The Nightmare Scenario - the importance of eye tests

Lady comes for eye test and finds she has a brain tumour We had a lady in just before Christmas for what she thought was a routine eye test.  It turned out that she'd lost her sight in her left eye as the blood supply to her optic nerve had been cut off.  We immediately referred her to the local hospital and followed up with phone calls to make sure the referral had been received and actioned.  The prognosis was not good for whatever was causing the issue - a stroke, MS, a tumour....until the scans were undertaken, we wouldn't know.

If your eyes hurt like your teeth hurt!

We often make the analogy between teeth and eyes (we're sad like that I suppose).  Its just that we often see a very different mindset where teeth and eyes are concerned.  Usually, teeth take precedence.  Most people see their dentist at least once a year - often every 6 months - yet see their optician once every 2 years at best (and often much longer than that). It could be because we've all experienced toothache and know how bad it can be.  Prevention is better than cure and that regular trip to the dentist will mean no terrible aches and gobbling painkillers until the dentist can see you.

With eyes, its different.  Few eye conditions actually hurt.  In most cases the damage is being done without you even being aware of it (glaucoma is one such insidious condition).  Often it is associated conditions like headaches and migraines that people are aware of - your eyes don't tend to give you much grief in the way of direct pain.

If your eyesight has failed slightly, the only indication is that what once was clear is now less clear, but that change of prescription has come on so slowly that people are often not aware of the lack of clarity until a life experience triggers it (usually not being able to see the ticker tape on Sky Sports!).  So people get on with their lives blithely unaware of failing eyesight, eye strain or worse.

Which takes us back to teeth.  The smallest hole in a molar can have you roaring like a bear and calling the dentist at 3 in the morning for relief.  But what if eyes worked the same way?  If your prescription was slightly out, you'd feel a constant stabbing pain in the back of your eye until you changed your glasses?  If your eye pressure went up slightly, a dull throbbing ache all over the eyeball until relieved?  If so, there would be a queue outside every opticians a mile long!

The point is that because we don't feel the same pain, we don't have the same priority.  Yet our eyes are so much more important than our teeth.  Just close your eyes for a second and do something you'd normally do - reach for the mouse, pick up your phone, type something... not easy if you can't see.  And as your eyes rarely let you know there may be a problem, then the only sure way is booking a regular eye test.


The importance of a detailed eye test.

The importance of a detailed, 30 minute eye test? A colleague from my BNI chapter came for what she thought was a routine eye test for a pair of reading glasses. Half an hour later she was booked in for an emergency referral at the local hospital.

The blood supply to the optic nerve had been blocked so she has lost the sight in her left eye and hadn't realised it (the wonder of our binocular vision - her right eye had taken over and she was none the wiser - although she had found her general vision to be impaired).

However, this could be a symptom of much more serious problems - she's already booked in for a CAT scan to investigate what has caused the problem and to address it straight away. The lady in question is happy for us to post this as a recommendation to others to get regular eye checks. She will keep us posted with updates but it shows that having a regular eye test is one of the best things you can do to protect your sight.

If you or someone you know hasn't had an eye test in recent years, get them booked in now!NHS Eyecare Voucher Values

Prism challenge

What an interesting chat. Two ladies popped in today - and after a long, hard journey trying to find us!. One had a prescription which didn't look too bad until we saw that she had 3+ prism in both eyes. The advice was to go for a small frame to keep the size of lens as small as possible and thinner, lighter lens to minimise the thickness at the side of the lens. We tried on about 20 different frames (she loved the choice available) and plumped for the first she tried on (a £20 frame).

At the end, her sister-in-law who'd driven them both here asked to book in for an eye test and they both commented on the quality of our service, the amount of information they'd been provided with and also the price. So impressed in fact that the first lady is going to come back for sunglasses, readers and to reglaze a couple of her old frames as well. smile emoticon

Do you know people who use computers at work?

Do you work on computers? Do you work under neon or strip lights? Do you drive all day or night? Do you employ people who work as the above. Would you like to know more about various types of lenses that can help and make you life easier and safer? There are many types of lenses that can be used for different occupational or lifestyle uses. Come and talk to us and we can tell you all about them or if your in the North West and you would us to visit your place of work please call and ask for Mark or Phil.  

