Urgent Eye Care, Eye Infections and Medically Necessary Treatment

Your Alberta optometrist is trained to help with eye emergencies.

Do you live in Alberta and require eye injury treatment, have an eye emergency, or have an eye infection? 

Your optometrist is qualified to provide urgent eye care – no referral necessary.

To book directly with your local Alberta optometrist, visit the Find an Optometrist   page now and enter your postal code. A list of optometrists close to you will be listed.

Find an Optometrist

Alberta Health coverage for urgent eye care, eye infections and medically necessary treatment appointments

Alberta Health coverage is available towards urgent eye care, eye infections and medically necessary treatment appointments. Coverage includes:

  • Eye infections.
  • Eye injuries.
  • Eye and eyelid inflammation.
  • Foreign objects in the eyes.
  • Dry eye.
  • Styes.
  • Sudden changes in vision.
  • Monitoring for diabetes issues, glaucoma and retinal disease.
  • Post-operative care for cataract patients.

Important details for your appointment

Most optometrists keep a few daily appointments available for medically necessary treatment and urgent care. When booking an appointment, you don’t need a referral.

We recommend you discuss all services and treatments with your optometrist prior to the exam to ensure you understand your coverage and the options available.

Professional eye injury treatment

  • The professional eye injury treatment you require is available at your local Alberta optometry clinic.
  • Doctors of optometry in Alberta have the proper knowledge, tools and equipment necessary to diagnose, treat, prescribe medications, and refer to a specialist, if needed.
  • Your optometrist works with other health care providers to ensure you have the best care possible.
  • Optometrists can differentiate between a bacterial or viral infection, or an allergic reaction.
  • Optometrists can prescribe medication.

Be eye cautious all year round

Many of the routine things we do during the year can create eye injuries, from spring cleaning, to summer tree pruning, to fall yard debris, to winter snowballs.

No matter what the season, please be eye cautious. Wearing safety glasses is an ideal way to ensure your activities are eye-injury free.

Your Alberta optometrist is a skilled professional

  • Alberta optometrists have specialized education. They complete a Bachelor of Science degree, followed by a four-year Doctor of Optometry degree from an accredited university.
  • Alberta optometrists are experts who play an important role in the vision, eye health, and overall health of your family. 

Alberta optometrists are trained to: 

  • Treat, manage and correct disorders and diseases of the visual system, the eye and its associated structures.
  • Recognize and detect diseases of the body which might have effects on the eyes, then help treat or deal with those effects.
  • Diagnose, treat and manage conditions where the two eyes don't work together or conditions where the brain has problems properly using information sent from the eyes.
  • Prescribe any topical or oral Schedule 1 drug in the context of eye care.
  • Remove superficial foreign bodies from the eye in or below the surface of the cornea.
  • Plus, the independent management of glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.
  • Alberta optometrists provide primary eye care.

Find an Optometrist

Urgent Eye Care, Eye Infections and Medically Necessary Treatment: Additional resources

Doctor’s Note video tips

Further reading

Alberta Association of Optometrists Eye Health Library