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The Surge In Cosmetic Procedures During COVID Raises Eye Health Concerns

COVID-19 has indirectly impacted eye health in ways that few would have anticipated. With many classrooms, business meetings, and hang-outs being relocated to virtual settings like Zoom and FaceTime, people are spending more time scrutinizing other people’s faces — and their own.

For some people, the more time they spend watching themselves in the thumbnail, the more time they focus on real or imagined imperfections and features that make them feel insecure.

In fact, plastic surgeons and cosmetic doctors all over the world are reporting something called the ‘Zoom Boom’ — the recent surge in cosmetic procedures to perfect ‘Lockdown Face.’ Yep, it’s a thing.

What many don’t realize is that cosmetic facial procedures can pose serious risks to eye health and vision, and in some cases result in serious eye damage or vision loss.

While opting to undergo a cosmetic procedure is a personal choice that each individual should make for themselves, a fully informed decision requires a visit to your eye doctor. Also, those interested in having a cosmetic eyelid lift should consult with a reputable oculo-plastic surgeon who has experience in this particular procedure.

How Can Cosmetic Procedures Impact Your Eyes?

Before undergoing a cosmetic facial procedure, it’s important to know which procedures pose potential risks to your eyes and vision.

Eyelash Extensions

The adhesive used for eyelash extensions has been known to cause allergic lid reactions, infections, styes, and dry eye. Eye doctors unanimously agree that eyelash extensions should be the last resort for those who want fuller, thicker lashes.

Additionally, the addictive nature of eyelash extensions make them particularly risky. A side effect of lash extensions can be reduced eyelashes, which often drives the individual to have this procedure done repeatedly.

A safe alternative to getting eyelash extensions is using a medication called Latisse. This eyelash enhancing product can be prescribed by your eye doctor and may reduce the need for false eyelashes or extensions.

Laser Procedures

Lasers are used for various cosmetic procedures due to their high efficiency and accuracy. However, exposing the naked eye to a laser beam can be dangerous.

All laser procedures should be performed while the patient wears specialized goggles or corneal shields for protection. If the procedure is performed by an unlicensed individual, there is a much greater chance that effective eye protection won’t be used.

A study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found that ocular injuries can occur even when protective shields are utilized correctly.

Episcleral Tattoos

This procedure is the tattooing of the whites of the eye. Dye is injected beneath the conjunctiva and into the sclera (the white of the eye) to make it appear the desired color.

Episcleral tattoos can cause headaches and severe light-sensitivity, and increase the risk of eye infections, conjunctival hemorrhaging, and permanent vision loss.

Botox Injections

Botox injections are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures offered today, but they can harm eye health and vision when injected around the eye area.

Some common complications include allergic reactions, blurred vision, and droopy eyelids. Most of these reactions are temporary, but if symptoms persist and if blurred vision is prolonged, see an eye doctor immediately.

Always choose a qualified and licensed doctor to perform the procedure.

When to Visit Your Optometrist

If you are considering having any facial or eye procedures done, speak with your optometrist about how to keep your eyes safe during the process.

An eye exam with Dr. James Evans will determine the state of your eye health and what risks would be involved with the procedure you want.

If you’ve already undergone a cosmetic procedure or surgery and are experiencing any eye health or visual symptoms, call Village Eye Centre in for a prompt eye exam.

We want you to feel confident in the way you look, while keeping your eyes healthy and safe. Call Village Eye Centre to schedule your eye exam today.

At Village Eye Centre, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 587-410-5920 or book an appointment online to see one of our North Edmonton eye doctors.

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Are Floaters and Flashes Dangerous?

You’ve likely experienced occasional visual “floaters” or flashes and may have wondered what they were and if they’re a cause for concern. They look like tiny lines, shapes, shadows, or specks that appear to be drifting in the visual field. More often than not, seeing floaters is a normal occurrence and does not indicate a problem with ocular or visual health. However, when floaters become more frequent and are accompanied by flashes of light, that can indicate a more serious problem.

Eye flashes resemble star-like specks or strands of light that either flash or flicker in one’s field of vision. They can either be a single burst in one visual zone, or can be several flashes throughout a wider area. Flashes can sometimes be missed as they most often appear in the side or peripheral vision.

Floaters & Flashes Eye Care in North Edmonton, Alberta

If you suddenly, or with increasing frequency, experience flashes or floaters, call Village Eye Centre and schedule an eye exam with Dr. James Evans right away to rule out any serious eye conditions.

What Causes Floaters?

