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Dr. Brian E Adamson provides full scope optometric care. This includes contact lenses, cataract and lasik co-management, quality eyewear, and digital retinal images. Our office is wheelchair accessible.
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24 Oak Street East Unit 3
Leamington, Ontario
Canada
N8H 2C2

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Leamington, Ontario
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N8H 2C2

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~ Annual eye examinations for Ontarians with diabetes continue to be funded by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan ~

Mississauga, ON [January 9, 2013] – The Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) is reminding Ontarians that routine eye examinations for people with diabetes continue to be covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) regardless of their age, and that a referral for this service is not required.

A recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) found that when routine eye examinations for healthy adults were delisted from OHIP in 2004, there was an 8.7 per cent decrease in the test for people living with diabetes, despite the fact that annual eye examinations remained covered for this population.i

"For people living with diabetes, the consequences of neglecting eye health can be especially severe. The OAO continues to work with the provincial government and other partners to develop an integrated approach that ensures patients with diabetes receive proper eye health care as part of overall diabetes management," said Dr. Farooq A. Khan, President, OAO. "The OAO urges people living with diabetes to call and schedule eye examinations with a local Doctor of Optometry at least once every year."

Eye Health Risks Associated with Diabetes

Diabetic retinopathy is the most damaging eye condition caused by diabetes.ii Although vision loss due to the condition can be preventedii, unfortunately, many people with diabetes do not know that they have damage from retinopathy until it is too late. Diabetic retinopathy causes the blood vessels of the retina (inner layer of the back of the eye) to leak, swell or develop abnormally.ii It is the leading cause of blindness among Canadians between the ages of 30 and 69, and will be developed by the majority of people with diabetes within 20 years of having the condition.ii

Although prevention of this devastating condition is best accomplished by maintaining normal blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and blood lipid levels, receiving a comprehensive eye examination by a Doctor of Optometry at least once a year is essential to catch retinal changes as early as possible, and ultimately help preserve vision through a variety of treatment options available.ii

Doctors of Optometry, widely available in local communities all across Ontario, are the primary health care providers trained to diagnose and manage damaging eye conditions caused by diabetes. To find an optometrist in your community, please visit: http://www.optom.on.ca/find_an_optometrist.

About the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO)

The OAO, founded in 1909, is the voluntary professional organization representing more than 1,500 optometrists in Ontario. The OAO is dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of eye health, and helping Ontario’s Doctors of Optometry provide the highest standard of eye health and vision care.

For more information:

Candice Bruton
416-849-8938
candice.bruton@edelman.com

References

iKiran, T et al. Unintended consequences of delisting routine eye exams on retinopathy screening for people with diabetes in Ontario, Canada. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2013: 7. Available at: http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2013/01/07/cmaj.120862. Accessed January 8, 2013.
iiOntario Association of Optometrists. Diabetes. Available at: http://www.optom.on.ca/for_patients/eye_diseases_and_conditions/diabetes. Accessed January 8, 2013.

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Young eye cancer patient teams up with optometrists to raise awareness of early detection of vision problems in kids.

Mississauga, ON – September 13, 2012 – Sarah Slingsby wishes she could properly see the 3D movie that will be on the Cineplex screens after her new one minute public service commercial. Her eyes will not be able to focus together for her to watch Finding Nemo 3D® because of her retinoblastoma - an eye cancer - and other complications with her sight. Thousands of children, though not because of eye cancer, will also have the same problem as Sarah and their parents may not even know it.

 

Sarah, now eleven, and her mother Leslie have teamed up with the Eye See…Eye Learn® program and the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) to help raise awareness of the importance of children having comprehensive eye exams before they begin school. The OAO is running a one minute commercial on selected Cineplex screens in Ontario to share Sarah’s story. Sarah was diagnosed with a potentially life threatening retinoblastoma at age eight by her Mississauga optometrist.

 

Sarah’s mom took her for a routine eye exam at age eight after her optometrist recommended she have one. Leslie had no warning signs that anything was wrong. Sarah thought she was seeing “normal”. 

 

“I was in shock when Dr. Chan told me the news. I didn’t even think she had a vision problem, let alone cancer,” says Leslie. “Her optometrist saved her life. Fortunately in Sarah’s case she has a slow growing tumour. Retinoblastoma, though rare, is normally found in toddlers.

 

“We want parents to make a comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist an automatic part of a child’s overall readiness for school, just like dental check ups and immunizations,” says Dr Chan.  “Though the likelihood of cancer is rare, optometrists diagnose thousands of cases of undetected vision problems and other sight threatening conditions such as ambloypia or ‘lazy eye’ every day.” 

