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Blinking is an involuntary reflex which does not require much thought throughout our day. Even though blinking seems simple, it is very important. And believe it or not, there is a correct way to blink.

Why is blinking so important?

  • Protects our eyes from debris and foreign objects
  • Creates a smooth surface for light to enter our eye and land on our retina for clear vision
  • Keeps our eyes moist and spreads tear film evenly

The 20/20/20 Rule

Our blinking pattern can be disrupted throughout the day when we are staring at a screen for too long and doing continuous near work. Optometrists recommend the 20/20/20 rule for everyone, especially those with too much screen time. The 20/20/20 rule means taking a break every 20 minutes to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

There is a right way to blink

We want to ensure that when we blink, it is a complete blink. This means that our top eyelid should touch our bottom eyelid. It is very common for people to blink only halfway or not close their eyes completely while asleep. This can be a problem since it exposes the bottom half of our eye and does not allow our tears to be expressed as efficiently. As you may guess, this leads to dry eye symptoms.

Incorporating the 20/20/20 rule and being more conscious about the way we blink can go a long way in helping our eyes feel less dry throughout the day.

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Glaucoma is sometimes referred to as the “Silent Thief of Vision”, and if left untreated, is one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada. Glaucoma is associated with elevated intraocular pressure, which consequently puts strain and pressure on the optic nerve. This excessive pressure will lead to optic nerve tissue damage, which could cause gradual vision loss. The peripheral vision is typically affected first, however could eventually lead to central vision loss if no treatment is initiated.

The increase in intraocular pressure could be the result of two main problems:

  1. There is too much intraocular fluid being produced within the eye, called the aqueous humor
  2. The fluid being produced is not being effectively drained from the eye through the trabecular meshwork

Therefore, initial treatment of glaucoma involves topical medications which work on these two anatomical structures. Surgical intervention could also be warranted to control high pressure within the eye.

The best way to detect and diagnose glaucoma is through annual eye exams with your optometrist. This will allow them to monitor optic nerve health, as well as measure intraocular pressure to ensure stability. It is especially important to be screened for glaucoma if there is a family history of the disease.

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Many patients are concerned about a constant “black dot” floating in their line of sight. Most tend to notice that it worsens when looking at a blank wall, bright lights, or the sky. Although quite bothersome, it is a very common complaint.

The eye is filled with a gel-like substance called vitreous, which allows the eye to keep its shape. Over time, the proteins within this gel begin to clump up and solidify, leading to formation of “floaters”.

Floaters can occur in one eye or both eyes. Typically, floaters are a benign finding. However, it becomes worrisome when the vitreous is strongly adhered to and pulls on the retinal layers. It could potentially lead to retinal holes, tears, or potentially a retinal detachment. These occurrences could be detrimental to vision, so it is important to see your optometrist immediately if these symptoms arise.

Symptoms to look out for:

  • A sudden increase in the number of floaters
  • Flashes of light
  • Curtain over vision

How are floaters treated?

Unfortunately, there is no way to remove floaters unless you surgically remove the entire vitreous. This procedure has more risks than benefits and it typically not done to treat this condition. The good news is that, with time, the brain gets accustomed to the floaters and is able to ignore them, allowing them to become less bothersome and noticeable.

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Did you know that diabetes is one of the most common causes of blindness?

You may be surprised to learn that optometrists can detect diabetes before primary care doctors and before the patient even knows they have it. This is because the eye is the only organ in our body where we can directly see blood vessels without invasive techniques. Since many systemic diseases affect our arteries and veins, the eye is a great way to look into what is happening inside our body.

Photo source: Cleveland Clinic

Diabetes is becoming an epidemic in North America, and it is important to be aware of its effect on ocular health. Once diagnosed with diabetes, it becomes much more important to receive yearly eye exams, to monitor for diabetic retinopathy. This is a condition in which buildup of sugar in the blood causes blockages or damage to blood vessels, resulting in decreased oxygen supply to the eye. To compensate, new blood vessels develop. However, instead of helping, these new blood vessels are weak and leaky, leading to retinal bleeding. Although a diabetic eye exam is very similar to a regular comprehensive exam, there is more emphasis on inspecting the health of the retina and blood vessels.

How will I know if I have diabetic retinopathy?

