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Between Church and Wellington on Queen St.

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Comprehensive Eye Exams

eyechart - Eye Exams in St. Marys, ON Regardless of your age or physical health, it's important to have regular eye exams.

During a complete eye exam, your eye doctor will not only determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, but will also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.

A comprehensive eye exam includes a number of tests and procedures to examine and evaluate the health of your eyes and the quality of your vision. These tests range from simple ones, like having you read an eye chart, to complex tests, such as using a high-powered lens to examine the health of the tissues inside of your eyes.

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

Eye Exams For Kids in St. Marys, ON

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, 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 every year 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.

Visit Our St. Marys Eye Care Centre For Your Annual Eye Exam

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.

Contact Lenses

contact lensWe offer a wide selection of contact lenses including disposable soft contact, bifocal/multifocal, toric, and colored lenses. Whether you wear daily, weekly or monthly disposables, or conventional (vial) lenses. We sell soft contact lenses, Multifocal lenses, MiSight lenses, and recommended Dailies.

Dailies include:

  • 1 Day TruEye
  • 1 Day Acuvue Moist
  • Dailies Aqua Comfort Plus
  • Dailies Total 1
  • Biomedics 1 Day
  • Proclear 1 Day

Bi-weekly Lenses

  • Acuvue Oasys

Monthly Lenses

  • Harmony
  • Encore 100
  • Proclear
  • Air Optix Aqua

Multifocal Lenses

  • Biofinity Multifocal
  • Proclear Multifocal
  • Proclear 1 Day Multifocal
  • Air Optix Aqua Multifocal

A good contact lens fit starts with a thorough eye exam to ensure the most up-to-date prescription and rule out any pre-existing conditions that could interfere with contact lens wear.

We will determine the best fitting lens based on your lifestyle needs, the shape and health of your eye. In most cases, you'll have the opportunity to try lenses on the same day as your exam. You can even go home with a few samples before making a final decision.

We follow up the initial fitting and then make any necessary changes in fit or materials to get you the best possible fit. We teach all our patients proper contact lens care and also possible consequences if proper care is not taken. Then we continue with long-term follow-up to monitor the condition of the lenses and to ensure that proper hygiene is being maintained.

Astigmatism Diagnosis & Treatment

Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a very common eye condition that's easily corrected by eyeglasses or contact lenses and on some occasions, surgery.

Astigmatism is caused when your eye is not completely round. Because our bodies are not perfect, astigmatism occurs in nearly everybody to some degree but for some, not to the degree that it causes blurring. Your eye is naturally shaped like a sphere. Under normal circumstances, when light enters the eye, it bends evenly, creating a clear picture on the back of your eye. In a person with astigmatism, their eye is shaped more like a football and light entering the eye is bent more in one direction than the other. This causes only part of the picture to be in focus at any given time. Objects at any distance can appear blurry and wavy. For vision problems due to astigmatism, glasses or contact lenses, and sometimes even vision correction surgery are all possible treatments.

People with undetected astigmatism often have blurred vision which can be associated with fatigue and eyestrain. While these symptoms may not necessarily be the result of astigmatism, you should schedule an eye exam if you are experiencing one or more symptoms.

Our eye doctor can diagnose astigmatism with a thorough eye exam. Astigmatism may occur in combination with other vision problems such as nearsightedness and farsightedness or even presbyopia. Because astigmatism gets worse over times, visit our eye doctor whenever you notice changes in your vision.

Click here to read more about Astigmatism.

Eye Emergencies (Pink/Red Eyes)

Red, Pink or Sore Eyes?

We are ready to look after ALL of your eye care needs in one location. In addition to the services you already rely on us for such as routine eye exams, surgeries, contact lenses. designer frames and eyeglasses - think of your Optometrist first for:

  • sore, red, or itchy eyes
  • treatment of "pink eye" and other bacterial infections
  • removal of foreign bodies from the eye (such as wood or metal)
  • treatment of eye allergies or burns
  • emergency eye care

This is convenient and cost effective for your whole family and you can be sure you are receiving the attention of an eye care specialist.

