Q: At what age should I bring my child in for their first eye exam?
A: The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends the first eye exam to be done at the age of 6 months. However, if there are concerns prior, we will gladly see them at any age!
Q: How often should you have an eye exam?
A: For children, it is recommended annually after the age of 3.
For healthy adults, every 1-2 years.
For seniors, it is recommended annually.
Many eye diseases don’t have symptoms in their early stages and it is important to detect them early to improve your outcome.
Q: What is covered by Alberta Health Care?
A: A comprehensive eye examination for children under the age of 19 and adults 65+ are completely covered. Medical exams including red eyes, dry eyes, irritated eyes, flashes & Floaters, sudden vision changes and all other ocular emergencies are covered for ALL AGES. Specialty testing for Glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetes are also covered for ALL AGES.
Q: Is there any way to prevent macular degeneration?
A: Doctors aren’t sure how to prevent macular degeneration. Research suggests that ultraviolet light (and possibly blue light) factors into the problem, so sunglasses could be very beneficial. What you eat also affects your macula. Researchers know that antioxidants (vitamins A, C and E), zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin and essential fatty acids all can aid in preventing and slowing down macular degeneration. Read more about nutrition and eye health. Ask your doctor about recommended nutritional supplements. Exercising and quitting smoking might also be helpful.
Q: Is Dry Eye more severe in the winter than in the warmer spring and summer months?
A: It’s unclear. Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) is a chronic multi-factorial disease process in which signs and symptoms don’t always correlate with one another. Some patient may be more sensitive in certain seasons than others, depending on the humidity level, wind factor, working environment, and other variables. Screening for this common and chronic condition is crucial to maintaining a healthy and stable tear film, no matter the season, and should not be based on symptoms alone.
Q: If one of my parents has glaucoma, does that mean I will develop it as well at some point?
A: Having a parent with glaucoma does not mean that the child will automatically develop the condition too. However, those people with an immediate family history (parents, siblings) of glaucoma are at more risk to develop this disease. Patients should have a comprehensive eye examination each year to evaluate the health of the eyes and to look for signs of glaucoma. Some of these signs can be an increase in the pressure of the eyes as well as changes to the appearance of the optic nerve. Many times there are no symptoms noticed by the patient. If there is suspicion of glaucoma, more frequent visits to the eye doctor along with additional nerve testing are often required.