Picking Glasses for Your Face Shape (4 Best Tips)

How Do I Choose the Right Glasses?

The key to picking glasses is a combination of personal choice and keeping in mind that opposites attract. When picking glasses, select eyeglasses that contrast from your facial contours, provide symmetry, and balance out any prominent features. The truth is that humans are attracted to facial symmetry and a great pair of glasses can enhance your facial symmetry.

At Real Eyes Optometry, picking glasses is easy. You can try on dozens of frames to see which styles compliment you best.

 4 Simple Steps to Picking Glasses Perfect For You

1: Find Out Your Face Shape

The secret is picking glasses that best fit your face shape. This may seem like a daunting task with the number of frame styles available but we have a simple method. Grab a dry-erase marker, stand in front of a mirror, and trace your face on the mirror. Most people will fall into one of the following categories:

  • Oval 
  • Round 
  • Square
  • Triangular
  • Heart

Once you have determined your face shape, picking glasses that are complementary becomes easy. Certain frames can help accentuate, or even slim, parts of your face or prominent features such as your nose, cheeks, or eyebrows. If you have an oval-shaped face, the great news is that most frames will look amazing on you. Round frames that are thicker on the top can help balance a small chin and are great for a heart-shaped face.

Check out the chart below for help picking glasses that are right for you.

Picking Glasses Face Shape

2: Select Colours to Complement Your Skin Tone

Picking glasses that compliment your skin tone, and wardrobe, is easier than you think. For cool skin tones, seek out shades of black, gray, purple, and blue. For warm skin tones, try picking glasses that are tan, pink, yellow, and red. If you aren’t certain which skin tone you are, here are a few ways to find out. What color clothes are you most comfortable wearing? Typically it’s the same tone that would apply to picking glasses. If your wardrobe doesn’t help narrow it down, check out the color of your veins:

  • Warm: Your veins look greenish, and the base tone of your skin is yellow or gold.
  • Cool: Look for blue or purple-ish looking veins, and a skin base tone with hints of blue, pink, or red.
  • Neutral: Your veins may look colorless or match your skin color. Your skin tone could be a mixture of both warm and cool hues, or have an undertone which is the same color as your actual skin color.

3: Consider Your Lifestyle

The choice is personal and the best option for you is heavily tied in with your lifestyle. Other factors to take into consideration when picking glasses are ease of use, eye health, comfort, cost, and convenience. If you are an active person, an athlete, or have a job that is physical, picking glasses with a more durable frame is ideal.

If you find it an inconvenience to switch between contact lenses and glasses for working out, consider comfortable, sturdy frames that won’t distract you from your workout. 

Do you work in front of a computer most days? Then adding blue-light lens filters and anti-glare coatings is a must. Yes, you will spend a bit more, but these glasses will be with you for years. Years of discomfort or lower quality sleep due to blue light is not worth it.

Do you live in a sunny climate? Consider glasses that have transition lenses, or convert them into sunglasses (ex. clip-on’s). It will not only save you from buying two pairs of glasses, but it will also ensure that you can move throughout your day with ease, regardless of the weather, brightness, and UV exposure.

picking glasses lifestyle

4: Show Your Personality

picking glasses personality

Picking glasses that reflect your personality is the perfect way to show off who you are. With all the options that are available, virtually every shape, color, or pattern is at your fingertips. However, be wary of cheap or poor-quality glasses. Not all sunglasses or glasses are created equal. The cheap pair picked up at the gas station, or a vintage pair purchased at a thrift store may not have the appropriate UV coating to protect your eyes. Cheaper sunglasses may not provide complete protection, whereas more expensive pairs often are a better bet for full-spectrum coverage. 

No matter which style you choose, a colorful pair for the weekend or a functional pair for work, ensure you feel confident and they make you happy.


How Do You Know What Size Glasses to Get for Your Face? (4 FAQs) 

Now that we have narrowed down the type of glasses you want for yourself, here are some frequently asked questions to ensure the pair you fall in love with are the right ones for you. 

picking glasses size

Picking glasses that are the right size for your face is a bit more precise and is something your optometrist or eye care specialist can help you out with. Have you ever worn a pair of glasses and noticed a small indent at the top of your nose when you took them off? Or experience what feels like a headache behind your ears? These are common issues when your glasses aren’t the proper fit. Glasses with the proper fit will distribute the weight and pressure evenly between your ears, the width of the frame, and your nose. So how do you go about picking glasses that are the right size? Ask yourself these questions.

1. How Do You Tell if Glasses Are Too Big for Your Face?

The easiest way to tell is if they are constantly sliding down your nose or falling off your face. Properly fitted frames should align horizontally with your eyes, rather than the edge of the frame dipping down on either side. The bottom of the frame should be closer to your face than the top of the frame.

2. Are My Glasses Too Narrow?

Common ways to tell are if the nose pad, at the bridge of your nose, is pinching you. Do you experience indents on your face from where your glasses sit? Also, if your pupils are not centered in the frames, it means your frames are likely too narrow.

3. Should My Glasses Touch My Cheeks When I Smile?

If this occurs, it may depend on your face shape but it is not something to seek out when picking glasses. This is because when you smile, it will push up your glasses, lifting the nose pads off the bridge of your nose. In addition, make sure the lenses are not too close to your eyes to avoid eyelashes brushing against the lens.

4. What Is a Good Weight for Glasses?

Most light to standard weight glasses are 1/2 oz. Heavy glasses can be 3/4 oz. When picking glasses most people prefer lighter glasses. While the difference in weight may seem negligible to most people, the difference can have more of an impact on children and higher power lenses. 

Heavier glasses can place too much weight on your child’s nose, causing the frame to slip and obscure vision. Higher power lenses will be thicker and have more weight. Regardless of your age, it’s important to understand how glasses should fit.

Worried about figuring out if the glasses you just picked out will fit or not? Check out these easy methods to measure your face and ensure you get the perfect fit.

Top 2 Apps to Help Measure Your Face For Glasses (Plus 1 Free Method)

 1. Face Shape Meter from VisTech.Projects ($1.49-$1.99)

FACE Shape Meter is a well-rated app that offers a simple and easy-to-use tool for identifying your face shape from your picture. Aside from using this app when picking glasses, knowing your face shape comes in handy for finding “the right” haircut or even makeup contouring for your face.

You upload a photo of yourself and are given a tracing tool to draw around your face, then press a button to automatically calculate your face shape. In order to get the best results, use a neutral expression and ensure your head is straight (looking directly ahead) when taking your picture.

Face Shape Meter for Android

Face Shape Meter for Apple

2. PD Meter from Tech Positive ($4.99-$5.49)

Pupillary distance (PD measurement) is the distance in millimeters between the centers of the pupils. This measurement is different from person to person but for people with stronger prescriptions, it is vital when picking glasses. 

PD can be measured with a ruler, but it can be tricky measuring and keeping your eyes straight ahead at the same time. 

PD Meter for Android

PD Meter for Apple

App-less Measurement

If the cost of the app doesn’t appeal to you, all you need is a ruler for taking measurements. Read on for the steps to measure how your glasses frames should fit your face:

  1. Find a Mirror. Stand in front of a mirror and hold the ruler flat (in a horizontal line) with your temple
  2. Ear-to-Ear. Measure the distance (in inches) between your temples
  3. Time for Math. Convert from inches to millimetres by multiply your measured value by 25.4
    1. Your frame size should vary no more than +/- 3mm from your measurement

What Happens When You Pick Up Glasses?

It is best to pick up your glasses yourself, as your eye care specialist will have a chance to adjust the new glasses to help get the appropriate fit. This isn’t only about how the glasses look on you, but the fit affects how you see through the lens. Here are a few steps your eye care specialist will check to ensure you have the correct fit. 

  1. Bridge Width. Your eye care specialist will confirm the bridge is not too narrow (pinching your nose, and contributing to headaches) or too wide (glasses will easily slide down your nose, impacting your vision).
  2. Arm Length. The end of the glasses arm should not extend too far past your ear in order to provide the proper grip.
  3. Lens Diameter. The width of the lens impacts which part of the lens your pupil sees through. If your pupil is not centralized it negatively impacts your vision.
  4. Lens Height. The lens height is largely determined by the frame height. The top of your frames should be no higher than the line of your eyebrows. In addition, the lower edge of the frames shouldn’t sit on your cheeks as it will rub your skin and can cause irritation.

picking glasses size quide

At Real Eyes, we know how important it is to feel comfortable in your glasses. Your purchase includes a 60-day adaptation policy which lets us make any changes if your glasses don’t feel right or if you feel your glasses aren’t fitting well. Feel free to come back and see us for any issues you may have with your lenses or frames. It can take a few days to a few weeks to get used to a new pair of glasses. By making some minor adjustments you will have a pair of glasses that are perfect for you.

