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Your question about our service

These FAQs are designed to provide a better understanding of Eye examination | Frame | Lenses | Contact Lenses

The eye examination and eye health

Q.Can I have a free eye test?

ACertain people are entitled to a free eye test on the NHS. Click here to find out if you qualify.

Q.How old does my child need to be before they can have an eye test?

APre-school children can be examined, especially if there is a history of eye problems in the family. You can always have a chat with the optometrist who will advise you if they need to see your child. In some cases the optometrist will refer young children to the local eye hospital for a routine examination.

Q.I am nervous in case you find a serious eye disease.

AThis is a common concern. We look at it this way. Firstly, only a tiny percentage of patients actually have a serious condition so the chances are that you will be fine. In the event of you having a problem it is far better to have it detected early so that it can be treated, rather than allowing it to get to a stage where effective treatment may not be so likely. Many conditions that once were difficult to treat are now able to be treated.

Q.My vision is getting blurred and faint. Could I have cataracts?

APossibly. Come in and let us have a look. Your Optometrist will be able to tell if you have, and if you do, he/she will send you to see your Doctor with a referral, so you can be considered for surgery. Modern cataract surgery is extremely safe and quick and patients usually enjoy very clear and bright vision straight away after surgery

Q.Why do I need regular eye tests if I am diabetic, even though my vision has not changed?

AEven though your vision may be perfect, diabetic eye disease can affect your retina (the screen of the eye) very slowly. If the damage reaches an area called the 'macula' this can cause serious vision problems. If your optician spots the early signs of diabetic eye disease and refers you to your local Eye Department at the hospital for treatment then you are far less likely to go on serious diabetic related vision loss.

Q.Why do I need so many tests just for glasses?

ABy Law, when Optometrists produce a prescription for spectacles they also have to check that your eyes are healthy. This is because any changes in your vision may have been caused because of a health issue e.g. Glaucoma or Diabetes.

Q.Why don't you do free eye tests for everyone?

A Some companies run promotions to entice people into their practices. Here at Ideal Eyes, most of our patients return year after year. We do not feel it is fair to offer this service for free to some people whilst others have to pay. We view it as a gimmick and it does not fit in with the vision we have of ourselves as professional people, providing a professional service.


Spectacle Frames

Q.What happens if I see a frame elsewhere that I like?

AIt is often possible for us to obtain frames that we do not have in stock as we have access to many manufacturers. Just speak to one of our staff.

Q.What happens if my frame becomes uncomfortable?

APart of the service we provide is to adjust frames for you so you can wear them comfortably. In the very unusual situation that we are unable to adjust your frame to make it comfortable we will exchange the frame for you, at the Manager’s discretion.

Q.Why does the price of frames vary so much?

AThis is down to the quality of the manufacturing process, the materials used, the brand name and the warranty supplied by the manufacturer. Our luxury frames carry a two year warranty against damage.


Spectacle Lenses

Q.Can I have lenses that go dark in the sun?

ALenses that go dark in the sun are called ‘photochromic’ and nowadays a good rate and level of change is achievable in plastic lenses, for many prescriptions. We can advise you if your prescription is suitable for this type of lens. Remember; these lenses do not go fully dark in the car.  

Q.How can I have thinner lenses?

AA high prescription can result in unacceptably thick lenses. We can offer you a ‘high index’ lens which will reduce the thickness of the lenses in your spectacles. These have to be dispensed and fitted carefully to ensure that the best vision is achieved, as well as a good cosmetic result.

Q.How do I decide what sort of lenses I should have?

AThe dispensing opticians at Ideal Eyes are trained to be able to take all the necessary steps to find out which type of lenses you need.

Q.Should my employer pay for my glasses now I use a computer?

AIf you use a VDU regularly your company should pay for your eye test, unless you are entitled to a free examination provided by the NHS. Your optometrist will advise you whether your prescription is either wholly or partially for use on a VDU, e.g. Varifocals, in which case your employer should contribute towards the cost of the spectacles.

Q.Why don’t my reading glasses work on the PC?

AThis is becoming a more common problem as more and more people regularly use PCs and laptops. We advise patients to use Office Lenses which are designed to provide a greater range, so you can see the screen and read as well. Talk to one of our dispensing staff.

Q.Will I be able to try Varifocal lenses?

AMost patients can wear varifocal lenses provided they are fitted professionally and the correct design of varifocal is provided. All our varifocals have a no-quibble 8 week free trial period so if you really can’t get on with them we will exchange for alternatives and refund any difference in price.


Contact Lenses

Q.Can contact lenses get lost behind the eye?

ANo, this is not physically possible. Lenses can occasionally float off the cornea and you may have to take them out and put them in again.

Q.I have Astigmatism. Can I wear contact lenses?

AContact lenses are now made to correct astigmatism and many of these patients can successfully wear contact lenses when at one time it was not possible. Your Optometrist will advise you if your prescription is suitable for contact lens wear.

Q.Is it ok to lick my contact lenses before putting them in my eye?

ANo. This can cause serious eye infections.

Q.Is it safe to swim in contact lenses?

AGenerally this is not advised unless you wear a watertight goggle or close your eyes when you swim under water.

Q.My optician told me to only wear my contact lenses for 8 hours, but they still seem fine.

AYour practitioner examines your eyes to determine the length of time it is appropriate for you to wear lenses. Unfortunately the fact that they feel fine does not indicate that you can wear them for longer safely. A good analogy is: You can drive a car with bald tyres and it may still feel fine, until you hit a wet patch of road!

Q.Why can't I use my spectacle prescription to buy contact lenses?

AYour contact lenses rest on the tear film of your eyes; the spectacle lenses are in the air in front of your eyes. This difference in distance affects the prescription.

Q.Why do I need a new storage case for my contact lenses?

AOld cases become dirty and can be a source of infection. Replacing your cases regularly reduces the risk to the health of your eyes.

Q.Will I be able to feel my lenses in my eye?

AFor most people, soft contact lenses are very comfortable. The major cause of discomfort is dry eyes. We supply lenses and advice to try to resolve these issues.

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you. Please call us at one of our practices for advice, or to make an appointment; or if you would prefer, complete our contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.