One factor that always makes me excited in traveling abroad is discovering how different things are, even to the mundane things like crossing the street to throwing away garbage.
And purchasing contact lenses is no exception.
In SEA countries contact lenses are not much regulated that you could simply walk in any opticians and buy whatever brand and type of lenses.
While this makes things easy, getting the correct lenses often comes down to trial and error, unlike when getting prescription glasses, opticians don’t usually examine customers or check to make sure they fit.
Everyone who wears glasses knows that it is not fun wearing them with mask on. And it is even worse during the winter. They get foggy so quick that you have to wipe it often. But the uncomfort doesn’t end there. When the temperature drops below -10 degrees, fog freeze on the glasses, making it even more difficult to wipe off cleanly.
As I was getting my regular eye exam at Doyle, I was thinking of getting some contact lenses. But it turned out that I couldn’t simply buy ones without making another appointment specifically for getting lenses.
In Canada, or Montreal at least, you need to book an appointment with an optometrist. An appointment is necessary since most optometrists that I checked don’t offer walk in service.
How to Buy Contact Lenses
First thing first, you will need to contact an optician to book an appointment. I had my appointment at Doyle and booking a time is easily done online at their website.
A couple days before the day they will send a reminder email and to confirm attendance. Simply reply “OK” to confirm.
At Doyle, I find the clinic is well equiped with top notch equipments despite the small office space.
Compared to Indonesia, I can only see such equipments at tertiary hospital, and still not as complete as at this clinic. No wonder it is dubbed a country with the best healthcare system.
With a proper and complete equipment, plus meeting friendly optometrist and opticians while observing the whole exam process, I was relieved to know that I am under a really good care here.
Since I originally came for a comprehensive eye exam, they still have my file so I was given a trial lenses rightaway.
After I put on the lenses, my optometrist checked my eyes to make sure they fit properly.
For dailies, the trial boxes contain 5 lenses each so I could try wearing them for almost a week before deciding.
The visit costs $25 and no extra charge for the trial boxes. In case you are interested for a comprehensive exam like I did, it costed me $110.
Once you decided to buy, you can place an order online, by phone, or walk in to the store. They already have your prescription so you can simply order.
When ordering you can also request a copy of the prescription and they will send it by email. The prescription is valid for two years, and then you will need to see an optometrist again to get checked.
Even then, I personally would get a check up once a year anyway. As my work requires staring at a computer screen most of the days, vision is one of the most important assets I have for my career and life.
Without a good vision, how can one appreciate the beauty in life? Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they said. Not in the ear, nor at the touch of the beholder. Or.. is it?