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As a regulated health profession, optometry may continue to provide services to the public during the Provincial Lockdown.
As we are only operating by appointment and have full use of PPE, our office is following the required protocols.
We ask that only those with an appointment enter the office to assist us with helping to maintain distances.
We are open for in office appointments. We welcome you back! Please read our new protocols here.

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6 Ways To Maintain Eye Health If You’re Over 50

Aging and certain lifestyle choices can affect your vision, especially if you’re in your 50’s and up. While it’s normal for your eyes and vision to change, there are certain actions you can take to protect your sight.

6 Tips for 50+ Eye Health

  1. Eat Well

    A well-balanced diet helps maintain a healthy body including healthy eyes, and reduces your odds of developing some very serious eye diseases. Nutrients and nutritious foods, which help prevent vision loss include:

    • Vitamin A: Carrots, spinach, kale, egg yolks, dairy products
    • Vitamin C: Citrus fruits and juices, broccoli, potatoes, green peppers
    • Vitamin E: Whole grains, eggs, sunflower seeds, vegetable oils
    • Fatty Acids: Coldwater fish, such as mackerel, rainbow trout and salmon; corn oil, sunflower oil
    • Lutein: Kale, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, corn
    • Zinc: Poultry, meat, fish, dairy products, whole grains
  1. Quit Smoking

Smoking can significantly increase the chances of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, as well as diabetic retinopathy in diabetics. So if you’re a smoker, the sooner you quit, the better.

  1. Exercise

Exercising for at least 20 minutes a day is great for your whole body, including your eyes, by increasing blood flow to the optic nerve and retina! It isn’t necessary to engage in strenuous exercise—in fact, a brisk walk will suffice.

  1. Protect Your Eyes


Protecting your eyes from ultraviolet rays with UV-blocking sunglasses can slow down the development of cataracts, prevent sun damage to your retina, and lower the risk of skin cancer near your eyes.

Protective eyewear

Another way to protect your eyes is to wear protective eyewear. If you play sports or work with materials such as wood, glass or metal, protective eyewear can shield your eyes from splinters and shards, as well as fast-moving objects like balls and hockey pucks.

  1. Give Your Eyes a Rest

If you spend a lot of time reading, driving or looking at digital devices, you may develop eye strain and eye fatigue. By implementing the 20-20-20 rule, especially during prolonged computer or smartphone use, you can give your eyes some much-needed rest. All you need to do is this: every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

  1. Have Regular Eye Exams

And finally, a comprehensive eye exam is crucial, as it can detect eye conditions that don’t display any symptoms until vision loss has already occurred.

These conditions include:

When detected early, treatment can often prevent permanent vision loss or even blindness. Less serious and more common, presbyopia or age-related farsightedness, develops with age, and simply updating your prescription for glasses or contact lenses at your routine eye checkup can keep you enjoying the arm’s-length activities you love.

Age-related vision changes can be challenging, both emotionally and physically. However, some of these can be mitigated by implementing the tips above.

Schedule an eye exam with Dr. Patricia Fink Optometry in Burlington, Ontario to check your eye health today!



How does aging affect your eyes?

Aging causes changes in every part of your body, including your eyes. As you age, the lens inside your eye begins to harden, which leads to presbyopia (age-related farsightedness). This makes it more difficult for your eyes to focus on near objects and tasks like reading. Other common age-related eye problems include:

  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Dry Eyes
  • Floaters
  • Changes to Peripheral Vision

Can I do anything about my chances of vision loss?

It is estimated that half of all visual impairment and blindness can be prevented through early diagnosis and treatment. So make sure you get regular eye exams to ensure that all is in check.

Why Eye Exams Are More Important Than Ever

Why Are Eye Exams near you in Burlington, Ontario Important?

Since the onset of COVID-19, many children have been learning remotely through distance learning programs. While parents are concerned about their children falling behind academically, eye doctors are concerned that undiagnosed vision problems may impact the child’s school performance.

Undetected vision problems may hinder a child’s ability to learn. That’s why eye doctors strongly recommend that children undergo a thorough Eye Exam before the new school year begins.

While it’s tempting to rely on vision screenings provided by schools, these superficial visual acuity tests can identify only a limited number of vision problems. Only a comprehensive Eye Exam conducted by an eye doctor can accurately diagnose and address a wide range of problems related to vision and eye health.

How Is Vision Affected By Online Learning?

The amount of time children spend looking at digital screens was already a concern in the pre-pandemic era—but the covid pandemic has only exacerbated the issue. According to the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, children spent twice as much time on screens during COVID-related closures than they did prior to the pandemic.

