What We Do


Optometrists, ophthalmologists and opticians: Who does what?


Optometrists
An optometrist is the primary health-care provider for vision and eye health concerns in Ontario. Optometrists have completed a Bachelor’s degree, primarily in sciences, before completing their Doctorate of Optometry degree. The doctorate is an additional four years of study including classroom and clinical education. They may do an additional year of clinical residency training. Optometrists are highly educated and clinically trained to examine and treat the eyes and visual systems of any patient, regardless of their age.

Ophthalmologists
An ophthalmologist is the secondary-level health-care provider. They are surgeons and specialists in eye disease who have completed a Bachelor Degree and four years of medical school at an accredited university. They have completed a residency in medical and surgical care of the eyes at an accredited university hospital. Patients usually require a referral from their optometrist to obtain an appointment with an ophthalmologist.

Opticians
Opticians are the third member of the eye care team. They are trained and licensed through a college program to fabricate, fit and adjust vision aids based on the prescription of an optometrist. They do not assess, diagnose or treat eye conditions, and they cannot check or write prescriptions for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

All three professions are governed by their respective Colleges under the authority of the Regulated Health Professions Act.

https://www.optom.on.ca/OAO/Patients/What_is_an_optometrist/OAO/Patients/What_is_an_optometrist.aspx?hkey=6a3e3087-eb07-4477-9579-6e61a6111975



What is the purpose of having a comprehensive eye exam routinely?


Comprehensive eye exams are meant to assess the health of your optical system and to lower the risk of vision loss through early detection and diagnosis of ocular disease.

During a routine eye exam, measurements for glasses provide insight to the health and challenges to your visual system. These results are commonly used to provide spectacle prescriptions and the basis for contact lenses prescriptions.



The Exam


Why is a dilated eye exam necessary?


In order to look inside the eye, we use lights and specialized lenses. The light will cause the pupil to close, limiting the range of what we can see. By using the dilating eye drops, the pupil opening gets bigger and allows for a more thorough examination of the retinal and internal structures. **These drops typically cause blurred vision and light sensitivity that can last around 3-6 hours. Please bring your driving glasses, sunglasses and/or a driver if necessary. Also, please let the doctor know if you are not prepared for these drops, as they may be deferred to another time.



What are the benefits to retinal imaging / scans?


As the technology advances, our ability to image the retina improves and allows us to examine your eye in more detail. These scans are able to uncover changes in the eye that can not be seen or measured with a microscope. Although these scans are typically not covered by OHIP, these scans will be used to monitor your overall eye health, guide treatment protocols and referrals.



Glasses and Contact Lenses


Can I use my glasses prescription to get contact lenses?


A contact lens prescription must include information on the contact lens material, its shape and power. In order to finalize the prescription, these measurements must be confirmed by assessing your contact lenses while they are on your eyes. It may take several trial lenses to determine the final prescription.

A glasses prescription is a helpful starting point; however, it does not provide enough details to produce a legitimate contact lens prescription. Nevertheless, having an updated glasses prescription available prior to the fitting will allow a trained fitter to predict potential refinements.



If I want to update my contact lenses supply, do I need a comprehensive eye exam?


It depends. If you have had a comprehensive eye exam within the past year, you may not need a full eye exam; however, if unexpected results arise or unexpected anomalies are noted, then it is our obligation to investigate further for your safety and well-being.

Since many concerning ocular health changes may occur at any age without any initial vision changes, a comprehensive eye exam is recommended every 1 to 2 years, even though your vision appears to be unchanged.



If I want to buy new glasses and I’m not having any issues, do I still need a comprehensive eye exam?


It depends. If you have had a comprehensive eye exam within the past year, you may not need a full eye exam; however, if unexpected results arise or unexpected anomalies are noted, then it is our obligation to investigate further for your safety and well-being.

Since many concerning ocular health changes may occur at any age without any initial vision changes, a comprehensive eye exam is recommended every 1 to 2 years, even though your vision appears to be unchanged.



Why is the PD (inter-pupilary distance) not included on my glasses prescription?


PD is one component of many measurements that are required for the dispensing of glasses. If we are not dispensing glasses, we do not perform these measurements; however, all licensed dispensaries that meet North American standards will provide you with all of the necessary details. (For more information, please see https://www.collegeoptom.on.ca/images/pdfs/eyeglassesadvisory.pdf)

https://www.optometrists.ab.ca/web/AAO/Patients/PD_Measurment.aspx



Coverage


What does OHIP cover?


Children 19 and under and adults 65 years of age and older are covered. If you are 20 to 64 years old, and have a specific medical condition affecting your eyes that requires regular monitoring, OHIP will cover yearly examinations and any related follow up appointments.

For more information, please call our office or email us at info@downtowneyecare.ca

https://www.ontario.ca/page/what-ohip-covers#section-5



How often should I have my eyes examined?


Frequency guidelines are taken from our Canadian Association of Optometrists. The minimum frequency of examination for those at low risk is as follows:

Infants and Toddlers (Birth to 24 months)
- First eye exam between the ages of 6-9 months

Preschool Children (2-5 years)
- At least one eye examination between the ages of 2 to 5 years.

School Age Children (6 to 19 years)
- Children aged 6- 19 years should undergo an eye examination annually

Adults (20 to 64 years)
- Adults (20 to 64) Should undergo an eye examination every 2 years

Adults (65 years or older)
- Should undergo an eye examination annually



If it have a contact lens prescription from another eye doctor, can I order contact lenses through your office?


Yes, we can fill contact lens prescriptions produced from another eye doctor. Typically, spectacle and contact lens prescriptions are valid for 1-2 years. Please be sure to review your prescription to ensure that it has not expired.



Why is there a fee for contact lens assessments and adjustments?


When first being introduced into contact lenses or looking to have your contact lenses adjusted, we believe in taking the time to educate, train, problem solve and to find the best product for you. In each case, several appointments may be necessary and in a climate of competitive pricing, we decided to separate the cost of the product from the cost for our time and expertise.

Contact Us


Visit Us


Downtown Eye Care & The Contact Lens Department
350 Sparks Street, Suite 216
Ottawa, ON
K1R 7S8

Hours: M-F 9am-5pm


Connect With Us


Email: info@downtowneyecare.ca
Phone: 613-238-5960
Fax: 613-800-0385