The human eye is an incredibly complex part of your body, and it’s responsible for your ability to see the world clearly. But sometimes, something can go wrong and lead to refractive errors like myopia or hyperopia. While your optometrist can help treat these conditions, many people find themselves asking: what’s the difference between myopia and hyperopia?

Myopia, or nearsightedness, develops when the eye is too long and causes difficulty seeing distant objects clearly. Meanwhile, hyperopia, or farsightedness, causes nearby objects to appear blurry while distant objects are clearer.

What Is a Refractive Error?

Think of your eye like it’s a camera. There’s a clear lens at the front that bends the light in towards all the complicated internal mechanisms. These internal systems take the light and turn it into a clear image of your environment, and you can see the world around you.

When everything works in unison, it’s great! You can clearly see with no problems. But what if the light doesn’t bend right or doesn’t reach the right area? What if something’s shaped a little weird, causing light to refract incorrectly? That’s a refractive error.

Usually, this is due to a problem with the shape of the eyeball itself or the curve of your lens. Sometimes as you grow, they don’t stay perfectly rounded—the eye can grow too long or too wide, or maybe the lens doesn’t curve properly. When a refractive error develops, light doesn’t refract properly into the eye, so the internal systems of the camera aren’t able to build a clear image. Instead, depending on what you’re seeing, things get blurry.

What Is Myopia?

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a refractive error caused by the eye growing too long or the cornea curving too much. This causes light to focus in front of the retina (the light-receptive cells at the back of the eye) instead of on it. As a result, things get blurry the further they are from the eye.

This condition often causes:

Typically, myopia develops around the age of 8 or so. This condition is progressive, so symptoms usually get worse until around the age of 20. During this time, the eye continues elongating, so vision tends to get worse until the eye finally stabilizes.

It’s unknown exactly why this condition develops, but it’s understood that genetics play an important role—if one or both parents have myopia, a child is much more likely to develop it. At the same time, it’s believed that there’s a correlation between time spent outside and myopia development; children who spend 2 hours a day or more outside are less likely to experience this condition.

What Is Hyperopia?

Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is kind of like the opposite of myopia. It develops when the eye grows wider than it is long, or the cornea is too steep. When this happens, light rays focus behind the retina rather than on it. This leads to difficulty focusing on nearby objects while distant objects are clear.

Hyperopia often causes:

Similar to myopia, though, it’s believed that genetics play a role in whether or not a person will develop hyperopia.

How to Treat Myopia & Hyperopia

There is good news, though: both myopia and hyperopia can be treated with the help of your optometrist. Usually, treatment aims to alter how light enters the eye to accommodate how your eye is refracting these rays. This is often done through eyeglasses or contact lenses.

However, there is a more permanent solution for adults looking for a long-lasting answer to their refractive error. Corrective surgeries like LASIK or PRK can be performed if you’re an eligible candidate. These surgeries aim to permanently alter your eye’s natural lens so it can refract light properly, so you won’t need other types of vision correction anymore.

However, it’s important to note—not everybody is a candidate for these surgeries. If you’re thinking about corrective surgery, you’ll need to visit your optometrist for a laser eye surgery consultation with your optometrist. They’ll perform a comprehensive exam to determine whether or not corrective surgery could work for you or if you need to try something different.

Close-up of a man undergoing a slit-lamp exam

What to Do if You Have Vision Problems

If you’re experiencing a problem with your vision, come visit our team here at Spectrum Eye Care. We can perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether or not you have a refractive error, and once we provide a diagnosis we can recommend an appropriate treatment. You deserve clear vision, so book an appointment with our team today!

We’ve likely all experienced red and scratchy eyes at some point in our lives. When it doesn’t go away, it can be alarming while you figure out what’s going on. Such as whether it’s a pink eye or a stye. Interestingly, though pink eye and a stye are 2 entirely different conditions, they might initially appear similar.

Pink eye is inflammation of the conjunctiva—the thin, clear layer that covers the eye’s white part— while a stye is an eyelid infection accompanied by a noticeable red bump. Fortunately, you don’t have to figure it out yourself; your optometrist can examine your symptoms and uncover the cause of your discomfort.

Pink Eye

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is an infection of the conjunctiva, the thin and transparent membrane that covers the eye surface and the inner eyelid. Additionally, pink eye can affect one or both eyes, or it may start in one eye and then spread to the other. Pink eye also tends to occur more commonly in children and can be accompanied by fever, sore throat, and respiratory problems.

Other pink eye symptoms include:

Pink eye can be caused by viruses, bacteria, allergies, or chemical irritants, though only viral and bacterial pink eye are contagious. In viral or allergic conjunctivitis, the discharge is usually clear and watery, while in bacterial conjunctivitis, it tends to be thicker and yellow-green.

Treating Pink Eye

The correct treatment for pink eye depends on which strain you’re dealing with.

