Advantages Good selection of styles at reasonable prices
Disadvantages I resent having to pay so much for an eye test
I spent most of my childhood years wearing glasses, and underwent two operations to rectify a seriously ugly squint that my parents were told would eventually cost me my sight in one eye, if not corrected. One of my main memories of that time is a lot of visits to an eye specialist, and the various exercises I was given to strengthen the muscles in my left eye. Around thirty years ago I was told that I could give up wearing glasses full-time, now to look at me you would never know that I had ever had a squint.I am 43 now and I am ashamed to admit, despite being told all those years ago to have my eyes tested regularly I had not had my eyes checked again until last Saturday. I put it off, and put it off, until recently I noticed that I had a lot of floaters in my vision. I know that this can be the symptom of a few eye disorders, so I decided to not to delay any longer in getting my eyes looked at.
As I said I have not been for an eye test for years so I have no experience of going for regular tests or choosing glasses. I asked around a few friends, and read reviews on various chain opticians. Then when I was shopping the other day, I passed the local branch of Specsavers and on an impulse decided to get my eye test out of the way, so went in and made an appointment.On the day, after a few personal details had been taken I went in to see the optician. She started by taking a few details about my family medical history then went on do the eye test. All I can remember of childhood examinations was reading down the rows of letters on a white card, and having a light shone in my eyes, this part of it had not changed. What differed was the battery of additional tests that she performed.
I had mentioned to her that my grandmother developed the sight threatening disease glaucoma in later life. Even though this lady was half an hour behind on her appointment schedule, nothing was too much time or trouble. I had a test done called field screening which involved focusing on a red dot of light on the screen, and pressing a button on a hand held device to indicate when I could see random flashes of light around it. I was told that this was to check if I had any blind spots in my vision. Another involved a pressure check with an instrument known as a non-contact tonometer. This blows a puff of air at the eye and when the air bounces back at the instrument it measures the pressure. If the result is high it can indicate the onset of glaucoma. The results of these two tests were fine but I have to go back in the near future, to have some drops put in my eyes to dilate their pupils thus allowing a more detailed examination.After some other tests to check if my vision is balanced it was pronounced almost perfect. The optician was very impressed with my left eye, which despite its two operations has 20/20 vision. She recommended that I start thinking about wearing glasses to read as the results on my close- up vision were borderline due to the fact that I am getting older. Apparently the lens in the eye becomes less flexible with age, and activities such as reading and writing are harder due to the eye’s inability to focus.
I found that despite this chain’s budget image, there was a good range of glasses in many styles and shapes to chose from. They may not have as good a selection as other opticians but I found several pairs that suited me very well. I wish Specsavers had been around when I was younger as the glasses I used to wear as a child were very unflattering and made me the target of much teasing at school. As the glasses I selected are on a special offer, I was offered a second pair free. I elected for these to be treated with anti-glare protection (£30) to allow me to work at the computer without so much risk of straining my eyes. Although my total bill including the eye test turned out to be around £120 I think the prices charged for my glasses was not excessive, as the pairs I tried on seemed to be of very good quality.As I have not had experience of visiting any other optician I do not have any basis for comparison. What I will say is that I found the service in Specsavers very professional and courteous and the lady optician very approachable and patient. As I work full-time there was no way of avoiding the £16.50 charge for the eye test although it annoyed me. However when I think about it now it is a very small price to pay every two years to ensure that any eye problems in the future are caught and treated early.
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