I wear both contacts and glasses, and have picked up some useful information about optometry in Malta over the years:
- You can buy contact lenses at pharmacies in Malta. This is a very novel concept for me - you can't purchase contact lenses in Canada without a full eye examination and prescription. I can purchase the same or equivalent contact lens and solution brands in Malta as I can in Canada, too.
- A 90 day supply of single-use contacts at a local pharmacy costs roughly €40.
- Contact lens wearers beware - the atmosphere and strong winds in Malta can kick up quite a bit of dust, and I usually find myself scratching away at my eyeballs after a few hours of contact lens wearing in Malta. This is why I recently switched to wearing glasses most of the time.
- Glasses in Malta are also called specs (I've had some embarrassing miscommunications surrounding this point before).
- For glasses repairs you can visit any optician on the island. I periodically get my glasses readjusted and repaired at an optician on Triq Tigne in Sliema, who charges me just €1.80 per pair.
- While at the optician, I noticed that frames cost from €40-€200, and lens prices vary depending on prescription. I have a low prescription that is the same in both eyes, and was quoted €40 for two lenses.
- While I love wearing glasses, I am very curious about laser eye surgery. In a fit of optimism I researched laser eye surgery options in Malta last year. I contacted St. James Eye Clinic and found out that laser eye surgery (LASEK) for both eyes costs +/- €1,982 in Malta (€1,522 hospital fee + €460 surgeon fee), plus a €80 pre laser check up fee. This is comparable to Canada. If you're interested, you can attend a free information session at St. James, held Monday afternoons by appointment. It sounds like a great investment in the long run, but not one I want to make right now on my grad student budget.
Do you have any optometry tips for expats in Malta? Personal experiences you'd like to share? Comment below!