Seeing Double? Time for an Eye Exam!

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Are assembly instructions, magazines, and restaurant menus getting harder to read? You can blame the small font, but if you’re a Canadian over the age of 40, there’s a good chance the text size is not to blame. Sorry to break it to you, but it may be time to get your eyes checked.

Can you remember the last time you had an eye exam, if ever? Your supplementary health insurance benefits probably cover a visit every two or three years, and there’s a good reason that coverage exists. An exam can provide a good look at your overall health. When it comes to vision care, it’s more than your pretty peepers at stake!

It’s not just adults of a certain age that need to worry about vision care, either. Eye health is important for people of all ages. To help you better understand the importance of vision care, read on to learn why it may be time for an eye exam.

The Windows to the Soul

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, and by looking deeply into someone’s eyes you can tell what’s really going on inside. An eye care professional would certainly agree! A thorough eye exam can detect signs of diabetes, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure and heart disease. A simple eye exam may be the least invasive detection method for severe health conditions you’ll ever find.

But let’s get back to your eyes for a moment. Most people wait until they have a problem with blurred vision or trouble reading a blackboard or a restaurant menu before scheduling an eye exam. That’s a shame, because the World Health Organization says about 80% of the world’s blindness is preventable. There are often no discernable symptoms of conditions that cause blindness, and early detection can prevent a permanent loss of vision. Having said that, there are a few clues that should have you calling the eye doctor to schedule an exam.

Early Symptoms of Vision Trouble

By the time you’re having a hard time reading restaurant menus, your vision has probably been on the decline for quite a while. Signs you may have missed include:

  • Glare sensitivity in bright conditions
  • Trouble seeing in dim light
  • Difficulty with depth perception
  • Moving things further away to read

Whether or not you’re ready to admit it, all of these are signs that your vision is may be impaired. But all is not lost! In fact, if you see an eye care professional now, you may be able to halt the deterioration of your vision before it gets any worse.

It’s important to note that, in most cases, children and seniors are still covered under government plans in most provinces. Children will often keep moving closer and closer to the blackboard without ever recognizing that it’s because they are having trouble seeing it.

That’s why it’s important to start with regular eye exams with children as young as three years old. Luckily, there are a lot of durable, fashionable eyewear choices to help self-conscious kids get used to wearing their glasses all the time.

Health Insurance Canada Vision Care Eye Exam

Provincial Coverage

Provincial coverage for vision care varies widely by province. Medically required services provided by physicians, like cataract surgery, are usually covered by the province. In some provinces, including Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and BC, standard vision tests are not provided for healthy adults. It’s important to note what is covered in your province when selecting your health and dental insurance coverage.

Eye Exams

A qualified eye care professional will evaluate the health of your eyes, inside and out. They can test specific neurological functions like colour vision, field of vision, and depth perception while thoroughly examining the muscle function of your eyes. Your optometrist or ophthalmologist will also be on the lookout for common conditions like near and farsightedness and astigmatism. If it turns out you do need corrective lenses, they can help you determine which ones will best suit your needs.

Yes, you might need glasses or contact lenses. But now that you know what an eye exam can tell you about your overall health, and that undetected eye conditions can lead to permanent loss of vision, it seems silly to let vanity get in the way of valuable health information, doesn’t it? Be sure to schedule an appointment with an eye care professional for a thorough exam before it’s too late!

If you’re not sure what is covered under your health insurance plan in Canada, contact us for help. Taking the time to get the coverage you need now can ensure the health of your vision for many years to come.


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