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 New Africa/ Shutterstock

Migraines are often associated with pounding headaches, but they can also affect your vision. Ocular migraines, also known as retinal migraines or visual migraines, are a unique type of migraine that primarily manifests as visual disturbances. This means that the symptoms revolve around your eyes and the way you perceive the world around you. The visual disturbances associated with ocular migraines are short-lived, lasting less than an hour.  

Visual disturbances can include:

  • Flickering lights
  • Shimmering or zigzag lines
  • Temporary blind spots
  • Momentary loss of vision in one eye

Triggers can include:

  • Stress
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Specific foods
  • Exposure to bright lights, or even distinct patterns

Although ocular migraines are relatively benign, it’s essential to distinguish them from more serious conditions that can cause similar visual disruptions, such as retinal detachment.

Always seek prompt medical attention if you experience sudden visual changes.

Are your ortho-K contact lenses or RGP lenses are starting to get irritating and uncomfortable? Ever feel like there is a foggy blur over your vision? Looking for an easy and effective way to deep clean your lenses? Here at Eyelab, one of our staff’s favourite products is the Progent Lens Cleaner.

How does it work?

Progent cleans lenses by loosening and removing protein deposits that build up on our contact lens over time. It effectively removes surface proteins on all ortho-K contact lenses and RGP lenses without the need for manual rubbing, which may damage the lenses. This product not only improves the comfort of lens-wear, it also helps maintain eye health and prolongs the life of your lenses. Progent deep cleans lenses much more effectively than daily cleaning products.

It comes with two solutions: Progent A (sodium hypochlorite) and Progent B (potassium bromide), which work together in an oxidation-reduction reaction to deep clean surface coatings without the abrasives or mechanical rubbing used in typical cleaning. In just thirty minutes, it effectively disinfects against all organisms that are likely to contaminate lenses, including yeast, mold, bacteria, and viruses.


At this point, you may be wondering how many complicated steps come with this cleaner? The easy answer is, just mix the A and B solutions, shake, and wait! Simply soak your lenses for 30 minutes – no rubbing required. By using this cleaner every 3 months (or more frequently if needed), your contact lenses can stay polished and well-maintained to better serve your vision.

Photo credit: Luis Galves @louiscesar

Allergic conjunctivitis, or eye allergies, happen when the eyes react to something that irritates them. When the eyes try to defend your body from an allergen it triggers the release of histamine from mast cells. As a result, your eyes (usually the eyelids and conjunctiva) become red, swollen, watery, and itchy. You may also wake up in the morning with puffy eyes. People who have eye allergies commonly have nasal allergies as well which causes stuffy nose and sneezing. Both conditions are closely related to seasonal allergies.

What are symptoms of eye allergies?

The most common eye allergy symptoms include:

  • Itching and watery discharge (teary eyes)
  • Redness and puffy eyelids
  • Sensitivity to light

If it’s related to seasonal allergies then both eyes are usually involved. Unlike pink eyes, eye allergies do not spread from person to person.

What causes eye allergies?

Some of the common allergens include:

  • Household dust
  • pollen from trees and grass
  • pet dander
  • mold
  • Smoke
  • Chemical scents such as detergents or perfume

Allergic reactions to perfume, cosmetics or drugs can also cause the eyes to have an allergic response. Some people may have an acute allergic reaction to a new facial product or an eye drop.

Sometimes, the eyes can react to other allergens that don’t necessarily come in direct contact with the eye. These can include specific foods or insect bites or stings.

Most allergic conjunctivitis can be treated with oral or over the counter antihistamine medication, anti-allergy eye drops, or steroid eye drops.

However, not all red and itchy eyes are caused by allergic conjunctivitis. Some people may think they have an eye allergy but in fact they have dry eyes or other types of inflammations. It is important for you to visit your eye care provider to get the proper diagnosis and treatment for your problem.

In a previous post, I talked about my experience with laser eye surgery in 2014. Now, eight years later, I am extremely happy about my decision to undergo the surgery. My vision is still stable at 20/20 however I still experience dry eye from time to time.

One of the biggest pros of the surgery is being able to wake up in the morning and immediately see clearly. This surgery allowed me to tend to my twin daughters better in the middle of the night without having to find my glasses first. I also no longer have to worry about getting my contacts or glasses coming out when playing ultimate frisbee or during other physical activities. A smaller change in my life that I started to appreciate after the surgery was that I longer need to carry around microfiber cloths to clean my glasses.

However, now that I am reaching the age in which the effects of presbyopia (the gradual loss of your eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects) becomes more prominent, I may need to use reading glasses. Overall, I am very glad I decided to get PRK and I have no regrets about it!

Book an appointment at Eyelab to learn more about whether you’re a candidate for laser eye surgery, and to discuss any questions or concerns you may have!

This January, our clinic welcomed the New Year with a brand new “toy” — MYAH from Topcon, making us at Eyelab one of the first optometry clinic in Vancouver to measure and chart eye axial length. You may be wondering…what is so great about axial length measurements? Why do we care about how long the eyeball is?

As the eye increases in length, not only does our lens prescription increase, there’s a greater risk of ocular diseases (e.g. glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration). In fact, rapid progression of myopia in children is due to excessive elongation of the eye. Therefore, to monitor the effectiveness of myopia management treatments, axial length measurements are charted at each follow up visit, which serve as the standard of care for our myopia management program. For Ortho-k lens patients, axial length is one the primary measure used to evaluate myopia progression.

MYAH can help us advance our myopia management care in further ways as well as diagnosis and management of dry eye disease.

Dry Eye Assessment

Noninvasive tear break-up time (NIBUT) measurement

At Eyelab, we can evaluate the stability of your tear film by accurately measuring the tear break-up time non-invasively. Typically, tear break-up time is around 10 seconds — with shorter tear break-up time, especially below 5 seconds being indicative of dry eye disease.

Meibomian gland imaging

The meibomian glands are oil glands that are embedded in our eyelids which produce the lipid layer of the tear film and are expressed when we blink. Imaging glands allows doctors to analyze their shape and structure. Healthy glands will appear long and continuous in the image, assisting the production of oil in the eye for lubrication. Contrastingly, unhealthy glands will appear much shorter due to degradation and inspissated, thus producing oil of a “toothpaste” consistency, or be entirely clogged and unable to secrete oil.

Contact Lens Fitting

MYAH Topcon also allows our doctors to simulate fluorescent imaging to observe the Ortho-K and RGP contact lens fit. This noninvasive method is efficient and accurate at evaluating whether the lens will sit comfortably around the eye and provide effective treatment.

After learning about the cool features of the new machine at our clinic, are you curious to try out one of its services for yourself? Don’t hesitate – book an appointment with us today!