Specsavers and the Canadian Council of the Blind mark World Sight Day with national survey unveiling insights and behaviours that put vision at risk 

  • 51% of Canadians are not aware or are unsure of recommended eye exam frequency
  • 38% of Canadians say they are overdue for an eye exam
  • Consistent with Specsavers 2022 survey, cost continues to be the number one reason why Canadians delay eye exams
  • October 12, 2023 is World Sight Day, an internationally recognized date to promote eye health

TORONTOOct. 12, 2023 /CNW/ – According to a recent Specsavers and The Canadian Council of the Blind survey1 (Survey), conducted by Leger, half of Canadians do not know that 75 per cent of vision loss is preventable and treatable2 and 51 per cent are unaware or unsure of how often they should get an eye exam. Eye exams for those without pre-existing conditions should occur at a minimum of every two years, and every year for Canadians under 18 and over 65.

Dr. Jasjit Gandham reviews an OCT scan with a patient. (CNW Group/Specsavers Canada)

“The survey showed that most Canadians are unaware that most vision loss is preventable and treatable. This is concerning because if you believe vision loss is unavoidable, you may not take preventative measures for yourself or your family such as getting regular comprehensive eye exams,” said Naomi Barber, Clinical Services Director at Specsavers.

The Survey showed over one-third of Canadians (35 per cent) would only book an eye exam if they experienced vision issues. Catching eye diseases early through a comprehensive eye exam allows for preventative measures to maintain as much vision as possible. What many don’t know is that often eye diseases, such as glaucoma, progress without symptoms in the early stages.

“This World Sight Day, we are encouraging Canadians who are overdue for an eye exam to book an appointment with their local optometrist,” said Jim Tokos, National President, The Canadian Council of the Blind. “There is a common myth that if your vision is good then your eyes are healthy. Unfortunately, that is not always true. More than 8 million Canadians are living with an eye disease that may lead to blindness.3 The goal is always to catch eye diseases before eyes start to show symptoms.”

Eye health may change without a person experiencing any kind of difference in their vision. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a 3D eye scan that helps optometrists see what is going on beneath the surface of the eye and can detect sight-threatening conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration in its earliest stages. All Specsavers locations include OCT as part of a standard eye exam at no additional cost to the patient or with the OCT costs covered by provincial healthcare where eligible.4

“Specsavers has operated OCT for many years in different countries and has proven it is instrumental in preventative detection and management of glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy,” said Barber. “Providing this technology as a part of every standard eye exam is the foundation of Specsavers journey to help end preventable blindness.”

Specsavers Canadian Eye Exam Frequency Survey, September 2023
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Booking an Eye Exam

In many provinces eye exams are covered by provincial healthcare for individuals under the age of 18 and over the age of 65 and for those with certain medical conditions or receiving social assistance. To learn more visit:

Canadians seeking an eye exam can find a Specsavers location and book an appointment with an independent optometrist by visiting Specsavers.ca.

Methodology – Canadian Eye Exam Frequency (Leger Survey, September 2023)

An online survey of 1,538 Canadians was completed between September 1st-3rd, 2023, using Leger’s online panel. No margin of error can be associated with a non-probability sample (i.e. 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%, 19 times out of 20.

About Specsavers

Specsavers is an optometrist-owned and -led business that entered the Canadian market in 2021. Canadians have access to comprehensive eye exams at more than 85 independently owned optometric practices located within Specsavers locations in British ColumbiaAlberta and Ontario. The network is expected to grow to 100 locations by the end of 2023. The comprehensive eye exams include a hospital grade 3D eye scan with OCT technology to support with early detection of sight-threatening eye diseases. Specsavers has a range of high-quality eyewear, including over 1,500 frames, lenses and contact lenses starting from $69 for a complete pair of single vision glasses.

Founded in the U.K. nearly 40 years ago by optometrist husband and wife team, Doug and Mary Perkins, there are now more than 2,500 Specsavers healthcare businesses across 11 countries serving over 41 million patients and customers. Specsavers is driven by its purpose of “changing lives through better sight” and aims to transform the way Canadians experience eyecare by offering exceptional service, advanced clinical equipment and affordable and quality eyewear.

About the Canadian Council of the Blind

The Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) is the Voice of the BlindTM in Canada. Founded 75 years ago in 1944 by returning blind veterans and schools of the blind, the CCB is a membership-based registered charity that brings together Canadians who are blind, living with vision loss, or deaf-blind through chapters within their own local communities that provide the opportunity to share common interests and social activities. The CCB works tirelessly to improve the quality of life for persons with vision loss through advocacy, awareness, peer mentoring, sports adapted for persons with vision loss, and the promotion of health and fitness.

The CCB is proud of these efforts to change what it means to be blind and of its leadership role through initiatives that call for the provision of the very best in available medical treatments and the fostering of patients’ rights, all while recognizing that blindness and vision loss are avoidable.

The CCB partners with several national organizations of and for the blind, health care organizations, various accessibility committees, and international organizations all dedicated to building public awareness and improving the well-being of people with seeing disabilities. Through these relationships, we’re able to promote a better understanding of the barriers faced by those living with vision loss.

For more information about the CCB, please visit www.ccbnational.net.

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

2 A Report Card on Vision Health in Canada, The Canadian Council of the Blind and Fighting Blindness Canada. October 2022.

3 A Report Card on Vision Health in Canada, The Canadian Council of the Blind and Fighting Blindness Canada. October 2022.

4 Costs of OCT imaging may be covered by provincial healthcare plan for eligible patients. Conditions apply. See specsavers.ca for details.

SOURCE Specsavers Canada

For further information: Yulia Balinova, FleishmanHillard Highroad, yulia.balinova@fhhighroad.com