FAQ

Learn about healthcare coverage, prices, and financing options

Fees and Coverage

Below are many of the most commonly asked questions surrounding Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIS) coverage, prices, and financing of eye exams, treatment, and surgery offered at Mitchell Eye Centre.

If you are unable to find an answer to your questions, please give us a call at 403-258-1773 and one of our staff will be happy to assist you.

Alberta Healthcare will cover the cost of an eye exam if it is medically necessary or your vision is at risk. Alternatively, if you are under the age of 18 or over the age of 65 you should have coverage. For those visiting from outside of Canada, the price is $250 including the costs for any additional testing.

Your Alberta Healthcare will cover the cost of corrective eye surgery if it’s medically necessary.

You can check online at the Alberta Health and Wellness website for the Government of Alberta or feel free to ask your eye doctor here at Mitchell Eye Centre.

Call our front desk at (403) 258-1773 for more information on financing options.

Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan will cover the cost of an eye exam if it is medically necessary or your vision is at risk. In all other instances, an eye exam only costs $120 for Canadians plus the cost of any additional tests. For those visiting from outside of Canada, the price is $250 including the costs of any additional testing.

Multifocal – $2990 per eye
Toric – $1590 per eye

Advanced Surface Treatment (AST) / Advanced PRK is $1900 per eye and includes 18 months of follow up care with free enhancements if needed.

How to send or receive a referral.

Referrals Questions

The easiest way to send a referral is through our fax (403) 258-2704. However, if the referral is urgent, physicians may contact our office directly and speak to our referral coordinator at (403) 258-1773 extension #1.

We do our best to accommodate urgent referrals to the time specified by the referring physician. As for non-urgent referrals, we can accommodate these within 1-2 months.

Our office has two general ophthalmologists and two retinal specialists. We accept pediatric patients, patients with all retinal disorders, laser eye surgery, cataract, strabismus, cornea, glaucoma, visual disturbances, dry eye and blepharitis, nevus and ptosis.

We accept out-of-country patients.

Information about dry eye diseases.

Dry Eye Disease Questions

What that is called is evaporative dry eye or Meibomian gland dysfunction. Our tear film is made up of 3 layers, a mucin layer, a water layer and an oil lipid layer. If our Meibomian glands are not consistently producing oils, the water layer evaporates, creating dry eye.

The symptoms sound like dry eye. We have 3 layers of the tear film, which work together to provide proper nutrition to our eyes. If one of our tear film layers is being compromised it causes symptoms such as itching, tired eyes, light sensitivity, blurred vision, burning, tearing, pain, foreign body sensation, redness and inflammation. Your eyes need testing to determine the cause, and possibly treatment.

There are many causes to dry eye. Dry eye starts small and progressively gets worse, sometimes to a point where therapy is difficult to perform. Causes include but are not limited to: side effects of certain drugs, diseases, aging, menopause, environment, workplace, make-up and previous surgeries.

Every patient’s case is different. A specialist should always be consulted to determine the best form of therapy for you.

Everything you need to know about laser eye surgery.

Laser Eye Surgery Questions

Below are many of the most commonly asked questions about laser eye surgery at Mitchell Eye Centre.

Please note that detailed descriptions are available on our website about corrective laser eye surgery and the most common eye conditions and diseases. Be sure to visit these pages as they contain valuable information.

If any of your questions about laser eye surgery are not found below, please be sure to inquire with your eye doctor at Mitchell Eye Centre. Before all surgeries and treatments, we will provide you with detailed information about what to expect.

Yes, but keep in mind that as we age, our eyes do too starting at age 45 – 60 years old. If you are 20, results will last 30 to 40 years. If you are 55, results will last about 10 years.

 

 

Yes. Laser eye surgery at Mitchell Eye Centre is extremely safe. We have been performing laser eye surgery for over 25 years.

No. Laser eye surgery is painless. Many patients describe the procedure as feeling “unusual”, but do not experience any pain.

The amount of improvement to your vision after undergoing Advanced PRK will be approximately the same as you see with your present glasses or contact lenses.

Typical procedures take 15 minutes per eye. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis which means that you can return home immediately afterwards.

Typical recovery time after laser eye surgery is 3 days, however, we recommending waiting 7 days before resuming fine detail work activities such as working on a computer.

Yes. We recommend that you arrange for a ride home after undergoing laser eye surgery. If necessary, one of our staff would be happy to assist you with calling and booking a taxi.

