Eye Exams

Medicallly necessary eye exams

Other Eye Gallery Services

Eye Gallery Eye Exams


Optometric Eye Health and Visual Evaluations


Eye health and visual evaluations (eye exams) are provided by highly trained eye doctors (optometrists). Regular eye exams are important to monitor for eye disease or eye disorders which, initially, may not cause blurred vision. Eye exams are not just for those who wear glasses or contact lenses or who feel they have trouble seeing (although many individuals who fall in those categories do visit our office more often).


There is a common misconception that if I can see clearly then I do not need an eye exam. There are several preventable or manageable eye diseases that can occur that do not involve eye pain or blurred vision as its initial symptoms. When caught early, the success of their treatment increases significantly. Examinations may also reveal a variety of systemic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and multiple sclerosis. Hence it is important to have routine eye examinations even if you think your vision is fine.


The first part of the evaluation involves the important case history. This is where you tell us your main reasons for coming to the office and what visual areas you would like the optometrist to look specifically into. This may be as basic as a regular eye health and visual check or it may include a more specific eye problem you have been experiencing. In addition, you will be asked questions about your medical history, medication/herbs/vitamins you are taking, family history of disorders, product interest (do you want new glasses/contact lenses/sunglasses), and lifestyle questions. You may wonder why we ask similar questions each year we see you at your eye exam. One reason is because things can change over the year but the individual gets used to the changes over the course of the year and may assume that we know about it from the past year(s), whereas it is new to us. This could include things such as a new medical condition, changes in medication, addition of a new sport/hobby etc.


At the time of the case history, diagnostic equipment is used to take initial measurements of some visual conditions and digital photographs of the inside of your eye, your retina, are taken at the One Year Testing area. These are procedures that Eye Gallery optometrists recommend be done yearly.


There are several benefits to you for having these digital retinal photographs being done yearly. One is that our optometrists can show you problems that are developing or have developed rather than just tell you. This is especially useful when some retinal eye disease does not initially affect your 20/20 sight clarity of how you see.  It is critical to have a high-resolution digital picture of the retina, optic nerve and other retinal structures. Our optometrists can compare actual photos from one year to the next and show you any progressive eye disease changes that may be occurring.


The Ocular Coherence Tomographer (OCT) is a non-invasive, painless test which provides high resolution cross-sectional imaging of ocular tissues. The technique is analagous to ultrasound except is uses light instead of sound waves to allow exceptionally high resolution.  OCT scans are used to analyze the layers of the retina and optic nerve for any signs of eye disease, similar to a CT scan of the eye. It can measure retinal nerve fibre layer tissue as well as macula thickness.  Significantly earlier detection and, as a result earlier treatment, of eye disease such as glaucoma, macular edema, diabetic retinopathy, plaquenil toxicity and dry/wet macular degeneration is now possible compared to regular traditional methods many offices use.




In the optometrist's eye exam room, you will experience several different tests such as:


  • color vision evaluation


  • stereopsis (near depth perception) testing


  • sight/visual acuity ability at both distance and near


  • eye coordination abilities / eye teaming abilities


  • identificaton of the presence or absence of strabismus / amblyopia


  • accommodative (eye clearing system) testing: although one might be able to clear the 20/20 sized letters, one may require an excess amount of effort to successfully do so. As a result, that individual often feels more eyestrain at the end of the day especially when doing reading or computer tasks. Appropriate lenses can help reduce or eliminate this fatigue.


  • retinoscopy (a technique which allows the optometrist to see how much myopia ("near-sightedness"), hyperopia ("far-sightedness") and/or astigmatism your visual system is developing. This is done without feedback from the patient and is therefore an invaluable instrument for assessing the vision problems of children and others who may not be able to read an eye chart


  • eye movement abilities: using a number of different tests, the optometrist will evaluate how well your eyes align or coordinate when working together and individually


  • external eye examination: Your optometrist will examine the external area around the eye to ensure that there are no abnormalities.


  • internal eye examination: Using the slit lamp microscope (biomicroscope) and an ophthalmoscope, your optometrist will check your eyes for indications of abnormalities, from front to back. Some problems detected during an internal eye examination may indicate possible disease, such as diabetes or hypertension. If your optometrist sees any of these warning signs, you will be referred to the appropriate physician should surgical care be required.


  • eye pressure measurements


Additional advanced testing are also available depending on the need of the individual: 


  • corneal topography (instrument that produces a color elevation map of the front of the eye which is important in creating custom contact lenses and for monitoring/diagnosing eye disease such as keratoconus)


  • computerized visual field evaluation


  • laser pre-operative assessment and post-operative follow up evaluations


Examinations are recommended beginning at 6 months of age, 3 years old, and yearly thereafter.  Adult examinations are recommended every 2 years unless otherwise advised by your optometrist, while senior examinations should be performed on a yearly basis.


Medically Necessary Eye Health Examinations


Alberta optometrists are fully qualified to diagnose and treat (short of surgery) most eye conditions and diseases. Individuals who suffer from conditions such as "pink eye", or who are suffering from an eye injury, eye infection, or other eye health problem should visit their optometrist as soon as possible. Alberta Health Services covers medically necessary (non-glasses or contact lens associated) eye health related visits.