For one thing, spending prolonged periods of time on digital screens forces the eyes to work harder, making children and adults more susceptible to digital eye strain, one of the hallmark symptoms of computer vision syndrome. People who spend 2 or more consecutive hours staring at a screen are at higher risk of developing this condition.

Some digital eye strain symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Eye fatigue
  • Eye pain
  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain

These symptoms can be caused by a combination of the following factors:

  • Glare and reflections from the screen
  • Excessive time looking at a screen
  • Poor lighting
  • Poor posture
  • Screen brightness
  • Undetected vision problems

In addition to digital eye strain, several studies have found that children who spend many hours indoors doing “near work” — writing, reading and looking at computers and other digital devices — have a higher rate of myopia progression.

A study published in the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s professional journal, Ophthalmology, found that first-graders who spent at least 11 hours per week playing outside in the sunshine experienced slower myopia progression. Some researchers theorize that exposure to sunlight and looking at distant objects while playing outdoors might help prevent myopia progression.

Our optometry practice near you in Burlington, Ontario, offers a wide range of eye care services, including pediatric eye exams, contact lenses fitting and ocular diseases management

Why Are Eye Exams Important?

Up to 80% of a child’s learning is visual, so even the slightest vision problem can have a negative impact on their academic achievement. Taking a child in for an Eye Exam once a year will allow your eye doctor to detect and correct refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism, and check their visual skills, such as convergence insufficiency, binocular vision, focusing and more.

Comprehensive eye exams are the best way to detect mild and serious eye health conditions. Eye exams are especially important for children with a family history of eye health problems.

While regular eye exams are essential for every member of the family, they’re especially for those who spend a good portion of their day in front of a screen.

Don’t put off your child’s annual Eye Exam. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Patricia Fink Optometry in Burlington today!

Dr. Patricia Fink Optometry, your Burlington eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Schedule a Back To School Eye Exam With Our Optometrist in Burlington, Ontario


At what age should a child have an Eye Exam

According to the American and Canadian Optometric Associations, it’s recommended for a child to have their first Eye Exam between 6-12 months of age.
Before a child starts school, they should undergo an Eye Exam, and every one to two years after that, based on their Eye Doctor’s recommendation.

Does my child need an Eye Exam if they passed the school vision screening?

Yes! School vision screenings are superficial eye evaluations designed to diagnose a limited number of vision problems like myopia. They do not check for visual skills and other problems that may hinder your child’s academic success.
Your Eye Doctor will evaluate your child’s vision and eye health, along with visual abilities, including depth perception and eye tracking, to let you know whether your child’s eyes are “school-ready.”

Why Are Blue Eyes More Sensitive To Light?

Why Do Your Eyes Need Sun Protection?

Eyes of all colors need shielding from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Exposure to UV light can contribute to the formation of short-term and long-term eye conditions such as corneal sunburn and macular degeneration.

That’s why it’s so important to choose high-quality Sunwear with 100% UV blocking lenses and to throw on a sun hat for an added layer of protection.

UV protection is important for individuals of all ages—especially children—who are more susceptible than adults to the sun’s harmful rays and tend to spend more time outdoors. It is estimated that up to 80% of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV rays happens before the age of 18.

Why are Blue Eyes More Sensitive to Light?

Lighter-colored eyes like blue, hazel, and green have less of a pigment called ‘melanin’ than brown eyes do.

Melanin helps protect the retina from UV damage and blue light, putting those with blue eyes at a higher risk of developing UV-related eye damage.

If you have blue eyes, you may have experienced this first-hand. Bright light may be uncomfortable or you may want to reach for your shades as soon as you leave the house on a sunny day.

That’s why optometrists urge blue-eyed patients to be particularly vigilant about UV protection, so as to mitigate their chances of developing eye disease and other complications.

How We Can Help

Whether you have blue eyes or not, sunglasses are an important part of keeping your eyes healthy for a lifetime.

At Dr. Patricia Fink Optometry, we’ll be happy to advise on the perfect high-quality and protective pair of sunglasses to suit your needs and personal style.

Dr. Patricia Fink Optometry, your Burlington eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT


Should I wear sunglasses even when it’s not sunny outside?

Yes! You should wear your sunglasses whenever outdoors during the day, even on an overcast, winter day. UV light can pass through clouds and reflect off surfaces like car windows and pavement.

What type of sunglasses are the most suitable for blue eyes?

