Eye test and glasses

Having lived here for many yearsand waited six months to get an appointment only to discover that the shop that dispenses my glasses will do a test for you and make new ones within a week. If you do not have any eye problems e.g glaucoma etc and just simply want new glasses they will test you and make the new ones. The down side to this is that you cannot get any money back from you assurance company. My husband has new varifocals and the reading part was dreadful - this prescription came from the Dr.specialist - we went to our local eye shop and said was there anything they could do and they then proceeded to test his eyes, he now has some new reading glasses which are far superior to the Dr. ones. He was tested the old fashioned way with slides in and out of the the model until the right balance was achieved. They apparently are not allowed to advertise this service - the Dr. element presumably wanting a closed shop and not wanting things changed. It might not be lazer measured but the glasses are great.

Having recently been in the UK for 3 weeks I decided to have an eye test and get new glasses. Canā€™t get on with the varifocals and the sunglasses I had made for distance, have a perfect right eye but a blurry left eye. Iā€™ll be sending them back.
Perhaps I should take the prescription to an optician here and have them done. Never had problems beforeā€¦itā€™s frustratingā€‹:eyeglasses::angry:

Margaretā€¦ Your experiences sound very odd to meā€¦ Why didnā€™t Social Security and your Mutuelle pay towards your glasses ?? Could it be because your Doctor had not given you a Prescription (Opticians need that nowadays).

I took my husband to our local optician. He was given a thorough eye-test, lasting around 40 minutes, and he then proceeded to choose new frames. Glasses are due within 8 days. Social Security pays someā€¦ and Mutuelle does the rest (within its limits).

Personally, I have to see an Ophthalmologist every yearā€¦ he checks my eyes and my glassesā€¦ and I do as I am told.:wink:

According to the recent change in Law, Social Security will pay towards new glasses every 2 years, unless there is a change in prescription meaning glasses are needed sooner. As always, if SS pays something, the Mutuelle will cough up too.

Iā€™m confused Stella (not difficult) Are you saying that your husband had this done without seeing an Opthalmologist and was still reimbursed? I understood that you couldnā€™t be reimbursed unless you were seen by the specialist first.

When my husband and myself go to the Dr. and get a prescription and take them and have them made up its fine and the Assurance pay but although they shop opthalmologist is trained he isnt a Dr. so cant prescribe any medication for any eye problems. So if you have a problem like glaucome and need mediation he can`t do it. If your eyes are fine and you just need them stronger etc then you can walk into any of the shops and get it done. So if you are in a hurry and can waive the Assurance refund then the shop is the place to go.

Hi - no had a prescription from a Dr. but the reading part was useless so asked the shop and the opthalmologist if they could do anything without going back to the Dr. and waiting weeks for another appt. He did a further test and made them up. They were cheap frames and the results are a good pair of glasses without the hassle. If you have eye problems then you need the Dr etc. This service isnt well known as they cant advertise but are trained professionals the same as the people who do the tests with the Drs.

Hi Margaretā€¦ you are still confusing me somewhatā€¦the procedure is quite straight forward.

When we first came hereā€¦ years agoā€¦ I simply went into an Optician and asked them to test my eyes. Handed over the Carte Vitaleā€¦ and got new glasses with the up-to-date lenses. SS paid their bit and Mutuelle made up all the rest (ā€œMadame has a very good Mutuelleā€).

After that first time, I went each year. (SS + Mutuelle paid.)

But about 3 years ago, my Optician suddenly said he needed a Prescription/Authorisation from my Medical Doctor. What the Prescription actually saidā€¦was that I had sight problems!! (no way can a Medical Doctor say what is wrong with my eyes). However, this was sufficient for the Optician. He then gave me the excellent, intensive eye test and made up the glasses in accordance with his findingsā€¦ Carte Vitale and Mutuelle both paid up as usual! (It seems the Drā€™s ā€œPrescriptionā€ is good for 2or 3 years.)

We got a similar ā€œprescriptionā€ for my husbandā€¦ who has long sightā€¦ which brings its own problems. But he has never needed to visit an Ophtalmologisteā€¦ the Optician is sufficient for himā€¦ SS + Mutuelle pay upā€¦ yippee.

I did once have a sight hiccup with my sight (blurred vision) and my Medical Doctor wrote me another ā€œPrescriptionā€ to see an Ophtalmologiste urgently. Appointment within 2 days and Iā€™ve seen him every year since. Thankfully no lasting problems and he is very satisfied with the way my Optician is dealing with my sight.

Of course, someone suffering from glaucoma etc should be examined by an Ophtalmologiste/Specialist who will prescribe whatever treatment etc is necessary and the Optician will follow his instructions. Carte Vitale + Mutuelle will payā€¦for a good part if not all ā€¦

I really cannot understand why are you paying and not using your Carte Vitale and Mutuelle ā€¦I pay enough for my Mutuelleā€¦no intention of not using it to the full. :wink:

Chris, Iā€™ve just seen your postā€¦

No, you do not have to see an Ophtalmologiste first, is the short answer.

