Medical Mask vs Cloth Mask

Posted: Nov, 10 3:30 AM PT | Last updated Nov 10, 2020

Should I Wear a Face Mask When Visiting My Eye Doctor at Metrotown?

The College of Optometrists of BC advise the use of masks by patients while in the clinic since physical distancing may not be possible throughout testing and assessment. Each patient and visitor is required to wear a medical mask while in our office to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Real Eyes Optometry Medical Grade Masks

Which Types of Masks are Best Rated?


Medical masks or procedure masks are flat or pleated have a barrier to stop spreading droplets and are fixed snug to the head with straps. Wearing a medical mask is one of the prevention methods to limit the transmission of COVID-19.

Cloth masks reduce the spread of large respiratory droplets when you sneeze or cough. However, these masks offer minimal protection to the wearer.


One Time Use Medical Mask


Visiting Our Metrotown Optometrist Team

During your visit with the Real Eyes Optometry team in Burnaby. Our Optometrists Dr. Shaun Pati, Dr. Amit Sahota and Dr. Tony Wang use medical grade masks. We use plexiglass on our eye care equipment for face to face interactions and ensure everyone’s safety.

For patients who do not have the required 3 layer filtration system masks, we have you covered and are selling them in office.




Make Sure You Have the Right Mask. Stay Safe – Real Eyes Optometry


Coronavirus face masks FAQs
  • How effective are neck gaiters?
  • How effective are bandanas?
  • What’s the right way to wear a face mask?
  • When should masks be worn?
  • Can I make my own cloth mask?

Check out the BC CDC Face Mask List for answers to the above.


What to do about Digital Eye Strain

Posted: May 8, 2020 11:30 AM PT | Last updated May 8, 2020


Do I have Digital Eye Strain (Computer Vision Syndrome)?

Now that many of us are practicing self isolating, social distancing, and working from home, we find ourselves at home using tablets, computers and our mobile devices at higher rates. With this comes increased rates of eye strain and visual discomfort, also known as Computer Vision Syndrome.

Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain

Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain causes dry eyes, headaches in the temporal and/or frontal area of the head, and/or blurred vision at near and in the distance.

Why do my eyes hurt?

Using a computer, tablet and cellphone screen is a visually demanding task for your eyes. This is due to reduced contrast sensitivity of letters to the screens background, increased glare from screens, letters not being precise and as sharply defined off of screens versus paper, reduced blinking with near work, and increased time focusing at near or intermediate distances which causes us to overwork our focusing system (accommodation ability). This is called Digital Eye Strain, or Computer Eye Syndrome

How long does Computer Eye Syndrome Last

Computer Eye Syndrome is caused by the length of time you spend on digital devices. The longer you are viewing digital screens, the more likely you are to experience symptoms of computer vision syndrome and it can also worsen your symptoms. Several hours spent in front of the screen can cause 1 hour+ of eye strain. If you spent less than several hours on a device, your symptoms should last 10-20 minutes. This will also vary depending on each person’s situation. Please contact us for an appointment if your eye strain continues.

What do I do if I have Computer Vision Syndrome

There are several treatment options for Computer Vision Syndrome. A combination of one or more of these treatments can be beneficial. These include: 

20/20/20 Visual Hygiene Rule: This is the easiest solution to implement and does not cost anything. Every 20 minutes of near or intermediate work, look 20 feet (about 6 meters) away for 20 seconds. This helps relax your focusing system (accommodation system).

Use Blue Blocker Lenses: These lenses will block a certain range of wavelengths of blue light  being emitted off of the computer, tablet and cell phone screens. Blue blocker lenses can help reduce eye strain experienced from reduced contrast sensitivity off of screens.  For more info on blue blocker lenses check out our article here.

Anti-fatigue Lenses: These lenses have a small amount of ADD (plus prescription) to help reduce strain on the focusing system. They can help when patients that have an underlying condition of accommodative insufficiency (near focusing difficulty). 

Working Distance: Maintaining an appropriate working distance with near work helps to reduce how much your eyes need to focus with near activities. Your near viewing distance should be at least 40cm away from your eyes or further to reduce the load on your focusing system (accommodation system). 