 

Unfortunately annual statistics have shown that 75 per cent of children between the ages of five and nine have not had their eyes examined by a Doctor of Optometry and a staggering 93 per cent of all children under the age of five have never been tested; despite the fact that annual eye examinations are covered by OHIP for children 19 years of age and under. 

 

To encourage more families to have their children’s eyes examined, the OAO has partnered with the Ontario Government on the Eye See…Eye Learn® program. Currently Junior Kindergarten children in nine Ontario school regions are eligible to participate in the free program that encourages parents to book a comprehensive eye exam with a participating Doctor of Optometry for their JK child. If the child requires glasses, they will receive a pair of high quality, impact resistant and UV protected glasses free of charge courtesy of ESEL partners Jungle Eyewear® and Hoya Vision Care. The program is expanding across the province over the next four years.

 

Sarah’s Story will be aired just ahead of family rated movies in Cineplex owned theatres in Ancaster, Milton, Niagara, Sarnia, and Thunder Bay. To watch Sarah’s story or learn more about the Eye See…Eye Learn® program, visit www.EyeSeeEyeLearn.ca or call toll free (855) 424-ESEL (3735) for more information.

 

Doctors of Optometry are university educated and clinically trained to diagnose and treat disorders of the eye and visual system. They provide primary eye care services in the province of Ontario. Founded in 1909, OAO is the voluntary professional organization that represents more than 1,500 optometrists in Ontario. 

 

 

 

To view more videos, please click here to visit your YouTube channel.

 

 

For more information contact:

 

Melissa Secord

Cell phone: 416-451-6898

Toll free: 1-855-424-3735 or Local: 905-826-3522 ext. 243

Email: msecord@optom.on.ca 

 

Broadcast video footage link:

 

60 second PSA- Sarah’s Story

http://www.mediafire.com/?vs0fnm9qdaxkk83 

 

Sarah’s Story – Longer Version

http://www.mediafire.com/?nw8b49g215wyjn4

 

VNR for Broadcast: The Need for Eye Exams for Children

http://www.mediafire.com/?guy68gji1bawfq0

 

OAO’s public service announcement will be running immediately before Family rated movies in the following theatres from September 13 – 27th:
  • Silver City Ancaster
  • Galaxy Milton
  • Cineplex Niagara Square
  • Famous Players Lambton
  • Cineplex Thunder Bay

 

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Eye exams often missed on back to school check list, say Ontario optometrists

Mississauga, ON – August 20, 2012 –New shoes for gym…CHECK. New backpack for books… CHECK. Eye exam to read and learn… CHECK. This year don't overlook the most important back to school readiness decision that can help your child cope with the challenges of learning. Ontario's optometrists are encouraging all parents to book their child's eye exam as another school year begins.

Annual statistics have shown that 75 per cent of children between the ages of five and nine have not had their eyes examined by a Doctor of Optometry and a staggering 93 per cent of all children under the age of five have never been tested; despite the fact that annual eye examinations are covered by OHIP for children 19 years of age and under. It is estimated that nearly half of all high school students will also leave high school without ever having an eye exam.

"Children can be labelled as having behavioural or learning disabilities because they are unable to see or focus on the work when all they require is a pair of eyeglasses. Children with undetected vision problems will struggle in school and fall behind their peers. An eye exam can give parents the piece of mind of knowing whether their child can see well or not," says Dr. Sheldon Salaba, President of the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO).

Dr. Karen MacDonald, a Waterloo optometrist and Chair of Children's Vision for the OAO agrees. "Optometrists have child friendly assessments for determining the complete health of a young child's eyes. The exam is thorough so parents will know exactly how their child's eyes are developing and if there are any concerns that require monitoring."

"Many parents, who thought their children could see fine, are shocked when a serious vision problem is diagnosed. Many feel badly and wonder why they didn't notice something earlier. Unfortunately, problems aren't always obvious to a parent or even the child. Children don't have any form of comparison," says Dr.MacDonald.

"I noticed a huge change in my son's behaviour after his eye exam. He wasn't complaining about going to school. He was more interested in me reading with him," says Hamilton parent Jessica Williams. "In talking with his teachers, his behaviour dramatically changed. Every parent should have their child's eyes checked by an optometrist."

Optometrists are most concerned about a condition called amblyopia or lazy eye. Failure to detect this condition at an early age can result in a permanent reduction in a child's vision and limit potential career options requiring good working sight in both eyes.

Starting July 1, children entering Junior Kindergarten in nine Ontario school regions are eligible to participate in the free Eye See…Eye Learn® (ESEL) program that encourages parents to book a comprehensive eye exam with a participating Doctor of Optometry for their JK child. If the child requires glasses, they will receive a pair of high quality, impact resistant and UV protected glasses free of charge courtesy of ESEL partners Jungle Eyewear® and Hoya Vision Care.

