Comprehensive & Emergency Eye Exams in Ottawa

At Rideau Optometric, we offer comprehensive eye exams to patients of all ages. Whether your elderly parent needs a new prescription or your young child needs his eyes evaluated for the first time, we can help. Book an appointment with us today for an eye exam or contact us to learn more about our different services. You can also take a look at our helpful guide so you know what to do to prepare for your eye exam in Ottawa.

We offer eye exams and other services, including:

Smiling older man with glasses


Patients often ask why eye exams are required every year to two years. Comprehensive eye exams are part of preventative health care and help your optometrist ensure that the health of your eyes in maintained.

During your eye exams, the optometrist will diagnose, treat and help prevent diseases and disorders affecting the visual system, the eye and related structures. The optometrist can also provide referrals to specialists and can help manage post-eye-surgery health. From infants to grade-schoolers through to grandparents, Doctors of Optometry not only ensure quality of vision and eye health, but quality of life.


It is important to know that many serious eye conditions do not have obvious symptoms. Sometimes symptoms only show up after the condition has advanced and become difficult, or even impossible, to treat. A comprehensive eye exam can provide the full assurance of vision and eye health that a sight test at a store or a vision screening at a school cannot. Sight tests can only determine your lens prescription, not determine the health of your eyes.

Your vision is priceless, and routine eye exams by a Doctor of Optometry ensure not only good vision and eye health but peace of mind. You do not need a referral to book an exam at our office.
At Rideau Optometric, we can evaluate many factors that affect your vision and eye health. We will review your case history, conduct an external and internal exam of your eyes, and measure your vision qualities, such as:

  • Eye movements and coordination
  • Sharpness of vision
  • Peripheral vision

We also evaluate your ability to adjust focus and to see colour and depth normally. If we detect problems in any of these areas, we may recommend prescription glasses, contact lenses, eye exercises, medication, or corrective surgery.

A man getting his eyes examined by an optometrist


It is important for adults over the age of 40 to have their eyes examined regularly. At a minimum, have your eyes examined every two years to check for problems such as:

  • Retinal degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
  • Cataracts
  • Diabetic retinopathy

Length: 30-45 minutes
What to bring: Current eyeglasses and a list of your current medication
What to expect: Eyeglass prescription check and a full health check of your eyes that includes Optomap retinal scans.
Cost: Check your extended health benefits for vision coverage. We are able to directly bill specific insurance companies, so please call to inquire.

This exam will evaluate the clarity of your vision and the overall health of your eyes. Testing includes:

  • Vision and medical history
  • Visual acuity test
  • Muscle alignment test
  • Depth perception test
  • Peripheral vision test
  • Prescription check
  • Slit lamp exam
  • Glaucoma test – eye pressure test
  • Fundus examination

Each of our exams also includes an Optomap retinal scan to provide the doctor with a more thorough examination of your health. Retinal scans are especially useful for recording and comparing the health of the eye year to year.

In some cases, additional tests may be recommended such as visual field tests that we can perform at our office. If necessary, we can provide a referral to an ophthalmologist for further consultation and management.

Smiling child with large glasses


Children’s eye exams are different from those we perform on adults. Even very young children who do not yet know the alphabet can have their eyes tested. Instead, they are asked to identify shapes or pictures during their exams.

Length: 15-20 minutes
What to bring: OHIP card and current eyeglasses
What to expect: Eyeglass prescription check and eye alignment test, we strongly recommend Optomap retinal scans for patients starting at the age of 4.
Cost: Children under 20 are covered by OHIP once a year for a complete eye exam, retinal scans are not covered.

The optometrist is mainly concerned with the development of your child’s eyes and in verifying if glasses are needed. For infants and toddlers, an objective test is done, so being non-verbal is not a problem.

OHIP covers eye exams yearly. It is important for children to have yearly eye exams as early as 6 months of age.
Although digital retinal scans are not covered by OHIP, our doctors highly recommend them because they allow us to assess and monitor the interior health of your child’s eye more easily. Retinal scans mean that we can get a global view of the inside of the eye, without your child having to sit still for a long period.

