TOP 10 QUESTIONS WE HEAR FROM PATIENTS
Do I have to pay for my eye examination?
Yes, unless you are entitled to government benefits such as Income Support or Income-based Support Allowance Tax credits, Job Seekers Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit Guaranteed Credit. Disability allowance does not give you NHS entitlement. You can also receive an NHS sight test on the grounds of age if you are under 16 or 19 and in full time education or are over 60, over 40 with a parent or sibling with Glaucoma. Other entitlements include, Diabetic patients, Glaucoma patients, and those with "complex prescriptions" as defined by the NHS England.
If you feel that you should be entitled to NHS help but do not fir into one of the above categories you should ask one of our staff members for an HC2 form and apply directly for help through an Exemption Certificate.
Should I pay extra for my eye examination and have the OCT scan?
This is NOT necessary, your Optometrist will thoroughly examine your eyes without the OCT, however, it does offer the Optometrist far more detail about your eyes. It is particularly good at examining eyes post-operatively, diabetic eyes. It is becoming more and more adept at detecting very early signs of macular degeneration (AMD) and Glaucoma, therefore, we do advise those with a family history of these conditions to undergo this examination.
Can I get help towards my glasses or contact lenses?
Yes if you are under 19 and in full time education or you receive Income Support or Income-based Support Allowance Tax credits, Job Seekers Allowance, Universal Credit, Pension Credit Guaranteed Credit, or if you are in possession of an NHS exemption certificate.
The amount of help you receive will depend on what prescription you require. Glasses for the under 19's start from no cost but for adults they start from £10. You can claim NHS help towards contact lenses but can only be used once per sight test (which can be either every year or two years). In the case of an NHS exemption certificate you may be required to pay some extra towards the cost depending on your entitlement.
How long does the fitting take?
A simple disposible lens can be fitted on the day of your appointment, however, more complex prescription such as astigmatic ones may require a lens to be ordered which can take up to 10 days. A complex lens fitting can take several weeks as the fitting process is much more complex and lenses are bespoke made.
I've got a red eye can you help?
Of course... We are happy to advise in ALL aspects of eye care. We are even able to prescribe the most appropriate treatments so a visit to the doctors is not always necessary, and we'll bet that you can get an appointment quicker with us. Any concerns about your eye health please get in touch.
Can I have Contact Lenses?
Yes! Yes! Yes!
There is NO eye or prescription that cannot be fitted with contact lenses and in some cases the vision can be much better with them.
Can I sleep in my lenses?
Technically yes, in certain types that is. We DO NOT advise this, however, as ultimately ocular health issues will arise.
Having said that take a look at our "Overnight Vision Correction Lenses". With these you do sleep in them regularly, the difference being that you remove them in the morning and due to their clever deign they will have changed the shape of your eye overnight so that you can see perfectly without lenses or spectacles for the rest of the day. Because you are only wearing these lenses for the night, arguably less time that you would during the day, ocular health issues are rare.
How much do they cost?
Lenses range in cost vastly depending on the type and complexity. There are lenses for all budgets and prescriptions so the best way to find out is to ask a member of staff after telling them what you require. As a guide a simple monthly disposable lens starts at £12 per month, including professional fees!
Why do I need varifocals?
As we all age our bodies change. With respect to the eyes the focussing muscles and lens become weaker and eventually struggle to cope before completely shutting down at about the age of 55. This begins with tiredness and possibly headaches, then your arms aren't long enough to read before you finally start to need help for reading. This is a separate prescription to you distance glasses and as such if you wear reading glasses you will notice the distance is blurred.
Therefore, if you want to be able to see both at the same time then a special lens is required in the form of a varifocal (or bifocal). These lenses are amazing and are performing better and better as manufacturing technology improves. Ask about out freesign lenses for the latest in varifocal design.
What are cataracts?
Cataracts are not a "film" growing over your eyes, they are in actual a misting of the intraocular lens and a normal ageing process. They develop at different ages in each individual. It is more likely than not that you will develop then, usually around the age go 65-70.
Cataracts will NOT blind you, and are relatively simple to deal with. The operation required is highly developed and routinely performed. If you think that you have worsening cataracts please speak to one of our Opometrists for further advice and onward referral to the clinic of your choice.