Poor vision can be caused by an eye disease, or a vision disorder requiring some form of treatment.
In both cases, and according to the situation, the health professional can prescribe an optical correction, after a visual examination.
Eyeglasses are prescribed by the ophthalmologist after a visual examination allowing him to define the best optical correction.
For patients older than 16 years, a prescription for eyeglasses is usually valid for 3 years unless there are specific conditions which have been diagnosed or described by the prescriber.
Several types of lenses can be used according to the eye disorder which requires correction:
- Divergent lenses for myopia (negative glasses)
- Convergent lenses for hyperopia (positive glasses)
- Toric lenses for astigmatism
- Convergent glasses for presbyopia.
Several materials are available and influence the weight, the resistance and the aesthetics of the eyeglasses as well as the protection of the eyes (UV filter):
- Organic : light and resistant, made from synthetic resin.
- Poly carbonate : very light and very resistant, filters all the UV, made from synthetic substance.
- Mineral : rarely used because replaced by organic materials, breaks easily.
Additional treatments can be added on the glasses so that they are:
- Scratch resistant
- Anti-blue light
It is also possible to have tinted glasses, this has no incidence on the UV filtration :
- Without tint
- Solar tint
- Tints for sport
- Tint for low vision
- Variable tint : adjusting to the light
Prescription of contact lenses is made by the ophthalmologist, after an eye examination.
A prescription for contact lenses is valid for 1 year.
Wearing contact lenses needs a conscientious adaptation from the health professional, a perfect hygiene and a regular follow-up care, in order to avoid potential complications which can be harmful for the eye and the vision.
When contact lenses aren't wear, eyeglasses have to be.
2 types of contact lenses exist :
- Flexible contact lenses : daily, with frequent renewal, offer immediate comfort.
- Rigid contact lenses, recommended for people who don't have enough tears.
Wearing contact lenses can necessitate a complex adaptation, because they are not tolerated by all patients. Ophthalmologist and optician will help patients in this process of adaptation.
Hygiene regarding contact lenses needs to be perfect, in order to avoid complications relative to their wearing :
- Conscientious cleaning of the lenses.
- Hands hygiene.
- Appropriate renewal of lenses.
- Respect of the medical prescription regarding cleaning products of the lenses.
The optician is a health professional, whose principal mission is to advise, adapt, and check all the optical equipment intended for the correction of each eye disorders.
He is the only health professional allowed to deliver prescription glasses, eyeglasses and contact lenses.
The optician has different skills :
- Advices on the choice of eyeglasses and contact lenses, frame, type of glasses, tint, UV filter
- Analysis of needs of patients
- Measures in order to adapt optical corrections
- Cutting, arrangement, and control of glasses and frame
- Follow-up after-sales
The reimbursement of optical corrections is covered by social security, and by the additional health insurance of the patient.
This depends of the country you live in.