But read my long (sorry) reply to Margaret and it might help you. If everyone had to see the Ophtalmo before getting new glassesā€¦ we would all be bumping into lamp postsā€¦and fumbling our way aroundā€¦ :heart_eyes:

Steady on Stella - letā€™s be a bit more careful with advice shall we? :slight_smile:


si vous nā€™avez jamais reƧu de prescription mĆ©dicale ;
si vous avez moins de 16 ans et que votre prescription mƩdicale date de plus de 1 an ;
si vous avez entre 16 et 42 ans et que votre prescription mƩdicale date de plus de 5 ans ;
si vous avez plus de 42 ans et que votre prescription mƩdicale date de plus de 3 ans ;
si votre ophtalmologiste ou votre mĆ©decin a exprimĆ© son dĆ©saccord Ć  tout changement de correction par lā€™opticien dans son ordonnance ;
si lā€™opticien dĆ©cĆØle une presbytie jusquā€™alors inconnue

Dans tous les cas, conservez prĆ©cieusement lā€™original de votre ordonnance et nā€™oubliez pas que le contrĆ“le de la vue que rĆ©alise votre opticien ne remplace pas le suivi rĆ©gulier de votre ophtalmologiste ! Car lui seul peut procĆ©der Ć  des examens pour dĆ©terminer lā€™Ć©tat de santĆ© de vos yeux.

I think I have not explained it very well. My husband has just had new glasses 3 pairs using his carte vitale and assurance money back. All as normal when seeing a Dr/specialist. The reading part of the varifocals wasnt that good so I just went to our local opticians to ask if they could suggest any improvement. I didnt realise they could do eye test etc thought you had to go to the Dr./specialist. He made my husband at the cost of 80E a good pair of just reading glass which having claimedt the money already 2 months ago I couldnt claim again in this instance. The whole point of my post was jusr information that the local optician can make glasses and you can just walk in and get a test - like UK. I didnt know this having lived her for 14 years and just posted my message in case others didn`t either. If you have problems then its the specialist not the local optician.

I donā€™t think this is inconsistent with Stellaā€™s experience Simon. Here, we go to the optician first who does the test, gives us the prescription, makes the glasses, etc - and then we go to our doctor who just signs off the prescription - so it is a ā€˜prescription mĆ©dicaleā€™ - for the purposes of reimbursement.

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I have an appointment with Specsavers in Cirencester for the 19th April.
If I need new lenses I will compare the cost of the new lenses with what I paid last time here in France.
We are supposed to be having the costs if both spectacles and dentistry changing in our favour in the not too distant future.
Watch out fornit.

I was told by my Ophtalmologiste that if a driver causes an accident then he/she has to have their eyes tested. If problems are found then their Insurers will not pay for any damages caused and he/she will be liable for all costs. I donā€™t know if anyone else has heard of this or if itā€™s a way for the Ophtalmologiste to make more money !

Except Geof the end paragraph info surrounding overall eye health - something the high street opticians in France simply donā€™t offer.

As a contact lens wearer I prefer to make a cheap day return flight to Gatwick and have a thorough eye exam and prescription update (contacts and specs) at Boots Crawley. I order my contacts and specs on line at a fraction of the cost of French optician prices - even taking into account my flights / travel. My contacts are fully reimbursed. Good day out, normally involving a pub lunch - job done :wink:

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Thanks Stella. A lot clearer now. Well it would be if my glasses were up to the taskā€¦

Hi Simonā€¦ What you have written is correct, and it can be confusingā€¦

Note the very first part of your infoā€¦ā€œif you have never had a medical prescriptionā€ ā€¦

As I said, nowadays, the Optician needs a ā€œPrescriptionā€ from oneā€™s Medical Doctorā€¦ (these have a sell-by-date depending on oneā€™s age)

Oneā€™s Medical Doctor can/does give a ā€œPrescriptionā€ for a visit to the Optician for the normal Eyetestā€¦ or a visit to the Opthalmoā€¦if he considers you need itā€¦(and/.or this may also have been advised by the Optician when doing his Testingā€¦)

If all this is prescribed by the Med Docā€¦ CV+Mutuelle kick in.

If you visit the Opthalmo with a Medical Doctorā€™s prescriptionā€¦CV +Mutuelle pay. (and it may take months to get an appointment)

Once you are being ā€œfollowedā€ by the Opthalmoā€¦ you do not need a Medical Prescription for further visits to him. He will tell you how often he wants you to return for testing. (even so, visits need to be arranged months in advance.) It may be every few years, it may be never againā€¦ it might be every few monthsā€¦ who knows.

The Opthalmo will check your current glasses and may Precribe a change (take the Opthalmo Prescription to the Optician) CV + Mutuelle)
If there is any discomfort with the Prescription issued by an Opthalmo, it should be reported back to him asapā€¦(not just ignored) Though the Optician may confer with the Opthalmo to sort things out.

Whenever you feel eye-strain or similarā€¦ providing your Optician has a in-date Medical Prescription from your Docā€¦ he will give you the Eye Test and follow upā€¦
CV+Mutuelle kick-in if there is a change in your sightā€¦ or if it is 2 years or more since your last Test.

Should you have a serious sight problem ā€¦ your Medical Doctor will give a prescription for Emergency visit to the Opthalmoā€¦usually dealt with through the Emergency section at the Hospitalsā€¦

It is complicated but also easyā€¦


Good timing on this topic just got back after my annual eye test back in the UK due to the fact that Glaucoma runs in both sides of my family.
After showing concern for a few years now my optician suggested that I see an Ophthalmologist for further tests which resulted in the fact that I have got Glaucoma and that treatment should start, they are posting a letter to me in France with their results.
My question is do I go with the letter to my doctors or can I go directly to the Ophthalmologist/Specialist to make an appointment.

Hi Michaelā€¦ Iā€™ve sent you a messageā€¦

This advice is great, moving to France in August and needed to know how to find my little boy an ophthalmologist for his eye condition, squint. Many thanks to you all!

Georginaā€¦ Iā€™ve sent you a messageā€¦