Bacterial pink eye treatment includes antibiotic eye drops or ointments your doctor prescribes. Viral pink eye can’t be treated with antibiotics, but will normally resolve on its own in a couple of weeks. Until then, you can focus on relieving painful symptoms. Try artificial tears or a cool, wet washcloth across your eyes. Just remember not to share your washcloth; viral pink eye is contagious! That’s why it’s also essential to practice good hand and face hygiene to help prevent the spread.

Antihistamines can help reduce allergic pink eye symptoms or may even prevent them entirely. Additionally, you can take steps to reduce your exposure to allergens by wearing sunglasses to block pollen or keeping your bedding clean to reduce dust mites.

Chemical pink eye is caused by irritants such as chlorine, smoke, or chemicals. If you’re exposed, wash your eyes with saline solution or clean water for several minutes. If your symptoms don’t subside or worsen, seek medical attention immediately. Irritants can do a lot of damage to your eyes, so always wear appropriate protective equipment when working around chemicals.


A stye is a bacterial infection of an oil gland or hair follicle in the eyelid. The outcome is usually fairly obvious: a red, pimple-like bump usually at the base of the eyelashes. It typically only affects one eye, but it can develop either on the upper or lower eyelid.

A stye occurs when bacteria enter the oil gland through small openings in the eyelid skin, causing inflammation and pain. Common stye symptoms include:

As you can probably see, styes and pink eye have similar symptoms, but what sets styes apart is that signature red bump. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to see. Styes can either develop on the outside of the eyelid (external stye) or inside the eyelid (internal stye.) Internal styes are usually more painful and may cause the eyelid to swell.

A bacteria called staphylococcus aureus is the main cause of styes. These bacteria usually live on the skin and you could introduce them to your eye by:

Treating Styes

Most mild styes can be treated at home with warm compresses. Place a warm, damp cloth over the affected eyelid for 10-15 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day. This is important, pink eye uses a cool cloth, while styes benefit from warm cloths. The heat can help to increase circulation at the site, loosen blockages, and promote drainage. Do not try to pop or squeeze a stye.

If the stye persists or becomes severe, make an appointment to see your optometrist. We may prescribe antibiotics or drainage of the gland, depending on the severity of the infection.

A male optometrist checking a woman's eye to check for pink eye or symptoms of stye.

When Do I See a Doctor?

Pink eye and styes are both eye infections—and infections should be taken seriously. In time they could damage your vision. You should see your optometrist if:

Remember to practice good hand and eyelid hygiene, avoid sharing personal items, and contact the expert Spectrum Eye Care team whenever you’re unsure about your symptoms. We can examine your eye with a thorough health check and offer relief from eye infections.

Don’t risk your vision. Book an eye exam and let’s help you see relief today!

Getting a new pair of glasses can be a thrilling experience, especially if it’s your first pair. However, the novelty can quickly wear off if you start experiencing discomfort or dizziness. It’s not uncommon to hear people complain about their new glasses, claiming they need some “getting used to.”

It usually takes 2 or 3 days for a person to adjust to new glasses, but significant prescription changes could take up to 2 weeks to feel comfortable. It’s important to be patient as you adjust to your new glasses. Your brain and eyes are growing accustomed to a new world, and these growing pains are typically a sign that your new glasses are working properly. If something is wrong, your optometrist can examine your eyes and determine the cause.

Why Do I Need to Adjust to New Glasses?

Your eyes and brain need some time to adjust to the new prescription. It’s normal to experience some discomfort during this period, especially if your new glasses have a significantly different prescription or coating than your old ones. Think of it this way: your brain is seeing the world differently, and it needs to work a bit harder than usual to understand what’s going on.

This is a natural part of the adjustment time. It should only take 2 or 3 days, but some people may experience symptoms for up to 2 weeks.

Symptoms While Adjusting to New Glasses

Everyone experiences new glasses differently, and the issues you experience may depend on what exactly has changed. Even something as small as frame style or coating could cause symptoms. Common issues people notice while adjusting to new glasses include:

Once you’re through the initial adjustment period, your glasses should feel comfortable and natural. However, you may still need some time to get used to certain aspects, such as the weight or frame style. If you’re switching from contacts to glasses or vice versa, your adjustment period may last longer.

If you’re still experiencing discomfort or vision problems after a couple of weeks, you should consult your optometrist

Tips for Adjusting to New Glasses

While the adjustment period is unavoidable, there are several things you can do to make it easier.

Wear Your Glasses as Much as Possible

It can be overwhelming to wear your new glasses all day, every day, but it’s one of the best ways to get comfortable with them. You can start slow, but if you keep removing your glasses, your eyes and brain won’t have time to adjust. Try wearing them for an hour or 2, and gradually increase the length of time until you can wear them for a full day.

Even if your old glasses are more comfortable, don’t switch back and forth between them.

Move Your Head, Not Just Your Eyes

When people first wear glasses, they may tend to move only their eyes to look at different things. This can result in eye strain and discomfort. Instead, remind yourself to move your head as you normally would to look around.

Clean Your Glasses Frequently

Dirty glasses can cause eye strain and headaches. Clean your glasses at least once a day, preferably each time you remove or wear them. This can help you adjust more quickly to the new lenses, as you’ll see clearer than when they’re dirty.