Please have your Alberta Health Care card handy when phoning or dropping in for an eye health related appointment. Eye Gallery's optometrists are available during the week, on evenings and on Saturdays.


To book an appointment call 403-246-3445


Call 403.246.3445 to book your appointment today

Medically Necessary Eye Health Examinations


What Alberta Health Care Covers for Optometric Eye Exam Ages 0-19 and 65+


Alberta Health Care provides routine eye exam coverage for patients 0-18 years of age and 65 and older. For these age groups, most services are insured, but coverage is limited to one complete eye exam per year.  Alberta Health Care calendar billing year is from July 1 to June 30. That means if you were seen in June of this year, you would be eligible for a full exam again in July of the same year. Likewise, if you were seen in August of one year, you would be covered for a full exam again in July of the following year. There are some exceptions based on clinical need.  For example, patients with glaucoma, diabetes, or cataracts may need additional "follow up" procedures.  Ask your optometrist for more information about coverage and potential costs for specific visual conditions.



Ages 19-64


For patients of the ages 19-64, Alberta Health covers only medically necessary optometric services.  What is considered medically-necessary?


  •     Monitoring for diabetes issues, glaucoma and retinal disease


  •     Pre and Post-operative care for cataract patients


  •     Eye infections or injuries


  •     Foreign objects in the eye


  •     Sudden appearance of floaters, spots, or flashes of light


  •     Sudden changes in vision or acute pain in the eye


  •     Other visual disturbances may be covered... ask your optometrist!



The bottom line is, if you are unsure whether or not a service is covered, ASK BEFORE entering the exam room.


Coverage only applies to the procedures or services necessary to treat the immediate medical condition.  A routine eye exam (testing involved in attaining a prescription for glasses or contact lenses) is not covered for adults (19-64). Other optometric services such as contact lens assessments and vision therapy are not insured by Alberta Health Care.



Optometrists treat specific eye disease


All of Eye Gallery's Calgary Optometrists are educated in the use of diagnostic and therapeutic agents which allow them to treat conditions ranging from bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye) to co-management of glaucoma therapy. Individuals who suffer from conditions such as "pink eye", or who are suffering from an eye injury, eye infection, or other eye health problem should visit our optometrists as soon as possible. Alberta Health Services covers medically necessary (non-glasses or contact lens associated) eye health related visits for individuals 19 through 65. Please have your Alberta Health Care card handy when phoning or dropping in for an eye health related appointment. Eye Gallery's optometrists are available during the week, on evenings and on Saturdays.



If I visit an Ophthalmologist, can I still visit Eye Gallery's Optometrist?


There is a misconception that if an individual sees an optometrist, then they will no longer be covered to see an eye surgeon (ophthalmologist). This is not true. You can see our optometrists, have your visit covered through Alberta Health Care (see the criteria above) and, when required, you still can have an ophthalmologist visit covered through Alberta Health Care.


Eyewear Frame Selection


Eye Gallery opticians and optometric assistants love to help you choose the right frame for you and for your lifestyle.



Safety Eyewear Frames (eye safe)


Eye Gallery opticians and optometrists also stress the importance of preventative measures and eye safety. We can make recommendations regarding ultraviolet protection, recreational and work-related safety glasses.





Eye Gallery is a part of Canada's exclusive doctor owned sunglass boutique, Sunglass Cove. Sunglass Cove is a sunglass shop within an optical. Eye Gallery carries a large selection of sunglasses. Many of these sunglasses may have the ability to hold your prescription. Ask our opticians for more information when you visit us next. If you had your eye exam elsewhere, bring your prescription into our office and then we can advise you better. Protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays by wearing good quality sunglass lenses available at our Sunglass Cove. Don't forget to start protecting your children's eyes too. Sunglasses to fit all ages are available at Eye Gallery Sunglass Cove.



Prescription Lenses


With your help (i.e. telling us more about your lifestyle needs), our opticians and optometric assistants will help you receive the best lens for your needs. Ask our opticians about Eye Gallery's new coating which is allows our lightweight plastic lenses to be tougher than glass.





Eye Gallery also carries the additional products that you may need to maintain healthy vision. Such products include: eyeglass cleaner, eyeglass cleaning cloths, eyeglass cases, eyeglass chains and cords, contact lens cleaning solutions, contact lens cases, dry eye moisturizing drops and ointments, eyelid cleaning pads, vitamins designed to help individuals with dry eyes, and vitamins for age related macular degeneration. We try to make it convenient for you so Eye Gallery can be your one-stop shop for all your eyecare needs.



Services After Your Eyewear Purchase


Our service does not end after your eyewear purchase. For our customers, we provide free adjustments on your Eye Gallery eyewear purchases for the life of your frame. We provide manufacturer-guided warranty services on your frame and lenses. No appointment with Eye Gallery opticians or optometric assistants are required for this service.



Contact Lenses


Eye Gallery stocks many high breathable contact lenses. Interested in contact lenses? Ask our optometrists whether contact lenses can be an option for you at your next eye exam.


Never worn contact lenses before? No problem, our opticians and optometric assistants will train you on how to properly insert, remove, handle and care for your contact lenses.


To book an appointment call 403-246-3445


3522 Garrison Gate SW, Calgary - in the Marda Loop area, across the street from Garrison Woods Starbucks (view map)

© 2016 Dr. Brent Neufeld