How do I choose a new optician?

We all know that eye care should be one of our top health priorities, especially with the amount of time we spend daily in front of screens, but do you know what should be on your checklist when selecting a new optican? Do you go with a big name brand or a smaller local practice? A practice that has the cheapest frames or a huge designer selection?

In this blog we’ll look at the most important things to consider when choosing a new optician to help you get the best eye care service you can.

#1 – Find a friendly expert

Although most opticians will have the relevant qualifications and experience, they all have their own individual areas of expertise and interest. Selecting a new pair of glasses and deciding to go to a particular optician is always a very personal choice – much like selecting a doctor. Therefore, not only should your optician be well qualified and suited to your needs, but friendly and on the same wavelength as you.

Have a look at their areas of expertise and what courses they have completed lately. All optometrists have to do a certain amount of continuous professional development to keep up their accreditation so it’s worth finding out more about this. 

Read more: Eye tests – an important healthcare tool

#2 – First impressions count

These days it’s so important for a business to have a web presence that represents them and what they stand for. Some quick internet research should give a good idea of what the practice does and the services you can expect. If you can’t find all the information you need on their website make a list of questions you can ask when you phone to book a consultation.  It’s also really useful to read any reviews that they’ve been given to get a feel for the type of customer service they provide. 

When you’re ready to book an appointment with your optician of choice, give them a quick call to ask any questions. Often it’s first impressions such as how good their booking process is or how receptive they are to answering additional questions that can make or break a great optometry experience.

The same goes for the practice when you visit. An optician that’s welcoming and well laid out makes for a much more pleasant experience than one that’s either too cluttered or too clinical. 

#3 – Time is of the essence

Another important part of buying a new pair of glasses is finding an optician who can offer a suitably long appointment and provide a detailed consultation. The last thing you want is a whistle stop test which is crammed into 20 minutes and leaves you feeling rushed and unsatisfied. 

Our eyes are all unique and there’s no one size fits all approach which is why it’s so important to get a comprehensive test and Q&A session which covers all eventualities.

It takes time to find the best lens for you – and your optician should be ready to take the time. If your optician seems stressed and impatient, or if they only use professional jargon that you don’t understand then you’d be better off ending the consultation and going somewhere else.

#4 – Dispensing

Once you’ve had your eye test and your glasses are ready for collection there are still a number of things a good optician will do to ensure your prescription and frames are correct.

These include things like how well you can see overall wearing them, are they optimally fitted and if any adjustments need to be made. If your new glasses feel uncomfortable or there’s too much pressure on the bridge of your nose these issues need to be dealt with immediately. It’s not like buying a pair of shoes and wearing them in. 

A good optician will be a perfectionist about the dispensing process and want to ensure that you go away completely happy that your sight is as clear and comfortable as it can be. 

Read more: How much do glasses cost?

#5 – Warranty and service

The final part of your optometry experience should be the aftercare that the practice provides. Make sure to ask about warranties and how long they last for. You’ll want to know what happens if you need to get them repaired or need additional modifications.

A good optician will want you to be happy with your new glasses for as long as you have them and be prepared to offer additional aftercare services without hidden costs.

Above all it’s important to find an optician who isn’t there to provide a hard sell or meet KPIs, but rather has the best interests of your eye health at heart.

For more information about what we do at McConachie’s Eyecare or to book an appointment with Stuart, please contact us.

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