Currently employed in an esteemed Eye Clinic facility (clinical practice), I have nothing against commercial practice when it comes to vision care. In fact, it is in a commercialized practice that I received my first professional pay-out after graduating in college. I have worked in the top 3 most well known commercialized optical practice in the Philippines (namely, Sarabia Optical, Ideal Vision Optical, and Executive Optical) and I had wished to worked for George Optical (running in the top 3 nowadays so I heard). I was fortunate enough to be accepted, but due to personal circumstance I wasn’t able to push through.
Having been employed in the said prestigious commercialized practice, I can say that it has helped me as a professional, provide most options available for vision correction in the market. But let me be honest. I can’t say they offer the best options, and I can’t say it is the most ideal vision care provider there is.
Commercialized practice basically offer a lot of products. For frames alone they cater to branded and non branded products, latest trendy styles and fashionable eyewear in all sizes. There’s a variety of lens wear options that you probably haven’t heard of in your lifetime. Contact lenses are FDA approved for both colored and clear. The good thing about purchasing your contact lenses here is that most common powers are readily available. They can even help you put it on if it’s your first time. But they mostly have soft contact lenses. If you’re looking for special custom made lens (hard, scleral, hybrid, high power…), you are lucky if you walked in a good optical shop with good equipments to fit you with these. It won’t be readily available for sure, but that is not the bad news. The bad news is that most stores would refer you to visit an eye center facility first. Let ye be warned that they are absolutely excellent in marketing and selling their products. I was one of the second best in optometrist sales in 2012 (we actually had a competition for selling, thats how aggressive it is).
Like I’ve said, commercial practice can offer a lot of products, but I won’t be as confident as I am with clinical practice when it comes to their service especially for first timers. You see, doctors are not magicians where you walked in a store, do a 5 minute eye test and get clear vision voila! We analyze everything we investigate. I have experienced a patient bragging about a 5 minute eye test he considered was so genius and spend the rest of his hour looking for a frame. He ended up spending a fortune for glasses just to develop mature cataracts in less than a year. In a clinical setting, you spend the rest of the hour investigating your eyes and then discuss treatment options to the doctor(Optometrist/Ophthalmologist), that includes glasses and without glasses options. It is not magic, it is science and a lot of hard work for the medical team.
While it is true you can’t find fashion and trendy products in private practice, they offer wider range of treatment options and services. And while it is true that a visit to a clinical practice can get you trapped into long waiting queues, you are guaranteed of the quality of consultation service. There’s a saying that goes:
“NEVER RUSH INTO SOMETHING, ANYTHING WORTH HAVING IS WORTH THE WAIT”.
I’ll just leave that saying there and let it sink in for a while.
In another scene, someone was bragging about his 90 year old grandma who didn’t wear glasses, there’s actually science behind it. We didn’t study years and years not to know about such cases.
You’re wondering why your eye has a different power between the other? We don’t simply speculate to give you answers (you probably have axial length difference or different index of refraction). We have a technology for that. We actually measure how long your eyeball is without taking your eyes off. It’s just how we normally investigate patient’s cases, and sometimes you don’t’ even have to ask. Chances are we might already know the answer (through diagnostic testing), and we can show you evidences too. See for yourself.
You’ll never know what’s best of the best until you get your eyes checked. We all deserve the best service possible and we all deserve the most trendy and fashionable options but to wear correction or not to wear correction? that is the question I will leave for now. And if you want to know the answer, why not book a consultation at a credible clinical practice.
-Sherisse C. Condenuevo O.D. , Imperial Healthcare Dubai Healthcare City.