Eye Care Services

  • How often should I have my eyes examined?

    Annual eye examinations are recommended for all patients and age groups. However, our eye doctors may increase or decrease the frequency of your eye exams depending on your ocular or medical situation. For example, diabetic patients or those with a family history of retinal detachments, glaucoma or macular degeneration may need to visit the eye doctor more frequently. Our eye doctors will recommend what is best for you.

  • At what age should my children have their eyes examined?

    Our eye doctors currently recommend immediate eye examinations for children with obvious signs (crossed eyes) and/or symptoms (squinting or behaviour issues) or those with family history of pediatric vision impairment or lazy eye. For other children, our eye doctors recommend an eye examination before the child is four years old.

  • How quickly can I get an appointment?

    Toronto Eye Care prides itself on easy access to our clinics and accommodations are made for same day appointments depending on the severity of the eye problem. We realize that our patients are busy people and we will do our best to facilitate your schedule.

  • Are you open Saturdays and weeknights?

    Yes, we are open every Saturday at both locations and some weeknights at either location. Please call our Manulife Office at 416-966-1955 or the Bloor/Jane office at 416-604-4688 or email us at info@torontoeyecare.com for more detailed information.

  • Does OHIP cover eye exams?

    Effective November 1, 2004 the Ontario Ministry of Health changed the coverage for eye care services in Ontario. Currently, OHIP will only provide coverage for the following groups below:
    Children aged 0 to 19 years

    • One full eye examination annually

    Seniors aged 65 and above

    • One full eye examination annually

    Adults aged 20 to 64 years ONLY with certain medical conditions

    • One full eye examination annually for people with certain medical conditions.

    For more information, please call our office or email us at info@torontoeyecare.com

  • What are your fees for eye exams?

    Our fees will vary based on the medical situation and complexity of each individual patient and the particular medical services which are rendered.

  • Are eye exams, contact lenses and eyeglasses covered by private insurance?

    Most of our patients will have private insurance coverage for eye care services through their place of employment or purchased on their own. The specific amount of coverage will depend on the details of the plan.

  • Do you accept private insurance for eye care services in your office?

    Patients will pay us directly for eye care services and will require only an official receipt from our office for reimbursement. Some private insurers will require forms to be filled out and signed by our eye doctors.

  • What forms of payment do you accept?

    We accept CASH, VISA, MasterCard and debit.

  • Are you accepting new patients? Is it necessary to get my file from my last eye doctor?

    Yes, we are always accepting new patients. On your first visit, our eye doctors will determine if your past eye medical records will be necessary for our review. If so, then you must give your written consent to your last eye doctor to allow them to transfer your records to our clinic.

  • Should I bring all my eyeglasses and/or contact lenses with me?

    Yes, it is very important you bring all your eyewear with you to our clinic. Our eye doctors will assess the performance and state of your eyewear in order to determine if changes are medically necessary. Also, for new patients, your existing eyewear will be used by our eye doctors to determine if any changes have occurred from your last assessment.

  • Why does the eye doctor put drops in my eyes to dilate my pupils?

    Our eye doctors will temporarily dilate your pupils (lasts 4 hours) using an eye drop which will sting slightly upon insertion in order to properly assess the internal components of the eye (retina, optic nerve and blood vessels). Pupil dilation will make your eyes sensitive to outdoor light – bring some sunglasses – and can cause blurry vision for about 4 to 8 hours.

  • Do you refer patients for all types of ocular surgery?

    Our clinics work directly with many ophthalmic surgeons in private practice and those at all the major hospitals in Toronto. We refer patients for corneal, cataract, retinal surgery and many other ocular disorders or diseases.

Contact Lenses

  • Do you carry all the different contact lens types and brands?

    Our clinics offer the latest technology in contact lenses and our experienced eye doctors will custom fit the right product for your eyes. Whether you need soft disposable, multi-focal or rigid gas permeable our eye doctors will recommend what is best for your ocular health, comfort and convenience. We also carry a large inventory of contact lens products from all the major manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson, CIBA Vision, Bausch & Lomb, Cooper Vision and many others.

  • What is the process for getting contact lenses for the first time?

    Our customized Contact Lens New Wearer’s Program (CLNWP) is a comprehensive process designed to get you successfully wearing contact lenses. This personalized program includes the following:
    • contact lens prescription and customized corneal measurements
    • eye doctor’s recommendation for contact lens product
    • trial pair of prescription contact lenses including cleaning and disinfecting solution and lubricant
    • insertion, removal and care session with experienced contact lens technician
    • follow-up examination with eye doctor to evaluate performance

  • How much do contact lenses cost?

