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Eye Like These Lenses
Member Name: MarcoG
Advantages: Easy to use, affordable, good customer service
Disadvantages: Poking yourself in the eye
NB: This review is about Specsavers and their Contact Lenses, not the Spectacle and Eyetest Departments.
I have been a customer of SpecSavers for at least 12 years now. I've had to wear glasses my whole life, and only have sight in one eye. For a very long time, I was never allowed to wear contacts lenses. I was advised that there was too much risk of me getting an infection in my good eye - potentially developing sight problems or even worse, causing me to lose my sight and be classified as blind. Over the years, with the advance in technology, the risks seem to have reduced. Upon having my eyes tested, I saw the nice people at SpecSavers who told me I could have contact lenses...at last! I was delighted as I was getting fed up of my glasses and really wanted some alternatives. Eager to go for the simplest option, I wanted daily disposables - I didn't want to risk keeping the same lenses and catch an infection if they weren't cleaned properly. At that time, daily disposables didn't come in my prescription. I'm also astigmatic (which means my eyeballs are rugby ball shaped), so needing toric lenses. So, daily disposable prescriptions that fit my criteria, just weren't available. Caving into the desire to be without glasses, I got the monthlys and became spectacle-less for the first time in my life.
Normally, if you wear contact lenses, you have two different lens, one for each eye. As I can only wear one contact lens, I got half of what customers would get regularly. People always think it's weird that I only wear one lens, but as I can't see out of my bad eye, there's no point - likewise, in my glasses, I just have a piece of plastic (or balance) lens for my left eye. At the time, I was paying for about £20 a month (less than the price of two lenses) and for that I received, in my quarterly lensmail post:
1) 3 contact lenses (to last 3 months)
2) Enough solution to make sure I clean could clean the lens after I had taken it out.
3) And a little pot, that when the lid was taken off, you could see that it was attached to a little cage, that would flip open, for you could keep the lens safe. Then you would fill up the pot with the solution, screw the lid back on, with the lens cradled in the cage, suspended in the solution to keep it moist and sanitised.
If I ran out of solution, I was always able to pop back into my local SpecSavers where they would give me extra for free. My lensmail package arrived in a long, flat, green box. The best thing about it, was that it was so convenient, it just arrived on your doorstep - there was no faff or hassle about having to go back to your local SpecSavers to pick up more lenses - they came to you.
How I got my Dailies
When I was at Uni in Cambridge, I lived with 3 housemates who were all studying to become Optical Dispensers. On a regular basis, they would share with me the highs and lows of eyecare. When they found out I could only see in one eye - I would find myself spending a few evenings sat in a chair, whilst they shined lights into my eyes and compared each one, asking me lots of questions (it's ok, they paid me with vodka, so I didn't mind). They would encourage me to go and get eyes checked, to see if there were any more variations of lenses I could go for. After receiving a letter from SpecSavers, telling me I was due a check up, my contact lens Optician informed me that I could now get dailies. New prescriptions and strength of lenses were becoming more and more available. I didn't particularly enjoy the fuss of monthlys, and having to clean and care for my lens after use, especially with the little voice at the back of my head saying "have you cleaned it properly, you don't want to go blind now, do you?". So, finding out that I could get dailies after all, I leapt at the chance to get them and haven't looked back.
Pay as You Go
I found with monthlys, that I wasn't wearing the lens as much as I thought I would, so the PAYG option really suited me. After a lens check up I found out that I could get even better dailies for my prescription, so of course, I ordered them. The problem with me and contact lenses, is that whilst I love the idea of them, I sometimes find that I don't wear them as much as I should. I work at a computer all day, so it's easier on my eyes just to wear glasses. I find my lens dries out quickly, because I blink less, so my eye can feel irritated. I found that if I open a monthly lens, I have the rest of the month to use it, before I need to dispose of it. So, I might only end up wearing it twice or three times in a month. Whereas, with dailies, I just buy a pack of 30, toric lenses, and open and use them whenever needed - so no need to worry about how long a lens has been open for or wasting it - the dailies are simply plug and play, so to speak.
The beauty of daily disposables is that whenever you fancy, you open a contact lens from its blister pack, and pop it in your eye. You know it's clean and fresh to use, as the pack hasn't been opened. The voice at the back of my head about infection has gone completely. Sometimes my eyes get tired if I wear them for a long period, so as long as I have my glasses nearby, I can pop out the lens at any point, and just throw it away. So simple!
I regularly receive letters from SpecSavers, inviting me to have my eyes, glasses and lens checked. I always have to go for the contact lens check wearing my lens, so they can look into my eyes and check its health, plus how the lens is sitting, or floating on my eye. Invariably, the lens needs to change prescription - not because my eyes have got worse, but because they have created a better lens for me. My prescription is such that I can't get lenses that are as good as wearing glasses, but with each check up, my sight improves due to the prescription getting that bit better. Therefore, each letter is usually greeted with a degree of excitement that I might get even better contacts.
I have always had great service from SpecSavers, and wouldn't go anywhere else. One thing I've noticed, is that if I'm talking to the staff about a problem I have with my eyes, they always seem to demonstrate that they're listening to me and understand, by repeating back what I've said in their response - a very useful customer service technique that I appreciate. For instance, if I'm talking to them about only having one useful eye, they've said to me in the past, that the dailies option is better for me, as it must take a weight off my mind, knowing that they are fresh out of the pack each time I use one - which reassures me that they want what is best for me, as their customer, rather than what will get them the most money.
When I first got my lens, they were very patient with me, to show me how to put the contact lens in, and how to take it out. I felt a bit of a wally, sat in front of a mirror with them, pulling my eyelids all over the place, trying to poke the lens in - but with the use of humour, they were able to train me how to do it, without making me feel uncomfortable or stupid (after all, it is weird having to fight your natural reactions to blink and stop yourself from poking your eyes out).
I find them to be punctual and generally running on time for my appointments, and any delays are greeted with profuse apology. They are organised, and my files are always up to date, and never lost (even when I moved from home, to university, to back home again). I remember going to another optician when I was at school, and they kept losing my notes (but that was for glasses, not lenses), so a lot of time was wasted at each visit. Specsavers are professional, and have a distinct air of showing care for the customer, and perhaps more importantly (in the current economic climate) giving them the best value.
If you wear glasses and have thought about getting lenses, I would definitely recommend heading over to SpecSavers for a check-up to find out how you can get the right contact lenses for you. You will probably be surprised at how straight forward and simple it is to get your eyecare perfected with the right options (monthly or daily lenses) to have a spectacle free face.
Thanks for reading :)
© MarcoG 2012
Summary: Excellent service for fragile eyes. Contact lens department always gives great service. Recommended