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.

Migraines are a common form of headache that affect 15% of the population, predominantly in females. They may be accompanied by nausea and light sensitivity, and may last from several hours to a few days. Symptoms of migraines are commonly the presenting concern that brings a patient to visit an optometrist.

What is an aura?
A visual aura is the perception of disturbances in the vision. It is referred to as an ocular migraine. This may include zigzag lines in the visual field, shimmering lights, and or a “cracked glass” appearance. Blind spots are also common, and may increase in size or drift in position. These symptoms often precede the migraine itself. Aura symptoms usually last up to half an hour before the vision is restored
Should I see an optometrist for a migraine?
Yes, you should complete a comprehensive eye exam with your optometrist. It is important to understand that symptoms of migraine can mimic other serious health and ocular conditions. A dilated fundus exam should be completed to rule out disease of the retina, such as retinal tears, which can also cause visual disturbances like flashing lights. Headaches themselves can also have a wide range of etiologies, including an update to your spectacle prescription, or even dangerous neuropathies of the optic nerve. Additional tools should also be used such as OCT imaging and visual field tests.

Recurrent migraines are also a risk factor for another disease called glaucoma. This is due to the temporary decrease in blood flow to the eye. Patients should be closely monitored as this disease may cause progressive and permanent vision loss.

What can be done for migraines?

Your optometrist can advise you on steps to address migraines. Firstly, it may be advisable to consult your family practitioner, who may be able to prescribe preventative pharmacological therapy. Otherwise, avoiding common triggers such as stress, dehydration, lack of sleep, bright lights or certain foods can help decrease the frequency of attacks. Since triggers vary person to person, you may want to keep a migraine diary to help determine your own specific triggers.

At Spectrum Eye Care, we are equipped with the skills and latest technology to expertly assess the health of the eye and its role in symptoms related to migraines. Don’t hesitate to contact us to book an appointment or if you have any other quests.

Dry eyes, a common ocular condition affecting millions of people worldwide, can lead to discomfort, blurry vision, and a diminished quality of life. While traditional treatments focus on artificial tears and lubricating eye drops, there is a revolutionary approach gaining traction in the medical field: radio frequency technology. In this blog, we will delve into how radio frequency helps treat dry eyes and explore its potential benefits for patients seeking relief from this bothersome condition.

Understanding Dry Eyes: Before we delve into radio frequency treatment, let’s briefly explore the underlying causes of dry eyes. Dry eye syndrome occurs when the eyes fail to produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly. Factors such as aging, hormonal changes, environmental conditions, certain medications, and underlying medical conditions can contribute to the development of dry eyes.

Radiofrequency for Dry Eyes: Radio frequency treatment, is a minimally invasive procedure that has shown promising results in alleviating dry eye symptoms. It involves the use of radio waves to deliver controlled thermal energy to targeted areas around the eyes, stimulating the production of meibum (oil) to allow for a more stable tear film and minimize the speed at which the tears evaporate.

How Radio Frequency Treatment Works: During a radio frequency treatment session, a specialized device delivers radio waves to the affected areas around the eyes. These radio waves generate controlled heat, stimulating the glands responsible for tear production. By targeting the meibomian glands, which produce the oily layer of tears that prevents evaporation, radio frequency treatment helps improve the tear film’s stability and alleviate dry eye symptoms.

Benefits of Radio Frequency Treatment for Dry Eyes:
  • Enhanced Tear Production: Radio frequency treatment stimulates the meibomian glands, enhancing tear production and relieving the discomfort associated with dry eyes.
    Improved Tear Quality: By addressing the root cause of dry eyes, radio frequency treatment promotes the production of high-quality tears with the appropriate balance of oils, water, and mucus.
  • Long-lasting Results: Unlike temporary relief provided by eye drops, radio frequency treatment offers longer-lasting results by improving the functioning of the meibomian glands.
  • Minimally Invasive: Radio frequency treatment is a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure that can be performed in an outpatient setting, reducing the risk and recovery time associated with more invasive options.
  • Tailored Approach: The treatment can be customized to suit individual patients’ needs, allowing for precise targeting of specific areas around the eyes.

As the medical field continues to explore innovative approaches to treating dry eyes, radio frequency technology has emerged as a promising solution. By stimulating oil production and improving tear quality, radio frequency treatment offers new hope for individuals suffering from this chronic condition. Radio frequency treatment presents an exciting advancement in the field of Optometry and holds the potential to significantly improve the quality of life for those with dry eyes.

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. 

Astigmatism (“Ah-stig-mah-tism”) is a common eye condition that affects people’s vision. It is a refractive error that results in a distorted image because of an irregular shape of the cornea or lens. This causes light rays to focus on multiple points on the retina, leading to blurred or misshaped vision. If you notice things like blurry vision, headaches, eye strain, or distorted lights at night, you may have astigmatism.

