Monday, April 30, 2012

Glasses: Style, Cost and Must Haves

We all know how stressful it is when it comes to getting a new pair of glasses, it may seem as easy as walking in to the opticians, taking a test, picking a frame, paying and then returning in 2 weeks to collect them. This is almost true apart from we tend not to realise the amount of choice there is now and how many additional options are available.
Eye Test
You start off by booking your eye test at your chosen opticians, you should do your research, look at reviews of previous users, look at what their prices are like and what offers they have in store. Family run opticians or independent firms tend to be the most professional an best for money.
It may also be an idea to walk into a few before booking your eye test to have a look at what they have on offer, the prices, and what the staff are like. You could also enquire on the average time for production. Although some opticians seem to have amazing offers they may not be the best opticians when manufacturing the lenses or on staff knowledge which can lead to lots of wasted time and repeat appointments getting things fixed.
Make sure you investigate any incentives or government funded schemes as sometimes an eye test is free for certain people, for example the elderly and children. Naturally, opticians look to make the experience as relaxed as possible for children whereas adults are expected to provide more specific and useful feedback during the test. Once the optician has talked you through the result they will then take you back through to the main store where an assistant will help you choose the best pair of spectacles for you.
Choosing Your Frames
You need staff who know about frames and are helpful but not pushy, remember you have the final decision.  Frames are normally laid out in sections for children, men and women then again by price.  You normally have an idea on what style and colour you are looking for which will give the staff a starting point. If you like a certain frame but not the colour remember they most definitely come in another colour which is not on display. Most opticians will also have a machine where they will take a picture of you with your chosen frames on, so then you can put on your glasses and take a look at the picture to see what you think. This is just one of the great ways in which technology can help you make the right choice.
The cost of frames vary depending on the brand and style. Once the frames have been chosen you will then need to look at the type of lenses you need or want. Now these are 2 different things. The need will always come first as this will be the set minimum price, you then need to take in to consideration if you would like the lenses to be thinned to look a little less obvious in the frames. There is also the addition of the anti glare/shine, the light sensitive lenses where they change into sunglasses when the light changes. Then anti chip and scratch protection.
All of these are additional costs which aren't necessarily thought of when looking at frames.
If you permanently wear glasses it may be worth looking into Health cover where you pay into a monthly or yearly scheme and can claim back a percentage of the cost. Alternatively it may be wise to save a little each month as glasses, even for children, are expensive. Children also have the added pressure from their peers which makes selecting the best frames extremely important.
Contact Lenses
Far from the old lenses which needed cleaning and storing daily there are a range of options including those which can be used daily or monthly and come at a fix cost every month or 3 monthly. Be aware that you may not necessarily be able to wear them due to the strength of the prescription or you may not feel comfortable when wearing them.
Opticians also recommend sunglasses, as you can now chose a normal frame but have a sun reactive lens or sunglasses lens. Which again will work out to be roughly the same cost as your normal pair, however some opticians may offer a buy one get one free or get sunglasses free offer. It’s worth seeing if higher quality opticians you have investigated will match some or any of the offers you’ve seen in lower quality businesses as many will be keen to win your business.
Glasses are a big part in your day to day life, so spending that extra bit of money and time will be worth it in the long run. You need to look after your eyes as long as possible, so good advice, support and design are crucial.