Getting Prescription Glasses In Thailand

Moving to Thailand came with many considerations. One of them being getting prescription glasses in Thailand. This is what prompted me to make this blog post about where and how to get prescription glasses in Thailand.

For me, not having my glasses is not an option. I wouldn’t say that I’m legally blind without my glasses, but everything is definitely very very fuzzy. The lenses in my glasses are also very thick at the outside edges. Without the new modern lightweight style lenses in my glasses tend to be very heavy on my nose as well. If you wear corrective glasses then you to understand that I have a pair of glasses weighing on your nose all day can sometimes lead to breathing problems and even headaches.

Glasses Pre Or Post Move To Thailand?

Realizing that I needed glasses pretty quickly I shopped around for new glasses in the United States before I left for Thailand. As I shopped around to different optometrists I realize that even with my insurance glasses were still going to be a few hundred dollars. Knowing that I could use that few extra hundred dollars other places with the upcoming move to Thailand I opted to take a gamble and try and get new glasses when I arrived. I am happy that I did take that risk. Buying glasses in Thailand turned out to be much more cost-effective. To get an ultra light weight frame along with lightweight prescription lenses was 2500 baht. That equates to about $75 US.

No Brand Needed

While these frames are not a designer name brand, they are just as high quality as any glasses that I have purchased in the past with designer labels. If you are reading this I’m assuming that you wear vision corrective glasses and you know full well of the grossly overpriced designer frames that you find it at any optometrist. As people who wear glasses we all understand that it only takes maybe two dollars worth of material to manufacture eyeglass frames. The question is where does all the rest of that profit go? But that is another topic entirely.

An Optometrist In A Market?!

Turns out there was an optometrist in a local market by my house. In his little stall he has all of the same state of the art equipment that you would find at any optometrist in the United States. The tiny booth boasts about 400 different styles of eyeglass frames. Included in the 2500 Baht price is the eye exam. All of the testing is done right there on site to gather your correct prescription. Once the optometrist has your prescription he then fits the glasses right there on the spot. He marks the correct location of your pupil to ensure that the prescription lenses will be installed properly. Once he has all of the measurements complete he then sends the frames that you chose to the lab. There is a 24 hour turnaround time to have your lenses fully installed. The next evening you can go back to the market and pick up your glasses. Upon pickup the optometrist checks the measurements one last time and does some additional test to be sure that the prescription is correct.

So Now You See …

In closing I have to say that I am impressed. The same service I have been paying hundreds of dollars for in America is available at a local market in Thailand. At a fraction of the price!! All of the same equipment and care was used in making my prescription glasses. The quality of the frames is better than I expected especially with them being lightweight. this is just one more reason why you shouldn’t fear packing up your stuff and moving to Thailand.

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