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Eyecare/Contact Lenses/Opthamologist? In SE1 (or London in general, actually)

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Monday 12 December 2005 11.29pm
I've been here for a about a year now and suddenly find myself needing to replace my contact lenses. I need a new prescription to go along with it.

Can anyone here recommend a quality ophthalmologist? SE1 would be good, but it IS my eyes I'm dealing with, so quality takes precedence over location and price? Thanks in advance for your input....

Also, once I do have the prescription where is the cheapest source in the UK to get contact lenses? Anybody in London offer good prices on contact lenses? Are there online sellers that are particularly worthy of consideration
Tuesday 13 December 2005 7.37am
The Institute of Optometry in Newington Causeway is first class for everything. It is on the left hand side kind of opposite the Job Centre just after the railway bridge.
Tuesday 13 December 2005 8.23am
I go to the Dolland and Aichson (sp?) on the Walworth Road. It is owned by the guy who does the contact lenses, rather than by D&H. He is very reassuring.

Apparently D&H had problems in making the branch pay, because their market research showed that this was a poor area and so they stocked cheap stuff. They were going to close the branch. The current optician took over the branch because he reckoned that there was money in the area and people were prepared to spend on their eyes and appearance.

The Walworth Road is strange. Pound shops alongside really expensive children's clothes.

Tuesday 13 December 2005 10.30am
I have used the 20-20 optical store on tottenham court road for a few years

good points

they seem to have the most up to date testing equipment
can always seem to fit me in at short notice
if you lose lenses etc (as I seem to do on a regiular basis) they have a lot of replacement stock

bad(ish) points

they whisk you through like you're on a production line which feels as though things are a bit rushed, but saying this I've never felt that they won't take time to answer quesions
Always trying to get you to buy solutions from them in bulk
not local and I like to support local business where possible.

I did look into the laser correction they offer but two things put me off

1) almost threw up when they described the procedures
2) the guy running through it wore glasses.

Anonymous User
Tuesday 13 December 2005 10.37am
Bowing Opticians on Fleet Street are v good:

58 Fleet Street, 7353 7801

No connection other than satisfied customer
Tuesday 13 December 2005 10.40am
david clulow in canary wharf - very good, and excellent when I had a serious problem with my eyes, lots of repeat appointments to check eveything was okay. Amy Cheung is my optician.
Tuesday 13 December 2005 1.42pm
I use S squared, Waterloo Eye Centre on Lower Marsh they are very friendly and give an excellent service. They have some really nice frames, slightly different from the mainstream designer frames and seem to be an 'old fashioned' optician where they actually seem to care rather than the speedy 'service' you get from the large chains. My boyfriend recently got his contact lenses from them and he couldn't fault them and he can be very picky!!

Only problem is they are not open on a Saturday but I believe they do a late evening. They also have a shop somewhere in Covent Garden.
Tuesday 13 December 2005 2.13pm
I'm with Jackie here, you can't beat the institute of optometry, thumbs up big time for it....
Tuesday 13 December 2005 5.48pm
Thanks to everyone for all the recs.

So I went to Sarah's place (Dolland and Atchison, 297 Walworth Rd) this afternoon and got fitted for new contat lenses. The doc was pretty good and knowledgeable.

There was (in my humble opnion) a significant selling/steering/assumption from them towards signing up for a monthly plan, certain type of lenses etc. Unfortunately that (selling/steering) seems to be the trend in this field - its the same back home in the US when you see the opthamologist. So you do have to go in there knowing what you want and asking hard questions.

But the doc was really good and that was the most important thing for me - contact lenses are a bit more technical than glasses and you do need to feel like the people are listening and thinking about your case specifically, as opposed to a factory approach.


sarah2 Wrote:
> I go to the Dolland and Aichson (sp?) on the
> Walworth Road. It is owned by the guy who does the
> contact lenses, rather than by D&H. He is very
> reassuring.
Tuesday 13 December 2005 9.13pm
Glad you liked him. He is usually pretty blunt with me. I am of a generation that has worn lenses for ever and always. I gave up on glasses because I could never find them, whilst the lenses were always by the sink. But lenses all day every day for thirty five years is a bit much, even I recognise that. For ten years I didn't even have a pair of glasses. He says I was lucky to get away so lightly. Then teases me about vanity - but its OK because he appears about the same age.

I now have a problem with both long and short sight - its that age thing again. He did give me a number of options but recommended that I wait a couple of years as multi-focal lenses are still getting better. (Because the vain contact wearing generation are demanding them.) So though D&H are a chain and have all the drawbacks in terms of what they try and sell, in this case I ended up cancelling my lens subscription.
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