Does OHIP Cover Eye Exams

DOES OHIP COVER EYE EXAMS

does ohip cover eye examsIn order to obtain publicly insured health care services in Ontario, a resident of Ontario must possess a valid health card.

OHIP COVERAGE FOR OPTOMETRY SERVICES

OHIP covers the following service for:
• Children who are under the age of 19: A complete annual eye examination in addition to following up on the assessment that is needed.
• Seniors above the age of 65: A complete annual eye examination performed annually for the age group in addition to any follow-up assessment that is needed.

Adults between the age of 20 - 64: There is no thorough eye exam for the age group. They have the option of accessing private eye care or personal insurance eye treatment. Although it’s subject to some exceptions depending on the medical condition of the person. Consult your optometrist to see if you are qualified. The cover conditions are:
• Glaucoma
• Diabetes
• Amblyopia
• Cataract
• Retina disease
• Visual field defects
• Strabismus
• Corneal disease
• Optic pathway disease
• Recurrent uveitis

Here are some of the optometric services that OHIP does not cover:
• An additional full eye exam in the same year with an OHIP-covered exam.
• Eye examinations that are deemed compulsory by potential employers and third parties.
• Fitting exams for content lenses and progress check.
• Retina imaging like ocular coherence, tomography, retinal photography, Heidelberg retina tomography, etc.
• Laser refractive surgery-management (pre and postoperative) visits.
Treatment like:
• Contact lenses
• Eyeglasses
• Low vision aids
• Vision therapy (eye coordination exercises)
• Medications to apply to surrounding tissues and diseases of the eye.

PRIVATE THIRD-PARTY INSURANCE

Regular eye checks up was excluded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term care for adults’ patients of age 20-64 years old. The annual eye exam covers only adults with some specific medical problems under the Benefits for Optometry services schedule.

The significance of a regular eye examination is endorsed and promoted by the Ontario Association of Optometrists. You should check your health insurance company’s benefit plan (Sun Life, Manulife, Green Shield of Canada, Great-West Life) in case OHIP does not cover your eye exam for vision care coverage for eyewear, eye exams, and other optometric services. Some employers have extended health care benefits for employees. You are advised to contact your insurance carrier for further details.

An optometrist has the option of choosing if they should bill a third-party insurance provider directly or bill the patient. A third party might be entitled to reimbursement if the third party had already paid for an insured service.

Always Confirm What Coverage OHIP will and will not cover by visiting the Ontario Government website.

Coloured Contact Lenses

COLOURED CONTACT LENSES

coloured contact lensesColoured contact lenses are used to change the coloured look of your eyes, and helps you to look your best. If you want to rock a particular style or you simply want a crazy feel for special occasions such as Halloween, then coloured contact lenses could suit your sense of taste. They are found in Plano and prescription forms.

The prescription coloured contacts enable you to correct myopia which is commonly known as nearsightedness, astigmatism or hyperopia (farsightedness). While the plano coloured contact lenses are worn as part of makeup to change the color of the eyes.

Coloured contacts are rather expensive compared to regular contacts but they are well worth it according to its wearers.

TYPES OF COLOURED CONTACT LENSES

Mostly, colored contacts are designed to resemble the Iris, which is the colored part of the eye. These colored contacts are made of colourful shapes and lines or a series of coloured dots to enable the lenses have a natural appearance. Hence, the center of the lens is clear enough for you to see. Basically, they have three types of tints.

VISIBILITY TINT

This usually comes in a light blue color and it’s added to a lens to help you have a better view of it during insertion and removal. Although they are fast like in appearance, they have no effect on your eye color.

ENHANCEMENT TINT

This tint is translucent, hence; it’s a bit darker than a visibility tint. Its purpose is to enhance the natural color of your eyes. It’s perfect for people with light colored eyes when combined with tinted lenses because it causes the eyes to become more intense.

