Learn More about Optometrists & More in Ottawa

Have you ever wondered what the difference between an optician and an optometrist is, what the name of your eye condition is or whether eye exams are covered by OHIP? On this page, you will find resources that answer these questions and more! If you have any further questions or would like to learn more about our team, feel free to contact us.

The Three O’s

Patients often ask us the difference between ophthalmologist, optometrist and optician. In Canada, you can find 3 primary types of eye care professionals:

  • Optometrists are doctors of optometry trained to diagnose, treat, manage, and prevent diseases and disorders of the eye and its related structures. Optometrists are also trained to provide, fit, and adjust glasses and contact lenses for patients who require them. Your optometrist will refer you to an ophthalmologist if needed.
  • Ophthalmologists are physicians who graduated from medical school with special training in diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders of the eye. They are able to diagnose and treat ocular diseases by medical and surgical means.
  • Opticians are an important member of your eye care team who provide, fit, and adjust glasses and contact lenses. They are often found in a retail setting.

To schedule an appointment with the eye doctors at Rideau Optometric, please contact us.

Woman Wearing Glasses Using her Laptop

Common Eye Conditions

Whether developing from heredity, aging or some other cause, there are many eye conditions that can affect you. The following is a list of common eye conditions and how they can affect your vision. If you or a loved one suffer from any of these conditions, or fear that you might, please contact us to schedule an appointment with our doctors.

  • Myopia: also called nearsightedness; people with myopia can see objects up close while distant objects are blurry.
  • Hyperopia: also called farsightedness; people with hyperopia can see distant objects clearly but have trouble seeing things up close.
  • Astigmatism: a type of refractive error in the eye, people with astigmatism have trouble focusing on light, causing multiple focus points and blurry vision.
  • Presbyopia: the gradual loss of your eyes’ ability to focus on close objects. People tend to get presbyopia as they age because the lens of the eye is less flexible, causing focusing issues.
  • Age related macular degeneration: progressive damage of the macula (the area of the retina responsible for our central vision), AMD is one of the leading causes of vision loss in patients over 65.
  • Glaucoma: increasing eye pressure causes compression to the optic nerve, leading to loss of your peripheral vision and eventually your central vision.
  • Cataracts: there is a clear lens in your eyes called cataracts, providing the power to help us focus. With age, this lens can become cloudy from UV absorption and environmental factors. Cataract issues lead to problems focusing.
  • Dry eye syndrome: occurring when your tears cannot provide enough moisture for your eyes, dry eye syndrome causes great discomfort.
  • Eye allergies: during allergy season, your eyes may become itchy, red, and swollen. Eye allergies are caused by irritants such as dust and pollen. Allergy season can last from January to November depending on where you live.
  • Retinal detachment: your retina is at the back of your eye. It contains cells sensitive to light that trigger nerve impulses to the brain, enabling us to see. Your retina can tear or detach, causing you to see sudden flashes of light or have blocked vision. Contact an optometrist immediately if you have these symptoms.
  • Amblyopia: also called a lazy eye, amblyopia is a vision development problem in infants and young children. One eye cannot achieve normal visual acuity, even with prescription glasses or contact lenses. When detected early enough, lazy eyes can be treated.
  • Strabismus: the failure of your eyes to maintain proper alignment, strabismus causes the inability of your eyes to work as a team. You will experience double vision, with your eyes looking in different directions at the same time. When caught early enough, strabismus can be corrected through therapy and the use of special glasses, but if left untreated your brain will ignore visual input from the misaligned eye.
  • Vision therapy: a term used to describe several different exercises, vision therapy is used to help develop visual abilities or improve already existing visual skills.
  • Colour blindness: a deficiency in the way you see colour, people with colour blindness have trouble telling the difference between certain colours such as red and green.
Little Girl Getting Fitted for Pair of Glasses

Frequently Asked Questions

The following items are the three most commonly asked questions at Rideau Optometric. If your question isn’t answered below, feel free to contact us to learn more.

Question: How early should children get eye exams?
Answer: We recommend that children should have an eye exam as early as at 6 months of age, and yearly going forward. Your optometrist is a great resource for any of the times you suspect an eye problem or issue. The optometrist will perform a different eye exam for children than he performs on adults. Children do not need to know the alphabet or to provide verbal responses during their examinations.

Routine eye examinations for children are very important because early detection and treatment of many vision disorders will minimize learning issues and development of lazy eye (amblyopia).

Question: Are eye exams covered by OHIP?
Answer: Since November 1, 2004, routine eye examinations by an optometrist for patients between the ages of 20 to 64 are no longer covered through OHIP. However, patients under 19 and over 65 are still covered through OHIP for yearly routine eye examinations. In addition, OHIP will cover individuals between 20 and 64 if they have certain conditions such as diabetes, glaucoma, or cataracts.

Many private insurance plans include vision care benefits, so be sure to contact your insurance companies for further details.

Question: Is a comprehensive eye exam the same as a sight test?
Answer: No. A comprehensive eye examination is provided by an optometrist while a sight test is only the measurement for an eyeglass prescription performed by an optician, often using automated instruments. In the case of sight tests, eye health is not examined and many diseases such as retinal holes or tears, cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration are not being detected.

