I was lucky enough to be sponsored by Boots Opticians to attend BritMums Live. They very kindly paid for my travel and accommodation, which was handy! 
As a part of the package, I was sent to my local Boots for a free eye appointment a few days before Brit Mums Live. I wandered in, not really expecting much, on account of the fact my eyesight had clearly not changed. 
Ninety minutes later, I left the opticians with an order in for a shiny new pair of glasses with Transitions lenses with a clever coating that actually repels dirt. Oh, and the knowledge that my eyesight has somehow improved to the point that I could legally drive without my glasses. 
What I learned during my eye appointment is that Boots have had a massive change in the way they price their glasses. Remember before, when you used to go shopping for glasses and have no clue what you were spending until they rang it all through the till (at which point you tried not to faint)? Boots have done three things to change their glasses:
1. The price on the frames is what you pay for the frames including normal lenses. You can pay for added extras, like Transitions Lenses and Protect Plus, but that is also clearly labelled. 
2. All Boots lenses now come with Boots Protect coating as standard. 
3. When you buy your glasses, all additional pairs you buy are half price. So if you want to go mad and buy a pair of reading glasses, some sun glasses, a pair for Thursdays, you can.
The Boots Protect coating is the special coating you used to have to pay £40 extra for. It reduces glare from bright sunlight and also protects against UV – but not just on the outside of the lenses. Sunlight often sneaks down the back of your glasses, reflects off the lenses and gets into your eyes, so they put the protective coating on the back of the lenses too. The guy told me all this, and I nodded and went “oh, right” and was suitably impressed but it wasn’t until I went to the meeting before BritMums Live, and learned more about UV damage, that I realised just how important this was (that will be covered in a different post).
They also demonstrated the Protect Plus coating for me – this is the one you pay a little extra for. Not only does it do everything the Protect coating does, but it’s also scratch resistant, and has something I call “toddler proofing” – the coating actually repels water. The nice man got one of the lenses and a felt tipped pen and showed me how you can’t even really draw on the lenses very well, and it wipes off really easily. 
I was really impressed with the service at Boots Opticians. They take a photo of the back of your eye as standard, and show it to you in your examination. The optician pointed out the parts you normally see in that drawing from science text books, and showed me what we would be looking for in the event of glaucoma (runs in my family) or other damage. They keep a copy of the photos on file, so that they can compare back to previous photos and track any changes.

What I was also really impressed with, was the help I received in choosing my frames. The man who was serving helped me to narrow it down to two frames, and then we enlisted the help of another member of staff to help us decide between those two. Whenever I’ve chosen frames before, it’s been me, on my own in the corner of the optician’s, with no clue what I’m doing!

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Vicky is a mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. She writes about life as a single mother, parenting and lifestyle type things.


Isobel Morrell · 08/07/2014 at 19:48

Thanks for that Boots puff! Am about due for another eye test I think, and am moving from where I currently live. Might give them a try out may be!

Caroline Muspratt · 09/07/2014 at 10:31

I have been with Dollond & Aitchison since I was a child which has now merged with Boots opticians so the branch I use now is a Boots. I've never wanted to change to another optician as I'm very happy with them.

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