OPAQUE TINT

It can completely change your eye color because it’s non-transparent. People with dark eyes can use it to change the color of their eyes. They are available in different colors like green, hazel, brown, gray, amethyst, blue and violet. And it also includes theoretical or costume contact lenses. They are frequently used in the movies, and recently, they have become more available for novelty purpose because they create special effects.
With opaque lenses, you can take the role of a vampire and other specialized roles in movies.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT COLOR

For contact lenses, some factors determine its suitability such as skin tone and hair color, but it also got to deal with your desired look, be it subtle, dramatic, romantic, or natural.
Color contacts are suitable for light eyes. And meant for those who want to change their approach subtly. It’s best to choose the kind of enhancement tint that deepens your natural color and defines the edges of your iris.

If you want your eyes to have a different color while still looking natural, then gray or green contact lenses are appropriate, especially when your eye color is naturally blue.

However, if you need a dramatic look that catches the attention of everyone, and if you have light colored eyes alongside a calm complexion with a blue-red undertone, then you should go for contact lenses such as light brown.
But if you have dark eyes, then, color contact lenses for dark eyes and opaque tints are the best for you. To have a change and still look natural, you can choose a hazel colored lens or lighter honey brown. However, contact lenses in vivid colors will enable you to stand out from the crowd easily such as violet, blue, and green. If you have dark skin, bright color lenses can create a superb new look for you.

If you are looking for coloured contact lenses in downtown Toronto contact our office at eyedocs@x8t.d92.myftpupload.com to book your appointment with one of our optometrists today. 

Types of Eye Emergencies

TYPES OF EYE EMERGENCIES

Your eyes are extremely delicate and complex too. They tend to get injured easily and they are irreplaceable. They are easy targets for infections and other forms of sickness. Have you ever thought about the reason for an eye emergency or when you should start going for one? Then this information is meant just for you.

WHAT AN EYE EMERGENCY IS AND WHAT IT’S NOT

Eye emergencies arise as a result of a sudden accident. It might be a foreign object in the eye, exposure to injury or harmful chemicals. Although, most eye infections can be very painful, makes you feel uncomfortable and unpleasant, some eye infections cannot be categorized as such that needs an eye emergency.

SYMPTOMS OF AN EYE EMERGENCY

types of eye emergenciesThere are several symptoms when it comes to eye infections and diseases. And a lot of them could be a warning that you should go for an eye emergency. They include:
• A sudden loss of vision or blurring of objects.
• A stinging, burning or painful sensation in the eyes.
• When one of the eyes fail to move in accordance with the other one as a result of paralysis or bulging of the eye.
• When one of the pupils of the eyes is different from the other.
• Severe sensitivity to light or double vision.
• Bleeding around the eyes.
• A severe headache that can not be explained.
Some of these symptoms occur suddenly in a severe state. When such happens, then you should know that you are experiencing an eye emergency, you should seek medical attention immediately.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO AND NOT DO WITH EYE INJURIES

If a foreign body enters your eye, you should seek medical help immediately. Your eyes will be checked thoroughly by a trained professional who will use the right tools to examine your eyes and remove any foreign body without causing any damage to the eyes.
Avoid attempting to remove the foreign body on your own to avoid damaging your eyes. It’s important to cover your eyes when a foreign body enters the eye mistakenly. So that your eyes can stop tracking movement and light to avoid further injury.

If a chemical substance mistakenly splashes into your eye, bend your head towards the affected eye, so it will face downwards. Then pour cool and clean water into the eyes for about 15mins to flush out the substance from the eyes.
In some cases, a small object that enters the eye can be flushed with clean water or by blinking the eye. This will enable the object to move to the corner of the eye where it can easily fall off. Avoid rubbing the eye if it itches you, instead; seek medical help.

OTHER EYE INJURIES

There are other types of eye-related diseases that need urgent attention such as:
• A cut or a scratch on the surface of the eye.
• A black eye as a result of injury or a severe medical condition.

Sudden swelling in the eyes may be as a result of an allergy, disease or symptom of another illness.
Time is crucial for any eye related problem. So, it’s good to seek help even if you are unsure whether it’s an emergency or not. Rather than wasting time and the condition will only get worse.