Conjunctivitis Causes & Symptoms — Optometrist Verified (4 At-Home Pink Eye Treatments)

What is Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)?

Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is an inflammation or infection that impacts the transparent membrane that lines your eyelid and eyeball. Frequent symptoms are redness, itching, swelling, watering in the affected eye, a gritty feeling in your eye, and crusts on the eyelids from eye discharge during the night. Often it will spread from the initially infected eye, to the other eye. There are multiple causes, all of which are highly contagious and is spread through close contact with others.

If you have pink eye, it’s important to avoid spreading it to those around you, which may include staying home while you experience symptoms. Our optometrists have provided all the details you need to know, how it’s caused, when it’s safe to go to work or school, and how to best treat it.

How Do You Get Conjunctivitis?

There are two types of conjunctivitis, bacterial and viral. Viral is like most viruses in that it is spread through contact, such as hand-to-eye contact, or contaminated objects (pink eye discharge, fecal matter, or other infected discharge) coming into contact with your eyes.


On average, people touch their face around 23 times per hour.


Over the last 18 months, COVID has taught us that increased sanitation and hand washing can help prevent the spread of infection. The same is true for pink eye. It is spread when someone comes into direct, or indirect, contact with the infected fluid from pink eye. It can be spread through any of the following;

  • Unwashed hands, after coming in contact with an infected person
  • Sneezing, coughing
  • Close physical proximity to an infected person
  • Sharing objects that came into contact with eyes (contact lenses, glasses, towels, bedding, makeup, false eyelashes, or face products)

Similar to COVID, if you shake hands with someone who has pink eye and then touch your face prior to sanitizing your hands, you could contract conjunctivitis.

What Is the Most Common Cause of Conjunctivitis?

Viruses are the most common cause of pink eye. Coronaviruses, such as the common cold or COVID-19 are among the viruses that can cause pink eye.

What Does the Start of Conjunctivitis Feel Like?

Initially you will feel irritation in one eye or both, including redness or itchiness. It is also known as pink eye as it enlarges the tiny blood vessels in the white part of your eyes, causing them to turn red or pink in colour. 

Beyond the common symptoms of redness, pink eye can cause any of the following in one or both eyes:

Conjunctivitis 3 Copy
  • Watery eyes
  • Itching, burning, or gritty sensation in the eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Discharge: white, yellow, green or watery 
  • Crust build up on your eyelashes (which may prevent your eyes from easily opening in the morning)
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Unfortunately, you can experience these symptoms in addition to symptoms of a cold, the flu, and other viruses including COVID-19.

Pink eye shouldn’t impact your sight, if it does, be sure to immediately seek medical attention.

How Do I Know if I Have Bacterial or Viral Conjunctivitis?

The difference between the two types can be determined by the type of eye discharge. With bacterial, it is typically a sticky green or yellow eye discharge. In comparison, viral typically causes a watery eye discharge.

How Do You Get Rid of Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) Fast?

If you’re having bacterial pink eye symptoms, the fastest way to treat them is to see your eye doctor. Your eye doctor can provide the best treatment options based on the severity of your symptoms, while also taking into account your personal health history (such as compromised immune systems and allergies to medications). 


What Is the Best Treatment for Conjunctivitis?

Fortunately, pink eye doesn’t always require medical treatment but it is still recommended to speak with your eye doctor when you develop symptoms. Here are our treatment tips:

At-Home Pink Eye Treatment

  1. Cold Compress. Start by applying a cold compress, or an ice pack wrapped in a clean hand towel, to the affected eye to help reduce inflammation and provide relief. When wiping away eye discharge, use a warm washcloth and ensure other household members don’t use it afterwards.
  2. Artificial tears, or Eye Drops. Note, there are many different types of both over-the-counter and prescription eye drops so it is best to ask your eye doctor for recommendations. Steroid eye drops can be extremely effective but there is the potential for side effects so it is important to disclose your health history to your optometrist. The chance of side effects with steroid eye drops are lower with short-term use, and pink eye is a short-term infection. However, long term use of steroid eye drops can increase the risk of developing cataracts and glaucoma. This is why it is vital to book an appointment with your eye doctor to review the best treatment for you.
  3. Wear Glasses. If you usually wear contact lenses, switch to glasses or disposable lenses to avoid having to take special care disinfecting reusable contact lenses.
  4. Cosmetic Cleanse. Get rid of cosmetics that might have been in contact with your eyes recently. This can include accessories like false eyelashes,  

 Medical Treatments

Medical treatment for pink eye depends on how it was contracted, bacterial vs viral. If it is bacterial, then antibiotic eye drops may be prescribed; however, if you have viral pink eye, then antibiotics won’t help. See your eye doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Eye pain
  • Light sensitivity (photophobia)
  • Decreased vision
  • Blurred, or double vision
  • Eye redness worsens
  • Symptoms lasting beyond 7 days
  • Compromised or weakened immune system (either from an existing condition or if you are inflected with other viruses such as the flu, a cold, or COVID)

Seek medical treatment right away if you have a newborn with symptoms.

How Long Is Conjunctivitis Contagious For?

Pink eye normally stays contagious for as long as you, or your child, has eye discharge or tearing. Usually the symptoms improve within three to seven days. Symptoms usually peak between 3 to 5 days after you are exposed, and symptoms will clear up after 7 to 14 days.

Should I Stay Home With Pink Eye?

It is not mandatory to stay home, particularly if you are taking the necessary precautions to not spread it, including vigilant hand sanitization. However, if you are experiencing severe symptoms, you may need to stay home from school and work until your symptoms lessen. You are contagious for as long as you’re experiencing watery eyes and discharge. As pink eye typically lasts three to seven days, this could mean staying at home for several days. 

If your work requires close contact with colleagues or customers, you should stay home. Spreading pink eye is particularly easy if you touch shared equipment like cash registers, computers, phones, headsets, printers, or other items that are required to do your job. 

For children, it is recommended to contact their daycare or school to notify them. They may have policies in place to avoid outbreaks, or request your child stay at home if other viruses are in-play, such as COVID. It can be especially difficult for younger children to remember hand sanitization protocols, and maintain recommended physical distancing, so their school may request they stay home until their symptoms go away.

Of course, if you are not sure, always check with your eye doctor to find out when it’s safe to go back.

Why Real Eyes Optometry is the Best Pediatric Optometrist

Real Eyes Optometry has been voted Top 3 Pediatric Optometrist 3 years in a row!

We are a family-run, full scope optometry office that strives to provide the highest level of service. With over 30 years of experience, we continue to add the latest technology so that patients can come to us for all their eye care needs. Dr. Shaun Pati provides a comprehensive evaluation that includes your child’s refractive status, binocular vision system, and ocular health – all while keeping a smile on their face. His calm and comforting manner makes him great with kids, and the parents of his pediatric patients can attest to that. He is currently accepting families and patients of all ages, including kids!

Complete Guide to Astigmatism (5 FAQs & How to Fix it)

Many of us haven’t seen much of the outside world during the pandemic; however, if you suffer from a refractive error, this is an ongoing issue. Refractive errors are a very common eye disorder that causes your eyes to not clearly focus on images from the outside world.

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Refractive Errors are also known as Astigmatism

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism (pronounced uh-STIG-muh-tiz-um) is a very common eye disorder that is a result of your eye not being completely round. When the eyeball is shaped like a perfectly round ball, light is able to enter the eye and bend evenly to give you a clear image. However, if your eye has a curvature imperfection (or more oval shaped) light is angled more in one direction than another which provides only partial focus on an object. This curvature, and non-ideal refraction of light, causes objects to look blurry, wavy or distorted. Here are a few distinctions you should be aware of:

Is Astigmatism a Refractive Error?

It is a type of refractive error which occurs when your cornea or lens is curved more steeply in one direction than in another. Refractive errors occur when the shape of your eye prevents light from focusing correctly on your retina. In fact, it is one of the most common vision problems that impacts more than 150 million Americans. Eye exams are vital, as many don’t realize they could be seeing better with treatment. If you experience blurred vision, your optometrist can prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses to help you see clearly.