Avoid Sudden Changes in Environment

Changing environments often can be tough on your vision when you have new glasses. Bright light and glare can cause discomfort and headaches. Take some time when moving from a dimly lit space to a bright one, such as when moving from indoors to outdoors.

Be Patient

Adjusting to new glasses may take some time, and everyone’s experience is different. Don’t feel discouraged if you’re experiencing some discomfort, headaches, or eye strain. With time, your glasses should become more comfortable, and your vision should improve. Be patient and take breaks when you need to rest your eyes.

A man in an optometry clinic shaking hands with his female optometrist

Love Your New Glasses

Getting new glasses is an exciting time, but it can also take some time to adjust to your new prescription. Knowing what to expect and how to deal with it can make the adjustment period smoother and more comfortable.

Our team at Spectrum Eye Care can help you sort through the many great options for glasses and find a pair you love!

Remember, it’s normal to experience some discomfort and visual changes during the first few days or weeks with new glasses. If your symptoms persist or worsen, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can answer your questions about adjustment times or help you find a new pair.

Waking up with dry, crusty eyes can be quite frustrating, especially if it’s a recurring problem. You might wonder why your eyes feel so irritated and dry when you wake up in the morning, even when you’ve had a good night’s sleep.

There are several reasons why you might wake up with crusty, irritated, dry eyes, including underlying health problems, nighttime allergies, or your sleep environment. The first step toward dry eye relief is an eye exam to understand why your eyes are dry and then treatment to address the cause.

What Is Dry Eye?

You’ve possibly encountered those moments when your eyes feel parched as a desert. That dry sensation is something a lot of Canadians experience, around 30%, in fact! Essentially, dry eye occurs when your eyes don’t have enough moisture.

Every time you blink, you’re spreading a refreshing layer of tears across your eyes. It’s not just water you’re adding to your eyes, but a fantastic mix of proteins and nutrients. This tear film protects your eyes from dust and debris while keeping them nourished.

And if anything foreign tries to make itself at home on your eye’s surface, like an errant eyelash or a speck of dust, your tears spring into action, trying to wash away the intruder.

However, if you don’t make enough tears or they evaporate too fast, your eyes can become unprotected and dry. Various factors can increase your risk of dry eyes, including:

Dry Eyes at Night

Every day, our eyes are up against drying environmental factors like dust, dry air, and wind. These can leave our eyes feeling strained and tired. Plus, spending a lot of time focusing on screens or concentrating hard can mean we blink less, which can dry out our eyes.

If you’re a contact lens wearer, wearing your lenses for long periods during the day can also lead to dryness and discomfort by the time evening rolls around. So, it’s really important to give your eyes a break to help keep them well-lubricated!

But these primarily explain why your eyes might be dry when you go to bed, what about when you wake up? There are a few things that could be happening at night leaving you with dry eye.

Allergies at Night

Eye allergies can leave your eyes dry, and allergies at night are no different. When allergies kick in, your eyes start producing histamine. This chemical can lead to inflammation and itching, which might tempt you to rub or scratch your eyes, making them even drier.

Allergies don’t just pop up out of nowhere. They’re your immune system’s dramatic reaction to allergens like pollen, dust mites, or pet dander. Even if you have a mild allergy that doesn’t affect you during the day, sleeping in a room with allergens can make you feel like you’re living in a dust storm.

Nocturnal Lagophthalmos (Sleeping with Your Eyes Open)

Our eyelids play an essential role in protecting our eyes and refreshing our tear film. Lagophthalmos is a condition in which your eyelids don’t close completely. For some people, this can happen exclusively at night, in which case it’s called nocturnal lagophthalmos, and they may not even know they have it.

Since people with this condition don’t fully close their eyes while sleeping, their eyelids don’t form a seal to hold in moisture. This gap can leave their eyes open to the elements and can result in dryness in the morning.


Rosacea is a chronic skin condition characterized by reddening, particularly on the face, and can lead to other symptoms such as pimples, spots, and sensitivity. However, when it affects the eyes it’s called ocular rosacea, which can lead to severe inflammation and chronic eye dryness. It’s possible to have ocular rosacea without skin symptoms.

Ocular rosacea can share symptoms with dry eyes, including:

Dry Eye Therapy

It can be difficult to deal with dry eyes at night. Your optometrist can help you manage dry eye symptoms so your eyes feel refreshed in the morning.

Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) causes the majority of dry eye cases. When your meibomian glands become inflamed or blocked, they’re prevented from releasing oils that help keep your tears from evaporating too fast. Your optometrist can offer specialized treatments to unclog glands and reduce inflammation:

Close-up of a man undergoing a slit-lamp exam.

Wake Up Easier with Spectrum

Waking up with dry eyes can be uncomfortable, but it’s important to understand that there are many reasons why this can happen. Once we understand the cause, we can work toward relief.