Pediatric Eye Care

The National Health Interview Survey, in the United States, recently conducted a research and discovered that about 3% of children who are 18 years and below suffer from various forms of visual impairment, blindness or could not see even with the aid of glasses.
Some of the commonest visual impairments that where identified include:

Pediatric Eye Care - AMBLYOPIA

Some children between the ages of 6 months to 5 years were discovered to have cases of Amblyopia. It primarily causes vision loss in children. It is generated as a result of abnormal development of the neural connectivity between the eye and the brain during the child’s early life. Amblyopia is also referred to as “lazy eye.”
A typical case of a loss in vision can only affect one of the eyes, but children who suffer from Amblyopia are more likely to suffer from vision impairment in their later life than those who do not have it. With this, it’s therefore vital to detect amblyopia at its early stage so it could be treated and curbed in time before the child gets to the age of seven. If it’s neglected or not treated on time, it could lead to loss of vision permanently in one or both eyes.

Pediatric Eye Care - STRABISMUS

Strabismus is best described as the non-arrangement of the eyes, and it has affected 2% to 4% of children under the age of 6. Strabismus causes the brain to receive complex visual inputs because the eyes are oriented in different directions. This impairs the perception process and binocular vision development.

Pediatric Eye Care - REFRACTIVE ERRORS

This represents the most common causes of visual disorder in children. It can consist of hyperopia, astigmatism, and myopia. It results in blurred vision because the lights are not focused on the retina. When such refractive errors are not corrected in infants, and children in pre-school age, due to parental concerns regarding the developmental delay. Also, the clinically based deficiency in visual-motor and cognitive functions that might later affects the child’s readiness for school. But its prevalence varies among different studies due to different examination techniques and diagnostic criteria.

Pediatric Eye Care - MYOPIA

Myopia refers to any condition whereby the visual images focuses on the front of the retina and causes a defective vision of distant objects. According to reports, about 4 percent of children between 6 months to 72 months old and 9 percent of older children between 5-17 years are suffering from myopia. Its prevalence varies by ethnicity, race, and age.

Pediatric Eye Care - HYPEROPIA

Hyperopia occurs when the visual images focus at a point beyond the retina resulting in a defective vision of near objects. It’s also known as farsightedness because it makes nearby objects to appear blurry. Its occurrence is about 21 percent among children (6 months to 5 years of age) and 13 percent among children (5 to 17 years of age). Its appearance varies among race, age, and ethnicity.

Pediatric Eye Care - ASTIGMATISM

This is an irregularity in the shape of the lens or cornea which leads to a blurred vision of distant objects. About 15 and 28 percent of children under the age of 17 years old have astigmatism. Most children who suffer from myopia and hyperopia tend to have astigmatism too.

To book your Pediatric Eye Exam and consult with one of our optometrists call our downtown Toronto today. 

What is Orthokeratology?

What if you could temporarily correct your vision while you sleep? Orthokeratology (ortho-k) is a specially designed contact lens system that corrects myopia (shortsightedness) overnight. The effects last for up to two days, and the lenses can be worn again.

Ortho-k lenses are gas permeable contacts you wear overnight. Gas permeable, or rigid lenses are made of durable plastic that allows for more oxygen to reach the cornea than most soft contact lenses—making them “breathable” lenses. Ortho-k lenses work by gently reshaping the cornea, or front surface of the eye. In the morning, when the contacts are removed, the wearer can see clearly for up to 48 hours.

orthokeratologyThe lenses are prescribed for patients with mild to moderate myopia who are not eligible or don’t want LASIK surgery. They also assist in temporary correction of astigmatism, where the eye has difficulty focusing light for clear vision, and some cases of hyperopia (farsightedness). Ortho-k lenses have been proscribed to slow the progression of myopia in children, as well.

These overnight corneal reshaping contact lenses are prescribed and fitted by optometrists who measure the curvatures of a patient’s cornea to create a topographical map of the eye’s surface. Custom lenses are then ordered, or the optometrist can fit lenses that are in stock.

Patients report that the Ortho-k lenses are easy to adapt to, and comfortable for sleeping. Most have clear distance vision after only a day or two of overnight use. The effects of Ortho-k are cumulative, but also reversible, meaning people can stop using them and their eyes will gradually return to the previous corneal shape.

Ortho-k lenses are more expensive than regular contact lens systems, but about half the price of laser vision correction. There is no harm with long-term use and wearers can some using them and opt for laser correction (if deemed appropriate) within weeks or months of stopping Ortho-k.

Children’s Eye Exam – Wearing glasses

Glasses can help correct many types of vision problems.

