Tuesday, 12 March 2013

I Can See Clearly Now.

When I looked at my last prescription for my eyes and saw the date on it was 2009 I realised it was time I had another eye test and before you all say it in unison, I did go to Specsavers.
Eyes tests have changed a bit in the four years since I last had one.There were so many tests to do before I eventually saw the optician. Not IQ tests or anything as complicated as that but tests to find out how healthy my eyes were.
They are called pre-tests. The first one, an autofractor was to check my prescription. A frame was attached to the machine to rest your forehead and chin on while something magical was taking place inside.

The non-contact tonometer is used to check your eye pressure and for glaucoma and it was the one I dreaded, it blows three puffs of air in each eye to check the pressure. I don't understand why but each time it puffs it gives me the fright of my life, I jump and then I give a nervous laugh, I 'm such a wimp.
A photo is then taken of the inside of your eye, now this is magic too, I would love to know how it works. Four years ago the optician noticed diabetic changes behind my eyes, little burst blood vessels and I'm delighted to say this latest test showed that it had healed and I know longer have diabetic changes behind my eyes, entirely due, of course to my healthy eating and lifestyle full of fresh air and exercise, hmm!
Another test, a Visual Field Scanner tests your peripheral vision. Your head is placed in a frame and you have to press a button when green dots appear. I think I passed.

At last I get to see the optician. Someone on twitter said that the opticians is the only place you would allow a man you don't know get so close to you in a darkened room. That's so true but this time the optician was female and I don't remember the room being darkened as it usually is. The actual eye test seemed much shorter than I remember it being before, maybe it's because they have all those gadgets doing half the job.

Redundant light box.
There was no longer the usual light box on the wall with all the letters on it but a projection of a few lines of letters on the wall. She didn't ask me to read it all out either just what lines I could see. More gadgets, a slit lamp checks the condition of the cornea, iris and lens looking for scratches on the outer surface of the eye, and a retinoscope bounces light from the eyes back to the machine which gives the optician a reading which she uses when finalising your prescription.

 I did have to wear the silly glasses and tell whether lens A or lens B was best. I'm always slightly scared at this point that I say the wrong thing and end up with glasses I can't see through, so I cross my fingers and hope for the best.
silly glasses
My new prescription is quite a bit stronger than what I was wearing, no wonder I had headaches.
Choosing a new pair of glasses is difficult especially when the frames you are attracted to just don't suit your face. The assistant was very helpful and when I said it was hard to see what the glasses looked like as I could barely see myself in the mirror she produced an ipad and took photos of me in every pair of glasses I tried on, now that's a brilliant use of technology.
I have chosen my glasses,one for everyday and one for reading. I did take photos of them but they're not very good. Now I have to wait 2 wks for them to be made, it seems so long. The appointment took over an hour but I did feel I had a very good examination and as you get older you realise the importance retaining what eyesight you have. When I finally have my new glasses I'll be waiting for the first comedian to say,
"You should have went to Specsavers" just so I can say,"I did!"

reading glasses

Not that you can see much but everyday glasses with little gold bits
on the side.

In the comments below JoJo told be to go to youtube and watch Brian Regan (American comedian) and his funny take on going to the opticians it says many of the points I have but much funnier.


  1. I use an independent optician - she's more expensive than the chains, but I've known her for years, she supported my short-sighted, self-conscious daughters through their teens, and doesn't ever try to sell me things I don't need.

    And yes, she does all the tests, but we chat about our kids so I don't really notice them (except the horrid glaucoma puffy thing).

  2. There's not many independent ones around here.I did go to the same man for years but his shop was bought over by vision express. I told the assistant I didn't want to spend a fortune and she was quite good about not pressurising me.

  3. I'm glad you're seeing more clearly now Anne! I use an MD Ophthalmologist because I can file it with my insurance and only have to pay $20 dollars american for a full exam.

    Not that he does much between the gals in the office and all those fancy machines it doesn't leave much for him to do. My (reader) eye glasses are still the ones from the drug store thank goodness, the others can be very costly I hear!

  4. I had cataracts removed in both eyes two years ago, so now I have bionic eyes..haha. I need new glasses too, though, because I opted to remain a bit short sighted so that I wouldn't have to read with glasses or wear them indoors. Thanks for reminding me Anne! I need to go to the optician soon too. We have specsavers here I think. I must try them out.

  5. I'm probably due for an eye doc and prescription adjustment soon too. My last time was 2010. If you want a real belly laugh, google 'Brian Regan eye doctor routine' and watch the video. I know it's on You Tube. Every time I go now I start to giggle because I think of the routine. lol

  6. Like you, I am singularly shortsighted! I recently had a cataract removed - whoah the difference! Amazing how much we take foggy sight for granted!

