The 3 O’s of eye care: Optometrists, Opticians and Ophthalmologists

The 3 O’s of eye care: Optometrists, Opticians and Ophthalmologists

The 3 O’s of eye care: Optometrists, Opticians and Ophthalmologists​

Choosing the right eye care professional for your particular situation doesn’t have to be complicated. If you don’t know the difference between optometrists, opticians, and ophthalmologists, don’t worry, we are here to help!

Let us explain the difference between these eye health professionals, their roles, medical scope, education requirements, and more, to help you make an informed decision. Maybe someday you, a friend, family or someone you know will also be interested in joining the amazing world of eye care. We always welcome new people!

What is an Optometrist?

 

Optometrists are eye care professionals who offer primary eye care services. They are licensed to do comprehensive eye exams, offer glasses and contact lens prescriptions, treat common eye conditions, find abnormalities affecting vision, refer patients, and more¹

What Does It Take to Be an Optometrist?

As per the Canadian Association of Optometrists, a person must acquire 7-8 years of post-secondary education to be a Doctor of Optometry (OD) – the professional designation for optometrists in Canada. Here’s more on the educational requirements²

Educational Requirements

  • Begin with 3 or more years of an undergraduate program (preferably in sciences). Some provinces (i.e. Quebec) allow 2 years of CEGEP (College of General and Professional Teaching).
  • Proceed with 4-5 years of an accredited university program in optometry (advanced education).
  • On completion of the accredited university program, one must meet the provincial board requirements of the province/territory they wish to practice in. This includes sitting for an exam administered by the governing optometry body (Optometry Exam Board of Canada).
  • On successful completion, a license is issued by the provincial/territorial governing body.

There are also some additional training requirements (optional)

  • Optometrists who wish for an edge take additional residency training after completing their university program.

What Does an Optometrist Do?

Optometrists can do eye exams, diagnose and treat common vision conditions, prescribe contact lenses and glasses prescriptions, fit contact lenses, find abnormalities in a patient’s vision, and refer patients who need specialized treatment.

In a nutshell, optometrists can diagnose/treat a number of vision conditions that include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Myopia or near-sightedness
  • Hyperopia or farsightedness
  • Presbyopia or age-related farsightedness
  • Diplopia or double vision
  • Colour blindness
  • Astigmatism
  • Eye inflammation
  • Eye infections

Did you know?

For services covered under our Ontario health system, OHIP, referrals take time to process by the ophthalmology clinic we are referring to. Each referral is personalized based on the needs of the patient. Depending on how busy the ophthalmology clinic is, it can take between 1 to 6 months to set up an appointment based on the urgency of each referral. 

Our team of optometric assistants and optometrists at Kodak Lens Vision Centres will closely monitor each referral to best manage the patient’s expectations and needs with the ophthalmology clinic that will serve them best. Patients can choose to wait and be covered under OHIP or private ophthalmology care for specific services and treatments. 

Is An Optometrist A Doctor?

Yes! An optometrist (Doctor of Optometry or OD) is duly licensed by a governing body (College of Optometrists) in the province or territory one wishes to practice in.

What is an Optician?

 

Opticians are licensed eye care professionals who dispense the optimal eyeglasses and contact lenses for each individual. They’re also able to help dispense other vision correction products such as low vision aids/devices. Opticians generally are front line to each individual’s visual needs or can step in after patients see an optometrist that has been diagnosed with an eye condition and issued prescriptions for eyeglasses or contacts³

What Does It Take to Be an Optician?

As per the Opticians Association of Canada, opticians must have specific educational and certification requirements to operate as professionals. 

Educational Requirements

  • Finish an opticianry program at an accredited institution. Typical programs take 1-3 years, depending on how they are offered (part-time, full-time, online, etc.).
  • Do the NACOR exam to get the license in 9 provinces in Canada.
  • On passing the exam, one can apply for registration in their respective governing body (College of Opticians).

Additional Requirements

  • Individuals wishing to become licensed contact lens fitters may be required to take a Contact Lens Program and do a specialized training exam (NACOR exam for contact lenses). This depends on the province one resides in.
  • Opticians can also specialize in refraction and must also pass a NACOR exam

What Does an Optician Do?

Opticians will assist you in getting the right pair of prescription glasses, contact lenses, and/or other visual correction devices. They can mainly work independently or alongside optometrists and ophthalmologists. 

  • Based on your prescription and visual needs, opticians take the time to explain which ophthalmic lenses, eyewear frames, and/or contact lenses are best for you.
  • Opticians help adjust and fit eyeglass frames, edge and mount ophthalmic lenses, fit contact lenses and provide education on how to choose and care for your eyewear or contact lenses 
  • Opticians are frontline professionals with eye care knowledge and optical skills to provide you with direction for your eye care and visual needs. 

Is An Optician A Doctor?

