Do you do everything within your power to protect your sight? Are regular eyesight tests and check-ups things you ensure you have? Are your glasses kept to hand for when your eyes start to feel tired? Do you stick to the time limit given to you by your optician regarding how long you should wear your contact lenses for? Up until recently, we’ll be honest, we would have had to say no to all the questions, especially Vicky. Being able to see is such a wonderful thing. Yet for years we have neglected its importance and our eye’s health to varying degrees. Our years of abuse have left Vicky with badly scarred and ‘veiny’ eyes, Mr ESLT with slight pinguecula (from working outside for most of his life) and both of us with dry eyes, meaning we have to use drops on a daily basis – tut!
Therefore, when we were both invited to have a thorough eye examination at the York Vangarde branch (just on the outskirts of York city centre) of M&S (yes, Marks & Spencer – diversity is key for success after all), one of the five branches across England (currently) that has an in-house optician, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to to get our sight and eye health checked as it had been a while for both of us – double tut! Also, we were both in dire need of a new pair of glasses, so we were eager to see what the M&S Opticians had on offer for us.
Booking an Appointment
When it comes to booking an eyesight test having to phone to make an appointment it often too much hassle. It really puts me off doing it or I just simply forget or something else crops up. However, as M&S Opticians offer an online booking service and I spend two-thirds of my life on the internet (triple tut!) I (Vicky) could book both mine and Mr ESLT’s appointments easily. It made sense for us to visit on the same day as close together as possible. By doing that it meant we could share a car (and do a quick food shop while there too).
The system is super easy to use simply Google (other browsers are available) M&S Opticians and click ‘book an appointment’ in the top right-hand corner of the screen. We chose the store we wanted to visit and then the date. The system then showed what appointments the store had left for that date in the morning, afternoon and evening. We chose the times most suitable for us, filled in some personal information (name, address, date of birth etc) and once done we both received text messages and an email each to confirm our bookings. We then received a further text message each the day before our appointments to remind us.
Tests and Checks
The first room we both visited was the prescreening room. Here we found three different machines, each of which looked at or checked different things in our eyes. Everything was explained clearly and fully, therefore, ensuring we completely understood what was happening and why. We had photographs taken of the back of our eyes to check the health of the optic nerve, field of vision tests were completed and also glaucoma test carried out. All the tests for both of us came back fine but I’m glad we had them just in case something had been wrong.
Next up we both had a vision test. Mr ESLT’s prescription was roughly the same as it has been for around 10 years. Vicky’s, on the other hand, had actually improved in her left eye. She even asked for it to be double checked and it definitely had, albeit a little bit. It was explained to her that as she’s getting older (ugh!) short-sighted people’s vision can become better gradually, but then your reading vision starts to deteriorate. But until that happens she’s taking her (short term) improved vision as a win.
The optician was fabulous. She was extremely friendly and explained things fully. We don’t have a fear of visiting the opticians, however, some people do, therefore having someone who makes you feel at ease is a must. We were also asked if we had any questions which was a nice touch, instead of simply being bombarded with information. Vicky, ever the talker, asked about the photos of the back of her eyes worried that they were not healthy. The optician put her mind at rest and explained what the photos showed they were fine. It’s important to note however if you often see black spots in your vision it could be a sign of a detached retina (always useful to know, plus you never know one day it may be the answer to a quiz question).
Picking Some Glasses
I don’t know about you, but for us picking glasses is really tough. We both have a ‘style’ that we usually opt for. Therefore we both migrated directly for our ‘norm’. Luckily we had Barry on hand to help pick the right ones. He informed us his “face doesn’t lie”. Which meant when we tried pairs on, that didn’t suit us, he let us know. We liked this approach because after all, it is other people that have to look at you wearing the glasses, you simply need to look through them.
As Vicky’s eyesight is terrible (not the technical term, obviously) she was advised to pick a thick frame to hide as much of the thickness of the lens as possible. And because of Mr ESLT’s pesky pinguecula, it was advised that he opted for transition lenses. You know the ones – they get darker the brighter it is which will protect his eyes from further UV damage. Luckily M&S had lots of frames to chose from both in their designer and their own range, of which a number of different styles are offered, each available in at least three different colours. With frames starting from £40 there are options for most budgets.
After trying on every pair of frames in the place and with a lot of help (and patience) from Barry we both finally made our choices. We then sat with Barry while he did some final face and pupil measurements and completed the necessary paperwork. We were told our glasses would be ready in three weeks. It would normally be quicker but Christmas and New Year were in the middle of that. Happy with our choices and the service we’d received we headed home eager to return in three weeks to pick up our new specs.
Collecting Our Glasses
We both received a text message within two weeks (and before Christmas) saying that our glasses were ready to pick up. Therefore, we braved the journey the weekend before Christmas to get them. We were, in turn, asked to try our new glasses. Checks were carried out to ensure that they fitted us properly, that we could see through them (after all that’s the point of having glasses) and that we were happy with them. We were informed that if either of us had a problem with either pair that we could come back and have them checked out.
We have both been wearing our glasses a lot since we picked them up. In fact, favouring them over our contact lenses which means our eyes have not been as dry or itchy. In fact, we have made it a New Year’s resolution to wear our glasses a lot more to ensure our eyes stay healthy. With lots of computer work, driving and long-haul flights on the agenda for the next couple of months, getting our eyes tested and choosing some new specs could not have been better timed. Couple that with how easy the process was and M&S Opticians get massive thumbs up from us!
- We were invited to review M&S Opticians and given a pair of prescription glasses each in exchange for a review. Opinions are of course our own!
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