Preservative free artificial tears: Reduced blinking with near work is a habitual response of your eyes with prolonged near work. This can increase the dryness in your eyes. Symptoms of dryness include burning, stinging, pain, redness, and foreign body sensation (feeling like something is in your eyes). Using a preservative free artificial tear 2-6x/day can help alleviate symptoms of dryness. We recommend I Pure Artificial tears. 

Vision therapy: Vision therapy is a program of eye exercises designed to treat underlying accommodative insufficiency  (inability of the eyes to sustain focus at near for extended periods of time), saccadic dysfunction (which is insufficient or inaccurate visual tracking eye movements required in reading or copying) and other binocular vision issues with the eyes. We do offer Vision Therapy at our clinic. Consultations with our Optometrists can be arranged by calling our office directly. 

Ergonomics: correct sitting posture on the computer is also important and will reduce eye strain.


Source: https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/protecting-your-vision/computer-vision-syndrome

Seasonal Allergies, COVID-19 or the Flu

Covid-19 or Allergies: What you need to know today.

Posted: April 14, 2020 11:31 AM PT | Last updated April 14, 2020


With spring right around the corner, we are saying goodbye to winter and the dreary weather. It also means we are entering into allergy season. This year, with COVID-19 being so prominent, it can get confusing to know if the symptoms you are experiencing are from allergies, the seasonal flu, the common cold or COVID-19. To help differentiate between them, we have gathered up some of the main symptoms each of these conditions can present with. 

Main symptoms of COVID-19 

  • fever 
  • tiredness
  • dry cough
  • shortness of breath occuring 5-10 days after developing a fever. 

Less Common Symptoms that can be confused with the flu, a cold or allergies include:

  • body aches and pains 
  • wheezing
  • diarrhea
  • nasal congestion 
  • runny nose 
  • sore throat

Common Symptom of Seasonal Allergies (Hay Fever): 

  • runny nose
  • itchy eyes mouth or skin
  • sneezing
  • nasal congestion 

Less common symptoms are:

  • wheezing
  • shortness of breath 
  • fatigue

The Main Symptoms of the Seasonal Flu (Influenza) are: 

  • fever or chills
  • cough
  • muscle/body aches
  • headache
  • and tiredness

Less Common Symptoms are:

  • sneezing 
  • sore throat 
  • runny nose
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • and shortness of breath if you develop pneumonia

Main Symptoms of a Common Cold are:

  • sneezing
  • stuffy nose
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • chest discomfort

Less Common Symptoms are:

  • fatigue
  • body aches

It can be a confusing time for everyone, if you do develop any of the above symptoms and are unsure if they are from Seasonal Allergies, Seasonal Flu, Common Cold or COVID-19, we recommend you contact your family doctor or call the 811 line for more guidance. We also advise self-isolation for 14 days for any symptoms that could resemble symptoms from the Season Flu, Common Cold and COVID-19 categories above. 

Sourced from: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/flu-allergies-coronavirus-different-symptomsssible photo could be of the Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver. I always feel they are a beautiful  reminder that spring is finally here in Vancouver!


If you are experiencing symptoms, stay calm, stay home, and call a healthcare provider.

FAQ on COVID-19 and Eye Health

What you need to know about Covid-19 and your eyes today.

Posted: Mar 23, 2020 11:31 AM PT | Last updated Mar 23, 2020


Are contact lenses safe to wear during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The short answer is yes. It is safe to wear contacts during the COVID-19 pandemic as long as you are not experiencing any cold or flu symptoms.

Before putting your contact lenses in your eyes, the most important things are to wash your hands with soap and warm water, and dry your hands with an unused paper towel.

If you use monthly or biweekly replacement contact lenses, it is ideal to use a hydrogen peroxide based contact lens solution to store and clean your contact lenses. Make sure to store them for a minimum of 6 hours in such a solution or refer to the solution instructions package for further specification.

Remember to dispose your contact lenses at the correct replacement frequency. The replacement period is from the date you opened the new pack of lenses, regardless of how many days over the month or two weeks that you wore the contact lenses.

If your eyes get irritated or red, then remove your contact lenses immediately.

Should you wear contact lenses if you have the cold or flu?

You should NOT wear contact lenses if you have the cold or flu. It is recommended that contact lens wear be discontinued during a cold or flu. If you wear monthly or biweekly disposable contact lenses, it is ideal to dispose of the contact lenses you are currently wearing and start a fresh pair of contact lenses when your cold or flu resolves. 