Treatment may include changing your sleep environment, addressing health concerns, or using heat therapy for MGD—whatever the case, Spectrum Eye Care has your back.

If you experience persistent crusty eyes, dryness, or irritation when you wake up, it’s time to take your morning back! Book an eye exam today, and let’s help you get the good night’s sleep you deserve.

If you have dry eye disease, you’re not alone. Millions of Canadians suffer from this frustrating, all too common eye condition. Combine that number with the millions of Canadians who choose to wear contact lenses to correct blurry vision, and it’s no wonder many people are searching for the best contacts for dry eyes.

It can be challenging to find contacts that provide comfort all day without causing further irritation or discomfort. The best contacts for dry eyes depend on your unique lifestyle and needs but could include:

Dry Eyes & Contact Lenses

The most common culprit behind dry eyes is meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). This occurs when the meibomian glands lining your eyelids become inflamed or clogged. These glands are vital for creating meibum, an oil that prevents your tears from evaporating too fast. When they’re clogged, you may experience dry eye symptoms, such as:

Dry eyes can turn daily tasks like computer work, reading, and watching TV into frustrating and uncomfortable experiences. Since some studies have shown contact lenses could actually worsen dry eye symptoms, it’s vital to get lenses that support your relief rather than hinder it.

How Can Contacts Make Dry Eyes Worse?

Contact lenses are a lot like your eyes, they work better when hydrated. Despite that, contacts with a high water content might increase your likelihood of developing dry eyes. We know it sounds backwards. You’d think more water means more hydration, but that’s not always true.

Here’s what’s happening: the water in those high-water-content lenses can pull lipids and proteins from your eyes. This throws off the tear film that keeps your eyes moist and could lead to the lens dehydrating. Some contact lens wearers may be unaffected, but if you’re already struggling with dry eyes, this could tip things into uncomfortable territory once the lens dries out.

Contacts for Dry Eyes

Your optometrist might have you try a few different contact lenses to find the pair that feels most comfortable to you.

Soft Contact Lenses

Soft contact lenses are the most commonly prescribed type of contacts, and they come in different designs, sizes, and materials. People with dry eye may enjoy soft contacts for their comfort and flexibility

Although traditional hydrogel lenses are popular, advances in contact lens technology have led to the development of silicone hydrogel lenses, which can let more oxygen reach the eye than their hydrogel counterparts.

They’re especially beneficial for those who experience severe dry eye symptoms. While hydrogel lenses with high water content can absorb moisture from your tears, silicone hydrogel doesn’t rely on water content for comfort. This allows soft lenses to stay comfy without drying your eyes.

Daily Disposable Contact Lenses

Contact lenses can pick up bacteria and protein as you wear them, which is why they need to be properly cleaned every day. Instead, why not wear a fresh pair every day? This is why daily disposable lenses are possibly the most hygienic type of soft contact lens.

As their name implies, daily disposable lenses are worn for one day and then discarded, eliminating the need for cleaning and storage. They’re an excellent choice for people with dry eyes, as they provide a fresh lens every day, and there’s less chance of bacteria or protein buildup, which can cause dry eyes or irritation.

Hybrid Contact Lenses

Hybrid contact lenses are a combination of soft and rigid gas-permeable (RGP) contact lenses. They have a rigid centre surrounded by a soft, comfortable outer layer. Hybrid lenses can provide better visual acuity than soft lenses, paired with more comfort than strictly RGP lenses. 

Think of them as taking the advantage of each type of contact lens. They allow high oxygen permeability, making them an excellent option for mild dry eye sufferers who want the benefits of rigid lenses without sacrificing comfort.

Scleral Contact Lenses

Scleral contact lenses are large RGP contact lenses that vault over the entire cornea and rest on the sclera (the white part of your eye). The space between the lens and the cornea creates a reservoir, providing moisture and preventing the lens from making direct contact with the eye’s surface.

Scleral lenses have become a popular choice for people with dry eyes. What’s more, scleral lenses can work great for individuals with irregular corneas, high astigmatism, and post-surgical complications.

A male optometrist using a medical device to examine the eyes of a female patient and look for potential eye problems.

Your Path to Dry Eye Relief

Finding the best contact lenses for dry eyes may require some research and experimentation. However, considering the different options available today, our knowledgeable team at Spectrum Eye Care can help you find the lenses that work for you.We’re dedicated to using our eye care technology to diagnose dry eye symptoms and treat blockages caused by meibomian gland dysfunction. With the right combination of lens type and fit, you can enjoy a comfortable and clear vision without the discomfort of dry eyes. Book your appointment today and let’s get started on your dry eye relief.

Your eyes are vital organs and require proper care and attention to maintain good health. If you experience a burning sensation in your eyes, it could be due to various reasons. Burning eyes can be a symptom of dry eyes, blepharitis, contact lens irritation, an eye infection, allergies, or digital eye strain. 

Burning eyes are irritating, and if the cause is serious, it can begin to impact the quality of your vision. Visit your optometrist if you’re experiencing chronic or persistent burning eyes. An eye exam can help identify the underlying cause so you can treat the symptom at the source.