The OAO with funding assistance from the Ontario Government is partnering with local school boards, health units, and corporate partners like CNIB to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of vision problems so that every child can see and learn to the best of his or her ability To find an optometrist or for more information on the Eye See…Eye Learn® program, visit www.eyecareoao.com or call toll free (855) 424-ESEL (3735) for more information.

Doctors of Optometry are university educated and clinically trained to diagnose and treat disorders of the eye and visual system. They provide primary eye care services in the province of Ontario. Founded in 1909, OAO is the voluntary professional organization that represents more than 1,500 optometrists in Ontario.

The Eye See…Eye Learn® program has been running in Hamilton since 2009. The Eye See… Eye Learn® program is currently operating in the following school boards:

Region Board
Halton • Hamilton • Niagara • Peel • York Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud
London • Sarnia • Windsor • Woodstock Conseil scolaire de district catholique -Sud Ouest
Thunder Bay Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Aurores boreales
Halton • Hamilton • London • Niagara • Peel • Sarnia • Windsor • York Conseil scolaire Viamonde
Halton - Catholic Halton Catholic District School Board
Halton - Public Halton District School Board
Hamilton - Catholic Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board
Hamilton - Public Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board
London - Catholic London District Catholic School Board
London - Public Thames Valley District School Board
Niagara - Catholic Niagara Catholic District School Board
Niagara - Public District School Board of Niagara
Peel - Catholic Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
Sarnia-Lambton-Chatham-Kent - Catholic St. Clair Catholic District School Board
Sarnia-Lambton/Chatham-Kent - Public Lambton Kent District School Board
Thunder Bay - Catholic Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board
Thunder Bay - Public The Lakehead District School Board
Windsor - Catholic Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board
Windsor - Public Great Essex County District School Board
York Region - Catholic York Catholic District School Board
York Region - Public York Region District School Board

For more information contact:

Melissa Secord
Director, Continuing Education
Cell phone: 416-451-6898
Toll free: 1-855-424-3735 or Local: 905-326-8522 ext. 243
Email: msecord@optom.on.ca

Click here to download the Eye See… Eye Learn® Fact Sheet

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One of my earliest memories is being driven to the hospital to get stitches after a friend threw a rock at my head. Another of my earliest memories is throwing up in a dentist’s office. I’m predisposed to dislike medical treatment, in any form.

I tell this to optometrist Dr. Thomas Noel as he’s dripping some yellow goop onto my eyes to freeze them.

This comes at about the three-quarter mark of my hour-long meeting with Noel, owner of the McLeod Optometry Clinic in Ottawa, executive member of the Ontario College of Optometrists and co-chair of the Eye Health Council of Ontario.

“This will just freeze your eyes for about 10 minutes,” he deadpans.

When I compare his sadism to a dentist’s, he laughs and insists that he’s nothing like a dentist. Sure, nothing hurts and there’s no free toothbrush at the end of an eye exam, but there is one similarity: regular checkups are good practice.

I haven’t been to see an optometrist in more than a decade, which Noel explains is pretty dumb of me, even though I have good vision.

“If you have a family history of glaucoma, you have about a one-in-three chance of getting it yourself,” he explains. “There’s no cure for it, but if you catch something early, you can stabilize it.”

That’s why he’s putting these drops in. He’s preparing my eyes for a pachymetry, an ultrasound test that lets him measure my corneal thickness. This isn’t part of a standard eye exam, but his retinal camera has shown my optic nerve head to be a little wider than average. This could signal the start of glaucoma, so he wants a closer, grosser look.

Accidentally and unknowingly, I’m a good example of why regular eye exams – every year or two – are necessary. Eyes change, and not all eye health is related to whether or not you need glasses, says Noel. So whether motivated by aging or by the knowledge that some people find other people with glasses way more attractive, subjecting yourself to eye drops and reading letters from a screen could keep your good vision good or detect bad vision early.

The full battery of tests goes something like this:

Auto refractor

Before seeing the optometrist, you’ll likely see an assistant who will stick your face into an auto refractor. You’ll see a picture of a highway with a hot-air balloon, which you’ll focus on, in the distance. The machine, meanwhile, measures your prescription and the curvature of your eyes.

It’s an objective test, says Noel, which an eye doctor confirms with the subjective results of the Phoropter.

The auto refractor also startles the bejesus out of you by shooting two bursts of air (into each eye) to measure pressure, a preliminary screening method for detecting glaucoma.

Retinal camera
Then you’ll be plunked in front of the retinal camera, which does exactly what its name suggests – it takes a picture of your retina, which is at the back of your eye, under all that pretty stuff up front. The retinal camera uses a flash to light up the retina, and you’ll see things with a purple hue for a few seconds afterwards.

