FAQ

doig faq

doig faq

Where can I park when I come to your office?

Parking is free at the Heritage Hill Professional Building.

There are 50 parking stalls in the parking lot immediately in front of the building, which are the first stalls you'll see as you enter the parking lot from northbound MacLeod Trail.

There are 160 parking stalls in the north parking lot, which can be accessed by driving down the gentle hill to the east of the building.

There are 352 parking stall in the large parking lot in front of Winners, Homesense, AutoValue and the other retailers. This is the parking lot you'll enter if you arrive at Heritage Hill Centre from Flint Road S.E.

There are handicap stalls at the main doors on the south side as well as at the main lower level doors on the north side.

What are your Hours of Operation?

To be determined as we draw closer to our grand opening! Stay tuned!

Are you Wheelchair Accessible?

Our office is able to accommodate wheelchairs, but patients must be able to transfer into the examination chair for examination. Our staff cannot assist with patient transfers into and out of the examination chair. If you are unable to transfer independently, please have someone accompany you to your appointment who can provide any needed assistance.

What's the difference between an Optician, and Optometrist and an Ophthalmologist?

In Canada there are three main groups of eye care providers. Some confusion exists due to the fact that their three titles all sound similar and start with an ‘O'. In fact, the three groups are sometimes referred to as "The Three O's". Even other health care providers ask for an explanation of the difference between the three groups. There are important differences in training, expertise and competency between the three groups:

Optometrists are the primary vision care providers in Canada. They are Doctors of Optometry. They are University trained members of a regulated health profession. They are educated, trained and competent in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the human eye and disorders of the human visual system. Doctors of Optometry prescribe, fit and dispense eyeglasses, contact lenses and other vision aids to correct focus disorders. In Alberta, your Optometrist can prescribe medications for the treatment of diseases of the eyes. They can also remove superficial foreign bodies. Your Optometrist receives referrals from and often refers patients to secondary specialists, such as Ophthalmologists, for treatment of complex conditions or for eye surgery when appropriate. In short, your Optometrist is a "general eye care practitioner", much like your family doctor is a "general medical practitioner". You can learn more about the role of the Optometrist here.

Ophthalmologists are surgeons who specialize in the treatment of eye diseases and in surgery on the human eye. They have a medical degree, as well as residency training in medical and surgical treatment of the eyes at an accredited university hospital. They are Medical doctors and they are also members of a regulated health profession. Depending on their area of special interest and training, Ophthalmologists will specialize in:

  • surgery for holes, tears or detachments of the retina, or for other disorders of the retina
  • management of macular degeneration
  • cataract and refractive surgery, including laser surgery and corneal transplant surgery
  • the management of glaucoma by medicines or by surgery
  • eyelid and other oculo-plastic surgeries
  • the management of cancers of they eyes.

Ophthalmologists are secondary specialists in eye care. Patients often require referral from another health care practitioner to obtain an appointment for medical treatment or surgery. 

Opticians are trained to supply, prepare and dispense optical appliances. They receive their training at a technical college. In Alberta, they are registered members of a regulated health profession. As such they are authorized to dispense corrective lenses for the purpose of dispensing eyeglasses. Opticians interpret the eyeglass prescription provided by a Doctor of Optometry or an Ophthalmologist and consider factors affecting the design and manufacture of the eyeglass lenses. They fabricate the eyeglasses, they verify them and then fit and adjust them to the patient. Some Opticians are further trained and authorized to dispense contact lenses.

In Alberta, Opticians, Optometrists and Ophthalmologists work together to meet the vision care needs of Albertans. The Doctors and staff at Doig Optometry are excited to share in that important work every day.

I am Nearsighted. What does that mean?

Nearsighted people see near. They see near things better than they see far things. In fact, nearsighted patients have an advantage in seeing near things that other patients don't have. At a certain, near distance, nearsighted patients actually see close things more easily than other patients! The nearsighted patient's eyes are more relaxed and small objects are somewhat magnified for them at their best near vision distance. Unfortunately, nearsighted patients only have these advantages because their eyes are slightly stronger in focus than they should be, making their vision blurry at longer distances.

Since nearsighted patients have eyes that are stronger than they should be, the Optometrist will prescribe "minus" lenses to subtract power. Then, when the patient looks through their lenses, they see distant objects clearly and use the normal, usual amount of focusing effort to see near tasks. Of course, some nearsighted patients prefer to take their glasses off for near tasks and have their eyes be more relaxed. When they're doing far and near tasks at the same time, most nearsighted patients just leave their eyeglasses on for convenience.

The medical name for nearsightedness is "myopia". 

I am Farsighted. What does that mean?

