- OHIP card (in case your eye exam is covered by OHIP)
- Sunglasses (in case you receive the dilation drops on a sunny day)
- Your current glasses and/or contact lenses and contact lens information
- Your list of medications
Depending on which insurance plan, we may be able to bill them directly. Currently, we are set up for directly billing of clients under Great West Life and Green Shield plans. Please bring your insurance card/information and we will be happy to inquire for you.
We can provide eye services in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Mandarin, Portuguese and Vietnamese. We welcome your own translator, if necessary.
An Optometrist is a primary eye care doctor who is your first point of contact for any eye issues, including vision needs or ocular health problems. They will detect and diagnose diseases and prescribe medications, glasses, and contact lenses. You can compare them to your family doctor who diagnoses diseases and prescribes medications. An Ophthalmologist is an eye specialist who specializes in managing eye diseases and performs eye surgeries. An Optometrist will refer you to this specialist if you have an eye condition that requires specialty testing or surgical intervention. You can compare them to a medical specialist like a cardiac surgeon when your family doctor refers you to them if you require heart surgery. An Optician is specially trained in dispensing glasses and adjusting them to ensure the right fit for your face. You can compare them to your pharmacist who dispenses medications to you.
No, you do not need a referral to see an Optometrist.
A contact lens fitting involves making sure a contact lens fits perfectly on the front of your eyes. If it is fitting too tightly, you are putting your eyes are risk for eye infection and may be depriving it of oxygen. If it is too loose, it will not be comfortable and your vision will also be compromised. Because we are committed to ensuring you have the healthiest eyes possible, we must perform our own fitting in order to determine whether or not your current contact lenses are the best fit for you. We will also be able to suggest newer, more comfortable and breathable lenses for you as they become available. If an annual supply of contact lenses is purchased from our clinic after your contact lens fitting, the fee may be reimbursed as credit towards your purchase at the discretion of the doctor.
Vision and ocular health conditions are not always accompanied by recognizable symptoms, and there is often an increased risk to the patient if timely treatment is not initiated. In general, children 19 years and under, seniors 65 and over, and those with medical conditions or previously diagnosed eye conditions or a high prescription should have their eyes examined at least once a year. Otherwise, people ages 19-64, who are healthy and have no eye conditions should be seen at least every 2 years. After your initial examination, we will schedule regular checkups for you at a frequency that meets YOUR particular eye care needs. Many factors (hypertension, diabetes, family history of eye disease, those on medication which may have ocular side effects, etc.) will influence the frequency of your eye examination, and the doctor will weigh these factors in deciding when you should be seen again.
Our Optometrists are highly trained and must demonstrate competence in knowledge, skill and judgment to become licensed in Canada and be able to register in Ontario. They are also required to regularly attend continuing education seminars and demonstrate competence for ongoing registration. You should expect that the optometric care you receive, meets the standards of practice. A complete examination will usually include the following components, although variations may occur because of patient age, abilities, and general health and eye conditions:
- A health history with emphasis on eyes and vision, including vision needs
- Measurement of visual acuity (ie. 20/20)
- Measurement of refractive error (ie. your prescription for far-sightedness, near-sightedness, astigmatism)
- Assessment of the alignment of the eyes
- Assessment of the way the eyes adjust focus from distance to near
- Examination of the eyes for any disease or abnormalities
- A diagnosis from the results of the examination
- Recommendations for any treatment required, which may include referral to another health care provider
- Provision of a prescription or treatment plan for vision correction if required
- Any counseling or advice that is necessary, including need for future vision care.
Vision tests for children are recommended as early as 6 months of age. Different types of targets, shapes, numbers and letters are used to determine a child’s visual acuity depending on their age. Peripheral vision, binocular vision, 3-D vision, and ocular motility tests determine how the eyes work together. Colour vision assessment is also done as soon as the child understands how to do the test. An approximate prescription can also be determined for a non-verbal child just by shining a light and holding some lenses in front of their eyes.