What Causes a Burning Sensation in Your Eyes?

A burning feeling in your eyes can range from mild to intense, depending on the reason and its severity.

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes are a common cause of eye burning. When your eyes don’t produce enough tears or the quality of the tears is poor, it can cause irritation and a burning sensation. Other symptoms of dry eyes may include:


When bacteria build up on the eyelids, it can cause blepharitis, inflammation of the eyelids. The irritation can cause burning in the eyes and lead to potential bacterial infection. It’s closely related to meibomian gland dysfunction and dry eye because the bacteria can block the meibomian gland’s oil production. Blepharitis has many symptoms in common with dry eye, but other common symptoms can include:

Blepharitis can develop into styes, chalazion, or corneal damage, so it’s important to visit your optometrist to address its symptoms.

Contact Lens Irritation

Wearing contact lenses can make vision correction easier, but it can leave your eyes vulnerable to irritation. Overwearing your contact lenses for extended periods can cause eye burning. The lenses may dry out your eyes, irritate your cornea, or create a bacterial infection.

Improperly fitted contact lenses, damaged or torn lenses, and protein deposits can irritate the cornea and cause it to swell. If you experience eye burning while wearing contact lenses, remove them immediately and switch to glasses until you visit your optometrist for an updated contact lens exam.


Just like your respiratory system, your eyes can also develop infections. Eye infections can cause intense eye burning depending on the type of infection. Viral, bacterial, and fungal infections require different treatment methods, but visiting your optometrist is the first step to healing your eyes.

Some of the most common eye infections include:

Most eye infections share many common symptoms, such as:

External Factors That Can Affect Your Eyes


If you have allergies, the irritants can make your eyes burn and itch. The symptoms can be caused by different allergens such as pollen, pet dander, or dust mites.

Other common allergy symptoms include:

Over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants, and eye drops can help to alleviate allergy symptoms. However, if your symptoms are severe, you should consult an optometrist.

Digital Eye Strain

If you spend long hours staring at screens, reading, or doing close work, you may experience eye strain. While many experience digital eye strain while working long days at the computer or scrolling too long on social media, the symptoms can cause discomfort in your whole body.

Eye strain can lead to symptoms such as:

To reduce the discomfort, take frequent breaks from close work, adjust your screen brightness and contrast, and use good lighting in your environment.

How to Soothe Burning Eyes

Use Eye Drops

Artificial tears or eye drops can provide instant relief from burning eyes and improve overall eye comfort. Eye drops can help soothe and lubricate the ocular surface to reduce inflammation and dryness. Some eye drops contain anti-allergen and anti-inflammatory agents that can alleviate specific symptoms of burning eyes, such as redness, itching, and stinging sensation.

Eye drops are available with or without preservatives. Preservatives help eye drops last longer, but overusing eye drops can cause irritation. Preservative-free eye drops are single-use and have a short shelf life, but they can be a better choice if you’re using eye drops more than 4 times per day.

Ask for a recommendation from your eye doctor before trying eye drops so you use the right type to soothe your symptoms.

Reduce Screen Time

Using a computer or digital device for prolonged periods can cause eye strain and dryness that lead to burning eyes. To minimize eye fatigue and discomfort, try taking frequent breaks from your screen time every 20 minutes or so. Reducing screen time after work or school can offer relief from your symptoms and allows your eyes to rest.

Close work like sewing, drawing, woodworking, or knitting can also strain the eyes over prolonged periods. If you’re prone to getting absorbed in a hobby that requires close focus, make time for breaks to go outside or switch tasks.

Cool Compresses

To counteract the burning sensation, a cool compress is a simple home remedy to try. It soothes irritation and constricts blood vessels to reduce any swelling. While an ice-cold compress sounds soothing, it’s important to avoid direct contact with the skin and only use a compress for up to 15 minutes at a time to avoid frostbite. 

Practice Good Hygiene

One of the most straightforward ways to prevent burning eyes is by practicing good hygiene habits like washing your hands frequently, which can prevent the spread of germs that cause eye infections and other eye-related issues.

If you wear contact lenses, be mindful of the cleaning and replacement routine. It’s essential to clean and disinfect your lenses regularly to help prevent bacteria buildup that can contribute to eye irritation and infection. Consult your optometrist for the appropriate cleaning regimen and best practices.

A woman holds a small bottle of eye drops in her left hand and puts them in her right eye by using her right index finger to pull her eyelid down.

Protect Your Eyes from Irritants

Exposure to environmental irritants like dust, smoke, and chemicals can trigger eye irritation and a burning sensation. Take precautions by wearing protective goggles or eyewear when exposed to harsh elements. Also, avoiding rubbing or touching your eyes with unwashed hands is a good idea, as it can transfer bacteria and irritants to your eyes.

If you’re experiencing burning eyes related to allergies, consider taking antihistamines or other allergy medications to ease symptoms and avoid known irritants that trigger your symptoms.

