Frequently Asked Questions
Your optometrist will ask you a lot questions about your eyes and general health during your eye examination.The following are some of the more commonly asked questions we receive from our patients. If you have a question about your eyes or eyecare don’t hesitate to contact us.
When should my child have their first eye examination?
A common misconception is that children need to be able to read in order to have their eyes checked. In fact, we recommend that your child have their first eye examination at the age of 6 months. An infant’s eye examination relies on objective testing by the Optometrist and can provide you with important information including how well your child sees, if both eyes are working together, and the overall health of your little one’s eye
Will my eye exam be covered by OHIP ?
OHIP provides coverage for eye care services for the following general population:
- Children aged 0 to 19 years: Full eye examination annually.
- Seniors aged 65 and above: One full eye examination annually.
- Adults aged 20 to 64 years: Eye examinations for adults 20 to 64 years of age are not covered by OHIP. There are some exceptions for certain medical conditions. It is recommended that you discuss coverage details with your Doctor of Optometry who will be able to evaluate and comment on your specific needs and coverage levels in detail.
Optometric Services NOT Covered by OHIP include, but are not limited to:
- Additional eye examinations or second opinions
- Eye examinations that are required by potential employers or other third parties
- Contact lens progress checks
- Laser refractive surgery management (pre and post-operative) visits
- Recommended treatments such as eyeglasses, contact lenses, low vision aids, eye co-ordination exercises, eye medications
Although OHIP provides good coverage in most cases, there are aspects of eye health and vision care that are not covered under OHIP, for example,digital imaging of the eye.
What is the cost of an eye examination if I’m not covered by OHIP ?
Typically the fee for a complete comprehensive eye examination is between $100-150 which includes sophisticated imaging of the back of the eye. Often extended health coverage provides reimbursement for eye examinations by optometrists. It is worth checking with your insurance company.
What is a dispensing fee?
By law in Ontario optometrists are required to dispense eyeglasses and contact lenses to patients ‘at cost’. They are allowed to charge a professional fee or “dispensing fee” much like a pharmacist does when filling a drug prescription.
This dispensing fee covers specifying and ordering your lenses and frame, ensuring the lenses are made correctly, warranties on the frame, and adjusting the glasses for their lifetime. The dispensing fee will vary depending on the complexity of the prescription.
In a retail environment, the frames and lenses are marked up, which replaces the dispensing fee. The typical mark up in the retail optical industry is 2-2.5x which means the frame you see at our office for $90 will likely be $200 or more at a retail store and the total cost of the glasses at a retail store( frames plus lenses) will end up costing significantly more.
So, the dispensing fee usually works in your favour, unless discontinued frames or lower quality lenses are being used in retail, but that is not a comparison we would like to match.We will only provide current frames (with full warranties) and high quality lenses.
Will I have to have drops in my eyes?
Drops are used in our office to dilate the pupil to allow us to have a better view of the back of the eye, or to relax the focus of the eye to obtain an accurate spectacle prescription. Prior to an examination It is not easy to determine if you will need to have drops so it is best to come prepared by bringing sunglasses to the appointment as the drops last a few hours after the appointment and you will be more light sensitive outdoors until the drops wear off and your pupil returns to a normal size.
What do I do if I have a red eye ?
If you have a red eye we prefer to see you to determine the severity of the condition. Sometimes it is just due to dryness, but it could also be a more serious condition, like an internal infection in the eye (iritis) or an acute type of glaucoma. Our training and equipment will allow us to diagnose,treat the condition, or refer you, in a timely manner, to an ophthalmologist.