Responds to Marketplace Investigation on Eyewear Sector
TORONTO, Feb. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - n light of a CBC Marketplace Investigation of the prescription eyewear sector, the College of
Optometrists of Ontario (the College) would like to take this
opportunity to clarify its position and educate the public on its role
of public protection in Ontario.
The College's mandate is to protect the public interest and ensure that
the public has access to safe, high quality optometric care. The
regulations that are in place, require that prescription eyewear be
dispensed based on a prescription issued by an optometrist, or a
physician. Without a complete eye examination performed by one of
these regulated health professionals, serious eye health conditions,
such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetes and corneal
disease, may go undetected.
In Ontario, only optometrists, opticians and physicians are authorized
to dispense prescription eyewear. Eyewear dispensed by unqualified
individuals can pose a risk of harm to the public. Even a slightly
inaccurate prescription can have negative health effects, such as
blurred vision, headaches, dizziness, nausea, or eye infection.
The College's primary concern is public safety. In 2003, the College
began legal action against an optician, Mr. Bruce Bergez, for illegally
dispensing glasses without a prescription from an optometrist or a
physician. The courts found Mr. Bergez guilty of violating the laws of
Ontario and subsequently guilty of contempt of court. Mr. Bergez'
actions were not in keeping with the regulations put in place to
protect the public and to support quality eye care.
Ontario's more than 1,900 optometrists are regulated by the College of
Optometrists of Ontario. Optometrists are eye care professionals that
must meet strict educational requirements to achieve and maintain
registration in Ontario.
SOURCE College of Optometrists of Ontario
For further information:
Dr. Paula Garshowitz, Registrar
College of Optometrists of Ontario