Congratulations Karen!

Karen’s hard work over the past year to achieve her Canadian Certified Optometric Assistant designation has come to fruition! We’re so proud of Karen and her accomplishment!

Karen has been part of the Teeple Optometry team since 2018 working as an Optometric Assistant. Karen brightens the office with her welcoming personality, sense of humor and thoughtful approach to patient care. When not at work, she enjoys being active outdoors doing activities like baseball, gardening and geocaching. Karen also enjoys reading and spending time with family.

Important changes to our services and schedule during the COVID-19 outbreak

We are responding to recommendations from the College of Optometrists of Ontario to limit our services to urgent care only until the restrictions are eased. Here’s what this means for you.

  • We will be deferring routine and non-urgent eyecare for the time being.
  • Urgent eye care situations include symptoms of loss of vision in either eye, a sudden change in vision, an eye injury or infection, new eye pain, breakage or loss of critical eyewear. If you are unsure whether your symptoms are urgent, you may contact our office.
  • If you have an appointment already scheduled that is not urgent, we will be contacting you to reschedule it to a later date.
  • If you have glasses or contact lenses in process, we will do our best to dispense these to you in a safe manner. If you require more contact lenses and are due for an examination, we are able to provide you a supply and ship to your home where possible.
  • If you have broken a critical pair of glasses, we will attempt to repair these for you.
  • Please do not come to our office without an appointment or contacting us first. Please do not bring accompanying family members or drivers with you into the office. We will limit the number of people in our office at any one time.
  • We are limiting the hours we are open.
  • You can contact our office by calling 519-828-3858, emailing teepleoptometry@execulink.com or by using the contact form on this web page. We will  be responding to messages as able inside of normal business hours.
  • If you have a fever, recent cough, feel unwell or have traveled outside Canada in the last 14 days or have had exposure to another person infected with the cornavirus, do not come to the office.

Our temporary office hours are:

  • Mondays             9:00 – 12:00
  • Tuesdays             Closed
  • Wednesdays       1:00 – 4:00
  • Thursdays           Closed
  • Fridays               9:00 – 12:00

Please continue to check this page for the latest updates.


What it means to be a Fellow

At Teeple Optometry we are all really excited to have a new “Fellow” in the office.  Dr. Tina Morowat recently received the credential, Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.  Since 1922, the American Academy of Optometry has been committed to promoting the art and science of vision care through lifelong learning. The letters “FAAO” (Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry) after an optometrist, scientist or other qualified person’s name signify to colleagues and patients that rigorous qualifications for Fellowship have been met, and that the member is committed to life-long learning.

You can learn more about our team at Teeple Optometry here.  You can learn more about the process to become a Fellow of the Academy here.



Can I protect my child from becoming so nearsighted?

My previous “Why am I Nearsighted?” blog explains what myopia (nearsightedness) is and discusses what we know and don’t know about the causes of myopia and the reasons for its progression through childhood and adult life.

Although we still don’t know the answer to the question: “Is it preventable?”, some recent research gets us a little closer to discovering an answer.

There is important ongoing research into myopia prevention and we’re beginning to learn about some forms of treatment that may help slow the rate of worsening myopia in childhood, and ultimately reduce the total amount of myopia. Unfortunately, so far, we have not learned how to prevent it altogether.

Studies are showing that the rate of myopia progression can be reduced in young children treated with special peripheral defocus contact lenses or glasses. The rate myopia increases year after year can be slowed up to 59% using special contact lenses, such as MISight daily disposable contact lenses. Special glasses, although not as effective as contact lenses, may reduce progression about 10-20%.

Atropine eye drops have also been shown to slow the rate of progression by approximately 60% with some individual variability. Atropine drops may have some side effects, such as light sensitivity and reduced near vision. The severity of the side effects can be reduced by using a low dose of the drop.

Orthokeratology is the use of gas permeable rigid contact lens, worn at nighttime, to reshape the cornea. This treatment also slows the progression of myopia by approximately 50%.

As stated in my previous blog, ensuring our children have plenty of time outdoors, also appears to help slow myopia progression.

If you have questions concerning your child’s nearsightness and whether treatment may be beneficial for them, please schedule an appointment for your child and we would be happy to discuss it further.

Introducing the newest members of our team!

