Dr. Sarah Virji, Optometrist (Edmonton)

Optometrist (Eye Doctor)

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Born and raised in Edmonton, Dr. Sarah Virji is a graduate of the University of Alberta. She received her BSc in Optometry at Aston University in Birmingham, UK, then went on to New England College of Optometry in Boston, Massachusetts to complete her Doctorate of Optometry in 2018. Optometry has always been a part of Dr. Virji’s life since a young age which makes it easy for her to relate to her patients. While working in London, England Sarah spent her days off volunteering and performing eye examinations for homeless shelters, she hopes to join some local charities in and around Edmonton to volunteer with. Outside of work Dr.Virji enjoys playing hockey and dancing.


An optometrist is a primary eye care provider who can conduct eye exams, write prescriptions, and treat eye diseases and disorders. Canadian optometrists require seven to eight years of training at a post-secondary institution before obtaining their professional designation as a Doctor of Optometry (also known as an OD). There are currently two schools of optometry in Canada: The University of Waterloo and the Université de Montréal. There are 20 additional optometry schools in the United States whose graduates are accredited to practice in Canada. Many optometrists also choose to do an extra year of residency (a type of internship) to specialize in a particular type of training or eye care field.

In Canada, optometrists are overseen by provincial/territorial boards that ensure all qualifications are up to date. National tests are also administered by the Canadian Examiners in Optometry to ensure that OD training meets the high level of care expected by Canadian patients.

Alberta College of Optometrists
Alberta Association of Optometrists
Canadian Association of Optometrists
Eye-deology Vision Care: Edmonton Optometrists, Opticians and Eyewear

We offer one of the most advanced eye exams available.

Our family-owned optometry clinic offers complete eye exams, specialty testing, prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses, safety glasses, contact lenses, designer frames and custom lenses. Visit the optometrists and opticians at our Edmonton clinic today and you will see how patient-first personalized eye care and eyewear enables you to be your very best.

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Visit optometrist for primary medical eye care - this includes for eye infections, foreign body removal, eye medication prescriptions, diagnosing and managing eye diseases, emergency eye care services and for eyeglass/contact lens prescriptions. Visit an ophthalmologist for eye care such as surgical treatments for serious eye diseases (e.g., macular degeneration), advanced ocular problems (e.g., retinal detachments), or refractive (i.e., laser) eye surgery. In most instances, to see an ophthalmologist individuals must be referred by an optometrist or physician.

The education required to become an optometrist is extensive. First, a bachelor's degree must be completed. Like medical school, optometry school does not require a specific type of degree (BSc. vs BA). Instead, pre-requisite courses (e.g., Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, etc.) must be completed prior to applying to optometry school. Once accepted into an optometry program, students spend four years studying optometry. Following graduation from optometry school, individuals obtain a Doctor of Optometry degree which is abbreviated as OD. Optometrists are most certainly Doctors, but are not considered to be a medical doctor or physician.

The scope of duties for optometrists is constantly expanding. The main duties of an optometrist include:
  • Vision Services. Regular eye exams, dilated eye exams, vision therapy, and vision testing
  • Prescribing Corrective Eyewear. Eyeglasses, reading glasses, prescription sunglasses, contact lenses, and scleral contact lenses.
  • Fitting Contact Lenses. Soft contact lenses, hard contact Lenses, and scleral contact lenses.
  • Diagnosing and Monitoring Eye Conditions. Related to systemic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, etc.
  • Diagnosing and Managing Eye Conditions and Disease. This includes glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, iritis, styes, and dry eyes.
  • Prescribe oral and topical pharmaceutical medications. Examples include eye drops to treat glaucoma, dry eye disorder, and conjunctivitis (i.e., pink eye).
  • Emergent Eye Care. Foreign body removal, corneal abrasions, etc.

Given that individuals only have two eyes, the importance vision is to quality life, livelihood, and lifestyle, and that once vision is lost it cannot be returned, we recommend that individuals get an optometrist-performed eye exam annually.

Annual eye exams are especially important for children and seniors, and for those individuals with systemic conditions, such as diabetes.

Some optometry services are covered by Alberta Health Care:
  • Ages 0-18: Alberta Health Care covers one complete eye exam per year. Additional exams and/or treatments may be covered based on medical needs. Ask your doctor of optometry for information about coverage and potential costs for specific visual conditions. Alberta Health Care covers medically necessary services.
  • Ages 19-64: Alberta Health Care does not cover eye exams, however many Albertans have insurance coverage through their employer or their own medical plan. We offer convenient direct-billing to most major health benefits plans. Alberta Health Care does cover medically necessary services.
  • Age 65+: Alberta Health Care covers one complete eye exam per year. Additional exams and/or treatments may be covered based on medical needs, such as glaucoma, diabetes or cataract follow-up or monitoring. Ask your doctor of optometry for information about coverage and potential costs for specific visual conditions. Alberta Health Care covers medically necessary services.
  • Medically Necessary/Urgent Care: includes eye infections or injuries, foreign objects in the eyes, sudden change in vision, monitoring for diabetes issues, glaucoma, and retinal disease, and post-operative care for cataract patients.
* Please consult your doctor of optometry prior to your appointment to determine if there are any additional costs.

New patients should be able to supply the following information at the time of their first comprehensive eye exam.
  • Contact Information (name, address, phone number, email, etc.);
  • Date of birth;
  • Gender;
  • Alberta Health Card;
  • List of current prescription medicine(s);
  • Medical history;
  • Family Physician;
  • Date of laser corrective eye surgery (if applicable);
  • Ophthalmologist (if applicable);
  • Health benefits/Health Insurance policy and group information;
  • If applicable, your current prescription eyeglasses;
  • If applicable, your current contact lens brand/type (i.e., packaging);
  • The location of your most recent eye exam.