Dr. James (Jim) Eakin, Laconia, Hands Down THE BEST Optometrist In Central New Hampshire, Maybe All Of New England!
.by Anura Guruge
I said this same thing a year ago but I feel I have to say it again because I had my eyes checked out by Dr. Eakin yesterday.
Just amazes me and I, as some of you who are regulars to this blog will know, am NOT easily amazed.
I was there for close to 2 hours. He dilates your eyes and you have to sit and wait for about 30 minutes for the drops he puts in to kick in.
He spend so much time, DILIGENTLY, checking out your eyes using all those scopes they have. That is why I go to him and have been for over a decade though, at his behest, I go to somebody else for my specialized contact lens needs. I pay about three times more for one of my contact lens checkups, NOT counting the cost of the lenses, than I am charged by Dr. Eakin and the I am, at best, at the contact lens place for 40 minutes.
As I detailed in that post a year ago, I am no stranger to eye doctors, around the world, because of the contact lens-treatable keratoconus in my right eye. Yes, I have had eye doctor visits, in the 1980s, when they were trying to stabilize that eye, that have lasted all day. Yes, 8 hours. But no eye doctor ever checks out my eyes like does Dr. Eakin.
With Dr. Eakin, who is now getting up there and has no plans of retiring, it is LABOR OF LOVE. He does not practice for the money! He, over the years and even now, does a ton of pro bono work on kids. He has all these awards for that work.
Yes, I count Dr. Eakin, who was a fellow Rotarian when I used to be one, as a friend. But, that is not why I sing his praises with so much conviction. It is because I, having gone through so much heck about my keratoconus really, really believe in good eye care. And for that there is, in my opinion, nobody around who is better than Dr. Eakin. It just a matter of the time he is willing to invest in each patient.
So, plain and simple, if you live in central NH and want to make sure that your eyes are healthy go see Dr. Eakin. When you walk out, after 2 hours, you will KNOW that your eyes have been given the full treatment.
Don’t tell him that I said any of this since he, one of the most modest men I have ever met (and very soft spoken), will be so embarrassed.
…by Anura Guruge
Related post: Dr. James R. Eakin in Laconia – BEST Family Optometrist (Optician) in Central New Hampshire, Possibly the Whole State — August 8, 2012.
Good question. A lot depends on the severity of your Keratoconus. If you are at the point that you MAY have to consider a corneal graft — I really have no clue. Fortunately, from the start, I had been assured that I would never require a graft. I am thankful, BUT I feel for those that will need one. That is why I am donating my whole body, not just my corneas, to science. As it happens there is an interest in dissecting my right eye to see the exact state of Keratoconus in that eye; with some debate as to whether it is indeed Keratoconus or astigmatism gone wild.
Anyway … all I know about are doctors who treat Keratoconus with hard, gas permeable lenses. I think we call them Keratoconus lens specialist.
I have never gone to him, but Richard Branner, O.D., of Hanover, NH, tel: 603-643-2140, gets mentioned a lot.
I can also tell you where NOT to go. There are NO Keratoconus lens specialist in Nashua or Concord. Period. Trust me on this. Yes, there are clowns that will claim they know all about fitting Keratoconus lenses — when in reality they know jack. One idiot in Nashua nearly blinded me in the right eye! Oh yes, I reported him to the Board, but that does no good, whatsoever. They look after their own.
I currently go to Dr. David Eaton at NH Eye Associates in Manchester. I did a fair amount of Web and phone research on him before I went to see him. I like him. He is young. He is bright. He is enthusiastic and he wears glasses.
He has so far lived by the first precept of the all important Hippocratic Oath; he has not done me no harm (unlike the idiot in Nashua).
Dr. Eaton has the equipment and the will. So far he hasn’t had to do much with me. I am using a fitting from 5-6 years ago because as I said in the above post my eyes were stabilized a long time ago, with good ‘corrective’ lenses. This is a problem with Keratoconus. The shape of your cornea can keep on changing — especially if you are wearing hard lenses that don’t fit that great.
