EXPERIENCE: Specsavers Lunchtime MOT

By Emily Dalton

11th Oct 2023 | Opinion

I'll let you into a secret: I hate admin tasks. Those niggling little jobs- the dentist appointments, returning parcels, repeat prescriptions or sending items- that eat away at the time you would rather spend relaxing.

The last thing I want to do at the end of a working day is go to an appointment; it feels like my time is being stolen from me. I always use the 'I'm too busy' or 'I don't have enough time' excuse, procrastinating the task just one more day. 

Full disclosure: I have been ducking emails from Specsavers about getting my eyes tested for a couple of months now. Then, I was invited for a lunchtime MOT eye test so I could write an 'experience' piece. A sucker for being productive, I thought I better check it out. 

Predominantly a contact lens user, I only occasionally wear glasses so an eye test seemed a little excessive. Still, even at the ripe age of 24 my eyesight has exacerbated since I first started wearing glasses. So, I know it is wise to keep on top of your vision and your eye health. 

Book a lunchtime appointment to be in and out in less than an hour. (Photo: Emily Dalton)

Booking the appointment was easy and straight-forward; simply go onto Specsaver's website and click on the test you need (contact lens or eye test) and enter some basic health details (health conditions, medication) and add a contact number.

Prior to the appointment, I received an email and text notification reminding me of the details. Although a little bit annoying, it was a helpful prompt to prevent me getting swept up in my work and missing the eye test. 

With 60 minutes on the clock, was I going to spend half my lunch break staring at my phone in the waiting room?

Kingston's Specsavers is about a 10-minute bus journey, or a twenty-minute walk away from my flat. If I drove, it would perhaps be even quicker. The lunchtime appointment was also good in getting myself outside in the fresh air- something I can forget to do when I'm firefighting emails.

Barely gracing my backside on the seat in the waiting room, I was quickly called for a diagnostics OCT test. Kingston's Clarence Street store has an Optical Coherence Tomography machine which, I am reliably informed, is hospital grade diagnostic testing equipment. 

Having never done a diagnostic test before, I was walked through the process and the Specsavers engineer kept checking I was comfortable.

Taking the 3D images of the back of my eye, it can detect some eye conditions such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. This is up to four years ahead of them presenting by a standard eye test. 

It is always better to be on the safe side and it only took a couple of minutes of looking into a black hole through the equipment. A welcome change to staring at computer screen.

You can ask your optician to explain the imaging to you during your appointment. It is a monochrome picture so there is nothing to put you off your lunch. The optician was helpful in keeping me informed that my eyes were in a healthy condition. Something which can be worrying as you get older and your eyesight starts to deteriorate. 

Once complete, I had a couple of minutes wait before being swiftly shown to the optician's room. A well-dressed optician checked my details with my online form and then began the sight test. She spoke clearly and coherently, ensuring I understood what the test involved.

During appointment, the optician checked the contact lenses were not causing me any irritation and compared my current glasses prescription with my eyesight at present. 

The novelty of eye-tests (reading the letters on the board as they descend into smaller figures or the endless questions 'better with, or without?') never seems to wear off. 

Explaining my results, the optician informed me my contacts were fine but my glasses prescription had changed slightly. She also told me I would not need another test for at least a year- one lunch break out of 252 working days a year is not so bad.

Although I don't wear my glasses too often, it does not make sense to wear outdated lenses. I was helpfully shown round by young and very professional woman. I am terribly indecisive, but the store assistant put me in the right direction with some simple style questions. 

The following Monday I was able to pick up my new prescription glasses. (Photo: Emily Dalton)

Not pushy or trying to edge me towards the designer section, the store assistant genuinely seemed to care about helping me choose the right pair of glasses. She even brought me frames she thought I might like to try on (pink is a strong 'no' from me, but it is always helpful to have a different perspective).  

Avoiding glasses that prevented me looking like my boss (no offence), I settled on a classic tortoiseshell pair that I would not have chosen for myself without the store assistant's help. She then sat me down and carefully took my glasses measurements, double-checking they were right. 

Again, this was a new to me as I have previously ordered glasses frames online. Having measurements taken assured me the frames were going to fit me exactly, preventing them from falling off my nose of hanging lop-sided like a self-indulgent hipster. I was also able to have the frames altered when I picked them up a week later.

Not always good with numbers, the assistant helpfully explained to me the breakdown of the session and how much the glasses would cost. As I have a fairly strong prescription, I had to get my glasses thinned so they weren't too bulky. This was incorporated into their '2 for 1' deal. 

Overall, the appointment took around 45minutes- including and OCT health check, dithering over glasses, taking frame measurements and the eye test itself. It could be even quicker if you know what you're looking for. 

Within a lunch break hour- it is very doable. The staff aren't there to waste your time but to ensure you get the right prescription glasses for you.

Find out more or book an appointment at: https://www.specsavers.co.uk/stores

Specsavers has a 2 for 1 deal on glasses from £69.


Something you want to try? Email me at [email protected] and pitch an experience piece.


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