Manual tests
Once your eyes have been tested objectively by blasting air and flashing lights and electronic readings, you’ll see the optometrist, who conducts subjective, manual tests. There are a slew of these, from the visual acuity – looking at letters on a screen and reading them to test eye strength – to the cover test, in which you have a spoon put over eye while you fixate on a single letter to check that your eyes are straight.

You may also be checked for colour blindness and be given a stereo test, in which you wear some cool 3D glasses and try to detect minute differences in the height of circles. It’s not quite like watching Avatar.

Phoropter
To further verify the objective measurements taken by the auto refractor, the optometrist will check your prescription with the science-fiction inspired Phoropter. This machine contains hundreds of lenses, which the doctor tries in different combinations to see which are most comfortable. It’s a fine-tuning process for those needing glasses.

Slit lamp
The doctor uses the slit lamp to look inside your eyes through your dilated pupil (more drops!) while you rest your head comfortably. There’s no pain or discomfort, though you’ll be sensitive to light for a few hours after the procedure.

Read this article on HealthZone.ca

 

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Canadians eagerly anticipate the hot days, barbecue get-togethers and long weekends that summer delivers. But for allergy sufferers, that anticipation is flecked with dread.

Nasal congestion, a runny nose, sneezing, itchy throat and a host of eye symptoms – itchiness, redness and watering– afflict millions of Canadians each year.

“It’s the individual’s immune system that determines [who will be affected],” says Dr. Sheldon Salaba, president of the Ontario Association of Optometrists.

As a result of the mild winter and warm spells in March, pollination of trees, weeds and grasses – and the start of allergy symptoms – happened earlier than usual. “This year, I started seeing patients who were having allergy symptoms in March and April,” Salaba says.

For sufferers whose allergies affect their eyes, relieving the itchiness, watering and puffiness can be a challenge. Salaba suggests thinking beyond over-the-counter medications to help alleviate such symptoms.

“I think the . . .  mistake that people make for allergy symptoms related to their eyes is that they buy oral antihistamines [such as Claritin or Reactine],” he says. “Those antihistamines actually dry [the eyes]. They reduce tear secretions and reduce the amount of fluid on the surface of the eye and concentrate allergens, actually making the eye symptoms worse.”

Over-the-counter eye drops, such as Visine, can also be problematic.

Because eye drops for dry eye and redness do not contain an antihistamine, they offer no relief for allergy symptoms. Also, because of a vasoconstrictor drug that makes blood vessels smaller, eyes can become dependent on these types of eye drops, Salaba warns.

“Blood vessels get addicted to the drug in that type of medication. And if you use it frequently enough, it starts developing a revolving circle where people are having to put a drop of Visine in every day to keep their eyes white,” he says.

If your allergies primarily affect your eyes, Salaba recommends paying a visit to an eye doctor for the best treatment. “If you’re just having these itchy eyes, going to see an eye doctor and getting prescribed prescription antihistamine eye drops is really effective,” says Salaba, who frequently prescribes Patanol and Zaditor eye drops.

Wearing contact lenses? You can still use prescription eye drops. Use the prescribed dosage of eye drops in the morning and wait five minutes before inserting your contact lenses. Once you remove your contact lenses at the end of the day, apply the prescribed dosage again. And consider using daily disposable contacts while your allergies are in high gear. “Allergens build up on the lenses if you’re putting a lens in your eye on a repeated basis,” Salaba says.

Sufferers can also find some relief at home. Place a cold washcloth (try putting it in the fridge before use) over your eyes; the cold helps constrict blood vessels that have dilated as part of the allergy response.

Read this article on HealthZone.ca

 

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A study released today by CNIB and the University of Waterloo's School of Optometry as part of Vision Health Month indicates that one in seven Canadian adults may be living with some form of vision loss, much of which could be corrected. Meanwhile, other results from the study indicate that more than one-third of Canadians over age 40 could actually have eye disease, despite having normal vision.

Learn more here.

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Reprinted from  the Toronto Star

Jason Dodds thought the Angelic Blue cosmetic contact lenses he bought online at clearlycontacts.ca would be great for Halloween.

He supplied his prescription and credit card information and the lenses arrived a week later.

After wearing them for about four hours, his left eye started watering. It felt as though the contact was suctioned on his eyeball, says Dodds, who was then 18. When he removed the lens he felt excruciating pain and couldn’t see.

No wonder. Removing the lens peeled off the epithelial surface of the cornea, says his optometrist, Dr. Fiona Soong.

