Optometrists in Seattle

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Optometrists recommendations/information

Yaw Anokwa, 02-18-2009

just plugging Bursett Optometry again. they allowed me to return a set of glasses even after i had purchased them. how awesome is that?

Tamara Denning, 07-April-2008

Another good experience with Bursett Optometry. I did have difficulties finding their building and parking garage the first time around, though.

Yaw Anokwa, 24-May-2007

Another thumbs up for Bursett Optometry.

From: Jochen Jaeger <jj@cs.washington.edu>

As it is only a 5 min walk away from SIEG I went to the University Vision Clinic (4115 Univ. Way, N.E, Suite 101). The team there was very nice and I got a thorough eye examination (took roughly one hour). First his assistant did some basic examination/questions and then Dr. Hovander continued with glass fitting and some more examinations. He patiently and competently answered all questions I had and did not push me to buy anything. I would recommend him. Only drawback. Instead of the 10$ out of pocket money I had to pay 20$ as the examination costs apparently 70$ and the insurance only covers 60$ (from which you have to pay already 10$).

04 Feb 2002 Vibha Sazawal <vibha@cs>


Brian Carey Seattle Eye M.D.s 6th & Pine (downtown)


Glasses only is $130, but only $100 if it's your first visit and if you don't want to claim any insurance. Contacts are $180?

They test for glaucoma, retinal detachment, cataracts...things you should only worry about if you have family history. <--- This is a mis-conception ... family history of ocular disease increases a person's risk factor for getting the disease, but it does not completely rule out the possiblity of the person getting the disease. People are still advised to get annual eye exams to catch any problems before it advances.

Don't go to the hospital just 'cause it's cheaper. You might just get a clueless resident.

24 Sep 2004 yasuhara

FYI a ton of CSE folks (myself included) continue to see Dr. Bursett (as commented on below), but she did move her office to the east side---no longer in the U. District. The new address and phone are 13715 Bel Red Rd, Bellevue, WA 98005, (425) 401-2020.

UPDATE: Actually Ken, she moved back to the west side (Eastlake to be precise)...yay! Jessica

UPDATE: Dr. Bursett's Current Contact Info: 2323 Eastlake Avenue East Seattle, WA 98102 206-632-2237 -- kate

26 October 2000 Rachel Pottinger (rap@cs)

I recommend Bursett Optometry, 206-632-2237, 4545 15th Avenue NE #207; they know all about the insurance and had contacts for me on the spot, which has never happened to me before. I got out of there with a new pair of contacts for $24. She's used by about half the people in my office (224).

Craig Kaplan, Sep 2001

Lisa Bursett at 45th and 15th. She has a sixth sense for immediately choosing the one set of frames that's perfect for you, even if you didn't realize how good they were.

Advice for those looking for an optician if you have already have a prescription:

9 Oct 2000 Ashish Sabharwal

I got new glasses a week ago from Colaizzo Opticians (1623 Queen Ann Ave N.). I think they have a better collection than the few shops I tried in U-district, especially if you want something "different" :)

9 October 2000 Adam Macbeth

I went to the place on the Ave (across from the bookstore) and they did a pretty good job.

6 October 2000 Gerome Miklau

There's kind of an upscale place in U Village that sells stylish frames. It's in the inner courtyard-type part of the mall.

6 October 2000 Ka Yee Yeung

I'm personally a big Costco fan. They sell glasses. But if you prefer a clinic-type of places, you can go to an optometrist. Oh, Costco is a lot less expensive, and we can claim our insurance even if we go to Costco.

I have been terribly ribbed by some (bad) optometrists before. They charged me $150 for a pair of contact lenses. But I managed to get identical contact lenses at Costco for $40. But Costco probably doesn't carry very many fancy frames for glasses. <-- You must understand that Costco is a large corporation that is able to purchase and stock large quantities of contact lenses. They usually will get the bulk order of lenses at a reduced rate compared to private offices. This reduction is then passed onto the consumers. Private practices are not always readily able to make purchases that large, thus the cost for them is higher ... hence higher prices for the lenses.

6 October 2000 Steve Swanson

It depends on whether you want plastic or glass. I think everywhere pretty much does plastic. I am picky and wanted glass, and finally found that Eyes Right on the corner of the Ave and 46th or so (right next to futon of north america and catty corner from Costas) would do it. They deal with UW insurance I guess. Insurance got messed up with me, but I had some wierdness with the two insurance polcies I had at the time.

If nothing else the guy that seems to own the place is really nice.