A registered Optician (RO) isn’t a doctor of optometry (OD) or medical doctor (MD). However, they are licensed eye care professionals by their respective governing body (College of Opticians) to have a specific scope of practice.

What is an Ophthalmologist?

 

Ophthalmologists are doctors of medicine (MD) with specific training and experience in diagnosing and treating eye diseases. They are capable of offering advanced eye care services for critical eye conditions.

Ophthalmologists have the expertise to offer comprehensive eye care services such as surgical procedures and medical eye care⁴. They deal with a wide range of eye conditions i.e., the anatomy, physiology, and conditions of the eyes.

What Does It Take to Be an Ophthalmologist?

As per the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, individuals wishing to be ophthalmologists must meet the following requirements⁵:

Educational Requirements to be an Ophthalmologist in Canada

  • Graduate from medical school and complete ophthalmology residency (lasting at least 5 years) after getting a medical degree.
  • Have extensive surgical experience (acquired in the last 2-years of training to be an ophthalmologist).
  • Join the respective provincial licensing organization i.e. Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Ontario.

Additional Requirements (optional)

  • Many ophthalmologists receive further medical training 1-2 years in various subspecialties.

What Do Ophthalmologists Do?

Ophthalmologists are qualified to offer complete eye care, from specialty eye exams and diagnosis to medical eye care and surgical care services. This includes but isn’t limited to:

  • Diagnosing vision conditions
  • Performing medical eye exams and related eye care tests
  • Prescribing corrective ophthalmic lenses, specialty contact lenses, and medication for treating/managing eye issues
  • Performing eye surgery and related procedures to treat eye conditions
  • Referring patients to other medical professionals if there are underlying overlapping medical conditions.

Is An Ophthalmologist A Doctor?

Yes. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor specialized in ophthalmology and licensed by the respective governing body (College of Physicians) in the province where the eye care professional resides.

Here’s a summary table with all the information you should know:

Role Optician (RO) Optometrist (OD) Ophthalmologist (OMD)
Dispense eyeglasses by providing personalized eye care measurements, fitting and adjustments YES YES, often in collaboration with Opticians YES, often in collaboration with Opticians
Dispense soft, hard & specialty contact lenses YES YES YES, often in collaboration with Optometrists or Opticians
Conduct vision assessment to determine your prescription for glasses NO, but can refer to Optometry YES YES, often in collaboration with Optometrists
Conduct comprehensive eye health exams for the assessment, treatment and diagnosis of eye conditions and diseases NO, but can refer to Optometry YES YES, often in collaboration with Optometrists
Conduct eye surgery and medical procedures within the practice scope of a medical physician NO NO, but can refer to Ophthalmology YES

 

How To Choose the Right Professional for You?

When To See an Optometrist: 

If you suspect you have any vision issues such as blurry vision, eye problems, infection, eye pain, or double vision, an optometrist should be the first vision professional to visit as they specialize in conducting comprehensive eye health exams to diagnose and treat common eye and visual conditions. Optometrists can prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses or pharmaceuticals to address your concerns. If further testing or treatment is required, an Optometrist will refer you to an ophthalmologist who specializes in treating your specific condition. 

When to See an Ophthalmologist:

If you see an optometrist and they discover you need specialized eye-related medical or surgical treatment services, they’ll usually refer you to an ophthalmologist. If you do have an eye emergency, an ophthalmologist can be seen at the hospital. Private ophthalmology clinics are available, but may require a referral from an optometrist.

When to See an Optician: 

When you need help with prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses! Opticians can help select and produce eyeglasses and contact lenses based on your prescription from an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Opticians can also help with eyewear adjustments, repairs, eye care questions, optical measurements, lens ordering and optical education.

In a nutshell, optometrists should be the first initial visit because they can do vision tests, diagnose common conditions, provide treatment plans or refer you to an ophthalmologist for further care. They can also transition to an optician for any vision corrective needs such as eyeglasses.

If you reside in Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area, you can book a consultation or schedule an eye exam with experienced optometrists and opticians at Kodak Lens Vision Centre with seven locations: Toronto, Ajax, Scarborough, Riverdale, Etobicoke, North York, and Rexdale. Explore our eyeglass brands and contact lenses (including specialty contact lenses), while at it.

Experience our optometry and optical services at a Kodak Lens Vision Centre where you can get personalized eye care and ensure all your eye health needs are met. Our experienced team of Optometrists and Opticians will best assist you by providing eye care support that you can trust and feel satisfied with. Ask us to learn more.

Our Eyewear Fashion Trend Predictions For 2024

Our Eyewear Fashion Trend Predictions For 2024

Our Eyewear Fashion Trend Predictions For 2024​

2024 is here! If you are searching for some trendy eyewear to usher in the new year, we have a pretty good idea of what will stand out.