Eye Emergencies

We are always willing to help, should you ever experience an eye emergency. Our St. Marys eye care centre provides emergency services for eye infections, eye injuries and other eye urgencies.  State of the art equipment allows us to examine the front surface of the eye and also digitally scan inside the eye for infection or damage We accommodate many eye emergencies such as:

  • Eye infections
  • Foreign materials stuck in the eyes
  • Eye trauma
  • Scratched eyes
  • Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Lost or broken contact lenses or eyeglasses
  • Flashes of light in the vision
  • “Floaters” in the vision
  • Red or painful eyes
  • Dislodged contact lenses
  • Uncomfortable, itchy, or irritated eyes

Studies have shown that an overwhelming number of emergency room visits could have been treated by an optometrist. These ranged from foreign bodies to severe eye allergies to eye infections as the most common reasons for emergency room visits. It is not always necessary to go to an emergency room for eye emergencies. Optometrists are equipped to treat the majority of eye emergencies.

We understand the importance of eye care when you encounter symptoms such as those listed above. These are signs that an immediate evaluation or consultation is necessary - please call us to set one up if you are experiencing an eye emergency of any kind.

Foreign Body Removal

A foreign body is something such as an eyelash, sawdust, sand, or dirt can that gets into the eyes. The main symptom is irritation or pain. Depending on what it is and how the injury happened, the foreign body may pierce the eye and cause serious injury or it may simply go away with no long-term problem.

The foreign object may set off an inflammatory cascade, resulting in dilation of the surrounding vessels and subsequent edema of the lids, conjunctiva, and cornea. If not removed, a foreign body can cause infection.

If anything is stuck in your eye for more than a period of a couple of hours, you must immediately cease all attempts to remove it yourself. Keep in mind that the eyes are an extremely delicate organ and any attempts to try anything extra ordinary with them can only have negative and adverse results. If the foreign body you are talking about is not bothering you too much, then you are advised to visit an eye doctor to take care of it. If not you may need to call to emergency service of your region.

If there is a foreign body in your eye, such as a piece of grit, your eye doctor may try and remove it. They will put anaesthetic eye drops in your eye first, in order to numb it and prevent any pain.

If the foreign body is easy to get to, it may be possible to remove it by simply rinsing your eye with water, or by wiping it away with a cotton wool bud or triangle of card. However, if this is unsuccessful, your eye doctor may try and remove the foreign body by lifting it out with the tip of a small metal instrument.

The foreign body could be stuck underneath your upper eyelid, especially if you can feel something there, or you have scratches or grazes (abrasions) on the top half of the transparent outer layer of your eye (cornea). If this is the case, it may be necessary to gently turn your eyelid inside out in order to remove the foreign body.

Once the anaesthetic eye drops have worn off, your eye may feel a bit uncomfortable until your abrasion heals.

Whatever is happening with your eyes or if you suffer or even suspect that a foreign body has penetrated the outer eye layer better go without delay to the nearest treatment center. Doing nothing can lead to loss of vision, premature cataracts and damage to the retina so do not take any chances, delay is dangerous.

 

Source: Removing a Foreign Body from Your Eye, article by CareEyeEasy.com. All rights reserved.  Reproduction other than for one-time personal use is strictly prohibited.

Management of Ocular Diseases

St. Marys Optometry makes it a policy to ensure that all staff members are up-to-date on the latest technology and techniques to make your visit as comfortable and effective as possible. As optometric technology changes, it is even more important to select an eye doctor who has all the right optometry qualifications and follows the latest developments in eye care.

Utilizing cutting-edge technology we are diagnosing and managing, with greater precision, diseases like Dry Eye, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, cataracts and Diabetes. Earlier and more precise diagnosis means earlier treatment and better outcomes. We are taking an aggressive approach to diseases that previously had few treatment options. Great advances have been made in the treatment of these diseases.

Pediatric Eye Exams

According to experts, 80% of learning is visual, which means that if your child is having difficulty seeing clearly, his or her learning can be affected.  This also goes for infants who develop and learn about the world around them through their sense of sight.  To ensure that your children have the visual resources they need to grow and develop normally, their eyes and vision should be checked by an eye doctor at certain stages of their development.

