Q - What is the difference between and Optician and an Optometrist?The term `optician` covers all types of opticians: ophthalmic, dispensing and manufacturing. An ophthalmic optician is now known as an optometrist and is qualified to examine eyes, recognise disease, prescribe and fit spectacles and contact lenses (providing they are on the appropriate opticians register). A dispensing optician is qualified to fit spectacles, and may have done additional qualifications to enable them to fit contact lenses too (in which case they call themselves `Contact lens opticians`). A manufacturing optician makes the spectacles.
Q - Does wearing glasses make you dependent upon them?
There is no evidence to suggest that wearing spectacles makes you more dependent on them. Most people need to wear spectacles more as they get older, particularly if they are long-sighted, and wearing spectacles does not increase (or decrease) this dependence. If you go short sighted when you are in your teens this is because your eyes are growing (short sighted eyes are too big) and this also tends to get worse whether or not you wear your spectacles. What people find is that, when they get their first pair of spectacles their vision is so much clearer and more comfortable with the spectacles than without them, they are reluctant to use the effort to see without them. They are then surprised when they take their spectacles off that their vision is apparently worse without them than they remember it being. In fact, their vision is not actually worse without specs than it was before they had the spectacles, but they have become accustomed to seeing more comfortably because they have spectacles.
Q - Where should I buy my glasses from?
The prescribing and dispensing of spectacles are very closely linked and it would be in your best interests to have your spectacles dispensed where you have your eyes examined. It is often more difficult to resolve any problems you may have with your spectacles when prescribing and supply are separated.
Q - Can I purchase a corrective lens spectacle over the counter so as not to waste anyone`s time?
Readymade reading spectacles to correct presbyopia (which is the condition which happens as we get older and need a prescription to read but not to see in the distance) only can be sold by anyone. These spectacles are limited in that they have a maximum prescription of +4 Dioptres and right and left lenses are identical. You should not avoid having your eyes examined regularly (at least every 2 years) as an eye examination does not only check your sight but it also examines the health of your eyes. Many conditions, such as glaucoma, are more common as we get older and do not cause any symptoms until permanent visual loss has occurred.
Q - Can you stop short sight getting worse?
Short sight is usually caused because the eye is too big or the cornea is too steeply curved. That is why it tends to happen during the growth spurt of puberty. Whilst you cannot control how large (or long) your eye becomes, some people believe that wearing rigid contact lenses may slow down the progression of the short sight by reducing how steep the cornea becomes.