If you still have questions that aren’t on this page, check out our quick pick FAQ for rapid “yes or no” answers to some of our other common questions.
ANSWERS TO YOUR EYE, GLASSES AND CONTACT QUESTIONS
The strength of optometry is our ability to educate our patients about their eye condition. Even in this, the information age, it is astounding how often we hear from patients “Why didn’t anyone tell me this before”?
We invite you to scroll through our FAQ’s and quick pick FAQ’s. We will update these periodically.
**The FAQ’s cannot answer all of your questions. They are not intended to promote self-diagnosis and are not a substitute for a thorough eye examination.
We encourage you to seek care from your neighbourhood optometrist if you have doubts about your eye functions.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN I NEED “PART 2” OF MY CATARACT SURGERY?
Cataract surgery consists of two separate procedures. The first is removal of the foggy and distorted lens that is clouding your vision, (this is the cataract) and replacing it with a clear acrylic lens to restore the clarity of your vision. This lens is placed in a pre-existing (capsular) bag in your eye that held the original lens. This is part one of your surgery.
Anywhere from a week to 10 years after this, in 80% of the cases, the transparent capsular bag goes opaque and blurs your vision again (patients report “it’s like their cataract came back”)
In a 5 minute, out-patient procedure the surgeon uses a laser to cut a hole in this opaque membrane, instantly and permanently restoring your vision (a capsulotomy). This is part two of your cataract surgery journey.
In the photo gallery above, look for the pictures labelled “Cataract”, “Clear Lens Implant”, “Capsular Bag Opacity” and “Capsular Bag Post Laser”
During your immediate cataract post-op period and during your long-term eye health exams we will assess the clarity of the capsular bag and facilitate a timely return to your surgeon to manage the capsular bag opacity.
I REALLY DON’T NEED MY EYE HEALTH ASSESSED. I JUST WANT A GLASSES PRESCRIPTION CHECKUP.
These assessments cannot legally or clinically be separated. If you don’t see well or even if you do we need to investigate your eye health. Some of the most severe eye diseases we have detected have been in patients who only felt they needed new glasses.
We are glad your desire to be examined for glasses brought you to our office. Now we can provide you with a high precision spectacle prescription and ensure your eyes will remain healthy to enjoy the vision.
CAN YOU CHECK ME FOR DIABETES, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND CHOLESTEROL?
Certainly, telltale signs of these disorders can be found in the eyes of undiagnosed patients and we provide an evaluation of the risk factors for systemic disease in each and every patient at every assessment. However, your eye examination no matter how thorough is not a substitute for regular physical assessments by your physician.
I WORE AN EYE PATCH AS A CHILD TO STRENGTHEN A “LAZY EYE” BUT I STILL HAVE ONE EYE THAT DOESN’T WORK WELL. MY SON HAS NOW BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH A LAZY EYE. SURELY THERE HAS TO BE NEW TECHNOLOGY SO THAT MY CHILD CAN BE TREATED WITHOUT AN EYE PATCH?
Patching the good eye to “train the brain” to use the weak eye, along with focusing the eye with glasses, remains the gold standard for treating a lazy (amblyopic) eye. The outcome varies with the severity of the vision loss, the age of the child and of course compliance. If the lazy eye is associated with an eye turn, we will make a surgical referral in a timely manner.
If you are suspicious of an eye turn with your child or if there is a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) with a lazy eye, please bring your child in for assessment.
I’M ON MY THIRD PINK EYE THIS YEAR AND I’M ON PRESCRIPTION EYE DROPS FROM MY PHYSICIAN BUT THIS THING JUST KEEPS COMING BACK. CAN YOU HELP?
No one should be getting three pink eyes a year (or three tree branch scratches or three lumps in their lids). Diagnostic testing (not available at your physician’s) will allow us to identify the source of the problem and tailor your therapy (oral and/or topical medications) or more holistic ‘natural’ treatments to manage your external eye ailment. Conditions from allergy to rosacea (yes, red skin means red eye) to dry eye, to common corneal disorders to visually threatening inflammations could be the cause of your red eye. In healthy adults, recurrent eye infections are rare and need to be investigated by your optometrist.
I’VE HAD MACULAR DEGENERATION FOR YEARS AND I WOULD LIKE TO GET NEW GLASSES TO SEE BETTER.
Macular degeneration is a breakdown of the highly sensitive cells in the center of your eye (the macula) that is responsible for processing your central vision, detail and colour (the “film in the camera”). Glasses focus the camera.
Regrettably if the “film” is severely damaged, no amount of camera focusing will restore a quality picture.
Macular degeneration comes in all varieties and severities and frequently the ‘film’ remains quite functional many years after diagnosis. So it is important not to neglect focusing the camera to the max. Although outcomes are unpredictable, even one line improvement on an eye chart could make a big difference in your quality of life.
If your macula is too damaged to detect spectacle vision improvement, you may be a candidate for low vision therapy, magnifier or telescopic spectacles. We can refer you to a low vision consultant for this.
I’VE BEEN TOLD I HAVE GLAUCOMA – WHAT NEXT?
