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optometrist where to find a real one


murrinman
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There are many shops that sell prescription glasses.  There are VERY few medically-trained optometrists in them.  A few opticians, maybe - more likely staff with a 3-day course on how to "use" the automatic good for everyone testing machine.  

 

In Chiang Mai, for example, appear to be a few certified opticians; far fewer optometrists.  I know of only one (rotating between Sri Phat and RAM - Khun Vanee.

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More than skilled enough to assess your eyes for simple prescription glasses.  They're not diagnosing major problems & doing eye surgery.  

 

Myself, minor script (25/50), and kid, major script (275 range), have had no problems with buying eyeglasses here, from the 'chain' vendors.

 

Been to 3 myself, and never tell them I have already.  First matched my USA script, along with continued visits & exams, at different vendors.   I always go in, as a 1st time customer, and all have prescribed the exact same script, 25/50.  My eyes haven't changed in 25 yrs.   

 

Daughter on the other hand, eyeballs needing updated specs every year or 2, and have finally stopped changing, due to age, growth.

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As others have said optometrists are rare in Thailand, if someone wants to see a UK-trained, English-speaking ophthalmologist, try Saint Peter Eye Hospital and ask for Dr. Nickie.

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21 hours ago, cnx1204 said:

Every eye glasses shop I have been to for a new prescription has an optometrist on duty that does the exam.

You have been very, very lucky as most all such shops do not have such a person - optometrist is a new profession in Thailand and there very few - for prescription people normally consult an ophthalmologist at a hospital or independent shop (most often in hospital) to rule out any medical conditions and obtain perscription.  What sales shop can do is provide computer reading/20 foot testing but if there are any issues they are not likely to be found and staff training can be nil.  You can not assume they are optometrists.

Edited by lopburi3
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For those like myself, who don't know the difference of Optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians

Then this link is for you:

https://www.healthline.com/health/eye-health/optometrist-vs-ophthalmologist?c=1300766495076#optician

I've always seen an Optometrist when getting glasses, as they did a decent exam, peeked in, the air thingy, and something else, and of course the 1 eye distance chart, before putting the 'multi eyepiece' thingy on to fine tune.

 

They also correctly diagnoses 2 issues my wife had, which she later had eye surgery to correct.  All worked at a chain eyeglass vendor.   So I don't know why people are saying you'll probably only see an opticians at those vendors.

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2 hours ago, FolkGuitar said:

She is 'Old School.' She uses 'try lenses' rather than that big bug-eye looking machine that never seems to get my numbers right!

That's actually the only proper way to do it, the machine is just an approximation.

So if a shop only uses the machine and doesn't follow it up with lens swapping then better stay away from it.

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2 hours ago, FolkGuitar said:

Dr. Paradee, my ophthalmologist at Sri Phat Medical Center (who has been treating me well for three years; operations and follow-ups) recommended that I visit the optometrist who had recently left the Medical Center to open her own business. I can't remember her name, but her shop is located 50m on the right down Ratvithi Soi 1 off Moon Muang Rd.

If you can read Thai, here's a pic of the front of the shop, including phone numbers.

She is 'Old School.' She uses 'try lenses' rather than that big bug-eye looking machine that never seems to get my numbers right! She, on the other hand, doesn't stop swapping lenses and moving axis until you can see the very best image.  Then she will offer to make your glasses and a price that beats all the chain shops!

5-14-2022 2-32-05 PM.jpg

Agree Dr Paradee is very good.

 

The optometrist may be good but did not make good glasses for me.  She did not seem to have the tools to measure the width between the pupils for large headed farangs, had tools but not sufficient range, and had to guess but it could have been something else.  She warned me but gave me odds that seemed okay.  The glasses she came up with were not functional.

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2 hours ago, KhunLA said:

For those like myself, who don't know the difference of Optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians

Then this link is for you:

https://www.healthline.com/health/eye-health/optometrist-vs-ophthalmologist?c=1300766495076#optician

I've always seen an Optometrist when getting glasses, as they did a decent exam, peeked in, the air thingy, and something else, and of course the 1 eye distance chart, before putting the 'multi eyepiece' thingy on to fine tune.

 

They also correctly diagnoses 2 issues my wife had, which she later had eye surgery to correct.  All worked at a chain eyeglass vendor.   So I don't know why people are saying you'll probably only see an opticians at those vendors.

And you know this how?  As said there is a serious shortage of optometrists in Thailand (this is a six year or more study and only recently has been available).  This link makes reference to the severe shortage in 2018.

https://he01.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/CMMJ-MedCMJ/article/view/144499

 

Quote

In 2010, optometry was recognized as a legalprofession in Thailand, and a standard curriculum was set,

https://news.iu.edu/stories/features/thailand/university-partnership-helped-establish-optometry-in-thailand.html

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4 hours ago, lopburi3 said:

And you know this how? 

And here I thought my reply was self explanatory.  No shortage of in Udon Thani, where we've seen 5 different ones.

 

Maybe elsewhere in more populated areas/CM, or not.  Wow, a study, there you go.  And not much of a study.  More like a 'teaching medicine' department at a Uni, stating a shortage.  Wonder if they were looking for more funding.   You think ... just maybe.