    Contact lens costs vary mostly on the prescription, type and the amount that are purchased. For example, soft daily disposable lenses are recommended for many patients and can cost as little as $1/day. Contact lenses are more affordable than ever and our eye doctors and technicians will recommend a product that suits your needs best.

  • Can I get contact lenses with my prescription?

    Contact lenses are suitable for most prescriptions and our eye doctors will recommend the best contact lens product for you. However, some very complex prescriptions may not be suitable for contact lenses.

  • How long does it take to get contact lenses?

    Our clinics carry large inventories of a wide power range of soft disposable contact lenses and many patients can get their lenses immediately. Other types of contact lenses or complex prescriptions are custom designed and manufactured and may take anywhere from one to three weeks.

Laser Eye Surgery

  • Is laser eye surgery a safe and effective procedure to eliminate my need for eyeglasses or contact lenses?

    Laser eye surgery is a safe and effective procedure for most individuals with healthy eyes and a wide variety of prescriptions. Most patients will obtain complete elimination of their prescription with the initial procedure and only very few may require a second procedure to eliminate the rest. However, laser eye surgery is not for every patient and only a thorough eye examination can determine individual candidacy

  • How do I know if I'm a candidate for laser eye surgery?

    A thorough eye examination and a laser eye surgery work-up are necessary to determine candidacy for laser eye surgery. During the consultation, our eye doctors will perform a number of eye tests and collect important ocular measurements to determine your candidacy.

    Our clinics offer complimentary laser eye surgery work-ups for those patients considering laser eye surgery. Call the Manulife Centre clinic at 416-966-1955 or the Bloor/Jane clinic at 416-604-4688 or email us at info@torontoeyecare.com to book your consultation.

  • Who do you recommend for laser eye surgery?

    Our clinics have been involved in pre and post-operative management of laser eye surgery patients since the procedure was approved in Canada. We have developed very strong relationships with the highest quality surgical centres in Toronto and refer regularly to Dr. Ray Stein at the Bochner Eye Institute and the eye surgeons at TLC Laser Eye Centres.

Eye Disorders and Diseases

  • What is myopia or nearsightedness?

    Myopia or “nearsightedness” is one of the most common refractive (light-bending…remember high school physics) disorders of the eye which causes distant objects to appear blurred and can range from mild to severe. This condition occurs if the eyeball grows too long or the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye, has too much curvature.

    Myopia is a very common vision condition affecting nearly 30 percent of the Canadian population and scientific research supports that myopia is usually hereditary. There is also growing evidence that myopia may be influenced by excessive near (reading or computer) work especially during growth and development. Generally, nearsightedness first occurs in school-age children and typically progresses until about age 20 to 25. However, nearsightedness may also develop in adults due to visual stress or health conditions that affect the physiology of the eye like diabetes.

  • What is hyperopia or farsightedness?

    Hyperopia, or “farsightedness”, is a common refractive disorder in which distant objects are usually seen clearly, but close ones do not come into proper focus. Hyperopia generally occurs due to physical reasons when the eyeball length grows slightly too short or the cornea has too little curvature. Common symptoms of hyperopia can include:

    • difficulty in concentrating and maintaining a clear focus on near objects
    • eye strain
    • fatigue and/or headaches after close work
    • aching or burning eyes
    • irritability or nervousness after sustained concentration

    Common vision screenings, often done in schools, are generally ineffective at detecting hyperopia. A comprehensive eye examination with pupil dilation is the best method to detect hyperopia. In mild cases of hyperopia, your eyes may be able to compensate without corrective lenses and eyeglasses would appear unnecessary. However, in more symptomatic or severe cases, eyeglasses or contact lenses would be indicated.

  • What is presbyopia?

    Presbyopia is a progressive vision condition in which the crystalline lens of your eye loses its flexibility, which makes it difficult to focus on close objects. This may seem to occur suddenly, but the actual loss of flexibility takes place over a number of years. Presbyopia is a natural part of the aging process of the eye and usually becomes noticeable in the early to mid-40s.

    Symptoms of presbyopia include:

    • the tendency to hold reading materials at arm’s length
    • blurred vision at normal reading distance
    • eye fatigue along with headaches when doing close work

    Treatment for presbyopia includes prescription reading glasses, bifocals, trifocals or contact lenses. Presbyopia can complicate other common vision conditions like myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism and necessitates a thorough assessment to determine the specific lenses to allow you to see clearly and comfortably. Presbyopia is usually progressive over a 10 to 15 year period and changes in your eyewear may be necessary to maintain clear and comfortable vision.