Eyewear fashion trends are here to stay and to help add to a person’s unique style and character. They allow us to show our personality and express ourselves through different details and elements that add to our overall presence as well as help keep our vision sharp and clear.

2023 was all about thin filigree frames, oversized frames, sustainable eyewear, minimalist elegant frameless eyewear, transparent frames, and more. Which of these trends will continue? What new eyewear fashion trends do we expect? Here are our eyewear fashion trend predictions for 2024.

1. Thin Metal Frame Glasses

Thin-frame glasses are not going anywhere. In 2024, we are likely to see increased interest in thin metal frame glasses, likely on the black to gold colour preferences, perfect for a variety of skin tones.

i. MATSUJAKI (DM2017)

For an everyday look, you can grab a pair of affordable, but high-quality unisex metal frames from a leading Korean eyewear brand, Matsujaki. Looks similar to the most famous wizard’s eyeglasses, Harry Potter. Don’t worry, you can copy his magical style.

ii. Christian Lacroix CX3089

For a more luxurious option, consider the CX3089 Christian Lacroix frames featuring an antique gold coat. The round-to-oval frames are perfect for women.

iii. Christian Lacroix CX3073 

For a trendy unisex option, there are the CX3073 Christian Lacroix frames available in Gold and Black Gold.

2. Bold Colours 

The bold colour trend is set to continue on every fashion front, including eyewear. We predict bold individual colour trends to colour blends. Some notable bold colourful frames in this regard include:

i. Christian Lacroix CX1126 RED

These bold frames are the epitome of flamboyant intrepidity. The reddish-acetate frames are perfect for women keen on making a fashion statement in 2024.

ii. Christian Lacroix CX1118 BLUE

For that bold, trendy look, you can settle for the blue colour option inspired by Maison Christian Lacroix’s Haute Couture accessories collection.

iii. Onnix ESS P3921

Onnix has a bold pink trendy, but affordable feminine option in their ESS P3921. The eyewear offers smart savings without compromising on design, material, elegance, and timeless classic craftsmanship.

3. Colour Gradient Eyeglasses

Colour gradient eyeglasses experienced a slight dip in popularity in the 2020s. However, there is renewed interest in the trend, with the focus shifting to subtle gradients coupled with minimalist to retro-inspired frames that showcase a contemporary twist on classic style eyewear.

i. Onnix ESS P3921

Check out these blue cream gradient frames that are perfect for that classic contemporary unisex look.

ii. K+ RO27

Kodak Lens Vision Centre’s very own in-house eyewear brand has affordable, high-quality, fashionable, and comfortable colour gradient eyeglasses in blue/black.

iii. ROOTS RTV 1007

For that premium round colour gradient eyeglass look (tortoise colour), consider the ROOTS RTV 1007 featuring thin metal frames. Check out the blush colour.

iv. VUE V1063

Those who love Brown blue gradients can consider VUE’s V1063 pair of glasses (unisex) made of acetate.

4. Clear Frame Glasses 

2024 will also likely see a continuation of the clear-frame glasses trend that began in the 2020s. We predict this trend will come alongside experimentation with a spectrum of styles and colours.

i. Onnix ESS P3921

Onnix’s crystal frame glasses are a great example of timeless unisex craftsmanship bound to stand the test of time.

ii. VJOM542 by Jones New York

For clear frames infused with a spectrum of styles, consider Jones New York’s VJOM542 glasses.

5. Geometric Frames (Hexagonal Frames)

Geometric or angular frames featuring a variety of geometric shapes have been a popular trend for a while. We expect this trend to continue, with less popular geometric shapes gaining more traction. Hexagonal frames, for example, are likely to trend this year, given their suitability for all face shapes and their ability to give out a modern, stylish, but professional look.

i. Alfred Sung AS 5331

These designer hexagonal frames offer the perfect mix of classic style and contemporary unisex glasses going into 2024.

ii. Christian Lacroix CX3077

For more luxurious hexagonal frames, consider Christian Lacroix’s black gold frames or rose frames made from metal.

6. Round Frames 

We also expect circular frames to continue trending due to their timeless and classic charm. They are also versatile, given their suitability with a variety of facial features and shapes. The current revival of vintage eyewear styles and continued celebrity appeal will likely push the round eyewear trend into 2024.

i. Champion CU1001H & Champion CU2027

Champion eyewear has some stylish and comfortable rounded frames in matt gun and tort brown/gold colours. These unisex frames also stand out for their durability.

ii. Christian Lacroix CX1118

Check out Christian Lacroix’s luxurious black or tortoise frames for that creative and luxurious round frame design and colour detail unique to the eyewear brand.

7. Oversized Glasses

Oversized frames date back decades. The current modern resurgence was sparked by celebrities like Paris Hilton in the early 2000s. Since then, the trend has seen expansion, with designers experimenting with different frame shapes, materials, and colour combinations. Celebrities like Kendall Jenner have also been linked to this trend.

