What is an optometrist and the practice of optometry?
An optometrist is the primary health-care provider for vision and eye health concerns in Ontario. Optometrists have completed a Bachelor’s degree, primarily in sciences, before completing their Doctorate of Optometry degree. The doctorate is an additional four years of study including classroom and clinical education. They may do an additional year of clinical residency training. Optometrists are highly educated and clinically trained to examine and treat the eyes and visual systems of any patient, regardless of their age.
Optometrists provide comprehensive eye examinations to determine the overall health of your eyes and the quality of your vision. They are primary eye care providers who detect, diagnose, treat, prevent and co-manage any eye-related issues. They also provide eye wear products.
As well, optometrists may refer patients to appropriate specialists for advanced medical, surgical or laser treatments.
Some common conditions that optometrists assess for :
- Ocular Melanoma
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Vitreous detachment
- Sun and UV damage
- Retinal detachment
- Recurrent corneal erosion
- Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
- Low or Poor Vision
- Progressive Vision Loss
How much does it cost for an eye exam in Ontario??
OHIP provides coverage for the following optometry services:
Children 0 to 19 years old: An annual, full comprehensive eye examination plus any follow-up assessments that may be required.
Seniors aged 65 +: An annual, full comprehensive eye examination plus any follow-up assessments that may be required.
Adults aged 20 to 64 years: OHIP does not cover comprehensive eye examinations for this age group. These individuals have private insurance coverage or pay out-of-pocket. Some exceptions to OHIP coverage apply depending on the medical condition. Ask your optometrist if you qualify.
Other publicly-funded optometry programs
- Ontario Disability Support Program
- Ontario Works
- Assistive Devices Program: Visual Aids
- Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
- Eye and Vision Care Benefits under the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program
- Veterans Affairs Canada
- Interim Federal Health Program
Where Do I see an optometrist?