The Canadian Association of Optometrists suggests ANNUAL eye health and vision examinations for all children and teenagers under 19 years old, adults over 40 years old, contact lens wearers, and for individuals with medical conditions or with a family history of conditions which can affect your eye health. All other patients should be examined every two years. Since the ocular tissues are very fragile, early detection of any potential eye problems is key.

You may still have full or partial coverage for an eye exam through OHIP if you are 19 years old or under, 65 years old or over, have an eye disease or have a health condition such as diabetes that can affect eye health as noted by your family physician.  Most extended medical plans also cover all or part of your exam. However, some specialized tests may not be covered by OHIP, and these tests will be billed directly to you. Our office directly bills the majority of insurance plan providers for you.

You may still have full or partial coverage for an eye exam through OHIP if you are 19 years old or under, 65 years old or over, have an eye disease or have a health condition such as diabetes that can affect eye health as noted by your family physician.  Most extended medical plans also cover all or part of your exam. However, some specialized tests may not be covered by OHIP, and these tests will be billed directly to you. Our office directly bills the majority of insurance plan providers for you.

It is recommended to book your child’s first eye exam as early as at 6 months of age. Vision tests for children are performed in an age-appropriate fashion, and some simple tests can be performed as early as at 6 months of age. A more comprehensive evaluation is then done at 3 years of age. Different types of objects, shapes, numbers, and letters are used to determine a child’s visual acuity (ability to see over various distances), peripheral vision and to determine the eyes’ ability to team, focus and move together. Various methods, including eye drops and the use of specialized equipment, are used to assess the external and internal eye health and uncover any potential disorders.

When coming in for your eye exam, please bring your health card, latest eyeglasses, contact lens information, list of medications, allergies, and sunglasses. Eye drops to dilate the pupils are often given as part of the eye exam,and you may be more comfortable having a driver with you, since the eye drops will blur your near vision for approximately 45 minutes and the pupils will be enlarged for 3-5 hours after eye drop administration, leaving your eyes sensitive to light. It is advisable to bring your eyeglasses with you when you have your eye examination. This will allow checking your old prescription against your new prescription to detect any changes in your vision. Even if there is no change in your prescription, it is also good for your optician to assess the lenses for scratches or defects and to ensure that the frame is still fitting properly so that you have maximum benefit from your eyeglasses. Also, you should bring your eyeglasses to your contact lens re-assessments. Since dyes may need to be put into the eyes, they can stain your contact lenses, so it may be necessary to wear your eyeglasses on your way home.

The practice of optometry is changing with the advent of newer and more advanced technologies to diagnose and monitor eye health. Retinal photographs are recommended by your eye doctor to assist in documenting and monitoring the intricate details in the back of your eye. The scan provides a detailed baseline record of your eye health that is kept on file and can be used for comparison in the future. Certain conditions, such as glaucoma, diabetes, and macular degeneration, are very difficult to diagnose and require careful monitoring over time to assess for subtle changes. Retinal photographs are also crucial to accurately document the size and degree of any unusual findings in your eye, such as retinal nevi (moles) and spots caused by macular degeneration.

The intraocular lens implant placed in the eye during cataract surgery changes the power of the eye, and it is very rare that your prescription prior to surgery will remain the same. Your optometrist will check your prescription and make changes as necessary, usually about 6 weeks after the surgery and once the eye is healed. 

Since they go inside of the eye, contact lenses are considered to be a medical device. They are available by prescription only. In order to ensure that the contact lenses are not damaging the tissues of your eye, it is of utmost importance to have your contact lenses assessed every year or as determined by your eye doctor. Contact lenses can desensitize your eye to pain and irritation, and this means that you may notice any early signs or symptoms of inflammation or eye disease. The longer the condition is left undiagnosed and untreated, the longer it takes to heal.

Only a thorough, regular, and comprehensive examination by your eye doctor can determine if the contact lenses you are wearing are suitable for your eyes. Routine assessments are also beneficial in that your optician can have the opportunity to discuss advances in contact lens technologies, as well as to reassess your lifestyle and contact lens wearing habits to determine if contact lenses are right for you.

OPTOMETRIST:

Optometrists are your primary care eye doctors. Doctors of optometry are trained to provide the best standards of comprehensive eye care, ranging from an assessment and review of overall eye health and visual function to providing a prescription for eyeglasses, treating eye diseases medically, or referring for secondary treatment by an ophthalmologist with surgery or drugs.  

OPHTHALMOLOGIST:

Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who have completed a specialized residency in the study, diagnosis, and treatment of eye disorders and disease. They are secondary-level health care providers and they usually use drugs and/or surgery for treatment. A person who requires ophthalmological care (cataract surgery, for example) would usually require a referral from the optometrist or family doctor.

OPTICIANS:

Opticians are technical practitioners trained through a college program to design, fit and dispense vision aids according to the prescription of an optometrist or physician. Opticians are licensed to provide spectacles, and they may also dispense contact lenses and other vision aids. However, opticians do not assess, diagnose, or treat eye conditions, nor do they determine the prescriptions for eyeglasses or contact lenses.