Skip to Main Content

seeing clearly

A clearer guide to understanding vision, opticians and glasses

Introduction

Did you know?

85% of people don’t understand their eye prescription.

Optometrists (an optometrist is responsible for the health of your eyes) and dispensing opticians (a dispensing optician is the person who gives you your glasses or lenses) are highly qualified, but they tend to baffle us with medical terms and keep us in the dark about what our prescription means. Our research shows that daunting technical terms and confusing prescriptions are making people worried about choosing glasses for themselves.

Did you know?

57% of people have never questioned their eye prescription.

Glasses stand apart from the rest of our wardrobe because they are designed to help us see first, and are a fashion accessory second. We carried out a survey and found that over half of people in the UK who wear glasses don’t appreciate that it can be fun choosing and wearing glasses, and that they can be an important part of their style.

This guide aims to give you information on:

  • how opticians work;
  • how opticians speak; and
  • the choices you have.

We want this guide to help you make clear, informed choices when it comes to shopping for glasses, just as you would shoes or clothes. We also hope that we can save you some money in the process.

Because we want to make buying glasses as easy as possible for you, we have worked on this guide with Plain English Campaign (an independent group fighting for plain English in public communication). We have received their Crystal Mark to show that this guide is as clear as it can be.

It’s your face, so dress it right!

Our research has shown that people place a lot of trust in their optician and rely on them not just for eye tests, but for everything to do with their eyes, including what glasses and lenses they choose. While it’s important to trust a medical expert with your eye health, you can play a much bigger part in choosing the best glasses for you. It’s your look after all!

To help you further, we have a leaflet at the end of this guide, which you can download. This leaflet gives you all the information you will need for your next appointment with the optician, so print it off and take it with you.

Good luck and let’s get started.


Jump to a section...

  • Opticians

    Who are they and what do they do?

  • Eye Tests

    Advice on your eyetest including how you can get free eyetests

  • Prescriptions

    Our handy tips on understanding your prescription

  • Definitions

    Eye jargon made clear

  • Everyday life

    Learn more about how you use your glasses in everyday life

  • Top Tips

    Our handy hints on everything eye related