Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Take Care of your Eyes! Covered eye examinations

If you have Lupus or know someone who does, chances are you've heard of Prednisone. While prednisone generally does wonders for those with Lupus where the actual disease is concerned, it also has many terrible side effects that we love to hate.

Some of these side effects include:
  • the good ol 'moon face'
  • stretch marks from rapid weight gain/loss
  • avascular necrosis (death of bone or tissue due to lack of blood supply to a certain area of the body..I have it in my left hip and right knee)
  • eye problems (including cataracts)

if you live in Canada, I'm sure you know that eye exams are no longer covered. What a pain! The last time I got an eye exam I had to pay $80-something dollars. Luckily, I have private insurance through work and it was covered.

But what about those who DON'T have private insurance and have Lupus? It's not OUR fault that our eyes are more likely to be messed up due to the plethora of medications we have to take! So what can we do?

Well, if you have any of the following conditions, you can go directly to your optometrist or doctor to receive an INSURED OHIP eye examination:

  • diabetes mellitus
  • glaucoma
  • retinal disease
  • cataracts
  • amblyopia
  • visual field defects
  • corneal disease
  • strabismus

But what if you don't have any of that? (or don't know it...!) Well, what you can also do is go and see your family doctor. A requisition can be provided for a regular eye examination, and the requisition is good for 5 years! All of this info is available on the http://health.gov.on.ca/ website.

Those on Plaquinel aka Hydroxychloroquine should also get their eyes checked regularly. So make sure you get those peepers checked. OHIP covers an eye exam once every 12 months. Just make sure you get that requisition from your family doctor! :)

Call the ministry INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 with any other questions.

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