How often should I have my eyes tested?
Children: First eye exams can be performed at any age if there is any suspicion or concern. For example if a child has a white pupil or turned eye or has a relative with a lazy eye, they should be examined. Beginning in 2010, the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) instituted the Eye See Eye Learn (ESEL) program for children entering Junior Kindergarten in Halton. All children entering Junior Kindergarten receive literature encouraging parents to bring their child to an OAO member doctor. If the child is found to need glasses, they will be supplied at no cost.
For more information about this program and sponsors see www.oao.ca. Depending on a child’s particular circumstances, they should be seen up to every other year, thereafter.
Adults: Adults with good ocular health and no prescription changes should be seen every other year. Seniors are usually seen annually. Patients with diabetes are usually seen at least once a year (see www.CDA.com).
Is eye exam covered by OHIP?
OHIP pays for annual eye exams for children until their 20th birthday and seniors beginning at age 65. For patients between the ages of 20 and 65 yrs old, OHIP will cover the cost of eye exams in some situations. Some of the categories are patients with diabetes, glaucoma, cataracts and corneal disease. Any patients with these conditions can access an optometrist directly.
Eye exams are also covered by OHIP if the patient is referred by a family doctor for suspicion of ocular health issues (not simply to have the eyeglass prescription re-measured). Some examples would include a sudden vision disturbance, general health issues that might affect the eye such as high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis. Another example might be surveillance of those patients on medications such as prednisone and chloroquine that can affect ocular health.