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Lougheed Town Centre Optometry and Optical in Burnaby, BC
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Lougheed Town Centre Optical in Burnaby, BC
Home » What's New » Parkinson’s Awareness Month and Your Vision

Parkinson’s Awareness Month and Your Vision

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April is Parkinson's Awareness Month in the USA and Canada, a time when those living with the disorder, their family members, friends, and community come together to raise awareness and share helpful information. People with Parkinson's Disease (PD) and their loved ones are encouraged to share their stories, struggles, and successes in order to educate and support others.

The Parkinson's Foundation has announced this year’s theme: #KeyToPD and Parkinson Canada advocates the same involvement. What is the key to living a high quality of life while living with Parkinson’s? Patients, doctors, caregivers, and families are encouraged to use this hashtag on social media to give of their knowledge and experience.

In order to successfully manage the disorder, it’s essential to understand the disease, symptoms, and treatments. After all, knowledge is power.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to control physical movement. It typically affects middle aged people and the elderly. Parkinson’s causes a decrease in the brain’s natural levels of dopamine, which normally aids nerve cells in passing messages within the brain. According to The Parkinson’s Foundation and Statistics Canada, the disorder affects an estimated 1 million people in the United States, 55 000 Canadians, and 10 million globally.

What Causes Parkinson's Disease?

Although much research has been done on the subject, the exact cause of the disease isn’t really known. What doctors and scientists do know is that certain nerve cells located in the brain somehow break down. This damage interferes with both motor and non-motor functions.

How Does Parkinson's Affect Vision?

Parkinson's can have a significant impact on vision and ocular health. Patients with PD often find themselves unable to control blinking. Blinking is good for the eyes as it moisturizes the surface and clears it from foreign substances. Less blinking can cause Dry Eye Syndrome, resulting in itchy, red, or gritty-feeling eyes. Other people blink too much or can’t keep their eyes open. 

In more serious cases, Parkinson’s affects the nerves that help us see. Someone with PD may experience blurry vision, double vision, difficulty seeing color and contrast, problems with focus, and other visual symptoms. 

In addition to the inherent impact of the disease, some of the medications used to treat Parkinson’s symptoms have known side effects including dry eyes, blurred eyesight and even hallucinations in advanced PD.

Common Visual Symptoms of Parkinson's

Although the most recognized physical symptom is uncontrollable tremors, patients can experience other symptoms that affect their vision. These typically include:

  • Apraxia (inability to open the eyelids) 
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Dry eyes
  • Eye twitching
  • Focusing problems

Parkinson's Patients and Eye Exams

Eye exams can be particularly challenging for a PD patient, so choosing the right doctor is essential. Make sure your eye doctor regularly treats patients with PD. They’ll understand your or your loved ones’ unique needs and will take the time needed.

Common Non-Visual Symptoms of Parkinson's

PD affects other areas of the body that may or may not – depending on each patient – be related to their eye health and visual needs. 

Some of the most common non-visual symptoms are:

  • Depression
  • Excessive saliva
  • Loss of smell
  • Moodiness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Slow movement (bradykinesia)
  • Stiff limbs
  • Tremors

Coping With Vision Problems From Parkinson's

Despite the struggles caused by this degenerative disease, there is hope. Talk to your eye doctor. He or she may recommend medicated ointments or drops, injections, therapeutic lenses, visual aids, vision therapy, or a combination thereof. Additionally, a Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation doctor can provide comprehensive eye care specifically designed for neurological disorders like PD.

Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

There is currently no cure for the disease itself, but there are options to treat the symptoms of PD. A combination of medications, physical and/or occupational therapy, support groups, and of course, top-quality vision care can give a PD patient relief for some of their symptoms and tools to help cope with the condition.

Research and clinical trials are continuing as doctors and others in the medical community work towards the goal of finding a cure for PD.

No two patients are alike, and each can experience PD differently from the other, so finding what works for you or your loved one is key. During this Parkinson's Awareness Month, share your #KeyToPD and give your loved ones hope for a healthy and high quality of life.

Clinic Protocols and Patient Guidelines – COVID -19

We have been working diligently to establish protocols to keep both our patients and staff safe during this time and for the foreseeable future. The following protocols and guidelines have been established to ensure the highest level of sanitation possible.

Clinic Hygiene and Sanitization Protocols

 

Arrival to the Clinic

ONLY scheduled patients are permitted to enter the clinic. If you were driven to the clinic, please ask your family/friend to wait for you in the car. Please enter the clinic no earlier than 5 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.

If you arrive late for your appointment, it may have to be re-scheduled as we must keep on time to ensure enough time for sanitation between patients and avoid overcrowding at the reception area.

Please wear a MASK before entering the clinic.

If you do not have a mask, we will be offering them for a nominal fee.

 

Further Safety Precautions

Touchless Payment

Currently, we are only accepting Interac, Mastercard and Visa cards. If you have extended health insurance, Please inform our staff with all the details. We deal with Sun life, Great-West Life, Blue Cross and Manulife we will bill your insurance first and then charge your credit card the remaining balance.

Physical Distancing

Please be mindful to keep 2M distance if you run into other patients in the reception room. Stand on the floor decals. We are aiming to stagger appointment to avoid congregation in the waiting room.

Sanitation time between each treatment has been scheduled and we are using hospital grade disinfectants to sanitize all high touchpoints, tables, light switches, door handles etc

Practitioner PPE

We will be wearing masks, and some will be wearing face shields, gloves, and scrubs.

Paying for your treatment

 

Booking Appointments

Please email the clinic at info@lougheedoptical.com or call at (604) 420-2115 for your future appointments.

24 Hours Prior to your scheduled appointment

24 hrs. prior to your appointment, you will receive your 24-hour reminder email. It will have a link to the THRIVE BC COVID- 19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool. The link is: https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en IF you answer YES to any of the questions, please call the clinic to reschedule your appointment no earlier than 2 weeks. This is extremely important for the safety and protection of our patients, therapist, and our families.

Upon the arrival of your appointment, if we notice any flu-like symptoms or through conversation realize that you have possibly engaged with friends/family who may have been exposed to COVID- 19, we will respectfully ask you to reschedule the appointment.

Product Purchase

Our Staff will assist you in Choosing your Eye Wear, Please DO NOT HANDLE THE FRAMES FROM THE DISPLAY. Once you have made your Frame selection the remaining frames will be sanitized before being placed on the frame bars.

These protocols are in place to ensure the health and safety of you, your loved ones, our staff, our practitioners, and their families.

We thank you for your patience and understanding. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Lougheed Town Centre Optical & Optometry

Located at 9855 Austin Rd, Ste 147, Burnaby, BC V3J 1N4

Phone: 604-420-2115

We are back! We are now open to our normal business hours. Please request an appointment here or call 604-670-3329. We are looking forward to seeing you again. Thank you, and stay safe.