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Frequently Asked Questions about Nelms Opticians

Learn More about Eye Exams in Peterborough

Nelms Opticians believes in the importance of educating our customers. Here, you will find the answers to many of our most frequently asked questions about eye care, eye exams, contact lenses and several common eye conditions. Should you not find the answer to your specific question listed on this page, please feel free to contact us or pay our optical centre in Peterborough a visit today.


Q. What is considered an eye emergency?

A. Please contact us immediately (or go directly to your nearest hospital) if you experience any of the following eye emergencies:

  • Black spots
  • Flashes of light
  • Eye injury or pain
  • Curtain-like vision obstruction
  • Sudden haze or blurring
  • Red, swollen eyelids
  • Halos
  • Loss of side vision


Q. Do I need a prescription to purchase contact lenses?

A. Yes, it’s illegal to sell contacts without one. A poorly-fitted contact lens or certain lens materials can cause discomfort, inflammation, infection, poor vision and permanent eye damage caused by the lack of oxygen to your eye tissue.


Q. What is myopia (nearsightedness)?

A. When you’re nearsighted, it’s difficult to focus on objects in the distance. However, you are able to see objects up-close fairly well.


Q. What is hyperopia (farsightedness)?

A. When you’re farsighted, close-up objects appear blurry, while objects at a distance are clear.


Q. What is astigmatism?

A. Astigmatism is a very common condition involving an uneven or irregular shape of your cornea. Your vision may be distorted both near and far as a result.


Q. What is presbyopia?

A. Presbyopia is a natural occurrence for people in their mid-40s and is comparable to adjusting the focus on a pair of binoculars. With age, your lens loses its ability to flex and change with its surroundings.


Q. What is glaucoma?

A. With glaucoma, there’s damage to your optic nerve resulting in gradual, irreversible loss of vision. It’s painless and has no symptoms, and if left untreated, can cause blindness. It usually comes with high eye pressure. It can be detected in a routine eye exam.


Q. What is macular degeneration (AMD)?

A. Dry macular degeneration (AMD) progresses very slowly and is caused from the deterioration of the macula in the centre of your retina. Wet AMD is severe and is often caused by a sudden loss of central vision. Both can be detected during an eye exam and must be treated immediately.


Q. What are cataracts?

A. Cataracts cause the lens in your eye to be cloudy by preventing light from being focused clearly, which impairs your vision. Some are slow growing, but some are fast, causing rapid vision changes. Cataracts are usually age and sun exposure-related. Surgery is performed to remove them once they’re ripe.


Q. What are dry eyes?

A. When the quantity and quality of your eyes’ tear layers change, this causes your eyes to feel dry and/or irritated. We carry many great eye drops to help alleviate the problem of dry eyes.


Q. What are eye allergies?

A. An eye allergy is caused when something from your environment irritates your eyes. This causes your eyes to fight back by releasing histamines, which can trigger itchy, red, swollen, inflamed itchy and watery eyes.


Q. What should I bring to an eye exam?

A. When you visit Nelms Opticians for an eye exam, be sure to bring a list of all your prescription medications, vitamins and supplements you’re currently taking. You should also bring your current glasses or contacts or your most recent prescription (contacts must be removed at least 20 minutes prior to the exam). Your eyes may be sensitive to light for a few hours after your pupils are dilated, so you may also wish to bring sunglasses with you.


Q. Is my eye exam covered by my insurance?

A. If you’re under 20 or over 65 and have a current Ontario Health Insurance card, your eye exam is covered yearly by this insurance. As these are the years that can have the most changes in sight, it’s highly recommended that you have this yearly exam. For ages 20-64, you’ll need to pay for your eye exam, and if you have a benefit plan that covers this, you can submit your receipt for reimbursement. Most people in this age range have their eyes tested every two years. We accept many forms of insurance at Nelms Opticians.


Should you experience any problems with your eyes at any time, don’t wait, but rather call us to see if investigation is required, and we can direct you to the appropriate person for help. For any emergency, please go directly to the hospital.


Q. What are transition lenses?

A. Transition lenses change with the sunlight outside to either a grey or brown colour, making them effective sunglasses.


Q. What are progressive lenses?

A. Progressive lenses are bi/trifocal lenses that allow you to wear one pair of glasses for all reading, computer and distance-related activities.

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