6 tips from a foreigner-friendly optometrist for buying great glasses in Czechia

It’s worth investing time and money to buy a high-quality pair of glasses, so we talked to an expert about the process.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 23.09.2022 16:40:00 (updated on 23.09.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

Finding the right eyewear to suit your vision and personal style can give a big boost to your confidence. So, how can expats find the perfect pair of glasses while living in the Czech Republic?

One answer is to head to a “foreigner-friendly” optic store. S Optic is a Czech company with decades of experience now focusing on supplying glasses to the country’s growing expat community.

S Optic is a French-Czech venture, being co-owned by French expat Boris Sananes, who has lived in Czechia since 2008. He has been co-owner since 2015, having bought the business with Lucie Naimonová, an optometrist who started out as a trainee in the store. The company’s history goes all the way back to 1991, when it was one of the first privately-owned opticians to open in Prague following the Velvet Revolution.

Despite its long history, the company retains a focus on personalized customer service, helping Czechs and expats alike find their perfect pair of glasses. Here are S Optic’s six top tips for finding the right eyewear in Czechia.

Make a long-term investment

You may be tempted to go for cheap and cheerful, but spending more for a quality pair of glasses which will stand the test of time is always worth it in the long run.

“You can buy a pair of glasses for CZK 1,500, but to guarantee a high level of quality, we’d recommend investing a minimum of CZK 5,000-6,000,” said S Optic co-owner Lucie Naimonová.

Luckily, inflation has not yet had a major impact on quality eyewear, so shoppers can rest easy knowing that now is a good time to be spending. “Inflation has impacted low-quality ‘offshore’ products due to supply chain issues, but as we focus on European-made products, our prices haven’t been impacted by inflation yet,” said Lucie Naimonová.

What’s more, the Czech Republic is a good place to invest in a good pair of glasses due to the high quality of the local market. The world’s leading brands are present in the country and “the level of education in optometry is definitely matching the highest global standards,” according to Boris, who is able to benchmark with his French experience.

Get it right from the start

One of the biggest mistakes which people often make when buying glasses is not taking care to find the right pair first time. Avoiding a mistaken initial purchase is one of the most important ways to ensure your glasses are good value for your money and time.

“We see many clients visiting our store after a disappointing experience either online or at another optician. If the measurement they previously took was done incorrectly, there’s nothing we can do except order new lenses,” warns Lucie Naimonová.

Get an in-store eye test

A key part of the preparation process at S Optic is an in-store eye test provided free of charge. This is the only surefire way to ensure that you get the right pair of glasses the first time around.

“The process is very simple. Call us at S Optic to book an eye exam at a convenient time for you. We will perform a ‘subjective refraction,’ a painless exam lasting 20-30 minutes (depending on your ametropia). After the refraction, we’ll discuss and build the right combination of frame and corrective lenses for you,” says Lucie Naimonová.

Then it’s just a matter of waiting for your frame and lenses to be put together. At S Optic, your glasses will be ready for pick-up 3-5 days after the initial eye exam.

Don't compromise on style

Glasses are functional, but they’re also a vital part of your personal style. If you want to stand out from the crowd, it’s important to be aware of the latest trends in eyewear fashion.

Popular glasses for women tend to feature light and discreet titanium frames, or, on the other hand, colorful acetate frames. Men, on the other hand, tend to choose a transparent acetate frame or a combination of wood and metal.

S Optic sells a range of international brands including Jean-François Rey and Clémence & Margaux, Etnia Barcelona, Silhouette and Mykita. When it comes to ophthalmic lenses, the company highly recommends products influenced by the latest scientific innovations, including materials for UV and blue light filtration, lenses resistant to scratches and dirt, and new designs tailor-made for higher accuracy.

Consider your lifestyle

When picking a pair of glasses, you should also consider the types of activities which you undertake on a day-to-day basis. Some new eyewear designs counter particular problems posed by modern lifestyles.

“People are becoming more aware of the dangers of ‘blue light’, so many of our younger clients choose so-called ‘computer glasses’, which include a blue-light filter and some magnification to ease reading from a close- to mid-distance of 40cm to 100cm,” says Lucie Naimonová.

Blue light is a visible light emitted by many electronic devices such as phones, tablets and computer screens. It causes some medical concern because it contains more energy per photon of light than other colors on the visible spectrum.

Check your benefit entitlement

Finally, it’s worth checking whether you can get financial support when buying your pair of glasses. In August 2019, the Czech state stopped contributing to eyewear for citizens over the age of 14, so your public health insurance won’t cover your purchase. It also won’t cover an eye test, although S Optic provides in-store eye exams free of charge.

Still, your employer may provide a benefits program, in which case you can use your credits for a discount at S Optic. And if you have an expat contract with private health insurance, S Optic can deliver invoices to ease reimbursement procedures.

To check these details and to learn more about the art of finding the perfect pair of glasses, contact S Optic’s English-speaking staff or head to the company’s Prague store.

This article was written in association with S Optic. Read more about our sponsored content policy here.

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