Eye Exams2024-03-05T11:24:20-05:00

Eye exams in
Ottawa, ON

Comprehensive eye exams in Ottawa

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How to prepare for your eye exam

At Rideau Optometric, we want you to have a good appointment every time. Here, we outline what to do before and during your appointment so that you do not have to wait too long for your appointments.

  • Booking your appointment: To book a regular eye exam, you must answer a few questions to help our staff determine which type of appointment you need and how much your visit will cost. If you are calling us with any ocular health concerns, please describe any vision symptoms you may have (such as which eye, what you are experiencing, how long it has been going on). Appointments can be made by phone, through our online booking system or on our book an appointment page.
  • Before your appointment: Bring your eyeglasses and a list of your medications to your appointment. Patients eligible for OHIP or private insurance coverage should always bring their cards to their appointments.
  • During your appointment: You can expect to spend 30-45 minutes with the optometrist. This will help your optometrist to evaluate both your vision and the health of your eyes.

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What We Offer

We offer comprehensive eye exams for adults, children, seniors as well as emergency services, eye disease management and laser vision correction consultations. Learn more about each service below.

Comprehensive Eye Exams

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 exam, 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.

Older Man Wearing Glasses

Why comprehensive eye exams are important

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.

Eye Exams for Adults in Ottawa

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

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.

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

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.

Man Getting an Eye Exam

Eye Exams for Children in Ottawa

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.

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.

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.

Happy Child with Glasses

Eye Exams for Adults 65+ in Ottawa

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.

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.

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

Older Woman Smiling Before her Eye Exam

Emergency Eye Care Service in Ottawa

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. 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.

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.

Optometrist Holding Eye Test, Man and Woman in Background

Help with Eye Disease Management in Ottawa

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.

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

How certain diseases affect your eyes

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.

Woman Receiving Eye Test

Laser Vision Correction Consultation & Co-Management in Ottawa

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.

Bullseye Mark on an Eye Pupil Blue Background

Why Are Eye Exams Important?

Eye exams play a crucial role in maintaining good eye health and detecting any potential problems. They are not only about checking your vision but also assessing the overall health of your eyes. Here are some key reasons why eye exams are important:

  1. Early Detection of Eye Conditions: Many eye conditions, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration, can develop without noticeable symptoms in the early stages. Regular eye exams can help detect these conditions early on, allowing for timely treatment and better outcomes.
  2. Monitoring Eye Health: If you already have an existing eye condition, regular eye exams are essential for monitoring your eye health and tracking any changes or progression of the condition. This ensures that you receive the appropriate treatment and management.
  3. Prescription Updates: If you wear glasses or contact lenses, your prescription may change over time. Regular eye exams help determine if your current prescription is still suitable for your needs and if any adjustments need to be made.
  4. Overall Health Assessment: Did you know that an eye exam can provide insights into your overall health? Certain health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can manifest in the eyes. An eye exam can help detect these underlying health issues, allowing for early intervention and management.

Now that we understand the importance of eye exams, let’s explore the average cost of an eye exam in Ottawa.

How Much Does an Eye Exam Cost in Ottawa?

The cost of an eye exam in Ottawa can vary depending on several factors, including the type of exam, the specific tests conducted, and the eye clinic you visit. On average, you can expect to pay between $80 to $300 for an eye exam in Ottawa. It’s important to note that this is just an average range, and the actual cost may be higher or lower depending on your specific needs. Some clinics may offer discounted rates for certain groups, such as students or seniors, so it’s always a good idea to inquire about any available discounts or promotions.

What to Expect During an Eye Exam?