“He was lucky not to have lost his vision,” she says. The extent of the abrasion in the central part of the eye could have resulted in scar tissue and permanently affected his vision. “All contact lenses are medical devices,” says Soong, who doesn’t think any should be sold online, without prescription and without regulation.

Dodds’ corneal abrasion took more than two months to heal. Now, three years later, he says the experience has permanently zapped his confidence in contacts.

And it explains why eye doctors are adamantly opposed to the unregulated selling of lenses online.

Eyeballs come in different shapes and sizes; lenses have varying curvatures, says Dr. Sheldon Salaba, president of the Ontario Association of Optometrists. If contact lenses do not fit properly and don’t move correctly, the cornea will swell and weaken. From red eyes to blindness, “a whole host of complications can develop,” he says.

Another problem with purchasing contacts online is that it opens the door for consumers to self-prescribe, adjusting their own prescription, say, if their sight is suddenly a little blurry. It could be that the altered vision is a consequence of an eye condition unrelated to the lens, which is why optometrists say a professional assessment is essential.

The legalities of buying contact lenses online is murky. Health Canada has the mandate to classify items as medical devices. It is then up to the provinces to regulate them.

Prescription contact lenses were listed as medical devices in 1978. Every province, except British Columbia, requires a health professional to dispense glasses and contacts. And yet many people, in every province, find no difficulty purchasing contacts online.

Cosmetic lenses — which change the colour of the wearer’s eye or, say, have patterns, such as a star or cat’s eye but do not correct vision — are not currently regarded as medical devices. That could change. A private member’s bill, supported by Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, was introduced in October to include cosmetic lenses as medical devices. Presentations on the proposed legislation, which has broad support from MPs, are scheduled early next year.

Read the article on thestar.com here.

 

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Let your partnership take flight to new heights. Partners who commit to a significant multi-level partnership in one or a combination of OAO Program Offerings can take their exposure to a higher, more effective level.

Program Offerings – Now More Choices Than Ever Before

The OAO has broadened the opportunities for organizations to partner with the OAO. Just like our optometrists, each of our partners has unique needs and goals. We have six exciting areas of activity that offer various levels of exposure and involvement for industry:


1. Annual Symposium & InfoMart
2. Eye See…Eye Learn
3. OAO’s Thrive & Survive Practice Management Series
4. On-line Education
5. Community Building Events
6. Public & Stakeholder Education

To find out more, download our 2012 Partnership Package here.

 

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Local Optometrists Launch Junior Kindergarten Eye Health Program
   
December 9, 2011- Today’s announcement by Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Hon. Deb Matthews and Dr. Josephine Pepe representing the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) launched the expansion of the Eye See…Eye Learn (ESEL) program into the greater London area.

“I’m excited to see this valuable program expanding to serve kindergarteners in London,” Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. “Our government wants to ensure that all children in Ontario have the best start in life. By correcting vision problems at a young age, the Eye See Eye Learn program gives kids the opportunity to succeed in school.”

“Parent’s shouldn’t assume that they will be able to identify whether or not their child has a vision problem,” said Dr. Pepe. “Too often children don’t complain about not seeing well because they don’t know what normal vision is supposed to look like. An eye exam can change a child’s life.”

“Don’t be blindsided like we were and find out that your five year old child is almost blind in one eye,” warns Tim Dunford, a London parent whose son Liam was diagnosed in May as amblyopic “lazy eye.” Today was Liam’s follow up exam to monitor the successful treatment to save his vision.

The Eye See…Eye Learn program was created to identify children, like Liam, with eye health and vision problems before they begin grade one. According to OHIP data less than 10 per cent of Ontario children have an eye exam before entering school, but about 25 per cent of all children have a significant vision problem that could impair their ability to learn. Good vision is vital to academic success, in fact, 80 per cent of all learning during a child’s first 12 years comes directly through vision.

“Children, who cannot see the chalkboard, focus on a picture or follow words in a book will struggle to achieve their full learning potential,” says Dr. Pepe. “Fortunately, Liam has now been identified and is receiving treatment. Early treatment at Liam’s age means the prognosis for restoring vision is very good. “

This January parents registering their children for junior kindergarten will be provided with program information, encouraging them to take their child for an eye exam at a participating optometrist’s office.  Parents can pre-book their eye exam that will take place starting July 1st, 2012. Eye exams for children 19 years of age and under are insured by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.

If a child requires eyeglasses, under the Eye See…Eye Learn (ESEL) program, he or she will receive them free of charge from Jungle Eyewear (Bo Optik) and Hoya Vision Care.  Participating optometrists will waive their fees when dispensing eyeglasses under this program.

On June 21, 2011 Premier McGuinty announced that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care would fund the ESEL program to expand the initiative across the province over the next five years.