The cause of astigmatism is not fully understood, but the largest factor is related to genetics. There is a good chance that if you have astigmatism, someone in your family also has it too. Significant eye rubbing can also increase your risk. Astigmatism can also develop after an injury to the eye, surgery, or due to certain medical conditions, such as keratoconus. Astigmatism can affect people of all ages, and it often occurs alongside other refractive errors such as nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia).

Astigmatism can be treated in several ways depending on the severity of the condition. The most common treatment is corrective lenses, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses, which are specifically prescribed by your optometrist to compensate for the irregular shape of the cornea or lens. The lenses are curved in different directions to help focus light properly on the retina. The corrective lenses can also correct other refractive errors such as nearsightedness and farsightedness. Patients with astigmatism can also be candidates for refractive surgery, such as LASIK or PRK. These procedures use a laser to reshape the cornea, correcting the irregular curvature and improving vision. 

a phoropter used by eye doctors when trying to find the right prescription lenses for patients.

Astigmatism can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam, which includes a visual acuity test, a refraction test, and a keratometry test to measure the curvature of the cornea. Consult with your optometrist to determine if astigmatism is the cause of your eye concerns and they will happily review all possible options to help with the condition. The best treatment option will depend on the severity of the condition and the patient’s individual needs and preferences.

A routine physical at your doctor’s office checks your physical health. Similarly, eye exams by your eye doctor assess your eye health and ensure you have the correct prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses

Eye exams can detect a wide range of vision problems and eye diseases, some of which may have no obvious symptoms. Scheduling time for eye health examinations in Stoney Creek is as essential as physical examinations. But how long does an eye exam take?

An eye exam can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more, depending on the type of exam and tests performed.

Why Are Eye Exams Important?

Eye exams can detect common eye conditions and diseases in their early stages to help prevent them from worsening and protect your vision. These can include refractive errors and other conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration

Your eye doctor will also check for signs of health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol that can affect your eyes.

A comprehensive adult and senior eye exam can include various tests based on an individual’s history, symptoms, and risk of developing eye diseases:

Your eye doctor may conduct additional testing based on your results or discuss a treatment plan for vision problems.  

A senior woman getting her eyes checked at our optometry in stoney creek.

Advanced Technology for Exceptional Eye Care

How to Prepare for an Eye Exam?

Typically your eye doctor will discuss your health, medical history, lifestyle, and preferences before your eye exam. You don’t need to prepare for an eye exam, but here are some points to remember:

  1. Make a list of any symptoms or concerns you have about your vision. It can help the eye doctor understand what to look for during the exam.
  2. Bring your current glasses or contact lenses to the appointment, which helps your eye doctor determine if any changes are needed.
  3. If you wear contact lenses, it’s best to avoid wearing them at your appointment. 
  4. Write down any medications you are currently taking.
  5. Bring a list of any allergies or past eye conditions.
  6. Bring a pair of sunglasses for wearing after dilation, as your eyes can be more sensitive. 

The optometrists at Spectrum Eye Care are happy to answer any questions or concerns when you book your upcoming eye exam

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. 

Have you started to increase the font size on your screens? Or are you catching yourself pushing reading material further from you to see better? You may also be noticing your eyes feel tired and strained by the end of the work day.

A woman holding the temples of her head due to headache due to eye strain while looking into a digital screen.

These are common signs of something called presbyopia. Presbyopia is not an eye disease, but a natural part of the eye’s aging process. When we are young, the internal lens of the eye which sits just behind the coloured iris is able to flex and change shape. This flexibility allows the eye to switch focus from far to near, in a process called “accommodation”. As time passes the lens naturally becomes more rigid and reading ability is progressively lost. Although presbyopia starts becoming symptomatic around the age of 40, the process can start even earlier.

Presbyopia is a refractive status that requires correction to alleviate. It is not a muscle weakness or condition that eye exercises or training can prevent. An optometrist will most commonly prescribe reading glasses, progressive addition lenses, bifocals, and contact lenses, or can even recommend surgical options. Researchers are also working on eye drops which restore some of the focusing ability of the lens. Reading correction is not a “one size fits all” solution. Although your optometrist may also suggest improvements to your reading conditions, there are many customizable nuances to the above options that can maximize ease of use and adaptation time.

A woman uses glasses to read a book in a grey background to overcome the symptoms of presbyopia.

The correct strength of the prescription should always be determined through a comprehensive eye exam. Although everyone experiences presbyopia, it is important to determine if there are any other refractive statuses, binocular function issues, or ocular health problems that may compromise reading ability. In an increasingly digital world, it is tempting to normalize discomfort after periods of near work. At Spectrum Eye Care, your optometrist will take the time to ask the right questions, thoroughly examine the eyes, and prescribe the best possible solution for your lifestyle.