Double Vision - the end of a saga

A few weeks back, we had a discussion about diplopia (Double Vision), prism lenses, bi- versus vari-focals and the pros and cons of going to a chain optician.

Back then, I was having a problem with $pec$avers home visit service. I had contacted them at the end of May, had a test in July, waited almost a month for the glasses, which were wildly wrong on delivery. A retest in September (by the boss of the local franchise) produced a radically different prescription to the first test, and three weeks later the “new” glasses arrived - and were wrong again! I got a refund in mid October, and set about finding an optician who was accessible by me (within 100 yards from a disabled car park, and on the level). I found one about six miles away (their local branch is too far from the car-park).

I had a test on the 4th of this month. It was a really thorough test, and my diplopia was checked very carefully. Surprise, surprise, the prescription is different again, including a variation on the prisms that I had been told was not possible to get. I ordered some new glasses, and picked them up today. I drove home at night, and I wear them now.

The price was much more than $$, but they work! After the holiday I intend to get another pair of frames re-glazed as sunglasses.

What disturbs me is the thought that there are some optometrists out there who half do the job, and a few housebound OAPs who accept that their “new” glasses are correct because they do not have the knowledge to challenge what they have been told. Quality is always good value, but rubbish is rubbish at any price, and no amount of special offers can change this.


Geoff, I could have written a similar post. I had new varifocals made by a High Street chain that I’d been using for years. I knew they were wrong. I was retested but they stood by their prescription and wouldn’t change them. I went to an independent optician a few miles away that we used to go to as a family when I was a child and he agreed with me, they were wildly out,

He made some new ones which are fine. They were more expensive but I can’t do anything about that. I wrote a magnificent letter to the other place and they refunded me immediately without question.

i was also concerned that there are people who, for whatever reason accept a wrong prescription and are stuck with poor vision when it is unnecessary, mainly disabled or elderly folks. It can’t have been just me. My Mum at 80 couldn’t get on with her new glasses but refused to take them back, she just kept wearing her old ones.

At least I never drove in them, I couldn’t see well enough!

Last March - l had ‘multi-functional lens replacement op’ on my eyes. Several of my friends have had it done as well. We were all so fed up with wearing spectacles - taking them on and off - some wore contacts - some had special glasses that cost the earth for astygmus - [if that’s the right word] Some having worn specs since they were small children. We are all in the mid 60’s to 70’ age group. Most of us had it done by Dr Mark Wevill - in Leamington Spa. Two friends went to Bristol to OpticalExpress. Now this is not ‘Laser’ treatment - this is actual lens replacement. lt takes about 15mins to do one eye - and YOU DO NOT FEEL A THING - its amazing. Straightaway l could read the smallest of print. We have 20/20 vision - and what is so good about it is that the eyes will never deteriorate. Two of my friends already had cataracts - so that is resolved with this procedure - and of course we shall never get cataracts.

lt was the best thing l ever did - and everyone of us is over the moon with it. At first, l thought - l can’t let anyone touch my eyes - and l was not going to do it. Then after talking to a friend ‘a real whimp’ - l was so surprised that he had gone ahead and done it - that l looked into it even further. Space Healthcare in Leamington Spa - give you an assessment to see if you are a suitable candidate - and talk you through it all. They did not pressurise any of us to have it done. We nearly all discovered we had ‘blepharitis’ which is an age-related thing - where the oil ducts in our eye-lids become blocked - so we all had to use drops and heat-pads to re-dress this. One of my neighbours pays over a £1000 for special lenses - and has even been to Harley St to a specialist who said he could not do anything for him - and now he is amazed with his new eyes.

Even colours are much brighter - and at first l was wearing sun-glasses when l went out on my scooter. l can read the tiniest of print - and read all the credits on the television. My daughter said we all have ‘bionic eyes’.

After a hip and knee replacement - that is far from successful - at last l have one thing that is perfect about me.

Well I made the decision to keep my varifocals. They have taken some getting used to but I think the prescription is ok. I have to ensure that they are right up to the bridge of my nose, and are kept clean, but I am wearing them a lot more than I wore my old single vision glasses. Even to read/use my iPad.

I’m glad you got yours sorted finally Geoff.

I quite like the idea of lens replacement Spacejacket, the trouble is that after all the years I’ve worn specs, I tend to hide behind them. When I look at my face without glasses on, I look strange to myself!

Worth a thought for the future though.


By an odd coincidence, my glasses saga has also finally come to an end today.

As reported here previously, I made the opposite decision to Sue, and decided to give up on my varifocals, and revert to ordinary single vision distance lenses.

I got the cheaper (actually reserve) pair made up, and have been waiting ever since for the shop to call me about the readiness of the “proper” (more expensive) pair.

Well, they never did. They have a history of NOT calling back, even though I asked them to, as I am not often passing by anyway. Well, today I happened to be, and popped in on the basis that either the glasses must be done by now, or else they’d just lost the whole order!

Well, they were done, so now I have a main and reserve pair of single vision glasses.

I think I will end up in varifocals eventually, but I probably made the step too early, and my sight is still a bit too borderline to properly benefit - i.e. doesn’t really need correcting for close work - the only thing that stops me seeing close-up are my distance glasses. My uncorrected near vision is fine.

So I’ve finally ended up OK. And my distance vision actually needs a less powerful prescription than previously, so my specs are less like milk bottle bottoms - for those who still remember milk bottles. They are both thinner and lighter, without having to pay extra to choose ‘Thin and Light’.

I do agree, though, with all that has been said about how worrying it is that some well-known high street franchises seem to be pretty pot-luck when it comes to prescriptions - especially for complex lenses - and presumably, some patients do put up with a wrong prescription, because they trust the optician, and are unaware that anything better might be achieved.


Sue, lt did take me a while, to get used to couple of my friends, who had worn glasses since infants - to see them without. And l did keep putting my hand up to my face, to ‘remove’ my reading glasses , after looking at some small print - only to find l now do not wear them. Every handbag - and in the car - l had several pairs of reading glasses. But now - l can read the menu - read the dials in the car - follow the satnav map etc. But most of all was the times l fell over whilst wearing my reading glasses as l sometimes lost my balance because l looked away from what l was reading, and my eyes were out of focus. l do feel safer - especially when out on my scooter - l now can use my mobile phone without the need of specs.

The week after having my lens replacement - l had an appointment for a clean and polish at the dentist. He wore specs - so l told him about what l had done. And l told him that it was completely painless - no like having your teeth cleaned and polished - which l tolerate - but do not like.

The money saved from not having to pay for replacement specs - new frames and lenses - soon pays for the procedure.

Eye make-up is easier to put on - so is plucking eyebrows and the odd hair on the chin - [did l really go about with whiskers]