Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How often do I need my eyes checked?
At Kingsway Eye Care Family Optometry because your comprehensive eye exam is tailored based on your age, visual needs, interests, and your ocular health and medical history along with any family eye history. Your Eye Doctor will let you know when it is best for your next eye exam.
The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends the following as a general guide:
- Early Toddlers (6 months -24 months): symptomatic toddlers as soon as 6 months (or sooner)
- Preschool (2 to 5 years): at age 2, annually thereafter
- School age (6 to 19 years): annually
- Adult (20 to 64 years): every one to two years depending on ocular history
- Older adult (65 years and older): annually
- Previous Lasik/refractive surgery patients: annually
Individuals with medical health conditions such as glaucoma or diabetes, the frequency of visits as determined by your eye doctor
Q: My eyes seem fine... Why should I get them examined annually?
Changes in our vision usually occur slowly, and often people are unaware that they are no longer seeing 20/20. Also, sight-threatening eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration do not cause noticeable changes in our vision when they first begin. An annual eye exam will ensure that you are seeing as well as possible, and can detect any eye diseases in their early stages before permanent vision loss has occurred. Early prevention is the key to maintain eye health longevity. Annual eye exams enable you to monitor and track your visual healthy over time, this is achieved by taking digital retinal images of your eyes and tracking its progress over time.
Q: What if I had laser eye surgery, do I really need annual eye exams?
Many patients are thrilled with their results after laser eye surgery but are unaware of how laser eye surgery works. Laser eye surgery changes the way light enters in your eye by reshaping your cornea. It does not change or improve the overall health of your eyes. Unfortunately, even though LASIK surgery can eliminate the need for contacts and glasses, it doesn’t reduce this heightened risk of eye diseases such as glaucoma. That’s why it’s still important to continue to attend your regular eye exams after having LASIK. According to the journal of Ophthalmology recent evidence suggests that high myopia or near farsightedness is linked to glaucoma, an asymptotic eye disease that leads to permanent devastating vision loss. (Inert hyper link below) Aside from vision loss annual eye exams are important at preserving your vision and marinating optimal healthy. Did you know many LASIK surgical centers require you to have an annual eye with your local optometrist to maintain your lifetime commitment for future laser enhancements?
Q: What does an eye exam involve?
Refer to our 12 step eye examination for a more visual detailed look into each process of your eye exam. Each eye examination is individualized to our patients concerns and needs. A typical examination will include:
- Case history intake about your vision, general health, current medications, family history, and any visual demands due to your working environment or hobbies
- Assessment of your visual acuity with letters, words, or (for children) pictures on eye charts
- Tests of your binocular vision ability to use your eyes together; ability to see depth perception
- Refractive and accommodation (focusing) testing
- Examination of your eyes from front to back using high magnify microscopes and lenses to look for early signs of eye diseases
- Measurement of your eye pressure to asses glaucoma risk using non invasive puff of air test or blue light physical touch of the eye
You eye examination is conducted via digitally secure electronic record keeping. All examinations include a digital retinal imaging of the eyes to establish a benchmark health of the eyes. The taking of retinal imaging is not an OHIP insured service but widely covered by many private insurance plans.
Q: What is 20/20 vision?
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 level of detail at 20 feet. That detail is calibrated to be the same size in all eye examinations so that visual acuity can be standardized when tested between different offices. The detail viewed could be letters, pictures or numbers. Some individuals have better than normal vision and some have weaker than normal vision. The top number in the ratio indicates the test distance (20 feet) that the target is calibrated for. The bottom number of the ratio indicates the distance at which a person with normal (20/20 vision) would be able to see that size of target. For example if a person had poorer than normal visual acuity, say 20/400 it would mean that the size of the target that this person sees at 20 feet would actually be recognized by the person with 20/20 vision at 400 feet. Conversely, a person with better than 20/20 visual acuity, say 20/15, would be able to see the small detail at 20 feet that a person with 20/20 vision would have to bring closer to 15 feet to be able recognize it.
Q: What do I need to bring to my eye exam, and how long will it take?
Bring your most recent pair of glasses with you. If you wear contact lenses bring your latest box or prescription. Be prepared to provide us with your previous eye and medical history and to let us know if you have any special visual requirements related to your work or recreational activities. Also, a list of medications, eye drops, vitamins, and supplements that you are currently taking is very helpful.
Plan to be in the office for approximately 45 minutes. We recommend bringing a pair of sunglasses for your trip home, as the eye examination can make your eyes sensitive to light.
Q: If I don’t wear my glasses, will it make my vision worse?
This depends on your age and the nature of your prescription. The 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 or lazy eye. It is for this reason your optometrist recommends that you book your child’s first eye examination at six months of age, at age 2-3, and then annually thereafter. 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. Concerning adult prescriptions, wearing of spectacle 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. (PRESBYOPIA). Whether you wear glasses or not, your vision will gradually deteriorate over your lifetime. By wearing the spectacle lenses prescribed by your optometrist, you will enjoy increased comfort and clarity of vision at all distances.
Q: How much is an eye exam?
Our $155 examination fees are based on the recommended guidelines, as set forth by the Ontario Optometric Association. Each comprehensive examination will include a digital retinal image taken to monitor and benchmark your overall eye health. Retinal imaging is invaluable at evaluating and monitoring retinal diseases. Each eye exam will also include a dry eye assessment a value added service for our patients. Every eye exam will also include an assessment fitting of your current contact lens wear to determine your fit and ocular health are optimized. Our commitment is towards preventative eye care; as such we take great pride in offering services above and beyond traditional offices to achieve this goal. The best achievement for maintaining healthy and longevity of your eyes is through yearly eye exams, a relatively small annual investment when you consider the lifetime we have with our eyes.
Q: Does OHIP cover eye exams?
Effective November 1, 2004 the Ontario Ministry of Health changed the coverage for annual eye care services in Ontario. Currently, OHIP will only provide coverage for the following groups below:
Children Age 0-19: ONE full eye examination annually
Seniors aged 65 and above: ONE full eye examination annually
Adults aged 20 to 64 years: ONE full eye examination annually for people with certain medical conditions such as glaucoma or diabetes.
For more information, please call our office or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Although OHIP does cover basic eye examinations for the certain age groups listed above. There are advanced services performed by our office that are beyond the basic standards of care that OHIP provides and are not covered by OHIP insured services. These service tests are done as medically necessary to improve your overall eye health and prevent retinal diseases.
Q: Do you accept private insurance for eye care services in your office?
Most of our patients will have private insurance coverage for eye care services through their place of employment or purchased on their own. The specific amount of coverage will depend on the details of the plan. New to our office, we offer direct billing options with most of the insurance carriers making the claim processing a simplified process. Be sure to ask your insurance provider if you are set up for electronic claim processing. For those providers without direct billing options, patients will pay our office directly for their eye care services and will require only an official receipt from our office for the reimbursement. Some private insurers will require forms to be filled out and signed by our eye doctors. Please ask your insurance provider if you are set up for online or direct billing. Please ask us how we can help you with your insurance billing needs. Please inform us what provider you are with at the time of your appointment.