Korean eye care

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In November,  Tim was on his last pair of contact lenses.  I was almost two years in to wearing my glasses and was starting to get headaches.  We decided that it was time to visit the eye doctor.  Tim asked around at work and most people just said to go to whatever eye place was closest to your house.

Tim wasn’t satisfied with that answer.  So he did some research and found Yaga.  It was definitely not close to our house.  It was on the first floor of one of the Trump Towers in Suseong Lake area (105 Dusan-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu).  You can take the yellow subway line to Hwanggeum.

It was very close to a massive Kyochon chicken restaurant that we wanted to check out.  So after Clarissa’s Saturday afternoon nap attempt (notice I didn’t just say nap),  we headed to Kyochon.  After dinner we walked to the SK Leaderview apartments, turned right and walked around Trump World until we found Yaga (the street side of the apartments, first floor).

We walked in and said that we needed contacts. The woman who worked there took us to a wall of contacts and asked us what we wanted. We explained that we needed an eye test.

She took my glasses and examined them in a machine to determine my current prescription. She then instructed me to sit behind the machine where she measured my eyes. Then she gave me an eye test where I read off letters in English.

She said that my prescription was the same. So I decided to just get contacts. She had several different styles of lenses to choose from and they were all at a relatively cheap prices. Tim explained that we had astigmatism and needed special lenses. He Googled what we wanted a she said that she would order them for us and they would be ready by Wednesday. Tim and I each ordered six months of contacts for 220,000 won (about $175). That is less than half of the cost that we paid stateside.

My glasses finally broke this week. Tim superglued the frame back together but I knew it was time to get new frames. I didn’t want to go all the way to Suseong so I thought I would check out the eye place down the street.

This morning I went to Eye Gentry in Dalseo. It is across the street from A Twosome Place, and a few stores down from LG, Nine Road Pizza, and Pizza Hut near Seobu bus terminal /Sangdongmot train station. The address on my receipt says 232 Guma Ro.

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I seriously should have timed it, but I am pretty sure that I was in and out in less than 30 minutes. I walked in and said that I needed new glasses. The older man walked me to the frames. I explained that I needed a test so he took me to his machine. He determined my current prescription and then proceeded to do the eye test. This one was numbers instead of letters.

He tried explaining some things in Korean, and I actually understood some of it. Then we went to the frames. There were at least 200 to choose from. He was very proud of the selection big round ones (very Korean) that don’t look good on my face. I ended up with a style similar to what I already had.

He then tried to explain that my prescription was very thick but I could get thinner lenses. I used my fingers to indicate that I wanted the thinnest ones. He wrote the price on the prescription paper. 115,000 won ($95) is way cheaper than I would have paid back home.

I went to the cashier to pay and he motioned me instead to sit near a table while they proceeded to make my glasses! A few minutes later, they were ready. I paid and walked home.

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I was really impressed with both eye places. The workers were nice. They speak about as much English as I do Korean, but we were able to communicate well enough. I was surprised that you don’t need a prescription for contacts. They will sell you whatever you need. I also surprised that they could do my glasses on the spot. In Virginia Beach, I always had to come back a week or two later to get my glasses or contact lenses.

I have heard great things about getting Lasik done here for less than $1,000 so we may have to look into that too…

 

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