9 October 2000 Dan Grossman

I haven't had any experience with shops in Seattle, but I would caution that they are decidedly *not* all the same. Also, frame styles should not be your main criterion. One thing to pay attention to is the number and quality of technicians working there. When I first got glasses, it took several months and several adjustments before they were physically comfortable and properly functioning vision-wise. (Of course, I have bifocals, so that presents special difficulties.) If the store does not have a very helpful staff, you might get stuck paying for all sorts of adjustments you might have to make, not to mention the fact that your lenses might have flaws such as slight disparities in lens power, improper angle of insertion into the frames, etc.

In my experience, you can tell a skilled and helpful technician by his/her grim determination to get the glasses looking, feeling, and "seeing" exactly right. Of course, most of this is exhibited *after* you've ordered the glasses, but you can also tell a lot by their attitude during the trying-on phase.

Optometrist/eyeglass shop recommentations from early April, 1997:

Marc Friedman <friedman>:

(July 2, 1998) The least I can do is urge people NOT to go to Roosevelt Vision Clinic. I missed an appointment there, and paid their missed appointment fee on the spot. Nevertheless, they TERMINATED me as a patient without explanation and with no opportunity for rehabilitation.

This may seem cost-effective to them, but it seems unprofessional to me. I mean, my car was stolen. But did they care? No. Don't go there.

Dan Fasulo <dfasulo>:

I recently got a couple of pairs of glasses from LensCrafters up at the Northgate mall. I didn't have time to comparison shop because I was in a hurry to replace some glasses that got left behind on a trip, but the salespeople were friendly and helpful and the glasses got made in an hour without a hitch. Their facilities seemed very modern.

I also went to the on-site, independent optometrists, and, despite having fancier equipment than my hometown optometrist, they botched the prescription slightly the first time, which was annoying. On the other hand, they re-did the exam promptly and LensCrafters replaced the lenses for free.

I also had to pick out frames since the old frames, along with the lenses, had been left behind in Colorado. :) The salesman was patient and helpful, and being a CS grad student, I *always* need help in identifying things that are fashionable. :) It seemed like a well-run place.

Jack Lo <jlo>:

I've gone to the Roosevelt Vision Clinic. It's been a good place for me to go. It's also on approved the grad student vision plan list, if you have grad student/appointee health insurance.

Emin Gun Sirer <egs>:

I have been going to Scott Jamieson at the Roosevelt Vision Clinic. He is competent and knowledgeable, and patiently answers all of my questions. He is affiliated with the student vision plan, so insurance picks up most of the costs.

Amir Michail <amir>:

I have had good experiences with Eye Associates Northwest. Their number is 206-386-2700. (However, my glasses are not "high powered".)

Pat Tressel <tressel>

I tried for *years* to find someplace that could make even marginally usable high-diopter glasses, until...one of the dispensing opticians at the Virgina Mason clinic's optical shop ("Visual Effects" ;-) realized what was wrong. The prescriptions had always been filled with plastic lenses. But plastic has about half the index of refraction of glass, and the curvature required was so extreme with plastic that there was usually only one small region that was in focus. The optician ordered glass lenses, and -- voila! -- everything was in focus right to the edges of the lenses. So, no matter who you go to, don't let them talk you into plastic lenses. Instead, to keep the weight down, get frames with a small aperture. (You don't have to be a patient at Virginia Mason to have prescriptions filled at Visual Effects. They are likely more expensive than the mass-production shops. I have the vaguest of memories that the optician who helped me was named John.)

I don't, unfortunately, know of an optometrist willing to take the time to work with low-vision patients. The last time I had my prescription checked, I had to go back and get tested a second time. A suggestion: Schedule the exam late in the day, when your eyes are tired, else you'll end up with a prescription that's adequate for a while after you wake up, but isn't sufficient by the end of the day.

Michael Ernst <mernst>:

I eventually went to Roosevelt Vision Clinic and saw Dr. Jamieson. I don't plan to return. While the office staff is helpful, friendly, and largely (not uniformly) competent, my glasses were mis-made (the bifocal line was too high) and after months I still don't have a comfortably-fitting pair of glasses. Also, I found Dr. Jamieson condescending and unhelpful (though he did give me a free second consultation in which he recommended a pair of computer glasses -- not covered by insurance, but in my case well worth the cost). Incidentally, those lenses were scratched when I first received them, too. It seems like this might be a reasonable place to go for someone with a weaker prescription than mine.

Kurt Partridge <kepart>:

i really like unversity vision clinic (recommended by others). dr. hovander seems competent, and is willing to give technical explanations for questions. last time i was there i started asking him some really fine points and he was pretty patient about all of them, and even admitted that he didn't know the answer to something (wish i remember how basic of a question is was :). also, the optician, monty, is excellent; i've always had problems with frames hurting behind the ears, and he adjusted them perfectly. he also suggested the pair of glasses that i currently have, which i've been very happy with. he's been an optician for something like 7 years now, and really enjoys it (i.e. he's not just doing it as a job).