Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve got questions and we’ve got the answers. Browse our list of frequently asked questions below, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for, give Sherwood Park Eye Centre a call today.

How often should I have my eyes tested?

Unfortunately your ocular health is not always accompanied by recognizable symptoms. It is important to have a regular visit as there is often an increased risk to you if timely treatment is not initiated.

After your initial examination at Sherwood Park Eye Centre, we will schedule regular return visits at a frequency that meets your eye care requirements. If your vision is healthy, general guidelines have been established for recommended checkup visits.
  • 0 - 24 months: Infants and Toddlers - by their first birthday
  • 2 - 5 years: Preschool- by age 3, and prior to entering elementary school recommended
  • 6 - 19 years: School Age - Annual visits are recommended
  • 20 - 64 years: Adult - Every 1 to 2 years is recommended
  • 65+: Older Adult - Every year is recommended
How can you test my child's eyes if he/she is not able to read letters or speak yet?

We use simple symbols instead of letters. Much of the testing that is done requires little input from your child. It is focused on assessment of the strength of the eye, eye muscle status, and eye health to ensure proper vision development. Critical information can be obtained about your child's eye without them needing to say a word!

What are symptoms that may indicate my child is having vision problems?

There are many symptoms that require attention. They include rubbing eyes, squinting, turning or tilting head, losing their place or using a finger to follow along when reading, moving head or mouthing words while reading, headaches, red eyes, wandering eyes, complaints of blurred vision. Many disorders have no symptoms and that is why it is very important for them to have regular eye exams.

Should I wear my contacts to my appointment?

Yes. If you are a contact lens wearer we do ask that you wear your contacts to your appointment as this allows us to assess the current fit and level of vision and make appropriate recommendations.

Why are eye drops used?

Eye drops that dilate the pupils, called mydriatics, are used in some examinations to enable the doctor to get a better view of the inside of the eye. The doctor will decide how often this type of examination is necessary for each individual depending upon his or her symptoms, age, health, and family history. The drops generally leave your vision a little blurry and sensitive to light, so you may not be able to drive immediately after this procedure. The effect of the drops will wear off in 2 to 6 hours.

Eye drops that relax the focus of the eyes, called cycloplegics, are used to accurately measure the degree of far-sightedness of the eyes. These are generally used, when necessary, for children and young adults. These drops also leave the vision blurry and sensitive to light.

Eye drops to anesthetize (numb) the eye are used for procedures that require an instrument touching the eye. The anesthetic does not affect vision and lasts about 15 minutes. Some eye drops contain a dye that helps the doctor diagnose abnormalities of the surface of the eye.

I can see just fine, so why do I need to come in for an eye exam?

A comprehensive eye examination includes assessing not just a person's visual status, but also their ocular health as it relates to their overall systemic health. It also includes assessing the muscular, neurological and binocular systems of the eye, as well as color and perceptual vision. Although your vision may be "good" and you do not wear glasses, there are many instances in which a disorder or disease of the eye may not affect your vision but are discovered by optometrists first. Sight-threatening eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration do not cause perceptible changes in vision when they first begin. An eye exam will ensure that you are seeing as well as possible, and can detect eye diseases in their early stages before permanent vision loss has occurred.

I have had laser eye surgery; why do I need an eye exam?

Laser vision correction improves your vision but does not make you immune to general eye health conditions. Regular eye exams are still important to monitor for early signs of eye health disease and any regression with your vision.

I am interested in laser eye surgery, so where do I go?

At Sherwood Park Eye Centre, we recommend a comprehensive eye exam, and at that visit, we can discuss your expectations with getting laser eye surgery. We may conduct some additional testing and can refer you to a number of different laser clinics.

Does Alberta Health Care (AHC) cover eye examinations?

Benefits are limited to one complete exam, one partial exam, and one diagnostic procedure per benefit year (July 1 to June 30) for children under 19 years of age and seniors 65 years of age and over. Alberta residents 19–64 years old who require an eye examination for a medical condition, episode of illness or trauma may be eligible for an eye examination if the optometrist deems it as an insured eye examination. Consult with your health care professional regarding services covered.

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