The expansion of the ESEL program into London and the surrounding area opens the program to more than 7,000 students in nearly 200 schools.

“Every parent should make an eye exam by an optometrist as part of a child’s annual health routine and readiness for school,” urges Tim Dunford. “Don’t assume your child can see well, know for sure.

For more information on the Eye See…Eye Learn program, please visit the Ontario Association of Optometrists’ web site at www.EyeSeeEyeLearn.ca.

-30-

For over 100 years, the OAO has been the voluntary professional organization representing optometrists in Ontario in matters of advocacy, community and education. The OAO represents over 1,500 optometrists who practise in over 200 towns and cities across Ontario and are the main providers of primary eye care in Ontario.

Contact:

Melissa Secord   
               
Director Continuing Education           
1-855-424-3735 Ext 243               
Cell: (416) 451-6898
msecord@optom.on.ca

Dr. Josephine Pepe
Westmount Optometrists
(519) 472-0210

Additional quotes:

“We’re excited to be part of this valuable initiative to identify vision concerns among students at an early age in order to prevent learning challenges later in life. The Eye See…Eye Learn program is a great complement to the Thames Valley school board’s other early intervention programs and strategies.” Laura Elliott, Executive Superintendent of Program Services, Thames Valley District School Board

“At the London District Catholic School Board we are committed to ensuring that every one of our students has the ability to learn, grow and succeed; and good vision is a key component. We are pleased to be partnering with the Ontario Association of Optometrists to bring this important service to our families to help our students thrive academically.” Sharon Wright-Evans, Superintendent of Education, London District Catholic School Board

«Le Conseil scolaire Viamonde se réjouit de l’élargissement du programme Eye See...Eye Learn aux régions de London, Sarnia et du Niagara. Cette initiative permettra à davantage de jeunes élèves dans nos classes de maternelle d’avoir accès à un examen de la vue et une paire de lunettes, au besoin.

Le programme Eye See...Eye Learn contribue à outiller les élèves pour la réussite en leur permettant d’entreprendre le début du cheminement scolaire du bon pied. » Gyslaine Hunter-Perreault, Directrice de l’éducation, Conseil Scolaire Viamonde

“Oxford County Public Health has a long history of working with families to address health concerns in preschoolers early, before they interfere with learning. This initiative will help children start school in the best possible health, and ensure that there are not financial barriers to accessing vision care for kids.” Lynn Beath, CEO, Oxford County Public Health
 

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November is Diabetes Awareness Month and the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) is reminding the public about the importance of routine eye exams—especially for those living with diabetes.

Approximately 1.2 million Ontarians have diabetes and as many as 200,000 people are unaware they have it. In fact, according to the Canadian Diabetes Association by 2020 1 in 3 Canadians will have diabetes, putting them at an increased risk for serious health complications such as eye disease and potential blindness. Eye disease can be managed and often prevented by visiting an eye care professional every year.

“Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable blindness among adults,” said Dr. Anju Clement, optometrist and member of the OAO. “Patients with eye disease may not notice any changes in their vision, especially during the early treatable stages of the disease. That’s why visiting an optometrist is essential for early detection and timely treatment.”

Statistics show that only about 50 per cent of people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes had their eyes checked in the last year, even though annual eye examinations are covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. Those most likely not to have had an eye exam in the past year were people aged 20 to 64 and those living in urban areas.

Under the Ontario Diabetes Strategy, the OAO is partnering with the Ministry of Health and the Diabetes Regional Control Centres to ensure that people with diabetes have necessary tests for optimal diabetes management, including a comprehensive eye exam.

While people with diabetes are more likely to develop eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma, they are also more susceptible to retinal complications that can threaten vision. 

By dilating the eye, optometrists can detect diabetic retinopathy, a damaging eye condition that causes the blood vessels at the back of the eye to leak or swell. If left untreated, it can result in loss of vision or blindness.  Comprehensive eye examinations provided by optometrists are insured by the Ontario government every year for people of all ages with diabetes, and a referral is not required
 
Patients with diabetes who are able to maintain appropriate blood sugar levels have fewer eye problems than those with poor control. Research has proven that good control can slow the onset of eye complications, such as diabetic retinopathy. Diet and exercise also play important roles in the overall health of those with diabetes. But the best way to catch early eye problems is to visit an optometrist or ophthalmologist every year.

Dr. Clement adds that other health issues may be discovered during an eye exam. “A dilated eye exam is the only time blood vessels can be seen in their natural state. Sometimes, this allows us to uncover signs that may save someone’s life.”

To learn more about comprehensive eye examinations or to find an optometrist, please visit the OAO website at www.optom.on.ca or call 1-800-540-3837.

