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How do you know if the Optometrist you go to is any good? Is there someone better you can go and see?

(8 Posts)
foxinsocks Wed 11-Nov-09 14:58:32

I'm a bit confused about the way eye health is handled in this country (but it might be because I spent too long abroad so can't quite get the system lol).

There are lots of different opticians - some seem independent, some are chains, some are in and out in 24 hour type places.

How do you know whether you are going to someone reputable? Is there a proper training that opticians have to undertake?

And if you have a problem with your eyes, do you go and see the GP or the optician or is it someone else?

Sorry for all the questions - I had an eye op (for a squint) as a child so was regularly seen at hospital when I was a child.

I have been to a few opticians (in the last year or so) but none of them give the same advice (which is what concerns me). I haven't been to the GP but did see an ENT (for sinus issues) who thought my eye 'looked funny' but wasn't an expert so didn't know what was wrong. He said he'd write to the GP who never received anything. So where do you start with eye problems?

foxinsocks Wed 11-Nov-09 15:14:54

bump for budding opticians and eye people

CMOTdibbler Wed 11-Nov-09 15:22:22

All opticians (optometrists) have to be qualified and registered with the HPC. But I have difficult eyes, and have found over the years that small, independant opticians are much better than chains as they have more freedom and time.

If I have an eye problem, then I usually go to the opticians first, and then they will say if it needs to go to the GP. They will then refer onto an opthamologist if it is required.

In your situation with an eye issue that isn't going away, I'd see your GP

foxinsocks Wed 11-Nov-09 15:23:21

thanks CMOT

think I'm just concerned that my eye issue might be complicated and I'm not getting the right advice from the optometrist

somanyboyssolittletime Wed 11-Nov-09 15:30:15

I think if you can't get a personal recommendation for an independent optician, I would go to D&A (now owned by Boots) as they have a good clinical reputation. You always have to be slightly wary of chains though (and probably independents) as they do have sales targets, but they are trained professionals and do have ethics!

foxinsocks Wed 11-Nov-09 16:22:57

thanks somany

I will ask around and also book an appointment with the gp arrghh

whereareyou Wed 11-Nov-09 20:16:31

All optometrists are qualified doing a university degree in optometry then professional exams.They all have to do continuing education to be registered.

Like all professionals however they do differ in their opinions so if you ask them as individuals they won't always give the same answer.

Finding a good one is really best via personal recommendation.Failing that I would ring an opticians and say to the receptionist you have had problems and who is the best person to see in the practice and why would they recommend that particular practitioner.

Independants are often good but not necessarily more so.In multiples you often have good optometrists who work there because of flexible work patterns say.

A good optometrist will refer you on to the hospital eye clinic if you have an eye problem or unresolved symptoms that need follow up.Optometrists should be better able to deal with an eye problem than a GP as this is the area they specifically train in and they have alot more equipment to investigate .

foxinsocks Wed 11-Nov-09 20:42:50

thanks for that explanation whereareyou

caught someone who uses one of the optometrists a lot (as her child has quite severe eye problems) and she said the hospital person she sees had said this particular optometrist was highly recommended so I think I'll try him and see what he says!

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