Need to get my eyes checked

Morning All

Over the last 12 months my eyesight has noticably got worse.

I am not sure what the proceedure is in France.

Do I need to go to my MT for a prescription or do I just pole up at one of the spec shops in town.

Also where is the best place to buy glasses.

Thanks in advance


Yes to the MT prescription and best thing to do is to go to an ophthalmologist. Make an appointment soon, because you may have to wait six months. They are looking at stuff like cataracts, macular degeneration and so on, as well as whether you need stronger lenses.


Oops, I don’t think I went to the MT before booking my appointment with the opthalmologist… :see_no_evil: I’ll know for next time.

Agree with booking it asap. All the local ones near us were booked up for months. In the end we found a place in Bordeaux that does appointments at short notice… It was a bit like a production line as people shuffled along as they were being dealt with. Can’t complain about the quality of the test though… Extremely thorough and very professional.

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If you go to your MT to get a prescription for an ophtalmologue it will be better reimbursed, although you can book with one directly and just pay more.

The ophtalamogue will provide a prescription that you can take anywhere, and which last several years so the local optician can test you and adjust during that time.

All opticians must provide 100% santé glasses that are cheap, and max 1€ if you have a mutuelle. They are plastic’y but functional and the optician won’ necessarily offer them unless you ask.


I recently had a problem (in the UK) and the quickest solution was a visit to the optician, which resulted in a referral to the eye clinic.

Obviously that was in the UK but others here will know whether it’s a alternative route into the system.

Hope you get it sorted, anyway.

I recently went in to one of these Optic centres that are opening everywhere because i saw a poster in the window offering a free eye test.The staff member said that i needed to visit my Doctor and get a prescription and bring it straight to them and they would do the eye test and supply the glasses,sounds quite good to me.


I got the eye test done first at the local opticians (gratuit) then took the opticians prescription to my MT who gave me an identical prescription to give back to the optician. Choose frames ,ask what deals they have eg sunglasses for €1 and get a quote. I gave the optician my CV and mutuelle details and they came back within a couple of days with the costs. Think I paid just over €100 for 2 pairs of varifocals


Some helpful information plucked from Connexion, to which I have a subscription but in case the OP doesn’t

Different eye specialists in France: A quick definition

  • Ophthalmologist - A fully-qualified medical doctor that specialises in eyes. Usually works at a hospital and can treat eye conditions, injury, and eye conditions. Can prescribe and do surgery.
  • Orthoptist - Works closely with ophthalmologists. Highly qualified. Investigates issues with vision, and conditions such as double vision, cataracts, squint, or glaucoma.
  • Optometrist - Also known as an ophthalmic optician. Not a fully-qualified doctor, but highly qualified at examining the eyes. Can diagnose sight problems like myopia.
  • Optician - A dispensing optician helps you choose frames. A manufacturing optician makes lenses fit the frames in a factory. An ophthalmic optician (also called an optometrist) can test eyes for simple conditions, like short-sightedness.

_ From February 1 , 2023, patients aged 16 to 42 can consult an orthoptist for a first prescription for corrective lenses. Provided for by the Social Security financing law for 2022, this measure takes effect more than a year after its promulgation according to a decree published in the Official Journal of January 31, 2023._

As members above confirm, an opthalmologist prescription is needed for reimbursement by the mutuelle insurance. There are also quite a few restrictions over who can change glasses prescriptions

Is an ophthalmologist’s prescription vital for glasses reimbursement?

There is a difference between opticians, orthoptists and ophthalmologists in France - we explain how this affects your mutuelle reimbursement.

7 March 2022

By Liv Rowland

Usually, an optician cannot prescribe glasses for you, and a prescription is necessary for reimbursement by Assurance Maladie and your mutuelle.

An ophthalmologist can issue a prescription, you do not need to obtain a new one each time you buy glasses. For example, it is not necessary for people over 16 if you are buying glasses which have the same level of correction as before, and the prescription is still valid (five years for age 16-42, three for those over 42).

It is also possible for an optician to do an eye test and to modify your prescription if the prescription is valid and the ophthalmologist has not explicitly forbidden this.

There is an exception in the case of a test showing a problem of near-sightedness which has not previously been diagnosed by an ophthalmologist. In this case, the patient needs to obtain a new prescription.

Support for appointments backlog

As of this year, another profession, orthoptists, will be able to issue prescriptions for glasses, to help with the problem of access to ophthalmologists in some parts of France. These eye experts are considered a ‘medical auxiliary’ profession, whereas ophthalmologists are eye doctors.

A decree is still awaited clarifying the rules, but it is likely that it will not be available for older people or young children, and probably only for those with moderate levels of correction.

It is also intended that orthoptists will not be able to modify a prescription that is still in its validity period, but will only issue new prescriptions. Opticians will also not be able to adapt an orthoptist’s prescription unless the person has had an eye examination by an ophthalmologist.

Hope that helps make things a bit clearer!

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Depends where you are Andy. Here in Albi it’s possible to get a rdv within a few days or a couple of weeks at most.

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Thats what we both did, makes a change so easy and no problems at all.