If you’re not yet familiar with the language in Spain, it’s well worth taking a bit of extra time to find an expat-friendly optician. From eye tests in Spanish, to understanding prescriptions in a different language, visiting an English-speaking optician can make you feel as comfortable as possible when receiving eye care.
To ensure that you receive the best possible eye care abroad, we’ll discuss a number of factors that expats should consider when selecting an optician in Spain, from certification to communication.
What should expats look for in a Spanish optician?
For those new to Spain, or just unfamiliar with the eye care system, it can be difficult to know how to select a good optician who is also expat-friendly. We’ve outlined a few areas to consider below.
Optometrist vs optician
In the UK, optometrists and opticians perform two separate roles. Optometrists provide primary vision care ranging from eye tests to the diagnosis and management of changes in vision. Opticians, on the other hand, are technicians trained to fit frames, contact lenses and other devices to correct vision. They use prescriptions supplied by ophthalmologists or optometrists.
In Spain, these roles are joined — optometrists and opticians perform the same role. As such, there is no need to worry or become confused about finding a practitioner to perform each individual role, as your optometrist will often carry out both.
Browsing the Spanish Association of United Optometrists or The European Council of Optometry and Optics are a good place to start. Optometrists are regulated by the government in Spain, but these databases are a reliable way of finding any additional credentials, qualifications or accreditations opticians hold. Alternatively, most opticians will be more than happy to provide these upon request or will have them on display instore.
You’ll want to make sure that both you and your optometrist clearly understand your eye health concerns, as well as making sure nothing is lost in translation. Although eye tests in Spain are very similar to those in the UK, ensuring that you’re able to understand and communicate effectively is important when determining your prescription. For those who are not yet fluent in Spanish, it’s best to find an optometrist who speaks English to start with.
In general, the majority of English-speaking optometrists tend to be located near international cities such as Barcelona, or in areas with large expat communities such as Costa del Sol.
At Specsavers Opticas, you’re guaranteed to find a friendly optometrist in whichever store you visit. Simply use our store locator to book an appointment with an optician near you.
For more information on eye care in Spain, have a look at our expat advice hub.