Position Statement

Patient talking to optometrist online
COVID-19 has had demonstrable effects on the provision of optometry services, most notably in the restriction of access to vision care during the first wave of the pandemic. Stay-at-home orders and clinic closures created the need for alternate patient care modes to ensure the safety of patients, staff, and optometrists resulting in teleoptometry becoming a particularly valuable modality for vision care services.
Student taking exam
CAO and the profession of optometry strongly support the requirement for a post-graduation, entry to practice competency assessment.
syringe and COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 continues to have a demonstrable impact on health care delivery in Canada, given emerging and more contagious variants and vaccination rates levelling off.
Senior with Optometrist
Importance of Eye Health and Vision Care to Healthy Aging
Girl with glasses in front of school bus
CAO's Position Statement on Myopia
Group of children in front of a screen
The prevalence of electronic screen-related ocular symptoms is estimated as high as 50–90% in adult electronic screen users. Due to a lack of scientific literature in the area, the corresponding statistic is not known for children. Children’s use of electronic screens, however, has become more commonplace (home and school), 4a begins earlier in childhood than in the past,5a and can last for long periods of time.
Street lights at dusk
Most LED lights emit a cool white light that is brighter and more likely to create glare than traditional lighting. LED lights can also emit a large amount of blue light which is known to scatter in the atmosphere and make it harder for the human eye to focus. This glare may be especially debilitating for drivers and pedestrians with less than perfect vision.
Smiling girl with new glasses
Optometrists practising in rural and remote settings may face a number of specific challenges. These include a broad patient demographic and wide-ranging patient needs, professional isolation, limited referral options to other ODs and healthcare providers, and lack of access to nearby onsite continuing education. Other challenges may include a lack of locum support, difficulty locating qualified employees and associate ODs, and difficulty with succession planning.

According to Statistics Canada, Canada’s urban/rural population is an 80/20 split.ii Canada’s rural population is older than the urban population, and Canada’s rural population is aging faster than their urban counterparts in terms of the change in the share of the population that is senior.iii Since visual impairment is correlated with age, providing optometric care in rural and remote regions of Canada can also be challenging because of the likelihood of eye disease, visual impairment, and blindness among elderly patients. The continued presence of a sustainable rural and remote optometry workforce is therefore essential to maintain appropriate levels of accessible primary eye care in rural and remote regions of Canada.
electronic chip with lock in the centre
The proportion of optometrists using electronic health records is growing. Electronic records offer advantages in accessing and storing patient health information, and have the potential to improve the management of patient care. Optometrists are responsible for ensuring their patients' health information — whether in paper or electronic form — is stored and maintained in a secure manner, in keeping with legal requirements, and according to relevant policies from provincial and territorial regulatory authorities.
Folders marked "Confidential"
Optometric records are essential collections of sensitive personal patient information compiled to allow optometrists and other eye health care providers to provide optometric treatment, ensure continuity of care, and maintain optimal standards of care.