The most protective sunglasses are wraparound sunglasses that protect the eyes from every angle. You can also opt for photochromic lenses, which offer total UV protection but only become tinted when exposed to outdoor sunlight, and turn clear when you come indoors again. Your optometrist can help you choose the best lens and frame options for your needs and lifestyle.

Why Are Dilated Eye Exams So Important?

Dr. Patricia Fink Optometry Dilated Eye Exam near you in Burlington, Ontario

Having your eyes dilated during an eye exam may seem like a nuisance. But when you consider the benefits of a dilated eye exam, the temporary blurred vision and sensitivity to light that typically follow are definitely worth it.

What Are Dilated Eye Exams?

At some point during a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist will shine a bright light into your eyes to examine the back of your eye, called the retina. The problem is that bright light causes the size of the pupil’s opening to shrink, which makes it hard for the optometrist to see a large portion of the retina.

That’s why eye doctors apply special eye drops in each eye to keep the pupils open. A dilated pupil allows for a much more accurate assessment of your eye’s structures, including the focusing lens, blood vessels and tissues at the back of the eye called the retina, as well as the optic nerve and macula.

Dilating the eyes makes it easier for your optometrist to detect the following conditions and diseases:

It’s important to note that many of these conditions can develop without noticeable symptoms, until they cause vision loss at which point treatment may be more challenging, making dilated eye exams all the more crucial.

The Dilation Process

First, your eye doctor will apply eye drops to each eye to trigger dilation of the pupil. Your eyes should be fully dilated about 10-20 minutes later.

Your eyes will remain dilated for 4-6 hours, and during this time you may be sensitive to light. That’s because the larger pupil allows more light than usual to enter the eye. Many patients find it more comfortable to wear sunglasses until their eyes return to normal.

Reading and using a computer may be difficult with dilated eyes, and your vision may be blurred. Some patients report feeling a tightening sensation in their eyelids, or headaches.

Dilated eye exams are a crucial part of keeping your eyes healthy. To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call Dr. Patricia Fink Optometry in Burlington today!

Dr. Patricia Fink Optometry, your Burlington eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT


At what age should one have a dilated eye exam?

You should have your dilated eye exam no matter your age. Most eye doctors will dilate a new patient at their first exam regardless of age to get a baseline of their retinal health.

Will I be able to return to work after a dilated eye exam?

Everyone reacts differently, so it’s hard to tell. If your job requires you to focus on small print or detail, it may be challenging. Typing and writing may also be difficult with dilated pupils. To be on the safe side, book your appointment at the end of your work day, clear your schedule after your eye exam and only plan to do activities which aren’t visually demanding.

Why Does Bono Always Wear His Signature Shades?

Ask our optometrist in Burlington how Do Sunglasses Help People With Glaucoma?

Ever wonder why rock superstar Bono wears sunglasses, even when indoors? It’s not due to his “look”, but rather is related to managing his glaucoma.

Ever wonder why Bono always wears shades, even when indoors? U2’s frontman doesn’t wear sunglasses simply as part of his image. Bono has had glaucoma, a build-up of pressure in the eyeball, which can damage the optic nerve and potentially lead to blindness if untreated—for over two decades now.

The real reason he wears his trademark shades is due to this progressive, sight-robbing eye disease, to protect his sensitive eyes from light and glare.

How Do Sunglasses Help People With Glaucoma?

People with glaucoma experience sensitivity to light (or photophobia) and glare, among other symptoms. When the sun is strong, those with this condition will be more affected by glare emanating from a variety of surfaces, like water, snow, sand or pavement, than the average person. Furthermore, certain glaucoma medications constrict the pupils, which can further contribute to acute sensitivity to glare and light, as well as redness and irritation.

That’s why people with glaucoma — and lots of people without glaucoma — feel best wearing sunglasses when outdoors on a sunny day, in a bright indoor space, or while driving in the early evening.

Here’s How You Can Protect Your Eyes

By wearing sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection, you can reduce your risk of developing sight robbing diseases, like cataracts and macular degeneration, and reduce glaucoma symptoms. Polarized lenses, in particular, can help with glare. With yearly comprehensive eye exams, early diagnosis and consistent treatment, you can prevent vision deterioration from glaucoma or similar sight-threatening eye diseases. Contact Dr. Patricia Fink Optometry in Burlington to book your eye doctor’s appointment today.

Book an eye exam at an eye clinic near you to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you.

Dr. Patricia Fink Optometry, your Burlington eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT


Can glaucoma be cured?