So, IF you are looking for a Keratoconus doctor start with Eaton. Grill him. I think he is OK. Start with him. They are NOT cheap. If you want a real thorough eye examination before you get new lenses … PLEASE go to Dr. Eakin in Laconia. It will be a pleasant experience. He will spend hours making sure your eyes are OK.
Dr. James R. Eakin in Laconia – BEST Family Optometrist (Optician) in Central New Hampshire, Possibly the Whole State
…by Anura Guruge
I have been wearing gas permeable (hard) contact lenses since 1969 (when I was 15). So over those 4 decades I have seen plenty of ‘eye doctors’ in the U.K. (in and around London) and in the U.S. (Maryland, Boston and NH).
Around 1983 they found that the cornea of my right eye was distorted. I thought I was going blind. As it transpired, after I saw a slew of experts, all I needed were specially fitted, rather small ‘Keratoconus‘ contact lenses. I used to call them my bionic lenses because one pair, in 1989, from a famed, crème de la crème hard lens expert on Boylston Street, Boston cost me $3,300!
So, over the years, especially with my need for special ‘Keratoconus’ contact lenses I have seen various optometrist, some of them with the reputation of being the best in their field. When I lived in the U.K. I used to see ‘Keratoconus’ legend in Harley Street — Harley Street synonymous with top quality doctors. Once I settled in New Hampshire in 1986, at the recommendation of an optometrist in Chelmsford, MA I started going to see another legend in Boston. I saw him for nearly 20 years. He was a co-inventor of ‘cantilevered’ contact lenses — lenses that only touch the eyes at the edges and not in the middle. This doctor was amazing. I thank him in my mind every day. He stabilized my eyes, and ensured that even today, approaching 59, with contacts I have 20/20 or close to 20/20 vision! Yes, he is the one who charged me $3,300 for my first set of lenses; but visits to him were 4 to 6 hour appointments with him checking and rechecking the fitting over the course of those lengthy visits.
I met Dr. Eakin when I joined Laconia Rotary in 2001. He was an honored member of long standing. I got to know him, as Rotarians are encouraged to do; he was an avid skier and in those days I too used to ski (a fair amount). My son needed his eyes checked. I took to Dr. Eakin. I was amazed by his diligence, expertise, manner and care. Seeing all the plaques in his office I also realized that he does a huge amount of pro bono work, some of it for the Lions, with kids! I was beyond impressed.
The prescription and fitting of my contact lenses rarely change since my eyes were stabilized, with good, well fitting contacts, in the late 1980s. So, I asked my Boylston ‘god’ whether I could see Dr. Eakin for my yearly eye health exams rather than trekking all the way to Boston for what invariably would be an all day expedition. He readily agreed and even sent all my records to Dr. Eakin with a very nice letter. So, I started seeing Dr. Eakin. He is so thorough. Trust me. I know my eye doctors and Dr. Eakin is as good as they get.
We all go to him now. He is amazing with the kids. This post was motivated because we took our 11 year old to him yesterday for a contact lens for her right eye. She keeps on losing her glasses and we can’t find them anymore. So easier to have her wear a lens. Her right is fine. So she only needs a lens in her left eye. Again, I was struck as to how amazing Dr. Eakin is.
Yes, he does not do my hard lenses. After a joker in Nashua injured my cornea, I now see an up and coming young eye doctor in Manchester. He is very nice. I still haven’t fully made up my mind about him. I think he will mature into a wonderful doctor. But, he is not Dr. Eakin. Hi eye examinations are nowhere near as thorough as those done by Dr. Eakin. Given that he is a part of a very fancy, upscale practice with fish tanks and flat screen TVs he bills my insurance company three times, yes, three times as much as Dr. Eakin! That is something else about Dr. Eakin. I have actually talked to his ‘office’ about that. I don’t think Dr. Eakin has changed his prices in 20 years (in marked contrast the dentist we go to in Winnisquam who ups his price every every six months and has the audacity to joke about thinking that it is funny). To him it is not a business. It is a service.
His office staff is wonderful too; especially Pat.
So trust me on this. If you are looking for an EXCEPTIONAL eye doctor in NH, go to see Dr. Eakin. You will NOT regret it.