At Bailey Nelson we're passionate about eyecare.
Our optometrists are trained to detect potential eye problems before you have symptoms, enabling early diagnosis and treatment that can help protect your vision for the long term.
During your eye tests our optometrists will check your vision and the health of your eyes using state-of-the-art equipment. Our optometrists will also assess your visual function to determine the impact of extending reading or computer work on your eyes and offer solutions to reduce eye strain.
We want your eyes to stay happy for as long as possible which is why it’s so important to have your eyes tested regularly. You should have an eye test at least every two years, or more frequently if recommended by your optometrist.
COMPREHENSIVE EYE EXAM
We offer free private eye exams when you buy glasses, otherwise eye exams are £25. Contact lens exams are £30 (including free lens trials and an aftercare appointment). Please note that contact lens examinations are for current contact lens wearers only - if you'd like to have a contact lens appointment with a teach and fit session, please reach out to us to book in with one of our optometrists.
Your Store Visit Explained
What to expect when you visit us in store for an eye test.
Before your full eye examination, you will have a pre-test. The optometrist uses the results of the pre-test during your eye examination.
Depending on your individual needs, a variety of different pieces of diagnostic equipment will be used in the pre-test. One of the most commonly performed tests uses a tonometer. A tonometer will blow a gentle puff of air onto the surface of each eye to measure the internal pressure. This is one of a variety of tests that allows the optometrist to assess your risk of developing glaucoma.
Other tests, such as autorefraction, are used as a starting point to see how long or short-sighted you are. These tests can be performed on separate pieces of equipment or on single multifunctional machines.
The optical assistant may then take a photograph of the back of your eyes using digital retinal photography. This image is saved and will be useful in monitoring changes in eye health on future visits.
The optometrist will check the health of your eyes and look for signs of other medical conditions. They will ask you if you are experiencing any eye problems and about your general eye health and lifestyle. It is important to have a clear understanding of your needs so that we can select the best management plan and/or lenses for you. Your optometrist will use a variety state of the art, fully integrated equipment including:
- An ophthalmoscope and/or a Volk lens examines the retina at the back of the eye, your optic nerve and its blood vessels - to make sure they are healthy.
- A slit lamp - a powerful microscope - is used to examine the front surface of the eyes. This checks for abnormalities or scratches on your cornea, iris and lens and is particularly important for contact lenses.
- You may also be asked to perform a visual field check. This lets us assess your peripheral vision to detect early glaucoma or problems that could be associated with headaches and other issues.
Your optician might need you to apply eye drops to dilate your pupils - don’t worry, we’ll talk you through it. This can make your eyes a bit blurred and more sensitive to light, which could affect driving. We’d recommend leaving plenty of time on your parking to allow them to wear off, or ask a friend or family member to drive you.
At the end of your eye examination, your optometrist will explain what all the tests and evaluations have indicated and recommend the very best options for your individual needs. The optometrist will also advise if you’re suitable for contact lenses.
Keeping you safe in store
When you come for your eye test things will be a bit different to normal as we work hard to keep you and our team safe.
- When you come for your appointment, one of our team members will meet you and talk you through the store distancing and hygiene measures in place
- We’re limiting the number of people in store at one time. Vulnerable people should be accompanied by an adult or carer but otherwise please attend alone
- To help us keep at least two metres apart, we will put stickers on the floor to help guide you through the store
- We’ll have hand sanitiser available to customers and team members throughout the store and we may take your temperature
- Our team will be wearing personal protective equipment that will be changed regularly
- We will be thoroughly disinfecting test rooms and testing equipment after each person we see
- If you try on frames, we’ll ask you to give them back to us when you’re done so we can give them a good clean before they’re tried on or touched again
Understanding your prescription
What do the numbers and words actually mean on your prescription? We'll give you a rundown on how to read your glasses prescription.
A + (plus) in the box indicates that you are long-sighted which means you find it difficult to see things close to you. A - (minus) shows that you find it hard to see things that are far away without glasses. The number might be very small, like 0.25, or a larger number, like 6.00. The higher the number, the stronger the prescription lenses required. This can influence your choice of frames. The higher the prescription, the greater the curve of the lens needed.
The amount of astigmatism (visual distortion) that is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea or the lens of the eye. An empty box means there is no astigmatism and your eyes are perfectly spherical. A low number like 0.25 means your cornea or lens of your eye is not quite round and a higher number like 3.00 means your cornea is quite oval.
The direction of astigmatism, measured in degrees. This is more for the lab to know how to position your lenses.
This usually indicates that your eyes do not work well as a pair. Prism lenses will provide you with the correction you need and help prevent double vision or headaches.
The base simply tells us where to put the prism when we’re making your glasses.
This is your reading prescription and relates to the amount of additional correction needed to focus at close distances. A measurement will mean you have different prescriptions for distance and reading. Sometimes another add for intermediate prescriptions is also required.
WHAT IS YOUR PD (PUPILLARY DISTANCE)?
Your Pupillary Distance (PD) is the difference between the centre of your right pupil and the centre of your left pupil, measured in millimetres. Knowing this number means we can make sure you’re always looking through the correct part of the lens, and we can’t actually make your glasses until we’ve got your unique PD. We need your PD to make sure your lenses align properly with your eyes.
This is the distance (in millimetres) from the centre of one pupil to the centre of the other. If it isn’t already on your prescription, we have an online tool you can use to measure it - you can - the tool is also available when entering your prescription in the checkout process on the website.
If you're interested, here’s how you can measure it yourself:
- Find a ruler that can measure in millimetres.
- Stand in front of a mirror, close enough to read the measurements.
- Start with your left eye. Rest the ruler on your nose and line up the 0 on the ruler to the outer edge of your left pupil (while you’re looking through your left pupil). The outer edge is closest to your ear.
- Holding the ruler steady, shift your focus to your right pupil. The inner edge is closest to your nose. Your PD should be between 55 and 70 for most adults.
- Check the measurement a few times to ensure it is accurate.
Wearing contact lenses as well?
If so, you’ll need a separate prescription, as contacts sit directly on your eye. While a contact lens prescription can usually be written at the same time as your glasses prescription, you’ll probably need a few visits to make sure the fit’s correct, your vision is good and you’re comfortable. Already have a script? No problem. We have access to and can supply most contact lenses available in the market.
How often should I get my eyes checked?
Prescriptions expire, so it’s important to keep track of the date you should come back for another test. Getting regular and comprehensive eye exams don’t just keep your prescription up-to-date – they help you stay on top of your eye health as well.