  • If a child is very farsighted, nearsighted, or has astigmatism, the brain only receives blurry images. Glasses help the child see clearly, which helps vision develop normally.
  • If a child has crossed eyes, glasses can correct the problem and help vision develop normally. Glasses may be used to correct crossed eyes, even when vision is clear.
  • If a child has good vision in just one eye, glasses will protect the eye from injury. These glasses must be made of shatterproof material such as polycarbonate or trivex.

The doctor will:

  • Discuss your child’s vision and how glasses will help.
  • Give you a prescription for your child’s glasses

The optometrist’s prescription is used to make the lenses for your child’s glasses. The choice of frames is up to you. Here are some suggestions for choosing frames:

  • Let your child pick out the frames. If your child likes them, he or she will be more interested in wearing them.
  • Choose frames that are not too small or your child will look over them.
  • Make sure the glasses fit well, don’t slip or feel too tight or heavy.
  • Regular glasses won’t protect your child’s eyes from injury. Your child may also need safety glasses for sports.

For any tips on eye care for your children, selecting the right frames and ways of encouragement, give us a call today. Metro Eye Care is an optometrist office located in downtown Toronto and accepting new patients!

What you need to know about aqueous tear deficient dry eye disease

 

What is aqueous tear deficient dry eye disease?

Your tears do much more than indicate that you are crying. They have other functions. The tear glands supply your eyes with the tears required to keep them moist. Each time you blink, they supply the tears needed. Those tears keep your eyes moist, clean, and healthy. If your tear glands stop this supply for any reason, it can lead to the condition called aqueous tear deficient dry eye disease. This condition usually comes with vision problems, redness of the eyes, and eye discomfort or pain.

Causes of aqueous tear deficient dry eye disease

Many factors can cause or contribute to aqueous deficient dry eye disease but the two most common ones include Sjogren’s syndrome and advanced age. 

Sjogren’s syndrome

Sjogren's syndrome is a disease that attacks both tear glands and saliva glands. Tear glands will no longer be able to produce tears and the glands that secrete your spit will also stop functioning. So, those who have the disease will usually have both aqueous tear deficient dry eye disease and dry mouth disease.

It has also been observed that women are more prone to Sjogren’s syndrome than men. The fact that about 10 percent of people with dry eye disease also have Sjogren’s syndrome underscores the strong link between both conditions.

Age

Just like most body parts, the tear glands function less as you grow older. Besides, since your immune system will also naturally get weaker with age, your chances of getting Sjogren’s syndrome, aqueous tear deficient dry eye disease, or any other disease, will become higher as you grow older.

 Other conditions causing aqueous tear deficient dry eye disease include:

• Damaged tear glands or tear ducts

• Virus infection

• Any of the following diseases can also lead to dry eye disease; Amyloidosis, Hemochromatosis, Sarcoidosis, Lymphoma, and Hepatitis C.

Symptoms include feeling dry and itchy.  You may also find it very uncomfortable to wear contact lenses. In addition, you may have blurred or fluctuating vision. There may be a burning sensation in your eyes. Eye pain and redness of the eyes have also been observed to be common symptoms of the disease. Sometimes, you may feel like there is dirt or sand in your eyes.  A dry eye exam can uncover the underlying cause of such symptoms. 

How to diagnose aqueous tear deficiency? 

The most effective way to diagnose aqueous tear deficient dry eye disease is through a reliable dry eye exam. While there are numerous dry eye tests, the best approach is through a comprehensive assessment using multiple tests including the Oculus Keratograph 5M Meibography and osmolarity.   The Oculus Keratograph 5M is an advanced test that involves the use of both color camera and keratometer for optimized external imaging of the eye. It also includes Meibography which is an imaging study of the morphology of meibomian glands in vivo.

Depending on the findings of your dry eye assessment you optometrist might recommend further testing for  Sjogren's syndrome.  Depending on the severity of your dry eye disease and the cause, your doctor will determine the best treatment for you.

The standard of care is usually to treating the underlying etiology that's causing the dry eye condition. Your doctor may also recommend the use of certain lubricating eye drops or supplements. You may also need to use plugs to prevent your tears from draining off. On rare cases, your doctor may suggest a surgery.  It's best to start with a comprehensive dry eye exam which will first determine the form of the dry eye disease involved.  To book your comprehensive dry eye assessment at our sister clinic please visit their Dry eye clinic page. 