No one likes to be told this, but not to worry. You will be placed on a regimen of drops – probably one at bedtime – this will lower the eye’s fluid pressure being applied to the optic nerve and slow down glaucomatous nerve damage. You will be carefully tracked by your optometrist with optic nerve photography, visual field testing, frequent pressure measurements and, if required referral, for surgical management.
Well managed, compliant patients with glaucoma seldom lose functional vision in their lifetime.
Regrettably, glaucoma drops are irritating to your eyes and can have a diminishing effect over time. You may need to switch products or add other drops from time to time to prevent long term hypersensitivity and to maintain a therapeutic effect.
WHY WON’T MY EYE DOCTOR GIVE ME THOSE CONTACT LENSES THAT YOU CAN KEEP FOR A YEAR ANYMORE? THEY WANT ME TO WEAR DISPOSABLES.
Unless you require custom fitted lenses there is no reason to use “keep as long as you can” type lenses anymore. We know the safest, healthiest and most comfortable lenses are those worn as little as possible and replaced as frequently as is financially feasible.
Single-use lenses (wear them and chuck them) can cost as little as a dollar a day – likely less than you spend at Tim Horton’s, certainly less than your daily Starbuck’s fix and they are the best way to avoid that contact lens infection during midterms, the day of your job interview or on vacation in Cancun. Love your new smart phone technology? Why not embrace some new contact lens technology.
I’VE TRIED EVERY TYPE OF CONTACT LENS KNOWN TO MAN AND STILL CAN’T GET MORE THAN THREE HOURS OF COMFORTABLE WEAR – CAN YOU HELP?
Contact lenses are not for everyone. In fact, more patients drop out of contact lenses than actively wear them all day, every day. There is no such thing as the ‘perfect contact lens.' Rather we hope you have the ‘perfect eye’ to tolerate a contact lens. A careful prefit evaluation may reveal why your eyes don’t like lenses and save you time and money on trying lens after lens.
A realistic outlook: wearing lenses for social and recreational purposes may be all you can tolerate. And if haven’t tried them, you might be a candidate for the newest water gradient daily disposable, the first significant advance in soft contact lens material in the last ten years.
MY TEN YEAR OLD WANTS TO WEAR CONTACT LENSES. IS THIS TOO YOUNG?
If your youngster wears their eyeglasses full time, then they are contact lens ready regardless of age, assuming they can learn to insert and remove the lenses (typically at age ten for girls, a little later for boys). Our staff members are experts at gently guiding your child through this process.
However, the only lenses that we would recommend for the health of your child’s eyes – no question – are the one day throw away lenses!
DO YOU OFFER GLASSES?
Because we have elected to concentrate on providing precision spectacle prescriptions, all aspects of ocular disease management and contact lenses (especially specialty keratoconus and post corneal surgery), we no longer have a spectacle dispensary in house. Instead, we provide a spectacle prescription to all patients needing one. This allows you to purchase your eyewear at the dispensary of your choice.
WHAT ABOUT TINTED LENSES? DO I NEED ANTI REFLECTION COATING? SHOULD I GET MULTI FOCALS? WHAT ARE HIGH DEFINITION LENSES? WHAT ABOUT THINNER LENSES?
These questions relate to the materials and design of your spectacles. This is the domain of the optician who is very conversant with the pros and cons of these features and will guide you through the product choices. In our case summary, we are happy to give you an overview and recommended features and design elements may be specified on your prescription.
IF YOU GIVE ME A PRESCRIPTION, WHERE SHOULD I BUY MY GLASSES?
Eyeglasses are a service item. They may need regular adjustments and the occasional repair to maintain their fit and comfort and maximize your vision. For this reason we recommend purchasing your eyewear at a dispensary close to home or work. If you have worn glasses for years, we hope you have found a trusted provider who understands your needs and preferences and will take the time to precisely fit your glasses and guide you through the adaptation.
WHEN DO I NEED TO RETURN?
In our exam summary, we will let you know when and why you should be re-examined, either for a full examination or for specific testing (ie – repeat measurements of your eye pressure).
Typically in young patients, the frequency of exams is determined by predicted rates of change in their spectacle prescriptions. This again applies in middle age (40-50). For our pre-seniors and beyond, eye health risks factors such as vascular disease, family history and the onset of changes requiring monitoring or treatments (cataract, glaucoma) will determine the frequency of your exams.
THE LASER EYE SURGERY CLINIC ADVERTISED $499 PER EYE BUT THEY WANT TO DO AN UPGRADE PROCEDURE SO IT’S GOING TO COST ME MORE THAN $2,000 PER EYE – WHAT GIVES?
Welcome to the world of marketing and the concept of lost leader – an offer that sounds too good to be true in order to get you in the door. Certainly, some eyes will qualify for the advertised procedure price but most don’t. Typically you will probably pay more if your prescription is above a certain cut-off point or requires monovision (one eye for far and one eye for near) or if you (wisely) opt for a safer more predictable procedure other than “lasik with the knife.” You need to ask about long and short term warranty, costs for enhancements and medication costs pre and post op.