We would like to introduce you to the three newest members of the Teeple Optometry team!

Karen has taken on the role of managing our onsite finishing lab as an optometric lab technician. She will ensure that your custom eyewear is edged and assembled accurately, efficiently and with aesthetic precision. You may also see her assisting with eyewear selection and fittings in our gallery.

Radika has stepped into the role of optometric assistant. Her previous extensive medical training has equipped her to work as an assistant to the doctors.  Her thoughtful approach will help you choose comfortable and fashionable eyewear while managing expectations and adaptation.

Alex is the newest team member working primarily in the frame gallery. Choosing eyewear can seem like a daunting task but Alex is more than able to help you choose eyewear that matches your style in a relaxed manner while respecting your preferences.

We’re very proud of our entire team and hope you are able to meet Karen, Radika and Alex at your next visit.

Arkona Health Practitioners celebrate the past and look to the future.

Arkona has attracted excellent health care practitioners over the years – most recently Drs. Kristina and Connor Rice the new physicians at the Arkona Medical Center.  To welcome and celebrate, all the practitioners with spouses recently gathered for dinner.  Dr. John Lovell provided opening remarks and welcomed the newest doctors:  Dr. Tina Morowat, optometrist; Dr. Jeremy McCallum, dentist; as well as the new physicians.  Dr. Mark Teeple presented a short history of health care in Arkona.  The health care team in Arkona now comprises physicians, dentists, chiropodist, hearing instrument specialist, optometrists and many supporting staff.  Everyone expressed how wonderful it is to work in and with this community, and that the future of health care in Arkona looks great!

Seated: Kristina Rice, Jeremy McCallum.    Back Row left to right:  Mark Teeple, Glen Teeple, Ross Teeple, Tina Morowat, Ralph Teeple, Connor Rice, John Lovell

Under Construction!

Lots is happening at Teeple Optometry! Excitement is building as we begin a significant renovation project in early April!

Teeple Optometry was established in the wonderful community of Arkona by Dr. Mark Teeple in 1979. As the practice grew, Dr. Teeple designed and built an office in 1985 were we have remained. The practice of optometry has progressed dramatically since that time but our goal of delivering excellent eyecare to our community has not. Many new technologies have been integrated into our office over the years as the practice has grown.  Now, we feel, is an excellent time to make a more significant change to the building where we work to help provide the best in patient care and experience.

Beginning April 9, Wellington Builders of Forest, utilizing local trades, will begin a major renovation project. The exciting new design, by Paula Burns from Design Matrix, will create a more welcoming reception area, a barrier free entrance and a beautiful new frame gallery.

We are working hard to minimize the disruption in our service during the renovation. The office will be closed from April 9 to April 20, however, we will be answering the phone and attempting to accommodate true emergencies. From April 23 to the end of May, we will provide limited services. Expect to visit a construction zone if you visit during this time! Because of the disruption to our frame gallery, for patients seen during that time, we will be offering a discount on new eyewear that can be used once the new gallery is completed.

We appreciate your patience during this time.  Please visit our Facebook page or our Instagram feed for periodic updates on the progress. Do call our office if you have any questions.

We’re excited for the changes and hope you are too!

Electronic Screens and Children’s Vision – Are They Causing Harm?

Tablets, phones, TVs and electronic games have permeated our homes leaving parents wondering if, how much, when and how closely these devices should be used by their children. Most office days we encounter children and adults patients with symptoms related to screen use, such as headaches, blurred vision or itchy, burning, tired eyes. The source of the problem may be a correctable underlying vision disorder or inappropriate use of the device. Nonvisual effects of excessive screen time can include increased risk of obesity, poor school performance, sleep disturbances, and delays in critical learning and social skills.

The Canadian Association of Optometrists and the Canadian Ophthalmological Society recently released a joint position statement to address these questions based on the current state of research. Below is an excerpt from the statement with the key recommendations.

Policy Position

It is our position that the safe use of electronic screens should encompass the following:

a) Recommended amount of screen-time for children:

–      0–2 years: None, with the possible exception of live video-chatting  (e.g., Skype, Facetime) with parental support, due to its potential for social development, though this needs further investigation.