Refractive Errors At  a Glance


  • Nearsightedness (myopia) makes far-away objects look blurry. 
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia) makes nearby objects look blurry.
  • Astigmatism makes both far-away & nearby objects look blurry or distorted.
  • Presbyopia is the gradual loss of your eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects and becomes noticeable in your early to mid-40s and continues to worsen until around age 65.

Most Common Symptom: Blurred vision.

Diagnosis: Achieved via an eye exam.

What are Treatments? Eyeglasses, contact lenses or laser corrective surgery.


How Can You Tell If You Have Astigmatism?

See your optometrist! It is diagnosed by an eye exam that checks your eye health and refractive status that determines how your eyes bend light. Your optometrist will use various instruments, aim lights directly at your eyes, and look through several lenses to assess your eyes ability to bend light.

Symptoms may include:

  • Blurry or distorted vision
  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Trouble seeing at night

What to Expect During Your Assessment:

  • You look through a series of lenses to find the ones that give you the clearest vision.
  • A keratometer or topographer uses a circle of light to measure the curve of your cornea.
  • Your eye doctor will use an autorefractor to shine light into your eye and measure how it changes as it bounces off the back. This provides information to your eye doctor on the types of lenses that would help you, if you have an astigmatism.
Due to the light distortion from astigmatism, street lights and car lights may look streaky, fuzzy, or appear as halos.

5 Astigmatism Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Can You Go Blind From Astigmatism?

It does not cause blindness. It is a defect in the shape of the eye that causes light to refract incorrectly and results in distorted images. It causes blurred vision, eye strain, and headaches, and worsens over time, if left untreated.

2. Does Astigmatism Affect Night Vision?

Yes, astigmatism can negatively impact your night vision. Due to the light distortion from astigmatism, street lights and car lights may look streaky, fuzzy, or appear as halos, all of which can make it dangerous to drive at night.

3. Does Astigmatism Get Worse?

Yes, this eye condition only gets worse over time if left untreated. Blurred vision can, at times, be so severe it causes impairment. This is because without treatment, the skewed angle at which light enters your eye worsens, resulting in increasingly blurred and unclear vision.

Does Astigmatism Get Worse With Age?

Most eye conditions worsen over time and as we get older. Astigmatism typically stabilizes as you age – your eyelids lose their muscle tone, resulting in less pressure on the cornea that aids in maintaining its shape. Astigmatism can continue to progress as you age if you do a lot of near/computer work or rub your eyes a lot.

4. What Happens if Astigmatism Is Left Untreated?

If left untreated, astigmatism may cause eyestrain, headaches, and blurry vision. If you have astigmatism, you may not see objects in the distance or near without some form of distortion. Generally, astigmatism worsens if untreated. 

5. Can Children Get Astigmatism?

It is common for infants to be born affected but it frequently goes away within 12 months. As young children typically are unable to vocalize that they have a vision problem, it is important to keep an eye out for these below signs of a visual problem. Best practice is to start regular eye exams at about 6 months of age.

Behavioural Signs of Visual Problems:

  •  Squints, closes, or covers one eye.
  •  Tilts head while doing activities that are near (50cm+ away from eyes).
  •  Feels objects rather than looking at objects.
  •  Avoids looking at books and puzzles, prefers toys they can handle.
  •  Holding books too close to their face or holding their face too close to a desk surface.

You can’t get astigmatism from reading in low light or sitting too close to the TV.

Astigmatism with healthy eye. Diseases of the eye. Comparative illustration.

How Do You Fix Astigmatism?

Although it cannot be prevented, eye professionals can correct it if caught in time. Make sure to book your regular eye exam, your eyes depend on it. There are two treatments for astigmatism:

  1. Corrective Lenses. Glasses or contacts can correct almost all cases of astigmatism. Your eye doctor can prescribe a special type of soft contact lens called toric lenses, or eyeglasses, that aid in redirecting light to offset the misalignment. For more severe cases of astigmatism, your eye doctor may prescribe gas-permeable rigid contact lenses or recommend scleral lenses. Orthokeratology is also a viable option – this means wearing lenses while you sleep to help reshape your cornea (similar to how braces slowly correct the direction of teeth over time). Similar to braces, once your body starts to hold the new shape you can reduce how often you have to wear the lenses.
  2. Refractive Surgery. Laser surgery, such as LASIK and PRK, is able to change, or re-shape your cornea in order to correct the curvature imperfection. Ask your optometrist, as to be eligible for this option you typically need to have stable refractive error, healthy eyes with no retinal problems or corneal conditions. . 

6 Tips for Choosing the Best Pediatric Optometrist (Kids Eye Doctor)

What Is the Job of an Optometrist?

An optometrist’s primary responsibility is to conduct comprehensive eye exams and provide diagnostic interpretations. They diagnose and treat ocular disease, assess binocular function, prescribe, fit, and adjust eyeglasses, contact lenses, and recommend other vision aids. In addition, they recommend patient follow-ups and personalized care options.

A complete comprehensive eye exam assesses the following:

  • Refractive Conditions (such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia)
  • Ocular motility (tracking skills)
  • Focusing Ability
  • Binocularity (eye coordination)
  • Eye health conditions (such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts)
  • Dry Eye Syndrome

Do Optometrists Diagnose Eye Problems?

Optometrists are critical, not only for diagnosing eye-related problems but are essential in early detection of numerous health concerns in the body. For example, our eyes often show symptoms of non-eye-related conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hormone imbalance and brain tumors. Even for adults, whether you wear corrective lenses or not, annual checkups to detect eye complications are highly recommended.

  • Eye Diseases are Common, but Preventative: Did you know that 1 in 7 Canadians will develop a serious eye disease in their lifetime? However, 75% of vision loss can be prevented or treated with proper care. 
  • Catching Life Threatening Conditions: Did you know, an eye exam can help detect potentially life threatening conditions, like brain tumours, high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes? Your eyes can show signs of tumors, aneurysms, autoimmune disorders, thyroid disease, sickle cell disease, liver disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological or brain disorders.
  • Child Eye Care: Just 1 out of every 7 preschooler receives an eye exam and fewer than 1 out of every 4 receives some type of vision screening. The CDC recommends vision screening for all children aged 3 to 5 years to help find conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (eye turn), which can be treated effectively, if caught early.
  • Preventing Visual Issues: An estimated 11 million Americans aged 12 years and older could see better if they used corrective lenses, or had eye surgery, when appropriate.

When Should a Child First See an Optometrist?

The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends a child’s first exam by 6 months of age, again at 3 years, and every year after that time. This is because it is important that any potential sight-threatening condition be caught early to prevent blindness and to allow your child’s vision to achieve its maximum potential. Children’s eye exams should be performed annually until they are 18 years old.

However, if you have a family history of ocular problems, or if you notice any of the below behavioural signs, we highly recommend booking before the yearly eye exam.

Behavioural Signs of Visual Problems

  •  Squints, closes, or covers one eye.
  •  Tilts head while doing activities that are near (50cm+ away from eyes).
  •  Feels objects rather than looking at objects.
  •  Avoids looking at books and puzzles, prefers toys they can handle.
  • Holding books too close to their face or holding their face too close to a desk surface.
  • Sitting very close to the TV (when repeatedly moved back).
  • Cannot stay within the lines when colouring (age dependent) or ignores the lines when colouring.

How Do I Find the Best Optometrist?

If you are looking for a new pediatric optometrist, or kids eye doctor, asking family and friends for recommendations is a good first step. However, just like selecting any other type of health care professional, it is a personal choice that needs to work long-term for you and your family.  Luckily a lot of the qualifications you would look for when seeking a new optometrist for adults are the same when looking for a pediatric optometrist. Meaning once you find a great optometrist, they are somewhere you can take your entire family to with confidence. Read on to see our 6 tips on what to consider when looking for the best optometrist for your needs.

6 Tips & Considerations for Choosing the Best Pediatric Optometrist

1. Confirm the Pediatric Optometrist Credentials

As a parent, time is particularly precious. You can save yourself a lot of time by relying on reputable sites such as ThreeBestRated, that rank, review, and list the Top 3 Pediatric Optometrists. Every year, experts at ThreeBestRated recommend the Top 3 Pediatric Optometrists in Burnaby, BC and put all pediatric eye doctors through a rigorous 50-Point Inspection which includes the below. Your child deserves only the best!

