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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

Be aware and drive away the glare

November 1, 2012

As Daylight Savings ends, Canadian eye care professionals join forces to
raise awareness of an important night vision issue

TORONTO, Nov. 1, 2012 /CNW/ – The end of Daylight Savings 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 (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 Savings 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 autumn 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 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.

SOURCE Canadian Association of Optometrists

Video with caption: “Video: Be Aware and Drive Away the Glare”. Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUMSqL9EpIk&feature=youtu.be&noredirect=1

Image with caption: “Autumn and winter weather can compound the effect of halos and glare as rainy, wet streets or snow can increase the amount of light reflected into eyes from street lights and headlights. (CNW Group/Bausch + Lomb) (CNW Group/Canadian Association of Optometrists)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121101_C3907_PHOTO_EN_19978.jpg

Image with caption: “Halos and glare are not only distracting, but can cause discomfort and even disorientation. They can affect people of all ages and may actually be heightened by corrective eyewear such as glasses and contact lenses. (CNW Group/Bausch + Lomb) (CNW Group/Canadian Association of Optometrists)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121101_C3907_PHOTO_EN_19980.jpg

Image with caption: “Halos and glare distort images and can make objects look blurry or hazy which may cause people to become distracted or unaware of their surroundings (CNW Group/Bausch + Lomb) (CNW Group/Canadian Association of Optometrists)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121101_C3907_PHOTO_EN_19979.jpg

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2012/11/01/20121101_C3907_DOC_EN_19982.pdf


Source: PR Newswire