A senior woman smiling as she gets her eyes examined


Much like adult eye exams, seniors’ eye exams are comprehensive and check your vision and the health of your eyes. The same tests are performed as at an adult eye exam, including general health and vision history, visual acuity, refraction and glaucoma tests. However, for patients 65 and older, these tests are covered by OHIP once a year.

Length: 30-45 minutes
What to bring: OHIP card, current eyeglasses and a list of your current medication
What to expect: Eyeglass prescription check and a full health check of your eyes; we strongly recommend Optomap retinal scans
Cost: OHIP covers an annual eye exam for seniors 65 and over, retinal scans are not covered

Although digital retinal scans are not covered by OHIP, our doctors highly recommend scheduling these scans because certain eye diseases like Age Related Macular Degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma are commonly found in patients over 65 years of age. Optomap retinal scans help to detect these diseases earlier, helping to reduce the damaging effects through faster diagnosis and treatment plans.

A woman smiling near an eye exam chart


An eye irritation or change in vision can be a sign of serious problems with your eyes. You can schedule an emergency eye exam to make sure your eyes are healthy.

Length: 30-45 minutes
What to bring: OHIP card, current eyeglasses and a list of your current medication
What to expect: Thorough health check by one of our optometrists to detect the severity of the eye condition. In some cases, depending on symptoms, dilating drops may be used to better assess the interior health of your eyes.
Cost: Comprehensive eye examinations are mandatory every one to two years depending on a patient’s ocular health. Some patients are eligible for reduced fee interim appointments if they can provide proof of their last major eye examination, and depending on the symptoms they have.

It is important to contact our office if you are experiencing, or have experienced any of the following:

  • Allergies
  • Sudden change in vision
  • Flashes of light
  • New onset of floaters
  • Eye injury
  • Eye Pain
  • Redness
  • Pink Eye

We can schedule you an appointment with one of our eye doctors either that same day or within 48 hours of your call. When contacting our office, please give us the specific details about your symptoms so that we can serve you better.

A woman getting her eyes examined


  • Retinal degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Dry eye syndrome

If you would like to learn more about these diseases, they are described in more detail on our common eye conditions section.

Our doctors can diagnose your eye disease, as well as routinely monitor your eyes and screen for other diseases you are at greater risk of developing. With this information, our doctors will help you manage your symptoms and even develop treatment plans that can help improve your vision or prevent your vision from getting worse.


Diabetes is a disease where your body cannot properly digest sugars. The two types of diabetes (Type I and Type II) can both lead to diabetic retinopathy, a disease that can severely damage your retina. Diabetic retinopathy is a serious condition that can result in permanent vision loss. It needs to be regularly monitored by an optometrist through annual eye exams. Eye exams for this condition are covered by OHIP once a year regardless of age.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Lupus are autoimmune disorders that are often treated with a medication called Hydroxychloroquine. When routinely taken in high doses, this medication can lead to vision complications with side effects ranging from temporary blurriness and glare to more serious changes in the back of the eye that could affect your vision long-term. Therefore, patients that use Hydroxychloroquine need to have their eyes monitored every 6 months by an optometrist.

Cross-hair focused on an iris


Laser vision correction either by LASIK or PRK, is a procedure that can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. At Rideau Optometric, we provide pre-operative screenings to determine if you’re a good candidate for laser vision correction, and we offer post-operative care for patients who have had laser vision correction.

Our doctors will determine if you are the right candidate for laser eye surgery by looking at your medical history, your current vision, and your visual demands. Our team will be happy to answer any questions that you have about laser vision correction, and we can offer our recommendations. Our doctors can also help you have a speedy recovery by providing all necessary post-op care and follow-up visits.

Schedule an appointment with Rideau Optometric today for a consultation to determine if you will be a good candidate for laser vision correction in Ottawa.