Frequently Asked Questions about Optometry & Eye Care

Dr. Brian Rice & Associates has served patients in Welland, Ontario and the Niagara Peninsula since 1976, providing a full range of optometric services, including eye health exams and vision tests to help patients of all ages maintain optimal vision and eye health for their lifetimes. We’ve seen a lot of changes in method and technology over the years, and as times change, so do the questions our patients ask us. The following are some of the frequently asked questions about optometry and eye care that we hear most often from our patients. Have a question that is not addressed here? Contact us for more information.

Q. What is a Doctor of Optometry and what do they do?

A. A Doctor of Optometry is the primary health care professional for the diagnosis and treatment of vision problems and ocular disease. Optometrists provide patients with comprehensive examinations of both the internal and external structures of the eye. They also carry out subjective and objective tests to evaluate patients’ vision, analyze the test findings to establish a diagnosis, and recommend an appropriate course of treatment.

Q. How long is an eyeglass prescription intended to last?

A. Eyeglass and contact lenses prescriptions are typically considered to be effective for about one year; however, each case is unique and circumstances may require a shorter expiration date for some patients.

Q. Why is it important to have an eye exam performed regularly?

A. Regular eye exams can provide early detection of vision problems, eye diseases, and other general health related problems before they become an issue.

Q. How often should I have my eyes examined?

A. Most eye care experts recommend that children and adults have a comprehensive eye exam every one to two years, or more often if problems occur. Seniors 61 years of age and older may require an annual exam.

Q. At what age should my child have a first eye exam?

A. According to the American Optometric Association, infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at the age of 6 months. Children then should have additional eye exams at age 3, and another just before they enter the first grade, usually at about age 5 or 6.

Q. What are some signs that I might need an eye exam?

A. Here are 8 signs you may need an eye exam:

  • You notice floaters, flashes of light or spots in your visual field.
  • You suffer from or have a family history of conditions such as diabetes, glaucoma, or another health condition that affects your eyes.
  • It has been more than 1-2 years since your last eye exam.
  • You have difficulty driving or reading street signs at night or after dark.
  • You experience eye strain, headaches and/or blurred vision after spending an extended amount of time in front of a computer screen.
  • You experience motion sickness, vertigo or dizziness, or have trouble following movement visually. 
  • You need to hold books or newspapers farther away from your face and squint or close one eye in order to read them clearly.
  • You notice any changes in your vision, especially after experiencing head trauma.

Q. Why should I have my eyes examined by the eye doctor when I can easily purchase an inexpensive pair of eyeglasses at the store?

A. Drugstore reading glasses work fine for some people; however, regular eye exams are the only way to catch "silent" diseases, such as glaucoma, in their early stages, so they can be treated before permanent vision loss occurs.


1‑547 Thorold Rd.

Welland, ON L3C 3W9







Sunday Closed

Monday 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Tuesday 09:00 AM - 07:00 PM

Wednesday 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Thursday 09:00 AM - 07:00 PM

Friday 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Saturday Closed

Service Area

Welland and surrounding areas in the Niagara Peninsula

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