I’ve been wearing glasses since I was nine years old and have had my regular eye test appointments at the same family-run opticians since then. Recently I’ve been struggling a little with my night vision when driving and was about to make an appointment at my usual optician when I was offered a voucher from Specsavers for an eye test and glasses. I’ve never been to Specsavers before and it seemed the perfect opportunity to try somewhere new.
I made my appointment by telephone although you can also do so online. I had to reschedule my original appointment at fairly short notice due to my father-in-law being rushed into hospital and I had no problems with either making the appointment or having to reschedule it.
On arrival, the Uxbridge store was spacious and clean, with friendly and welcoming staff. I found the waiting area was a little on the cosy side but I didn’t have to wait too long before being taken through to a small area for some preliminary tests. My prescription was roughly measured by an autorefractor machine which involved me looking at a picture of a balloon which gradually came into focus and then a second machine (called a tonometer) squirted puffs of air into my eyes to measure the pressures inside the eyes. The last test involved looking into another machine to have pictures taken of the backs of my eyes – a process called digital retinal photography. Other than the first test, all of these three were very familiar to me from my previous eye tests.
Once these tests were finished, I was taken through to a second (slightly more spacious) waiting area to wait for the full eye test with the optometrist. The optometrist I saw was very friendly and put me at ease instantly. She started by showing me the retinal photographs, explaining all the different areas seen and the significance of them. Whilst everything looked healthy, she did notice that the blood vessels seen on the image were a little wiggly which was a possible indication of high blood pressure and advised me to have this checked. I do have a very strong family history of high blood pressure but thankfully when I did have mine checked at my local pharmacy later that day it was fine.
The rest of the eye test was very much what I was used to already – reading the test chart and looking at an 8 on a red and green background, trying to decide which looked clearer while different strengths of lenses were tried out. I wasn’t surprised to learn that I needed slightly stronger glasses than the ones I already had.
Before choosing my new glasses though, there was one final test to check my field of vision which involved looking at dots on a screen with flashes of light appearing in various points and clicking a button whenever a flash of light appeared.
Specsavers have a great range of frames to choose from, with prices starting from as low as £25 and two-for-one offers on frames from £69. I treated myself to some very nice glasses from the Aurora range, designed by Twiggy, which were £125. The prices of the frames included standard lenses although I opted to pay more for the Extra Thin and Light lenses with Ultraclear coating, which is an anti-reflective coating. Given that glare is my biggest problem with night vision, the coating should help to improve this.
It took just under a week for my new glasses to arrive and I’m really pleased with them. I’ve not yet driven at night whilst wearing them so have yet to test the night vision side fully. I have been a passenger in a car at night though and I think the glare was better so I’m feeling hopeful on this front.
Overall, I was very happy with my experience with Specsavers. The sight test was £22 which is cheaper than my current optician and I’m happy with the price of the glasses and the quality. I found the staff friendly and welcoming and all steps of the eye test were fully explained throughout and the process was thorough – taking around an hour from start to finish. Whilst I won’t be switching for now (I’m happy to pay a little extra to keep seeing the optician I’ve known for over twenty years), I would certainly consider going to Specsavers if I do decide to change in the future. If you are looking for an optician though, I would certainly recommend going to Specsavers.
I received a voucher to cover the cost of an eye test and frames from Specsavers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.