Farsighted people see far more easily than they see near. Some farsighted patients can give extra effort and use their eyes' focusing muscles to force the eyes to see near things too. This fact makes understanding farsightedness less straightforward than understanding nearsightedness. The simplest explanation is that farsighted patients have eyes that aren't quite strong enough. If the amount of farsightedness is small enough, and if the patient has enough range of muscle power to focus the lens inside the eyes, then that patient may be able to give extra effort and focus their own eyes to see both near and far objects clearly. As with any other muscle system, this can make the eyes achy and tired from all the extra effort. If the amount of focus effort required is too great, or if the patient doesn't have enough range of muscle focus available, then that patient will experience blurry vision too. Usually this blurry vision is worse for near tasks in farsighted patients.

Since farsighted patients have eyes that aren't quite strong enough, the Optometrist will prescribe "plus" lenses to add power. Then when the patient looks through their lenses, their eyes can be relaxed and at the same time they can see near objects clearly. Some farsighted patients prefer to take their eyeglasses off for distance tasks and others prefer to leave their eyeglasses on for convenience when doing far and near tasks at the same time.

The medical name for farsightedness is "hyperopia". 

I have Astigmatism. What does that mean?

Astigmatism is caused by an irregular shape of eye. Think about the difference between a round basketball to an oval American football. A round or regular shaped eye has the same prescription all around while an oval or irregular shaped eye has a different prescription across the two directions that are shaped differently. As well, the "football" shape can be oriented in different directions. This complex shape causes a complex focussing error that can blur objects at far, middle and near distances. To correct astigmatism, the Optometrist prescribes eyeglass lenses with more prescription in one meridian, and less in another, all in the proper amount and orientation to compensate for the complex shape of the patients eye. Patients with astigmatism usually wear there glasses full time when their amount of astigmatism is great enough to cause full time blur or full time eyestrain. 

A More Detailed Description of Astigmatism:

People without any astigmatism at all have the same amount of nearsightedness or farsightedness all over the eye, in all meridians of the eye. People with astigmatism have different amounts of nearsightedness or farsightedness in different meridians of the eye. To understand how that impacts vision, think about the lines that make up the letters of the alphabet.

Letters are made up of lines, oriented in different directions. While some are curved, you'll understand astigmatism more easily if you think about letters that are made up of straight lines. First think of a few letters that have lines oriented vertically. (These letters also have lines oriented horizontally.)

 

L T H I E

 

As it turns out, it is quite common for patients to see the vertical lines more clearly than the horizontal lines. As a rule, fewer patients see the horizontal lines more clearly than the vertical lines. Some patients see angled lines less clearly. The blurry line can be angled in any orientation. Depending which angle is blurry, some of the following letters might be difficult to see.

 

V W A Y N Z X

 

That's Astigmatism. It's a pretty simple concept with a really bad reputation. Unfortunately, that reputation might be deserved when it comes to contact lenses. If a patient has astigmatism affecting lines (for instance) in exactly the orientation of the angled line in the letter Z, then the Optometrist can add a little bit more minus or plus lens power, depending on the patients needs, in exactly that meridian. In eyeglasses, the frame around the lens rests on the patients nose and ears, and keeps everything lined up with the horizon so the astigmatism lines up precisely, making the letter Z sharp. Hurray! In contact lenses, there's nothing to stop the lens from spinning and rotating each time the patient blinks. Thus, the astigmatism would only rarely be corrected and the patients vision would only rarely be clear. You can learn how we overcome this contact lens fitting problem here. 

I have Astigmatism. Can I wear Contact Lenses?

Yes! There are contact lenses for patients with astigmatism, and we are fortunate to live in a time when soft contact lenses can correct low and moderate amounts of astigmatism very well. Some of the higher amounts of astigmatism are still tricky to correct in soft contact lenses.

I have a LOT of Astigmatism. Do I have to wear Hard Contacts?

It is true that high amounts of astigmatism are very tricky to correct with soft contact lenses. Most manufacturers don't even offer soft contact lenses for the highest levels of astigmatism, and so the soft contact lenses that are available can be more expensive. When soft contact lenses cannot achieve sharp enough vision for the patient with astigmatism, Rigid, Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses can provide another alternative. 

Rigid, Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses work by creating an artificial, rigid surface in front of the cornea, with a shape defined by the Optometrist. This surface then becomes an "artificial cornea" with defined focus properties that sharpen vision for the patient. Obviously, designing this sort of contact lens is very technical, but for the patients who need them, Rigid, Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses can be very successful, even magical. Doctor Doig still gets "geeked out" when he thinks about how magical Rigid, Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses can be. 

Rigid, Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses are not for everyone. Because they are rigid, they are not instantly comfortable upon insertion. This has long been the advantage of soft contact lenses over Rigid, Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses, but if you are motivated to wear contact lenses, and soft contact lenses won't work for you, you can adapt to the Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses and feel comfortable in them after a few weeks of "building up" your wear time.

When the media refers to "Hard" contacts, they are usually describing Rigid, Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses. Hard contact lens materials do not let any oxygen, carbon dioxide or other gasses pass through them and are not used in our time due to the negative impact on the health of the cornea.

I have Presbyopia. What does that mean?