Symptoms like floaters, blurred or fluctuating vision, dark spots in your vision, and vision loss could be signs of diabetic retinopathy.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent diabetic retinopathy. Some of these preventions include:

  • Yearly eye exams with your optometrist (even if you think your vision is fine!)
  • Controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol
  • Proper dosage and compliance of medication provided by your Family Physician
  • Engaging in regular daily activity and exercise
  • Eating a balanced and nutritious diet to maintain healthy body weight

Photo credit: Casey Horner on Unsplash

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is an inherited eye disorder that affects the retina – the back of our eyes responsible for capturing light and sending visual signals to the brain. The condition, which is inherited through genetic mutations, can lead to gradual loss of vision as the photoreceptor cells within the retina deteriorate over time. While some individuals may experience slow vision loss over decades, others might face more rapid deterioration.  


One of the most distinctive symptoms of RP is night blindness, where individuals struggle to see in low-light conditions or darkness. As RP progresses, it often causes tunnel vision, a narrowing of the visual field, and can even impact color perception.  


No cure currently exists for RP, but researchers are actively exploring possibilities. Gene therapy aims to introduce normal genes into the retina to replace the mutated ones. Another avenue of research is retinal implants, which seeks to restore vision by using electronic devices to stimulate the remaining normal cells.  

Individuals with RP should work closely with eye care professionals to manage their condition. Regular eye exams help track disease progression and determine the best strategies for preserving vision. Additionally, patients can explore low-vision aids and technologies that improve daily life.

Dry eye is a disease pertaining to the ocular surface and instability of the tear film, potentially resulting in inflammation, dryness, or damage. Symptoms of this include burning, itching, dryness, photophobia, tiredness, and blurry vision.

Diagram of Conjunctiva, Lacrimal Gland, and mucus, water and oil layers of Tear Film in the eye
Source: American Academy of Optometry

Dry eye disease (DED) include two distinct types: aqueous deficient dry eye (ADDE) and evaporative dry eye (EDE). In ADDE, high levels of tear evaporation results when lacrimal secretion is reduced although there is normal evaporative conditions from the eye. Comparatively, in EDE, the lacrimal glands function normally, and the increased evaporation of tears is caused by the exposed tear film. Some patients might even have a mixed form of DED as well.

Risk factors for DED include connective tissue disease, Sjögren syndrome, androgen deficiency, Lasik eye surgery, certain environmental conditions (ie. pollution and low humidity), medication use (ie. antihistamines and antidepressants), computer use, and contact lens wear (which has an affect on tear film hemostasis and reduces its thickness). Research has shown that the outbreak of Covid-19 has also contributed to an increase in the likelihood of DED. Covid-19 has resulted in prolonged electronic usage and less outdoor activities, with a reported 44% increase in smartphone usage. Excessive focus on a screen decreases blink rate, decreasing the moisture production in the eye. This causes strain on the ocular surface, and this stress is greater in contact lens users.

Some recommendations for management and treatment of dry eye disease include ocular lubricants (eye drops of various types), warm compresses, expression of the meibomian glands (a process which we offer at Eyelab), lid hygiene, and prescribed drugs.

Source: Towfiqu Barbhuiy on Unsplash

At Eyelab, we have the skill and the technology to accurately provide you a solution corresponding to your unique situation. Book an appointment today to learn more about how we can help!

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a condition which causes distant objects to appear blurry. It is a particular concern with children, because myopia results in the lengthening of the eyeballs. As children’s eyes continue to grow, so does the progression of myopia. As a result, the retinal tissues gradually stretch, which can increase the risk of eye diseases later in life. Luckily, CooperVision’s MiSight 1 day lenses are an effective and child-friendly solution to managing myopia progression!

Source: CooperVision

How do they work?

The MiSight 1 day lenses are the first soft contact lenses proven to slow down the progression of myopia, through the use of ActivControl technology. When inserted on the eye, the center of the lens improves distance vision by correcting the refractive error and the concentric peripheral rings allow for myopic defocus. This defocusing is what is believed to reduce further lengthening of the eyeball, effectively impeding the progression of myopia. Not only have the MiSight 1 day lenses been clinically proven to slow down the progression of myopia by 59%, they are also comfortable to wear and easy to handle. In a three-year long study conducted on the MiSight 1 day lenses on children ages 8 -15 years, 90% of children reported that they preferred their MiSight 1 day lenses compared to their glasses and 90% of children were able to insert and remove the lenses on their own. Further, 100% of parents stated that their children were happy with their overall experience with the MiSight 1 day lenses, including the comfort, vision, ease of use, and freedom from glasses!

