Optical Confederation responds to Which? consumer survey glasses advice

The Optical Confederation (OC) has responded to the Which? article ‘Best and worst optician shops for 2016 revealed by Which? survey‘ (16 August) that may be unhelpful to patients buying prescription eyewear.

Getting the right pair of glasses, with a prescription that suits the user, and a fit that is right as well as comfortable, is more complicated than it seems. Problems with eyewear can be more common when patients exercise their right to take their prescription and shop around.

Speaking for the Confederation, professional adviser at the Association of Optometrists (AOP), Geoff Roberson, said: “Many patients understandably view their prescription as being either ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ but there are many factors involved in the prescribing and dispensing of tailored visual correction wear. The lenses and the fit of the glasses work together towards a good or bad result. Glasses are bespoke items, tailored to individuals’ needs, and not all frames or lens types are suitable for all people so it’s important that a patient gets a professional service which optimises their vision and lifestyle. When buying glasses, the things to consider are – purpose, vision correction, quality, fit, comfort and eye health. It is very often better, as well as easier, to have glasses dispensed where the sight test is conducted.”

OC Chair, Chris Hunt, said: “As Which? shows, the UK eye health sector is second to none and brings high quality care and choice to over 21m people a year, protecting the nation’s sight and playing an important public health role as early identification of eye disease. People access optical services for a variety of reasons – to check the health of their eyes, to find affordable vision correction for their lifestyle, including high fashion styles, and to protect their vision eg from the sun or industrial situations. This is reflected in the wide range of different provider models and approaches patients can choose from whilst showing universally high scores for satisfaction wherever people decide to go.”