Like most Singaporeans are, I was bespectacled from a young age due to myopia and astigmatism. Even so, most Singaporeans have it easy because optometrists are readily available almost anywhere and you can collect your prescription glasses or contact lenses within the next two days after your visit to the optometrist.
My case's a little tricky - I had extremely high degrees of astigmatism which made it difficult for me to get prescription glasses or even contact lenses. I remember when I was younger, the optometrist once told my mum that I would never get to wear contact lenses when I grow older due to my high degree of astigmatism. It was devastating because there was absolutely no way I am going to be bespectacled for the rest of my life!
As years passed, I reckoned technology made it available for me to get contact lenses and since then, I have been relying on contact lenses daily! There was a catch though - I could only get yearly contact lenses (which is extremely unhygienic by the way) and whenever I ordered them, they take up to three weeks to come. Imagine the long wait I have to go through! It's so much of a hassle having to return to the store to collect my lenses too.
Recently though, I was introduced to Hirocon, an optical store originated from Japan, and it's unlike any other optical stores simply because Hirocon is the first store in Singapore to specialise in the sale of ONLY contact lenses! Located conveniently in the heart of Orchard at Orchard Gateway, Hirocon stocks a wide range of contact lenses, which means they have lenses for almost anyone including walk-in customers!
Even so, I admit - I was kind of skeptical given my experiences with optical stores because never have I encountered any optical stores that didn't require me to wait at least a week for my unique prescription, albeit too unique for my liking since it takes a long time for the factory to process my prescription glasses or lenses. I walked in feeling doubtful on whether Hirocon would be able to get suitable contact lenses for me but thankfully all went pretty smooth and I was pleasantly surprised by how efficient Hirocon was - because I was able to my contact lenses without any waiting time, despite my tricky case!
So here's more on my trip to Hirocon the other day! The store features a pretty neat, minimal and clean interior and it's located right beside Crate & Barrel, making it easy to spot! Inside, you can see the store is segmented into three different sections which serves different purposes and here's a short breakdown on each of the section as well as my personal experience.
1. Information Counter
Located right at the storefront, the information counter is perfect for any customers (walk-in or via appointment) with general enquiries. The friendly counter staff greeted and asked if I needed help the moment I walked in.
The consultation counter's where you can fill up your personal details and the staff may enquire about the contact lenses you're looking for / your vision / years of wearing contact lenses / daily hours of wearing contact lenses etc. Here's also where your details will be recorded in their system so the optometrists can have a better understanding of your case! Since I already knew of my eye degree beforehand, the receptionist simply enquired regarding my habits and experiences with contact lenses and what are the lenses I'm looking for before ushering me to the eye test room for further examination.
3. Eye Test Room
Here at the eye test room is where more thorough checks are conducted. There are currently 4 qualified optometrist, 2 of them graduated from Singapore Polytechnic with Diploma in Optometry and the other 2 graduated from Cardiff Univeristy in UK with BSc in Optometry and are working with Hirocon, and I'm definitely pleased to hear about it. One thing I like about Hirocon is that they take pride in caring for their customers' eye health and not just check for your vision for the sake of doing it.
Getting my eyes checked! Look at my pupils on the screen.
Getting vision checked:
Here I was getting my vision checked by the optometrist whereby I was required to read out the alphabets on the screen while she makes the necessary arrangements to the 'spectacles' match my vision. This is a common process done that's usually done any optometry and this allows the optometrist to match a suitable pair of contact lenses for me later.
Fitting of contact lenses:
Here's the area where I settled down to try on my new contact lenses. I like that this area is kept clean, neat and well-lit, with just a mirror on the counter and ensuring that I have adequate comfort while trying out my lenses. I must say, I was really impressed by the fact that Hirocon had contact lenses for me to try on immediately, given my tricky case (as explained above). It's great that Hirocon stocks a wide range of contact lenses since it's convenient and you probably get to collect them on the same day as your visit. Yay to no waiting time!
Eye health check:
After trying on the recommended pair of contact lenses, the optometrist went ahead to do an eye health check to ensure the suitability of my contact lenses. The first pair I tried didn't quite fit me because it was kind of 'loose' on my pupils, causing it to move around whenever I blinked, and I had to try on another pair which fitted better!
Thankfully, the optometrist was skilled enough to realise the first pair didn't fit well! Imagine the horror I'll have to go through if one of my lenses accidentally moved to the back of my eye! I don't think anyone would want that to happen so props to Hirocon for the eye health check!
In a nutshell:
All in all, I must say my experience at Hirocon was nothing but positive. The process of getting contact lenses was as easy as a breeze from signing up as a member to going through simple eye tests and checks before I can get my contact lenses immediately. Here are some of the pros I can think of at the moment which made my experience a better one!
•Fast and efficient, allowing me to get ready-stock contact lenses on the same day (This may differ on a case-by-case basis depending on your eye degree)
•Eye checks are performed by professional optometrists who ensures safety and comfort when it comes to prescribing suitable lenses
• Clean, neat and professional environment
• Located conveniently in the heart of Orchard (Orchard Gateway)
• Bonus: Japanese speaking staff with their traditional hospitality!
This concludes my positive experience at Hirocon! If you're looking to get contact lenses for yourself or your family/friends, I'd highly recommend Hirocon not only because of their wide range of contact lenses available but also the high service standards.
You can find out more on their website or their Facebook page below:
Hirocon Singapore (Orchard Gateway)
277 Orchard Road
B2-28 (Beside Crate & Barrel)
Operating hours: 11:00 to 21:00 daily
Phone: 67023777 - Fax: 67023775