Eye doctor visit in Paris
I've been living as an American expat in Paris for over a year and a half-- I am on a long stay visitor visa therefore I do not have French health insurance so my question is:
I would like to buy prescription contact lenses from an optician, I know my prescription and have empty boxes that has the prescription written on it--it is possible to do so without having an eye exam?
Probably not. I have finally broken down and found me a French ophthalmologist here after years of getting my eyes checked on trips back to the US. On getting my prescription filled at the optician here, it seems like the law is very similar to the ones back in the US that require you must have a prescription from a doctor registered in the same state. I believe they need a prescription written by a French doctor.
There is also a difference between how prescriptions are written here and in the US. It's not difficult to "translate" from one system to the other, but the prescription needs to be in the correct format.
Make an appointment and bring your US prescription with you. US prescriptions are only good for a limited period of time (the optometrist I went to put an expiration date on the prescription - 18 months out, so on that schedule, you're due for a re-exam anyhow). If you don't want to deal with an eye doctor in French, check the list of English speaking doctors on the US Embassy website (under the Citizen Services section for the Consulate) or just go to the American Hospital in Paris in Neully. They're a little expensive, but most insurances will cover an appointment if you advise them ahead of time. If you go to a "regular" eye doctor the exam should run you about 50€.
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