Yes. After undergoing laser eye surgery, you will be provided with sample medicated drops and prescriptions for the same drops to use frequently for the first 3 days. Afterwards, will need to use drops twice daily for 2 to 3 months after surgery. Please use medicated eye drops as directed.

You will notice an immediate improvement to your vision with final results after 1 to 3 months.

Your vision will be blurred for computer use for 1 week after surgery. During the first 3 to 4 days after laser eye surgery, avoid the use of swimming pools and hot tubs. Afterwards, you can resume normal activities.

Learn more about cataract surgery.

Cataract Surgery Questions

Below are many of the most commonly asked questions about cataract surgery at Mitchell Eye Centre.

Please note that detailed descriptions are available on our website about cataracts and the available treatment options for cataracts. Be sure to visit these pages as they contain valuable information.

It is important that you follow your doctor’s advice following cataract surgery. This may include booking time off work, avoiding certain activities, medication, or other lifestyle changes for the first few weeks after cataract surgery. This page answers many of the most common questions regarding the healing and recovery process after cataract surgery.

If any of your questions about cataract surgery are not found below, please be sure to inquire with your eye doctor at Mitchell Eye Centre. Before all surgeries and treatments, we will provide you with detailed information about what to expect.

A cataract is a gradual clouding of the lens of the eye. For a more detailed description of what a cataract is, our website has a page dedicated to explaining cataracts.

Yes, in fact, cataract surgery is the most common types of surgery performed in Canada. It is also one of the safest.

No. Cataract surgery is a painless procedure.

The procedure takes approximately 20 minutes per eye.

Usually, yes. Cataracts typically develop in both eyes.

We recommend doing only one eye at a time for reasons of safety, in case a complication were to arise in the first eye. But yes, both eyes can be operated on the same day. This is called Bilateral Simultaneous Surgery. Your doctor will advise you which option is best for you.

Recovery time following cataract surgery is 1 to 2 days.

Yes. We recommend that you are accompanied by an adult and or legal guardian to provide a ride home after undergoing cataract surgery. If necessary, one of our staff would be happy to assist you with calling and booking a taxi.

Yes. After undergoing cataract surgery, you will be provided with medicated drops to use for the first 6 weeks after surgery. Please use these as directed by your doctor.

You will notice a distinct improvement of your vision immediately after surgery.

We recommend that you rest for 1 to 2 days. Light exercise (such as golf) is ok after 1 day. Strenuous exercise (marathons, heavy weight lifting) should be avoided for at least 2 weeks.

Waiting time between being diagnosed and the scheduled date for your surgery depends on the severity of your cataracts. In severe cases, the wait time is 1 to 3 months, in moderate cases, 2 to 12 months, in mild cases 12 months or more. Your doctor will determine how urgently you need to undergo cataract removal.

No. However, there is a chance that you may develop a secondary cataract. This can be removed through YAG laser treatment.

Your glaucoma surgery questions answered.

Glaucoma Surgery Questions

Below are many of the most commonly asked questions about glaucoma surgery at Mitchell Eye Centre.

Please note that detailed descriptions are available on our website about glaucoma and treatment options for glaucoma. Be sure to visit these pages as they contain valuable information.

It is important that you follow your doctor’s advice following glaucoma surgery. This may include booking time off work, avoiding certain activities, medication, or other lifestyle changes after surgery. This page answers many of the most common questions regarding the healing and recovery process after glaucoma surgery.

If any of your questions about glaucoma surgery are not found below, please be sure to inquire with your eye doctor at Mitchell Eye Centre. Before all surgeries and treatments, we will provide you with detailed information about what to expect.

Glaucoma is a condition in which the fluid inside the eyes is unable to properly drain, resulting in a buildup of intraocular pressure (IOP). This causes damage to the optic nerve, which can eventually lead to permanent blindness.

The 3 main types of glaucoma are open-angle, narrow-angle, and childhood glaucoma. These have been covered in much greater detail on our glaucoma page under eye conditions. Yet, regardless of which type of glaucoma you are diagnosed with, it is important to receive treatment as early as possible in order to avoid further damage to your eyesight and the risk of permanent blindness.

Treatment for glaucoma depends on the severity of your case and whether or not you are able to use medicated eye drops on a regular basis. Depending on the severity of this eye condition, your doctor will recommend that you receive drops or undergo one of 3 surgical options: Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) laser treatment, a MIGS (Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery) , or a trabeculectomy (also known as filtration surgery or valve). Click on any of those three links to read more about the procedures.

Unfortunately, there is currently no known cure for glaucoma. It can however be controlled and treatment for glaucoma will ensure that intraocular pressure does not continue to damage your eyesight.