We predict a continuation of the larger frames trend into 2024 and beyond, with a focus on minimalist and retro styles. The 70s oversized rectangular frames and square frames, featuring modern updates, are highly likely to take over this year.

i. Christian Lacroix CX3071

To get ahead of this 2024 trend, consider Christian Lacroix’s CX3017 luxurious oversized square glasses that come in a light gold colour.

8. Blue Light Eyewear

Lastly, we expect blue light eyewear to trend going forward. This type of eyewear isn’t restricted by shape, frame type, size, etc. Blue light eyewear is simply glasses that feature ophthalmic lenses designed to block blue light.

Constant exposure to blue light over a prolonged time has been linked to mild symptoms like eyestrain and fatigue to serious eye health concerns like retinal cell damage and vision conditions like age-related macular degeneration, eye cancer, cataracts, and more¹. The importance of getting eyewear that offers protection from blue light can’t therefore be overlooked. 

Luckily, you can get blue light filtering lenses in Toronto (BluSelect) from Kodak Lens Vision Centre. It’s also possible to upgrade your current lenses to be blue-light blocking. Select a frame to add blue light-blocking lenses. Alternatively, you can bring your own frame. You can click here to find out more about blue light and its effects. You can also click here to ask us a question about Kodak Lens blue light lenses and eyewear.

Wrapping Up…

We hope you find eyewear that matches your personal style in our 2024 eyewear trend predictions. Feel free to grab one or more of these options and start 2024 in a trendy style.

All the eyewear fashion trend predictions for 2024 listed above can be explored on the Kodak Lens online Lookbook with a wide variety of frames based on price, category, gender, bridge type, product shape, product material, polarization, and more. Browse through and find the trendy eyewear and sunglasses you want and like.

If you need an experienced optician or optometrist in Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area, Kodak Lens has you covered. You can click here to book a consultation online. Alternatively, you can visit any of the 7 Kodak Lens Vision Centres for all your eye care needs, including expert help on finding the perfect pair of trendy prescription/non-prescription sunglasses with hexagonal shapes, made for sports, oversized for protection, made with gradient or polarized lenses and much more options you can choose from.

Snow Blindness: What It Is and How to Treat It

Snow Blindness: What It Is and How to Treat It

Snow Blindness: What It Is and How to Treat It​

Introduction to Snow Blindness

Winter is here. While you may be prepared for the cold and the fun outdoor activities that come with it, most overlook protective eyewear. For many people, the focus is on cold weather gear that makes winter activities safe.

If you are guilty of overlooking protective eyewear during winter, you may be at risk of suffering from snow blindness (or photokeratitis). During winter, the dry air coupled with cold wind and temperatures wreak havoc on the eyes. For instance, your eyes may become drier than usual.

If you reside in the Greater Toronto Area and want effective proactive eye care during this winter season, consider contacting optometrists at Kodak Lens Vision Centres to discuss how you can get maximum protection from snow blindness and related conditions. You can also book an eye exam to determine if the discomfort you are feeling is in fact snow blindness or dry eyes and learn the next steps you should take to ensure your recovery. 

What is Snow Blindness?

In the simplest terms, snow blindness or photokeratitis is the equivalent of a sunburn, but on your eyes. Snow blindness tends to affect two main parts of the eye i.e., the conjunctiva (the thin and clear membrane covering the white part of the eyes and inside the eyelids) and the cornea (the outer clear layer of the eyes) responsible for focusing light and enabling clear vision¹.

While the eyes (like the skin) have their own protective mechanisms against harmful UV rays, these measurements can be compromised by prolonged/intense exposure to UV rays, resulting in inflammation, discomfort and/or irritation.

Contrary to the term, snow blindness doesn’t actually cause blindness. However, the symptoms can be very severe.

Sunlight and Snow

To understand snow blindness in-depth, it’s important to discuss the relationship between sunlight and snow. When the sun strikes snow, the snow reflects both visible light and UV radiation, which can be damaging to the skin and eyes.

Fresh snow can reflect 50-88% of UV rays back towards you. This is way above the reflection by other natural surfaces like white sand (at 15 to 18%)². What’s more, uneven surfaces make the problem worse by causing multiple UV ray reflections, which increase overall UV exposure.

This explains why the UV glow in the snow is usually intense. Generally, a quick glance at the snow with your naked eyes won’t harm you, just like glancing at the sun for a millisecond won’t cause serious, long-term damage. However, your naked eyes are likely to water immediately from the resulting sensation.

Unless you are wearing a pair of shades that offer protection from UV light, you are bound to develop snow blindness even during overcast days.

What Causes Snow Blindness?

Snow blindness can be traced to a specific type of ultraviolet ray: UVA rays. The most harmful UV rays i.e., UVC rays, are filtered out naturally by the atmosphere. UVA and UVB rays penetrate, but most are absorbed by the atmosphere.