  • What is astigmatism?

    Astigmatism is a common vision condition or refractive disorder that causes blurred vision due either to the irregular shape of the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye, or sometimes the curvature of the lens inside the eye. An irregular shaped cornea or lens prevents light from focusing properly on the retina, the light sensitive surface at the back of the eye. As a result, vision becomes blurred at any distance. Slight amounts of astigmatism usually don’t affect vision and don’t require treatment. However, larger amounts cause distorted or blurred vision, eye discomfort and headaches.

  • What is lazy eye or amblyopia?

    Amblyopia, or lazy eye, is the loss or lack of development of central vision in one eye that is usually unrelated to any eye health problem. Lazy eye is often associated with crossed-eyes (strabismus) or a large difference in the degree of nearsightedness or farsightedness between the two eyes. It usually develops before the age of 6 and symptoms may include noticeably favouring one eye or a tendency to bump into objects on one side.

    Early diagnosis increases the chance for a complete recovery. This is one reason why our eye doctors recommend that children have a comprehensive optometric examination by the age of age 3. If not diagnosed until the pre-teen, teen or adult years, treatment takes longer and is often less effective.

    Treatment for lazy eye may include a combination of prescription lenses, prisms, vision therapy and eye patching. Vision therapy teaches the two eyes how to work together, which may help prevent lazy eye from reoccurring.

  • What is blepharitis?

    Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids causing red, irritated, itchy eyelids and the formation of dandruff-like scales on eyelashes. It is a common eye disorder caused by either common bacteria or a skin condition such as dandruff of the scalp or acne rosacea. Although uncomfortable and esthetically displeasing, blepharitis is not contagious and generally does not cause any permanent damage to eyesight.

    Blepharitis is classified into two types:
    1. Anterior blepharitis: affects the outside front edge of the eyelid near the eyelashes.
    2. Posterior blepharitis: affects the inner edge of the eyelid that comes in contact with the eyeball.
    Individuals with blepharitis may experience a gritty or burning sensation in their eyes, excessive tearing, itching, red and swollen eyelids, dry eyes, or crusting of the eyelids. For some people, blepharitis causes only minor irritation and itching. However, it can lead to more severe signs and symptoms such as blurring of vision, missing or misdirected eyelashes, and inflammation of other eye tissue, particularly the cornea.

    In many cases, good eyelid hygiene and a regular cleaning routine can control blepharitis. This includes frequent scalp and face washing, using warm compresses to soak the eyelids, and doing eyelid scrubs. In cases where a bacterial infection is the cause, our eye doctors will recommend various antibiotics and other medications to be prescribed along with eyelid hygiene.

  • What is a cataract?

    A cataract is a cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear lens of the eye and mostly develop in people over age 55, but occasionally occur in infants and young children. Usually cataracts develop in both eyes, but one may be worse than the other and require surgery more immediately.
    Signs and symptoms of a cataract may include:
    • Blurred, hazy, or vision
    • Reduced intensity of colors
    • Increased sensitivity to glare from lights, particularly when driving at night
    • Increased difficulty seeing at night
    • Change in the eye’s refractive error

    Cataract surgery is the standard of care treatment for cataracts and is the most common and successful procedure in eye care today. State-of-the-art surgical technologies reduce cataract surgery today to a 10 to 15 minute procedure with consists of:
    • local anaesthetic
    • no stitch or patch
    • and micro-plastic implant lens implant which generally corrects for a patient’s prescription
    • topical medications post-surgically to control for infection and inflammation
    Our clinics work directly with many ophthalmic surgeons in private practice and those at all the major hospitals in Toronto.

  • What is conjunctivitis or "pink eye"?

    Conjunctivitis is a common inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva – the thin transparent layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. Conjunctivitis, often called “pink eye,” commonly occurs in children and may affect one or both eyes and is usually caused by a virus or bacteria. It can also occur due to an allergic reaction to irritants in the air like pollen and smoke, chlorine in swimming pools, and ingredients in cosmetics or other products that come in contact with the eyes. Some forms of conjunctivitis can be highly contagious and easily spread in schools and at home.

    People with conjunctivitis may experience the following symptoms:
    • A gritty feeling in one or both eyes
    • Itching or burning sensation in one or both eyes
    • Excessive tearing
    • Yellow-green or clear discharge coming from one or both eyes
    • Swollen eyelids
    • Pink discoloration to the whites of one or both eyes
    • Increased sensitivity to light

    Treatment for conjunctivitis is very effective and begins with a visit to one of our eye doctors. A careful assessment of the eye will determine whether antibiotics or other medications are necessary.