  • Ratings
  • Reputation
  • History
  • Complaints
  • Satisfaction
  • Trust
  • Cost
  • Location
  • General excellence

2. Does the Pediatric Optometrist Provide an Easy Check-list?

Symptoms may present while your children are at school and teachers have to keep their eyes on many children at once. Teachers are not likely trained to know what to look for in order to catch visual concerns, particularly those that can present as behavioural rather than physical symptoms. If you suspect your children are experiencing symptoms, an easy check-list provided by the pediatric optometrist can make your life as a parent substantially easier. This ensures that the correct information is being conveyed to the optometrist when you go for your appointment. Here is a quick vision checklist for young children:

Appearance of the Eyes

  •  One eye turns in, out, up or down at any time.
  •  Reddened eyes or eyelids.
  •  Eyes tear excessively.
  •  Excessive blinking.
  •  Rubs eyes frequently during or after short periods of visual activity.

3. Read the Optometrist “Meet the Team” Page

When choosing a health professional, the “Meet the Team” page is an underutilized resource for parents. You can quickly assess their credentials, and get an idea of their personality, skills, and clinic atmosphere prior to visiting.


4. Read Reviews of Optometrists

Whether you intend to read a number of individual reviews, or are only interested in their overall rating, Google reviews can help provide the piece of mind that you are taking your children to a caring, professional, and helpful optometrist. Be sure to look at the “People often mention” words that will give you an overall sense of the reviews without reading each one.


In addition to Google reviews, RateMD provides customer reviews with a 5-star rating that assesses the staff, punctuality, helpfulness, and knowledge.


5. Does the Optometrist Directly Bill for Vision Insurance?

Optometry insurance coverage can be complicated and often overwhelming. If the optometrist makes your life easier by dealing with the nuances of submitting your claim directly to your insurance company, this is a substantial benefit. The best optometrists should provide a list on their website of where they can directly bill, allowing you to confirm coverage prior to booking your kids eye exam.

6. Convenience, Convenience, Convenience

While your child is younger, more frequent eye exams are recommended. So selecting a nearby pediatric optometrist that has an office in a convenient location, with free and accessible parking, and good office hours will add a lot of convenience into your life. Another consideration for the parent-on-the-go, is selecting an office location that is centralized and near other stores. This helps facilitate getting your never-ending errands and appointments completed without having you driving all over the city. Consider being able to run to a grocery store, make a clothing return, and grab a quick bite, all while your child is having their eye exam.

Why Real Eyes Optometry is the Best Pediatric Optometrist

Real Eyes Optometry has been voted Top 3 Pediatric Optometrist 3 years in a row!

Contact Us Optometrist Award
Contact Us
Contact Us Pediatric Optometry

We are a family-run, full scope optometry office that strives to provide the highest level of service. With over 30 years of experience, we continue to add the latest technology so that patients can come to us for all their eye needs. Dr. Shaun Pati provides a comprehensive evaluation that includes your child’s refractive status, binocular vision system, and ocular health – all while keeping a smile on their face. His calm and comforting manner makes him great with kids, and the parents of his pediatric patients can attest to that. He is currently accepting families and patients of all ages, including kids!

11 Best Ways to Protect Your Eyes This Summer (Optometrist Tips)

When it comes to camping this summer, we know we should bring sunscreen to protect our skin from UV rays, and outdoor gear to protect us from the elements, but what about our eyes? Without proper protection, your eyes can in fact get sunburned. If you are summer camping, or participating in outdoor sports this summer, here are some simple tips so you can maintain good vision for many summers to come!

summer eye protection

There is sunscreen lotion for your skin but what is there for people to protect their eyes?

1. Wear UV Sunglasses in Summer

Yes it is obvious, but wear sunglasses that have complete UV protection. Our skin isn’t the only part of our body that needs protection from the harsh ultraviolet rays, our eyes do too. In summer, it is particularly important as the UV rays are stronger, and more likely to damage our eyes. The increased sunlight also reflects off of surfaces like glass, shiny office buildings, water, and sand.

The easiest and best way to protect your eyes in summer is to buy, and constantly wear sunglasses that offer 100% protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Unfortunately, not all sunglasses are created equal, so the cheap pair picked up at the gas station, or a vintage pair purchased at a thrift store may not have the appropriate UV coating to protect your eyes.

Cheaper sunglasses may not provide complete protection, whereas more expensive pairs often are a better bet for full spectrum coverage. While it is more crucial to wear sunglasses in summer, you can still be exposed to UV on cloudy days. Most people can easily recall a time they spent hours in the shade only to be shocked that their skin was burnt. The same can happen with your eyes.

 2. Summer Calls For Hats

Sunglasses are definitely the first step in protecting your eyes in summer, but there are gaps on the sides of the sunglasses that still allow UV rays in. Combining your sunglasses with a hat provides additional protection from the harsh summer rays and minimizes your exposure. The best hats are those with a wide brim around the entire hat, such as a bucket hat or “boater”. A baseball cap is also a good solution, ideally the brim is approximately 3 inches wide to provide consistent protection around your eyes. There are also significantly more wide brim hat options available, particularly for women, over the last few years that are both stylish and provide necessary summer protection. 


3. Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes

Even prior to COVID-19, washing your hands and avoiding touching your face and eyes was one of the best ways to protect yourself from communicable diseases — and this still holds true. The simple habit of washing your hands on a regular basis can help avoid contracting eye conditions like conjunctivitis (pink eye). 

If you recently had eye surgery, such as LASIK/PRK, you are at increased risk for infection. Heightened cleanliness and avoiding touching your eyes will be vital. This includes putting in, and taking out contacts, applying eye drops, and avoiding touching your eyes in general.

80% of a person’s lifetime UVR exposure occurs prior to the age of 18.

– The World Health Organization

4. Use Goggles in Summer

A frequent summer activity can be taking your family to the pool. Start eye education when your children are young, as children are far more likely to spend time playing outside, particularly during the summer months. The World Health Organization notes that as much as 80% of a person’s lifetime UVR exposure occurs prior to the age of 18. 

Goggles may not seem necessary for most, but there are many athletic activities where sunglasses are not ideal. For example, mountain biking, skiing, biking, swimming, rock climbing, and particularly any outdoor activity near water or snow. Both water and snow are very reflective. On a sunny day, clean fresh snow can reflect up to 90% of UV radiation. This means that you can be exposed to almost a double dose of UV. In addition to protecting your eyes from the sun, goggles help protect against germs and debris getting into your eyes. 

5. Extra Caution in Extreme Summer Temperatures

Once the temperature hits 30°C (90°F) or above, it’s considered hot and you should  exercise extreme caution.. Did you know that at these temperatures prolonged exposure to bright, direct sunlight has the same effect on campers as if it was an additional 15°F warmer. Your eyes can get sunburnt just like your skin, and lack of eye moisture can cause irritation and burning. Seek shade, it is obvious but particularly in the middle of the day when the temperatures can be at its hottest, it is best to avoid staying in direct sunlight.

Book an appointment with your Optometrist if you have any of the following symptoms for more than one or two days your eyes have likely been overexposed to ultraviolet rays:

  • Red eyes
  • Extreme light sensitivity
  • Gritty feeling in your eyes
  • Temporary vision loss, or distorted vision
  • Seeing halos
  • Blurry or dim vision
  • Night vision issues 

6. Keep Active, Not Just in Summer

We often take our sight for granted and forget the body is inexorably interlinked. Staying physically active can help lower your risk of diseases that can contribute to developing vision problems and that can contribute to reduced eye health — like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

When you are out this summer, remember protecting your eyes from UV rays is the only way to avoid getting them sunburned. When to be extra careful:

  • Near Water: UV rays reflect off the water.
  • Near Snow: Particularly when snowboarding or skiing. Snow is highly reflective. On a sunny day, clean fresh snow can reflect up to 90% of UV radiation. This means that you can be exposed to almost a double dose of UV.
  • Dense City Dwelling: UV rays easily reflect off windows, cars, buildings and even concrete streets. Regardless if the sun is visible or not outside, ultraviolet rays are present and capable of damaging your eyes.

Have High Blood Pressure? Check out these tips from The Mayo Clinic.