For over 100 years, the OAO has been the voluntary professional organization representing optometrists in Ontario in matters of advocacy, community and education. The OAO represents over 1,500 optometrists who practise in over 200 towns and cities across Ontario and are the main providers of primary eye care in Ontario.


For more information, please contact:
Christine Morrison
Government Relations Manager
Ontario Association of Optometrists
cmorrison@optom.on.ca
905-826-3522 Ext. 223
 

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Optometrists Looking to Help Young Learners
Eye See…Eye Learn Returns Dufferin-Peel, Halton, Hamilton, and Windsor



October 4, 2011 – Mississauga, ON. October is Eye Health Month and local optometrists are hoping to examine as many pairs of Junior Kindergarten eyes as possible over the current school year to make sure they are ready to learn. Junior Kindergarten students enrolled in publicly funded schools in Dufferin Peel, Hamilton-Wentworth, Halton and Windsor Essex are eligible to receive a comprehensive eye exam with their health card, and if required, a free pair of eyeglasses courtesy of the Eye See…Eye Learn program.

The Eye See…Eye Learn program recently received funding from the Government of Ontario to bring the program back to these four regions and to expand across the province over the next five years. The program exists because a large percentage of children begin school without ever having an eye exam. Last year, for 70% of the children participating in the program, it was their first eye exam and over 450 children received free glasses.

“Children often don’t complain to a parent or teacher if they can’t see well,” says Dr Sheldon Salaba, a Hamilton area optometrist. “Children at a young age don’t know what normal vision is supposed to look so they just try to cope. They have no form of comparison. Unfortunately this leaves parents unaware that their child is struggling to see.”

Only a comprehensive eye exam will thoroughly check all aspects of a child’s vision and eye health including how well they can see near or far, if there are any health abnormalities, and whether the eyes are working well together for proper depth perception.

“We know that 80 per cent of learning is visual. If a child can’t see well they will not learn at the same rate as their peers and fall behind,” says Dr Salaba. “We have the opportunity to positively change the lives of hundreds of students in these schools through this free program and give parents the peace of mind of knowing how well their child can see.”

There is no cost to participate. Simply visit www.EyeSeeEyeLearn.ca or call toll free 1-855-424-ESEL (3735) to find a participating school board and optometrist. Present your child’s valid health card at the time of the exam. The glasses are generously donated by Jungle Eyewear and Hoya Vision Care and local participating optometrists. The program is operated by the Ontario Association of Optometrists and is funded in part by the Government of Ontario.


Optometrists are professionally educated and clinically trained to provide community-based primary eye health and vision care services. Optometrists provide comprehensive eye care for patients of all ages to optimize vision and prevent vision loss.

Contact: Melissa Secord
Ontario Association of Optometrists
msecord@optom.on.ca
Toll free: 855-424-3735 x243

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Ontario Optometrists Challenge Parents to Test Eye-Q
Too many children’s eyes go unchecked before school starts

Mississauga, ON - August 18, 2011 – With just a few short weeks until children head back to school, Ontario’s optometrists want to challenge parents’ knowledge about the facts of children’s vision.

“There are many myths about kids and their vision. These age old myths often prevent parents from taking preventative steps to have their child’s eyes examined,” says Dr Shirley Ha, Oakville area optometrist and a past president of the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO).

Troubling statistics show that despite the fact that one in six children has an eye or vision problem significant enough to impair their ability to learn, only a relatively low percentage of children under five years of age have a comprehensive eye examination by an optometrist. Children who cannot see well will struggle to learn and to participate fully in school. Experts agree that 80% of a child’s learning is done through their visual system.

To dispel these myths, the OAO has developed ten quick true and false questions for parents to test their knowledge. The Eye-Q test can be found on their website www.EyeSeeEyeLearn.ca.

“For example, one myth is that children should have their eyes examined only if they complain to a parent and this is false. Children at a young age don’t know what their vision is supposed to look like. They have no way to compare so they just try to cope,” says Dr. Ha. “Many parents are shocked to learn that their son or daughter has been struggling to see after an exam.”
 
The Ontario Association of Optometrists, with funding assistance from the Ontario Government, is also increasing the awareness about the importance of early identification of vision problems through the Eye See…Eye Learn program. The program encourages parents of Junior Kindergarten children to book eye exams with participating local optometrists. If the child needs glasses, they will be provided free of charge through the assistance from industry partners. The program will be expanding across the province over the next five years. The program is currently running with Halton, Hamilton-Wentworth, Dufferin-Peel and Windsor-Essex school boards.

Eye exams are covered under the Provincial Health Insurance or your child’s health card annually until they are 19 years of age.