 

 

Top Methods Used To Test Your Eye Pressure And Why It Is Important

Testing your eye pressure, also known as intraocular pressure or IOP, is an integral part of a comprehensive eye exam and a primary reason to see your optometrist regularly. Frequency of eye examinations can vary depending on each patients. Patients diagnosed with Glaucoma for example will require a closer monitor and more frequent visits than patients who are being monitored due to family history.

Commonly used methods to test eye pressure:

• Goldmann applanation tonometry

testing_eye_pressure

Goldmann applanation tonometry is one of the most accurate techniques used to check the eye pressure. It is still the gold standard for measureing intraocular pressure (IOP) in glaucoma patients. This technique examines your eye pressure by determining the amount of force required to flatten a corneal surface area. Optometrists using this method to test eye pressure use a tonometer that consists of a tonometer arm, contact prism, contact probe, and measuring drum.

Before an optometrist starts checking your pressure, some detailed instructions highlighting the process are offered to the patient. Below is a complete procedure on how to go about this method. The procedure starts by instilling anesthetic drops and small amounts of fluorescein into the eye. Once the patient is ready and situated in the slit lamp the probe is gently moved towards the corneal centre. One the tip touchs the cornea the knob is adjusted until the edges of the two mires are just touching. Once this is achieved the reading obtained is recorded.  This represents the amount of pressure taken to flatten the surface. 

• Tono-Pen tonometry

Tono-Pen tonometry is a method of testing the eye pressure where an optometrist touches the cornea with a pen tip until a reading is displayed. This method is not only accurate but also reliable and it's used in many clinical settings.  One advantage of this instrument is it's mobility and portability.  It's great for patients who are wheelchair ridden and have limited mobility.  An optometrist can repeat the procedure several times if the final measurements differ by more than two mmHg to ensure an accurate measurement is obtained. 

• Non-contact tonometry (NCT)

Non-contact tonometry (NCT) is a method of testing the eye pressure that works on a time-interval principle. Optometrists’ uses the tonometer to measure the total time it takes from the first generation of the puff of air to where your cornea flattens. Note that it takes milliseconds for a puff of air to obtain the reading. This method is commonly used in screenings and as a part of a pretest in routine examinations. 

Why is it essential to test for eye pressure?

Testing for eye pressure helps in determining the risk for glaucoma. Undetected elevated pressure in the eye can lead to glaucoma, an eye condition that's characterized by a damage to the optic nerve. It’s never too late, book an appointment with your optometrist to have your eyes checked. Make it a routine to stay safe and healthy.

To book your eye exam with one of our optometrists in the downtown Toronto area call our office today at 416-782-7301 or email us at eyedocs@x8t.d92.myftpupload.com. 

Keratoconus treatment with scleral lenses

What is Keratoconus and how it can be corrected with scleral lenses?

Keratoconus is a corneal disorder that is mainly characterized by the thinning of the irregular cornea. It is believed to be caused by a combination of factors such as genetics, hormonal and environmental factors. Keratoconus may result in blurry vision, nearsightedness, double vision, light sensitivity as well as severe astigmatism.

While the condition can be corrected during its initial stages, the damage may become permanent if the cornea degradation continues. As a result, patients with who might experience early symptoms are advised to see an optometrist for a full ocular health assessment. In many cases, the condition can be corrected with scleral gas permeable (GP) lenses.

What are gas permeable scleral lenses?

They are large diameter lenses that rest over the sclera and vault the cornea entirely. Unlike conventional contact lenses which rest on the cornea. As a result, there is a space between the lens and the cornea. Usually, the lenses are inserted after filling with sterile isotonic fluid.

As a result, these lenses can be used to correct corneal ectatic diseases which result in high irregular astigmatism. These include keratoconus as well as pellucid marginal degeneration.

How can the lenses correct Keratoconus?

