General treatment options

From vision, eye and general health needs, through to framing a change of look, no one can provide the scope of services and health care that optometrists deliver. 

Optometrists are trained to the utmost standards. Most optometrists have earned a four-year Bachelor of Science degree or higher, followed by four years of professional study at a university-based school of optometry. Ongoing continuing education requirements ensure we remain current on eye health issues and technological advancements. 

Recommended treatments for patients can include eyeglasses, contact lenses, low vision aids, eye coordination exercises, drug therapies, or referrals to appropriate specialists for advanced medical, surgical or laser treatments. In addition to prescribing glasses and contacts, most optometrists can also prescribe medication to treat infections, inflammations and allergies. We can treat eye injuries, including removing foreign bodies. We assess unusual or sudden vision changes and various conditions causing eye pain and, when necessary, we will provide referrals to other specialists. 

If you have an eye-related emergency, contact your optometrist. Optometrists can often see you on the same day.   


Orthokeratology (Corneal Refractive Therapy) 

Myopia (or nearsightedness) occurs when the length of the eyeball is too long, or when the curvature of the cornea (clear covering of the eye) is too steep. Glasses and contact lenses work by bending the incoming light so that it is precisely focused at the back of the eye. Laser (refractive) eye surgery corrects myopia by reshaping the cornea by flattening it permanently.  

An alternative to laser vision correction is a procedure called orthokeratology, or corneal refractive therapy (CRT).  CRT also flattens the cornea, but does so without surgery. It is performed by using a highly oxygen permeable contact lens to gently flatten the cornea. It is worn while you sleep and removed while you are awake. 

For the first 1-3 months, the lenses are worn every night while sleeping. Eventually the goal is to reduce contact lens wear to 2-3 nights a week. Initially the sharpness of vision will fade towards the end of the day. Once the corneal reshaping has stabilized, your vision will be crisp all day. 

The risks are extremely low. Should the contact lenses not center properly on the eye while sleeping, distorted vision may result. However, your optometrist will perform a thorough fitting process to ensure that this does not happen. CRT is only effective for people with mild to moderate amounts of myopia and low levels of astigmatism. 

Unlike laser eye surgery, CRT is completely reversible. Should you be unhappy with the results at any time, you may discontinue sleeping with the lenses and your original eyeglass prescription will gradually return. 

Prescribing medication

Ontario optometrists can prescribe medications to treat certain eye diseases and conditions, such as: 
     • Bacterial and viral eye infections
     • Eyelid infections and inflammation, such as Blepharitis and Styes
     • Inflammation of the eye, such as anterior uveitis
     • Eye pain due to dry eyes
    • Allergic conjunctivitis
    • Superficial corneal foreign bodies
    • Glaucoma
    • Red, sore, irritated eyes due to contact lens wear
    • Pre- and post-operative conditions associated with cataract or refractive surgery

Occupational vision programs

Occupational vision safety programs are provided through your local doctor of optometry office with the goal of providing corrective safety eyewear to the highest standards available. Optometrists offer the latest vision safety products and ensure that they are verified for accuracy and properly adjusted for fit in order to meet the vision and safety requirements of the workplace.

 In addition to offering advice on workplace safety, doctors of optometry also manage job-related vision problem (such as computer vision syndrome) and age-related vision changes (known as presbyopia).
For further information on an Occupational Vision Plan in Ontario, please click on here.