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What’s the Difference Between Ordering Glasses Online and Buying them from Your Trusted Calgary Optometrist? - Doig Optometry - Calgary Optometrists
Advertisements for online eyewear seem to be everywhere nowadays. These advertisements usually boast their cheaper deals, the convenience of ordering online rather than navigating the snowy Calgary streets, and the claim that if you don’t like your glasses, you can just mail them back — no questions asked. But are you actually getting the same great quality you’d fine at Doig’s Optometry for a too-good-to-be-true price or are you just buying into cheap claims and disappointments?

Research has shown that as much as half of all eyewear ordered online failed at least one of the criteria for optical quality or impact resistance testing. (Journal of the American Optometric Association, Vol 82, No 9, September 2011) When buying online, you take on all the responsibility of a professional, Calgary optometrist onto yourself. It’s suddenly up to you to take technical measurements and make all the important decisions about the fit of the frame, the lens material, and the treatments and coatings. If you fail to make the right choice, then you’re left with unsatisfactory glasses that don’t fit well, cause headaches, and leave your vision blurry. And whether it’s a problem with the frame’s fit or quality, the sharpness of vision, chronic headaches, eye pain, or a feeling of pressure, pulling, or strain in the eyes, the consumer takes the responsibility. Internet providers of eyewear are unregulated, and they are not required to comply with legislation that ensures the safety and accuracy of the finished eyewear.  Instead, you’re left with the option of dealing with glasses that don’t work well or sending them back to try again and again, until you become frustrated and give up.

Quality eyewear is the result of custom work. Just like your fingerprint is unique, your eyes and your face are like no one else’s, and only expertise can bring the personalized touch that makes your glasses flawlessly yours. That’s why the Doctors and staff at Calgary’s Doig Optometry spend all the time necessary to make careful custom measurements and ensure that your eyeglasses work perfectly for you at work, on the go, and everywhere in between.


Most online glasses aren’t terrible, but it’s simply impossible for them to compare to a pair that’s uniquely crafted for you. The expert eye doctors at Doig Optometry take the time to learn about your lifestyle vision demands, and they make the precise measurements that relate to your individual needs. And yes, we really do need to see your eyes in our office to make those precise, custom measurements. Once we’ve obtained all the custom measurement needed, we partner with a lab capable of creating individualized glasses tailored especially for you. Once they complete all of their work, we verify that your eyeglasses meet the highest standards for quality that Dr. Doig has set.

Patients sometimes ask if we can measure their PD for them. Inter-Pupillary Distance, or PD, is one of the measurements needed to order glasses online. Of course, we can measure your PD and give it to you, but what about all the other custom measurements? Glasses aren’t just a fashion accessory. You may be wearing this pair of glasses every single day for a year, two, or even more, so it’s necessary to get them just right. Here’s the list of all the things Dr. Doig wants to know and understand before we make your glasses:

  • Inter-Pupillary Distance

  • Optical Centre height

  • Near Point Inset

  • Working Distance

  • Down Gaze Angle

  • Vertex Distance

  • Pantoscopic Tilt

  • Panoramic Angle

  • Binocular Balance

  • Lifestyle Visual Demands

When we know all these things, we can make a pair of glasses that are sharp, comfortable, and look great. Absolutely, some of these measurements can be standardized for most patients who have small, simple prescriptions. But for most patients, who wear high prescriptions, or Progressive Lenses, it’s impossible to make a great pair of glasses without understanding all ten things on this list.   

Since modern, optically perfect eyeglasses can only be made with customized measurements, and since online suppliers can’t get accurate customized measurements, they usually provide the simplest optical lenses that can be manufactured with approximate measurements or measurements that can be standardized for large groups of people. This means that internet vendors can only supply older, conventional lenses that have fallen out of favor in a world where the vision standards for lenses are much more advanced.


Consumers should know that the deeply discounted pricing online is for product that is discontinued or out of fashion. If you are interested in purchasing affordable eyewear, come visit Doig Optometry to learn about our package pricing. All of our glasses are carefully crafted by our staff and doctors, and they take in account all the custom measurements necessary for giving you flawless sight. We have affordable single vision and Progressive eyeglass packages, and two pair pricing which includes the frame, personal customized lenses, coatings, case, cleaning cloth and spray. We are confident that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how affordable these warranteed packages are. Call us today with any questions.