7. Eat Healthy Summer Produce

Taking care of your eyes starts with healthy food. Luckily, in summer we have an overabundance of delicious produce, fruits, and vegetables, that make it even easier to eat healthily. Aside from obvious health reasons, nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E can help to prevent age-related vision problems like macular degeneration and cataracts. Maintaining, or actively working towards a healthy weight helps reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases like type 2 diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults. Check out these nutrient-rich food sources:

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collards.
  • Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish.
  • Eggs, nuts, and other non-meat protein sources like chickpeas, lentils, and beans.
  • Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices.
  • Oysters and pork.

Vitamin C, Vitamin E and zinc supplements can assist with symptoms of age-related macular degeneration as they help slow, or prevent, symptoms from progressing. Unsure if you need supplements?

8. Summer = Drink Plenty of Water

It is easy for us to become dehydrated in the warmer months and this can affect our eyes. With severe dehydration, our body has a more difficult time producing tears which can lead to unpleasant dry eye symptoms that include:

  • A stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes
  • Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
  • Contact lens discomfort
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye redness
  • A sensation of having something in your eyes
  • Difficulty with nighttime driving and glare
  • Watery eyes (a common symptom)
  • Blurred vision, fluctuating clarity or eye fatigue
Contact Lenses vs. Glasses 5 Professional Pros Cons 2

Drinking plenty of water can prevent and counteract the negative effects of dehydration, and provide adequate moisture for normal eye function.

  • Hydrate. Not all liquids are equal, ensure you have lots of water or drinks with salts and electrolytes.
  • Limit Spirits. Alcohol can impair your body’s ability to cool itself, so it is best to limit consumption during hot and extreme temperatures.

9. Use Eye Drops

Even with following all of these tips to protect your eyes in summer, sometimes we need a bit of extra help. Eye drops usually are the first step in dry eye treatment. With plenty of brand options and many available over the counter, meaning you are able to purchase without a prescription, artificial tears are an accessible and easy way to treat dry eye symptoms.

Summer can be a particularly troublesome time if you have allergies, and you may benefit from eye drops. However, given there is a range of formulas, some of which may not be ideal for your lifestyle, we recommend discussing with your eye doctor if you have a chronic need for eye drops. There are a variety of treatments available. 

10. Healthy Sleep Schedule

Your eyes are counting on you to get a good night’s rest. We know getting enough sleep is important, but what does a lack of sleep really do to your eyes?

Sleep is restorative for all parts of the body and is vital for cognition and immune function. Getting enough sleep helps keep you alert, fight off infection, and provides your eyes essential moisture and rest needed for them to be able to perform at their best.

Lack of sleep can cause eye strain, burst blood vessels, and dry eyes. After spending so many hours using your eyes during the day, it’s important to give them sufficient recovery time at night. If you don’t get enough sleep, your eyes can feel strained, dry and itchy the following day. This encourages you to rub your eyes to stimulate the lacrimal gland, which increases the likelihood of exposure to irritants and diseases. The best way you can keep yourself alert, safe, and comfortable is to try for a full night of sleep every night.

11. Reduce Eye Irritants Like Chemicals

It is not just people who work in high-risk environments that are exposed to chemicals, we interact with them on a daily basis, including;

  • Using hand or body soap bubbles that pop near your eyes
  • Spray paint that blows back into your face.
  • Splashing cleaning solutions.
  • Bug spray while camping or being outdoors.
  • Lawn fertilizer, or pesticides used for gardening.

A simple trick is to wear safety or protective eyewear whenever you are working with any kind of toxic chemical. Take care when working with chemicals to avoid them splashing on your skin, hands, and near your eyes.

Dry Eyes Do’s & Don’ts (and the 3 Best Treatment Options)

Dry Eyes, contact lens care

Dry eyes are uncomfortable and can often cause your eyes to sting or burn. You may experience dry eyes in certain situations, such as on an airplane, in an air-conditioned room, in a dry environment, or after looking at a computer or smartphone for a few hours.  It can affect how well you see, as well as how comfortable your eyes are throughout the day. If you suffer from difficulty wearing contact lenses, watery eyes, or eye fatigue, it can have a massive impact on your day.

Did you know? 3.2 million women in America suffer from itching, burning and irritation of the eyes.

What Causes Dry Eyes?

For some people, dry eyes can be caused by the lack of tears or decreased tear production; however, dry eyes can also be caused as a result of aging, hormone changes, autoimmune disease, inflamed eyelid glands, or ocular allergies. 

Other factors that can cause dry eyes are menopause, certain medical conditions like thyroid disorders, certain medications, and poor ocular hygiene. The signs and symptoms vary greatly and typically affect both eyes. 

Can Dry Eyes Affect Vision? Yes, if untreated dry eyes can have long-term effects on your eyes and can cause blurry vision, a common side effect of dry eye syndrome.

Does Dry Eye Go Away?

Dry eyes can be both a temporary or chronic condition. If it is chronic, this means it is a long term condition that can decrease in severity over time, perhaps even get better, but will not go away completely. It is important to address dry eyes, not only to gain relief from the typical stinging and burning sensations, but if it is not treated, it can cause your oil glands to stop working permanently. Luckily, there are now a lot of methods for relief. Read on to learn about the best treatments. 

dry eyes

Tears are needed to nourish the eyes. Without proper moisture, dry eyes can lead to impaired vision.

Dry Eye Do’s & Don’ts

For those diagnosed with dry eye syndrome (DES), it is a common condition that occurs when your tears aren’t able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. For example, it may occur if you don’t produce enough tears, or if you produce poor-quality tears. This tear deficiency leads to inflammation and damage of the eye’s surface. For immediate treatments you can do to help treat dry eyes, check out the below do and don’t list.

6 Do’s for Dry Eyes:

  1. Keep your eyes clean. This may seem self explanatory but ocular health is essential to prevent further eye irritation.
  2. Rest your eyes with occasional breaks, particularly when using a computer or phone screen for long stretches.
  3. Ensure your computer screen is at eye level to avoid creating additional eye strain.
  4. Create moisture in your home or office by using a humidifier.
  5. Focus on your sleep hygiene. When you have adequate sleep, it allows your eyes to rest.
  6. Take out your contacts after 12 hours of use. Wearing contact lenses for an extended period of time can cause your eyes to dry out. Do not sleep in your contact lenses.

3 Don’ts for Dry Eyes:

  1. Avoid irritants like smoke, dust, and arid climates or locations. 
  2. When possible, do not over consume alcohol and limit or refrain from cigarette use.
  3. Limit time in heavily air conditioned, or heated buildings, such as offices, malls, or restaurants.

Eye Drops & Treatment Options for Dry Eyes (3 Options)

There are a couple of treatments, such as artificial tears, that can provide short term relief. However, more effective and long term treatments are now available. 

1. Artificial Tears (Eye Drops)

If you have temporary dry eye, or experience mild discomfort from extended computer use, reading, school work, or other environmental situations, artificial tears can be an ideal treatment for dry eye. They work best when coupled with good ocular hygiene. 

Artificial tears usually are the first step in dry eye treatment — alongside good eye hygiene.

dry eyes

There are plenty of brand options when it comes to artificial tears, with many available over the counter, meaning you are able to purchase without a prescription. It can be overwhelming with the number of options available. Similar to many other products, artificial tear brands provide varied lengths of relief.

If the package indicates it has low viscosity, it means the solution is “thin” or watery. These solutions are great for providing quick relief, with little to no burning sensation when you apply them. However, the relief tends to be short term, requiring frequent application in order to maintain sufficient relief. 

In comparison, high viscosity artificial tears provide longer lasting relief. It can cause a mild burning sensation and vision blur that resolves quickly. This type of drop is more gel-like in consistency. This can help provide clear vision for longer stretches of time throughout your work day, but requires more forethought to use because if you need immediately clear vision, such as for driving, it would not be the ideal choice. 

Due to the large range of artificial tears available, finding the best option for you can make a significant impact on your day to day life. We recommend speaking with your eye doctor to determine the best options for your lifestyle. Your Optometrist can provide directions on when and how often to use the eye drops.

2. Steroid Eye Drops

Artificial tears can provide immediate relief for burning and eye irritation but do not properly treat eye inflammation, the root cause of dry eye syndrome. If this is the case, your optometrist may suggest using steroid eye drops.

Steroid eye drops are frequently used in addition to artificial tears as part of a more long-term treatment plan. There is the potential for side effects, so prior to your optometrist prescribing it, it is important to disclose your health history. The chance of side effects are lower with short-term use, but long term use of steroid eye drops can increase the risk of developing cataracts and glaucoma. This is why it is vital to book an appointment with your eye doctor to review the best treatment for you.

