Author: truvalu


This is a common question patients will ask in preparation to see the Optometrist for an eye exam. The necessity of pupil dilation is largely dependant upon your age, overall health, risk of eye disease, as well as the reason you have booked the eye exam.

Eyedrops will be used for dilation, causing the pupils to widen, allowing the optometrist a better view of the back of the eye. This is important in diagnosing a number of eye conditions and diseases including

High blood pressure – Cataracts – Glaucoma – Macular Degeneration – Retinal Detachment

In the event that you do have your pupils dilated, your vision will be blurry and your eyes will be light-sensitive for a period of time. It will be helpful to bring in a pair of sunglasses and also keep in mind that you may not be able to drive immediately following the exam.

As it is not always possible to predict ahead of time whether dilation will be necessary, it is best to allow yourself at least an hour in the doctor’s office to accommodate for this procedure.

If you have any questions about this topic or any aspect of the eye exam, please call the office at 604-873-3941.

SIGHT TEST vs EYE EXAM. What is the difference?

When it comes to eye care, you may be faced with a couple of options, a sight test or an eye exam. In this article, we examine the differences between the two options.

Eye Examinations – An eye exam is performed by a Doctor of Optometry. As an eye exam addresses your eye health, there is no substitute for an eye exam. A comprehensive eye exam will include the following

-An assessment of eye health, to diagnose any eye conditions or diseases. The testing includes eye pressure tests for glaucoma as well as examination of the eyes for cataracts and macular degeneration.

-Testing of how well the eyes focus at varying distances.

-Binocular vision testing to assess how well the eyes work together.

After a thorough examination and discussion on your lifestyle needs, the Optometrist is able to make recommendations on lens options that will best suit your personal visual requirements.

Sight Test – This test is not performed by a doctor. A sight test is very limited in its scope in that it provides only an eyeglass prescription by the use of automated equipment.

How often should I have an Eye Exam?

An eye exam is generally recommended every 2 years. In cases where you may experience any deterioration in your vision or other eye issue, it is important to see an Optometrist promptly. For kids, seniors and individuals with health issues or eye conditions, eye exams should be conducted annually.

Insurance & MSP

MSP will cover eye exams for kids under 19 years. Seniors over the age of 65 years receive an eye exam with a co-pay fee of $25 in conjunction with MSP coverage.

Also bear in mind that if you have extended health plans , they may cover the full or partial cost of the eye exam. At TVO we are able to direct bill many of the major insurance companies for eye exam and glasses.

For more information on our eye exams, please call the office. 604-873-3941

Also please visit the CNIB website for more information on eye health.


Eyeglass lenses come in varying indexes from regular to high index lenses. The most common is 1.5 index which is suitable for weaker prescriptions. For stronger prescriptions, 1.5 index lenses can be used. However, in order to make the appropriate correction, the lenses need to be much thicker.

Lenses for high reading prescriptions tend to have a greater centre thickness. From an observers perspective, the lens magnifies the eyes making them look much larger. Lenses with a strong distance prescription have a thicker lens edge. These lenses have the opposite effect of minifying the eyes. The result in both cases is also a much heavier lens.

High index lenses bend the light more efficiently compared to regular index lenses. This makes them a more suitable choice for stronger prescriptions. High index lenses are available in a 1.56, 1.6, 1.67 and 1.74 index. Your Eye Care Professional will determine which index is most suitable for your prescription needs to ensure you have the thinnest and most lightweight lens option.

Although high index lenses are more expensive, the lighter weight of these lenses will ensure a more comfortable fit when you wear your glasses. The thinner lens is also more aesthetically pleasing.

High index lenses can be used for single vision, bifocal and progressive lenses. They can also be combined with various coatings. Anti-reflective coatings are a must with high-index lenses as they eliminate glare. Other options include blue-light blocking, transition and polarized sunglass lenses.