What is the easiest way to get new glasses in France?

There are a number of options, but beware of what prescription you use

Opticians will always offer a completely free pair of glasses to those with full health coverage in France
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Reader Question: I want a pair of new glasses. I know my prescription so I don’t want to get a new one in France, and ordering glasses from the UK is now very expensive. What are my options?

The first thing to note is that you may not be able to get a new pair of glasses without a French (or EU) prescription.

Non-EU prescriptions may be accepted by a local optician, if they are seen to be authentic, but it is not guaranteed.

In addition, glasses purchased without a French/EU prescription are not refunded by social security (costs may still be covered in part by your health insurance).

Due to this, it is recommended to get a prescription in France. The process is free for those in the French health system and with appropriate insurance.

French prescriptions are valid for three years for people 42 and over, and five years for those under this age.

You can read more about how to get a prescription below. Recent changes have made obtaining a prescription easier.

Read more: What is the process for getting glasses in France?

If you do this, you will be able to get a free pair of glasses through the 100% Santé scheme, again providing you are subscribed to social security and have top-up insurance.

All opticians must provide a range of frames fully covered by the scheme in their stores.

Lenses up to a certain cost are also covered.

When providing you with choices, all opticians must point you towards at least one completely free combination.

This is not any more difficult than buying glasses that are not covered by the scheme, as both options require you to go to a shop and choose your glasses, and you can ask the optician for advice to make sure you follow the scheme’s rules correctly.

Read more: How to get a free pair of glasses in France

Online ordering of glasses possible in France

Glasses can be purchased online and delivered to your home, providing you have a French/EU prescription, which you may see as an easier option.

However, not being able to discuss your options in person with an optician may be stressful, especially if you need the glasses for everyday purposes.

Glasses can still be imported to France from overseas, however international shipping charges can significantly increase the price.

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