When exposed (depending on altitude, latitude, season, etc.), both types of rays are harmful to the skin and eyes. While UVB rays are largely responsible for sunburns, UVA rays are responsible for eye-related damage³. When they penetrate the eyes, they are known to cause burns on the conjunctiva and cornea, leading to photokeratitis or snow blindness.

Sunglasses offering over 99% UVA protection will significantly reduce snow blindness-related eye damage.

Snowblind Symptoms

So, what does snow blindness feel like? How is the eye condition exhibited? Here are the most common symptoms of snow blindness:

  • Eye pain
  • Watering eyes
  • Eye swelling
  • A headache
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • A gritty feeling in your eyes
  • Redness in your eyeballs and eyelids
  • Eyelid twitching
  • Pain or light sensitivity when seeing bright lights
  • Rarely, vision loss
  • Blurred vision

Eye Damage Due to Sunlight

Overexposure to sunlight (ultraviolet radiation) can damage various parts of the eye. For instance, it can damage the Cornea and Conjunctiva, causing photokeratitis or snow blindness.

UV rays can damage parts of the eyes like the lens, causing eye conditions like cataracts⁴. Staring directly at the sun will damage the retina, causing permanent vision loss (solar retinopathy). UV overexposure on the eyelids can cause basal cell carcinoma, among other skin cancers of the eyelids⁶

You can protect your eyes from the above damage by wearing sunglasses that block UV radiation.

Is Snow Blindness Permanent?

No! Snow blindness, like typical sunburns, is generally temporary and heals on its own over several days. It won’t cause permanent damage. However, it can be worsened by actions like rubbing the eyes. Such movements can scratch or infect parts of the eye, resulting in long-term damage.

Risks of Snow Blindness

As mentioned, snow blindness will go away on its own. However, prolonged exposure to harmful UV rays outdoors without protective eyewear can eventually cause:

  • Cataracts
  • Growths on the eyelid
  • Loss of vision
  • Farsightedness

Snow Blindness Treatment

If you already have the condition, don’t worry! You can do the following:

  • If you currently have contact lenses, take them out if you notice any symptoms of snow blindness and avoid wearing them for a while.
  • Get indoors, in the shade, or generally away from the sun.
  • You can use artificial tears (eye drops for lubricating dry eyes) to ease symptoms like eye dryness caused by snow blindness. A cold compress will ease symptoms like discomfort.
  • Book a consultation with an optometrist to evaluate and provide better care.

Luckily, if you reside in Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area, you can head over to any one of seven Kodak Lens Vision Centre locations; Ajax, North York, Etobicoke, Riverdale, Rexdale, Scarborough, or Toronto and get proper care for snow blindness or dry eyes. 

Book an appointment with any of Kodak Lens Vision Centre’s experienced optometrists and discover more about snow blindness. You can also explore photochromic lenses, sports goggles, high-quality sunglasses and other eyewear capable of eliminating exposure to UV light. 

 

 

What you should know about OHIP for vision care

What you should know about OHIP for vision care

What you should know about OHIP for vision care​

Brief overview

Ontario’s Health Insurance Plan (or OHIP) allows the province to cater to multiple health services for qualified/eligible individuals¹. On March 21, 2023, the OAO (Ontario Association of Optometrists) signed a new 4-year funding agreement on how OHIP-insured eye care services will be offered, effective from the 1st of September 2023. This new agreement was inspired by clinical evidence on appropriate eye care, expert opinion, and best practices.

Following the OHIP changes, Ontario residents of all ages who meet the new eligibility requirements can expect to continue enjoying high-quality publicly funded eye care services. We’ve gone through the process of assessing the 2023 OHIP changes in-depth. Here’s what you should know:

OHIP changes for annual exams

Before, all seniors aged 65 or more were entitled to one yearly eye exam. 

As of the 1st of September, 2023, only seniors with an eligible medical/health condition affecting their eyes (like glaucoma, macular degeneration, or diabetes) are entitled to one eye exam annually. Seniors without eligible conditions are entitled to one eye exam every 1.5 years (or 18 months)². This change is meant to prioritize care for seniors who need it the most.

The change also aligns with timeframes for other provinces like Nova Scotia and Manitoba that ensure healthy seniors get one eye exam every two years.

OHIP changes for follow-up assessments

Before, seniors aged 65 and above were eligible for unlimited minor follow-up visits after going for their annual eye exam.

As of the 1st of September, 2023, only seniors with eligible health conditions affecting the eyes qualify for minor follow-up assessments. The assessments have been capped to a maximum of two every year.

Seniors without eligible conditions will also get a maximum of two minor follow-up assessments. However, this will be after every 1.5 years (or 18 months) following their yearly eye exam³

These changes also ensure follow-up assessments are available to the vast majority who need them.