If a patient has perfect eyes, then distance objects are sharp and perfectly clear when their eyes are completely rested and totally relaxed. When they want to see something closer, that patient uses the ciliary muscle inside the eye to change the shape of the lens inside the eye to focus the eyes on the near object. Unfortunately, as we accumulate birthdays, the lens inside the eye becomes more and more rigid, and less flexible. This process is called presbyopia. With time, the lens inside the eye loses enough elasticity and becomes so hard that the ciliary muscles can no longer change it's shape. Eventually, near vision becomes blurry. Some patients experience strain, tiredness and headache as an early symptom of this process. In either case, the Optometrist can make precise measurements and prescribe just enough lens prescription to do the work that the eyes can no longer do on their own, and make the vision clear and comfortable again. The simplest lens prescription to correct presbyopia is a simple pair of prescription reading glasses. If a patient also has nearsightedness, or farsightedness or has astigmatism, that patient may prefer to wear bifocals or progressive lenses for convenience.

How can I know whether I need bifocals?

Some patients need two different lens prescriptions. Presbyopia is the most common cause, and the main reason some patients need one prescription for near tasks and another for distance tasks. Rather than carrying two pairs of glasses constantly, patients can choose to have those two prescriptions in one pair of glasses, in the form of bifocals or progressive lenses. Simply put, you will need bifocals when you have two different prescriptions and you find it inconvenient to switch back and forth between two pairs of glasses.

What is the difference between bifocal and progressive lenses?

Bifocals have a line separating an upper, distance prescription from a lower, near prescription. Since we as human beings hold things in our hands when we want to see stuff "up-close", and since our hands are below our eyes, the near segment is almost always placed in the lower half of the eyeglass frames. The Optometrist, or their staff, makes specific measurements and places the bifocal line in the position that is the most convenient for the patient.

Progressive lenses have a "seamless" or "invisible" transition between the two prescription "zones" but accomplish the same purpose as a bifocal. They still have an upper, distance prescription and a lower near prescription, but apart from these, progressive lenses can also be designed to give the patient a useful intermediate prescription. This offers progressive lens wearers an optical advantage apart from the cosmetic advantage of having no lines on their eyeglasses. You can learn more about progressive lens design and fabrication here.

I've heard that Progressive Lenses are hard to get used to. Are they?

Some consider the obvious, visible line on a bifocal lens to be an advantage because the lines on a pair of bifocal lenses make it obvious to the wearer whether they are in the distance portion or the reading portion of the lens. Simply put, bifocal wearers can put their eyes above the line, or below the line, and immediately see the complete and total difference in their vision as they move from one segment of the lens to the other. Everyone can see the lines on the lenses, including the patient, making it easy for them to know which prescription they are looking through.

Since progressive lenses have no lines on them, neither the patient nor anyone else can see them. This is a cosmetic advantage for sure, and no-one else needs to know that you are wearing multifocal lenses. Unfortunately, when no-one else can see the lines on your glasses, you can't see them either! That means you must get to know which part of your glasses to look through when you want to see far things, and which part you must look through to see near objects. When people speak of getting used to their progressive lenses, they are talking about the period of time when their visual system is learning to use their new glasses automatically without any need to think about it. At Doig Optometry, we refer to this time as the period of adaptation.

If your new progressive lenses are made properly, this period should only last a few days. Most patients are using their new progressive eyeglasses comfortably and automatically within 2 to 14 days. At Doig optometry, every pair of eyeglasses is verified before being delivered, in order to ensure patients have every opportunity to love their glasses, so it's important to let us know if you are experiencing any difficulties with adaptation beyond the two week mark. Remember, we want your new progressive lenses to work for you. Our philosophy is that giving you your new glasses is not the end of our relationship with you, it is only the beginning. 

Tips to help you adapt to your progressive lenses:

Although many people do not experience any issues with their new progressives, some people will not feel completely comfortable with them when they first pick them up, even if the progressives have been made correctly. In your first day or two, things may look different than you are used to, their may be some distortion of objects, you may notice a swimming effect and in some people who are prone to them may experience headaches or nausea. Ideally, you should wear your progressives as much as possible to speed up your brain's adaptation to these visual changes. However, if you are noticing any symptoms with your new progressives, do not wear them to drive until your symptoms have resolved. Some specific ideas that may help:

  1. If you cannot wear your progressives for the full day, then wear them as long as possible and try to wear them longer each day. Ensure you are putting your eyeglasses on straight and close to your face.
  2. You can also start by wearing them only when you are stationary and then, after a day or two, you can progress to wearing them when you are moving, as well. 
  3. Point your nose at the thing you want to see (this will help you remember to turn you head in the proper direction to align the lenses with the object you are looking at), then move your head up or down slowly until it becomes clear. 
  4. If your symptoms are severe, then please return to our office, as a frame adjustment will often help improve your symptoms. For each person, the ideal frame position with a progressive can be a slightly different and our staff can make the necessary adjustments for you.

If after 2 weeks and an adjustment by one of our staff, you are still having trouble with your progressives, please book an appointment with your doctor, who will work to determine the cause of and resolve your symptoms.