How much does a comprehensive eye exam cost?
The cost of a comprehensive eye exam varies. Depending on your age and health, you may be eligible for coverage under your provincial health insurance program. Many private insurance plans also cover the cost of a regular comprehensive eye exam.
Is my comprehensive eye exam covered by my provincial health insurance programs?
Why are comprehensive eye exams important?
Seeing the world clearly and without discomfort lets us all get the most out of life, so keeping your eyes healthy matters. But did you know that your eyes can also reveal a lot about your overall health? Regular comprehensive eye exams can help detect other health issues, many of which can be life threatening, including hypertension, diabetes and cancer. Your optometrist can tell you more about how your eyes and a comprehensive eye exam can provide a fuller picture of your health.
How long does a comprehensive eye exam take?
A comprehensive eye exam can vary in length but typically takes approximately 20 minutes. Ask your local optometrist's office for more detail about what to expect.
How often should I get a comprehensive eye exam?
Your age and individual health will affect how often you should get a comprehensive eye exam. Your optometrist can help you determine your individual risk factors and how often you should receive a comprehensive eye exam.
It is recommended that children have their first comprehensive eye exam between six and nine months old, another between the ages of two and five-years-old and every year until they turn 19.
- Adults aged 20 to 39 years should undergo an eye examination every 2 to 3 years.
- Adults aged 40 to 64 years should undergo an eye examination every 2 years.
- Adults aged 65 years or older should undergo an eye examination annually
What should I expect during my comprehensive eye exam?
Vision tests and comprehensive eye exams are different. A vision test looks at your ability to see both near and at a distance. It also measures the power of the lens you need to see at both distances. A comprehensive eye exam includes those things, but may also include:
- A brief medical history overview to discuss any vision problems you have been experiencing, along with an overview of your general health, your work environment and other lifestyle factors.
- An external eye exam to detect or rule out abnormalities around the outside of your eyes.
- An internal eye exam to uncover the signs of eye disease, such as cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma, along with any tears in the retina, bleeding or tumours. Plus, the internal exam is to check for other possible systemic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.
- An assessment of your eye movements.
- A test of the fluid pressure in your eyes.
Your optometrist may also do other tests to evaluate your eyes’ ability to change focus, see colour correctly or accurately perceive depth. The exam will be customized to appropriately evaluate your unique visual system.
What is the difference between a doctor of optometry, an ophthalmologist and an optician?
Your doctor of optometry (optometrist) completes a Bachelor of Science degree or higher, followed by a four year Doctor of Optometry degree from an accredited university. They are trained to evaluate, diagnose and prescribe treatment. You don’t need a referral to see a doctor of optometry; however, they routinely work with other health care professions when appropriate, such as family doctors and eye surgeons/ophthalmologists.
Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in the study, diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases. A patient who requires care from an ophthalmologist (ex: for cataract surgery) generally requires the referral of a doctor of optometry or family doctor.
Opticians are trained to fabricate and fit vision aids. Some are licensed to provide sight-tests, but they do not assess, diagnose or treat eye conditions. A prescription should always be obtained as a result of a comprehensive eye examination.