 

If you actually read my reply, we've had the 'eye air puff test'  administered during every exam, and that's not administered by an opticians.

Edited by KhunLA
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48 minutes ago, KhunLA said:

we've had the 'eye air puff test'  administered during every exam, and that's not administered by an opticians.

A nurse usually does it if there is one.

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8 hours ago, KhunLA said:

If you actually read my reply, we've had the 'eye air puff test'  administered during every exam, and that's not administered by an opticians.

That is eye pressure and in my experience done by the same staff that checks your blood pressure and weight at major hospitals in Bangkok.  It does not require a doctor to operate.

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Khun Chai at Sawang Optical on Niman is an optometrist. Quite meticulous about prescription and fitting. Doing brisk business in high end lenses and frames, no idea if he does exam only.

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There is a large eye glass shop on Rajvithi near the UN Irish Pub, same side of street.

All signs outside in Thai.

 

When I was looking a few years ago the owner was the majority choice of posters, all positive, about he and his RX's.

 

I had an RX from an Optician/Optometrist at Chiang Mai Ram.

He wanted to do his own reading to be sure before having the glasses made.

 

I'm surprised no one has mentioned him yet.

If interested I can search for his info.

 

No charge for the eye exam - the glasses were over $100 USD I believe which surprised me although I had selected a brand name frame which boosted the price.

Edited by JimmyJ
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He is not an optometrist.  He is an optical dispenser, not a certified optician (strange Thai professional designations). 

 

That said, he seems to be pretty good at what he does.  And of course, as will almost all optical dispensers (especially the not-named-here huge national chain...) he will up-sell if he can. 

 

And in this forum, he and his shop have been mentioned dozens of times.

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20 hours ago, Rotweiler said:

He is not an optometrist.  He is an optical dispenser, not a certified optician (strange Thai professional designations). 

 

That said, he seems to be pretty good at what he does.  And of course, as will almost all optical dispensers (especially the not-named-here huge national chain...) he will up-sell if he can. 

 

And in this forum, he and his shop have been mentioned dozens of times.

In my case, he told me the frame made it more expensive and I could select a cheaper one to bring the price down.

No upselling.

Edited by JimmyJ
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RAM has a lot of expensive machines that can do many things you don't need. I have come to the conclusion over a period of time that the management must be pushing the doctors to do as many tests on the expensive machines as possible, regardless of whether you might need it or not. 

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5 minutes ago, Trujillo said:

RAM has a lot of expensive machines that can do many things you don't need. I have come to the conclusion over a period of time that the management must be pushing the doctors to do as many tests on the expensive machines as possible, regardless of whether you might need it or not. 

Not sure what machines you mean but my hospital normal usage is computer image followed by air pressure as first line for everyone - followed by 20 foot test.  Special test like computer visual field test is reserved for those with symptoms or high eye pressure (and an important test for glaucoma) and for IOL there is a measurement machine.  Of course they have the normal prescription try/try again setup but that is about all that I have experienced.  Did not consider any excessive or money makers. 

Or are you talking medical equipment in general rather than just for eyesight?

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1 minute ago, The Hammer2021 said:

International  hospital on nearest city

I suspect you will find ophthalmologists rather than optometrists at hospitals.

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It's huge overkill if you just want glasses, but the Rutnin Eye Hospital (on Soi Asoke) has excellent ophthamologists.  They can also sell you glasses.

 

They diagnosed my rarish condition which had baffled some "upcountry experts."

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On 5/14/2022 at 2:36 PM, FolkGuitar said:

She is 'Old School.' She uses 'try lenses' rather than that big bug-eye looking machine that never seems to get my numbers right! She, on the other hand, doesn't stop swapping lenses and moving axis until you can see the very best image.  Then she will offer to make your glasses and a price that beats all the chain shops!

What is her English lanuage like?

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On 5/14/2022 at 2:36 PM, FolkGuitar said:

Dr. Paradee, my ophthalmologist at Sri Phat Medical Center (who has been treating me well for three years; operations and follow-ups) recommended that I visit the optometrist who had recently left the Medical Center to open her own business. I can't remember her name, but her shop is located 50m on the right down Ratvithi Soi 1 off Moon Muang Rd.

If you can read Thai, here's a pic of the front of the shop, including phone numbers.

She is 'Old School.' She uses 'try lenses' rather than that big bug-eye looking machine that never seems to get my numbers right! She, on the other hand, doesn't stop swapping lenses and moving axis until you can see the very best image.  Then she will offer to make your glasses and a price that beats all the chain shops!

5-14-2022 2-32-05 PM.jpg

What does that sign on the door say ? with my glasses that I bought from a specialist in my local Buddha day market I just can't read it, don't know why  😂

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On 6/2/2022 at 4:24 PM, Dante99 said:

is that in Chiang Mai where the OP is

I've made the long drive to Bangkok twice to seek treatment for my rare eye condition.

 

But sure, heaven forbid that someone NOT in Chiang Mai should stumble on this thread and learn about the best eye doctors in the Kingdom.

 

Mods, please delete my response.

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