OHIP changes on eligible conditions vs. age

Going forward, adults and seniors residing in Ontario must have certain eligible medical conditions and prove eligibility to enjoy OHIP-insured eye exams and follow-up assessments. What’s more, the severity of the eligible condition will also dictate the frequency of eye exams i.e., more severe conditions will have priority. The changes are in line with documented research for the conditions in question.

Let’s discuss these changes in-depth with respect to age and underlying conditions:

I. Changes for those aged 19 or below

If you are aged 19 years or below, your OHIP coverage for eye exams remains the same. 

Individuals in this age group qualify for one OHIP-insured eye examination annually from an optometrist. They also qualify for follow-up OHIP-insured partial assessments in between check-ups for specific vision/eye conditions. However, like before, visiting another optometrist to seek a second opinion on a diagnosis isn’t covered.

II. Changes for those aged 20 to 64 years

a. Qualified for OHIP-insured eye exam

As of the 1st of September 2023, individuals aged 20 to 64 years with any one or more severe vision-threatening conditions qualify for one OHIP-insured eye exam by an optometrist yearly. The list of approved conditions includes: 

  • Diabetes (confirmed diagnosis)
  • Glaucoma (confirmed diagnosis)
  • Cataracts (worse than 20/40 vision or requiring surgery referral)
  • Retinal disease (acute or progressive retinal condition)
  • Corneal disease (acute)
  • Optic nerve pathway disease (acute)
  • Uveitis (active)
  • Crossed eyes (suddenly, due to disease or injury)
  • Individuals who take certain medications i.e., Tamoxifen, Ethambutol, chloroquine, and hydroxychloroquine

b. Not qualified for OHIP-insured eye exam

Individuals aged 20 to 64 years with one or more of the following conditions listed below (and the respective severity) don’t qualify for an OHIP-insured eye exam.

  • Unconfirmed diabetes
  • Unconfirmed glaucoma, regardless of whether or not they have risk factors like family history when being examined
  • Cataracts that don’t impact vision significantly i.e., better than 20/40 vision
  • Stable retinal condition
  • Stable corneal condition
  • Stable Optic nerve pathway disease
  • Inactive uveitis (even if there is a history of uveitis)
  • Stable/long-standing strabismus (crossed eyes)

III. Changes for seniors aged 65 years and above

Seniors aged 65 or more with any one or more of the sight-threatening conditions below qualify for one OHIP-insured comprehensive eye exam from an optometrist every year (every 12 months) or every 1.5 years (every 18 months) if the condition isn’t very severe.

a. Seniors Qualified for OHIP-insured eye exam (every 12 months)

As of the 1st of September, 2023, seniors must have any one or more of the severe vision-threatening conditions (and the respective severity) to qualify for a yearly OHIP-insured eye exam by an optometrist (every 12 months).

  • Diabetes (confirmed diagnosis). A letter from a physician and a list of medication/s may be required to verify diabetes diagnosis.
  • Glaucoma (confirmed diagnosis)
  • Cataracts (worse than 20/40 vision)
  • Retinal disease (acute or progressive)
  • Corneal disease (acute)
  • Optic nerve pathway disease (acute)
  • Uveitis (active during examination)
  • Seniors with crossed eyes (suddenly due to disease or injury)
  • Seniors taking certain medications i.e., Tamoxifen, Ethambutol, chloroquine, and hydroxychloroquine

b. Seniors qualified for an OHIP-insured eye exam (every 18 months)

Seniors aged 65 or more qualify for an OHIP-insured eye exam from an optometrist every 1.5 years if they have the following condition and respective severity:

  • Unconfirmed glaucoma (but examined due to the existence of risk factors)
  • Early cataracts (that doesn’t significantly impair vision)
  • Stable retinal condition
  • Stable corneal disease
  • Stable optic nerve pathway disease
  • Inactive uveitis (with history)
  • Long-standing crossed eyes

In a nutshell, the frequency of eye exams (i.e., after 1 year or 1.5 years) among seniors will be dictated by the severity/progression of the disease in question. Those with stable or unconfirmed cases will wait slightly longer i.e., 18 months vs. 12 months for confirmed and/or severe cases. OHIP changes for those aged 20 to 64 prioritize confirmed and severe cases. This means those who are 20 to 64 years old don’t qualify for an annual OHIP-insured eye exam unless their sight-threatening condition is confirmed and/or severe.

For OHIP-insured eye care in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, visit Kodak Lens Vision Centre and get examined by professional and highly experienced optometrists.

For more information on OHIP changes call: 647-952-1099 or click here to ask a question online.

Glasses for Kids

Glasses for Kids

Glasses for Kids​

CDC statistics indicate that approximately 3% of kids aged between 2 and 5 years wear glasses, and the percentage keeps rising with age: approximately 20% – 26% between ages 6 and 11 years and approximately 35% – 48% between ages 12 and 17 years¹. This makes it crucial for parents to learn about children’s visual health to stay on top of their development. We can help you understand that! Let’s talk about our recommended eyeglasses for kids, symptoms of eye conditions in kids, early detection, and more.