The vitreous in the eye is a clear gel that fills most of the eyeball and resembles raw egg-white. Within the vitreous are small lumps of protein that drift around and move with the motion of your eyes. When these tiny lumps of protein cast shadows on the retina — the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye — the shadows appear as floaters.

As we age, the vitreous shrinks, creating more strands of protein. This is why the appearance of floaters may increase with time. Floaters tend to be more prevalent in nearsighted people and diabetics, and occur more frequently following cataract surgery or an eye injury.

If seeing floaters becomes bothersome, try moving your eyes up and down or side to side to gently relocate the floaters away from your visual field.

What Causes Flashes?

Flashes result from the retinal nerve cells being moved or tugged on. As the vitreous shrinks over time, it can tug at the retina, causing you to “see stars” or bursts of light. The process of the vitreous separating from the retina is called “posterior vitreous detachment” (PVD) and usually isn’t dangerous.

In about 16% of cases, PVD causes tiny tears in the retina that can lead to retinal detachment — a sight-threatening condition that causes irreversible blindness if left untreated.

Other possible causes of flashes are eye trauma or migraine headaches.

When To Call Your Optometrist About Floaters

If you experience any of the following symptoms, promptly make an appointment with an eye doctor near you for emergency eye care.

Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

  • A sudden onset of floaters accompanied by flashes (which can be any shape or size)
  • An increase of floaters accompanied by a darkening of one side of the visual field
  • Shadows in the peripheral vision
  • Any time flashes are seen

In many cases, seeing floaters is no cause for concern; however the above symptoms could indicate retinal detachment—which, if left untreated, could cause a permanent loss of sight or even blindness.

If the receptionists pick up the phone and hear the main concern is floaters or flashes, they will try to squeeze in the appointment within 24 hours. Expect the pupils to be dilated during your eye exam, so the eye doctor can get a really good look at the peripheral retina to diagnose or rule out a retinal tear or other serious condition, as opposed to a non-vision-threatening condition such as uncomplicated posterior vitreous detachment (quite common) or ocular migraine.

Please contact Village Eye Centre in North Edmonton at 587-410-5920 with any further questions, or to schedule an eye doctor’s appointment.

Can Your Eye Doctor See Floaters?

Eye floaters look like little specks or shapes that glide Eye Care Clinic across your visual field. They can resemble dark specks, outlined strings, or fragments of cobwebs – all of which are actually little pieces of debris or clumps of cells floating in your vitreous gel. When they cast shadows on your retina, you see them. Can your eye doctor also see them?

Yes, your eye doctor can see eye floaters during an eye exam. While most of the time floaters are harmless, sometimes they can indicate a serious, sight-threatening eye problem – such as retinal detachment. Your eye doctor will perform a dilated eye exam to inspect your eye health closely, looking out for signs of a problem.

If you only experience mild floaters without any retinal problem, there’s usually no need to treat eye floaters. However, if they’re severe and interfere with vision (and don’t go away on their own after several months), you may need laser treatment. But this is rare.

If eye floaters appear suddenly and in a large quantity, call your eye doctor immediately for an emergency eye exam. They could signal the start of retinal detachment, which can cause blindness when left untreated.

In the vast majority of cases, eye floaters are nothing more than bothersome, and people can usually ignore them more easily as time passes.

At Village Eye Centre, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 587-410-5920 or book an appointment online to see one of our North Edmonton eye doctors.

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Nerf Gun Eye Injury

Eye Doctors Warn About the Dangers of Nerf Guns

Kids and shooting toys are a common combination. Yet, are these games always safe? A recent rise in Nerf gun eye injuries calls attention to the safety of this well-known toy gun.

A September 2017 article published in the medical journal BMJ Case Reports describes three separate incidents of ocular injury after playing with a Nerf gun. Two of the injured patients were adults and one was an 11-year-old child. In all three cases, the patients suffered internal bleeding in their eye, inflammation, fuzzy vision and pain. Fortunately, all of these people sought medical care from an eye doctor and recovered their eyesight fully after treatment with eye drops.

What is Hasbro’s response?

The toy company giant that manufactures Nerf guns stressed that Nerf guns meet global safety standards when used correctly. Product safety is a top concern, and they encourage parents to always check the age recommendations on every item; Nerf products are indicated for children age 8 and up. In addition, kids need to be reminded not to aim Nerf darts at the face.

Hasbro assured that all of its products passed rigorous testing and reviews to determine that they are both fun and safe – but consumers must be responsible and heed the age warnings and specialized instructions.

Stay Clear of Fakes!

