What's the difference between an optometrist and the people who sell glasses?
An optometrist is trained as a doctor of the eyes. They check the health of your eyes, inside and outside, as well as assess vision and give you your glasses prescription. A full eye health exam checks for glaucoma, cataracts, eye turns, macular degeneration, ocular surface disease and more! Also the "free eye test" offered by some opticals doesn't give as accurate of a measurement for your glasses.
How often should I get my eyes checked?
Children should have their eyes examined every year, and adults every 2 years. Seniors and people with diabetes should be examined every year.
Should I bring my kids in for a checkup?
Yes! Even if kids don't seem to have any problems, they don't know the difference between what they have always seen, and what clear vision is. There is no charge for kids eye exams at our office, if you bring in their Care Card. (up to age 18)
Does my child need to know their letters before coming to see you?
No. In fact, Dr. Dougans prefers to see babies at 6-8 months of age for their first quick checkup. Most of the time there is nothing to worry about, but it can give an early red flag for vision problems that may need to be treated at an early age. Eye exams for toddlers and preschoolers involves looking at pictures and lights, as well as tests that don't require a person's response. Vision develops the most from birth to age 6, so it is very important to make sure both eyes are seeing well and working together.
Can I order contact lenses online?
Yes, but you should have a contact lens fit by an optometrist or a licensed contact lens fitter. It's not safe just to order something based on your old glasses numbers. A poorly-fitting contact lens can cause irritation and possible damage to the cornea (the front of the eye). If you schedule a full eye exam with Dr. Dougans she will assess your eyes and determine if there is a recommended contact lens for you. Contact lens trials are included at no additional charge (but training and multifocal contact lens fits may have an additional cost).
What's the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist?
An optometrist is a Doctor of Optometry, they check your eye health and give glasses and contact lens prescriptions. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who then goes on to specialize in eye surgery. Dr. Dougans will refer you to an ophthalmologist if there is a need for further eye testing or surgery.
I'm diabetic. Do I need a referral to get my eyes checked?
You don't need a referral for an eye exam at an optometry office, but you do need a referral to see a specialist. Diabetes can cause many problems in the eye, most without any symptoms in the early stages - so dilated eye exams should be done every year. There is also coverage from MSP (the government) for diabetics every 12 months. If Dr. Dougans finds something requiring treatment, she can fast-track you to a specialist. She also likes to send letters to your primary care doctor so they can adjust your medications if needed, since people with poorly controlled diabetes can actually go blind.
Does my extended health cover eye exams?
Most extended health plans cover eye exams every 2 years, or they may pay a portion of it. We can direct-bill BlueCross, Manulife, Standard Life, Chamber of Commerce, Greenshield, Sunlife, and others. This means less to pay out of pocket! We can check your coverage online if you give us the numbers on the back of your card.
Why don't you sell glasses at your office?
I mostly just can't be bothered at this point in my life, with two small kids. There are several good opticals in town. Plus I wanted to keep my overhead low by sharing space with my husband who is a chiropractor. I do sell contact lenses and the pricing is quite competitive.
Are you a chiropractor and an RMT too?
No, it's a husband and wife team sharing space, so the receptionist has to keep track of which Dr. Dougans you're talking about! Andrew is the chiropractor, Angie is the optometrist, and we are looking for a massage therapist to join the practice. Each has a different phone number, however.