According to a recent survey conducted by Leger on behalf of the Canadian Council of the Blind and Specsavers, half of Canadians do not know that 75 per cent of vision loss is preventable and treatable. A regular eye exam can help.

Other eye-opening facts include:

  • 51% of Canadians are not aware or are unsure of recommended eye exam frequency;
  • 38% of Canadians say they are overdue for an eye exam;
  • Cost continues to be the number one reason why Canadians delay eye exams.

Eye Exam Frequency

According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, adults 20 to 65 without pre-existing conditions should have an eye exam at a minimum every two years, and every year for Canadians under 18 and over 65.

The Survey showed over one-third of Canadians (35 per cent) would only book an eye exam if they experienced vision issues. Catching eye diseases early through a comprehensive eye exam allows for preventative measures to maintain as much vision as possible. What many don’t know is that often eye diseases, such as glaucoma, progress without symptoms in the early stages.

“This World Sight Day, we are encouraging Canadians who are overdue for an eye exam to book an appointment with their local optometrist,” said Jim Tokos, National President, The Canadian Council of the Blind. “There is a common myth that if your vision is good then your eyes are healthy. Unfortunately, that is not always true. More than 8 million Canadians are living with an eye disease that may lead to blindness. The goal is always to catch eye diseases before eyes start to show symptoms.”

Eye health may change without a person experiencing any kind of difference in their vision.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a 3D eye scan that helps optometrists see what is going on beneath the surface of the eye and can detect sight-threatening conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration in its earliest stages.

Booking an Eye Exam

In many provinces eye exams are covered by provincial healthcare for individuals under the age of 18 and over the age of 65 and for those with certain medical conditions or receiving social assistance.

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To arrange an eye exam, you can book an appointment with an optometrist using this handy online service offered by the Canadian Association of Optometrists. If you need advanced care, they’ll refer you to an ophthalmologist.

The cost of an eye exam depends on your optometrist, the complexity of tests, your location, whether you need contact lens related services, and the list goes on. For these reasons, pricing can range from anywhere between $75 to about $250 across Canada.

While eye exams are not covered under provincial medicare for adults 18 to 65 with no pre-existing conditions, they are often covered under private insurance. Check with your provider for more information.

Take our quick and anonymous survey and let us know – do you get your eyes checked regularly and if no, why not?

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