While there is currently no cure for glaucoma, there are many effective treatment options available. Treatments that can help stop or slow the progression of glaucoma include eye drops, oral medications, as well as laser and surgical procedures.

How can glaucoma vision loss be prevented?

The best way to avoid glaucoma-related eyesight deterioration is to undergo regular eye exams, as glaucoma can be detected and treated even in its early stages, which can prevent significant vision loss or blindness. That’s why routine eye exams that include glaucoma testing are so important.

Returning to Eye Care — June 1st

May 27, 2020

Dear Patient,

We at Dr. Patricia Fink & Associates and Halton Vision Therapy Centre are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and want to assure you our priority is the health and safety of our patients and staff. We are following advice provided by the Canadian and provincial health officials and making sure our clinic has taken extra precautionary measures to reduce the risk of transmission. We are now able to return to routine eye care with proper disinfecting procedures and PPE in place.

Our Standard Operating Procedures have changed to comply with the requirements of our regulatory body, The College of Optometrists of Ontario.

  • Only patients with appointments may enter the office. The appointments have been staggered to provide physical space. The appointment times have been increased to provide time for additional sanitation.
  • All appointments will be pre-screened to insure they are symptom free. A history and information will be taken by phone or email to limit the time in office.
  • Upon entry, hand sanitation is required. Hand sanitizers are located throughout the clinic. Additional sanitization procedures for all areas within the clinic that come into high contact, including but not limited to, phones, desks, door handles, payment terminals, chairs etc are in effect.
  • Masks are mandatory for distances inside of 6 feet/2 meters. This includes the pretest room, the exam room and measurements for glasses.
  • The 6 foot/2 meter distance is marked for chairs with a green check mark. A green line indicates the distance from the front desk. Different markings on the floor will be used to direct you through the office. The exam lanes are marked 1,2,3; the dispensing area has a triangle, checkout has a square.
  • Approach the front desk on check in using the plexiglass dividers. Please only address the staff if you are behind this divider if you are not wearing your mask.
  • Limiting touch points in the office is essential. Limiting the use of the rest rooms, limit chair hopping, wandering the office, etc.
  • Individual appointments. Only if you require assistance should another person be with you at your appointment. Families, we are limiting 2 people at one time to respect this regulation.
  • Limited amount of equipment may be used during integration. Automated field analysis, topography, diopsys, contact lens fittings and teachings may need to be rescheduled until the protocol changes. Retinal imaging will be done for documentation and to limit exposure for the doctors. Dilated eye examinations will only be conducted if there is clinical evidence to do so.
  • Sanitizing equipment and tools after each use between patients.
  • Imposing mandatory self-isolation for all clinic staff and Optometrists who have traveled outside of the province, have been in contact with someone who has traveled outside of Canada or the province.
  • Removing all frequently used, and not easily cleaned items in our waiting room such as magazines, toys, and brochures.
  • Masks are used by staff that are within the 6 foot/2 meter working distance of a patient. This includes the pretest room, the exam room, and measurements for eyeglasses.
  • Eye shields may be used when in close contact as well.
  • Gloves are used by the doctors if they need to touch or manipulate your lids. Hand sanitization is done before and after all touch points by the examiners. Gloves may be used by staff when handling your glasses or making adjustments.
  • All frames are cleaned and dried before being placed back on the display. All frames that have been touched need to be placed on the ledge in order to go through the cleaning protocol.
  • Health assessments and follow ups will be done by telemedicine. If the telemedicine appointment indicates an in office visit, the on call doctor will provide for this.
  • Contact lens orders will be direct ship. Contact lens pick ups, if needed, are by appointment only.
  • All glass orders need to book an appointment for pick up.

For the safety of our community, if you have you are experiencing any symptoms such as a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or have traveled or been in contact with individuals who have traveled outside of Canada, or have concerns with your health, we kindly request that you contact us to reschedule your appointment.

Your eye health is important to us and we are available to support your vision needs. Our clinic will be open starting June 1, 2020:

Monday to Friday 9 am-5 pm for eye examination appointments
Saturday 9 am–1 pm for eye examination appointments
Tuesday & Wednesdays: 5:30 pm – 8 pm eyewear/eyeglass pick-up appointments
Saturday 1:30 pm-5pm eyewear/eyeglass pick-up appointments

As the situation continues to evolve, we are closely monitoring and adjusting our procedures to ensure we follow the latest health guidelines. Should you have any questions please email us at or call 905-319-1066.


