Comprehensive Eye Examinations in Castlegar & Trail

At Kootenay Optometry Clinic, we believe it is important for our patients to be educated about their options and to know what to expect during their visit to our clinic. You'll find a few of our most frequently asked questions below, and you can also contact us directly for more information.


Q: What can I expect at my eye examination?

A: A comprehensive eye examination with our eye doctors involves a thorough assessment of your eye muscles and your ocular health, in addition to your refractive and glasses needs. We will also be taking digital photos of your retina. Other tests like visual fields and OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) may be performed if indicated. You can expect to be in our clinic for 45 minutes to 1 hour, and you will usually have your pupils dilated. This will leave your eyesight sensitive to light, and you may have blurry vision up close for 4 to 6 hours. Bring sunglasses when you come, as well as your current glasses and contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses, come with them in and bring along your glasses, as well as a case for your contacts.


Q: What conditions can be found with a comprehensive eye examination?

A: We can find almost any ocular disease, such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration, as well as many rarer ocular disorders. A number of systemic diseases may be found in a comprehensive eye exam as well, such as diabetes and hypertension. We will take digital photos of the retina, as well as perform a dilated exam of the eye to make sure that your eyes are in good health.


Q: When should children have their first eye exams?

A: We recommend a first eye examination at the age of 3 if you have no specific concerns or family history of eye problems. If you do have such concerns or family history, then we can examine children at any age, even a few months old, in order to detect any serious eye problems that should be addressed.


Q: Am I a candidate for refractive surgery?

A: This is a common question patients have, and there are many people who are a candidate for laser or refractive surgery. With a comprehensive eye exam, we can determine which options are most suitable for your eyes and rule out any conditions that might be contra-indicated for surgery.


Q: What should I do if I see floaters or flashing lights?

A: A new onset of floaters may or may not be accompanied by flashing lights. Either way, they should be checked within a few days to ensure that there is not a tear in the retina. If you experience a loss of vision, or experience a curtain or veil over a part of your vision, your eyes should be checked the same day. If our office is closed, then you should proceed to an emergency room for further care.


Q: Is my eye examination covered by BC Medical?

A: A portion of your eye examination is covered if you are under 19 or over 64 years of age. A portion of your exam may be covered if you have any ocular disease, certain systemic conditions, or if you take certain medications that are associated with eye complications. Please ask the staff if you are not sure if any of your examination will be covered. If you have extended benefits then you will have to submit your paid receipt for re-imbursement from your insurance company.

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