Group of People at Seminar, Woman Raising Hand to Ask a Question

Cancellation Policy

There are many times when our patients require urgent or emergency eye care; including a need for new eyeglasses or contact lenses and therefore require an appointment as soon as possible. When patients provide us with advanced notice that they need to cancel or reschedule their appointment, we can assist other patients in need of urgent eye care or a routine eye exam.  In this way, our clinic can better serve the needs of every patient efficiently.

Given the limited availability of appointments due to COVID-19, now more than ever, Rideau Optometric needs a minimum of 24-hours notice if an appointment must be cancelled or rescheduled.

  • There is no charge to cancel or reschedule an appointment if the 24-hours notice is provided.
  • If less than 24-hours notice is given to cancel an appointment, a fee will be charged. For comprehensive eye exams, the fee is $80 and all other appointments, the fee will be $20.

In the event a patient does not “show up” on a second occasion or for a re-booked appointment, our clinic policy is to ask the patient to find a new provider. Our clinic will be happy to transfer the records to the new office of your choice with a letter explaining why the transfer is being made once all no-show or cancellation fees have been paid in full.

Please note that insurance providers and government agencies do not cover fees for missed appointments.

Better late than never. We understand that factors out of our patient’s control may lead to delays in arriving for your appointment! We won’t punish you if you’re 5 minutes late, and we’ll do our best to get you in. If we don’t feel that we can complete a thorough eye examination with the remaining time left for your appointment after your late arrival, we will need to reschedule your visit!

But What If Rideau Optometric Cancels on Me?

We like how you think. Just like you have a responsibility to keep your appointment, we do as well. Sometimes our optometrists get sick just like all of us! If we have to cancel or reschedule with less than 24-hours of your appointment time, we will provide you with a $20 in-store credit which may be applied towards any professional service or product purchase.

Shipping Policy

Shipment processing time

All orders are processed within 24 to 48 hours.

Shipments and deliveries do not occur on weekends or holidays. Please note that occasional backorder issues can occur for our product at the manufacturer level. These issues are unfortunately out of our control.

We will contact you at the email or telephone number you provided if we are experiencing delays or issues in processing your order.

If you use our Sightly app to purchase product(s), payment must be received by Rideau Optometric prior to release of an order. We may need to verify information you provide before an order is accepted and may cancel or limit an order any time after it has been placed, including but not limited to the event that a product is listed at an incorrect price due to typographical or other error. If payment already has been made and your order is cancelled or limited, we will refund any payment you made for the product that will not be shipped due to cancellation or limitation of an order in the same tender as the original purchase.

Shipping rates and delivery estimates

Unless otherwise noted, we will use our best efforts to ship products within 3-5 business days of the receipt of a properly completed order. Product availability may be limited, and particular products may not be available for immediate delivery.

Destination Estimated delivery time Shipment cost
National Capital Region+ 1 to 2 business days Free* or $10.95
National 2 to 11 business days $12.95
Northern Regions & Remote Centres 6 to 13 business days $19.95
USA 5 to 8 business days $29.95
International 6 to 10 business days $39.95

+Bowman, Cantley, Chelsea, Clarence-Rockland, Denholm, Gatineau, La Pêche, L’Ange-Gardien, Lochaber, Lochaber-Partie-Ouest, Mayo, North Grenville, Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette, Ottawa, Pontiac, Russell, Thurso, Val-des-Bois and Val-des-Monts
*on orders over $150

Shipment confirmation and order tracking

To keep you informed after you place your order, you will receive an Order Receipt emailed to you to confirm your order details. Once your order has been shipped, you will receive a Shipment Notification with carrier and tracking information.

Customs, duties, and taxes

Rideau Optometric is not responsible for any customs and taxes applied to your order. All fees imposed during or after shipping are the responsibility of the customer (tariffs, taxes, etc.).


Rideau Optometric is not liable for any products damaged, stolen, or lost during shipping. If you received your order damaged, please contact the shipment carrier or our support team directly to file a claim. Please save all packaging material and damaged goods before filing a claim.

Exchange Policy

At Rideau Optometric, we want to ensure you’re happy with your purchase! If you are not satisfied with your purchase, we’re here to help. Please call our office at (613) 567-0800.

We cannot accept any returns or exchanges for any over the counter or cosmetic products.

Contact lenses may be exchanged within 365 days of purchase provided they are unopened, unmarked, undamaged, unexpired, and in original condition with packaging; conditions apply. Such exchanges will receive a credit, excluding any shipping charges.

The following lenses are also non-exchangeable because they are custom made to order by the manufacturer:

  • Hydrasoft Sphere Thin
  • Proclear Toric XR
  • Proclear Multifocal XR
  • Proclear Multifocal Toric
  • Frequency 55 Toric XR
  • Biofinity XR Toric

Shipping fees are not refundable. The customer will pay for freight on all non-defective item(s).

For more information, email [email protected].

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Our patients enjoy the convenience of online ordering – get your contact lenses today!

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Hear from our patients

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“Rideau Optometric provides the best eye exams. From their high-tech equipment to their friendly staff, you will never leave this place disappointed! Their doctors are very professional and always have your best interest in mind. You will always feel like your needs were met and cared for after every visit. I would highly recommend Rideau Optometric!”

Sharon S. | Google Review

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