The Importance of Early Detection

It’s possible to detect eye conditions early before they require eyeglasses, among other interventions. The key is to know the most common vision conditions among infants and how to detect them. As per the National Institute of Health², they include:

  1. Delayed visual development: This is characterised by poor vision levels detectable by an inability to follow brightly coloured targets or objects at about six months old. This is when a child’s contrast sensitivity, colour vision, and ability to focus has decreased rapidly.
  2. Watery and/or sticky eyes: As the name suggests, this vision condition can be detected by excessive watery and sticky eyes that causes discomfort.
  3. Squinting: This sign is usually common between ages 1 and 3 years when a child squints and can’t see clearly when focusing on a new object.
  4. Swollen eyes and/or lump around the eye(s): This is depicted as eyelid swelling that affects both eyes rapidly. The condition has many underlying causes.

Common Symptoms of Eye Conditions in Kids

The above vision conditions have common symptoms to look out for. They include;

  • Rubbing eyes excessively
  • Eye strain when reading/holding reading material/books too close to the face
  • Trouble doing “close-up” tasks
  • Crossed eyes
  • Red eyes and/or swollen eyes
  • Headaches
  • Watery eyes
  • Squinting
  • Blurred/double vision
  • Tilting head to see
  • Eye sensitivity to light

Kids Eye Exam

Kids are subjected to different eye exams when they visit a pediatric optometrist. These exams are the best way for our professional optometrist to determine whether or not your child has any visual conditions we need to take care of. You can book a consultation with us to get your child an eye exam that can help prevent or manage any possible conditions. Keep in mind that you can have a covered eye exam for kids thanks to OHIP!

Some of the most common eye tests for kids include:

  1. Depth perception test: This aims to test if a patient has trouble perceiving distance.
  2. Worth’s Four Dot test: This test assesses for binocular vision (double vision).
  3. Visual acuity test: This test assesses their vision level and normal visual responses depending on age i.e., blinking and reaction to light.
  4. Extraocular motility test: This tests for eye muscle function by observing eye movement in specific directions³.

 

Eyeglasses For Kids: How To Choose the Right Pair of Glasses?

Let’s assume your kid already has a prescription that requires eyeglasses. The next step will be to find the right pair of glasses for them, and we’re here to give you some guidance. First off, allow us to provide a professional tip: we recommend you allow your child to be part of the eyewear selection process. This will help them feel involved in the decision and make the process easier and comfortable for them. Ask them about their favourite colour, what they think looks the best, and have them just try many different eyewear to create a fun experience.

After that, we can focus on the following aspects:

Style, Comfort, And Types of Lenses

It’s important to consider the lens and frame style that best fits your child. Depending on factors like the shape of your kid’s face, some frame shapes will look better on them than others. For instance, a round face works well with rectangular or square frame shapes. A square face will work well with oval or round frame shapes.

Comfort is another important consideration. For your child to truly enjoy the benefits of eyeglasses, they should be able to wear them most of the time, which means they must be comfortable. To ensure this, look into the nose pads and flexible/fitting frames, have them do a few movements to see how well they stay on their face, etc. Confirming the recommended lens type and lens upgrades your kid needs is also crucial, otherwise, their visual experience will not be great and the child will not want to wear the eyeglasses. Comfort and using the best prescription are key for a child to understand how important eyeglasses are for them.

The Child’s Opinion Matters

Involving your child in the decision process also means asking them relevant questions to get their opinion on the matter. To select functional, but cool glasses for your kid, we recommend you do the following:

  • Ask what colour/s they like
  • Ask what activities they like to do, to ensure the glasses fit their lifestyle
  • Find glasses frames that fit them perfectly to ensure they are comfortable and less likely to take them off during the day. Look for the right size and temple length so that it is comfortable on the nose and behind the ear.

Our Recommendations for Eyeglasses for Kids

If you are ready to begin looking for a pair of kids glasses, but don’t know where to start, we can give you suggestions! Here are our professional brand recommendations: NanoVista and Tomato Glasses.

a. Nano Vista

Nano Vista is a leading eyeglasses brand for kids that prides itself in making indestructible eyeglasses. The glasses come with a 3-year manufacturer defect warranty. Durability aside, Nano Vista glasses have also been made by true vision health experts specialised in children and adolescents. The brand uses environmentally friendly and safe materials to make their products (BPA-free).

Our top Nano Vista eyeglasses for kids include:

I. Replay

These bestseller kids’ glasses are available in 8 colours. They can also double up as glasses for boys and girls. Notable features include superior durability, flexibility, and comfort. They also come with an elastic band, as many of the Nano glasses do.