According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) children should have their eyes examined by an eye doctor at 6 to 9 months, 2 years, at the start of school, and then every year following. If there are any signs that there may be a vision problem or if the child has certain risk factors (such as developmental delays, premature birth, crossed or lazy eyes, family history or previous injuries) more frequent exams are recommended. A child that wears eyeglasses or contact lenses should have his or her eyes examined yearly.  Children’s eyes can change rapidly as they grow.

Eye Exams in Infants: Birth - 24 Months

A baby’s visual system develops gradually over the first few months of life. They have to learn to focus and move their eyes, and use them together as a team.  The brain also needs to learn how to process the visual information from the eyes to understand and interact with the world. With the development of eyesight, comes also the foundation for motor development such as crawling, walking and hand-eye coordination.

You can ensure that your baby is reaching milestones by keeping an eye on what is happening with your infant’s development and by ensuring that you schedule a comprehensive infant eye exam at 6 months.  At this exam, the eye doctor will check that the child is seeing properly and developing on track and look for conditions that could impair eye health or vision (such as strabismus (misalignment or crossing of the eyes), farsightedness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism).

Since there is a higher risk of eye and vision problems if your infant was born premature or is showing signs of developmental delay, our St. Marys eye doctor may require more frequent visits to keep watch on his or her progress.

Eye Exams in Preschool Children: 2-5

The toddler and preschool age is a period where children experience drastic growth in intellectual and motor skills.  During this time they will develop the fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and perceptual abilities that will prepare them to read and write, play sports and participate in creative activities such as drawing, sculpting or building.  This is all dependent upon good vision and visual processes.

This is the age when parents should be on the lookout for signs of lazy eye (amblyopia) - when one eye doesn’t see clearly, or crossed eyes (strabismus) - when one or both eyes turns inward or outward. The earlier these conditions are treated, the higher the success rate.

Parents should also be aware of any developmental delays having to do with object, number or letter recognition, color recognition or coordination, as the root of such problems can often be visual.  If you notice your child squinting, rubbing his eyes frequently, sitting very close to the tv or reading material, or generally avoiding activities such as puzzles or coloring, it is worth a trip to the eye doctor.

Eye Exams in School-Aged Children: Ages 6-19

Undetected or uncorrected vision problems can cause children and teens to suffer academically, socially, athletically and personally.  If your child is having trouble in school or afterschool activities there could be an underlying vision problem. Proper learning, motor development, reading, and many other skills are dependent upon not only good vision, but also the ability of your eyes to work together. Children that have problems with focusing, reading, teaming their eyes or hand-eye coordination will often experience frustration, and may exhibit behavioral problems as well. Often they don’t know that the vision they are experiencing is abnormal, so they aren’t able to express that they need help.

In addition to the symptoms written above, signs of vision problems in older children include:

  • Short attention span
  • Headaches
  • Frequent blinking
  • Avoiding reading
  • Tilting the head to one side
  • Losing their place often while reading
  • Double vision
  • Poor reading comprehension

The Eye Exam at St. Marys Optometry

In addition to basic visual acuity (distance and near vision) an eye exam may assess the following visual skills that are required for learning and mobility:

  • Binocular vision: how the eyes work together as a team
  • Focusing
  • Peripheral Vision
  • Colour Vision
  • Hand-eye Coordination
  • Tracking

The doctor will also examine the area around the eye and inside the eye to check for any eye disease  or health conditions. You should tell the doctor any relevant personal history of your child such as a premature birth, developmental delays, family history of eye problems, eye injuries or medications the child is taking. This would also be the time to address any concerns or issues your child has that might indicate a vision problem.

If the eye doctor does determine that your child has a vision problem, they may discuss a number of therapeutic options such as eyeglasses or contact lenses, an eye patch, vision therapy or Ortho-k, depending on the condition and the doctor’s specialty. Since some conditions are much easier to treat when they are caught early while the eyes are still developing, it is important to diagnose any eye and vision issues as early as possible.

Following the guidelines for children’s eye exams and staying alert to any signs of vision problems can help your child to reach his or her potential.

Our Eye Doctors

Eye care professionals specialize in understanding how the human eye really works, as well as diseases and conditions that affect your vision – many of which do not have obvious symptoms. Eye doctors know how age and risk factors affect vision over time for young and old, and they understand the benefits and features of corrective lenses including eyeglasses and contacts.