Computer Glasses

Specs2U - the marriage wrecker!

Its not often you get accused of nearly ruining someone's marriage but I got it today. A couple came in to book an eye test and to look at some frames. As we discussed their requirements I asked how they'd heard about us. She said the newspaper...and also that I'd nearly made them split up!

Asking how this could possibly be (as I'd never seen them before) she told me that I'd called their house last year and said that her husband's frame was ready for collection. As he's a keen cyclist she'd thought he'd bought a new bike frame without telling her (as us husbands do!) and she was ready with the rolling pin and verbal lashing for when he came home from work.

He denied all knowledge of it and it was only when she played the message back that they realised it was for someone else (essentially I'd dialled the wrong number - d'oh!).

Every cloud has a silver lining though. She said "You've now got two customers that you didn't have before" and suggested I should call more wrong numbers in the future!

Errr - maybe not!

Want to know our specs prices? Just ask!

We recently had someone request to know what the price range is for our glasses. The thing is, it's a bit difficult to say! Although we can make specs for £20, as a lens specialist we can also provide our customers with incredibly specialised lenses, which can put the price up - we're still cheaper than many of our competitors though! If you'd like an idea of how much a pair of glasses will cost you, it's best if you give your local branch a ring on one of the numbers on the page here, or send us a private message here on Facebook and we'll get back to you with an answer. Any and all inquiries welcome!

Have a look at what you could have won!

Have a look at what you could have won! Spoke to a guy at networking today who'd bought new single vision glasses from his usual optician. He told me that he would have used us except for the fact that he knows his current optician well and feels a sense of loyalty towards him. Many people feel the same loyalty to their current optician - but is it reciprocated? I looked at his specs - he has a very high plus prescription but the lenses did not seem as thin as they could have been (certainly not the aspheric lenses we would have suggested). The frame was also too large for his prescription - meaning that the heavy lenses were pulling the frame down his nose so he constantly has to push them back up.

He would have paid over £460 for them, but his optician gave him a £40 discount (only after a bit of haggling though). I then did my Jim Bowen impression. I told him that we could have put him into a more suitable frame, with flatter and thinner aspheric lenses and saved him over £170.

I think he realised that loyalty can have its limits and he's going to come to us when he replaces his specs next year. Indeed, as he gets £200 a year from Medicash towards his specs, his next pair will cost him virtually nothing!

Beware of optician's 2-for-1 offers!

We know a local independent optician who is currently offering 2 for 1 on everything, plus £75 off varifocals, £50 off bifocals£30 off single vision. Sounds good, doesn't it! Or does it?

Because think of how expensive those glasses must be if they can give you 2 pairs for the price of 1 and knock that amount off their glasses and yet still make a healthy profit.

Just because it looks good (and a lot of these kinds of offers do initially sound tempting) doesn't mean that it is. Many offers come with different strings attached such as only being allowed to choose from certain ranges, lens choices etc. and if you want something different the price can shoot up.

We prefer to be more transparent with our pricing - no '2 for 1' offers or the like. We'd rather you get the right lens and frame combination for your needs and know exactly what your glasses will cost.

Plus, as our single vision glasses start at £20, if we did £30 off single vision glasses, we'd have to give you £10!

Help choosing frames?

A lovely lady came back for her sunglasses today. She's now decided she wants a pair of distance lasses as well. As I was on the phone I let her try a few frames on...I then popped out to help her choose a couple of frames. She said she'd tried a couple that she liked but wouldn't tell me which ones (she is clearly testing me to see if I know my beans). Long story short, after trying a few different frames on I suggested two that I thought were best for her - and they were exactly the same two pairs that she'd chosen! Of course!

However, I then showed her a rimless frame that I thought might suit her better - and that's the one she's going for. But she was mightily impressed by my frame choosing skills.

HD for the eyes

Saw a recent customer of ours in Coffee Co. in Bebington (on the Wirral) and asked how she was getting on with her new glasses (she's never worn specs before).  After her eye test she was curious to see what difference specs would make to her life. To say she was delighted is an understatement! She told me that her vision was much, much better but also that colours seemed brighter, everything was sharper and clearer and driving at night was no longer a problem. She only has a slight prescription but it seems to have made all the difference. "Its like having HD for the eyes" she said.

