From the 1960's limited choice of unpopular NHS frames with their utility lenses spectacles have come a long way. Glasses no longer need to be heavy, frumpy and boring – unless that is what you want.
Spectacles can be very expensive, but they need not be. On the other hand think about how much each year you spend on your appearance, your car, your mobile phone, your computer and your home. Your glasses spend a lot of time on your face, they are the first thing most people will notice about you – don't you owe it to your self to make sure the glasses on your nose tell the world who you are?
Whatever specs you chose, make sure they fit and are always adjusted to suit your face. Glasses that are constantly slipping down your nose are not just annoying they can be dangerous.
Today's spectacles are designed to be functional, funky and/or fun. By selecting different frame styles made from modern materials you can influence how others see you.
- Do you want people to see you as the cool, calm professional at work,
- Young and fun-loving outside of work
- Maybe the dedicated elite athlete when exercising.
- Choose multipurpose lens types that can be worn from morning to night-time; or lenses that enhance your vision in the office, others that are designed for comfortable vision when driving, or maybe protective lenses designed for exercise and leisure.
- A spectacle lens can be thick or thin, nearly invisible or highly reflective, protective from UV or lightly tinted, clear or dark, protective for sport, DIY or work – what type of lens would you choose?
The Dispensing Optician (DO) who works alongside your Optometrist really is the best person to advise you on frame styles and lens choice.
- Your DO knows which styles are fashionable, durable and/or best suited to your face and life style.
- Your DO is the only person who can advise you as to which ophthlalmic lens type, design and/or material is best for your prescription, life style and frame style.
The cost of your spectacles is made up of 3 elements
- the material costs of frame, lenses and glazing
- a dispensing fee which takes into account the time taken by your DO to discuss and assess your best options, and means that your DO will be available to make any adjustments to your glasses over the lifetime of your spectacles eg if they get bent, or a screw needs tightening or replacing.
- an overheads element which goes towards the ongoing costs of running the practise – ancillary staffing, utilities etc.
This should help to explain why glasses can be bought cheaply from some outlets but appear to be expensive from others. It all depends on the type of service you want.
As ever, 'buyer beware':
- The bargain that seemed too be good to be true may turn out to be worth what you paid
- Too often the cheap option is only a short term fix – you often end up paying out more to fix the problems created by giving into temptation and being a cheap-skate.