What is a qualified Dispensing Optician?

A dispensing optician is trained to interpret, and where necessary, modify optical prescriptions written by optometrists and ophthalmologists; and dispense and fit spectacles and other optical aids, including low vision appliances for the partially sighted. Their training involves in-depth study of Ocular Anatomy and Pathology (the structure, diseases and workings of the human optical system), Visual Optics (the mathematics behind the behaviour of light in different situations), Theory of Low Vision and Contact Lenses, Ophthalmic Lenses (the structure, design and properties of lenses), Vocational Ophthalmic Dispensing (Specific uses such as Safety Specs, Display Screen Equipment guidelines etc) and Professional Practice.

What does a dispensing optician do in practice?

Dispensing opticians advise patients on which types of lenses are best suited to their prescription and lifestyle. They also advise on spectacle frames, including advice on style, material, weight, colour and compatibility with their lenses. They then take frame and facial measurements to ensure correct fit and positioning of the finished glasses to give optimum vision performance. On delivery of the completed glasses they make adjustments for comfort and visual performance and also advise patients on how to wear and care for their spectacles The role requires extensive use of technical expertise, particularly in the manufacture, modification and repair of spectacles.

Do I need to bring my prescription?

Yes the prescription should be less than 2 years or should have been renewed as advised by your optometrist at the last test. Some patients need to be tested at more frequent intervals due to age or specific optical or health conditions.

Why are you cheaper?

I do not have the overheads that many High Street practices have, such as expensive shop rents and staffing costs.

I also do not have to subsidise the cost of eye testing. The fees charged for the eye test do not reflect the actual cost of the premises, staff and equipment required to carry it out.

What are your opening hours?

I am available 7 days a week by appointment.

How much cheaper are your glasses and are they the same quality as I can buy on the High Street?

I source my frames from the same suppliers as many High Street chains but I charge less for them. I carefully check all prices against the High Street and if you are able to source the frame cheaper, I will always match the price.

What if you do not have a frame I like?

I have catalogues to choose from and can order frames in at no obligation to purchase, for you to view. I can also help you to order frames on line. If you see a frame you like in another Opticians, I will try to source it for you if not I can put lenses into a frame that you sourced elsewhere.

If I order frames with you and they do not suit me, am I obligated to buy them?

No.  You are free to select alternative frames. I will either keep the frames you ordered for my own stock, or will return them to the supplier.

Am I limited to choice?

I have hundreds of frames in stock and hundreds more in catalogues for you to choose from. I can source whatever lenses are appropriate to your prescription and requirements.

Do you have Sports eyewear / sunglasses / safety eyewear?

I have both prescription and non-prescription sunglasses in stock, as well as specialist sports and safety eyewear available.

I tried varifocals before and could not get on with them, are they any better now?

Not all varifocals are the same. The latest varifocal designs employ Individual digital technology that can be used to tailor make varifocals unique to your prescription, hobbies and lifestyle. This means that far more patients find them easy to adjust to and succeed in wearing them.

What if I cannot get on with my varifocals, because they can be quite expensive?

You can have a 60-90 day trial with the new lenses and if you cannot get on with them, you have the option to change them for something of the same value or have a complete refund.

How long are appointment times?

As long as you want and you can return as many times as you like. You are under no pressure. There will be no one looking over your shoulder while you choose and you can take your time to decide. You can even take frames home to show family/friends.

Can you put new lenses into my original frames and do you charge for this?

Yes providing the frame is in reasonable condition and I only charge the price of the lenses. No extras such as glazing charges. Many good quality frames can be re-glazed (have new lenses put in), many times if they are looked after well.

Are you able to help re-fit and adjust my current glasses and do you charge for this?

Yes I can and will make a small charge of £10 to fit or adjust a frame that I have not supplied.

Do you accept NHS vouchers?

Yes. I am a registered NHS Optician.

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Ringlands Optics ... Debra Watts ... t: 01264 333 092 ... e: ringlandsoptics@live.co.uk

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