–      2–5 years: No more than 1 hour per day. Programming should be age-appropriate, educational, high-quality, and co-viewed, and should be discussed with the child to provide context and help them apply what they are seeing to their 3-dimensional environment.

–      5–18 years: Ideally no more than 2 hours per day of recreational screen time. Parents and eyecare providers should be aware that children report total screen time use as much higher (more than 7 hours per day in some studies).  This is not unrealistic considering the multitude of device screens children may be exposed to in a day, both at home and at school. Individual screen time plans for children between the ages of 5–18 years should be considered based on their development and needs.

b) Breaks no later than after 60 minutes of use (after 30 minutes is encouraged). Breaks should include whole-body physical activity. The ideal length of break has not been identified for either children or adults.

c) Workstation ergonomics: Chair heights should be set such that the child’s feet can lay flat on the floor or on a stool underneath the feet to allow for support. Chairs should not have arm rests unless they fit the child perfectly, as should back rests.  Desks should be set at the child’s elbow height or slightly lower. There should be enough depth on the desk to allow for forearm support; this is specifically effective in preventing musculoskeletal strain. Displays should be set in front of the child. There is no official recommendation for the angle of screen inclination. For computers, it is recommended to place the top of the display or monitor at the child’s eye level, and then allow them to move the screen down into a comfortable viewing position as needed. Official recommendations regarding a screen’s distance from a child do not exist; the computer screen should be placed at arm’s length, and then moved as necessary. External devices such as keyboards should also be placed in front of the child, with the mouse close to the keyboard and appropriately sized. Workstation lighting should be equal throughout the visual field, so glare and reflections that inhibit screen viewing or cause visual discomfort are inhibited.

d) The use of screens should be avoided one hour before bedtime. Screens in the bedroom are not recommended.

e) Outdoor activity over screen time should be encouraged.

f) Children may or may not complain of electronic screen-associated discomfort. Regular eye exams, which assess a child’s visual ability to cope with their visual demands and offer treatments for deficiencies (e.g., glasses correction; treatment (other than glasses) of other contributing eye conditions, etc.) are recommended.

For the complete position statement, including references, click here.

Eye Wear Care Basics – An Overview | Teeple Optometry

The new glasses you have purchased from Teeple Optometry look and feel fantastic but you’re wondering how you can keep them in great condition. I’ve jotted down 12 suggestions that can help you protect your glasses from excessive wear and damage. Rest assured, your glasses have been carefully crafted, using quality materials so they will serve you a long time with proper care.

  1. Wear them! Believe it or not, your glasses are less likely to be damaged when wearing them.
  2. Put them on and off with two hands without swiping them to the side.
  3. Never place glasses lens side down or where the lenses can come in contact with a hard surface and place them in a safe place, preferably folded properly in their case.
  4. Clean your glasses using only one of these three methods:
    • Dust, water spots & light soiling: Use a soft, clean microfiber cloth and gently wipe them clean.
    • Moderate oil & smudging: Use our lens spray cleaner on each surface and wipe with a soft, clean white paper towel or microfiber cloth. You can get no charge lens cleaner refills at Teeple Optometry by bringing in your empty spray bottle.
    • Heavy smudging and oil: After rinsing them with warm water, rub a drop or two of lotion free, mild dish soap on the entire surface of your lenses with your fingertips. Gently rub and rinse all the soap residue off the lenses with warm water. Gently wipe dry with a clean, soft paper towel continually moving to a dry piece of the towel.
  5. Remember to have clean hands when cleaning your glasses. Sunscreen and hand lotion are notoriously difficult to remove from lenses. Avoid contact with hairspray, paint spray or other chemicals. Avoid leaving the glasses in high temperature areas, such as in a hot car.
  6. Let us adjust your glasses. If they are uncomfortable, bent or loose, you run the risk of breaking your glasses with improper adjustment. We’re happy to do this for you at no charge, with an appointment. Periodically, check for unusual play in the temples or eye wire screws and, if loose, bring them in for tightening and resealing.
  7. Write your contact information on a card inside your lens case, in the unfortunate event of forgetting your glasses somewhere.
  8. Wear safety glasses or a shield if working in an environment where they are required, where there is a risk of impact, or if you’re concern about damage to your glasses. Ensure shields, fit overs or clip-on sunglasses are well adjusted and are not rubbing against the lenses.
  9. If you wear your sunglasses while boating, add a floating strap just in case the wind catches them!
  10. The glasses are yours. Don’t let others wear them or play with them.
  11. Your glasses have a warranty. If parts need replacement, check with us to see if they’re covered.
  12. Glasses do eventually show signs of age because of normal wear or change in fashion. Even if your prescription hasn’t changed, expect to replace your glasses every couple of years. That way, you’ll have a fairly current second pair as well.

