Q: I have been told I have astigmatism – can I wear contact lenses?

A: Yes – Modern lenses make this problem much easier to address

Q: What is Glaucoma?

A: People worry because this is an ‘oma’. Unlike other ‘oma’s’ this is not a cancer. It is caused by raised pressure within the eyeball and is usually a slow moving painless and symptomless disease, although some rarer forms have a sudden onset and are painful. It will affect about 2% of the population within their lifetime, with the chances increasing with age. Although it is not curable it is treatable, usually with eye drops.

Chances increase to about 10% if there is a family history of glaucoma. As most forms are painless and symptomless, if there is a family history of glaucoma, an annual eye examination is recommended, and if it occurs the treatment can begin at very early stages.

Q: Can diabetes affect my eyes?

A: Yes – diabetes is the number one blinding condition in the working population. If diabetic eye disease is detected, the patient will be referred to the appropriate hospital.

Q: I have a pair of frames I really like – can I have my new prescription put in them?

A: Yes, if they are in good condition. We charge £20 to refit new lenses into standard frames as we ultrasound clean them and refit them for the new lenses.

Q: Do I have to buy glasses from you if I have my eye test there?

A: No – but we strongly advise that you go for an eye test to the place you chose to buy your frames. Correcting vision is a complicated procedure. If for any reason one is not happy with the result, or there is any dispute, there is no difficulty in identifying the cause of the problem if frames and lenses are provided by one supplier.

Q: How old should my child be before they have an eye examination?

A: It is a good idea to have a young eye examination if there is a possibility of a squint or a lazy eye, as this can be picked up. We are happy to see children as young as 3 years old.

Q: What is a lazy eye?

A: A lazy eye is when the eye is perfectly formed but does not connect properly with the visual centres of the brain, which is where vision really occurs. This is often due to one eye being much more long sighted than the other or due to a squint (turn) in one eye.

Q: I have seen a pair of frames I like in a magazine – can you order them for me?

A: If you bring us a picture we can usually order frames, if there is an identifying feature/mark.

Q: Can my child wear contact lenses?

A: Children adapt to contact lenses surprisingly well. We can fit contact lenses to younger children to control myopia (short-sightedness).

Q: Can I get swimming goggles or diving masks made to prescription?

A: We can provide protective spectacles for sports such as squash, where the chance of injury is high, and prescription swimming goggles or diving masks so scuba diving or snorkelling doesn’t have to be a blurred experience.

Q: I have slept in my contact lenses by accident what should I do?

Unless the lenses are designed to be slept in it is best to take out the lenses on waking and wear your spectacles for a day or two. If you do this regularly then talk to us about different contact lenses designed to be slept in.

Q: I’ve never needed glasses before but my near vision is becoming blurred

A: Usually this happens to all of us in our 40’s and is called Presbyopia (from the Greek meaning ‘old sight’) This can be corrected by prescribing reading glasses, although alternatives are possible including bifocals, varifocals and specialist contact lenses.

Q: Do you do NHS eye tests?

A: We do both NHS & Private eye tests. NHS Eye tests are available to children up to the age of 16 or up to the age of 19 if they are in full time education. They are also available to:

  • Diabetics
  • People with very strong spectacle prescriptions.
  • People with glaucoma or over the age of 40 with a first relative who has glaucoma (i.e. father, mother, child, brother, sister).
  • People on some benefits (eligibility will be changing as Universal Credit is rolled out – please contact us for up-to-date information).

Also NHS tests may be applicable to some people on low incomes for which they have to fill in a form which then takes about two weeks to process. People claiming NHS tests on benefits are required to provide proof of benefits. If a sight test is provided for financial reasons and spectacles or contact lenses are required, a voucher towards the cost of the spectacles or contact lenses will be issued. In our practice the voucher can provide a full pair of glasses from our budget range – with the balance being payable should a higher cost option be required. This covers children as well.

Q: My child has been diagnosed dyslexic – do they need glasses?

A: Although dyslexia is seen as a cognitive problem, many studies have shown that children with learning difficulties have a higher rate of visual defect. Spectacles will not cure dyslexia but in many cases they improve the situation. Coloured overlays may also help.

Q: What are cataracts?

A: Behind the pupil of your eye there is a lens which is about the size and shape of a small transparent smartie. This can become clouded due to age or trauma, making the vision go cloudy. The condition is treated in hospital by removing the lens and replacing it with a plastic implant. The results are usually very good. The operation is done under local anaesthetic and typically takes about 20 minutes. Usually one eye is done at a time. Under the NHS in Sheffield the waiting list is typically 3 months.

Q: What is ARMD?

A: Age Related Macular Degeneration. This condition can occur amongst the elderly and involves the degeneration or loss of the central part of the vision. This does not affect getting around as the peripheral vision remains, however tasks such as reading, television, driving and recognising bus numbers is affected.

Wet ARMD has a sudden onset causing central vision loss and distortion. If these symptoms occur, they need immediate attention and can be treated by injections into the eye.

Dry ARMD is a slow onset condition where central vision gradually becomes more blurred. At present there is no treatment, although low vision aids can be used to improve reading and day-to-day tasks.

Smoking greatly increases the chances of ARMD as does poor diet.