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I decided it was about time i had my eyes tested. They hadn't been done for over five years. My glasses were starting to make my eyes feel worse. So i knew my eye sight had changed. So whilst i was walking around Aylesbury town, i decided to pop into optical express.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ First impressions ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I was very bright in there. It seemed very welcoming as you walked in the door. A lot of space, and very tidy. You are surounded by lots and lots of frames. They even had designer ones. There are two little desks with computers on, and a smiling receptionist behind the desk.
As I walked in the door, i was greeted by a very polite and friendly receptionist. I asked if there were any appointments available for today. She instantly said, 'we could do it now for you, if you would like madam?' Well i was just over the moon at being called madam. Anyway, I took up the offer straight away.
I took a seat and waited. Well i say waited. I was only sat down for 2 minutes, when the lady came over. She took down all my details. Past eye history, doctors, last eye test, address, etc. I then explained that i am on tax credits. She said this was fine, and explained to me what i was entitled to.
I was entitled to a free eye test, Free glasses from a certain range, or money to the value of the nhs voucher, of any other glasses. This was great. I signed the forms, with a smile.
You have to fit into a certain criteria to be elligable for this. I have done some research, and found out what the criteria is.
FREE EYE TEST ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You are entitled to this if:
You are over 60 Aged under 19 and in full time education On income support On income based Job seekers allowance On disabled persons tax credit, and getting less than £70 Registered as severly sight-impaired / blind or sight-impaired/ partially sighted. on pension credit garantee credit Named on a HC2 certificate. Diabetic On working tax credit Suffer from Gluacoma Aged 40 and close blood relative to a glaucoma sufferer,
Most of these people will also be elligable for help with the cost of glasses too. But i would advise you to consult you optition, or look on the Department of health website. There is a leaflet on there that can be downloaded, with all the info you will require.
Back to the optitions ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Kieran ~~~~~ Once i had signed the forms, i was ready for my tests. The lady explained that she would have to take me into a room for some pre tests. But that the room wasn't big enough for kierans pushchair. I was just about ready to give up, and say that i would have to come back another day without him, when the lady said, that if i didn't mind, then she was sure one of her colleges would be more than happy to babysit whilst i was in there. Kieran was asleep, so i agreed. The lady went and asked a rather camp man at the reception, if he would mind. At which point, he started jumping up and down, and getting all excited at having a baby to look after. So i left kieran, knowing that if he woke up, he was sure to be entertained.
First test ~~~~~~~ I followed the lady into the room. On the table were two machines that looked like something out of star wars. She explained that the first test she was going to perform was to test the pressure in my eyes. I had to put my chin on a metal bar, and look into the lense. She went on to explain, that i would feel a short sharpe puff of air being blown into my eye. Simple i tought. Kieran had been having this done since he was born. (he has glaucoma) If he can handle it, so can eye. So i looked into the lense. PUFF!! AHH! I jumped a mile and blinked. My god, i wasn't expecting it to be quite like that. I appolagised, and sat ready again. PUFF!! DAMN!! I did it again! I felt such a fool. Kieran never even flinched when he had this done. Well she had to continue until she got a reading for both eyes. This took a little while, as i proceded to jump and blink.
The second test ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The machine for this test, looked alot like the first one. But this time, i had to put my chin on the bar, and look directly at the red dot in the middle of the screen. I then had to press a botton, everytime i saw a movement. This was easy. Even a four year old could do this. It took about five minutes. As they had to do both eyes. And then we had to wait for the readings to print out.
Once this was done I went back out to find kieran. He was sat in his pushchair, looking at the man as if he had finally flipped. The man was singing twimkle twinkle little star. I couldn't help but grin. I went and sat back down. The main optition came out and got my old glasses. I didn't have my old prescription on me. So she put my glasses on a special machine, and was able to find out what it was. She then called me into the main test room. I decided to take kieran in with me this time. Cause if looks could kill, that man (who was still cooing) would have been dead by now.
~~~~~~~~~~~ The main test ~~~~~~~~~~~
I followed the optition into the room, and sat on the big chair. For a minute i thought i was in the big brother diary room. The optition discused my eye problem with me, and took some more of mine, and my families history. First of all, i had to look at the letter chart on the wall and read the third line. A E N C H or was that an O? Well i did my best. She then put a big machine infront of my eyes. It reminded me of a giant pair of binoculers attached to an arm. The optition then got me to look at different images, and letters. She changed the lenses in the machine, and i had to say which ones were clearer. There were quite a few of these tests. She also had me reading a paragraph of a book, to see how my reading vision was. Once all this was done, she had a good look in my eyes with special intruments. She discussed with me, the fact that i would need new glasses, and when i need to wear them. She lead me out of the room, and asked me to take a seat whilst she got someone to help me choose a pair of glasses.
~~~~~~~ Glasses ~~~~~~~
I was only sat down for two minutes, when the original woman who had done the 'puff' test, came and showed me over to the frames. She explained to me which ones would be free with my NHS voucher and which ones i'd have to pay extra on. I decided to go for the free ones, as i am skint. She stood with me whilst i tried different ones on, and advised me of which look better. I chose the pair i liked, and the woman sat me down at the desk. She took a few mesurements of my eyes, and then filled out some forms. I was then given my perscription for future reference, and informed that they would give me a ring when they were ready. I shouldn't be any more than seven days.
I thanked her and went home.
FIVE, days later i got a very nice phone call saying my glasses were ready for collection. So i went back into town to collect them. They were tried on me, and adjusted to fit. I was only in there for five minutes. I was very happy with them.
~~~~~ Stores ~~~~~ There are 180 stores nationwide. So you should be able to find one close by. They have recently become a dental sevice too. But i have never used this service, so i don't feel i can comment on this.
They offer a wide range of glasses and contact lenses. You can have daily dispossables, or monthly ones delievered to your door. You can choose.
The frames they do are really nice. They do some lovely designer ones. Prada Gucci Police Armani Dolce & Gabanna and oaky. They may do others but these are the ones i know off. They also do sun glasses in simular frames.
They do lots of special offers so be sure to look out for them
Well my expirence with them was very good. I hope yours will be too. Thanks for reading my review.