Ophthalmology

Unity Health’s Ophthalmology teams are recognized for excellence in patient eye care, teaching and research. Through our world-class facilities, we offer a full range of ophthalmological care and subspecialty services relating to the cornea and anterior segment, glaucoma, the retina, neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, ocular pathology, strabismus and uveitis.

Ophthalmology at St. Joseph's Health Centre

The Eye Clinic at St. Joseph’s Health Centre provides approximately 4,000 patient visits and performs approximately 1,500 cataract surgeries every year. Our care team includes comprehensive general ophthalmologists and specialists in paediatrics, glaucoma, retina, strabismus and uveitis. The clinic is equipped with laser therapeutic technologies as well as space for oculoplastic surgical cases.

Ophthalmology at St. Michael's Hospital

The Ophthalmology team at St. Michael’s Hospital offers comprehensive ophthalmological care through an Eye Clinic, as well as a full range of ophthalmology subspecialty services relating to the cornea and anterior segment, glaucoma, the retina, neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, ocular pathology, strabismus and uveitis.

Our on-site diagnostic testing includes:

  • Colour Vision Assessment (Farnsworth 100-Hue)
  • Corneal Topography (COT)
  • Heidelberg Retina Tomography (HRT)
  • Intravenous Fluorescein Angiography (IVFA)
  • IOL Master (Zeiss)
  • Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
  • Retinal Photography
  • Ultrasonography (both diagnostic B-scans and biometric A-scans)
  • Visual Fields (both Goldmann and Humphrey)

The Eye Clinic at St. Michael’s Hospital cares for adult patients, ages 18 years and older, with a broad range of eye conditions.

The Eye Clinic does not offer walk-in services. We provide care for urgent eye conditions. Appointments are scheduled by referral from your health-care provider only. If you experience an ocular emergency, please go directly to your nearest emergency department.

Long-term follow-up care is not provided in the Eye Clinic. Once an eye condition is stabilized, patients are referred to community eye care providers for more long-term follow-up.

Location, hours and contact information

7th floor, Donnelly Wing
St. Michael’s Hospital
30 Bond St.
Toronto, ON
M5B 1W8

Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Phone: 416-867-7422

Physicians

Dr. David Assaad
Dr. Nupura Bakshi
Dr. Shelley Boyd
Dr. Clara Chan
Dr. Trevor Chin Fook
Dr. Larissa Derzko-Dzulynsky
Dr. Michael Easterbrook
Dr. Peter Girschek
Dr. Dale Gray
Dr. Meg Iizuka
Dr. Brad Kates
Dr. Christoff Kranemann
Dr. Myrna Lichter
Dr. Mark Mandell
Dr. Jonathan Micieli
Dr. Nav Nijhawan
Dr. Gordon Squires

Information for patients

Appointments in the Eye Clinic typically last one to two hours; however, the clinic deals with many emergencies and waits may at times be up to two to four hours.

Bring the following items to your visit:

  • Your current glasses and/or contact lenses with case.​
  • Your health card and photo ID
  • A list of all​ medications you are currently taking​​
  • A friend or family member to assist you when leaving the clinic, as your pupils may be dilated caused blurred vision

Location

8th floor, Donnelly Wing
St. Michael’s Hospital
30 Bond St.
Toronto, ON M5B 1W8

Physicians

Dr. Neeru Gupta
Dr. Christoph Kranemann

Information for patients

Glaucoma is a disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve. The optic nerve is connected to the retina — a layer of light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye — and is made up of many nerve fibers, like an electric cable is made up of many wires. It is the optic nerve that sends signals from your retina to your brain, where these signals are interpreted as the images you see.

In the healthy eye, a clear fluid called aqueous (pronounced AY-kwee-us) humor circulates inside the front portion of your eye. To maintain a constant healthy eye pressure, your eye continually produces a small amount of aqueous humor while an equal amount of this fluid flows out of your eye. If you have glaucoma, the aqueous humor does not flow out of the eye properly. Fluid pressure in the eye builds up and, over time, causes damage to the optic nerve fibers.

There are several types of glaucoma:

  • Open-angle glaucoma
  • Normal-tension glaucoma
  • Closed-angle glaucoma (or Narrow-angle glaucoma or Angle-closure glaucoma)
  • Congenital glaucoma
  • Secondary glaucoma

Location, hours and contact information

8th floor,  Donnelly Wing
St. Michael’s Hospital
30 Bond St.
Toronto, Ontario
M5B 1W8

Physicians

Dr. Filberto Altomare
Dr. Alan Berger
Dr. David Chow
Dr. Louis Giavedoni
Dr. David Wong
Dr. Rajeev Muni
Dr. David Assaad
Dr. Brad Kates
Dr. Mark Mandell

Information for patients

The retina is a thin layer of nerve tissue lining the back of the eye. It is made up of millions of light sensitive cells that respond to light focused through the cornea and lens. The retina transmits this information through the optic nerve to the brain where vision is perceived. The macula is the centre of the retina, which provides clear, central vision. The vitreous is a transparent gel that fills the eyeball and allows images to focus on the retina without distortion. There are a number of ocular diseases that specifically involve the retina, vitreous or both.

A retina specialist is an ophthalmologist (an eye physician and surgeon) with advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders involving the retina and vitreous. A retina specialist is prepared to medically or surgically treat such disorders as macular degeneration, macular holes, macular puckers, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vascular disease, tears and detachment of the retina, and severe ocular injuries, infections or inflammations.

Age-related macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that results in degeneration or breakdown in the centre of the retina, or macula.  There are two forms of AMD: dry AMD and wet AMD, both of which may lead to progressive loss of central vision.  There are treatments for AMD to reduce the risk of vision loss and in some cases return vision that has already been lost.

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that involves damage to the retinal blood vessels. Retinal blood vessels may leak, causing swelling of the retina (macular edema) or close off completely. In other cases, abnormal new blood vessels may grow on the surface of the retina leading to bleeding, retinal detachment and/or vision loss.

Retinal vein occlusion

A retinal vein occlusion is a blockage of the small veins that carry blood away from the retina.  This may lead to swelling of the retina, a deterioration (worsening) in retinal blood flow and/or vision loss.

Macular pucker

Epiretinal membrane (also referred to as macular pucker, surface wrinkling retinopathy, or cellophane maculopathy) refers to the formation of a semitransparent scar tissue on the surface of the retina. With time, this scar tissue can contract and result in distortion of the underlying retina and/or macular edema (swelling).

Macular hole

A macular hole is a small full-thickness defect that may form in the centre of the retina, or macula. A macular hole may cause a loss in central vision and require surgery for repair.

Retinal dystrophy

A retinal dystrophy is a condition associated with reduced or deteriorating vision in both eyes. Retinal dystrophy is not one single condition, but the general name given to a wide range of eye conditions (for example, Retinitis Pigmentosa). Dystrophy means a condition that a person is born with. Retinal means relating to the retina.

Posterior vitreous detachment

A posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) occurs when the collagen fibers that make up the vitreous cavity condense, causing the gel to pull forward. Patients typically complain of seeing central floaters and/or flashes of light, usually in their peripheral vision. This is a normal age-related phenomenon, but in some patients, it can be associated with a retinal tear or detachment.

Retinal tear and detachment

Usually with age, vitreous, the clear gel filling the eye, pulls away from the surface of the retina in a process called posterior vitreous detachment. This usually occurs without damaging the retina, but in some cases the vitreous may pull hard enough to tear the retina in one or more places. Fluid can pass through the tear and begin accumulating behind the retina, causing a retinal detachment. A retinal detachment is often associated with significant vision loss and requires surgical repair.

Last updated September 22, 2021