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How often should I get my eyes examined?
Regular eye exams performed by an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) are necessary in order to diagnose vision and ocular health conditions in a timely manner, and to aid in prevention of these conditions. How often you will need to receive an eye exam will depend largely on your medical history and is determined by your eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) . Guidelines are in place to assist you in determining follow-up examination frequency. These guidelines only apply to a small percentage of the population who do not wear contact lenses, have no medical conditions, and have no family history of eye disease. Here are the current recommendation of the Canadian Association of Optometrists:
Infants and toddlers (birth to 24months)
Infants should undergo their first comprehensive eye exam between the ages of 6 and 9 months.
Preschool children (2 to 5 years)
Preschool children should undergo at least one comprehensive eye exam between the ages of 2 and 5 years.
School age children (6 to 19 years)
School age children should undergo a comprehensive eye exam annually.
Adult (20 to 64 years)
Adults aged 20 to 64 years should undergo a comprehensive eye exam every 1 to 2 years.
Seniors (65+ years)
Seniors aged 65 and older should undergo a comprehensive eye exam annually.
Canadian Association of Optometrists Policy and Advocacy
The need for periodic optometric examination has been recognized for many years. Vision and ocular health conditions are NOT always accompanied by recognizable symptoms. There is often an increased risk to the patient if treatment is not initiated in a timely manner. Relying on the occurrence of obvious symptoms in order to initiate an eye examination exposes the patient to an unnecessary risk.
Should I buy glasses or contacts online?
At Nobe Eyecare Associates we are in a unique position to recommend eyewear as we do not sell glasses and have no financial interest in where you purchase your glasses. The most current study shows that 40% of glasses purchased from an exclusively on-line optical do not meet the industry standards. Many websites ask for a pupillary distance measurement and a prescription only . There are however several other measurements required to correctly fit a pair of glasses. These measurements can only performed by an optician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist with the glasses on the patients face.
Contact lenses should be purchased from a company which is regulated by an appropriate industry authority. These companies have an on-site optician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist can properly fit the lenses. Some online retailers unfortunately do not adhere to this standard. In some cases online retailers may even fill an expired prescription.
When do I have to pay to see one of the optometrists (eye doctors)?
Conveniently, most of the services and eye exams we offer are covered by Provincial Health Care. Emergency visits will only require payment if you do NOT have valid health care from Saskatchewan, Alberta, or British Columbia. Refractive surgery post-operative visits, specialty contact lens fittings, and some specialty procedures are not yet covered by Provincial Health Care and may also require payment.
The fee for an eye exam with one of our doctors includes a digital image of the inside of your eye.
Alberta Residents: Under 19 and over 64 are covered by Alberta Health Care
British Columbia Residents: Under 19 and over 64 are able to get reimbursements up to $46.11 after submitting paperwork. Processing times are currently 8-10 weeks. All relevant paperwork will be supplied by Nobe Eyecare Associates.
Saskatchewan Residents: Under 18 years of age are covered by Saskatchewan Health Care
How are eyes related to general health?
The eye is an extension of the rest of the body. At birth the eye is an extension of the brain and the nervous system. Therefore, many neurological diseases can affect the eye. The blood vessels in the eyes are an extension of the heart which means any blood conditions affect the eyes. The eyes are protected by the skin which makes them susceptible to diseases of the skin.
There are many diseases of the body which can be detected by an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) during a routine exam. In fact, there are many instances in which an eye exam could save a person’s life (i.e. cancers, impending strokes, etc.). The most common general medical diseases first detected on an eye exam are diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and thyroid dysfunction. Even sexually transmitted diseases can show up in the eyes.
I don't have any eye or vision problems, do I need to see an eye doctor?
Even people that have 20/20 vision or don’t report any visual problems can develop eye disease and go blind. Comprehensive eye exams performed by doctorate level practicioners will help you determine your risk factors. One’s ability to see without glasses is NOT an indicator of eye health. In fact, there are many people that end up suffering from serious eye disease despite NOT ever needing glasses. Conversely, there are many people that are completely dependent on glasses and live a life without any eye disease.
The Canadian Association of Optometrists states:
“Vision and ocular health conditions are not always accompanied by recognizable symptoms. There is often an increased risk to the patient if treatment is not initiated in a timely manner. Relying on the occurrence of obvious symptoms in order to initiate an eye examination exposes the patient to an unnecessary risk.“
How do I get the most out of my visits?
Bring a list of questions if you have them to ensure you remember exactly what you want addressed.
Be honest. Please tell us if you have been prescribed a medication and you haven’t been able to take it as prescribed. If you are not completely honest, we may think that the medicine isn’t working and we can either increase the dosage or put you on the next best drug both of which are unnecessary and potentially harmful.
Bring your most recent pair of glasses. This will help us determine the best eyeglass prescription for you. Bring in your most recent old prescription even if you don’t like it.
Do not avoid seeing your eye doctor for 2 years. Patients can go from 20/20 to legally blind if they have an undiagnosed medical problem. Also, the amount of adaptation required to adjust to a new pair of glasses takes much longer if they are longer periods between changes in prescription. In some cases our doctors have to reduce the power of a prescription so that It is much more comfortable. When patients come in regularly they can be provided far better vision as they can adapt to new prescriptions much more easily.
If you do not understand or agree with your doctor please discuss it with us.
Be on time for appointments to ensure you are not rushed through your appointment.
If you can’t make an appointment please call to let us know as soon as possible so another person can take your spot.
How long does it take to become an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist)?
The education required to be an optometrist or ophthalmologist begins in high school and requires an additional 7-14 years of full-time university. These years are spent in some of the most rigorous academic courses and degree programs. A more detailed description is as follows:
-enriched high school diploma including advanced classes in math, chemistry, physics, and biology
-3-4 years minimum of full-time undergraduate university with an emphasis on math, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, biology, english, microbiology, as well as many elective subjects
-competitive scores relative to other university students on internationally standardized tests including the OAT (Optometry Admissions Test) and MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test).
-2-3 letters of reference from distinguished individuals in their fields
-evidence that each student is accomplished relative to other university students in terms of volunteer work, extra-cirricular activities, leadership and awards
-a thorough application and interview process which outlines all relevant life experience
-applications are accepted 1 year prior to admission and in most cases it takes approximately 6 months to evaluate each applicant
-after completing a minimum of 3-4 years of full-time undergraduate study, only 25-33% of university applicants are accepted into the doctorate level programs.
-residency and fellowship programs can be even more competitive and require another 1-6 years after the doctorate.
Why do I see floating spots?
Seeing floaters is very common today. Floaters can be harmless (seeing your tears dry up on the surface of your eye) to extremely dangerous (detached retina which will eventually cause blindness). Due to the potentially serious nature of floaters, visits to our optometrists (eye doctors) are covered by our provincial health care system. Please bring a valid health care number to your appointment.
What forms of payment do you accept for non-covered services?
We accept Mastercard, Visa, Debit and Cash payments for non-insured services.
Do you accept my insurance? Do you direct bill?
Will I have a positive experience at Nobe Eyecare Associates?
It is our feeling that we are capable of providing the best level of service in Calgary. Please read our reviews by clicking on the following link: