Specs Clinic

Help

Answers to common questions.

Is my frame suitable to have new lenses fitted?

If you have a good quality frame and you have looked after it , then there is no reason why you cannot have new lenses made to your new prescription and fitted into your own frame. If however, the frame has suffered previous damage or has been soldered, rethreaded screws, bent, or become brittle through UV exposure then it may not be possible to replace your lenses as this runs a risk of damage occurring to the frame. We strip down every frame before replacement lenses are ordered and we will ultrasonically clean the frame so it is as good as it can be on its return to you. If we feel that the frame will become damaged during the refitting process then we will reject the order and let you know why. If the frame is bent out of shape we will reshape the frame. If you order Bifocals or Varifocals, you must supply a frame that already has your old Bifocals or Varifocals fitted in it as we need the lenses in place to ensure our measurements are accurate. The measurements we take from your existing lenses are Optical Center and Fitting Heights. If you supply a frame without your old lenses we cannot replace your lenses with new ones as these measurements are critical. If your frame is new or you want to change your lens style from a Single Vision to a Varifocal or Bifocals for instance then we recommend you call in to our store and let us take accurate measurements. (there is no fee for this).

Frame Types

The colour and style of a frame is a personal choice based upon the look or image an individual is trying to achieve. A plain black frame and business suit can create a professional image, whilst a wrap-around frame and mirrored lenses will portray more a sporty and outgoing style.

Some people prefer to choose frames that are minimal and neutral appearance such as rimless frames, in a colour that blends in with the tone of their skin, hair or eyes. Others may prefer to create a bolder statement with their eyewear and opt for a heavier looking frame in a contrasting colour or one that is highly decorative.

Frame types and materials

There are three groups of spectacle frames available and all are available in a wide range of materials.

The three frame types: Full Rim, Semi-Rimless, Rimless or Inline.

Full Rim Frame

This is a standard type of spectacle frame with a rim that covers the entire lens, they are available in all frame materials and are the most common and robust type of spectacle frame.

Semi-Rimless (Supra)

A popular frame type that usually has a rim covering the top half of the lenses, whilst a nylon cord is set in a groove cut into the lens itself and this supports the lenses at the bottom. A number of modern fashion frames have a rim both at the top and bottom with a nylon cord on the temporal edges of the frame front, which leaves the lenses exposed at this point. There are other examples of supra frames such as for half eyes (reading specs), where the top of the lenses are held in place by a nylon cord and the bottom half has a rim. This allows for more comfortable viewing when looking over the spectacles, without the awareness of the frame rims. It is widely recognized in the optical industry that semi-rimless frames should be glazed only with a specific few types of lens material. The exact material used will be influenced by an individual’s prescription strength. Lenses of standard thickness in refractive indices 1.50 or 1.56 are generally considered to be too brittle and may crack or chip easily even with light use.

Suitable Wearer Profile – people who wear their glasses for extended periods without removing them and those who have relatively low to moderate prescription strengths.

Unsuitable Wearer Profile – people who frequently remove their eyewear and those who leave their specs lying about when not in use. People with jobs, hobbies or lifestyles that mean their eyewear is subjected to heavier than standard use. This frame style is not recommended for any high prescription values in either plus or minus powers.

Rimless

These frames can be minimal in their design providing the wearer with the least obvious eyewear style (especially when glazed with anti-reflective coated lenses), or they can be highly decorative and flamboyant. Chopard produce rimless frames and coat the frames in precious materials such as gold, silver or platinum. Some pieces are produced with wooden sides or are decorated with crystals and semi precious stones. There are many ingenious ways in which the lenses are mounted into rimless frames, but it is worth noting that these are the least robust type of frame. It is widely recognized in the optical industry that rimless frames should be glazed only with a specific few types of lens material. The exact material used will be influenced by an individual’s prescription strength. Lenses of standard thickness in refractive indices 1.50 or 1.56 are generally considered to be too brittle and may crack or chip easily even with light use.

Suitable Wearer Profile – If you wear your eyewear for extended periods without having to remove them, they can offer a light and comfortable frame option. Due to the visible edges of the lenses, this type of frame is only recommended for low to moderate prescription strengths.

Unsuitable Wearer Profile – people who frequently remove their eyewear and those who leave their specs lying about when not in use. People with jobs, hobbies or lifestyles that mean their eyewear is subjected to heavier than standard use. This frame style is not recommended for any high prescription values in either plus or minus powers.

Inline

This frame is the least widely produced of the three types and is easily mistaken for a standard full rim frame; however the way in which the lenses are mounted is very different to that of a full rim frame. In a standard full rim frame the lenses are cut with a beveled edge and this is fitted into the grooved rims of the frame. Inline frames require the lenses to be cut with a groove instead, similar to that used for a semi-rimless frame. An inline frame has very thin metal rims shaped like blades which then slot in the grooves cut into the lenses. It is widely recognized in the optical industry that inline frames should be glazed only with a specific few types of lens material. The exact material used will be influenced by an individual’s prescription strength. Lenses of standard thickness in refractive indices 1.50 or 1.56 are generally considered to be too brittle and may crack or chip easily even with light use.

Suitable Wearer Profile – inline frames are generally quite a robust type, having a mount that supports the entire lens similar to that of a full rim frame. However, unlike a full rim frame, due to the necessary style of glazing these frames they are only recommended for low to moderate prescriptions.

Unsuitable Wearer Profile – this frame type is suitable for all but the most demanding and heaviest users of their eyewear and those with high prescription values in either plus or minus powers.

Important!

It is essential to note that both supra and rimless frames are not as robust by design as either full rim or inline frames. If work or leisure activities mean that your handling of eyewear is heavier than normal, or that it carries a risk of impact, then a supra or rimless frame is not recommended. We also do not recommend either frame type for people who require single vision reading lenses and frequently need to take their spectacles off. Wearers of reading specs commonly suspended the frames around their necks by cords or chains and may leave them lying about, placing the eyewear at risk of being damaged.

Lenses

Lenses are grouped into three types: Single Vision, Bifocal & Varifocal

Single Vision - This lens type accounts for 70% of the entire optical market......used for distance viewing, near vision such as reading or for intermediate use such as when using a computer or painting.

Bifocal - A simple lens design used for viewing distance and near in one lens. By design there is an abrupt image jump when viewing distance to near as your gaze passes through the bifocal line. The line is noticeable on all bifocals which has a tendency to age the wearer.

Varifocal – Basic, Premium or Dynamic - There is a significant difference in viewing comfort when comparing a Basic Design to Digitally Manufactured Dynamic Lenses. The reason for the difference is that the basic and premium design do not take any frame dimensions or frame wearing positions into consideration when the lenses are manufactured. Our Dynamic varifocals take your frame dimensions into consideration. Once the overall frame dimensions and eye shape have been considered, this information along with your prescription is transferred to a computer controlled CNC generator and using a unique set of algorythyms your varifocals are manufactured on an individual basis. Our Digital Freeform Dynamic Varifocal offers Comfortable Vision and has proven to be a great success against other brands from the usual German & French Lens manufacturers. We have dispensed the Dynamic lens to hundreds of customers in store and the responses have been exceptional. Viewing excellence at a very sensible price, we save our customers up to 60% when compared to other manufacturers lenses....Why would you want to spend more on an alternative lens. We back up our offering by a 30 day no tolerance guarantee.

Transitions - Transitions lenses are very active. Transitions are industry leaders and provide the most stable and world recognised photochromic lenses available today. Transitions are available in Gray or Brown. All transitions are UV dependent, so even if there is a cloud base, your lenses will still darken if the sun is above the clouds. Be sure that you want transitions first before ordering as there are occasions where dark lenses may not be appropriate. For example: on a wedding photograph?? Transitions DO NOT work as effectively behind the windscreen of a car when compared to wearing them out of the car.

Distance Prescription

The term ‘Distance Prescription’ describes all spectacle prescriptions that are neither specifically designated for use as ‘Near’ or ‘Intermediate’. If you are under 45 years of age and do not have an ‘Add’ given as part of your prescription, then your Distance Prescription will cover spectacle use at all distances i.e. general wear.

For those of you who are over 45 and have been given an ‘Add’, then your Distance Prescription differentiates between any optical correction required for viewing objects over 2 metres away and further. This is a separate part of your prescription from that given for either close work (Near) or even ‘Intermediate’ (40cm – 2m).

What do the numbers and signs in a prescription mean?

As part of a written Distance Prescription there are three primary sets of numbers:

  • SPHERE (SPH)
  • CYLINDER (CYL)
  • AXIS

How to understand your prescription

Sphere (Sph)

The sign of the Sphere power:

(+) A positive sign indicates that you are Longsighted (Hypermetropic)

(-) A negative sign indicates that you are Shortsighted (Myopic)

The Sphere power - The strength of the Sphere in either (+) or (-) will be recorded in 0.25 steps known as Dioptres. In simple terms the greater the Sphere value, the stronger the optical correction.

No Sphere power - It is possible to have a spectacle prescription without a Sphere power; this will either be reordered as 0.00 in the SPH power or maybe denoted by the symbol ∞ (Greek symbol for infinity) or the written word ‘Plano’.

Balance (Bal)

If you have limited sight in one eye or the strength of your prescription is very different between the two eyes, then your Optometrist may prescribe a ‘Balance’ lens. As the term simply suggests, the strength of this lens is matched to that of the other and this will even the aesthetic appearance and weight.

Cylinder (Cyl)

A Cylinder power indicates that you have Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a common refractive error that usually means the cornea is not a symmetrical shape and that it is more steeply curved in one direction. A good example is to compare the surface curvature of a football and rugby ball; where the football is round and symmetrical (Spherical), the end of a rugby ball is irregular (Toroidal) and the surface is more steeply curved in one direction than the other. All Cylinder powers will be accompanied by an Axis direction.

The sign of the Cylinder power - The CYL power can be given either a positive (+) or negative (-) sign.

The Cylinder power - The strength of the Cylinder in either a (+) or (-) sign, will be recorded in 0.25 steps known as Dioptres. In simple terms the greater the Cylinder value, the stronger the optical correction.

Axis

If you have a Cylinder power written into your prescription, then this will be accompanied by an ‘Axis’. The axis has no refractive strength and is simply a direction of alignment for the Cylinder and is given in degrees without the degree symbol ˚. Therefore, if a change of axis is the only alteration made to your existing prescription, then there is no overall changed of prescription strength. All axis directions will be written within the range of 1˚- 180˚.

Prism

A Prism will be prescribed if you have a type of muscle imbalance; this might be a weakness in one or more of your eyes ocular muscles (Phoria) or a squint (Strabismus). A prism will be specified in two parts, the first being its strength and the second is the required base direction.

Prism power - The strength of a prism will be recorded in 0.25 steps known as Prism Dioptres and is often denoted by the following symbol Δ. However, unlike dioptres given for the Sphere or Cylinder powers, no positive or negative sign is given. In simple terms the stronger the prismatic correction, the weaker the ocular muscles are or the larger a squint.

Prism base direction - All prescribed prisms will be given a specific base direction and this is generally either vertical or horizontal. It is also possible to have prisms prescribed for both directions simultaneously and any horizontal base direction will be stated as either ‘IN’ or ‘OUT’, whilst vertical prisms are given as either prism base ‘UP’ or ‘DOWN’ (abbreviated to ‘DN’).

It is quite common for prism values to be ‘Split’ and written as equal prismatic powers for the left and right eyes. This does not necessarily indicate that there is a muscle imbalance in both eyes, but is done to help distribute the additional thickness and weight evenly, whilst improving the cosmetic appearance. Prisms which have been split vertically will have opposing base directions, whilst all horizontal prisms will have corresponding base directions.

Visual Acuity V/A

Your visual acuity is a measure of how good your sight is once you have been corrected by spectacles. The quality of your sight is not directly linked to your prescription strength and it is quite possible for your vision to be either better or worse than the normal level of sight described as 20/20 or 6/6, and tested using the standard Snellen testing chart.

What do these numbers mean?

The lower part of this fraction states the testing distance in either feet or metres, in the United Kingdom your Distance Vision is tested in metres and commonly at a distance of 6m i.e. 6/6 states a 6m testing distance, whereas in the United States and other countries using the imperial system, the measure is given in feet i.e. 20/20 and therefore the test was conducted at 20 feet which is the equivalent of 6m. The upper part of the fraction will tell you if your sight is better or worse than ‘normal’. If the number given here is smaller than the lower part, then your vision is better than normal and vice versa if it is larger.

Near & Intermediate Prescriptions

For those of you who are over 45 and have been given either an ‘Add’ or a specific prescription for Near or Intermediate, then your Distance Prescription differentiates between any optical correction required for viewing objects over 2 metres away and further. This is a separate part of your prescription from that given for either close work (Near) or even ‘Intermediate’ (40cm – 2m).

If you have been given an ‘Add’ or prescription specifically for ‘Near’ or ‘Intermediate’ use, then this component of your prescription is entirely different to that given for Distance vision.

There are generally two reasons why either of these prescription types is given and the most common is age related. Both however relate to the same physiological condition (Presbyopia), whereupon the Crystalline lens within the eye is no longer able to clearly focus objects closer than 2m on the back of the eye (retina).

