Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I come in for an eye exam?
Everyone has different needs for their eyes so it is advised that you follow the recommendation of your doctor. Typically, healthy adults between the ages of 20 and 65 are recommended to have a routine eye exam every 2 years. Annual eye exams are recommended for children under 19, adults over 65, contact lens wearers, and patients with diabetes or other ocular diseases.
Why may I need to have dilation drops as an adult?
Your optometrist may recommend that drops be used to dilate your pupils during your examination. These drops enable your doctor to get a better view of the inside of your eyes to completely screen for potential eye and health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Temporary effects of the drops include blurred vision (depending on your prescription) and light sensitivity which can last 3 to 4 hours on average. Your eyes return to normal once the drops have worn off. Your doctor will decide how often this type of examination is necessary depending on age, general health and family history. Generally the use of drops is necessary in examining patients with diabetes, high amounts of myopia/ nearsightedness, and other specific eye conditions.
Will I have to pay to have my eyes tested?
OHIP will cover one full eye examination per year for anyone under the age of 20 and over the age of 65.
OHIP will also cover one full examination per year if you have a particular eye disease, such as glaucoma, or have documented diabetes, and are between the ages of 20-64.
Many health insurance providers cover the cost of the exam if you are not covered by OHIP. We recommend that you check with your health insurance provider to see if they will reimburse part or all of the cost.
I see 20/20 without glasses. Why is it important that I come in for an eye exam?
A full eye examination includes a check of your eye health (ocular health) as well as your prescription. Many eye diseases can occur without symptoms, so it is important to have a routine eye exam to screen for potential problems. Some eye diseases include:
• Macular Degeneration
• Vascular changes
• Retinal Breaks/Tears/Holes/Detachments
• Infection / Inflammation
Please browse our “Vision Library” for more information on any of the above conditions.
When should I bring my child in for his/her first exam?
The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends a child have a full eye exam by at least 3 years of age. If you notice that your child’s eye is turning in or out abnormally, if the eye becomes red or infected, or if your child appears to have a white pupil in pictures, it is recommended that you bring your child in at an earlier age.
What can I expect if the doctor recommends my child have eye drops at their exam (cycloplegic refraction)?
This procedure helps the doctor to further assess and finalize a child’s prescription by relaxing the focusing power of the eyes. Drops are instilled into the child’s eyes to dilate the pupil. The drops need 30-40 minutes to take effect and temporary effects include blurred vision, light sensitivity and occasionally fatigue which can last 8 hours on average.
What is the air puff machine for?
The ‘air puff’ is an important test which provides a measurement of your eye pressure. It is necessary to have it done at every visit to assist your doctor in determining if you have or are at risk for developing glaucoma or other eye diseases. It does not harm the eye and is a relatively quick and painless test.