Early detection is critical for conditions such as lazy eye (amblyopia) and turned eye (strabismus), which can often be treated successfully if they are diagnosed early enough by an optometrist, ophthalmologist or family physician.

To take the Eye-Q Test or to learn more about children’s vision, please visit the Ontario Association of Optometrists’ website at www.EyeSeeEyeLearn.ca  or call toll free (855) 424-ESEL (3735)

Optometrists are providers of primary eye care in the province of Ontario who are university educated and clinically trained to diagnose and treat disorders of the eye and visual system. Founded in 1909, OAO is the voluntary professional organization that represents more than 1,400 optometrists in Ontario.


Download this Release in PDF format here

 

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Beginning this fall an Ontario Optometrist Association pilot project promoting early detection of vision problems will be expanded to include over 40,000 Ontario junior kindergarten students.

Under a new partnership between the Ontario government, the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) and optical industry partners Jungle Eyewear (Bo Optik), Hoya Vision Care and Johnson and Johnson Vision Care makers, of ACUVUE® brand contact lenses, the Eye See…Eye Learn program will be expanded and offered to junior kindergarten students in 14 school boards during the 2011/12 school year.

“Don’t be surprised like I was and find out that your six year old daughter, who just completed senior kindergarten, is legally blind in one eye,” warns Jennifer Hartman, an Oakville parent. “I feel so terrible that I didn’t know that she couldn’t see well. There were no signs that I could see that she had a problem.”

The Eye See…Eye Learn program was created to address the troubling Ontario statistic that shows less than 20% of children have an eye exam before entering school, despite the fact that annual eye examinations are covered by OHIP for children 19 years of age and under.
 
This September parents with children entering junior kindergarten will be provided with program information, encouraging them to take their child for an eye exam at a participating optometrist’s office.  These eye exams are insured by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. This will identify children with vision problems that may affect their ability to learn.

Find out more, read the full Press Release here!
 

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For the second year in a row, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind ran a major public awareness campaign promoting sunglass usage called Shades of the Sun.

John Flattery, president and CEO of the CNIB, agrees more children need to be wearing sunglasses. “They are critical for UV protection of the retina, at the back of your eyes,” he says.

To promote sunglass use, the CNIB visited hundreds of schools and students in Grades 5 to 8 were given pairs to wear in the classroom in an interactive exercise that showed how wearing glasses could be fun as well as protect eyes.

“We want it to be enjoyable, not frightening,” says Flattery, adding, he want people to start thinking automatically about wearing sunglasses the way they now think about wearing sun block on their skin.

“The damage to the retina by the sun is as bad as the damage to your skin.”

Read more here

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New Regulations Give Ontarians Better Access to Eye Care

The Ontario Government approved a regulation today that allows Ontario’s optometrists to start prescribing medications for their patients. Optometrists will now be able to prescribe treatments for conditions ranging from routine bacterial eye infections to more serious diseases including glaucoma.

The change will alleviate wait times in emergency rooms and walk-in clinics for patients with eye-related problems.

“This is great news for our patients and everyone in Ontario,” notes Dr. John Mastronardi of Windsor, President of the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO). “Most of our members have been educated and trained to prescribe medications for years. We are pleased that the Ontario government has made changes that will broaden access to medically necessary services across the province.”

While Ontario is one of the last provinces to en-act this regulation, the new regulation has the widest scope in Canada and brings about the most benefits to patients.

For patient Jason Secord of Acton, he applauds the decision. “A few years ago, I almost lost the vision in my right eye because of a condition called iritis. I went to my optometrist and he knew what was wrong but he couldn’t prescribe the drops that I needed. Now if I ever have a problem again, I can go to my optometrist right away without putting my eye health at risk by waiting to see three different doctors for treatment.”

Today’s decision by the Ontario government means better healthcare and shorter wait times for patients while reducing costs for taxpayers.

The Executive Director of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) Ontario, Paul Ting, also applauded the news. “This will make great strides in the treatment of all eye care,” says Ting. “Seventy five percent of vision loss is preventable or treatable. Preventing blindness is an urgent challenge with an aging population, and this will drastically improve access to clinical care.”

Optometrists are eye doctors who are university educated and clinically trained to diagnose and treat disorders of the eye and visual system. Optometrists complete a four year professional doctorate degree program and are regulated by the College of Optometrists of Ontario.

For more information on the eye conditions that optometrists can now treat and prescribe, please visit the Ontario Association of Optometrists website at: www.eyecareoao.com.

Download the full Press Release Here

For more information: Jim Warren
416-505-4773
jimwarren@riseley.ca
 

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How Well Can Your Child See? Check out OAO's new public service announcement on children's vision. Share with your friends and colleagues.

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