We recommend that our patients bring all eyeglasses and/or contact lens information to their appointment. By reviewing your old prescription and assessing your existing eyeglasses, not only are we able to establish a baseline, but we are also able to establish any needs you might have from your new glasses. Also, if no prescription change is necessary, it is possible to ensure that the current eyeglasses continue to meet your needs: they’re not too scratched or damaged for optimum vision and that the fit is still ideal.
Also, sunglasses can be useful after an exam because patients may be dilated in order to provide a more complete assessment of ocular health. Dilation is not painful however it does increase the size of the pupil, resulting in sensitivity to bright lights.
Yes. If you are a contact lens wearer, you should wear your usual contact lenses to your appointment. This allows your Optometrist to assess the current fit and level of vision with your lenses and to make appropriate recommendations. It is ideal to wear your contact lenses for at least two hours prior to your appointment so your lenses may be viewed in their settled position.
Contact lenses are a medical device. Your eyes and contact lenses will need to be carefully examined on a regular basis, even if the lenses continue to feel comfortable and offer clear vision. 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 Optometrist. Many contact lens complications do not cause symptoms in the early stages. Contact lenses can desensitize your eye to pain and irritation. If this happens it is possible for tissue inflammation to begin and you may not have any signs or symptoms. Consequently, you may not come into the clinic until you have advanced complications. Only a thorough, regular, comprehensive examination by your Optometrist can detect the subtle changes in vision and eye health that occur as a result of contact lens complications. Early detection of these changes can prompt corrective measures before more serious complications develop. Routine assessments are also beneficial in that your doctor can have the opportunity to discuss advances in contact lens technologies as well as to reassess your lifestyle and contact lens wearing habits to ensure your contact lens regime is still suitable.
Although contact lenses can be fit to patients of any age, generally patients have to be mature enough to manage their contact lenses well to prevent severe eye infections and complications. When one is not capable of being responsible for this management then parents or guardians must be willing to take over the role of responsibility to ensure that the lenses are worn the proper number of hours; cleaned properly; replaced as directed; and, inserted and removed properly.
Eye drops that dilate the pupils, called Mydriatics, are used in some examinations to enable the doctor to get a better view of the inside of the eye. The doctor will decide how often this type of examination is necessary for each individual depending upon his or her symptoms, age, health, and family history. The drops generally leave your vision a little blurry and sensitive to light, so you may not be able to drive immediately after this procedure. The effect of the drops will wear off in 2 to 6 hours.
Eye drops that relax the focus of the eyes, called Cycloplegics are used to accurately measure the degree of far-sightedness of the eyes. These are generally used, when necessary, for children and young adults. These drops also leave the vision blurry and sensitive to light.
Eye drops to anesthetize (numb) the eye are used for procedures that require an instrument touching the eye. The anesthetic does not affect vision and lasts about 15 minutes. Some eye drops contain a yellow dye that helps the doctor diagnose abnormalities of the surface of the eye.
Most patients find that after the eye exam they are okay to drive. During the eye examination eye-drops may be used that dilate the eyes to help the doctor see different parts of the back of the eye. These drops can cause light sensitivity for a few hours after the examination so we recommend that sunglasses be worn after the eye exam during daylight hours. For very light sensitive patients they may be more comfortable having someone drive them home1 after the eye examination although the sunglasses should suffice for most people.
“That air-puff thing”, although mildly unpleasant is an important test called non-contact tonometry (NCT). It provides a measurement of the internal fluid pressure of the eye. The doctor uses that information, along with other examination procedures to determine if you have glaucoma, or have a risk of developing glaucoma. There are other methods of measuring the “intraocular pressure” which may be used if you cannot tolerate the “air puff” or if your doctor prefers another method.
This is a ratio used to indicate normal visual acuity. It means that people with ‘normal vision’ on the acuity chart are able to see a certain size of detail at 20 feet. Someone with 20/70 vision would have to be at 20 feet to see something that someone with ‘normal vision’ would be able to see out at 70 feet. Often times, some people can see ‘better than 20/20′, meaning they can see 20/15 or 20/10 on the chart. Someone with 20/15 vision would be able to see the small detail out at 20 feet whereby a person with 20/20 vision would have to bring closer to 15 feet to be able to see it.
