Optometrists play an essential and ongoing role in ensuring the health of you and your family.
For your convenience, we offer the service of an independent onsite optometrist at KW Vision Centre. You can ensure you have an accurate, up to date prescription before you purchase your new glasses or contact lenses. Our optometrist will also use the latest technology to assess the health of your eyes, and provide any medical treatment that may be necessary.
After a discussion of your concerns, visual demands, and family history, your eye exam will begin with an assessment of how well you are seeing with your current glasses or contact lenses. Typically a healthy child or adult should see “20/20”, which is a certain size of letter at a distance of 20 feet. Our optometrist will then examine how your eyes work together as a team. If the alignment of the eyes isn’t ideal, symptoms ranging from headaches and eyestrain to lazy eyes and double vision may develop. Binocular vision is also very important for depth perception – not just for enjoying 3D movies but for motor-development in children and difficult tasks like driving at night.
We will take as much time as needed to finalize a precise prescription for your new glasses or contact lenses. Sometimes this procedure seems stressful for patients – ‘which is really better, 1 or 2?’ Rest assured that our optometrist is deciding upon the final result based on a pattern of answers, not a single choice. Sometimes the “correct” answer is when you can’t tell the difference between the two choices at all!
A very important part of the eye exam is the eye health assessment. Using a high powered microscope, our optometrist will examine both the external and internal eye structure. Many conditions such as glaucoma, cataract, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and dry eye can be detected at this point and treated either by our optometrist or as a referral to one of our Kitchener-Waterloo ophthalmologists. During this part of the exam, our optometrist may use drops to dilate the pupils, allowing a better view of structures inside the eye. These drops may leave you blurry and light sensitive for a couple hours, so it is always a good idea to bring along your sunglasses to the exam.
Comprehensive eye exams are recommended yearly for children and seniors, and OHIP covers the cost of these annual exams. Children should have their first eye exam before the age of 3 so that any issues can be addressed before their learning is affected. Those who are diabetic and those who are full-time contact lens wearers should be seen yearly as well. Healthy adults should not wait more than 2 years between exams.
The most common eye problems among adults include:
- Presbyopia: a natural effect of aging in which the ability to focus on close objects decreases over time. Presbyopia can cause headaches, blurred vision, sore eyes, and/or the need for more light.
- Cataracts: distorted or cloudy vision caused by the lens inside the eye losing its transparency over time. Cataracts can require changes to your glasses and/or surgery.
- Diabetic Retinopathy: a weakening or swelling of the small blood vessels in the retina of your eye, and the growth of new blood vessels resulting in blood leakage and other changes. If left untreated, blindness can result.
- Macular degeneration: a disease that results in degenerative changes to your central vision. MD is a leading cause of vision loss among older adults.
- Glaucoma: a “silent thief” that often has no symptoms until significant damage has occurred. Glaucoma is caused by elevated pressure within the eye, and can lead to serious vision loss if not detected and treated at an early stage.
Your vision is priceless. Routine eye exams by an optometrist not only ensure good vision and eye health, but peace of mind. If you don’t already have an optometrist, you don’t need a referral to book an exam. Call us today for your appointment, or complete the form below.