My optometrist recommended some special testing that isn’t covered by OHIP. What’s involved, and why is it important?

In our practice, we employ several special testing procedures to help provide the best care possible. For some patients, there may be full or partial OHIP coverage; for others, it may be an out-of-pocket expense, or billed to a third party plan.

  • Automated visual field (AVF) testing – maps the peripheral (side) vision, and is a critical component of diagnosing and monitoring any disease affecting the optic nerve or visual pathway, including neurologic conditions and glaucoma. AVF analysis is an OHIP-insured service for patients 19 and under, 65 and over, and adults with medical conditions qualifying them for OHIP coverage.
  • Pachymetry – measures the central corneal thickness, essential in the diagnosis of glaucoma, and helpful in diagnosing and monitoring some diseases of the cornea. Pachymetry is not an OHIP-insured procedure for any patient.
  • Digital retinal imaging (photography) – provides a high-resolution digital image of the retina, and is of great value in monitoring diseases affecting the retinal circulation and optic nerve, most notably diabetes, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and glaucoma. Photography is not an OHIP-insured procedure for any patient.
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT) – can be thought of as an “optical ultrasound” that provides extremely high resolution cross-sectional images, allowing your optometrist to assess the retina and optic nerve with microscopic resolution. It is invaluable in conditions including age-related macular degeneration, diabetes, and glaucoma. Like photography, OCT is not an OHIP-insured procedure for any patient.

Our fees for these procedures mirror those charged for other non-insured partial assessments – between $40 and $65. Particularly for seniors and patients with diabetes, the care OHIP covers is no longer the standard of care. In fact, it often falls far short, and our priority will remain providing the best care available to each and every patient.

Your optometrist will only recommend these procedures when there are strong clinical benefits that improve the quality of your care. We partner with you in all decision-making, and it is always your prerogative to decline any procedure, insured or otherwise. That being said, we trust you recognize that our recommendations are made with your best interests in mind.