Dr. Patricia S. Fink
Dr. Patricia Fink & Associates
Halton Vision Therapy Centre

Children’s eye exams vs School Screenings

eye chart

This is definitely one of my pet peeves. Schools or school boards that encourage school vision and hearing screenings vs the parents taking their children to see the optometrist or the audiologist on their own time.

As a parent, it sounds convenient when a school form comes around to sign our child up to have a vision screening with a hearing test for a cost of $25-$35 depending on the school. Your child gets pulled out of the classroom, gets placed in a line and goes through a screening, which is not a full evaluation. I can only speak on behalf of the visual portion of these screenings and will not comment on the auditory component of these screenings.

If the child fails the screening, they are recommended to see an optometrist for an OHIP insured examination. OHIP insures children’s eye examinations up to and including 19 years of age. This is part of our taxation system, so you pay into this whether you use it or not. A visual assessment with an optometrist is far more detailed and extensive than the visual screening performed at the schools.

I often see siblings from these visual screenings. One has passed the screening and the other has failed it. Most often the one that has passed the screening actually has visual issues that need to be addressed and the one that failed it is fine.

What is the purpose of pulling children out of class in an educational setting, having them stand in the hallways waiting their turn to be screened that often is inaccurate and imprecise? What can this child be learning in a school setting instead of going through this process?

I can appreciate that this is convenient for the parents. They do not need to take time out of their schedule to do this screening. However, the misperception is that a full visual assessment has been done when a screening doesn’t even come close. There is no health assessment, minimal binocular assessments and no refractive analysis at all. Up to a +4.00 to a -1.00 prescription can easily be missed in these kids which may create some significant learning related vision issues. What is the cost of missing significant health, eye teaming or refractive issues for having it convenient within the school system?

Personally, I wish the schools and school boards would consider requiring a full eye examination by a qualified health professional prior to entering JK and every year after that. I do feel that the students would be far better served to be educated while at school rather than taking time out of their education for a screening that gives the misperception that things may be ok when they are not. What is the cost to your child’s education for sub-optimal eye care or years of a missed vision diagnosis that could actually have assisted your child’s learning?

Patricia Fink, BSc., O.D., FCOVD


Dr. Patricia Fink Optometry and Halton Vision Therapy Centre are saddened and excited to announce Dr. Shirley Ha’s journey into a new optometry opportunity. We are sad to see her go and excited for her future with Eyecarrot Innovations Corporation.

When Dr. Ha inquired years ago to see if she could practice a few hours a week at my practice to learn more about vision therapy, it was a seamless transition. Dr. Ha’s interest in learning and continued zest for adventure placed us on an exciting journey which included studying and completing our FCOVD together and helping to get the non-profit organization, Vision Therapy Canada, off the ground. As one of the prominent Vision Therapy Clinics in Canada, it was a pleasure having Dr. Ha be part of the team. Her integrity and knowledge will serve Eyecarrot Innovations Corporation well and I am excited to see what advances her involvement with this organization will procure for VT in Canada.

Dr. Patricia Fink, BSc., OD, FCOVD

Below is Dr. Ha’s message:

Dear Valued Patients, Doctors, Staff and Vision Therapists:

After nearly eight years, It is not without sadness that I tendered my departure and my last day at Dr. Fink Optometry and at Halton Vision Therapy will be January 31, 2020. I am pursuing other interests and have accepted a position at Eyecarrot Innovations Corp. in Oakville, Ontario. In order to maintain my professional license with the College of Optometrists of Ontario, I will continue to be in private practice sporadically, and provide further information to this in the future.

To my patients: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your trust, support and loyalty over the years; in particular those who travelled long distances to see me for your eye examinations. You are in very good hands with any of the optometrists in this organization and the transfer of care will be seamless. I wouldn’t be the Optometrist I am today without learning from you all – you are my best teachers.

To the Doctors: I thank everyone for your support, encouragement, understanding and collegiality over the years. I know Dr. Fink and all the optometrists in this organization have the same passions as me – to provide stellar eye and vision care to their patients and to leave deeper footprints for the profession of Optometry in the months and years ahead. I will forever treasure this priceless experience and the numerous newfound friendships.

To the Staff and Vision Therapists: It has been an extraordinary honour and privilege to work with each and every one of you. Your commitment, enthusiasm and energy are contagious and they are what drive patients to return. I am truly grateful to have been part of a terrific and talented team of really dedicated people.

Wishing you all the very best,

Shirley Ha, HBSc., OD, FCOVD

dr ha dr fink