  • What is dry eye?

    Dry eye is a common, under-diagnosed condition causing insufficient tear production or rapid evaporation of tears limiting lubrication and nourishment of the eye. It is often a chronic problem and mostly affects adults greater than 40 years old and women.

    People with dry eyes may experience the following symptoms:
    • irritated, gritty, scratchy, or burning eyes
    • a feeling of something in their eyes
    • excess watering
    • blurred vision

    Dry eyes can be a chronic condition, but our eye doctors can prescribe a variety of treatments to keep your eyes healthy, more comfortable, and prevent your vision from being affected.

  • What is glaucoma?

    Glaucoma is an eye disease leading to progressive damage to the optic nerve (responsible for taking visual signals back to the brain), and is characterized by loss of nerve tissue resulting in loss of vision., Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma and is associated with an increase in the intra-ocular pressure (IOP) causing progressive damage to the optic nerve.

    Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada and most often occurs in people over age 40. Other risk factors for glaucoma include:
    • family history of glaucoma
    • diabetics
    • African-Canadians and Hispanic-Canadians
    • thin corneas
    • chronic eye inflammation
    • medications that increase IOP

    Glaucoma cannot currently be prevented, but if diagnosed and treated early it can usually be controlled successfully with medication or surgery. However, vision already lost to glaucoma cannot be restored. Our eye doctors recommend an annual dilated eye examination for people at risk for glaucoma as a preventive eye care measure. Depending on your specific condition, our eye doctors may recommend more frequent examinations.

  • What is macular degeneration (AMD)?

    AMD is a multi-factorial eye disease and is the leading cause of central vision blindness in Canada. It results from physical changes to the macula, a portion of the central retina that is responsible for clear, sharp vision, and is located at the back of the eye. Some common symptoms include a gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly, distorted vision, a gradual loss of color vision and a dark or empty area appearing in the center of vision.

    There are two types of AMD:
    • dry AMD (90% of cases)
    • wet AMD (10% of cases)

    Dry AMD is the most common type and is a generally progressive and eventually visually debilitating problem. Scientific research – see AREDS – determined certain vitamins and minerals may help prevent or slow the progression of dry AMD. Our eye doctors will recommend a product that will work best for you.

    Wet AMD is the less frequent form, but can affect central vision in a more immediate and dramatic way. Symptoms would include a significant drop or distortion in central vision which, in some cases, can occur overnight. Treatment for wet AMD has improved dramatically with new injectable drugs which, in some cases, can arrest or improve visual loss.

    Risk factors for AMD include:
    • Age – age is the greatest risk factor for AMD. To ensure early detection of all age-related eye conditions, people over the age of 40 are encouraged by our eye doctors to come in for comprehensive eye exams every 1 to 2 years.
    • Genetics – new evidence exists that some cases of AMD are hereditary. AMD may be a group of diseases that require different approaches to treatment. For that reason, because early stages of the disease are often asymptomatic and because both wet and dry AMD can progress, everyone over the age of 50, even those without a family history of the disease, should have their eyes checked regularly.

    Environmental and Behavioural Risk Factors
    • Cigarette smoking – studies have found that current and former smokers had as much as twice the risk of developing AMD as non-smokers. Although long-term advantages of smoking cessation are not yet known, people with AMD may be well advised to stop smoking. Exposure to second hand smoke also contributes to the risk of developing AMD.
    • High blood pressure – Severe AMD has been associated with moderate to severe elevations in blood pressure, according to a recent epidemiological study, which found that patients with wet AMD, were more than four times as likely to have moderate or severe hypertension as patients without AMD. Additionally, cardiovascular disease, in general, appears to be associated with increased risk of AMD.
    • Overexposure in sunlight – It has been suggested that exposure to sunlight might damage the macula and cause AMD.
    • Diet – Research on the link between diet and AMD risk has shown that intake of a variety of food types may alter the risk of developing AMD. For example, high consumption of linoleic acid, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and vegetable fats – fats commonly found in many snack foods – was associated with double the risk of developing wet AMD. Researchers also found that people with limited intake of linoleic acid and who ate two or more servings of fish that is high in Omega 3 fatty acids per week had a lower risk for developing AMD. Other studies have shown that intake of fruits may reduce the risk of AMD, as would diets rich in carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, found in dark green leafy vegetables and some berries. These data are not conclusive, however, and may not translate into recommendations.
    • Estrogen and early menopause – Studies suggest a higher incidence of AMD in women, particularly in women who experience earlier onset of menopause, which suggests that estrogen may play a protective role in minimizing AMD risk.
    • Other Possible Risk Factors o In addition to the above risk factors, researchers are looking at hyperopia (farsightedness), light skin and eye coloring, cataract surgery, high blood cholesterol levels and race as possible factors that increase the risk of developing AMD.

