Who can perform eye health exams in Nova Scotia?

In Nova Scotia, an eye health examination may only be performed by an Optometrist (OD) or

a medical doctor (MD, OMD)


What is the difference between an Optometrist, Ophthalmologist and an Optician?

An optometrist is a doctor of optometry who examines patients in order to diagnose, treat, manage and prevent diseases and disorders of the eye and vision system and its related structures. An optometrist may also prescribe drugs for the treatment of eye conditions and provide, fit and adjust eyeglasses, contact lenses or subnormal vision devices for patients who require them.


An ophthalmologist is a physician who, upon graduation from medical school, undertakes several years of post-graduate training in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the eye. As well as diagnosing and treating ocular disease either by medical or surgical means, ophthalmologists may offer oculo-visual assessment, which includes prescription for corrective lenses.


An optician provides, fits and adjusts eyeglasses, contact lenses or subnormal vision devices on the prescription of an optometrist or physician.


Am I entitled to a copy of my prescription following my eye exam?

If an eye examination results in a prescription, the prescription belongs to the patient and an optometrist must provide it to them. The first copy of a prescription is included as part of the fee for examination. An additional fee may be charged for duplicate copies of the same prescription. In Nova Scotia, a prescription does not include the Pupillary Distance Measurement (PD) following an eye health exam.  This measurement is part of the eyeglasses dispensing services.


I am dissatisfied with the services that I received following my last eye appointment.  What should I do?

If you are dissatisfied with the services that you received following your eye exam or appointment, or feel that you have received inadequate care, the NSCO strongly encourages you to speak with your Optometrist directly regarding your concerns. If you are unable to obtain a satisfactory explanation or resolution, contact the College and we will assist you with answers to your questions or, if necessary, with the procedure for lodging a complaint.


I am an international graduate, how do I become licensed in Nova Scotia?

If you are an internationally educated optometrist or eye care professional seeking registration to practice optometry in any Canadian Province or Territory (except) Quebec, you must first have your credentials assessed by FORAC.

For details on FORAC Credential Assessment Services please  click here.