Sunday, 7 June 2009

My Experiences with Opticians

I sometimes wear glasses, have done since I was 19. My first pair were brilliant & I could actually see through them, They were also photochromic, quite heavy as they were glass & cost £39 + £5 for the test, a weeks wage.

The optician visited Edwinstowe where I then lived, on a friday afternoon every 3 weeks, he'd test your eyes one week & bring your glasses the next time he came.

I wore those glasses when I needed to, which was outdoors for the sun but mostly at work, I was in quality control at Mansfield Hosiery Mills [they made jumpers for Marks & Spencers by the time I worked there] which meant I was looking at jumpers for missed holes with bright lights behind them, nearly everyone in the same job ended up wearing tinted or photochromic lenses as our eyes had become sensitive to light.

A few years went by, I changed addresses & jobs but still wore my glasses whenever I went out to help with the light sensitivity, I could also still see perfectly well with them so don't think my prescription had altered much.

Eventually after about 12 years wear they ended up getting damaged beyond repair [yes I sat on them once too often], but then I could hardly afford the eye test, let alone new glasses so bought photochromic sunglasses from Boots as my prescription hadn't been very strong anyway.

By the time I reached 35 I decided it was high time I had an eye test, I went to Anthony C Stephens in Heanor. By then I was well able to afford decent glasses, the test was done & went to pick my frames. I wanted frameless glasses but the man said my glasses were for reading & frameless wouldn't cope with being constantly on & off so picked out some 'Joan Collins' frames, they were [and still are] lovely. As I'd been told by this man that I needed them for reading I didn't bother with any sort of tint.

I collected my glasses, looked through them, everything was huge & out of focus.
I tried them for a week, but couldn't read with them & was now suffering with headaches so went back. I asked the receptionist to check what my glasses were for because I could read perfectly well without them & with my book virtually at the end of my nose, I demonstrated it with a magazine for her, she wasn't really impressed.

The optician came out. 'They're not reading glasses, they're for distance'. She said that they are my prescription & was told to 'let your eyes relax into them'. The stupid man managed to look sheepish while the optician glared at him as she'd guessed what he'd said about them being for reading, obviously he was a complete t***er & I vowed never to return [very quietly, under my breath of course - I am English]. They cost £139, I can't remember how much the test was then.

I wore the glasses, they looked fab [I was told as I couldn't see myself properly in the mirror]. They made me physically sick, they seemed so strong, everything was swimming & I was dizzy. I persevered for 2 weeks until I could cope no longer with them & put them in the draw where they still live. I got them out the other day & was amazed at how strong they are.

For my next test I went to Specsavers at Sutton in Ashfield, I took my 'Joan Collins' with me as requested when I made the appointment so they'd know my last prescription.

Had my eye test, was told that my sight had improved since my last test, chose my frames, got 2 pair of glasses, 1 tinted brown, the other clear. Collected them 2 weeks later, hmm, 'everything is blurred' I said. 'Give them time', I was told.

I gave them 2 years, where I lived in a blur with them on so only wore them at work where there were no great distances to make me feel sick [they weren't too bad mid-distance] & went back to photochromic sunglasses for outdoors.

I went to Specsavers [when reminded] at Sutton again.'why?' you may ask, 'still trying to fathom that one out myself' is the answer. Had the test, 'Oh your eyes have improved again'. I chose 1 pair of reactions [photochromic] as they were on offer.
At last I can nearly see, the reactions were great but things still weren't what I regard as clear.

3 years later, Sutton Specsavers again, had the test, yep same story 'your eyes have improved'.
New glasses, 2 pair, 1 of them reactions [wrong time of year for the reactions offer, so paid extra].

Another 3 years went by. After constantly being reminded that my sight test was long overdue I made us appointments at Skegness Specsavers as we spend more time at Skegness than at home.
They checked the strength of my glasses, had the test, 'there's no significant prescription difference from the glasses your wearing now but you need reading glasses', I had suspected this as I'd taken to wearing my distance glasses for reading. I was asked if I'd considered varifocals. I hadn't so decided that I'd just pay for the eye-test & buy some cheapo reading glasses from the £1 shop [I've got a pair in every room].

Two weeks ago, I again had my eyes tested at Skegness Specsavers which was a bit of a farce to start with, as the day before we were due to go, they confirmed our morning appointments by text then an hour later phoned to change them.

Of course this was whilst I was in Bon Marche changing rooms balancing on one leg, half way through trying on a pair of shorts. My grumpy old man usually phones me whilst I'm in roughly the same position to tell me that he's finished doing whatever he does at the bookies [he has explained how it works, many, many times, I so wish he wouldn't] & is waiting outside. Unfortunately [at times] my ring tone for him is a recording of him singing 'Chantilly Lace' starting off with 'Hello you good looking thing, this is the killer speaking, do I like what? I sure do like it baby' & finishes with me laughing when he's forgotten the words. This has caused many titters in adjoining changing rooms as it takes quite a while to find the phone in my small bag of many zipped compartments.

Anyway, to cut the phone conversation short as I'd got one leg & my bum stuck up in the air & was holding myself steady by leaning against the wall with my forehead, I told the lady that I'd call in to Specsavers to rearrange my appointment as I was already in town. They managed to get me in that afternoon & the grumpy old 'Jerry Lee Lewis' fan the following afternoon.

Had the test, you know how it goes, flash! flash! photo's of your eyeballs, look at the balloon, then sit to wait your turn with the optician.
I went in. The optician had a good look at my eyeballs which were healthy as usual. Aha, crunch time. I'd now decided that I wanted glasses I could see through so told the optician [optometrist, whatever] that I couldn't see though my glasses & wore them outdoors out of habit because they were reactions but found I was mostly looking over the top of them. He said "no, you won't be able to, [you've guessed it] your eyesight has improved". He told me to read the letters with my glasses on, I got to the 3rd line & got no further, "ok, try without your glasses" I read that line & the next, he tried 1 lens, "better or worse?" "about the same" I told him. That was the extent of my test apart from the peripheral test I had afterwards.

Decided to give varifocals a go this time as my most crumbly friends are always extolling their virtue.
Picked nice 'elegant' frames with the aid of one of the friends. Was sorted out by a lovely man, the offer was either 2 pair of glasses, £49 off the total or free reactions. My choice was obviously the reactions.

Went to pick them up last Friday, S**T, 'um, my distance is blurred'. 'varifocals take some getting used to, try them & any problems just come back'. My other half also collected his glasses at the same time, he'd had the same, varifocals & reactions. Just before we came away the nice man looked at our paperwork & said to my grumpy old man 'yours will change to brown' then to me 'yours will go grey'.

I was rendered speechless by this statement, I'd once tried grey photochromic sunglasses, I had them a week, I threw them away as they were so depressing. Everything, even though it was summer looked wintery & dull.

I hadn't been offered a choice of reaction colour & automatically assumed they'd be brown as it had never entered my head that they offered grey. My frames are gold so the grey lenses look naff as well as being depressing, I made my other half look through them to prove my point about how depressing they are, he agreed, they're awful. Apart from that, I have got used to the varifocal bit but I still can't see through them clearly through my left eye, not without turning my head to the left & looking through them at the inner most point.

Guess where I'm going tomorrow? Put it this way, I ain't paying £234 for 'reading' glasses I can only wear in the dark! ...

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Be nice, I'm very sensitive.