More than half of Canadian adults who have vision health benefits don’t plan to use them before they expire, while 38 per cent of Canadian adults say they are overdue for an eye exam

Canadians who have unused vision benefits are urged to have a comprehensive eye exam before their annual benefits expire, as a new Specsavers survey in partnership with the Canadian Council of the Blind1 (the “Survey”), conducted by Leger, reveals that 38 per cent of Canadian adults are overdue for their regular eye exam.

“It is important for people to understand that certain sight-threatening conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration actually begin during middle age,” said Naomi Barber, Clinical Services Director at Specsavers. “These conditions can progress without noticeable early warning signs, meaning that by the time patients experience symptoms or notice a change to vision, the disease may already be advanced.”

Over one third (35%) of Canadians say they would only book an eye exam if they were experiencing vision issues, and 46 per cent of Canadians say worsening vision over time would motivate them to increase frequency of eye exams.

“75 per cent of vision loss is preventable and treatable. Canadians can safeguard their vision through regular eye exams with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), which is a 3D eye scan that allows your optometrist to look at the back of your eye and get a deeper understanding of your eye health,” added Barber.

OCT helps optometrists detect sight-threatening conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration in its earliest stages. 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.2

“It is very concerning that so many Canadians with vision health benefits don’t plan to use them before they expire,” said Dr. Keith Gordon, Senior Research Officer, Canadian Council of the Blind,” Over 1.2 million Canadians are blind, deaf-blind or partially sighted, and the number of Canadians living with vision loss is growing every day. It is crucial for Canadians to have comprehensive eye exams so that vision loss can be prevented by treating eye diseases as soon as possible.”

Approximately 55% of Canadian adults have a health insurance plan that includes some form of optical cover. Typical allowances cover $50$100 towards an eye exam and an average of $200 towards glasses or contact lenses every 2 years. Specsavers offers complete glasses including lenses starting at $69, and participating independent optometrists at Specsavers locations offer eye exams from $99.3

“As benefits get closer to expiring, we are encouraging Canadians to get an eye exam and to 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

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

Methodology – Canadian Benefits (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 90 independently owned optometric practices located within Specsavers locations in British ColumbiaAlberta and Ontario. 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.


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


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


Canadian Journal of Opthalmology Report June 2017 (Vol 53, Issue 3) “Significant disparities in eyeglass insurance coverage in Canada” **Yougov Market Penetration Survey Feb 2021

SOURCE Specsavers Canada

For further information: Yulia Balinova, FleishmanHillard Highroad,