Presbyopia

This term describes the age related weakening of the Crystalline lens’s focusing power (Accommodation) and normally starts to effect people over 45 years of age, although it maybe experience earlier or later in some cases. Presbyopia is a natural part of the aging process and is usually first experienced when you find yourself needing to hold things further away to read clearly and/or under better lighting. The reduction in Accommodative power generally affects the eye’s ability to focus on objects closer than 2m and is a completely independent condition to that of being long or short sighted and irrespective of whether you need a prescription for distance vision or not. To correct Presbyopia, additional +ve power is required and this is the part given as the ‘Add’ or the power additionally applied to the Distance prescription by the Optometrist to provide a designated Near or Intermediate prescription.

If you have a prescription that has a near or intermediate component, your most suitable lens type will depend upon your prescription and visual requirements. This may include a correction for distance and near in one pair of lenses and in which case a multifocal lens is required such as Bifocals, Varifocals or Trifocals, although the later is rarely used nowadays. Depending upon the circumstances, separate pairs of spectacles with Single Vision lenses can provide the best option. It is quite common for people to only need glasses for reading or computer use and in this case a simply pair of Single Vision lenses can work effectively.

Your Optometrist will advise you if you require a correction for close work (reading, model making, embroidery etc) or intermediate (computer use, painting, DIY etc) and if you are unsure which lens type would be most suitable for you then please consult your Optometrist.

Your Personal Prescription

Your spectacle lens prescription must be current and you must be over 16 years of age. It must be issued to you by an optometrist. You must include a copy of your prescription with your spectacles which will be assessed for accuracy by us. If some data is missing, we will contact your optician directly on your behalf to obtain the correct information. Please inform us if you do NOT want us to contact your optician.

Optical NHS Vouchers

We do accept NHS Vouchers and if you intend to use a voucher please send us an email as we will need to allocate this against your order. We will refund the value of the voucher once the full value of the voucher has been credited to our account by the PCT and no reduction in lens charges will apply until we have been paid in full by the divisional PCT. The voucher will need to be signed in both appropriate sections by the person named on the form. We are not able to confirm whether or not an individual is entitled to assistance from the PCT. Please contact us directly on 01743 271762 if you need to speak to someone about this situation.

Manufacturers

There is no magic laboratory to buy lenses cheaply..... the price of lenses and frames is driven by two factors: Overheads & Excessive Profit. Specsclinic use the same massive optical laboratories that every other optician in the UK will use and the same laboratories that supplies Vision Express, Tesco, Specsavers, Boots & Optical Express. These laboratories are multi million pound worldwide businesses with some of the most advanced robotic lens production facilities in the industry. You can have absolute confidence in our lenses and you can be assured of excellent business relationships between the retail and supply chain.

Bricks & Clicks

Specs clinic is located in the heart of medieval Shrewsbury, 4 High Street Shrewsbury SY1 1SP to be exact. We have a stunning store with very individual eyewear by Lanvin, Chopard, Gotti, Costa Del Mar, Christian Lacroix, , and we also sell other designer brands. We work by prescription only so once you have had an eye examination you can freely bring your prescription to us on the high street or if you want replacement lenses, you can use the system online – hence “Bricks & Clicks”

IC Dispensing System

Specsclinic has developed a very easy to use interactive lens dispensing system. We understand that it is vitally important for you to have the information you need so that you can make an informed decision in the comfort of your own home. Our system gives you the correct price for your replacement lenses. Our online prices are exactly the same as our prices in our beautiful store on the high street in Shrewsbury. You can call us direct on 01743271762 if you would like to talk to someone.

Breakage Liability

As with any re glaze order, the breakage of a frame can happen. Unlike other re glaze companies who do not take liability, Specs Clinic will offer a free frame and replacement lenses to any customer who’s frame becomes damaged in the course of re glazing. This is on the understanding that Specs Clinic cannot remotely supply a new replacement frame. We must see the customer in our store in order to supply and fit a replacement frame correctly. If the frame becomes damaged in the post then we take no responsibility for this. We also reserve the right to reject any re glaze orders based on frame condition. If it is deemed that a re glaze may damage the frame then we will simply reject the order and refund any payments that are due and confirm the situation by email or telephone. It is our intention to provide the best levels of service and attention to detail.

Postage Costs

We offer the following postal services:

Freepost (£0.00), 1st Class Recorded (£4.50) and Special Delivery (£7.50). Please select the most appropriate level of service you require. When you select Freepost, we will only use standard postal services. We cannot be held responsible for packages that get lost or misdirected when using standard postal services. The best and most secure method we recommend is Special Delivery. This service carries a £500 insurance value per package.