Consult Your Optometrist

If your burning eyes persist or worsen despite trying at-home remedies, it’s crucial to consult an optometrist. Chronic burning eyes can indicate underlying conditions, such as severe dry eye syndrome, allergies, or infection, requiring professional intervention.

Your optometrist can perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine the root cause of your burning eyes and develop a personalized treatment plan that fits your condition and needs.

Prioritize Your Eye Care

Eye irritation from burning sensations, strain, dry eyes, or infections can disrupt your life. Your eyes should feel comfortable, and your optometrist can recommend treatment options to help you find relief.

If you’re experiencing chronic or severe burning eyes or are due for your next eye exam, schedule an appointment at Spectrum Eye Care. We’re here to help you keep your eyes healthy and bright.

If you’re experiencing discomfort from dry eyes, most likely, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is to blame. MGD is the most common cause of dry eye disease and occurs when the meibomian glands become blocked with hardened oil and debris. Unblocking them is the primary method to achieving relief from irritating symptoms.

There are several methods to unblock blocked meibomian glands, from home methods to in-office treatments, including heat masks, meibomian gland expression, and TempSure Envi therapy. During a your eye examination, our doctors will identify the cause of your dry eye symptoms, determine the severity, offer advice on dry eye management, and recommend treatments.

What Is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?

Your meibomian glands are the oil-producing glands that provide the lipid layer to the tear film. A well-balanced tear film consists of 3 distinct layers: the inner mucus layer, the middle aqueous layer, and the outermost layer of lipid or fat.

The oil layer of the tear film is exposed to the environment, and it’s critical to delaying premature tear evaporation. You can develop dry eyes if your tears evaporate too quickly before new tears are produced.

All 3 layers of tears are essential for protecting the eye from environmental conditions and debris, lubricating the eye, preventing infections, and protecting the health of the conjunctiva and cornea, parts of the eye’s surface. 

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Symptoms

MGD can cause various uncomfortable symptoms, including:

Risk Factors for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

Some are more prone to developing dry eyes than others. Common risk factors related to MGD include:

Many of these risk factors can be diminished with lifestyle changes: Reduce or quit smoking, double cleanse to remove your makeup correctly, wear your contacts only as directed, and limit screen time. While you may still experience dry eyes, these are all steps toward caring for your health and lessening your discomfort.

A senior woman is using a warm towel to cure the symptoms of clogged meibomian glands.

How to Unblock Meibomian Glands

Unblocking meibomian glands can offer long-term relief for MGD. You can use home remedies or try dry eye technology to prevent oil buildup from returning for longer.

Heat Mask

A warm compress or heat mask at home can gently warm the glands to liquefy the hardened oil blockages. After using a heat mask, you can carefully massage the eyes to encourage the oil to unblock the glands.

If you’re worried that you’re too heavy-handed and decide to skip the eye massage, using a warm compress alone can go a long way in relieving your discomfort in the short term.

Meibomian Gland Expression

An in-office meibomian gland expression treatment has been shown to improve MGD and dry eye symptoms significantly. Your optometrist can apply pressure to the eyelids to express the oils from the glands on the eyelid margins.

Using a paddle-like tool, your optometrist will compress the lower and upper lids to effectively increase the quality of oil production and help relieve symptoms of dry eye. While there can be some discomfort during the procedure, you’ll likely begin to feel an ease in irritating dry eye symptoms.

TempSure Envi

TempSure Envi is a therapeutic warming treatment using innovative technology to maximize dry eye relief. Compared to an at-home warm mask, TempSure Envi offers a deeply penetrating yet gentle heat coupled with a soft massage to break up oil blockages and flush out the old oils.

When the oil blockages are softened and massaged away, your glands can produce fresh, healthy oils to stabilize your tear film’s balance.

How to Prevent Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

Once you’ve received treatment to unblock your meibomian glands, you can take some preventative measures to discourage more buildup from accumulating. Some simple lifestyle tips to incorporate into your routine include the following:

Treat Your Meibomian Gland Dysfunction & Relieve Dry Eye

Unblocking your meibomian glands can restore moisture to your eyes and lubrication to your tear film. Visit Spectrum Eye Care to discuss your dry eye symptoms, choose the best treatment, and keep your eyes comfortable and healthy.

Astigmatism is a common vision condition that affects most people on some level. If you have a higher degree of astigmatism, you may face issues like blurriness, headaches, or distorted vision. 

Sometimes astigmatism at a low level does not require treatment, but you may need glasses or surgical treatment to correct higher levels. 

With regular eye exams, your optometrist can detect and monitor astigmatism and discuss the services available to help you achieve clear vision.  

What Is Astigmatism? 

Astigmatism is a condition where the cornea has an abnormal shape and may poorly refract light. A correctly-shaped cornea is round and refracts light to reach the retina effectively. Some cases of astigmatism make it difficult for the light to reach your retina and cause vision issues. 

Symptoms of Astigmatism

Astigmatism can cause a range of symptoms in those with the condition. Here are a few of the common symptoms you may experience: 

What Causes Astigmatism?