Our optometrists in St. Marys, ON take the time to explain the results of your eye exam, describe your options and listen to your eye care needs. Because maintaining good eye health is an ongoing partnership, we encourage you to ask questions and share your health information, which could be vital to monitoring, diagnosing and treating potential vision problems.

Meet our St. Marys Eye Doctors:

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Dr. Carol Venn

When Carol isn’t being awesome at work she can be found coaching ringette or walking around town with her dog Scout. Carol is a Doctor of Optometry graduate of the University of Waterloo. Carol wanted to be part of the local scene so she opened St Marys Optometry in 2010. She loves providing eye health exams to the community and as a mom is especially great with kids and babies.  In her free time she likes to spend time with her husband Mike and their kids Meg & Luke, relax with a glass of wine, stay up late and sleep in.  Carol’s favourite frame brands are Vanni, Modo and Maui Jim.  According to Carol the best places to shop locally are Nail Effects, Dunny’s Source for Sports, O’Grady’s Clothing and Accessories, Sensations and The Town and Country Cheese Shoppe.

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Dr. Erica Gagnon

Erica obtained her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Windsor. She then went on to complete her Doctorate of Optometry at the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. When she wasn't studying she could be found consuming many deep dish pizzas!

Erica has a remarkable passion for serving the families of St. Marys and the surrounding area, going out of her way to meet and help everyone she can. The highlight of Erica's day is getting to meet new people and making eye care fun, informative and approachable.

In her spare time Erica likes to travel the world, go swimming at the beach and participate in sports such as soccer volleyball, and triathlons. But more than anything, Erica loves spending time with friends and family; especially her husband, new baby Ivy and their dog, Maverick.

The Staff

Our exceptional, friendly staff is our greatest asset. They are excited about what they do, and they care personally about getting the best results for our patients. Our receptionists will try to accommodate your busy schedule by finding appointments that suit your needs. We will help you understand your insurance coverage and if financial arrangements are necessary, we will be glad to help you develop a plan to make your vision care treatment possible.
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Maggie Banks

Maggie has a Bachelor of Design from the Ontario College of Art & Design and loves doing artsy stuff and helping people pick out their next pair of glasses. Her favourite eyewear collections are Vanni, Eco and Maui Jim. In her free time she likes spending time with her family, hangin’ by the pool, gardening and crafting. Her favourite places to shop locally are, Pass it On, Lyrics, Hearn’s Ice Cream, Village Craft and Candle and MacPherson Arts and Crafts.

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Lavonne Forman

Everyone in town knows Lavonne or her family and if they don’t they will soon! Lavonne’s charming personality will win you over the minute she takes you into diagnostic testing. With a background in early childhood education, Lavonne can often be found entertaining children in the kid zone while their parents are in with the doctor. When she’s not at work she can be found hiking, spending time with her family, going to the movies, doing Zumba or dancing. Lavonne’s favorite frames lines include Guess, Kliik, and Oakley. The best local businesses according to Lavonne are Wildstones, Baristas, Lauren Whitney Lifestyles and Troyer’s Spices.

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Mandy Verge

Recent Business Marketing graduate from Fanshawe's Lawrence Kinlin School of Business, with an artistic background in grassroots community support. You can find Mandy happily helping at various points in our office, from frame selections to guiding through the diagnostic process. Her personal frame favourites range from Vanni, Eco, Kate Spade, and Vera Wang. In her free time, she loves supporting the music community as well as sourcing out the local goods. Here in St. Marys, her go-to spots include Zenfire Pottery, McCully's Hill Farm, and Aunt Millies Kitchen!

Eye Care Services

At St. Marys Optometry, we provide comprehensive eye health and vision exams for all ages. We recognize that patients of different ages have different concerns regarding their vision, and our exams are designed accordingly, whether patients are infants, children, teens, adults or seniors.

We have an extended network of vision care professionals. When your eye health requirements fall outside of our scope of services, we will either co-manage with or refer to the appropriate eye health specialist in our network.

Thorough Eye Exams in St. Marys, ON

Comprehensive eye exams for adults and children, co-management of laser vision correction surgery, caring for eye emergencies and so much more. Dr. Carol Venn provides comprehensive eye care to patients of all ages including treatment for a range of conditions including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, dry eye, cataracts and macular degeneration.