Patients who consistently use their medicated eye drops as prescribed by their doctor can have eye pressure reduced indefinitely. Those who undergo one of the surgeries can have pressure reduced for variable periods – even indefinitely.

Yes. We recommend that you are accompanied by an adult and or legal guardian to provide a ride home after undergoing glaucoma treatment. If necessary, one of our staff would be happy to assist you by calling and booking a taxi.

Yes. After undergoing glaucoma treatment, you will be provided with a prescription for medicated drops. It is very important that you use these as directed by your doctor.

Laser treatment for glaucoma is painless. Some patients find that the medicated eye drops can sting and/or cause mild irritation or redness. Surgery is usually painless, but this depends on the procedure and unique characteristics of each patient.

Every 1 to 3 months until your doctor decides that your eye pressure is stable. Afterwards, follow up appointments will only be needed every 6 to 12 months.

Frequently asked retina surgery questions.

Retina Surgery Questions

Below are many of the most commonly asked questions surrounding retina surgery at Mitchell Eye Centre.

Please note that detailed descriptions are available on our website about retinal conditions and the available surgical options for treating retinal conditions. Be sure to visit these pages as they contain valuable information.

It is important that you follow your doctor’s advice following retina surgery. This may include booking time off work, avoiding certain activities, medication, or other lifestyle changes for the first few weeks after surgery. This page answers many of the most commonly received questions regarding the healing and recovery process.

If any of your questions about retina surgery are not found below, please be sure to inquire with your eye doctor at Mitchell Eye Centre. Before all surgeries and treatments, we will provide you with detailed information about what to expect.

Macula on retinal detachments are prioritized for immediate repair, typically within 24 hours. Macula off detachments are usually repaired within a few days of diagnosis.

Typically, your surgery will be booked within 2 months of original diagnosis.

Yes, we recommend that you are accompanied by an adult and or legal guardian to provide a ride home after eye surgery. If necessary, one of our staff would be happy to assist you with calling and booking a taxi, although it is preferable that someone is with you after your surgery.

Typically, face down positioning is only required for retinal detachment surgery or macular hole surgery, and usually is from 3 to 10 days in duration depending on your pathology.

No. The majority of retinal surgeries are painless. Minimal post op irritation is usually easily controlled with over the counter pain medication. Patients with scleral buckles may experience more discomfort and will be sent home with prescription strength pain medication in case they experience discomfort.

Eye drops will be started two days before surgery, but immediately after your surgery the eye will be covered with an eye patch, with no drops needed in the eye. Once the eye patch is removed on the day after your surgery you should resume your eye drops within a couple of hours. Detailed written instructions for your eye drop routine will be provided prior to your surgery.

Typically, patients that undergo retina surgery should plan for 2 to 4 weeks of recovery time following surgery. Your doctor will advise you on how much time is recommended to book off work and what activities should be avoided during this time.

Flying is strictly not recommended, usually for the first 3 to 4 weeks after surgery but possibly longer after some retinal detachment surgeries.

For the first 2 weeks after surgery, refrain from driving, any activities involving lifting of more than 5 to 10 lbs, swimming in pools, lakes, or using hot tubs, avoid any activities that would require bending at the waist, avoid reading, avoid the use of computers and mobile devices and anything that would cause you to strain your eyes.

Do not get any water in your eye for the first two weeks after your surgery, as this will risk infection. For personal bathing, either take baths or if you prefer to shower you can use a scuba mask to prevent water from getting into the eye.

Watching TV is usually ok in the postoperative period, but you should sit at least 2 meters away so that eye movements are minimized. If you are in a face down position, a mirror can be used on the floor to watch TV.

Learn more about this permanent vision solution.

Refractive Lens Surgery Questions

Below are many of the most commonly asked questions about refractive lens exchange at Mitchell Eye Centre.

Please note that detailed descriptions are available on our website about cataracts, common eye conditions and diseases, and the advanced technology lens implants. Be sure to visit these pages as they contain valuable information.

It is important that you follow your doctor’s advice following a refractive lens exchange. This may include booking time off work, avoiding certain activities, medication, or other lifestyle changes for the first few weeks after receiving advanced technology lens implants. This page answers many of the most commonly received questions regarding the healing and recovery process.

If any of your questions about refractive lens exchange are not found below, please be sure to inquire with your eye doctor at Mitchell Eye Centre. Before all surgeries and treatments, we will provide you with detailed information about what to expect.

The natural lens is removed and an advanced intraocular lens (IOL) is implanted to replace it. This procedure is safe, requires no maintenance, and provides a permanent solution for many eye conditions.

