Many Ontarians don’t see eye health as a priority

Disconcerting new survey information commissioned by the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) shows that only 1 in 2 Ontarians (54%) reported that they have visited an optometrist within the past 12 months. With Vision Health Month upon us, OAO is calling on all Ontarians to make their eye health a priority by booking regular, comprehensive eye exams with an optometrist.

“Comprehensive eye exams do so much more than check your eyesight,” said Dr. Jeffrey Guthrie, President of OAO. “Optometrists use a variety of tools to perform a thorough examination of the internal health of the eyes, so that any issues are detected and treated early – before they cause permanent vision loss.”

Eye health should be prioritized regardless of age:

Children should see an optometrist starting at six months of age, to make sure that eye development and coordination is progressing as it should. Good vision is also an essential factor in a child’s ability to learn in school. Eye exams for children are covered annually by OHIP up to age 19.

For seniors, yearly comprehensive eye exams are essential to ensuring that the effects of aging eyes, such as glaucoma and cataracts, are quickly detected and treated, so as to minimize their impact on quality of life. Annual visits to the optometrist are covered by OHIP for Ontarians aged 65 and up.

Adults should receive an eye exam every two years to ensure that any eye health and vision issues are promptly detected and treated. Comprehensive eyes exams also have the ability to detect other health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure and even certain brain tumours.

Find an optometrist in your community at

About the Ontario Association of Optometrists

The Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) is the leading provincial professional organization representing optometrists in Ontario. For more than 100 years, OAO has worked with members, governments and stakeholders to ensure that patients in Ontario receive the highest standard of eye health and vision care. OAO’s members have the skills and training to help seniors retain their independence, children learn and develop, and ensure good quality of life for Ontarians.

— Elissa Hanna