During May Vision Health Month, all Canadians are encouraged to integrate regular eye exams into their  healthcare routine and visit their optometrist. 

Ottawa, May 1, 2024 – As May marks Vision Health Month, the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO)  releases a digital national campaign to raise public awareness about eye health and vision care, encouraging  Canadians to get their eyes checked. Several provincial associations of optometrists (New Brunswick  Association of Optometrists, Newfoundland & Labrador Association of Optometrists, Nova Scotia Association  of Optometrists, and The Prince Edward Island Association of Optometrists) and sponsors from the industry – Alcon, CooperVision, and SunPharma – joined and supported this campaign. 

Urgent need for public education about eye health and vision care 

8+ million Canadians are at risk of eye-threatening conditions, yet 75% of vision loss can be treated or  prevented if diagnosed early. Despite Canadians highly valuing their eyesight and fearing its loss, there is a  prevalent lack of awareness regarding the necessity of regular, comprehensive eye exams. Many individuals  often overlook the importance of thorough examinations for early detection.  

A 2022 survey1revealed a telling statistic: 37% of respondents who had not seen an eye care professional in  over two years did so because they believed there was nothing wrong with their vision. Additionally, the  survey found that men in Canada are less likely than women to prioritize eye health.  With those statistics in mind, the CAO released a new digital campaign to raise public awareness about eye  health and vision through a simple yet potent message: “GetEyeWise!” 

Many serious eye conditions do not present obvious symptoms initially. Waiting for symptoms to appear can  expose individuals to significant risks, particularly within an aging population, those engaging in increased  near-work, and amidst a myopia epidemic among children. Integrating eye care into the healthcare routines  of all age groups, from toddlers to seniors, is crucial”, says Dr. Martin Spiro, President of the Canadian  Association of Optometrists. 

Think of an eye exam as a physical for your eyes…and more 

A comprehensive eye examination is the best tool for the early detection of eye disease and several systemic  diseases. It is based on the premise that structural change in the eye (often at the microscopic level)  manifests itself well before any functional changes and vision loss occur. 

Optometrists diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and disorders affecting the visual system (the eye  and related structures).  

1 Online survey of 2003 Canadians aged 18+ was completed between June 10 and June 21, 2022, using Leger’s online panel conducted on behalf of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society and the Canadian Association of Optometrists.

They also assist in identifying general health conditions like stroke, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes,  hypertension, some cancers, brain injuries, and neurological conditions that are often first detected through a  comprehensive eye exam. They provide referrals to specialists and can help manage post-eye-surgery health.  From infants to seniors, optometrists provide care to help maintain good vision, eye health and quality of life. The Canadian Association of Optometrists developed evidence-based guidelines for Recommended  Frequency of the Comprehensive Eye Examination and calls on all Canadians to “GetEyeWise”.  

“If grownups think their eyes are fine…then why are they always doing things like this?” 

The national campaign features children mimicking adults’ faces in daily situations to encourage everyone to  “GetEyeWise” and book an appointment with an optometrist. It will run throughout May on Facebook,  Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Spotify in both official languages. 

“Together with the Canadian Association of Optometrists, we are dedicated to raising awareness of the  importance of regular eye exams and to helping people see brilliantly,” said Vanessa Johari Hansen, Country  Business Unit Head, Vision Care, at Alcon Canada. “Too often, eye exams are neglected, but through our  partnership, we’re determined to enhance vision and improve eye health, recognizing their vital role in overall  well-being.” 

To find more about the CAO campaign, please visit: https://opto.ca/geteyewise 


About the Canadian Association of Optometrists  

The Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) is the national voice of optometry and is dedicated to  providing leadership and support to its 8,300+ members to enhance the delivery of healthy eyes and clear  vision for all Canadians. For more information, visit www.opto.ca.  

For media inquiries, please contact:  

Julie Vanghelder, Director, Communications & Marketing, jvanghelder@opto.ca 

About Alcon 

Alcon helps people see brilliantly. As the global leader in eye care with a heritage spanning over 75 years, we  offer the broadest portfolio of products to enhance sight and improve people’s lives. Our Surgical and Vision  Care products touch the lives of more than 260 million people in over 140 countries each year living with  conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, retinal diseases and refractive errors. Our more than 25,000 associates are  enhancing the quality of life through innovative products, partnerships with Eye Care Professionals and  programs that advance access to quality eye care. Learn more at www.alcon.ca.

About CooperVision 

CooperVision, a division of CooperCompanies (NYSE:COO), is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of  contact lenses. The company produces a full array of daily disposable, two-week and monthly soft contact  lenses that feature advanced materials and optics, and premium rigid gas permeable lenses for  orthokeratology and scleral designs. CooperVision has a strong heritage of addressing the toughest vision  challenges such as astigmatism, presbyopia, childhood myopia, and highly irregular corneas; and offers the  most complete portfolio of spherical, toric and multifocal products available. Through a combination of  innovative products and focused practitioner support, the company brings a refreshing perspective to the  marketplace, creating real advantages for customers and wearers. For more information,  visit https://coopervision.ca.  

About Sun Pharma 

Sun Pharma entered the Canadian market in 2015 with the purchase of Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited, a Top  10 generic company in Canada since 2005. Sun Pharma is a world leader in branded and generic drugs and  we are now well positioned to be an even larger contributor to the Canadian healthcare landscape. With global manufacturing across six continents, we are investing in Canada by bringing high quality,  affordable and innovative medicines to market. Our global strength in R&D with an unwavering commitment  to quality ensures Sun Pharma will offer a wide range of affordable medicines for Canadians. Taro Pharmaceuticals is the exclusive distributor of our specialty and generic products in Canada. We feel the strength of our global Sun Pharma capabilities together with Taro Pharmaceutical’s 30-year  commitment to Canadian manufacturing and distribution creates a unique pharmaceutical partner for our  Canadian customers. It is our continued goal to provide our customers and partners with high quality  products and exceptional customer service. 

We look forward to many more years of providing Canadians with high quality and affordable medicines. To  learn more, visit: https://sunpharma.com/canada-branded-products/