On the packaging for Nerf toy guns, it says that only branded bullets designed for this product should be used as replacements. However, many cheaper versions are available from retailers and you may be tempted to buy them. That’s not a wise move. These unlabeled darts and bullet heads are often harder than the originals, which gives them greater potential to cause a Nerf gun eye injury.

Not only is it risky to buy copies that aren’t made according to safety regulations, it’s also dangerous to modify your Nerf blaster or darts (as instructed by many online videos) to make them shoot faster and harder.

Emergency Eye Care for Injury After Playing with Nerf Gun

If you are hit in the eye or near the eye with a Nerf dart (or any flying object), pay attention to your symptoms. Bleeding in your eye, fuzzy vision, seeing black or starbursts, pain or any other uncomfortable symptoms are all warnings that you need an eye exam immediately! These symptoms could indicate that you are at risk for vision loss in the future.

For example, damage can be caused to the outer retinal layers of the eye by a Nerf gun, which can lead to a detached retina. Or, bleeding in the space between your cornea and iris can cause complications that are a risk factor for developing glaucoma.

Our eye doctors in will check your eyes carefully and thoroughly to determine the best treatment.

Play it Safe – Wear Protective Eyewear

In general, eye care specialists caution that any objects projected through the air with speed can lead to eye injury. Just because the object is packaged and marketed as a kid’s toy doesn’t mean it carries no risks. Our eye doctors remind parents to provide children with protective eyewear – and to make sure their kids wear it!

At Village Eye Centre, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 587-410-5920 or book an appointment online to see one of our North Edmonton eye doctors.

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What Causes Eye Flashes and Floaters?

Are eye flashes or floaters a sign to get emergency eye care?

Many people have floaters, which appear like squiggly lines or specks gliding past their visual field. Eye flashes are also common, which look like flickering sparks of light. Usually these drifting images become so familiar that you stop noticing them. Although, you may still think about them – and check to see if they’re still around. But whenever you try to focus directly on your floaters, they seem to zoom away in response. It’s only after your eyeball stops moving that you’ll see them drifting slowly and aimlessly again. Sound familiar?

You may also wonder, are floaters ever a cause for concern? Our eye doctor at Village Eye Centre explains the possible causes of eye flashes and floaters, and explains when they’re a reason to visit our eye care centre in North Edmonton, Downtown Edmonton, and Sherwood Park, Alberta.

What are eye flashes and floaters?

The back of your eyeball is filled with vitreous humor, a transparent, stable gel similar to egg white. The vitreous gel provides a pathway for light to enter your eye and travel through the lens to the retina. Once light reaches the retinal cells, images are captured and transmitted to your brain via the optic nerve.

As you age, the vitreous humor starts to slowly shrink, and the texture can become stringier. Strands of the vitreous gel, which are actually tiny cell clusters or a bit of protein, develop. These are floaters. However, when you see them – you are really seeing the shadows these cell clusters cast onto your retina.

Eye flashes have a different cause. They occur when your vitreous gel tugs or bumps against your retina.

Do all people get floaters?

Not everyone sees floaters, but most do – especially the older you get. At our eye care offices in North Edmonton, Downtown Edmonton, and Sherwood Park, Alberta, we regularly diagnose patients with these visual specks.

Floaters are also more common in people who suffered an eye injury in the past, underwent cataract removal surgery, or have nearsightedness or diabetes.

Are eye flashes and floaters a sign of a medical problem?

Typically, floaters and flashes are harmless and don’t require treatment. But sometimes they’re a warning sign of a sight-threatening eye condition, especially when a group of new floaters appears suddenly.

As the vitreous shrinks, it can pull on the retina and detach from it. When this happens, it’s called a posterior vitreous detachment, which leads to a retinal tear, which requires emergency eye care. If you have a retinal tear, inner eye fluid can leak through it and separate the rest of the retina from the tissues around it.

If you suddenly see a bunch of new floaters appear, call our eye doctor immediately to book an urgent eye exam at one of our offices in North Edmonton, Downtown Edmonton, and Sherwood Park, Alberta.

At Village Eye Centre, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 587-410-5920 or book an appointment online to see one of our North Edmonton eye doctors.

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Are you seeing floaters or flashes of light?

Floaters look like specks or squiggly threads that glide across your vision, and flashes appear like flickering sparks. Many people see floaters and flashes regularly and simply get used to having them around. Generally, both of these visual disturbances are harmless. However, they can sometimes be a sign of trouble – especially when a bunch of new floaters appears suddenly. Our eye doctors at Village Eye Centre, can determine if floaters are problematic during an eye exam at our eye clinics near you in North Edmonton, Downtown Edmonton, and Sherwood Park, Alberta.

