Buying glasses. Like marriage, it is not an estate to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly and in the fear of looking stupid.
ney I must confess to having fire in my belly out this Topic. I am the proud owner of two multi award winning optical practices and I am myself a qualified optician.
I would like to make three points if i may;
1. Going to the opticians should be fundamentally about getting your sight tested and checking the health of your eyes.
This week alone we saved two people from going blind. All in a weeks work
2. When you have your eyes tested you do not have to buy from the opticians it is your right to shop around
Again this week 100% of my customers that needed glasses bought glasses from us when asked for value for money 95 out of 95 scored over 4 out of 5 !
3. You get what you pay for. Yes I agree you can pay over the odds for a optical product but follow a few simple steps to find out if you are getting value for money;
Frame : Ask how long did it take to make ?
Cheap stuff ie starts from £29. The frame takes about 15min to make and is produced on a large scale. You will get discoloration it is unlikely to last more than 2 years. No spring sides. Good stuff starts around £60 up to £350 and can take up to 180 day to make. Lasts 5- 10 years. An added bonus to this is exclusivity, you are not going to look like everybody else!
Lenses: Single vision lenses (the ones you use when you are under 45 years old) start from £15 and can go upwards to £100. Where is the added value here? Well …. the middle of the lenses have to be in the middle of your eyes otherwise you can get double vision and not see in H.D. Get it measured by a qualified optician.
All the extras: refraction free coat. This one is so easy to find out if you are getting ripped off
How many layers of coating has the lense got?
Between 1 and 3 layers do not pay more than £35
3-25 layers £35 to £70
25-100 layers £70 to £150
The more the layers, the easier it is to clean, the longer it lasts and the better you can see through it.
I think where the big money savings are vairfoacls. They are a bit like buying a mortgage from the bank. Make sure the place you are buying the varifocals from is independent and is whole of market (i.e. they sell all types of varifocals)
Compare like for like if one place says the price of its best varifocal is £100 this same lens could be in the price book of another at £50 but branded as the basic lenses. The better the lenses, the less ’swimmy’ feeling and the less head movement required.The good stuff starts at £100 using digital technology.
I hope I have not bored you. Its difficult to get hard facts about optical industry products but I recommend you do your research. Generally you get what you pay for. A trip to the opticians does not mean spending money on new specs