  7. What a super post Anne. How did you manage to get all those super pics to illustrate it? Specsavers should give you a big discount for advertising and promotion :) But sounds as though you had lovely service, especially taking photos of you so you could choose the new glasses more easily. The number of times I have ended up wearing something I am not at all pleased with for years simply because I couldn't see them properly in the shop mirror! We have been going to Boots Opticians for years for our tests. They do a very efficient one with all the stages you mention and they are free for geriatrics :)
    Hope you enjoy your new glasses when you get them!
    Sue x

  8. Googling and hoping I don't breach anyone's copyright Sue. Yes I should get a discount shouldn't I? The ipad photos are a great idea,I did look awful in then though. Everyone has free eyetests in Scotland. I think Specsavers are the cheapest which is why I went there this time.I hate the hard sell for added bits to your lenses, but I said up front I didn't want to pay a fortune. I hope my glasses are nice on when I get them I have to wear them everyday.

  9. Yes we do put up with not seeing clearly I wonder what everything will look like with my new prescrition,I'll probably look a lot older,lol !

  10. Val,don't remain short sighted you'll make your eyes worse.I have been to quite a few and I think Specsavers are the cheapest.Do what I did and tell them you don't want to spend a fortune.

  11. We have free sight tests for everyone in Scotland. I have used those reader glasses they even have them in our pound shops here but because both your eyes are not always the same the gave me headaches. I would have thought glasses would be cheaper in USA. I've heard they're cheaper in Turkey so may have a look for an extra pair this year.

  12. That was so funny JoJo. I have put it at the bottom of my post now,thanks.

  13. I just buy reading glasses from TK Maxx, but I think a trip to Specsavers is on the cards now!

  14. I can never get that Specsavers advert out of my mind! And I hate that puff of air test. Eek!

  15. I think I should be asking for commision from them,lol

  16. Oh it's horrible Talli,I'm glad I'm not the only one who hates it,I always feel a bit silly.

  17. I have terrible eyesight and have worn glasses/contact lenses since the age of four. The technology has really developed during that time and the quality of contact lenses now is amazing compared to the ones I wore when aged fourteen. I saw a hilarious new Specsavers advert this morning-where a couple drive onto an aircraft carrier, thinking it's the cross-channel ferry.

  18. You have reminded me I must go again soon. I had my eyes tested two years ago, and had all of those tests you mentioned, at another well known high street optician. Whose name has the words Vision and Express in it ;-)

    The very nice man there told me I needed Varifocals, I nearly died of fright when he told me the price! However, I did purchase them, and my vision was much improved, BUT, had to have the lens changed twice under guarantee as the coating started to come away after only a few months.

    Then just as the guarantee expired, the same thing happened again, and the shop refused to swap the lens. I had no choice but to purchase another pair, but it left a bitter taste in my mouth. Incidentally, I didn't buy them from the same optician, the pair i have now are not as well made, and the sad thing is that the whole family had been going to the first optician for years. I'd say they have had thousands out of us.

    I expect more when you pay £400 plus for a pair of specs. I think we'll be trying spec savers next time. I've heard mixed reports, but you seem to have got on just fine. You must put up a picture of you wearing them!

  19. Maria, my last glasses were from VE four years ago they were varifocals buy one get one free but I had to pay extra for second lenses plus scratch resistant etc the bill was £349. This time at SS I was £89 for frame, £49 for varifocal lenses and £30 to thin down lens. My second pair were completely free I choose reading glasses but could have had another pair of varifocal. The also had frames in a £49 range. I didn't get talked in to more expensive varifocal lense where they say there's more space for the reading part,I have eading glasses for that. You can pay a fortune for varifocal lenses but I just got the basic whioch is what I've been wearing for 4 yrs and they're fine. I hate it when you go into opticians and the bill mounts up,I was determind it wasn't going to happen this time.

  20. I haven't seen that one yet,I must look out for it. I would love to wear contacts but just the thought of putting them in my eyes makes me blink.

  21. Thanks for sharing, I'll nip in and have a look at what they have in the next few weeks. After pay day! I had to buy a new windscreen last week, fortunately I only had to shell out the excess at £75 as the screen was over £500.

    Everything is so expensive these days. We have to save where we can...

  22. Oh dear that's would have been a nightmare paying £500. Yes If you can get glasses cheaper that do the same job then why not? I so wish this had been a sponsered post,ha ha .


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