3. Radio Frequency – No Surgery, No Needles and No Downtime

Radio Frequency is an advanced, non-invasive, heat and laser technology that helps to treat dry eye disease. It also has added beauty benefits, and can be an effective treatment for reducing the appearance of:

  • Facial Wrinkles
  • Fine lines around the eyes
  • Facial creases 
  • Loose skin

Radio frequency technology is used to gently heat the skin, which helps open the oil glands on the eyelids while promoting collagen and elastin activity. This helps to reduce the symptoms of dry eyes as well as the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles in and around the eyes. The radio frequency treatment involves No Surgery, No Needles and No Downtime and gives the patient a warm, soothing sensation in the treatment zone. 

It almost seems too good to be true, but our new Radio Frequency treatment lets you return to your normal daily activities immediately following the treatment! It treats dry eyes, has substantial anti-aging benefits, is comfortable, safe and non-invasive and can take as little as 30 minutes. 

Eliminate eye fatigue, stinging, itchiness and leave with an improved skin tone and a natural glow.  Book a dry eye and/or ocular aesthetics consultation with us today! Our certified providers will educate you on this technology and help you find the best treatment options for your skin and eyes.

Best of all, Radio Frequency is comfortable, safe, non-invasive and can take as little as 30 minutes!

UV Affect On Your Eyes & Skin (5 Helpful Overexposure Tips)


Without protection, your eyes can get sunburned the same way skin can.


How Long Does UV Protection Last On Sunglasses?

It is important but uncommon knowledge, UV protection on sunglasses lasts around 2 years; however, the more frequently you wear your sunglasses, the quicker they will lose protection. If you have been using your favorite pair for a while, it is likely the UV protection has significantly faded, this leaves your eyes vulnerable. At this point, the industry tests are unable to check the UV levels and test how long they are safe to wear.

So how often should you replace your sunglasses? If you wear a pair of sunglasses frequently, you should replace them every two years. Taking care of your sunglasses can help extend their longevity. For example, if you often toss your sunglasses into your bag, they can get scratched. These scratches can damage the UV protection ability of the lenses. While a small scratch may not seem like much, even microscopic scratches can let damaging radiation reach your eyes. While it is not the only indicator, when the lens tint lightens, it is a sign that they are losing their UV protective layer and it is time to search for new UV protection sunglasses.

Do Regular Glasses Protect Your Eyes From UV Rays?

How do you tell if your sunglasses are actually protecting your eyes? Not all sunglasses are created equal. The stylish pair of vintage sunglasses you find in a thrift shop or the cheap pair purchased at a gas station may seem like a good buy at the time but do they have the proper UV protection?

When looking for a pair of sunglasses, there are those with ultraviolet protection embedded into the lenses, and those that have it only as a coating on the lenses. When shopping for sunglasses, keep an eye out for labels that indicate“100% protection against both UVA and UVB” or “100% protection against UV 400.”

The most important advice is to put on your sunglasses whenever you are outside and put them on your kids, please. Sunglasses are to the eyes what sunscreen is to the skin. Whether it’s cloudy or sunny, they are an essential shield to protect your health.”

John A. Moran Eye Center ophthalmologist, Jeff Pettey, MD.

Can Eyes Recover From UV Damage?

Excessive UV exposure to the eyes can result in photokeratitis. This condition usually goes away on its own within a few days. In the short term, UV ray exposure and eye sunburn can cause uncomfortable symptoms like light sensitivity and ocular irritation. In the long term, serious conditions such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and eyelid cancer may result.

Severely sunburned eyes are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet rays, like those emitted by the sun. This condition is known as photokeratitis.

Protecting your eyes from UV rays is the only way to avoid getting them sunburned. When to be extra careful:

  • Near Water: UV rays reflect off the water 
  • Outdoor Activities: Particularly when snowboarding or skiing. Snow is highly reflective. On a sunny day, clean fresh snow can reflect up to 90% of UV radiation. This means that you can be exposed to almost a double dose of UV.
  • Dense City Dwelling: UV rays easily reflect off windows, cars, buildings and even concrete streets. Regardless if the sun is visible or not outside, ultraviolet rays are present and capable of damaging your eyes.
  • Tanning Beds: Artificial UV light is also damaging to your eyes. Did you know tanning beds produce up to 100x the amount of ultraviolet rays that the sun does.

Eyelids are a particularly vulnerable area of the body.

How Long Does It Take for UV Light to Damage Eyes?

Photokeratitis, or eye sunburn, typically heals itself within one to two days. Most of us are familiar with the skin damage ultraviolet causes, but don’t realize the impact it can have on our eyes. The longer your exposure, the more short-term and long-term the impact can be. Long-term consequences can result in serious vision threatening eye conditions like cataracts or macular degeneration. After exposure, symptoms appear within eight to 24 hours. Similar to burning your skin, you can experience a wide range of symptoms with an eye sunburn. 

Book an appointment with your Optometrist if you have any of the following symptoms for more than one or two days:

  • Red eyes
  • Extreme light sensitivity
  • Gritty feeling in your eyes
  • Temporary vision loss, or distorted vision
  • Seeing halos
  • Blurry or dim vision
  • Night vision issues 

Why Is Skin Vulnerable to UV Light?

UV, or ultraviolet rays, easily penetrate our skin and eyes. Ultraviolet rays more easily penetrate the skin of people with lighter pigmentation. However, regardless of pigmentation, any exposure to UV can cause damage to your skin, eyes, and immune system.

Our first defense against the sun is the chemical in our skin called melanin. It absorbs the harmful ultraviolet rays, but it’s unable to absorb them all and people with lighter skin (or less melanin) are more impacted.

Not staring directly into the sun is not enough to protect your eyes. Ultraviolet rays can be intense in several different environments, and exposure can impact other parts of your body. This includes premature aging of the skin due to sun damage and can result in wrinkles, leathery skin, and liver spots.

How Does UV Radiation Affect Skin Cells?

It’s common knowledge that ultraviolet rays can cause damage to our skin, including cancer. Unprotected exposure, such as skin exposure without sunscreen, damages the DNA in our skin cells. This produces genetic mutations that can lead to skin cancer, along with causing premature aging, cataracts and even eyelid cancer.

There are long term serious conditions that can result from ultraviolet exposure. These include cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and various forms of eyelid and skin cancers.

It’s important to protect your eyes, and to take extra precautions when you’re in high altitudes where air is thin and UV rays are strong.

Overexposure to UV (5 Things To Do About It)

If you are experiencing any of the previously mentioned symptoms during the first day or two, you can try some of these for relief. Remember that if symptoms last longer than a day or two, see your Optometrist.

  1. Remove Contact Lenses. Keeping your eyes free from contact lenses can help provide relief. Immediately remove contact lenses to give your eyes an opportunity to heal.
  2. Don’t Rub Your Eyes. We know it’s hard to resist, especially when your eyes are irritated. But rubbing can cause additional damage to your eyes and increase the irritation.
  3. Rest Your Eyes. Resting in a dark room, with your eyes closed, and using a cool compress can provide relief.
  4. Use UV Sunglasses. With sunburnt eyes, you may experience light sensitivity. This means it will be extra important to wear your sunglasses in order to reduce the strain from bright lights.
  5. Avoid Makeup. Makeup and false eyelashes can cause additional irritation. Your eyes are more likely to water, causing further opportunities for makeup or irritants to get into your eyes.

Book an appointment with your Optometrist if you have are experiencing discomfort for more than one or two days.

Contact Lenses vs. Glasses (5 Professional Pros & Cons)

Are Lenses Bad For Your Eyes?

Lenses are a great choice for those that need vision correction because they are very safe. That being said, wearing them for too long, not replacing them or not cleaning them properly can damage your eyes and lead to potential vision loss. 

Did you know? Since contacts sit directly on your eyes, it reduces the oxygen flow to your eyes. This may seem inconsequential but having oxygen flow is important in keeping your eyes healthy. There are a few ways to keep your eyes healthy while using lenses: 

  • Use Frequency: Make sure to follow your eye doctor’s instructions and replace or discard your contacts as directed by your eye care professional. It is highly discouraged to continue using your lenses outside of these guidelines as it can lead to severe vision complications.

Type of Lenses: Lenses are made from a variety of materials. Modern contacts are made from silicone hydrogel, which is more porous and allows more oxygen to get to the cornea than traditional lenses. They are frequently more comfortable and are likely safer in the long term. Some people are allergic to silicone, luckily hydrogel lenses are available for these patients.

types of contact lenses

Are Contact Lenses Better Than Glasses?