  • What are vitreous floaters?

    Vitreous floaters are generally small, semi-transparent or cloudy specks or particles within the clear, jelly-like fluid called the vitreous humour which fills the inside of your eyes. They can appear as specks of various shapes and sizes, threadlike strands or cobwebs and move around your field of vision as your eyes move. Floaters can become more visible when looking at a white background or outdoors on a very sunny day.

    Most floaters are considered harmless and are generally consequences of aging on the vitreous especially for individuals greater than 40 years of age. However, they can also result from certain eye diseases or injuries and only an eye doctor thorough a comprehensive pupil-dilated internal eye exam can confirm this difference.

Eyeglasses

  • Do you carry a wide variety of eyeglass frame types and brands?

    Our clinics include a large optical dispensary with many of the leading frame brands like Gucci, JF Rey, BOSS, and many more. Our friendly and experienced optical dispensary associates will recommend the best frame to maximize your visual performance and style.

  • Do you carry a wide variety of eyeglass ophthalmic lens types and brands?

    Our clinics offer the best in ophthalmic lens technology with familiar brands like Essilor, Nikon, Zeiss, Rodenstock, and Hoya. Our friendly and experienced optical dispensary associates will recommend the best lens to maximize visual performance and comfort. All of our lens products come with extensive non-adaptation warranties. Please ask one of our dispensary associates for more information or email us at info@torontoeyecare.com

  • Do you have an on-site edging and mounting lab?

    Our edging and mounting clinic is located at our Manulife Centre and assembles all eyeglasses for both of our clinics. Each pair of eyeglasses is custom crafted to ensure precision and accuracy to maximize your enjoyment and satisfaction. Our dispensary team takes significant pride in creating the best eyeglasses for you.

  • If I buy a frame somewhere else, can I bring it to you to have lenses in it?

    Absolutely. We offer the best in lens technology to maximize your visual performance and comfort in your new frames. Our on-site edging lab technician will custom craft high performance lenses into your new look and create a result sure to put a smile on your face.

  • Is there a warranty on eyeglasses?

    Buying new eyeglasses can be a joyous experience, but also a stressful one. Many patients worry about a new style or a difficulty in adapting to a new prescription. At Toronto Eye Care, we want to maximize your satisfaction and offer a 30-day guarantee on your new eyeglasses. If you don’t like them or are having trouble adapting bring them back and one of our dispensary associates will help you make it right.

  • How long does it take get new eyeglasses made?

    New eyeglasses can take anywhere from 1 hour for simple prescriptions and up to 3 weeks for very complex ones. Here’s a general time-frame for new eyeglasses:
    1. Single Vision – 1 hour to 1 week
    2. Bifocal – 7 to 10 business days
    3. Progressive bifocal or multi-focal – 10 to 14 days
    4. Custom and complex prescriptions – 14 to 28 days

  • How long does it usually take to adapt to my new eyeglasses?

    Visual adaptation to new eyeglasses can usually take up to 2 weeks and even longer for some patients with more complex prescriptions. We recommend patients wear their new eyeglasses as much as possible in order to expedite the adaptation process.

  • Why is it important to wear sunglasses? What about my children?

    Sunglasses that are 100% UV blocking completely eliminate the harmful effects of these rays on our visual system. Long-term exposure to UV can increase the risk for premature cataracts, macular degeneration, eyelid and ocular surface lesions and cancers. It’s best to use sunglasses that provide ample coverage around the eyes and block out as much UV as possible.

    All of our eye doctors recommend that sunglasses should be worn by children as well.

  • I'm middle-aged, why do I need a different prescription for computer and reading?

    Presbyopia is the medical term which describes the decline in near focusing ability for individuals 40 years of age and beyond. This process occurs over many years and affects first our reading vision and then our computer vision necessitating a different prescription for each distance. Comfortable vision can be achieved at each distance with progressive multi-focal, single vision or computer progressive multi-focal eyeglasses. Our eye doctors and optical dispensary associates recommend the product that is best for you.

  • Why won't my transition lenses change in my car?

    Transitions lenses are made with a proprietary photochromic dye system that enables them to activate, or darken, when exposed to UV light. The greater the intensity of UV rays, the darker the lenses become and when the UV light diminishes, the lenses fade back. In a car, the windshield blocks a portion of UV and, in effect, less UV gets to the lens limiting the darkening process.