Frequently Asked Questions

Looking after your eyes can be a complicated business. We’re always happy to answer your questions in either of our branches or over the phone but since you’re already here you might find the answer to your question here.

Just click on a question to see the answer but remember if the answer isn’t here please feel free to get in touch.

Can you adjust or repair my glasses?

Yes of course. We are happy to provide adjustments on all Ophthalmic frames to achieve a comfortable and optically correct fit. It is always best if the person the frame is for comes in, where possible, so an exact fit can be achieved. We also provide repairs and replacement frames, where we can! 

Is it true that arthritis can affect my eyes?

Yes, surprisingly arthritis can cause all sorts of effects in the eye, from dry-eye through to potentially serious inflammation within the eye (uveitis) in certain forms. Any signs of redness, being light-sensitive or seeing floaters should be checked by your eye care professional.

Do you do children’s eye tests?

Yes of course. In fact we recommend children are tested from an early age to prevent unnecessary vision problems later on, and to screen for eye health problems. If you every notice your child has a white pupil (leukocoria) you must get them examined urgently. See our section on Children’s eye examinations for further details on why routine tests are important, fun, and how we go about testing children!

Can I get my contact lenses from you?

You certainly can. We fit contact lens including soft daily disposable, monthly disposable, silicone hydrogel, Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) and keratoconic lenses. See our section on contact lenses for more details!

Will I be able to find glasses that suit me?

Don’t worry, we have a huge range of glasses in stock including some stunning designer frames. We guarantee that we will be able to help find the perfect spectacles: something lovely that will suit you down to the ground.

I’m diabetic so I am screened. Do I still need to see you?

Yes you do. Whilst diabetics in the UK have an annual retinopathy screening, it is still important to have regular comprehensive eye examinations to check for non-diabetic eye problems.

Can I pay by Direct Debit?

We are able to provide glasses, contact lenses, examinations and professional fees by Direct Debit – please refer to payment options for more details or get in touch. 

What are the eyesight standards for the DVLA?

If you are aware of any medical or visual condition which may affect your ability to drive, you must inform the DVLA.  For example if you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetes, stroke or any other eye problem, you are legally obliged to let them know.  We can tell you whether you meet the 6/12 standard during your eye examination, but you must also be able to fulfill the numberplate test requirements.  The current DVLA requirement for car drivers is:

“for ALL drivers is the ability to read in good daylight (with the aid of glasses or contact lenses, if worn) a registration mark fixed to a motor vehicle and containing characters 79mm high and 50mm wide from 20 meters OR characters 79mm high and 57mm wide from 20.5 metres [NB the former refers to a post-1/9/2001 plate and the latter to an older style plate]’

AND

‘Visual acuity (with the aid of glasses or contact lenses, if worn) must be at least 6/12 with both eyes open ’

Is there a link between eyesight and dyslexia?

Some people with dyslexia are thought to suffer from what is known as ‘pattern glare’ – reading black words on a white background can confuse the brain making letters difficult to distinguish. Coloured overlays and spectacles have been found to help in a small minority of cases, but proper assessment with a trained professional is essential to make sure the right colour is prescribed. We are hoping to introduce dyslexic vision assessments in the near future but are not offering this service at present, however a thorough eye examination is the best place to start as even small uncorrected prescriptions can really help with reading.  

Do you accept eyecare vouchers?

We accept Edenred Eyecare Vouchers as payment for a private eye examination. We also provide other corporate eyecare schemes, please ask for details.

Can I buy gift vouchers from you?

You are welcome to purchase our gift vouchers which can be used for our goods and services. Gift vouchers start from £10. Terms and conditions apply.

Do you sell prescription safety, swimming and sports goggles?

Yes we can provide safety and sports goggles for your every needs from swimming and scuba to skiing and industy.

Is there a link between high blood pressure and my eyes?

High blood pressure can cause changes to the blood vessels in the retina, and if left untreated this can lead to permanent blurred or distorted vision. Blood pressure can be extremely high without any real symptoms; we examine the blood vessels closely during an eye examination to look for any signs of damage, raised blood pressure or hardening of the arteries. We do advise you get your blood pressure checked regularly though as this will catch any problems in the earliest stages and helps prevent eye problems, as well as unnecessary strokes and heart attacks!

Is there a link between cholesterol and my eyes?

High blood pressure can cause changes to the blood vessels in the retina, and if left untreated this can lead to permanent blurred or distorted vision. Blood pressure can be extremely high without any real symptoms; we examine the blood vessels closely during an eye examination to look for any signs of damage, raised blood pressure or hardening of the arteries caused by cholesterol problems. We do advise you get your blood pressure checked regularly though as this will catch any problems in the earliest stages and helps prevent eye problems, as well as unnecessary strokes and heart attacks!

Is laser surgery a good idea?

