Of the many wonderful and amazing things about life, the incredible gift of sight is nothing short of a miracle. Unfortunately, people get so accustomed to seeing that they often take their sight for granted. That is, until they experience a problem. Complacency is everywhere, from not wearing eye protection when riding a motorcycle to simply not getting periodic eye exams. Yet, if you close your eyes and honestly imagine going through life in total darkness, sight suddenly becomes very precious.
Unfortunately, many people in Thailand, both citizens and foreigners, don’t know where to go for professional, affordable eye care when vision problems occur. In most cases the Thai Government Hospitals don’t offer eye care while private hospitals are often prohibitively expensive for the majority of people.
Luckily for us, one of the most respected eye doctors in Thailand recognized this huge gap in the availability of eye care and decided to do something about it. After years of extensive specialized medical education and experience, Dr. Nattawat recently decided the time had come for him to open a professional, full service, affordable eye care center so he created the PattayaEyeCenter.
PattayaEyeCenter is not a simple eye clinic. It is a state-of-the-art mini eye care hospital where all but the most difficult eye surgeries can be performed as well as all other aspects of eye care. The quality of service is guaranteed and their sterilization methods are top quality, meeting or exceeding the standards of major hospitals.
Not only is the PattayaEyeCenter a top notch facility, Dr. Nattawat has very impressive credentials starting with six years of medical study at RamathibodiHospital at RamathibodiUniversity in Bangkok. After graduation he went into general practice at ChiangRaiHospital for three years, then returned to Bangkok where he received three more years of specialized training as an ophthalmologist followed by professional practice as an ophthalmologist for three additional years at RamathibodiHospital. Still thirsting for knowledge, Dr. Nattawat went back to school at ChulalongkornUniversity’s Hospital where he trained to be a retinal specialist. He then joined the staff at BangkokHospital - Pattaya where he was a retinal and cataract specialist for five years followed by eighteen more months offering his expert services in the eye center at PattayaInternationalHospital.
We are fortunate that Dr. Nattawat was able to create his mini eye care hospital, a facility made possible due to huge advances in the eye care medical field in recent years. Nowadays, operations as serious as cataract surgery can be performed less evasively and on an outpatient basis. In the past, cataract surgery required general anesthesia, an 8 mm. incision in the cornea, then insertion of a hard lens followed by stitches which increased the possibility of infection. Today, in 90% of cataract surgeries, a local anesthesia (similar to what a dentist uses) can be administered in the area of the eye. The doctor then makes a small 2.5 mm. incision through which a folded soft lens is inserted after which it opens up. No stitches are required, infection is extremely rare and patients recover up to 90% of their vision within twenty-four hours. Since these new procedures can be accomplished on an outpatient basis and don’t require hospitalization, performing the operation at the PattayaEyeCenter is less expensive, a savings Dr. Nattawat passes along to his patients.
Eye care should be a lifelong priority for everyone starting with preschool children though to old age. At a minimum, preschoolers should be checked for lazy eye and other eye deficiencies from birth, adolescents checked for near and far sightedness and, starting at age 40, adults need to be checked for cataracts (a cloudiness of the lens of the eye obstructing vision) as well as glaucoma (increased pressure within the eyeball resulting in damage to the retina and gradual loss of vision). Got ‘floaters’? If your retina is healthy, ‘floaters’ are no problem, but your eyes should be checked to make sure. Most eye problems can be corrected, but not discovering them in children or ignoring them as an adult can result in serious, permanent vision problems.
Eyes should be checked at least once per year, more often if you have problems. People with diabetes or clouded vision should never put off getting their eyes examined. If you are holding back on getting your eyes checked because you think it will cost too much, procrastinate no more. At the Pattaya Eye Center a basic check-up can cost as little as 500 Baht if no problems are discovered that require additional tests. A cataract exam is only 1,000 Baht. In addition to eye exams and other eye services, Dr. Nattawat also performs first class cataract surgery only 50,000 baht , multi-focal IOL surgery ( for looking far and reading without glasses) only 75,000 baht and LASIK surgery only 45,000 baht.
Not only does Dr. Nattawat speak excellent English, he has a kind heart. In addition to offering lower prices to the general public c for his top grade services, he wants to offer professional eye care to disadvantaged people. Currently in the planning stages is an idea to carpool blind children from the RedemptoristSchool for the Blind in Naklua to the PattayaEyeCenter for eye examinations. Regretfully, Dr. Nattawat predicts that many of these children cannot be helped, but for those who can be treated and given the wonderful gift of sight he will only charge for his costs and not for his time. If you are looking for a place to offer a charitable contribution, joining in this crusade for sight will offer a tangible, visible, direct benefit for your time and money whether you volunteer to carpool the children or offer to pay for corrective treatment. Where else could you possibly find a more rewarding experience than giving the gift of sight?
The PattayaEyeCenter is open from to Monday through Wednesday, on Thursday and closed Friday through Sunday. Dr. Nattawat reserves Saturdays for major eye surgery requiring general anesthesia which he performs at the Eye-Ear-Nose-ThroatHospital in Bangkok.
To get to the Pattaya Eye Center take Pattaya Klang to the stoplight at Carrefour Shopping Center and turn north on Soi Yumae, go approximately 300 meters, then turn left into the new shophouse complex on the left and look to your right. If you can’t easily see the PattayaEyeCenter, you definitely need an eye exam. For an appointment call/fax: 038-488-314 or 081-612-2990. More information can be found at www.pattayaeyecenter.com.