands?
– the spread of bacterial and viral infections in the eyes
– Allergic reactions
– Irritated, scratchy eyes
– You can increase your susceptibility for the transmission of the corona virus

Why? The mucous membranes of the eyes can be contaminated with the virus due to airborne “respiratory droplets” that is produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

How to wash your hands? With good old soap and water! Rub your hands on both sides, in between your fingers and under your nails. The 2nd options is to use 70% alcohol based hand sanitizer. (Remember not handle your contact lenses immediately, as your eyes will sting)

This lockdown finds me behind my digital devices more and more everyday – zoom meetings, webinars, social media, reading on my kindle, looking for recipes… and the list grows!
Does these habits effect our eyes? Yes, digital eye strain is a reality caused by ocular fatigue that has symptoms like tired heavy eyes, blurry vision, neck pain and headaches.
Some practical ways you can reduce these symptoms at home:
1. Keep your device (PC, laptop, tablet, kindle, phone) at arms length with a angle of 20 degrees with respect of your line of sight.
2. Adjust your screen brightness and colour according to your surroundings.
3. Eliminate screen glare from surrounding light sources and windows.
4. Clean your screen to improve clarity.
5. 10-10-10 rule: Every 10 minutes, look at 10 meters, for 10 seconds.
6. Blink frequently.
7. Use a tear lubricating eye drop after 2 hours at any screen.
8. Wear your prescription spectacles prescribed for your near tasks (if any) & remember to ask about special lens enhancements specifically for digital tasks at your next eye examination.

Eye screenings NEVER replace a comprehensive pediatric eye examination (an eye screening takes 5 minutes and a first time pediatric eye exam 45-60 min)

When should my child have an eye exam?
At the age of 6 months especially if a family history of eye problems exists.
When parents notice any strange eye stuff like red/teary eyes, eyes pulling squint or eye habits like eye rubbing and blinking.
All children should at least have had a comprehensive eye exam at the age of 5-6 years.

What visual skills are examined during a eye examination? The following visual skills are essential for learning is an important part to test for in a pediatric eye examination:
– Clear vision at all distances
– Accurate eye movement abilities
– Accurate eye focusing skills without any eye strain
– Comfortable and accurate eye teaming skills

Vision is more than just seeing clearly

Why do you see with readers? Readers magnify the near text or object you’re looking at. When a image is bigger, you will see it easier BUT most people have some sort of optical correction.  When Readers are used:

  1.  The optical correction stays uncorrected and this can cause eye strain and blurry vision after longer periods of near concentration tasks.
  2.  Astigmatism stays uncorrected when using Readers.
  3. Readers have equal magnification for the right and the left eye and for most of us, our eye’s are not equal.

Part of an eye examination at your optometrist, is screening for eye conditions that becomes more prevalent after the age of 40. When you skip your eye exam, the early detection of eye diseases (like Glaucoma) will be missed.

After an eye examination your optometrist will know exactly what optical correction is most suitable for you for different tasks and they can advise you if Ready made readers are good for your eyes, specifically or not.

Readers are handy if you quickly need to read something or to keep as a back up in case of an emergency.

Be eye wise and make an informed decision.

Most importantly know this is normal changes in your body and specifically your eyes as we become a little older.
– Simply explained: The lens inside your eye becomes less flexible & with this the focusing ability of your eyes at near reduces slowly over time.
-No, you cannot exercise your eyes to stop or slow down this process.
-No, spectacles won’t cause your eyes to deteriorate faster. You are only becoming use to seeing clearly with you spectacles and when you remove them, you feel very “blind” because you actually prefer the clear, sharp and comfortable vision with your glasses.
-40 is also the time when you are at a higher risk of other eye conditions that is more easily treated when detected earlier.

Rather have a visual examination that includes checking the health of your eyes and the optometrists will advise you on the correct spectacles (if needed) to correct your vision.

  • Remove your spectacles with 2 hands.
  • Rinse your spectacle lenses under water before wiping the lenses. If you remove surface dust before wiping the lenses clean, the possibility for scratching the lenses is reduced.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe your spectacle lenses clean. (Do not use tissues or toilet paper)
  • Remove your spectacles with 2 hands.
  • Rinse your spectacle lenses under water before wiping the lenses. If you remove surface dust before wiping the lenses clean, the possibility for scratching the lenses is reduced.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe your spectacle lenses clean. (Do not use tissues or toilet paper)