Information on Upcoming Changes to OHIP Insurance for Eye Care

As of September 1st, 2023, OHIP insurance for eye care will look a little bit different. These changes may impact your coverage for upcoming appointments. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with what will be changing:

Click here for a summary of OHIP eligibility for eye care – http://ohipupdates.ca

If you have any questions about these changes, or are wondering about your coverage or possible fees for appointments after September 1st, please contact our office and we will be happy to assist you.

An update on office infection control measures

Requirements of entry have changed and masking is no longer necessary. You are welcome to wear a mask.  If you have symptoms of a respiratory or gastrointestinal illness, please do not visit the office and we will be happy to reschedule your appointment.

We continue to take several measures to reduce the spread of covid-19 and other infectious illness in our office in order to keep our more vulnerable patients safe. Please contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your consideration in helping our office continue to be a safe space for all!

Updated June, 2023

Sunglasses and tints – so many choices!

The warm March sun on the snow covered ground, although welcome, can seem a little too bright! With the changing season I find myself reaching for my prescription sunglasses on many occasions and for a variety of activities.

We choose tinted lenses for at least five reasons: comfort, vision enhancement, fashion, concealment and protection. It can be uncomfortable driving into the rising sun on our way to work in the morning. The golf ball can get completely lost against the sky. Sunglasses can equal “cool” or “hot”.  Some tired eyes do better with shades. And the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UV) and short wavelength blue light (SWBL) can damage eye structures with prolonged exposure.

So how do I choose which tinted lenses are best for me? And what if I wear prescription glasses?

Generally sunglasses tend to be bigger than prescription glasses, providing more coverage of the eye area. This allows a wide field of vision and lets in less peripheral light that can cause glare. Most good sunglasses provide UV protection but not all offer SWBL protection. Other important considerations are impact resistance, scratch resistance, back surface anti-reflection coating to reduce glare and lens optical designs to reduce distortion from the curvature of the lens.

And then there is the myriad of colours! Consider yellow, amber, rose or brown lenses if you want to improve contrast. They work well in activities such as golf, cycling, skiing, running, hunting and driving in “flat” light conditions but do distort colours. Green also helps to improve contrast in tennis, baseball and golf while reducing some blue light. Gray is the best tint for reducing overall light while allowing colours to remain true. And a dark tint is great on a very bright day but not so good when the light levels drop. It is very helpful to see and test the tints of which our office has many samples.

Should sunglasses be polarized? Polarization selectively reduces light reflecting of flat smooth surfaces such as water, asphalt, vehicles surfaces, etc. Polarized lenses can be great for boating, fishing, cycling and driving.

Photochromic lenses lighten and darken in response to light level, particularly UV levels. Convenience is their main benefit. Photochromic lenses darken quickly when exposed to bright light, they are a little slower to clear and they only darken a little behind a windshield or glass. They have good UV protection like other sunglasses. Available colours are gray, brown and green.

Prescription sunglasses are great for those who require corrective lenses. Clip-on sunglasses or fit-over sunglasses can be a less expensive option.

So how best to decide? Of the five reasons highlighted in the second paragraph, which reasons are most important to you? Be prepared to discuss this when you speak to our knowledgeable staff and they will help you find your perfect shades.

These Cry’n Eyes

The eye’s tear film is a vital but often neglected component of clear vision and comfortable eyes. It is one of the most frequently encountered conditions we see in our practice. An individual with dry eye disease (DED) may complain of dryness, burning, itching, stinging, watering, “stickiness”, “grittiness”, fluctuating vision, “smeary” vision, and contact lens intolerance. Symptoms can be severe or nonexistent. Curious, isn’t it, that watery eyes can be a symptom of DED! Some people are bothered with symptoms just occasionally and others continually.

Dry eye disease (DED) has recently been defined as a “multifactorial disease of the tears and ocular surface that results in symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbance and tear film instability with potential damage to the ocular surface…”1 In other words, there are several possible causes of DED with a variety of symptoms and consequences to the eye.

Along with a detailed history, there are several different tests we do to help differentiate the cause and severity of a patient’s DED. Risk factors for DED include:

  • Age – DED increases with age
  • Gender– Females have an increased risk, especially post-menopausal
  • Environment – Exposure to harsh environments, outdoor work, computer work, exposure to dust, dry air, airplanes, cosmetics
  • Smoking – Is a risk for many conditions including dry eye
  • Previous eye surgery or disease – chronic allergies, refractive surgery, abusive contact lens wear
  • Medications – Certain medications such as anti-histamines, anti-depressants, diuretics, and others.
  • Systemic disease – A higher risk in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, rosacea, thyroid disease, etc..


Targeted treatment of DED, following a proper diagnosis, may be prescribed as periodic or continual and often over a long term. It may involve environmental or lifestyle modifications, lid care, targeted tear lubricants, topical medication, punctual occlusion (blocking the tear drainage ducts), oral medication/supplements, chronic disease management, and sometimes in severe cases, more advanced procedures.

Treatment carries a high degree of success when diligent self-management is in place. Comfortable eyes and consistent clear vision is the welcomed reward of a collaborative effort between the doctor and patient.

“Will being overweight affect my vision?”

“Will being overweight affect my vision?” This is a question I almost never hear. Maybe because most of us don’t think there is a relationship between body weight and our eyes. Obesity has become a major health concern globally in recent years with well-established evidence linking overweight to illnesses and early death.

