Frames: there is a baffling range of spectacle frames available in most optical outlets. They are made in many shapes, sizes, colours and materials. They are also made for different uses, reflecting the lifestyle and work of individual wearers. Dispensing opticians and optometrists are able to help you find a frame that complements the shape of your face, colouring and suits your needs. They will also take a set of measurements to ensure that the frame built for you fits correctly and that you get maximum use from the lenses.
Lenses: at the end of an eye test, if your vision can be improved by wearing glasses, the optometrist will write a prescription for a set of lenses. In some cases you will have a different prescription for each eye. Lenses are designed to bring your eyesight up to 20/20 vision and middle aged and older patients may be advised to have varifocals so that they do not require a second pair of glasses for reading or close work. Lens technology is improving all the time with new lightweight material becoming available that can self adjust to reduce light.
Contact lenses: contact lenses have been around for more than half a century. The material has changed over this period: hard or soft lenses being replaced by gas permeable and now disposable contact lenses. These lenses are able to compensate for long or short sight and are worn for a day then thrown away to minimise the risk of infecting the eye. Because a foreign object is placed on the eye, contact lens users are advised to have an annual eye check so that an optometrist can check the cornea to ensure there are no abrasions or other long term complications. While most wearers use contact lenses to improve their eyesight there are products that can change the colour of your eyes or make them a darker or lighter shade of the same colour.
Sunglasses: your dispensing optician and optometrist will be able to advise you on the most suitable sunglasses to lessen damage caused by ultraviolet light.
Choosing: dispensing opticians and optometrists are trained to help you select spectacle frames and lenses that suit your look, lifestyle and pocket. They will ask about your work, interests and preferences and then find you a selection of models to consider. They are aware of a set of principles that help them find frames they think will suit the shape of your face and colouring. The final choice is yours.
Care of glasses/lenses: as part of the service offered by dispensing opticians and optometrists, patients are given advice and tips about how to look after their spectacles. Things that will extend the working lives of eyewear like using both hands to take off or put them on, correct storage, best methods of cleaning and so forth. In the past they will also have advised contact lens wearers on the best way to sterilise these objects but most wearers today use disposable contact lenses so this is no longer necessary.
Adjusting: wear and tear during everyday use means that arm hinges become loose and the frame is bent out of shape. Your dispensing optician or optometrist will usually readjust the glasses he has sold you free of charge.
Warranty: generally your spectacle frames will have a manufacturer’s one or two year warranty which will cover things like faulty soldering or arm hinges. It does not cover damage done if your specs are chewed by a dog or they are run over by a car. Lenses also have a one or two year warranty.
Repair: dispensing opticians and optometrists not only help you find the most suitable pair of glasses but are also able to repair them. Most commonly, arms get loose when they are pushed to the top of the head and need tightening up, nose pads break off and spectacles become bent when they are sat on. Many of these repairs can be done in the workshop most dispensing opticians have behind the shop or, when parts are broken, new components can be ordered in to replace the damaged part.
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This page was last updated at 11:50AM on June 18, 2021. This information is reviewed and edited by Mahurangi Vision Centre - Warkworth.