Curious to see if MiSight lenses are right for your children? Book an appointment with Eyelab to chat with one of our doctors. You can also get in touch by calling us at +1 (604) 260-1166 or via email at

Dr. Sherman Tung

Dr. Sherman Tung

Optometrist | Orthokeratology + Myopia Management
T 6042601166

What is Myokymia?

Have you ever been going about your daily life when your eyes decide to give you a bad day? Have you ever experienced that annoying twitch in your eye that just won’t go away?

Eye twitching, or myokymia, is a relatively common condition. They are involuntary twitches and spasms in either your upper or lower lid, usually affecting only one at a time. Sometimes, they might not even be noticeable! Myokymia will usually go away on their own in a short amount of time.

right human eye
Source: Liam Welch via Unsplash

What would usually cause myokymia? Like you may expect, many lifestyle choices impact your risk. Eyelid twitching can be caused by:

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Irritation of the eye
  • Allergies
  • Alcohol
  • Bright lights
  • Excess caffeine
  • Smoking
  • Change of diet
  • New medication

To lessen your chances of having this annoyance in your life, be sure to take care of yourself and rest your eyes regularly. If you are going to be looking at a bright screen for an extended period, make sure to look away every once in a while. You can also apply hydration eyedrops before doing so.

What can I do to relieve my symptoms?

If you are experiencing myokymia already, you can ease the discomfort by gently massaging the area. Cold compresses with a towel would also help relieve the symptoms, and we would also advise the following:

  • Tonic water with quinine (a muscle relaxant)
  • Magnesium-rich foods such as avocados, nuts & seeds, and various whole grain foods

If your myokymia becomes more serious, you can also Botox treatment. If the condition doesn’t go away within a few days and occurs more frequently, it would be best to seek advice from your medical doctor or optometrist. It’s never a bad idea to double-check and make sure it isn’t part of anything serious!

Should you have any concerns regarding your eye health, you can book an appointment with Eyelab. You can also get in touch by calling us at +1 (604) 260-1166 or via email at

Photo by Sigmund/ Unsplash

The cornea plays a crucial role in focusing light onto the retina. In individuals with keratoconus, the cornea progressively thins and bulges, taking on a cone-like shape. As a result, vision becomes distorted and blurry, often accompanied by nearsightedness and astigmatism.  


Keratoconus doesn’t appear overnight; rather, it develops gradually, usually during adolescence or early adulthood. As the condition progresses, several symptoms become noticeable:

  1. Blurry and Distorted Vision
  2. Light Sensitivity
  3. Prescription Changes
  4. Halos and Glare
  5. Eye Strain and Headaches


Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the condition, but may include

  • Eye glasses
  • Soft contact lenses
  • Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses
  • Surgical interventions like collagen cross-linking or corneal transplant

If you suspect you have keratoconus or experience any unusual changes in your vision, it’s crucial to consult an eye doctor. Early diagnosis and appropriate management can make a significant difference in preserving your vision and overall well-being.

Photo by Josh Hemsley on Unsplash

Did your routine eye exam go well? Do you have 20/20 vision? That’s great! However, there’s so much more to vision than seeing with perfect acuity. In fact, seeing 20/20 is only 1 of 17 different visual skills we have. Routine eye exams do not usually cover all of these skills since they tend to focus on ocular health and visual acuity. Skills such as eye tracking, eye teaming, and eye focusing can be measured using a different set of tests that is done during a Functional Vision Assessment (FVA).

Here is a summary of some visual skills that you need in everyday life. FVAs test all of these skills and more.

Visual SkillWhat Is ItExample
Fixationbeing able to hold focus on one main targetfinding an object and maintain eye contact with it
Pursuit (Moving Targets)being able to focus and follow moving targets without moving one’s headwatching a ball through the air
Saccades (Jumping)being able to jump from one object to anotherreading; you usually read one to three words at a time and then move on to the next set of words
Accommodation (Eye Focusin)being able to focus light that enters the eyes seeing an image that’s close to you then looking at an object far away right away
Binocular (Eye Teaming) coordinating both your eyes together as an object is moved from far to near and vice versa watching a moving target come close and moving far away

If you have trouble focusing on objects or have recently been in an accident that have impaired your visual skills, a FVA and Vision Therapy might be an option for you. During vision therapy, you are given the opportunity to improve these visual skills.

If your visual skills are adequate, you can actually improve them further! This is especially applicable if you play competitive sports. Many activities in vision therapy are directly applicable to sports such as basketball, volleyball, football and soccer. It can improve your reaction time, hand eye coordination, and visualization. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out we will be more than happy to provide you with more information.