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.

When it comes to eye care, it’s essential to understand the roles and responsibilities of various eye care professionals. Opticians, optometrists, and ophthalmologists play distinct but equally vital roles in maintaining our vision health. Let’s dive into the differences between these three eye care specialists and explore how they contribute to our overall eye health.


Opticians are highly skilled professionals responsible for fitting and dispensing eyeglasses and contact lenses based on prescriptions provided by optometrists or ophthalmologists. Their primary role is to ensure that the eyewear is accurately crafted to meet the specific needs of each patient. They work closely with customers, helping them select the right frames and lenses that suit their preferences and prescription requirements. Opticians are instrumental in translating the doctor’s prescription into actual eyeglasses or contact lenses, ensuring precise vision correction.


Optometrists are eye care professionals who have a bachelor’s degree and have also completed four years of training to obtain a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. They specialize in primary vision care, diagnosing and treating various eye conditions and refractive errors. During an eye examination, optometrists assess visual acuity, eye health, and refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. They are authorized to prescribe corrective lenses, eyeglasses, and contact lenses to improve vision. Optometrists can diagnose, manage and treat many eye conditions and diseases for example, Cataracts, Diabetic Retinopathy, Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma to name a few.  Optometrists refer patients to ophthalmologists for specialized treatments or surgery when necessary.


Ophthalmologists are medical doctors specializing in eye care and surgery. They have completed medical training, including four years of medical school and a residency in ophthalmology. As eye surgeons, ophthalmologists can perform complex surgical procedures to treat various eye conditions.  Apart from surgery, they diagnose and treat eye diseases. Ophthalmologists are also qualified to prescribe corrective lenses, similar to optometrists.

In summary, opticians, optometrists, and ophthalmologists each play vital roles in the realm of eye care, but their scopes of practice and levels of expertise vastly differ. While opticians focus on dispensing eyewear, optometrists provide primary eye care and prescriptions, and ophthalmologists are specialized eye surgeons. Collaboratively, these professionals ensure that our visual health is maintained, and any eye-related issues are addressed promptly and effectively. Regular eye exams from optometrists and ophthalmologists, along with the expertise of opticians in crafting corrective eyewear, contribute to the well-being of our eyes and overall quality of life.

Accutane, also known as isotretinoin, has been hailed as a revolutionary treatment for severe acne. While its effectiveness is well-documented, there have been concerns about its potential impact on various bodily systems, including the meibomian glands, which play a crucial role in maintaining eye health and comfort. In this blog, we’ll delve into the effects of Accutane on meibomian glands and explore ways to mitigate potential discomfort. 

Meibomian glands are tiny oil-producing structures located in the eyelids. They secrete an essential component of the tear film, which helps prevent evaporation and maintains stable tear quality. Dysfunction of these glands can lead to a condition known as meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), resulting in dry, irritated, and inflamed eyes. 

 Research suggests that Accutane may affect the meibomian glands and potentially contribute to MGD. The exact mechanism is not fully understood, but it’s believed that the drug could alter the composition of the oils produced by these glands, leading to changes in tear film stability and evaporative dry eye. 

 Individuals who have taken Accutane might experience symptoms such as dryness, redness, irritation, a gritty sensation, and increased sensitivity to light. These symptoms can impact daily activities and quality of life, making it essential to address them effectively. 

What to do if you are considering starting Accutane

Consultation with an Optometrist

If you’re concerned about the effects of Accutane on your meibomian glands, call our office and book an appointment at our office in Stoney Creek. Our optometrists can perform a comprehensive eye examination and assess the condition of your meibomian glands prior to starting Accutane treatment. 

Lifestyle Adjustments

Maintaining good eyelid hygiene can help alleviate discomfort. Warm compresses and lid massages can promote healthy gland function and improve oil flow. Additionally, staying hydrated and using artificial tears can help keep your eyes moisturized. 

Nutritional Support

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in foods like fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, have been linked to improved meomian gland health. Book an appointment with our optometrists to see which supplements would be beneficial for you prior to starting treatment.   

Prescribed Treatments

Depending on the severity of your symptoms or the appearance of your glands, our optometrists might recommend specific treatments, such as lubricating eye drops, prescription medications, or in-office procedures like radiofrequency to allow for meibomian gland expression. 

Eye Care Products

Using preservative-free artificial tears and ointments can provide relief for dry eyes. Look for products specifically designed to support meibomian gland function. 

While Accutane has been a game-changer for many struggling with severe acne, its potential impact on meibomian glands underscores the importance of holistic care. If you’re experiencing dry eyes or other discomfort, seeking guidance from an eye care professional will help you navigate potential effects and find strategies to maintain optimal eye health. Remember, everyone’s experience is unique, and a personalized approach to managing these effects is essential.

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.