Should you disinfect spectacles and sunglasses?

Spectacles and sunglasses are on your face, it is important to clean them regularly. With COVID-19, cleaning them daily can be beneficial. A simple way to clean your glasses is with warm water and a mild dish soap, making sure to clean all areas of the frame, nose pads and the lenses. Then dry your frames with a clean, and soft (non-abrasive) towel. After that, you can further clean your lenses with a lens cleaner spray and lens cloth. 

Can COVID-19 affect the eyes? 

Several reports suggest COVID-19 can cause conjunctivitis (pink eye). However, there have been very few documented cases. Several reports suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by aerosol contact with the conjunctiva (the tissue lining the inside of the eyelid and the white part of the eye). This is another reason why it is important to frequently wash your hands with soap and water and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

For more information read the following article from the American Academy of Ophthalmology https://www.aao.org/headline/alert-important-coronavirus-context

If you are experiencing symptoms, stay calm, stay home, and call a healthcare provider.

Profile of Excellence in Burnaby Now

Some seeds are planted early in life, and then grow into beautiful blooms when the time is right.

For Dr. Shaun Pati, an experience in his childhood led unexpectedly to a career that he loves – and that has now brought him full circle back to Burnaby.

He was just six years old when his mother was in a car accident that left her with eye injuries from broken glass. Shaun accompanied his mother to countless visits to a local optometrist, Dr. Tony Wang, who helped her fully regain her eyesight. The family continued with Dr. Wang as patients in the coming years.

L to R: Dr. Shaun Pati, Dr. Amit Sahota, Alison Kruizenga and Christina Nan

The experience left him with a fascination for the science of sight and the medicine of optometry.

“It really changed me, and I became so interested in how the eye worked, how optometry helped people,” he said. “We were patients of his for a long time – he even gave me my first eye glasses.”

Shaun later moved to the US to study at a university in Oregon, where he met his future wife, and became a Doctor of Optometry in 2015. The next year, by sheer chance, he bumped into Dr. Wang at a conference in Vancouver.

“We started talking and catching up and fast forward one year, we teamed up and I bought his practice and moved here,” he said.

Dr. Wang continues to work part time with Shaun, along with a growing team of doctors and staff, now under the name Real Eyes Optometry.

“We have a wonderful group here, honest and trustworthy and always putting the practice first – this team is really like part of the family,” he said.

we want people to know we are here for them.

Everyone at the clinic has a focus on not just providing top-notch patient care but also education and customer service.

“We want everyone who comes here to feel well informed and educated, that the whole experience was positive and informative, and well taken care of,” he said. “Excellence means that a patient here knows they’ve been treated with respect, they understand what’s happening, and if they need to get glasses or other items that they can get them with a fair price and helpful service.”

Shaun says his focus on education includes both in-person – talking to patients when they are in the office – but also offering resources and information online through his website.

“That digital transformation is important in this field too, so we’re creating ways for people to learn more online,” he said. “People can connect with us online, make appointments and get information and education there, too.”

Located in Metrotown, the office is a central location for patients in Burnaby and beyond, with a full spectrum of services from eye exams through eyeglass and contact sales. Shaun says many new patients find them through the recommendation of family and friends, and it’s always rewarding to hear that their reputation is growing. “We have many loyal patients who we see regularly but we love to see new patients and we encourage people to come to us when they have anything going on with their eyes at all,” he said. All too often, people will attend a family physician first for eye conditions, only to be referred back to an optometrist. “That’s what we’re here for, whether it’s redness or an infection or any other thing going on with your eyes, we hold our medical eye care to an extremely high standard, and we want people to know we are here for them.”

How to protect my kid’s vision?

How to protect my kid’s vision?

The top 3 things to do is to:

  • Provide nutritious meals that are packed with antioxidants and micro-nutrients like vitamin C, E, Zinc, Omega 3 and lutein, which are in fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish.

  • Prevent your child from any impact to the eye. You can do so by providing protective eyewear when playing sports, etc. Please check out the different types of eyewear here.

  • Provide vision correction to prevent children’s eyesight from getting worse and proper UV coated lenses to protect your children’s eyes from the sun’s rays. We recommend regular eye examination. Children under 18 years old is covered by BC MSP and have free annual examinations.

