The P.E.I. Association of Optometrists has launched an ad campaign in an attempt to clear up some confusion about what Health P.E.I. does and does not cover.

“There are a few things that are different now, just in the last couple of years,’’ says Dr. Catherine Arsenault, an optometrist with Family Vision Centre in Charlottetown. “There seems to be a ton of confusion where people don’t understand what’s covered and what’s not.’’

All kindergarten children are covered for an eye exam, regardless of whether their parents have insurance.

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It might be a surprise to some parents to learn that Island optometrists recommend taking your kids for their first eye exam when they’re infants.

“The best age is to start right back at six months of age,” Dr. Lester Jinks, a Charlottetown optometrist, told Mainstreet P.E.I. host Angela Walker.

“There are enough tests that you can get a reasonable understanding of the visual system and the fact that both eyes are working quite well together and once you’ve established the fact that both eyes are working and they focus together it negates problems that may arise later down the road.”

Jinks said a baby’s eyes start aligning after four to five months and they start using both eyes together.

Catch issues early

“The reason why I say six months is because you’d like to catch … there’s a problem called amblyopia which is lazy eye and sometimes the earlier you pick it up, the better.”

Continue reading “Early eye exams can prevent future problems, says optometrist”

Kindergarten students in P.E.I. continue to benefit from ongoing free eye exams and glasses with help from the Eye See…Eye Learn program.

The program focuses on early detection of eye and vision problems in young children as they enter the school system.

Continue reading “Free eye exams, glasses for P.E.I. kindergarten students”

Expanded coverage of optometry services is reducing the need for referrals to ophthalmologists, visits to family doctors, emergency departments and walk-in clinics.

“Uptake has been excellent for this new program which allows optometrists across the province to screen for conditions such as diabetic retinopathy which can be an indicator of diabetes complications, or red eye which can signal glaucoma,” said Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson. “When eye disease is detected early, patients have a much better chance of reducing damage and managing their diabetes and other conditions.”

Continue reading “PEI optometrists now screening for conditions like diabetes”

When Virginia McGowan of Charlottetown began having eye pain three years ago, she believed it was due to allergies.

McGowan’s eyes were dry and itchy, yet she was producing excess tears that wouldn’t stay in her eyes.

Her eyes were constantly straining, and she was having a difficult time reading.

Continue reading “Seeing clearly – treatment for dry eye disease”

Optometrists, like pharmacists, will soon have limited powers to write prescriptions in P.E.I.

The list of drugs that optometrists will be able to prescribe is still to be written, but should cover a range of eye ailments.

“Any allergy, itchy red eye, inflammation or infection,” Joe Hickey, treasurer of the P.E.I. Optometrist Association, told CBC News. “And infection would need an antibiotic.”

Continue reading “P.E.I. optometrists get prescription power”

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