The field of Scleral contact lenses (ScCLs) has seen much advancement in terms of both design and lens materials. As a result, GP scleral lenses are now replacing the older corneal rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses which are less useful in cases where the conicity of the cornea increases dramatically (a major characteristic of keratoconus),

ScCLs contains three parts:

•the Scleral portion (Haptic) which rests on the sclera

•the vault, this section is responsible for corneal as well as limbal clearance of the lens

•the optical part of the lens, this is usually 0.2mm more extensive than the horizontal iris diameter.

This design ensures that the lens does not move too much on the eye after fitting

A few other design features may also be included to enhance ScCLs.  Those include:

•Front surface eccentricity (FSE), these act as wavefront aberrations correction to the spherical scleral lens.

•Air-ventilation or fluid ventilation, this will help in providing oxygen to the ocular surface.

It’s important to note that the fluid reservoir found on the scleral lenses is able to mask irregular astigmatism. Therefore, the lenses have to align the haptic to the sclera perfectly. This is made possible through the application of submicron lathe machines as well as computerized lathe machines to produce custom lenses for each patient. This also allows the adding of toricity to match the edge lifts for each individual patient.

Advantages of using gas permeable scleral lenses to correct keratoconus:

1.Improved oxygen transmissibility due to their thin nature that allows oxygen to permeate through them freely.

2.Reduced amount of debris collection between the lens and cornea

3.The lenses are much more comfortable to wear compared to others

4.The minimal movement ensures that the lens stays in position and therefore allows for better, more stable vision.

5.Fenestrations that help in oxygen delivery as well as tear exchange.

If you are interested in scleral lenses contact our downtown office today at eyedocs@x8t.d92.myftpupload.com for further information or to book your eye exam and consultation with one of our optometrists.

What is astigmatism and how to correct it?

What is astigmatism? 

 Astigmatism is a refractive error that is quite common for both children and adults. It is a condition in which the eye fails to focus light onto the retina evenly. Astigmatism arises when the light that strikes the cornea is bent differently. It is because the shape of the cornea or crystalline lens is irregular as opposed to the typical spherical shape.  Simply, the eye is not perfectly spherical. Astigmatism correction is done using special spectacle lenses or contact lenses.

A comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist is undertaken by patients who might suspect astigmatism.  The optometrist will provide glasses or contact lenses prescription if necessary at the conclusion of the eye exam. 

Astigmatism results in a blurred or distorted vision to some degree. Common symptoms associated with astigmatism include headaches, eyestrains, and squinting. Some patients having slight astigmatism will fail to notice the change in their vision. It is therefore essential to have regular eye examinations to determine astigmatism.

Astigmatism

How to correct astigmatism? 

Spectacle lenses (Glasses)

The use of glasses is the most common method used to correct vision. Eyeglasses having cylindrical lenses are the most popular way of correcting astigmatism.  Studies have shown that most patients with high astigmatism prefer glasses. Glasses are either positive or negative depending on the type of prescription. These glasses have special cylindrical lenses, which compensate for astigmatism by providing additional powers in certain areas of the lens. In most cases, a single-vision lens is provided which serves to provide clear vision. Nonetheless, patients who are over 40 years and have presbyopia may be prescribed an additional progressive or bifocal lens.

Contact lenses

Contact lenses are also another way of correcting astigmatism. Some years back, astigmatic patients could not use soft contact lenses; instead, the correction was only possible by the use of hard contact lenses, an example being the gas permeable contact lenses. Today, astigmatism correction is carried out using unique toric soft contact lenses. These contact lenses can have toric on either the back or the front surface. The contact lenses having toric on the front surface will correct both lenticular and corneal astigmatism of up to 4.5 D. Corneal astigmatisms is corrected by contact lenses having a toric back surface. Usually correction is up to 60. D with the custom designs. 

The use of custom contact lenses is known to remedy high astigmatism as well as allowing favorable conditions for binocular vision. Many patients also prefer contact lenses over glasses for cosmetic reasons. 

Since these contact lenses are worn directly to a patient’s eye, they should ensure that they are regularly cleaned and cared for to protect their eye health.

Laser vision correction 

For the right candidates, procedures such as LASIK, LASEK, or PRK can also correct astigmatism. 

Patients with astigmatism have a broad range of options to correct their vision condition. Upon consultations with the optometrist, patients can select the treatment that best fits their visual needs and life style. To book your eye exam and consultation with one of our optometrists call our downtown Toronto today.