Jump to content
Complete France Forum

Eye tests


trastu

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone

When my husband went for his medical to renew his heavy goods driving licence he was told he was in need of an eye test.

We were prepared for a wait of around 6 months so imagine my surprise when the first ophthamologist I phoned was able to give him an appointment in 2 weeks!!

We have just returned from the eye test and I would highly recommend them. One of the doctors there spoke English really well. They are in Niort (79) and if anyone would like their details please feel free to email me.

Tracey
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="trastu"] ... imagine my surprise when the first ophthamologist I phoned was able to give him an appointment in 2 weeks!!

[/quote]

IMO if an opthalmo has up-to-date equipment then even a very comprehensive eye-test can be done quickly. My test, this morning, took about 25 mins. A similar test, performed a few years ago, needed at least 50 mins to 1 hour to be competently done. The advances in opthalmo testing equipment means that a greater number of tests can be done in one day, hence the waiting time drops proportionately.

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have just come back from a consultation with my new Saudi Arabian opthalmogist, he asked me to speak English which I was reluctant to do until he explained that his French is not very good, he was trained in English and can discuss the technical matters as opposed to "regardez en haut, regardez en bas, posez le menton" etc much better in English.

Today we had the amusing situation of a meeting with the surgeon who operated on me several times in the past, at the time I really didnt know what was going on and he did try hard to at least use the above phrases in English, 3 years have passed and now I am translating what his colleague the opthalmo has to say into French for him [:D]

I can honestly say that being repeatedly hospitalised in traumatic circumstances was the turning point for me regarding speaking French.

If anyone needs the details of an english speaking opthalmo at Amiens they can PM me.

Oh and there is never a wait for an appointment as it is a teaching hospital.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Chancer"]Oh and there is never a wait for an appointment as it is a teaching hospital. ...

3 years have passed and now I am translating what his colleague the

opthalmo has to say into French
for him [/quote]

Sue  [:)][:)][:)]
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In our experience, this is quite normal within 'medicine'.

Five years ago and just arrived here in France, a referral from our GP to a Consultant Neurologist in Montpellier produced an appointment within 10 days. (By the way, he speaks English fluently).

Recently, just like the OP, an appointment with an Opthalmologist locally for about 2 wks - don't doubt that if it had been urgent, we could have been seen sooner. On the very day, a young man arrived with an industrial accident to his eye - seen (so to speak) immediately. Oh, and the opthalmo spoke English fluently too, but then his daughter married an Englishman!

  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I left after my Tuesday appointment the reception desk was closed so I was unable to make the booking for today  with the consultant, I forgot to phone the next day and this morning all the lines were permanantly engaged, I just went along and they fitted me in in the normal manner.

I dont usually advocate people to ask for an emergency appointment but  where eyesight is concerned if you are in the slightest bit worried they treat it as an emergency, I phoned them on Saturday afternoon and asked to make an appointment, said that it wasnt really urgent and could wait untill the week but they said no, come straight away en urgence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the UK all the normal tests are done by your optician's - be it an independent or a chain like VisionExpress  (including your eyesight/prescription, and all the test for glaucoma/field test and a thorough examination of the back of the eye/vessels- it is hugely expensive and unnecessary to go to an ophtamologist for eye tests.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That may be true for the UK but what about us in Francen it is after all a France forum [;-)]

Regular consultations with an opthalmo are hugely important, especially as you get on in years but not hugely expensive in France, €22 remboursable at 65%, a small price to pay to avoid future sight loss, undeected diabetes etc.

As someone that has suffered multiple detached retinas which if not operated on very quckly can and  will cause permanent blindness.  I would like to take this opportunity to remind people of what the symptoms are, there is no pain and you are unlikely to realise for a long time that anything is amiss but time is really of the essence.

If you notice any of the following go straight to hospital, if in the UK in my experience it is best to go straight to a specialist eye hospital like Moorfields or Brighton as casualty departments (hopefully not all) dont seem to have any understanding of the urgency.

  • Full or partial loss of the field of vision. This is rather like a curtain or veil falling over part of the eye

  • “Floaters”. Most people experience dark, tadpole-like “floaters” from time to time, but the sudden and sustained appearance of floaters is cause for concern

  • Brief flashes of light in the eye

  • A sudden change or blurring of vision. The cornea and the lens in the eye focus the image on the retina. If part of the retina has moved, the image at that point will be blurred
  • For me the flashes of light resemble distress flares being set off from inside my eye similar to the patriot battery rockets over Baghdad during the gulf war, quite disconcerting as they are still present to this day and each time they occur or I get a loss of vision when getting up quickly from the floor my stomach turns at the thought of another detachment.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Of course Chancer. You may remember that my mother lost her sight because of very poor service and lack of testing when visiting an optician in France. It is a great shame opticians do not test as in UK, as it would save a lot of money, and much more importantly, stopping people going blind un-necessarily. Just commenting that the UK system is miles better, in this case. 2 weeks ago, I was routinely tested at my UK optician for eye pressure (glaucoma), field test, and the back of my eye (vessels) very carefully examined. I was also asked about floaters, flashes, etc. Excellent. The optician will only refer to an ophtamologist if there is any concern.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Very sad to hear that Swissie but surely people in France know to make an appointment with an opthalmo and dont expect an optician to do in depth testing which they are not allowed to?

    My late father was diagnosed in the UK with glaucoma, it may well have been picked up at the opticians, his GP referred him to an optahlmogist but he had to wait a long time, his glaucoma was confirmed and he went to the end of a very long waiting list, he was in his 80's.

    They gave him regular eyetests and at the last one he was told do you want the good or the bad news? The bad news was that he was now blind in one eye and not far off in the other and would have to surrender his driving license, the good news was he would now be treated as a priority and might with luck get his operation within a year [:(]

    Sadly or perhaps happily he did  not live long enough to have the operation but did retain his vision until the end.

    P.S. Dependant on how long you have to wait in your area I think the French system is good and notexpensive, I would rather be examined by a professional opthalmo than an optician whose primary motivation (it seems to me from my visits in France) is to persuade me to buy the most expensive and fashionable glasses that he can.

    I do howeve agree that it is really simple to get an examination in the UK and I often do so, the opticians there do seem to take that part of the visit very seriously and there equipment is the equal of that used in the teaching hospital, at least in the depth of examination that they do.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    It seems knowledge about glaucoma is very poor among the population here in Switzerland and in France. My parents lived (as we do now) right on the French/Swiss border. When I realised my mum's eye sight was getting poor, I asked if she had been to an optician's to get checked, on several occasions. She was just sold new glasses every time, nobody told mum and dad to go to ophtalmo. I lived in the UK and had been since 1970, so had no idea about what opticians do or do not do in France- they went to France as it was cheaper. By the time I realised what was going on,  it was too late. She was blind from her mid 80s until her demise last February aged 94. Very sad- when she became blind, she just gave up.

    I your GP or optician suspected your dad had glaucoma, your dad should have been referred IMMEDIATELY,  as an emergency- and drops given immediately. Daily drops can halt it almost immediately - an operation would only be considered if drops do not solve the problem- so it seems very unusual that your dad was not treated as soon as glaucoma was suspected.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Its the old budgetary postcode lottery in actopn again, he lived in Cornwall, he did indeed have daily eyedrops administered by my belle mere, an ex nurse but as I said he was have had to wait I think it was 10 years for the operation unless he became a priority by losing the sight in one eye.

    My belle mere herself did not have to wait too long long for cataract surgery, about 18 months I think.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now
    ×
    ×
    • Create New...