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What We Do Different

We believe the key to a good eye test is who does it.  Our people are at the heart of what we do.  We invest in training and equipment to make sure that when you come to us it is a friendly and expert service.  Our fully qualified Optometrists (usually one of our owners, brothers Mark or Christopher Steven) are members of the College of Optometrists and enjoy undertaking further training in areas such as therapeutics and also love contact lenses, constantly updating their knowledge so giving you access to the world's most advanced contact lenses and products.  So you can expect:

• Fully trained, expert Optometrists.

• Contact lens experts with access and knowledge of the latest materials and lenses giving you the best chance of contact lens success.

• An unrivalled spectacle lens knowledge meaning we use the best lenses for you. As many people now realise, not all Varifocals are equal!

• The time one on one with our Optometrists to make sure the optical solutions we deliver are taylor made for you.



NHS Eye Test:  FREE

Private Eye Test:  £35

Contact Lens Check:  £40

Contact Lens Trial:  FREE

Private Eye Test + Contact Lens Check:  £75

NHS Eye Test + Contact Lens Check:  £40

You are entitled to a free NHS Eye Test if:

•you're aged under 16

•you're aged 16, 17 or 18 and are in full-time education

•you're aged 60 or over

•you're registered as partially sighted (sight impaired) or blind (severely sight impaired)

•you've been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma

•you're 40 or over, and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucoma

•you've been advised by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you're at risk of glaucoma

•you're a prisoner on leave from prison

•you're eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher – your optometrist (optician) can advise you about your entitlement

You're also entitled to a free NHS sight test if you:

•receive Income Support

•receive Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not Contribution-based)

•receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit

•receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance  

•are awarded Universal Credit

•are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate

•you are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)

People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help.


What To Expect

As opticians we sometimes forget that an eye test, for some people, is a step into the unknown so this section hopes to give you some idea on what to expect when you visit us with answers to some commonly asked questions.

I can see fine, why do I need an eye examination?

Studies have repeatedly shown the sense people most fear losing is their sight and yet many people do not attend for regular eye tests. Although your vision may appear fine, many ocular diseases, such as glaucoma, will go unnoticed in the early stages and the later they are discovered the harder it can be to treat them. In normal circumstances you should have an eye test at least every two years unless advised otherwise by your optician. Annual tests may be needed depending on your age or medical history.

What happens during an eye test?

Our standard eye test lasts about half an hour as we take our time performing all the tests we feel are necessary to ensure your ocular health, although it may take a little longer if the optician feels as though some extra tests are necessary and sometimes, rarely, a second appointment maybe necessary.  Your eyes will, most likely, be examined by one of our current owners, Mark or Christopher Steven, members of the College of Optometrists and from a long family history of Optometry stretching back to their Great-Grandfather who owned an Opticians in North Shields. At D J Preston Opticians, no two eye tests will be exactly the same as each one is tailor made to suit your needs but during the test we will:

* Take your History and Symptoms

* Check your visions

* Perform ocular motor balance tests

* Perform basic field screening

* Check your intra-ocular pressures (important for detecting glaucoma), depending on your age/family history

* Examine the external and internal structures of your eye

* Check your pupils react normally (pupil defects can give an indication of a range of different health problems, not just to do with the eye)

* Issue a spectacle prescription and offer advice on what we feel would be best for your eyes

This is the minimum we will do. There may be other tests that our opticians feel are necessary, using our state of the art equipment but he will advise you at the time of your test.

What sort of things can be detected at an eye test?

The range of ocular diseases that can be detected at an eye test is never ending (for anyone interested the website shows ocular photos from hundreds of different ocular diseases). The most common conditions seen by our optometrists on a regular basis include:

* Glaucoma

* Diabetes

* Macular degeneration

* Cataract

* High blood pressure

Will I be obliged to buy glasses?

No, never! As mentioned earlier we are a small family business and as such none of our staff have “sales targets” to meet, as in some opticians. They are under no pressure to recommend glasses to you unless they feel as though they are clinically necessary.

I have seen some glasses I like elsewhere, can I get my eyes tested with you and get my glasses there?

Of course you can, but we would not recommend it.  The eye test and the glasses dispense are two sides of the same coin and when they are separated inevitably problems can arise and then the patient is having to go between two different opticians, which is unsatisfactory for all parties involved.  That is why we always suggest you get your eyes tested where you intend to buy your glasses.  We are sure they will be almost as good at testing eyes as we are!  If you do get your eyes tested with us, take your prescription elsewhere and have problems we refer you to the Optical confederation advice below, endorsed by the Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS):

The following guidance changes traditional thinking on some aspects of handling non-tolerance. In essence it states that when a practice accepts a “walk-in” or outside prescription then they should also accept responsibility for financing and managing any non-tolerance issues.

It is not good for the patient, or for the image of the profession, to have patients getting bounced back and forth between practices. It is also unsatisfactory to expect the prescriber to fund replacement lenses when they had no control over the supply.

It is not always easy to ascertain whether a non-tolerance issue is due to a small Rx difference, a particular lens type, the frame/lens fitting, a fault in the spectacles or a combination of these. It might appear easier to pass responsibility for resolving this elsewhere, however this is rarely if ever satisfactory from the patient’s perspective. In any event, all practices experience a small proportion of non-tolerance cases in their own dispensing and this is already factored into the practice costs.

This guidance has been endorsed by OCCS.