Tips to help you prepare for your child’s visit to the optometrist.

There’s a first for everything and now, after reading the previous blog, you realize it’s time to schedule your child for an eye examination. Every child is unique and each visit is a little different but here are a few general ideas that can make the visit a good experience for all.

First, it’s a good idea to schedule your child’s appointment at a time of day when they are well rested and not hungry. We all do better after having a good sleep and with a full stomach. Depending on your child’s needs, expect that the visit will take 30 to 60 minutes in office. Many parents who have 3 or more children, find it easier to schedule no more than 2 or 3 on the same day and book the others on another day. A “marathon” office visit can be exhausting for children and parents. Families with several young children who require close supervision, often bring along the second parent or a caretaker to help out. It’s not always possible, but if you are able, schedule your own eye examination on another day without small children so your attention to the testing is undivided. We are happy to reschedule your child if they are ill on the day of the appointment. Otherwise, we prefer 24 hours’ notice for canceled appointments. Normally, appointments will be completely covered by OHIP. Periodically, non-insured additional testing will be advised and costs explained.

Most children enjoy their experience at the eye doctor’s. After all these years in practice, the process of vision still amazes me. Leading up to the appointment day, do engage your child’s curiosity and sense of wonder by talking about vision and eyes. Ask them questions like “I wonder why we have to blink?” or “Why aren’t things completely black when I close my eyes?” I love it when children ask me questions about eyes and vision. Avoid the use of negative talk, unrealistic expectations or threats such as “I hope you won’t need glasses”, or “You better be good or the doctor will get upset”. Fortunately, there is no test or procedure in an eye test that hurts. Most babies will require eye drops during their examination. Toddlers and children sometimes require them as well. Drops can sting a little when instilled and cause bright, blurred vision for a couple of hours afterward, but children generally tolerate this quite well. I advise minimizing or avoiding prior discussion about drops to avoid “anticipation anxiety” that can develop in some kids.

On the day of the appointment, bring a familiar toy or book for your child and a snack or drink if necessary. We have many fun toys and books in the children’s play area too. Be prepared to complete a history form for your child after you arrive. The waiting room experience can be quite educational for young children, requiring them to share space with the elderly, those with disabilities, and other children. Because this is a medical facility, children should be constantly supervised and not allowed to wander. Don’t hesitate to ask one of the staff if you require anything for your child or to let us know if they have special needs.

We invite parents or caretakers to be in the room during the child’s examination, unless it is an older child who prefers to be independent. Although not always possible, a child’s siblings can sometimes be a distraction during the eye test and it may be preferable for them to remain in the waiting area. Babies and young toddlers are welcome to sit on their parent’s lap. Some young children prefer to have their parent standing right next to them, holding their hand while trust is built. Some children are very quiet and shy and some are active and easily distracted, but using a variety of methods we are able to examine each one. During a toddler’s or a young child’s examination, the optometrist will ask several questions about school, hobbies, their eyes, etc. knowing that their answers may not necessarily be accurate.  This interchange is important for the optometrist to better understand the child. The optometrist is then able to tailor the examination to the maturity and knowledge level of the child. As a parent, it can be difficult to remain silent when your child answers questions incorrectly, or does not know the answer, but please allow them some time and freedom to respond the best they can. It is very helpful for the conversation to be between the optometrist and the child. Don’t worry, there will be an opportunity later in the exam to correct things!  Following the testing, the results of the examination and recommendations for care will be explained.

For many children, treatment is not required. If your child requires treatment or follow-up, the details and options will be explained and questions from you and your child are welcomed. Treatment options may include glasses, vision training, contact lenses, patching or just simply monitoring. If your child requires glasses, the selection process can begin immediately or be rescheduled. A written prescription will always be provided. We will also recommend when your child’s next examination should occur.

We look forward to your child’s visit!