Be Aware and Drive Away the Glare
As Daylight Saving Ends, Canadian Eye Care Professionals Join Forces to Raise Awareness of an Important Night Vision Issue
TORONTO, ON – The end of daylight saving time means that Canadians will be spending more time in the dark, whether driving to or from work, picking up the kids from hockey practice or going for an early morning run. This autumn and winter, the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) and the Opticians Association of Canada (OAC) are joining forces to raise awareness of the impact that low-light and dark conditions can have on your vision and the importance of seeing an eye care professional.
While rarely talked about or even understood, many of us experience an issue related to low-light vision – halos and glare in the early morning and evening hours. Halos (the rings you see around a point of light) and glare (difficulty in seeing in bright light environments like oncoming headlights) distort images and can make objects look blurry or hazy which may cause people to become distracted or unaware of their surroundings.
“It is interesting that Canadians do not typically think about their night and low-light vision during this time of year, yet so many of us have problems seeing well in darker conditions. Halos and glare are caused by spherical aberration, a phenomenon that happens in low-light conditions,” says Dr. Lil Linton, president of the Canadian Association of Optometrists. “In bright light conditions your pupil is small and light comes directly into your eye in a straight line and focuses where it should. However, in the dark, your pupil enlarges, so light comes directly into the eye but also comes in at different angles. When that happens, the light coming into the eye is not focused properly, therefore causing halos and glare.”
To educate Canadians about this important issue, the CAO and OAC, in partnership with Bausch + Lomb are rolling out their Drive Away the Glare campaign (www.driveawaytheglare.ca).
An Often Under-Recognized Condition
Many of us do not think about the fact that we are confronted by light sources from all angles on a daily basis, including car headlights, street lights, store fronts and stadium and event lights. While a problem all year round, Canadians will begin to notice halos and glare more often over the winter months when they are more active during low and no light hours. Autumn and winter weather can also compound the effect of halos and glare. Rainy, wet streets or snow can increase the amount of light reflected into eyes from street lights and headlights.
Halos and glare are not only distracting, but can cause discomfort and even disorientation. They can affect people at any age and may actually be accentuated by corrective eyewear such as glasses and contact lenses.
“People who wear glasses and contact lenses may notice halos and glare more than others, but anyone can be affected by them,” said Lorne Kashin, optician and vice president of the Optician’s Association of Canada. “Patients should ask their eye care professional about the solutions available, including new innovative contact lenses specially designed to reduce the appearance of halos and glare and/or glasses with anti-reflective coating.”
Start a New Tradition at the End to Daylight Saving Time
In addition to checking the batteries in your smoke detector, the CAO and OAC recommend that you schedule a visit to your eye care professional. It is important to speak to your eye care professional if you have any concerns about your night or low-light vision and it is recommended that everyone have an annual eye exam to ensure good vision and healthy eyes, even if you think your vision is good.
This fall and winter, be aware and Drive Away the Glare! For more information, to assess your vision with a Night Vision Quiz, and to locate an eye care professional near you, please visit www.driveawaytheglare.ca.
About the Canadian Association of Optometrists
The Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) is a professional association that represents over 4,500 doctors of optometry in Canada. CAO’s mission is to enhance the quality, availability, and accessibility of eye, vision and related health care; to enhance and promote the independent and ethical decision making of its members; and to assist optometrists in practicing successfully in accordance with the highest standards of patient care.
About the Opticians Association of Canada
The Opticians Association of Canada (www.opticians.ca) is a professional association representing Licensed Opticians in Canada. Our mission is to promote Licensed Opticians and the profession; to develop and maintain a professional standard of knowledge and proficiency in our occupational field, and to educate and inform vision care consumers about matters related to their eye health.
About Bausch + Lomb
Bausch + Lomb is one of the best-known and most respected healthcare companies in the world. Its core businesses include contact lenses and lens care products, ophthalmic surgical devices and instruments, and ophthalmic pharmaceuticals. Founded in 1853, the company is headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., and employs more than 11,000 people worldwide. Its products are available in more than 100 countries. More information is available at www.bausch.ca.
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