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Referring to Ophthalmology

Urgent Referral Criteria

Urgent referral diagnoses include:

  • Absent red reflex / leukocoria
  • Trauma
  • Vision-threatening infections/cellulitis

The referring practitioner must speak directly to the on-call ophthalmologist at 613-737-7600 x 0 to arrange an emergency ophthalmic consultation.  

Non-Urgent Referral Criteria

We Accept Referrals for:


Due to high demand, we unfortunately cannot accept referrals for:

  • Surgical problems, including
    • Strabismus/nystagmus
    • Cataract/glaucoma
    • Eyelid/orbital lesions/disease
    • Blocked tear duct
  • Inflammation/infection/tumours
  • Ocular genetics and retinal dystrophies


  • Vision screening, non-acute visual changes, undifferentiated headaches/migraines, and uncomplicated assessment of refractive error
  • Requests for a second opinion (for patients who are already followed by an ophthalmologist)
  • Non-urgent inpatient consultations


It is recommended that these patients be seen by an optometrist or community Ophthalmologist


*All properly-completed referrals are triaged by our team in a timely fashion. Priority is given to conditions that threaten vision and/or require surgery.

To expedite your referral, please complete the appropriate form. Please note that demand for pediatric ophthalmology consultation is very high. We depend on referring providers to provide the critical information needed to appropriately triage each referral. Inadequate details/documentation may result in delays in your patient being seen.

Mail or fax the referral form to:

Ophthalmology Clinic, CHEO
401 Smyth RoadOttawa, ON K1H 8L1
Fax: 613-738-4237

**Please indicate on the referral if an interpreter is required and for which language.

Back to Ophthalmology

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