II. Twitch

There are four colour options to choose from and various sizes. Nano Vista Twitch goggles have notable features like ultra resistance, lightweight, and super flexible material.

b. Tomato Glasses

Tomato Glasses is a leading Canadian and Asian eyeglasses brand for kids renowned for offering perfectly fitting glasses for every child. The glasses feature adjustable temples & nose pads. They are unmatched in comfort, have a unique design and come with a free spare parts kit, just in case. They also offer customizable non-slip glasses perfect for active kids.

There are three main frame types by age: baby frames, kids frames, and junior frames to choose from. Our top 3 tomato glasses for kids include:

I. Kids Rectangular Frame (Pink)

These eyeglasses are popular among 2 to 8 year-olds. They come with notable features like non-slip, comfortable, lightweight, and well-fitting frames.

II. Kids Oval Frame (Crystal Blue featuring cars)

These glasses are popular for kids aged 1 to 7 years old. Notable features include an intelligent shape/design, unique nose pads, adjustable ear tips, and comfortable non-slip frames.

III. Kids Wayfarer Frame (Crystal Clear with Blue Sparkles)

These glasses are perfect for kids aged 1 to 6 years who prefer clear frames, among other trendy features.

Kodak Lens: Back-to-school Eyeglasses Sale

If you want more information or are looking for the best eyewear for your kids to go back to school you can check out our promotion for kids 19 and under, which runs up until September 30, 2023.

Sunglasses For Kids: Our Top Choices

Kids also need UV protection for their eyes, especially active ones who enjoy the outdoors. When selecting sunglasses for kids, consider fit, comfort, and sturdiness (frame and lens). Once again, we recommend you involve your child in the selection process.

Ready to buy sunglasses for your kids? Consider our top picks from Nano Vista.

Nano Vista has three main categories, namely prescription sunglasses, non-prescription sunglasses, and sunglasses for babies under 4 years. Here are our recommendations in each category:

I. Sunglasses for Babies: Nanito

These sunglasses come in a wide range of colours (11 colours). Other notable features include a high-quality lens with blue block treatment. The lenses are also anti-reflective. Frames are durable and lightweight without metal parts.

II. Prescription Sunglasses for Kids: Flicker SC

These sunglasses come in four colours. Notable features include their indestructibility and super flexibility. The Flicker SC are also light glasses with a magnetic sun clip that offers protection from UV light in one “clip”.

III. Non-prescription Sunglasses for Kids: Boing

These sunglasses for kids come in six colours. They also stand out for their resistant and lightweight nature, flexible temples, and anti-reflective/anti-scratch lenses.

And speaking of kids’ glasses and vision health…

Did You Know There Is a Myopia Epidemic Among Kids?

Myopia or near-sightedness is a vision condition where one has difficulty seeing faraway objects clearly. The average myopia prevalence globally is approximately 22.9%. By 2060, it is estimated that 69% of preschool children will be myopic, representing a 26% increase⁴.

Decreased exposure to the outdoors and excessive screen time (from digital devices like phones, computers, and tablets) are largely to blame⁵ and are rapidly becoming the leading cause of myopia in children.

How Can You Help Control Myopia in Kids?

If your child already has myopia, don’t worry! This condition can be managed using myopia control lenses. This technology is not always available at every optical store, but luckily we do carry it here at Kodak Lens Vision Centre. Innovative ophthalmic lenses for myopia slow down progression and increase the quality of life. You can learn more about why you should get myopia control lenses for your kid right here in our other educational post.

Contact Lenses for Kids: A Great Alternative for Active Children

Finally, let’s assume typical prescription glasses aren’t ideal for your child because they are too active, are there any other options? Definitely! You can get contact lenses for kids.

  • Prescription contact lenses help children who are active in sports perform at the highest levels while staying safe.
  • They are also a good option for kids who don’t want to wear glasses due to their appearance, they can always opt for contacts instead.
  • Contacts can offer better vision compared to glasses, especially for children with extreme myopia and look around a lot.
  • There are contact lenses for myopia control and management

If you are wondering what myopia control contact lens brand to consider for your child, look into Acuvue Abiliti contact lenses. They have a proven record of efficacy, offer ringboost technology, and have pediatric-inspired lens design. However, our optometrist can recommend many other contact lens brands that fit your child’s visual needs and comfort.

We hope this guide can help you make the right choices when it comes to your kids’ visual health. We’ll be glad to assist you at every step of the way, from checking their eye health with an eye exam especially tailored to their needs, to finding the right pair of eyewear for them and their lifestyle. Remember, you can book a free eye exam for kids thanks to OHIP coverage! As members of the Ontario Association of Optometrists, our doctors participate in the Eye See Eye Learn program, providing FREE eye examinations and FREE eyeglasses to children in junior kindergarten. We also offer our great Back to School promotions annually. Visit any of our locations to know more and get your child’s vision on track.