Being far or near-sighted, having astigmatism, or becoming presbyopic, can all make computer use less comfortable. Your eyes may have to exert extra focusing effort or be forced to work harder to maintain a clear image on the screen. This results in eye-strain and fatigue. The following are some helpful tips to facilitate comfortable and efficient computer use:
Positioning: Correct positioning of your computer, keyboard, and typing copy is essential. Your screen should be about an arm’s length from your eyes and 15-20 degrees below eye level for optimum alignment and neck positioning.
- Lighting: Room lighting should be diffuse, not direct, to reduce glare and reflections from your screen. Cover the windows using blinds or drapes and/or use an anti-glare filter for your monitor.
- Glasses: Anti-reflective coatings on the lenses of your glasses can be applied to reduce discomfort and to ease reduced vision from bright and/or flickering light sources such as VDTs and fluorescent lights. Don’t forget – your Optometrist can talk to you about eyeglasses designed specifically for computer users.
- Time-out: To prevent eyestrain, try to rest your eyes when using the computer for long periods. Optometrists recommend the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break, and focus your eyes on an object at least 20 feet away.
- Blink: Did you know that, on average, we blink 12 times per minute? But, when we are on the computer, we only blink 5 times per minute? Infrequent blinking causes tear film evaporation; in other words, dry eyes. Relieve the discomfort by using artificial tear drops and remember to blink!
This depends on your age and the nature of your prescription. Majority of visual development occurs within the first decade of life; a time during which neural connections form between the eye and the brain.
- If one or both eyes lack the proper visual stimulation during early development, then central vision will not fully develop. This condition is called amblyopia. It is for this reason and others your Optometrist recommends that you book your child’s first eye examination at the age of 6 months and then annually afterwards. Because of the critical development that occurs throughout these early years of life, children who do not wear the glasses prescribed by their Optometrist may not develop to their full vision potential.
- For adults, wearing of eyeglass lenses will not make your vision worse or damage your eyes in any way. Unless you are near-sighted and remove your glasses for reading, most adults over 40 years of age will become increasingly dependent on reading glasses. This is not due to the glasses “weakening” your eyes but instead, it is due to the natural aging changes of the crystalline lenses within your eyes called presbyopia. Whether you wear glasses or not, your vision will gradually deteriorate over your lifetime. By wearing the eyeglass lenses prescribed by your Optometrist, you will enjoy increased comfort and clarity of vision at all distances.
Regular ‘tinted’ sunglass lenses are available in a variety of colours and densities, and can suit many needs. In order to provide optimum eye health, sunglass lenses must meet particular UV standards to be considered safe. Polarized sunglass lenses eliminate blinding glare for greater safety to the tissues in your eye, provide more accurate colour perception for unrivaled visual comfort, and offer 100% protection against harmful UV rays. Polarized lenses are particularly helpful in bright light conditions such as water sports, driving, and golfing.
Anti-reflective coating is a treatment applied to both the front and back surface of eyeglass lenses that enables light to pass through more efficiently, reducing surface reflection. By reducing the surface reflection, light passes through the lens more efficiently, increasing contrast and providing clearer vision. The increased comfort of the anti-reflective lens is particularly noticeable when driving at night, or when using the computer for prolonged periods of time.
Lenses with anti-reflective coating are both optically clearer and esthetically more attractive due to the low levels of reflections observed on the surface of the lens. Anti-reflective coatings make the lenses look thinner (in some cases, almost invisible) and enable others to see your eyes more clearly.
Various lens styles (single vision, bifocals and progressive) as well as lens materials are available on the market. Selecting the right lens can be an overwhelming decision if looking at all the choices available without knowing what the options mean.
At the time of your examination, the Optometrist will establish the correction required, and will also discuss the activities and aspects of your lifestyle that may be enhanced by wearing eyeglasses. Based on your prescription as well as your lifestyle needs, the Optometrist will then recommend a lens style, as well as lens material.