What causes floaters and flashes?

A floater is composed of a tiny cluster of cells or a speck of protein that’s stuck in the vitreous gel of your eye. This clear gel (like raw egg white) fills about two-thirds of your eyeball, and it is the pathway for light entering your eye through the lens. As you age, the vitreous gel shrinks and becomes stringy – leading to the strands and clusters.

When you see a floater, you are actually seeing the shadow cast on your retina by these cells. As your eyes move, so do your floaters. Once your eyes stop moving, they just drift. Many people describe them as zooming away whenever they try to look at them directly.

Flashes of light happen when the vitreous gel rubs, pulls, or bumps against your retina.

Who sees floaters and flashes?

A lot of people! Approximately one-quarter of people see floaters by their 60s, and that number rises to about two-thirds of all people who are 80 years old.

Risk factors for floaters and flashes of light include:

  • Normal aging
  • Being nearsighted
  • Having had cataract surgery
  • A previous eye injury
  • Diabetes

When are floaters a sign of danger?

The sudden onset of new floaters may indicate retinal disease. The vitreous is connected to the retina, where images are captured and conveyed to the brain via the optic nerve. Shrinking vitreous sometimes tugs on the retina and pulls away from it. This is a normal occurrence, but in about one in six people, it will lead to a retinal tear. Fluid from inside the eye can then leak through the tear and cause a retinal detachment, which requires emergency eye care to prevent permanent vision loss. Contact an eye doctor near you immediately If you experience:

  • New onset of floaters and flashes
  • A gradual shading of vision from one side
  • Fast decline in your central vision

Learning to live with floaters

Over time, most people don’t notice their floaters. But if they become very bothersome, consult with our eye doctors in North Edmonton, Downtown Edmonton, and Sherwood Park, Alberta, for tips on how to cope by shifting them out of sight.


At Village Eye Centre, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 587-410-5920 or book an appointment online to see one of our North Edmonton eye doctors.

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Seeing Double? Common Causes for Double Vision in the Elderly

Double vision is a symptom that can be caused by a wide variety of conditions. Commonly experienced by the elderly population, double vision can often be effectively treated. But first, you’ll need a comprehensive eye exam to identify the cause. Contact our experienced eye doctors at Village Eye Centre, located conveniently in North Edmonton, Downtown Edmonton, and Sherwood Park, Alberta.

Types of double vision

Officially called diplopia, double vision can be either monocular or binocular. Monocular double vision occurs in each eye separately, whereas binocular double vision is only experienced when both eyes are open. It’s important to check which kind you have, because binocular double vision can result from some serious neurologic problems. In contrast, monocular double vision is not considered dangerous.

To check which type of double vision you have, close each eye separately and look around. If you have monocular double vision, you’ll still see duplicate images out of one eye. But with binocular double vision, you won’t see duplicate views at all.

Monocular double vision & the common causes

This vision condition generally looks like a shadow of an image overlapping with the primary image. It can affect either eye or both eyes at the same time. Dry eye syndrome is the most typical cause, because the tear film on your eye surface becomes uneven. Fortunately, artificial tears eye drops typically clear up this type of double vision.

Other causes of monocular double vision:

  • Cataract
  • Retinal disease
  • Irregular cornea
  • Eyeglasses in the wrong prescription, bent glasses frames, or scratched lenses
  • Binocular double vision & the common causes

A misalignment of your eyes is the most usual culprit for binocular diplopia. This vision condition pushes the images from each eye off slightly, so you see two images. Often, these two images are totally distinct from each other – with space in between them. Treatment of binocular double vision can involve using prisms in your glasses to help realign the images so they join into one. Covering one eye with a patch can also be helpful. Referral to a surgeon for correction of the misalignment may also be appropriate.

Conditions that may cause binocular double vision:

  • Previous eye trauma
  • Stroke
  • Systemic disorders

If you suddenly develop binocular double vision, contact your physician immediately. Some causes of this problem can be dangerous neurological conditions.

Eye exams are necessary for treating double vision

The only way to reliably determine which type of double vision you’re experiencing is by having a complete eye exam by a qualified eye doctor. Once the cause is known, the best personalized treatment plan can be designed. Contact our experienced professionals at our eye care centres in North Edmonton, Downtown Edmonton, and Sherwood Park, Alberta.


At Village Eye Centre, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 587-410-5920 or book an appointment online to see one of our North Edmonton eye doctors.

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