How to protect your eyes in the summer

Summer is a season where everyone enjoys spending time out under in the sun. All our optometrists at Real Eyes Optometry wants to ensure that everyone is having fun and staying safe.

  1. Wear authentic 100% UV Filtering Sunglasses – Not only do sunglasses make you look cool, but it can protect your eyes from sun damage and prevent conditions such as macular degeneration, cataracts, pterygium and corneal sunburn. Ultraviolet rays can cause sunburn, are also harmful to your eyes. Be sure you select lenses that filter UV rays for you and your family.
  2. Stay inside between 10 am to 2 pm – at that time it is very easy to get sun burnt and the sun’s rays is most intense. If you do have to be outside, make sure to wear a hat, sunglasses, and stay under the shade.
  3. Stay Hydrated – Drinking enough fluids will also help your eyes produce more tears to keep them nice and lubricated.
  4. Ensure you are taking enough vitamin C, B Complex, D, and fish oil to keep your eyes at tip top shape.

Schedule an Appointment with an optometrist at Real Eyes Optometry to find your sunglasses prescription today. Please call 604-433-4280.

Blue Blocker Lenses and Beating the Blue Light Blues

Blue Blocker Lenses and Beating the Blue Light Blues

You are exposed to all kinds of light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation everyday from sources such as sunlight, fluorescent lights, computers, laptops, smartphones, and TV.

What is Blue-Violet Light?

Blue-violet light is the most energetic out of all the light that can be seen by the human eye, also known as the visible spectrum. You already know the visible spectrum if you can name the colours of the rainbow (hint: ROYGBIV).

What Makes Blue Light Different?

Blue-violet light has the highest energy because it has the shortest wavelength on the electromagnetic spectrum because energy and wavelength are inversely related. That means the shorter the wavelength, the higher the energy and vice versa.  The wavelengths of the visible spectrum range from approximately 400-700 nanometers (nm).

So red light, at around 700 nm, has the least energy and blue light, at around 400 nm, has the most.

What is Ultraviolet Light?

Even more powerful than Blue-Violet light is Ultraviolet Light, X-Rays, and Gamma Rays. Ultraviolet light, also known as UV light, is invisible to the human eye and can cause cancer! It’s the reason why we wear sunblock and sunglasses when we’re out in the sun and its wavelengths range from around 10-380 nm.

The Good

Ever notice how a little sunshine can improve your mood? That’s because moderate exposure to certain types of blue light is essential to your well-being, and along with elevating your mood, it can make you feel more alert and even help with memory. Blue light exposure also keeps your biological clock ticking on time – one of the biggest sources of blue light is the sun, and when it sets, your body takes the hint that it’s time to start getting ready for sleep.

What we call light is only a small range on the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, which also includes radio waves, microwaves, ultraviolet rays, X-rays, and gamma rays. (Images provided by Dr. Shaun Pati)

The Bad

Prolonged and constant exposure to blue light can cause your eyes discomfort such as strain and glare. Also, since blue light is important in regulating our circadian rhythms by letting our body’s natural clock know when it’s time to sleep, too much blue light exposure right before bed will negatively affect the quality of your sleep and can make you feel more tired and less alert the next day. This is becoming an increasing issue as some of the main sources of blue light (aside from the sun) are our electronic devices (such as your smartphone, notebook, TV, and computer). That’s why you should think twice about using your phone and computer right before bed!

The Ugly

Blue light exposure puts you at increased risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration, especially for people over the age of 50. This condition, which affects the part of the retina known as the macula, is non-curable and affects the sharpness and clarity of your central vision, which you depend on to drive and read. Too much exposure to UV light can cause cataracts and even temporary blindness (known as photokeratitis) due to sunburns on the cornea. Just another reason why you should NEVER stare directly at the sun!

What Can You do?

You can’t (and shouldn’t) try to avoid all blue light, but instead take steps to reduce your exposure. This can take on many forms- from reducing your time staring at a screen (especially right before bed), to using blue blocking filters and lenses. At Real Eyes Optometry, we recommend using Crizal Prevencia No Glare lenses which not only blocks harmful blue light (while letting the good blue light through), it also offers comprehensive UV protection.

If you use Sun block for your skin, you should use Blue block for your eyes. It’s that simple.

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