The choice is personal and the best option for you is heavily tied in with your lifestyle. Other factors to take into consideration are ease of use, eye health, comfort, cost and convenience. Both contacts and glasses have great pros and cons that we have outlined to help make your choice easier.

Eyeglasses Pros

  1. Reduced Touch Points. Even prior to COVID, reducing how much you touch your eyes was important. “There’s very few surfaces that are truly clean. You’re almost never going to culture something and not find some germs on it.” said Dr. Aaron Glatt, president and CEO of New Island Hospital in Bethpage, N.Y., and a spokesman for the Infectious Disease Society of America. Wearing glasses reduces the likelihood you will touch your eyes, which reduces the risk of irritating your eyes, causing damage and developing an infection.
  2. Reduced Cost: Over the period of two to three years, glasses are typically cheaper than contacts. 
  3. Style Forward. Gone are the days of glasses being considered nerdy. Frames are a great way to reflect your personality and style.
  4. UV Protection: We place a ton of focus on protecting our skin from sun damage, but frequently forget to do the same for our eyes. Most glasses suppliers will provide you the ability to add a variable strength UV coating to the lenses of your glasses. This helps protect your eyes against damaging UV rays. It can also protect your eyes from the external environment (ex. wind, dust, particles, etc.) .
  5. Sensitive Eyes. More people than you would believe have dry and sensitive eyes. Lenses can be difficult to use for any reasonable length of time if you suffer from dry eyes or are sensitive to things close to or on your eyes.  Also, for those of us not used to wearing lenses, glasses are often a more comfortable and easy option.
UV Glasses lenses

Dry eyes are a common condition in the United States. Most often, people who have dry eyes are middle-aged or older. An estimated 4.88 million Americans age 50 and older have dry eyes. Of these, over 3 million are women and 1.68 million are men.

Eyeglasses Cons

  1. Vision Distortion: Since your glasses sit on the bridge of your nose and with an average distance of half an inch away from the eyes, this can distort your peripheral vision when you are not looking in the center portion of the lens. This effect is more noticeable with higher prescriptions. 
  2. Facial Aesthetics: As eye doctors we feel strongly that there is the right pair of glasses for every person; however, some people may feel it hides their features, or doesn’t compliment their face. 
  3. Damage: Ideally, you have your glasses for 2 or more years. Even people who are diligent in taking care of their glasses may still find they are inadvertently damaged or the contacts can get scratched. . 
  4. Headaches: Many modern day frames are lightweight and shouldn’t cause issues; however, glasses can put pressure on the bridge of your nose and the sides of your head which can lead to headaches, pressure around your eyes and discomfort. An appropriate frame adjustment is always advised before you start wearing a new pair of glasses.
  5. Fog Issues. We know this better now than ever with COVID, but foggy glasses are a pain. Fog easily gathers on our lenses, obscuring our vision and smudging the contacts.

Contact Lenses Pros

After wearing glasses for many years, people may find it difficult to switch to contacts. Here are a few benefits of contact lens use to help you see if they would be a right fit for your eyes.

  1. Sports Friendly. Lenses don’t get in the way when playing sports and exercising. There are prescription goggles available, however they are often expensive and limited in their use outside of sports. 
  1. Fog Friendly: Lenses don’t get fogged up in cold weather, or when wearing a mask. It is a huge inconvenience, during a pandemic, when wearing a mask and glasses is a guaranteed way to fog up.
  1. Easy Replacement:  Your prescription changes over time. This pace can accelerate with age, with excessive screen time and other factors. Contact lenses are more flexible in that you are not committed to the same prescription for years. Once your supply of lenses runs out, replacing them with ones with an updated prescription ensures your eyes are seeing to its full potential. 
  1. Less Distortion: Since contacts sit on your eye, it gives you a wider field of view. This provides less peripheral distortion compared to glasses.
  1. Colour Experimentation: Lenses give you the ability to experiment with different colour lenses that can change your eye color. 

Contact Lenses Cons

  1. Application Pains: Putting in contact lenses can be difficult. People may have trouble applying and removing a contact lens but proper technique and practice should rectify this in most cases.
  2. More Effort: Glasses require very little upkeep, aside from trying to avoid damaging them and keeping them clean. Contact lenses on the other hand require a high level of cleanliness and care each day. If the hygienic demands of contact lenses are too much, it is best to use glasses, as otherwise you risk eye infections.
  3. Expensive: Contact lenses can be costly, especially with dailies. Not only in their initial purchase, and frequency of repurchase, but the continued need for contact lens solutions and artificial tears.
  4. Computer Vision Syndrome: Also known as digital eye strain. Contact lenses can likely contribute to computer vision syndrome symptoms. Learning how to manage our habits in front of a screen can help prolong our eye health for years to come. Take our quiz below.
  5. Never Over Wear Your Lenses: Wearing contact lenses for too long can damage your eyes. Even daily contact lenses are not exempt from this. Our optometrists recommend letting your eyes rest by aiming to wear glasses for a minimum of one or two days each week or removing your contact lenses 2-4 hours before bed. 

Best Reasons to See Your Optometrist (An Eye Exam Could Help Save Your Life)

Eye Exam kid's vision

May is Vision Health Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of eye health, the role optometrists play, and what can be done to help prevent vision loss. 

We often take our eyes for granted, assuming they don’t need any care from us. As optometrists, we know the importance of caring for your eyes is just as much a priority as eating healthy, exercising, and taking care of your mental health. Our eyes are complicated but delicate; your optometrist can help in a number of ways, including providing preventative care. Healthy vision can help keep you safe each day. 

A comprehensive eye exam is more than just a routine vision test – it could help save your life.

Best Reasons to See Your Optometrist (Things You Must Know)

The best way to keep your eyes healthy is getting a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Your optometrist will use drops to enlarge your pupils in order to check for common eye health problems and any early stages of eye-related diseases. Of course, an eye exam is also the best way to find out if you need contacts or glasses. 

Most people are not aware that our vision changes as we age. This makes comprehensive eye exams increasingly more important as our eyes get older. 

  • Eye Diseases are Common, but Preventative: Did you know that 1 in 7 Canadians will develop a serious eye disease in their lifetime? However, 75% of vision loss can be prevented or treated with proper care. 
  • Catching Life Threatening Conditions: Did you know, an eye exam can help detect potentially life threatening conditions, like brain tumours, high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes? Your eyes can show signs of tumors, aneurysms, autoimmune disorders, thyroid disease, sickle cell disease, liver disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological or brain disorders.
  • Your Eyes Change with Age: After 40, many find it is more difficult to focus on close up objects. 50s and beyond, you may have more frequent changes in your eyeglasses or contact lens prescriptions.
  • Less Tears for Women: As we age, we produce less tears which leads to dry eyes. This is particularly true for women. 9 Dry Eye Symptoms and a Wrinkle Reducing Treatment
  • Child Eye Care: Just 1 out of every 7 preschoolers receives an eye exam and fewer than 1 out of every 4 receives some type of vision screening. The CDC recommends vision screening for all children aged 3 to 5 years to help find conditions such as amblyopia, or lazy eye, which can be treated effectively if caught early.
  • Preventing Visual Issues: An estimated 11 million Americans aged 12 years and older could see better if they used corrective lenses, or had eye surgery, when appropriate.

A comprehensive eye exam can also detect potentially life threatening conditions, like brain tumours, high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.


Your Optometrist Sees More Than Your Eyes – Eye Diseases Your Optometrist Can Help Spot

Comprehensive eye exams provide optometrists a close-up look at your blood vessels, veins, and nerves, all of which may contain clues to conditions that could pose a serious risk to your health. The following are eye conditions that can cause vision loss and even blindness:

  • Cataracts, a clouding of the eyes internal lens.
  • Diabetic retinopathy, which causes damage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye.
  • Glaucoma damages the optic nerve, often due to increased eye pressure.
  • Age-related macular degeneration, which gradually affects central vision and contrast sensitivity.

Is an Optometrist a Doctor?

Yes, an optometrist is a doctor of the eyes who receives a degree in optometry proceeding 8 years of education. 

What is the role of an optometrist? An optometrist is the primary health care provider for your eyes. As an eye doctor, they help detect refractive error, vision defects, symptoms of diseases, treat eye injuries, ocular abnormalities and assess your general eye health. Optometrists are equipped to provide professional advice on a wide range of subjects concerning eye health, vision correction, and prescribe vision aids such as contact lenses, glasses and other devices.