Many people are n the same boat - they think they're OK as far as distance is concerned but its always worth checking out - you could be missing out on a whole new experience!

Has your optician been bought up or closed?

If your local optician has now closed or has been brought by a large chain, but you still want the personal service then Specs2U may be the perfect choice. We like to spend time with all our customers, this allows us to offer you the best choice and solutions for all your spectacle needs.  So perhaps the time has come to switch to Specs2U.

Three for less than the price of two!

A lady popped in today, having seen our advert in the local paper. She'd had her eye test elsewhere and had been quoted nearly £200 (including a £59 voucher - so the real price would have been approaching £250) for two pairs of single vision glasses. After a discussion as to her needs and priorities, we're starting off with a basic £20 pair of near vision glasses for work (she's a chiropodist), Then she's coming back for a pair of distance glasses for driving and then a pair of sunglasses for driving when its sunny. We've worked out that she'll get three pairs of glasses and still pay less than she would have done for just two pairs. She's happy with the savings - and her hubby will now be coming to us for his glasses in the future as well.

Are you sure you don't need glasses for driving?









It's getting to that time of year again, where we're all driving more often in the dark and when this is combined with bad weather it can make driving very dangerous - so don't let bad eyesight add to your problems! In a survey conducted earlier this year, it was discovered that more than 1.5 million drivers in the UK had never had their eyes tested, one in eight had not had their eyes tested for more than five years, and of the 54% of UK drivers who believe they don't need glasses to drive, one third can't know this for sure as they haven't had an eye test in over two years.

Next time you get in a car with someone, ask them when they last had their eyes tested. If they already wear glasses for driving, ask them if they've got a spare pair in case their primary pair break. At Specs2U we offer full, high-quality sight tests, we can make glasses from prescriptions from other opticians if necessary and we can often make a basic pair of glasses on the same day if it's an emergency. Don't let people close to you take a chance on their safety and the safety of people around them.

Checking Specs2U out!

Just opened up to see three burly workmen outside the door. They'd seen our advert in the paper and wanted to find out more about Specs2U and what we do. Really nice blokes and all genuinely interested (well, they were here for 15 minutes so I assume they were). One lives in a street in Wrexham just round the corner from where I used to live! Anyway, they've gone away with lots of information and hopefully we'll see them again soon.

One price does not fit all

Although we have a set price list, we don't publicise it.  Our single vision lenses start at £10, our bifocals at £35 and our varifocals at £40. However, we have such a wide range of lenses, frames, coatings, tints, specialist lenses, specialist frames and also bespoke jobs that it is impossible to provide a simple 'one price fits all' list. We prefer to discuss with our customers what their requirements are, how they find their current glasses and what problems they want to address. We then suggest the best options in terms of frames, lenses and coatings to meet those needs - based on how much the customer wants to spend.

That way you get the glasses you need - and hopefully pay less than you would elsewhere.

Don't hesitate if you think something is wrong

A regular customer called us up from Chester saying that she'd lost the sight in one eye for about 10 minutes or so.  It had come back and she'd driven home but wanted our advice. Our advice  was to go straight to the hospital to get checked out.

We got a phone call this morning to inform us that she'd done so and the hospital had diagnosed a mini-stroke.  She's not allowed to drive for a month but had she ignored our advice and just left it, it could have led to a much more serious prognosis.  We're really glad that its been caught quickly - but its a lesson to us all.  If you think something is wrong, get it checked out immediately.

Happy Smiley People

A lovely morning in the branch today.  Husband and wife married for 63 years - she came in for an eye test and while waiting I had a chat with her husband.  A fascinating and enjoyable chat (he used to be in the Army and fought in Korea).  When she came out we had a lot of laughs as she chose different frames and she joked with her hubby all the way through.  Its great to see people so happy in each others' company - and in the company of others (they asked other people in the branch for their opinions on the frames she was thinking about). On leaving, he said "I've never had so much fun in an opticians before!".

Glad to see they enjoyed the experience!