Throughout lockdown, opticians have been helping people who have broken their spectacles and need an urgent replacement, as well as those with red or irritated eyes or other problems with their vision. Read on to find out how a dispensing optician (DO) can help you, and why you should ask to see the DO when you next visit the opticians.
Routine eyecare was suspended for a few months in 2020, but optical practices continued to deliver essential and urgent/emergency care, and in many practices the DO was at the heart of this.
A registered dispensing optician has studied for three years to develop the skills and knowledge they need to provide eye health care, to help when you when you have concerns or want advice. If you need new spectacles they can help you choose the best frames and lenses to suit your face, your employment, your lifestyle and of course, your prescription.
Children’s glasses must be dispensed by a registered practitioner – it’s the law
Did you know that, by law, children must have their spectacles dispensed by a registered practitioner, such as a DO? The DO can also provide you with tips on getting your child to wear their specs, and will adjust your child’s specs as many times as they need to stop them slipping. Children’s face shapes change as they grow, they are more active than adults, so their specs may need regular adjustment. The DO is the specialist in this and always happy to help.
If you are unsure if you need to visit an optical practice, take the first step, pick up the phone and speak to a DO.
Dispensing opticians can help with many minor eye conditions
Many DOs have further specialist skills such as those who have trained as a contact lens optician (CLO). As well as fitting contact lenses, and providing ongoing care for contact lens wearers, some accredited CLOs in England can work in minor eye conditions services, providing care and advice on sore, irritated or red eyes.
They can provide the right treatment, or refer you on for further investigation if needed. These accredited CLOs can also carry out monitoring checks for patients with raised eye pressures, which saves regular visits to the hospital.
All DOs can help people with low vision. There are many types of magnifying aids available, and technology is developing rapidly to help people with sight loss. Ask a DO to advise which technology, lighting and aids will help you or a family member who is struggling to see.
If you are unsure if you need to visit an optical practice, take the first step, pick up the phone and speak to a DO – they will be able to advise or signpost you to the help available. Whether you need your spectacles replaced or repaired, have a problem with your vision, a query about contact lenses or a sore eye, the DO will help.