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FAQ

Eye Exam

What is a cataract?


A cataract is a condition where the natural crystalline lens of the eye is no longer transparent. There are different types, but the three most common are all age-related:

  1. nuclear (where the lens becomes more yellowed, particularly in the center);
  2. cortical (where portions of the lens become opaque, usually starting from the periphery);
  3. subcapsular (where a small central area at the back of the lens becomes clouded).
Interesting Facts:
  • Cataracts grow at different rates, typically they develop slowly, so from the time your eye doctor notices a cataract in your eyes to when it requires surgery is usually several years
  • There are also less common types of cataracts:

  1. congenital cataracts – present at birth or in early childhood
  2. traumatic cataracts – from eye or head injuries
  3. secondary cataracts – caused by other conditions, such as diabetes, chronic steroid use and retinal surgery




Do all cataracts require surgery?


No, not all cataracts require surgery immediately. There are some people who can still read the 20/20 line on the eye chart (with some difficulty) that would be good candidates for cataract surgery; there are others whose vision is substantially worse that don’t find their vision is impaired enough to affect everyday activities and don’t want surgery. However, if vision with cataracts does not meet the standards for driving (20/30 for commercial drivers, 20/50 for everyone else), then you’ll need to either have surgery done or stop driving.




Will I need glasses after cataract surgery?


Will I need glasses after cataract surgery? That will depend greatly on the patient and the surgery; some people just want the cataract removed and to go back to how things were before; others want to try and get away from glasses entirely.

  • OHIP covers the basic cataract surgery, including a basic lens implant and basic lens calculations (to determine the best strength of intraocular lens implant for the surgeon to use).
There are lots of options including:
  • more advanced lens calculations (typically a few hundred dollars) to new lens implants,
  • including those that correct astigmatism or have multifocal optics, which can be a few thousand dollars each.
So, if you are or were considering laser surgery to reduce your dependence on glasses, we typically recommend considering the upgrades to the basic cataract surgery; the costs are similar, and the results are usually similar or better uncorrected vision after surgery.





Children’s Eye Exam

What is glaucoma?


Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve. There are also several types of glaucoma: The most common is called primary open-angle glaucoma; primary because it isn’t caused by something else (like an injury or medication), and open-angle because the fluid in the eye still has an open area to drain. Interesting Facts:

  • Traditionally glaucoma has been characterized by elevated pressure in the eye, but newer research suggests that the intraocular pressure isn’t the cause of glaucoma so much as it’s an aggravating factor in the nerve damage associated with glaucoma.

  • But since the only treatments we have for glaucoma involve lowering the eye pressure to slow or halt the damage to the optic nerve, the “high pressure = glaucoma” mentality persists.
  • Elevated eye pressure does not always mean a diagnosis of glaucoma

  • There are people with eye pressures in the normal range whose nerves are more delicate and can become damaged, a condition called “normal tension glaucoma”.
  • There are also people with higher-than-normal eye pressures but absolutely no damage to the nerve; this is called “ocular hypertension” but doesn’t necessarily mean that the person will develop glaucoma.





Seniors

As you enter into your 60’s, you will find that some age related changes to your vision are normal. Changes in structure include: reduced pupil size, dry eyes, decreased colored vision and vitrous detachment.

Cataracts are often associated with aging, and while they are common among seniors, they can be easily corrected with surgery. Some changes to vision can be serious, resulting in deterioration of vision quality. Very serious conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts which have a higher prevalence in seniors can all cause reduced vision.

Cataract

What is a cataract?


A cataract is a condition where the natural crystalline lens of the eye is no longer transparent. There are different types, but the three most common are all age-related:

  1. nuclear (where the lens becomes more yellowed, particularly in the center);
  2. cortical (where portions of the lens become opaque, usually starting from the periphery);
  3. subcapsular (where a small central area at the back of the lens becomes clouded).
Interesting Facts:
  • Cataracts grow at different rates, typically they develop slowly, so from the time your eye doctor notices a cataract in your eyes to when it requires surgery is usually several years
  • There are also less common types of cataracts:

  1. congenital cataracts – present at birth or in early childhood
  2. traumatic cataracts – from eye or head injuries
  3. secondary cataracts – caused by other conditions, such as diabetes, chronic steroid use and retinal surgery




Do all cataracts require surgery?


No, not all cataracts require surgery immediately. There are some people who can still read the 20/20 line on the eye chart (with some difficulty) that would be good candidates for cataract surgery; there are others whose vision is substantially worse that don’t find their vision is impaired enough to affect everyday activities and don’t want surgery. However, if vision with cataracts does not meet the standards for driving (20/30 for commercial drivers, 20/50 for everyone else), then you’ll need to either have surgery done or stop driving.




Will I need glasses after cataract surgery?


Will I need glasses after cataract surgery? That will depend greatly on the patient and the surgery; some people just want the cataract removed and to go back to how things were before; others want to try and get away from glasses entirely.

  • OHIP covers the basic cataract surgery, including a basic lens implant and basic lens calculations (to determine the best strength of intraocular lens implant for the surgeon to use).
There are lots of options including:
  • more advanced lens calculations (typically a few hundred dollars) to new lens implants,
  • including those that correct astigmatism or have multifocal optics, which can be a few thousand dollars each.
So, if you are or were considering laser surgery to reduce your dependence on glasses, we typically recommend considering the upgrades to the basic cataract surgery; the costs are similar, and the results are usually similar or better uncorrected vision after surgery.





Glaucoma

What is glaucoma?


Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve. There are also several types of glaucoma: The most common is called primary open-angle glaucoma; primary because it isn’t caused by something else (like an injury or medication), and open-angle because the fluid in the eye still has an open area to drain. Interesting Facts:

  • Traditionally glaucoma has been characterized by elevated pressure in the eye, but newer research suggests that the intraocular pressure isn’t the cause of glaucoma so much as it’s an aggravating factor in the nerve damage associated with glaucoma.

  • But since the only treatments we have for glaucoma involve lowering the eye pressure to slow or halt the damage to the optic nerve, the “high pressure = glaucoma” mentality persists.
  • Elevated eye pressure does not always mean a diagnosis of glaucoma

  • There are people with eye pressures in the normal range whose nerves are more delicate and can become damaged, a condition called “normal tension glaucoma”.
  • There are also people with higher-than-normal eye pressures but absolutely no damage to the nerve; this is called “ocular hypertension” but doesn’t necessarily mean that the person will develop glaucoma.





Dry Eye Syndrome

What is glaucoma?


Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve. There are also several types of glaucoma: The most common is called primary open-angle glaucoma; primary because it isn’t caused by something else (like an injury or medication), and open-angle because the fluid in the eye still has an open area to drain. Interesting Facts:

  • Traditionally glaucoma has been characterized by elevated pressure in the eye, but newer research suggests that the intraocular pressure isn’t the cause of glaucoma so much as it’s an aggravating factor in the nerve damage associated with glaucoma.

  • But since the only treatments we have for glaucoma involve lowering the eye pressure to slow or halt the damage to the optic nerve, the “high pressure = glaucoma” mentality persists.
  • Elevated eye pressure does not always mean a diagnosis of glaucoma

  • There are people with eye pressures in the normal range whose nerves are more delicate and can become damaged, a condition called “normal tension glaucoma”.
  • There are also people with higher-than-normal eye pressures but absolutely no damage to the nerve; this is called “ocular hypertension” but doesn’t necessarily mean that the person will develop glaucoma.