Laser surgery is very successful for a lot of people with myopia, astigmatism, and some long-sighted prescriptions. If you are considering laser surgery our Optometrists are happy to advise on the basic pros and cons, but we do recommend visiting several laser clinics to make sure you have all the facts and feel comfortable with your treatment, rather than looking at headline ‘deals’. We can give you an idea of your likely standard of vision post-laser by fitting you with contact lenses to try for a few months before you take the plunge! 

I’m suffering some loss of vision can you help?

Yes, please call us immediately. If you ever experience sudden loss of vision you must immediately seek a professional opinion from an eyecare practitioner. Loss of vision can indicate serious problems with the retina, nerves and blood vessels that supply the eye and can require urgent treatment to save the sight. If we are not available please consult your doctor or go to A&E.

Is there a link between eyesight and multiple sclerosis?

Yes there is. One of the first signs of M.S. is usually damage to the optic nerve, which can cause blurring, changes to colour vision and things generally feeling ‘not right’. Optic nerve damage can be picked up during a routine eye examination and is much more easily detected with OCT scans. Anybody suffering with M.S. is advised to have their eyes examined regularly to monitor any changes to the optic nerve.

Do you accept NHS & GOS optical vouchers

We are happy to see NHS clients and can tell you whether you will be entitled to an NHS examination. This usually this applies to: anyone under 19 in full-time education, over 60s; anyone with glaucoma or with a family history and over 40; diabetics; those registered as blind, partially sighted or with a complex prescription; those on certain income-related benefits.

Some people also get assistance with the cost of their glasses: children automatically receive a GOS3 voucher if they need a new prescription or glasses, covering the cost of basic lenses. Receipt of certain benefits also provides entitlement to a GOS3 optical voucher, which partially covers the cost of lenses. The NHS only provide one voucher per eye examination, but as we feel it’s really important for children to have a spare pair we provide spares at special discounted rates which make them very affordable.

If children lose or break their glasses a GOS4 ‘repair/replacement’ voucher can be issued, up to the value of their original GOS3.

What’s the difference between an Optometrist, Optician and Dispensing Optician?

We often get asked the difference between an Optometrist and an Optician: the short answer is that they’re basically the same thing! An Optometrist is the same as an ‘Ophthalmic Optician’ – they carry out eye examinations. They are highly trained in detecting eye disease and working out an accurate ‘refraction’ to prescribe spectacles if needed, and can fit contact lenses. Optometrists need a B.Sc. Optometry degree and undergo Professional Qualifying Examinations after a year’s pre-registration placement, to register with the General Optical Council and be allowed to practice.

A Dispensing Optician trains in understanding and dispensing ophthalmic lenses; they study for a minimum of 3 years to earn their diploma & professional registration. Dispensing Opticians sometimes undertake further training to register to fit contact lenses. 

What should I do if I’m suffering with a painful eye?

Eye pain can occur for a variety of reasons, some very serious and some very minor. Always get any unexplained pains checked by your Optometrist as soon as possible, or see your local emergency eye department if the pain is severe.

Can you supply safety glasses or goggles?

We can source a full range of safety glasses and goggles, and glaze them with prescription lenses if you need them. Whether it’s for use at work or to protect your eyes whilst you’re doing DIY, we have something that can do the job!

Will my children get a school eye test or check up?

There is no longer any requirement for schools to assess children’s vision – gone are the days or reading the letter chart with the school nurse!  In fact recent research suggests less than 1/3 of local authorities are now providing school vision screening.  The good news is, all children are entitled to free eye examinations on the NHS, so bring them in as early as you can so we can make sure everything’s ok!  

Do you sell prescription sports eyewear and swimming goggles?

Indeed we do. Swimming, cycling, running, team sports, mountaineering, golf… whatever your sport you need to see well without the worry of uncomfortable glasses that get in the way! We have some fantastic sports frames which are lightweight and optimised to give you clear vision for your favourite sports; some even come with interchangeable lenses for different conditions. We can supply them with your prescription or without!

What if I take steroids or other medication?

If you are taking steroids you need to have regular eye examinations. Steroids can increase the pressure in the eyes in some people, putting them more at risk of glaucoma, and can make changes in the eye such as cataracts more likely. Other drugs can also have different effects on the eye so we always ask for a list of your current medications to help us spot any side-effects.

Can a stroke affect my vision?

Yes, a stroke can cause partial loss of vision, often affecting one side of the field of vision. This can mean driving is no longer safe; if you feel you aren’t seeing so well on one side we can check your peripheral vision to ensure any problems are picked up.

Do you sell sunglasses?

Yes we offer a great range of sunglasses. Protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays is just as important as protecting your skin, and is especially important for children!

Can I have the lenses in my glasses tinted?

Lenses can be tinted from a very light, hardly noticeable ‘comfort’ tint right through to a really dark ‘Category 4′ tint for your sunglasses. Don’t leave your sunglasses on to drive at night though – you’ll miss vital details – a clear Anti-glare coating or Drivewear lens is specially designed to keep you safe & legal!