When I first suspected I might need glasses, almost exactly two years ago now, I booked myself an appointment at my local Black & Lizars store for an eye exam. Turns out I did need glasses, and no longer did I have to screw my eyes up and peer at the screen every time I used my laptop. Hooray!
Having had a great experience there in the past, I was delighted when Black & Lizars got in touch to ask if I would like to come in for an enhanced eye exam and check out their new spring/summer frames. Eye health isn’t the most glamorous of subjects, but I think it’s really important to find an optician you feel comfortable with – just the same as you want to be in the hands of an excellent GP or dentist.
Enhanced Eye Exam at Black & Lizars
Black & Lizars have branches across Scotland (find your local one here), including several in Edinburgh. Recently, I joined the team at Trotter’s Opticians, a Black & Lizars practice located on George Street, for an introduction to the brand at their Spring Style Evening. Armed with a Caorunn G&T, I perused the new spring/summer frames from top designer glasses brands. I particularly had my eye on the DITA Eyewear frames, which had a bit of a vintage-inspired look.
After getting a taste of what was on offer at the event, I booked in for an enhanced eye exam at my local branch, Lothian Road Optometrists, When I visited for my last eye test, I just chose the standard test rather than the enhanced one, so I was intrigued to find out what the difference was.
The enhanced eye exam offered by Black & Lizars is the “gold standard” of eye care, and it’s the most detailed eye test currently available in the UK. It’s also slightly longer than a standard eye test (around 45 minutes), giving you plenty of time to discuss any concerns or ask any questions.
The exam starts off with the usual NHS test most of us are familiar with – reading letters from a board and looking through various lenses to determine your prescription. After that, the interesting part begins! Black & Lizars use technology like Optomap and 3D OCT to get a comprehensive look at the health of your eye, making it easy for them to detect any problems.
During my exam, I had 3D images of the back of my eye taken, and an extra-wide, extra-detailed picture of my retina which covers five times more area than standard eye test photos. I also did a peripheral vision check and had the pressure of my eye recorded, all of which gives the optometrist an idea of how healthy your eyes are.
You never really think about the health of your eyes, but they’re such an important thing and catching any problems early could be the difference between keeping or losing your sight. My optometrist made a really good point during my enhanced eye exam – even if you don’t need glasses, you should get your eyes checked every couple of years to make sure there aren’t any problems brewing beneath the surface. This is particularly important if you have a family history of any eye-related diseases. Luckily, my eyes were looking just as they should be and it really put my mind at rest knowing I didn’t have anything to worry about.
Choosing My New Glasses
I had been fancying some new glasses for a while, and after my eye exam told me my prescription had changed since last time, it seemed like the perfect excuse! Each Black & Lizars store carries a slightly different range of glasses, focusing mostly on premium and designer brands like Ray Ban, William Morris, Oliver Peoples and Chloe.
The lovely ladies in the Lothian Road store helped me pick out a few frames based on the sort of styles I liked. It was a pretty tough job to narrow it down, but I eventually settled on a beautiful pair of Tom Ford frames. They’re not the cheapest frames, but they’re so comfortable, well-made and stylish, so I think it’s worth spending a little bit extra on something you’re going to wear pretty much every day!
I also opted for some premium Nikon lenses which are easy to clean, give really clear vision and come with a scratch guarantee. I was expecting my glasses to take around a week to be made up, but they were ready to collect the very next day. I popped into the store to do some final adjustments and make sure the frames fitted properly, then I was good to go.
My Experience at Black & Lizars
The whole process – from the eye exam to choosing frames to picking up my glasses – was really easy. All the staff were very friendly and helpful, offering a personal touch and honest advice that you don’t always get elsewhere. The whole experience felt very relaxed, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Black & Lizars.
When I was chatting to the ladies in store, they mentioned that Black & Lizars also offer a free contact lens trial service, so you can test out contact lenses for a couple of weeks to see if they’re right for you. I’ve never used contact lenses before, and I don’t think I’d wear them every day, but they would come in really handy for the occasional night out or holiday – so I think I’ll have to book myself in for a trial soon!
If you’re on the hunt for a new optician, fancy some new frames or just want to find out more about the health of your eyes, take a look at the Black & Lizars website and book yourself an appointment at your local store.