If we review the scientific literature, it quickly becomes apparent that being overweight has a strong link to several eye conditions. Diabetes and  high blood pressure can cause significant changes to the eyes. Diabetic and hypertensive retinopathy can lead to profound vision loss if left untreated. First line management of each of these conditions is achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight.

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in Canada. There is no single cause of macular degeneration, but several excellent studies have shown obesity to be a significant risk factor for progression and severity of the disease.

A recent meta-analysis of six important studies reveals an association between obesity and cataract development, particularly posterior subcapsular cataracts which tend to occur at a younger age and develop more quickly.

Pseudotumour cerebri, retinal vascular occlusive disease, floppy eyelid syndrome, entropion, sleep apnea related eye disease and stroke related vision loss each have an association with obesity.

Overweight is just one of the “lifestyle” factors which influence health. Regular exercise, smoking cessation, healthy diet, adequate sleep and stress reduction also contribute to eye health.

The individual and societal factors that influence healthy weight management are numerous and have been discussed extensively in many circles. Weight management is a billion dollar industry with magical products, quick weight- loss programs, fads, celebrities, countless books and organizations. Medical management often includes counselling and in extreme cases, bariatric surgery. In most instances though, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong task assumed by the individual.

A local physician has just published a valuable resource for those willing to confront their disease.“Overweight is a Disease, A Canadian Doctor’s Prescription for Self-management”, by Dr. Lori Teeple, is a new book designed to be a key resource for those who struggle with overweight who wish to understand their disease and gain the skills necessary to self-manage for life.

Boxes of Food!

Here’s what you helped us collect for the Forest Food Bank this year. You response and generous contributions were amazing.! Thank you from all of us.

Congratulations Food Drive Winners!

Congratulations to all who made this year’s food drive such a success. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Forest Food Bank’s shelves during the last 4 weeks. Each week we drew a name from all the contributors and gave away a prize.  Remember, you can continue to donate directly to the Food Bank. Here are the winners:

Week 1
Dina Koolen
Week 2
Chris Porter (daughter Eden standing in)
Week 3
Gwen Scott-Moffatt
Winner week 5
Jacob & Bessie Lagerwerf

Summer Food Drive

From August 18 to September 19 you have an opportunity to help us collect food donations for the Forest Food Bank again this year. Summer is quiet for donations at the Food Bank but the need is still present. During these dates, you’re invited to bring a non-perishable item when you visit our office. Peanut butter, canned vegetables, baked beans and soup are in high demand.

In exchange for a donation you can complete a bollot to win a prize. Each week we will be giving away a choice of prizes including an Eyefoods book, Eyefoods for Kids, or Baby Banz sunglasses. Thanks for helping us help the Forest Food Bank!

Online glasses and contacts

Canadians are increasingly turning to the internet to purchase products. The internet can be a “wild frontier” of unregulated trade. Websites that sell glasses and contact lenses have been operating for some time and advertise aggressively. They tend to promote low price and convenience. So is there any downside to purchasing your glasses and contact lenses online?

In Ontario, as in much of North America, the act of prescribing and dispensing contact lenses or glasses is a controlled act that must be performed by a licenced Optometrist or Ophthalmologist as dictated by the Regulated Health Professions Act. Opticians are regulated health professionals who are licensed to dispense a prescription from an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist.

Online retailers do not usually introduce you to an individual regulated health professional or allow you to meet them face to face. Most do not require proof of a valid, current prescription. Frames cannot be adequately sized or fitted and lenses cannot be adequately positioned before the eyes. Children and the elderly are particularly at risk as they may be less likely to verbalize vision problems resulting from poorly made or fitted glasses.

To ensure successful contact lens wear individuals must be properly fitted, trained and monitored. Without this, the risk of harm to the eyes is significantly increased. The wearers of contact lenses purchased online are not normally asked to submit proof of proper fitting, training and ongoing monitoring of their eye health by a regulated health professional placing them at risk of poor vision, discomfort or eye harm.

Here are some guidelines to follow when choosing where and how to fill your prescription.

  1. Meet your Optometrist or Optician face-to-face and know their name and credentials.
  2. Provide them with a physical copy of your prescription.
  3. Expect that glasses frames will be properly sized and fitted and that additional measurements will be taken for lens positioning.
  4. Plan to answer questions about your needs and lifestyle and expectations of your new eyewear.
  5. Expect to have your contact lenses properly fitted. The lenses should be assessed on the eye and you should be properly trained in their use, care and precautions. Expect more than one visit if you are a first time wearer.
  6. Your eye care professional should counsel you on the use of your eyewear and expected adaptation and limitations.
  7. Follow-up should be welcomed and is often required for adjustments, repairs and problem solving.

It makes sense to fill your prescription from your Optometrist. Your Optometrist understands your vision and already knows much about your lifestyle, needs and history. Because of this, the process of selecting, dispensing and adapting to your eyewear is streamlined and the continuity of care is maintained.

Consider your eyes. Maybe it’s more than just saving a few dollars; it’s caring for one of your most precious senses.


For further information visit the College of Optometrists of Ontario’s website:http://www.collegeoptom.on.ca/index.php/public/patient-faqs ,or discuss this topic at your next visit to the office.

1 2 3 4