During an eye exam, your optometrist will perform various tests to evaluate your vision and assess the health of your eyes. Here is a breakdown of what you can expect during an eye exam:

  • Case History: Your optometrist will ask you about your medical history, any existing eye conditions, and any concerns or symptoms you may be experiencing.
  • Visual Acuity Test: This test measures how well you can see at various distances. You will be asked to read letters or numbers from a chart.
  • Refraction Test: This test helps determine your prescription for glasses or contact lenses. Your optometrist will use a phoropter or other instruments to assess which lenses correct your vision best.
  • Eye Health Evaluation: Your optometrist will examine the external and internal structures of your eyes using specialized instruments. This allows them to check for any signs of eye conditions or abnormalities.
  • Tonometry: This test measures the pressure inside your eyes, which is crucial for detecting glaucoma.
  • Additional Tests: Depending on your specific needs and any symptoms you may be experiencing, your optometrist may perform additional tests, such as a visual field test, color vision test, or retinal imaging.

Throughout the exam, your optometrist will explain the purpose of each test and address any questions or concerns you may have. They will also provide recommendations for any necessary treatments or changes to your eyewear prescription.

Does OHIP Cover Eye Exams?

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) provides coverage for certain eye exams in Ottawa. However, it’s important to note that not all eye exams are covered. OHIP coverage for eye exams in Ottawa is primarily based on age and medical necessity. Here is an overview of OHIP coverage for eye exams in Ottawa:

  • Children and Teens: OHIP covers one major eye exam every 12 months for children and teenagers aged 19 and under. This includes vision assessment and general eye health evaluation.
  • Adults: For adults aged 20 to 64, OHIP covers eye exams every 12 months if they have certain medical conditions that affect the eyes, such as diabetes or glaucoma.
  • Seniors: OHIP covers one major eye exam every 12 or 18 months for adults aged 65 and over. This includes a vision assessment and general eye health evaluation.

It’s important to note that OHIP coverage may not include additional tests or services, such as retinal imaging or specialized diagnostic procedures. These may incur additional costs, which can vary depending on the specific clinic or optometrist you visit.

FAQs About Eye Exams

Is it necessary to dilate my pupils during an eye exam?2023-08-30T08:45:46-04:00

Dilating your pupils allows your optometrist to get a better view of the internal structures of your eyes. While not always necessary, dilation is often recommended during a comprehensive eye exam, especially for individuals at higher risk of certain eye conditions. Your optometrist will discuss the need for dilation and any associated costs with you during your exam.

How long does an eye exam take?2023-08-30T08:45:22-04:00

The duration of an eye exam can vary depending on several factors, including the specific tests performed and the complexity of your eye health. On average, an eye exam can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Your optometrist will be able to provide a more accurate estimate based on your specific needs.

Can I book an eye exam online?2023-08-30T08:44:57-04:00

Many eye clinics, including Rideau Optometric, offer online booking services for eye exams. This allows you to conveniently schedule an appointment at your preferred time and date. Check the website of your chosen eye clinic for online booking options.

How often should I get an eye exam?2023-08-30T08:43:45-04:00

It is generally recommended to have a comprehensive eye exam every one to two years, depending on your age, overall eye health, and any existing eye conditions. Regular eye exams help ensure early detection of any issues and allow for timely treatment.

Visit Us Today!

At Rideau Optometric, we understand how important it is to have access to quality eye care. That’s why we’re proud to serve our community at three convenient locations. Whether you’re in the east end, west end, or downtown, there’s an optometrist nearby who can help you with all your vision needs. Our team of optometrists are passionate about providing the best possible care for our patients. We take the time to get to know each of our patients and their individual needs in order to provide them with the most comprehensive care possible. So if you’re looking for a warm and professional optometry team that can serve you at any of three locations, look no further than Rideau Optometric!

351A-50 Rideau Street
Inside LensCrafters – third floor of the Rideau Centre
Ottawa, ON K1N 9J7
613-567-0800 Ext. 1

1200 St. Laurent Blvd.
Beside LensCrafters – second floor of the St. Laurent Shopping Centre
Ottawa, ON K1K 3B8
613-567-0800 Ext. 2

1098-110 Place d’Orléans Drive
Inside LensCrafters – near entrance 2 of Place d’Orléans
Orléans, ON K1C 2L9
613-567-0800 Ext. 3

Make your eyes a priority, schedule your appointment online.