Yes. Refractive lens exchange is a safe procedure.

No. Refractive lens exchanges are painless.

The risks associated with refractive lens exchange are similar to those of cataract surgery, albeit usually less frequent because patients are younger and the surgery is easier. A very small percentage of patients may develop infection (endophthalmitis), retinal detachment, or cystoid macular edema.

Lens implants are permanent. Advanced technology lens implants will improve your vision and eliminate problems related to nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), presbyopia, and cataracts.

No. Once advanced technology lens implants have been placed, you will not feel them in your eye. There will be mild discomfort for the first 1 to 7 days after surgery, but this will quickly subside.

Typical recovery time after undergoing a refractive lens exchange is less than 2 weeks.

Yes. We recommend that you are accompanied by an adult and or legal guardian to arrange for a ride home after undergoing a refractive lens exchange. If necessary, one of our staff would be happy to assist you by calling and booking a taxi.

Yes. After undergoing a refractive lens exchange, you will be prescribed medicated drops to use for the first 6 weeks after the procedure. Please use these as directed by your doctor.

Patients can expect only mild discomfort with rare cases of redness or pain. Some patients may experience a gritty feeling in their eye, like something is “in it” but this is quite normal. Should you experience pain or throbbing sensations, this is not normal and you should contact Mitchell Eye Centre immediately.

Your eyesight will noticeably improve immediately after advanced technology lenses are implanted. Within 4 to 6 weeks after the procedure you will notice further improvements in clarity and visual acuity.

You will have an appointment scheduled for the day after surgery. Follow up appointments will be scheduled again 2 weeks after surgery and finally 6 weeks after surgery.

No. In addition to the other benefits related to improvement of your vision, a refractive lens exchange eliminates the risk of developing cataracts.

Be informed about lid lesion removal.

Lid Lesion Removal Questions

Below are many of the most commonly asked questions surrounding retina surgery at Mitchell Eye Centre.

Please note that that detailed descriptions are available on our website about the types of lid lesions and cysts and the removal procedures and treatment of lid lesions and cysts. Be sure to visit these pages as they contain valuable information.

It is important that you follow your doctor’s advice following lid lesion or cyst removal. This may include booking time off work, avoiding certain activities, medication, or other lifestyle changes for the first few weeks after surgery. This page answers many of the most commonly received questions regarding the healing and recovery process.

If any of your questions about lid lesion or cyst removal are not found below, please be sure to inquire with your eye doctor at Mitchell Eye Centre. Before all surgeries and treatments, we will provide you with detailed information about what to expect.

There is mild discomfort while being anaesthetized, but the procedure itself is painless. Your eyelids may feel sensitive after the procedure, but this will subside quickly.

Lid lesion and cyst removals typically only take 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

Yes. We recommend that you arrange for a ride home after undergoing a lid lesion or cyst removal. If necessary, one of our staff would be happy to assist you by calling and booking a taxi.

Yes. After undergoing a surgical removal of lid lesions or cysts, you will be provided with medicated drops or ointment to use for the first 2 to 4 weeks after the procedure. Please use these as directed by your doctor.

No. There is no visible scarring after having a lid lesion or cyst removed.

All other general inquiries.

Common Questions

Below are many of the most commonly asked questions at Mitchell Eye Centre.

Please note that if you have questions about healthcare coverage, payment, or financing of eye exams we have a separate page on our website related to these topics. Please visit the page on healthcare coverage, prices, and financing eye surgery.

If you are unable to find an answer to any of your questions, please give us a call at 403-258-1773 and one of our staff will be happy to assist you.

If you are over the age of 40, it is recommended that you schedule an eye exam at least once every 3 to 4 years.

Higher risk groups are anyone over the age of 40, those with a family history of eye conditions or diseases, and those that play contact sports such as football or hockey.

Yes. If you have recently noticed a change in your vision, pain, or have had frequent changes in the prescription for your glasses or contact lenses, it is recommended that you schedule an eye exam.

A typical eye exam will take 60 to 90 minutes to complete.

Yes. In order to perform a proper eye exam, you will be dilated using Mydriacyl eye drops. Dilation takes about 20 minutes and can last for 3 to 6 hours. We recommend that you have someone drive you home after the eye exam and that you wear dark sunglasses as your eyes will be quite light sensitive after the exam. Most full examinations require the patient to be dilated.

Yes. On the day of your eye exam you will undergo tests.

Yes. On the day of your eye exam appointment you will meet with one of our doctors at Mitchell Eye Centre.