How Often Should You See An Optometrist?

Regular eye exams by a doctor of optometry play an essential role in maintaining your overall health. The frequency you should see an optometrist varies based on your age.

  • Children – first eye exam at 6 months, then again at age 2 followed by annual visits thereafter
  • Adults 19-64 – Every 1-2 years
  • 65 and over – Annually

A regular eye exam by a doctor of optometry is the best way to stay on top of eye health. 

What Are Available Optometrist Services?

There are a range of services that most optometrists provide, including:

  • Annual or routine eye exams, including providing eye health education
  • Diagnosis of eye conditions, or spot early signs of eye diseases
  • Prescriptions for eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other visual aids
  • Medical treatments or minor procedures for eye conditions and injuries
  • Pre and post-surgical eye care that range from cataract removal to refractive laser correction

There are also select eye care professionals that provide speciality services. Click below to learn more:


10 Ways to Protect Your Vision (Optometrist Recommended)

  1. Eye Exams: A regular, comprehensive, dilated eye exam by an optometrist is the best way to stay on top of eye health. 
  2. Know Your Eye Care Provider: Have a trusted eye doctor you can go to with any concern, who will guide you through your options, provide education and support your eye health needs.
  3. Understanding Your Genes: Being familiar with your family health history is important as it can provide your optometrist guidelines of what to watch for regarding signs of eye disease. If someone in your family has a history of eye disease or a condition that affects the eyes, speak to your eye doctor, as some are hereditary.
  4. Healthy Diet: Healthy eating can help protect your sight, particularly certain foods such as dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, or collard greens, and fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, trout, and halibut.
  5. Body Balance: Related to a healthy diet, diseases like diabetes have impacts on your eyes. Maintaining a healthy weight will help protect your vision. 
  6. Eyewear: Use protective eyewear during activities where your eyes are at risk of being injured, such as home construction projects, playing sports, yard work or renovations.
  7. Limit Digital Eye Strain: We are in front of a screen for most of our days. Extended screen time can worsen our vision at a rapid rate. 8 Tips to Prevent Digital Eyestrain | Take a Quiz
  8. Sunglasses: Not all sunglasses are created equally. Good quality sunglasses can help block 99 -100% of ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation.
  9. Sanitize: We touch our face and eyes many times a day without realizing it. Prior to putting on and taking out your contact lenses, wash your hands with soap and water. Be sure to clean your contact lenses properly to avoid infection.
  10. Early Intervention: For yourself, and your children, regular eye exams and early intervention are crucial in limiting changes to your vision and eye health from eye diseases. 

Allergy Triggers & its Symptoms (7 Best Paths to Relief)

What Are the Symptoms of an Allergy?

There are a wide range of allergy symptoms, ranging from mild to severe reactions. 

Symptoms of an allergic reaction typically develop within a few minutes after you are exposed to an allergen, but sometimes symptoms can slowly appear after a few hours of being exposed to something you’re allergic to. While most allergic reactions are an annoyance, most are mild.

Common Allergy Symptoms:

  • Itchy, runny nose
  • Nasal congestion and sneezing
  • Red, itchy, dry eyes and watering eyes
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, a cough and chest tightness
  • Swollen eyes or face
  • Itchy, red rash, irritated and raised bumps (or hives)
  • Swollen lips or tongue
  • Stomach pain, feeling ill, experiencing vomiting or diarrhea

Only 8 Foods Are Responsible For 90% Of All Allergic Reactions

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) named eight common allergenic foods recognized by law: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts (which include walnuts), peanuts, wheat, and soybean.

What Are the Most Common Allergies?

What triggers allergies is a long list. Most of us are aware of the common seasonal allergy triggers including pollen, ragweed, and cut grass. Despite the fact that 90% of allergic reactions are triggered from only 8 foods, there are still a large number of allergy triggers to be aware of. 

Most Common Allergy Triggers:

  • Airborne: These include dust, mold, pollen ragweed, animal dander and fresh cut grass. 
  • Food: The worst offenders are milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts (which include walnuts), peanuts, wheat, and soybean. 
  • Insect Bites or Stings: Predominantly from a bee or wasp.
  • Medications or Products: Medicines include penicillin, or penicillin-based antibiotics. Products can cause contact dermatitis, which results from your body becoming sensitized to an ingredient, or ingredients, in a product you are using. This is common for face and body products such as creams, cleansers and masks.

What Is the Best Treatment for Allergies?

Over the counter treatments will be the most widely available, and most accessible option. They include a variety of options, depending on your allergy symptoms. For seasonal allergies, there are some proven remedies that are sure to bring you relief. Corticosteroid nasal sprays and drops are often the best place to start. They are available either over the counter, or by prescription. Allergy eye drops are used to treat allergy symptoms that impact your eyes. 

Treatment is the most effective if you can start a few weeks prior to the symptoms starting. It can also be helpful for big events such as a holiday or wedding, where a short course can help control your symptoms during that event. 

There are other allergy treatments available for individuals who feel uncomfortable taking eye drops, or nasal sprays.  


How Can I Make My Allergies Go Away? (7 Paths to Relief)

It is possible for your allergy to go away; however, there is no one cure. As you age, it is possible that the severity of your symptoms will fade, or you become more tolerant to the allergen. This happens because your immune function is reduced as you get older, which also means your immune response to allergens also becomes less intense.

1. Minimize Your Exposure to Allergy Triggers

This can be as simple as staying inside, or minimizing outside time on windy days. On windy days, allergens like pollen are more easily spread. In comparison, after a rainy day, the air has been cleared of some of the pollen.

2. Clean Clothing and Showers

Having a shower when you come in from outside and changing into clean clothing can help reduce bringing pollen and allergens into your home. Showers can have a big impact by removing allergy triggers that have collected on your hair and skin.

3. Wear a Mask

For the same reason masks help reduce the spread of COVID, masks can help ensure you don’t breath in allergens. Masks can be particularly helpful for those outside doing activities such as mowing the lawn, pulling weeds and gardening, which can disperse allergens into the air. Read about Medical Masks vs. Cloth Masks 

4. Check Weather Forecasts

With allergy season being at its peak in spring and summer, news stations and weather outlets will often have pollen forecasts. This provides you an opportunity to plan around times when allergy triggers are at their highest, including preemptively taking medicine, closing doors & windows and showering routinely.

5. Clear Your Sinuses

A saline solution is a fast acting and cheap way to help relieve allergy symptoms such as nasal congestion. Popular solutions, such as the Neti Pot, are a small hand held squeeze bottle designed to flush out mucus and allergens from your nose.

This is a particularly helpful remedy for those who suffer from deviated septums. The saline solutions, and nasal sprays, can be used throughout the year to help flush out any build up of allergens, mucus or debris and can even help you avoid becoming sick if used regularly. 

6. Clean Indoor Air

Removing all allergens from your home may not be possible, but there are many proven methods to reduce them. Common solutions include high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifiers, using air conditioners instead of opening your doors and windows to cool your home, and some select plants that purify the air.  

7. Non-Prescription Medications

As previously mentioned, nasal sprays and drops are often the best place to start. Many are available over the counter. Steroid, or corticosteroid nasal sprays, are typically available over the counter and can provide vital relief for individuals with severe symptoms or who suffer from constant nasal congestion brought on by non-seasonal allergies or deviated septum’s. Other non-prescription medicines include:

  • Antihistamines: Oral versions include brands such as Claritin or Allegra.
  • Decongestants: You may be familiar with decongestants including Sudafed that aid with nasal congestion. See instructions and talk to your doctor, as long-term use and frequency needs to be prescribed. 
  • Combination medications: You may be prescribed a combination of both an antihistamine and a decongestant, such as Claritin-D.

 Can Allergies Start Later in Life?

Yes, you can develop an allergy, or allergies, later in life. If you are experiencing any allergy symptoms, it is highly recommended you get tested. The test results will provide invaluable information which your medical practitioner can use to help provide the best treatment options.

For most, we outgrow allergies as we age. By the time we are in our 20s and 30s, we have built up a tolerance to common allergens such as milk, eggs, and grains. It is however not uncommon to develop an allergy later in life, even to foods and products (such as face creams and body products) we consume and use on a regular basis.

Over the counter remedies not working? If symptoms persist or worsen, it is time to see your eye doctor