The direct cause of astigmatism is unknown as many people are born with the condition, leading experts to believe that it is inherited from your parents. However, doctors are unsure of the cause. Some people develop astigmatism in their youth or later in life. 

Driving with Astigmatism 

The ability to see clearly is a requirement for safe driving, and astigmatism can get in the way of this, making driving difficult, particularly at night. With astigmatism, your eye may distort light and cause a halo-like effect around lights when driving. 

Diagnosing Astigmatism 

Astigmatism is a refractive error and can be diagnosed through an eye exam. A typical eye exam will allow your optometrist to evaluate your ocular health and check for refractive issues. Here are a few of the standard tests your optometrist may include:

Visual Acuity Test

A visual acuity test typically implies having you read from a graph far away while looking through both eyes and then at each eye individually. Your doctor will generally use this test to determine your clarity of vision. 

Refraction Test 

A refraction test is used to help your doctor determine the prescription needed for your glasses. It generally entails looking through a machine that will measure the quantity of light reflected by your retina. 


A keratometer is a machine that measures the anterior curvature of your cornea. It can be used to assess refractive errors and in contact lens fittings.

Slit Lamp Test 

A slit lamp test typically involves your doctor using a low-powered microscope to look closely at your eyes and take digital images. Along with helping your doctor look for signs of astigmatism, they can check for other conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts.

Following an exam, your doctor can provide you with a prescription for your eyes and more insight into your ocular health. 

A boy is wearing an optical trial frame, getting an eyeglass prescription for astigmatism.

Treatment Options for Astigmatism 

Astigmatism is a common condition, and many potential treatments are currently available. Consult your doctor to learn more about the options available and which might be suitable for your eyes. Below are a few common treatments.

Glasses or Contact Lenses 

Glasses and contact lenses are the most common corrective option for people with astigmatism. Glasses and contacts have custom-fitted lenses unique to you that can help compensate for the uneven shape of your eyes. The lenses can help you reflect light properly and gain clear vision. 

Refractive Surgery 

Sometimes, an eye doctor may recommend refractive surgery to treat astigmatism. Refractive surgeries like LASIK, LASEK, or PRK may be done to alter the shape of your eye to reflect light correctly. 

Astigmatism Combined with Other Refractive Errors

It is not unusual for astigmatism to come with other refractive issues that can impact your vision.


Myopia, or nearsightedness, is one type of refractive error that can be combined with astigmatism. It’s a condition where objects up close appear clear, but distance vision is blurry. Nearsightedness typically develops in children, but it’s important to check your eyes regularly as it can also develop later in life.


In contrast, hyperopia, or farsightedness, is another refractive issue where distant objects appear clear, but objects up close can be blurry. Hyperopia can also be combined with astigmatism, requiring specific lenses to gain clear vision. 

Book an Eye Exam Today

Our team of experienced doctors at Spectrum Eye Care has years of experience dealing with refractive issues and helping our patients to manage their conditions. 

If you are experiencing any vision-related matters, please book an appointment and speak with our friendly team today. We can help you find the right corrective measure for your eyes.  

Omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil supplements have been the rage recently, and many people opt to incorporate more of them into their diets and for good reason. 

Omega-3 is not only an essential fat for our body, but studies suggest it can help to reduce dry eye symptoms. 

At Spectrum Eye Care, we’re passionate about helping our patients access treatments and holistic care that can lead to improved health and wellness. Learn more about how we can help by booking an eye exam and reading the full blog below. 

What Are the Benefits of Omega-3 for Dry Eyes? 

There are many treatment options available to treat dry eyes and omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to provide symptom relief. studies have looked at the effects that t omega-3 fatty acids have on dry eyes, and one noticeable benefit was the improvement of function in the meibomian glands. This gland plays a role in oil production in the eye, which directly impacts your tears and can help to reduce symptoms of dry eyes. 

Nonetheless, speaking with your doctor before incorporating more omega-3 fatty acids or fish oil into your diet is important. If you’re interested in supplements to support your eye health, schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.

Sample foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids which are salmon, nuts, avocado, and flax seeds.

What Are Omega-3s? 

Omega-3s are a special type of fatty acid that the body needs but cannot produce on its own. Instead, the body can get these essential fats through food or supplements. Here are a few foods high in omega-3 fatty acid:

Why Do You Need Omega-3s?

These essential fats play an important role in how our body produces hormones and regulates blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. As a result, omega-3s have been proven to prevent serious conditions like strokes and heart disease. 

Omega-3 Supplements 

Omega-3 supplements have grown in popularity and can be an effective way of getting essential nutrients. According to the NIH, omega-3 supplements can benefit things like rheumatoid arthritis and age-related macular degeneration with minimal side effects. 

If you want to try omega-3s for dry eyes, it should be noted that the supplements you buy off the shelf may not produce the results that you want. Incorporating more fish and leafy vegetables, paired with your optometrist’s recommendations, is typically the best combination. 

What Is Dry Eye?

