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Comprehensive Eye Exams


At Summerland optometry we understand that your vision is important to you. We make sure to schedule adequate time for your appointment, to be able to deal with all your needs.  An initial exam for a patient over 40, which includes pretesting, dilation and retinal imaging, can take up to 60 minutes.

Before your examination, one of our trained staff will ask you questions regarding your systemic and ocular health and do some preliminary tests to prepare you for your exam. It is important that we know if any eye conditions run in the family such as: glaucoma, macular degeneration or retinal detachments. For children, we would like to know if there is anyone in the family with a lazy eye or eye turn or any condition causing vision impairment at a young age. If you have ever seen an ophthalmologist, mention this to us when you book your appointment, as we may want to try to get information regarding this exam prior to your visit with us.

We take the time to find out how each patient uses their eyes so that we can provide a solution to your specific vision needs whether it’s lenses or vision therapy. We test for ocular disease, binocular vision anomalies and any potential eye related health problems. We will provide answers and solutions to your needs.

Depending on your age, risk factors and health, pupil dilation is often necessary to adequately assess the internal ocular health of your eyes. Dilation will blur your vision to some degree and cause light sensitivity that will last for about 3 hours. Prescription sunglasses are very helpful, and if possible have someone drive you home, especially if you have a long way to go. Most people with up-to-date glasses do fine after dilation.

We do not believe in charging our patients additional fees for testing that we feel is necessary. Our exam fees include periodic digital retinal photographs of all patients over 40, or younger if we feel it is warranted. Additional testing may be required, including visual field testing.

Often patients believe that their eyes are healthy because they “see good”. However, many ocular diseases have no symptoms and early detection is critical.  Glaucoma is one such disease and its damaging effects cannot be reversed. Conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes can further exacerbate eye conditions and they are often first detected in the eye.

Everyone should have periodic comprehensive eye examinations. Once you become a patient at our clinic we will inform you of when you should be returning for your next visit. Any sudden central or peripheral loss of vision needs to be assessed without delay.Regardless of your age or physical health, it's important to have regular eye exams.


Eyecare experts recommend you have a complete eye exam every one to three years, depending on your age, risk factors, and physical condition.

Children: Some experts estimate that approximately 5% to 10% of pre-schoolers and 25% of school-aged children have vision problems. According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO), all children should have their eyes examined at 6 months of age, at age 3 and again at the start of school. Children without vision problems or risk factors for eye or vision problems should then continue to have their eyes examined at least every two years throughout school.

Children with existing vision problems or risk factors should have their eyes examined more frequently. Common risk factors for vision problems include:

  • Premature birth
  • Developmental delays
  • Turned or crossed eyes
  • Family history of eye disease
  • History of eye injury
  • Other physical illness or disease

The CAO recommends that children who wear eyeglasses or contact lenses should have their eyes examined at least every 12 months or according to their eye doctor's instructions. Read more about Pediatric Eye Exams.

Adults: The CAO also recommends an annual eye exam for any adult who wears eyeglasses or contacts. If you don't normally need vision correction, you still need an eye exam every two to three years up to the age of 40, depending on your rate of visual change and overall health. Doctors often recommend more frequent examinations for adults with diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders, because many diseases can have an impact on vision and eye health.

If you are over 40, it's a good idea to have your eyes examined every one to two years to check for common age-related eye problems such as presbyopia, cataracts and macular degeneration. Read more about Vision After 40.

Because the risk of eye disease continues to increase with advancing age, everyone over the age of 60 should be examined annually. Read more about Vision After 60.