February is Heart Month!

Hello friends and welcome back! The teams here at Merivale Vision Care, Wellington Vision Care and Ottawa Vision Therapy are so excited to share that during this chilly month of February we are celebrating Heart Month in order to support our wonderful friends at The Ottawa Heart Institute! We celebrate Heart Month annually, and in doing so we hope to bring awareness to cardiovascular health and all the amazing things the Ottawa Heart Institute can do.

The Ottawa Heart Institute is Canada’s largest center for cardiovascular health, and our friends there are just the coolest. They have four main priorities when it comes to protecting our hearts. The first is ensuring they have the most state-of-the-art equipment and infrastructure and their Critical Care Tower is spectacular. The second priority is ongoing research committed to the best cardiovascular care. The third is a specific commitment to women’s cardiovascular health. The fourth is a passionate approach to patient advocacy, education, and support for patient loved ones.

The eye-heart connection is much closer than you might think. If you are a frequent visitor to our blog, you may have read our post from two years ago where I shared my experience with a Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO) in my left eye. A BRVO, also nicknamed an “eye stroke,” occurs when one of the branch veins in your eye ruptures and bleeds into your retinal tissue. At the most acute point in my bleed, I had notable vision loss in my central field of view. BRVOs are almost always related to hypertension, diabetes or a blood clotting issue. I don’t think you could bring heart and eye health any closer than that!

In order to sort out why I experienced a BRVO, I had plenty of bloodwork done to rule out any related blood or heart health issues. My cardiovascular health was cleared, and I had my BRVO successfully treated. Two years on and I am very happy to report I am still healed and there is no active bleeding. During my routine eye exam, I had my Optomap imaging done to check on the health of the back of my eye, which you can see in the image below. There is a faint scar on my left retina from the laser treatment but other than that my peepers are healthy and working in tip top shape.

You can become part of the Paper Heart Army when you visit our clinic for your eye exam. We will be donating $4 from each full eye exam to the to the Ottawa Heart Institute during the month of February. These donations quite literally save lives and give heart health patients the precious gift of a longer life and more time with their loved ones. I can’t think of a better reason to book your appointment and show your eyes some love.

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