Canadians are overdue for eye exams, even though many have Vision insurance benefits

More than half of Canadian adults with vision health benefits do not plan to use them before they expire, while 38 percent of Canadian adults say they are overdue for an eye exam.

TORONTO, November 21, 2023 /CNW/ – Canadians with unused vision benefits are being urged to get a comprehensive eye exam before their annual benefits expire, according to new research from Specsavers in partnership with the Canadian Council of the Blind.1: (the “Survey”) conducted by the Ledger shows that 38 percent of Canadian adults are late for their regular eye exam.

“It’s important for people to understand that some sight-threatening conditions, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, actually start in middle age,” he said. Naomi Barber, Director of Clinical Services at Specsavers. “These conditions can develop without noticeable early warning signs, meaning that by the time patients develop symptoms or notice a change in vision, the disease may already be advanced.”

More than a third (35%) of Canadians say they would only schedule an eye exam if they had vision problems, and 46% of Canadians say that vision deterioration over time prompts them to increase the frequency of eye exams.

“75 percent of vision loss is preventable and treatable. Canadians can protect their vision with regular eye exams with optical coherence tomography (OCT), a 3D eye scan that allows your optometrist to look at the back of your eye and gain a deeper understanding of your eye health,” added Barber.

OCT helps optometrists detect sight-threatening diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration in its early stages. Specsavers locations include OCT as part of a standard eye exam at no additional cost to the patient or with OCT costs reimbursed by provincial health care where applicable.2:

“It is very concerning that so many Canadians with vision health benefits do not plan to use them before they expire,” said Dr. Keith Gordon“More than 1.2 million Canadians are blind, deaf-blind or visually impaired, and the number of Canadians living with vision loss is growing every day. It is very important for Canadians to have comprehensive eye exams. so that vision loss can be prevented by treating eye diseases as early as possible.”

Approximately 55% of Canadian adults have a health insurance plan that includes some form of optical coverage. Typical benefits coverage $50$100 to the eye exam and average $200 Every 2 years for glasses or contact lenses. Specsavers offers a complete range of glasses including lenses from $69and participating independent optometrists offer eye examinations at Specsavers locations $99.3:

“As benefits come to an end, we encourage Canadians to get an eye exam and have conversations with friends and family about prioritizing eye health,” said Barber.

Specsavers Canadian Benefits Survey, September 2023
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Booking an eye exam

Many states include eye exams for people under 18 and over 65, as well as people with certain medical conditions or receiving social assistance. To know more visit:

Canadians looking for an eye exam can find a Specsavers location and make an appointment with an independent optometrist by visiting

Methodology – Canadian Advantage (Leger Survey, September 2023)

An online survey was conducted among 1,538 Canadians September 1St-3:th, 2023 using Leger’s online panel. No margin of error can be associated with a non-probability sample (ie a web panel in this case). For comparative purposes, a probability sample of 1,538 respondents would have a margin of error of ±2.5%, 20 to 19 times.

About Specsavers

Specsavers is an optometrist-owned and operated business that entered the Canadian market in 2021. Canadians have access to comprehensive eye exams at more than 90 independently owned optometric practices located in Specsavers locations. British Columbia, Alberta and: Ontario. Comprehensive eye exams include hospital-grade 3D eye scanning with OCT technology to support early detection of sight-threatening eye diseases. Specsavers has a range of high-quality eyewear, including over 1,500 frames, lenses and contact lenses, from $69 complete pair for single vision glasses.

Founded in the UK nearly 40 years ago by a husband and wife team of optometrists, Doug and Mary Perkins, there are now more than 2,500 Specsavers healthcare businesses in 11 countries serving more than 41 million patients and customers. Specsavers is driven by its mission to “change lives through better vision” and aims to transform the way Canadians experience eye care by offering exceptional service, advanced clinical equipment and affordable, quality eyewear.


Specsavers Canadian Eye Exam Frequency Survey conducted by Leger. September 2023.


The cost of OCT imaging may be covered by the provincial health plan for eligible patients. Terms apply. See for details.


Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology Report June 2017 (Volume 53, Issue 3) “Significant Disparities in Eyeglass Insurance in Canada” **Yougov Market Penetration Survey February 2021

SOURCE Specsavers Canada:

For more information: Yulia Balinova, FleishmanHillard Highroad, [email protected]

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