In recent months, I find that my ability to read menus and signs slowly diminishing. Consciously aware that I should get my eyes checked but it’s one of those things that is not causing a big enough problem and keeps getting moved down the to do list. As I am usually staring at a screen for hours in a day, I am prone to eye strain and dry eyes, due to the reduced blink rate. (I was told to look away every 15 minutes or so, to change the distance in focusing and to give your eyes a rest).
Marks and Spencer’s have started offering in store optician services and I managed to book myself an appointment at their new shop in Westfield London. Following the tall flapping banners from the front of the shop, I found their new optician service in the middle of the shop floor. It doesn’t take up much floor space, 3 racks showcasing glasses and 2 appointment rooms.
What does your eye test include?
Prior to meeting the optician, I had a preliminary checktest with one of their highly experienced assistants. She used a tonometer, which blows a high speed blast of air on your eyes. This is to measure the internal pressure of your eyes which is used for assesing the risk of getting glaucoma. She then takes a picutre of the back of my eyes using digital retinal photography. This test has been known to help find other related illnesses, so it’s quite impressive.
A few minutes after this, I had my full sight test using the latest optical tools. Besides just testing my sight for a new prescription, the optometrist also checks the health of the eyes, based on yoru lifestyle and health. After asking about my family history for glaucoma or cataracts, the optician checked for any evidence of this when she assesed my eye health.
She looks into my eyes with an ophtalmoscope which looks at your optic nerve, blood vessesls adn retina. As I wear contact lenses, she also checks the surface of the cornea for any scratches or other issues.
I found that my prescription has only increased slightly and she adjusted the other measurements for the new glasses. With this new prescription, she advice me about the best type of lenses to use. As my prescription is quite high, I needed high index varifocal plastic lenses that are light weight and won’t break easily. They also recommended a photochromic coating whcih protects against the harsh blue UV light for a computer screen.
All this took about 20 minutes. I then spent a much longer time trying on new frames and choosing my new glasses. All their frames are designed by Italian glasses makers and there is a big selection for ladies, men and kids. I finally settled for these, part metal frames with a teal blue arms. They were in the Men’s section but it suited me better. There is an offer to get 2 pairs for one price.
Within a week, I got an email and a text message to say that my glasses were ready for collection. When I dropped in to collect my glasses, they spent a few minutes to adjust the glasses to makre sure that they fit properly. My new lenses were so clear, my distance vision was better, I could read easily with it. The first hour, it was a bit strange as you chenge your view from near to far or side to side as the lense made you feel like you are on a boat. The funny thing with the human brain is that your eyes will automatically adjust itself to this new state of affair after a few days.
My new glasses with high index light weight lenses
How often should you get your eyes tested ?
Ideally, you should get your eyes tested every 2 years. If you are at risk of glaucoma or any other eye diseases, your optometrists will tell you how often you should return.
Varifocal contact lenses
I have been wearing my glasses a lot more than my contact lenses of late, especially as my vision with lenses is really poor in low light and when driving. On the advice of the optician, I was recommended daily varifocal contact lenses. These are different from the regular daily disposable that I used to wear. They are tailored to help you see both near and far according to the results of yoru eye test. I will be giving those a trial run.
When did you last get your eyes tested?
For more information about M&S Opticians, find your nearest outlet, or to book an appointment, visit their website.
EatCookExplore was gifted a pair of glasses by M&S Opticians.