Dry eye disease is a common condition in which your eyes do not produce enough or produce low-quality tears that evaporate too quickly. The surface of your eye is covered in a thin film that helps to keep the eye lubricated. In some cases, the film can dry, exposing the nerves of the cornea and leading to irritation when blinking.    

What Causes Dry Eye?

Dry eyes can occur for various reasons, and many Canadians may experience it at one point in their life. Here are a few common reasons you might have dry eyes:

Dry Eye Symptoms 

Dry eye signs can appear in many different ways, and it is best to seek professional advice if you have any issues with your vision and eyes. Here are a few of the more common symptoms experienced:

If you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms, contact your eye care provider to learn about your options for treatment. 

Treatment Options for Dry Eyes

Many treatment options exist to help reduce dry eye symptoms and lead to healthier eyes. Here are several treatment options available:

Artificial Tears 

Artificial tears are over-the-counter eye drops that can lubricate your eyes and may help reduce irritation felt from dry eye symptoms. 

Lifestyle Changes 

Sometimes lifestyle changes like drinking more water, avoiding smoky areas, and using a humidifier can help to reduce the risk of dry eye or the symptoms that come with it. 

Prescriptions Medications 

In more serious cases, your doctor may recommend prescription medications or eye drops to help combat the condition.

TempSure Envi 

The TempSure Envi technology uses therapeutic heat applied to the eyelids to unclog  the meibomian glands. This treatment allows the meibomian glands to function more effectively and produce better quality oils that in turn keeps the eyes lubricated.  Get Support from a Trusted Team

If you are experiencing any eye-related symptoms or want to learn more about our treatment options, visit us at Spectrum Eye Care. Our team can work with you to develop a treatment plan to help you find lasting relief. 

Do you notice eye dryness, irritation, and discomfort, either when you’re indoors or outdoors? These symptoms may be from multiple factors affecting your eye’s ability to produce tears or an eye condition called dry eye. 

When you visit your eye doctor for an eye exam, depending on the cause, they will determine a treatment plan based on your individual needs. Let’s talk about everything related to dry eye.

What Is Dry Eye?

Dry eye is a condition in which the eyes do not produce enough tears or tears evaporate too quickly because of an imbalance in the tear film, which has 3 layers:

  1. The outer oil layer keeps the eye’s surface smooth and prevents tears from evaporating.
  2. The middle water or aqueous layer protects the eye and keeps it hydrated.
  3. The inner mucous layer helps tear film stick to the eye’s surface. 

Without sufficient tears or quality tears, the eyes don’t receive enough lubrication or moisture, leading to dryness, irritation, and sometimes complications.

Symptoms of Dry Eye

Symptoms of dry eye can be mild or severe and can include the following: 

Multiple Causes of Dry Eye

Multiple causes of dry eye can affect the production of tears or increase the evaporation of tears. These include:

Diagnosing & Treating Dry Eye

During an eye exam, your eye doctor can diagnose meibomian gland dysfunction using Meibox imaging technology. It can capture high-definition images of the tiny oil-producing glands in your eyelids using infrared light. Early detection of the underlying cause of dry eyes allows for prompt treatment and relief of symptoms. 

Based on the severity of your dry eye, your eye doctor can recommend one or more therapies to relieve dry eye symptoms and treat the underlying cause. Common treatments for dry eye can include:

A woman using artificial tears to lumify her eyes as she suffers from dry eye syndrome.

Artificial Tears

Over-the-counter preservative artificial tears can provide temporary relief of dry eye symptoms. They come in various forms, such as drops and ointments. 

Prescription Medication

If over-the-counter artificial tears don’t provide enough relief, prescription medication with ingredients such as cyclosporine (Restasis) or lifitegrast (Xiidra) helps to increase tear production.

Heat Mask

For mild cases of MGD, a specialized iMED microbead heat mask, compared to a warm compress, can deliver heat more evenly and effectively to unblock the oil-producing glands in the eyelids and improve tear production.

Lifestyle Changes

Changes in lifestyle to protect your eyes and prevent dry eyes can include:

Omega-3 Supplements

Omega-3 oil supplementation is beneficial in reducing dry eye symptoms. Speak to your eye doctor first before taking any supplements, 

Radiofrequency for Dry Eye

Radiofrequency or heat technology can treat all stages of MGD. The Tempsure envi is a non-invasive treatment therapy that can deliver gentle heat much deeper to unclog meibomian glands by melting the clogged oils. 

For maximum benefits and more relief, 3 treatment sessions are recommended, with sessions taking about 15 minutes per eye. In severe cases of dry eyes caused by MGD, you can control symptoms by having annual maintenance sessions. 

Much-Needed Dry Eye Relief

You don’t have to live with the discomfort of dry eyes. When you consult the eye doctors at Spectrum Eye Care, we can diagnose the cause of your dry eyes and provide options for relief. 

Sometimes, a combination of treatments may be necessary to manage your dry eye symptoms. Don’t let itchy, dry, irritated eyes come between you and life. Schedule an appointment today.