Swarovski frames

We are pleased to announce the arrival of the new Swarovski frames. Swarovski is an Austrian brand founded in 1895 and renowned the world over for its high quality crystals. Swarovski has merged its renowned precision cut crystal designs with eyewear to create the Swarovski Designer Glasses collection - a wide range of truly eye-catching frames. Drawing inspiration from their stunning jewellery, Swarovski eyewear exhibits a feminine, almost  ‘diva’ish’ charm accented by shimmering crystal designs and subtle, slender styling. Each frame is a luxurious statement piece. We would be pleased to show you this appealing collection.


Frames for all

Cole Martin Tregaskis Optometrists has a reputation not just for excellent eyecare but also for high quality and inspirational eyewear. As family optometrists we believe that it is important to carry a wide range of frames. Typically, we have over 500 frames in stock including some exclusive ranges of fames which are not widely available. Designer brands that we stock include Flexon, Stepper, Calvin Klein, Silhouette, William Morris, Lacoste, Big and Tall, Guess, Charmant, Neubau, Wolf, Land Rover, Jensen, Skaga, Ernest Hemingway, Elizabeth Arden, Coco Mint, Fiorelli, Longchamp, Coco Song, Ronit Furst, Kaos, La Matta, Salvatore Ferragamo, Morgan, Marchon. For those who don’t mind about designer labels but want robust dependable frames our basic frames start at £10.


Ronit Furst: hand-painted eyewear

We are delighted to have become the local stockist of Ronit Furst hand-painted frames. These are attracting a great deal of interest as each frame is individually hand-painted. This gives the manufacturers (or, rather, artists) the freedom to produce almost every pattern and color combination that they (or rather Ronit) can imagine. Looking closely one can actually see the paintbrush strokes and the texture of the paint, just like a painting on canvas. After the painting is done the frame undergo a special coating procedure, which will give it it's finished look – crystal shiny or sandy matt – and which also protects the painting from dirt and other unwanted effects. 

The frames are designed to look different from every angle, with fine detail and tiny embellishments, graduated color schemes and asymmetric designs. The ethos of the range is to create quirky ,individual styles that capture the wearer's personality. More information is available at www.ronitfurst.com. Please call in at any convenient time to try on these beautiful frames.


Kaos and La Matta

We have just taken delivery of a consignment of two new frame ranges - Kaos (pronounced CHAOS) and La Matta. They are of Italian design. The Kaos frames are gorgeously colourful with wonderful braided detail threaded through the sides. The La Mata frames are deliciously wacky too with braids, beads, glitter and mosaic details. Neither are for the shy, retiring type but for people who want something unique, these are wonderfully different.

Spectacles: an important part of you

Spectacles have been described as “perhaps the invention, next only to fire, that brings most aid and comfort.” Technological advances mean that modern spectacle lenses can give clearer vision whilst being lighter and thinner than ever before.

Spectacle frames are just as important as the lenses. Poorly fitting frames will cause you to look through the wrong part of the lens. Poor quality frames are prone to breakage. About half our brains are devoted to seeing and your vision is so important that you deserve spectacles that are durable and effective.


Where should I buy my glasses?

Without doubt, the best place to obtain glasses is the same practice as issued the prescription. Our Dispensing Department have access to all our optometric results, not just those included on your prescription. The College of Optometrists advise: “The prescribing and dispensing of spectacles are very closely linked and it would be in your best interests to have your spectacles dispensed where you have your eyes examined. It is often more IMG_0730difficult to resolve any problems you may have with your spectacles when prescribing and supply are separated.”

When patients have new glasses made up they sometimes have trouble adjusting to their new spectacles. When this happens the adjustment that needs to be made to the prescription for the patient to find it acceptable is often very small. These non-tolerances do not indicate that anything was wrong with the original prescription because this adjustment is within the repeatability of refractive error determination. Non-tolerances occur in about 3% of all optical prescriptions and reflect the complex psychological process of adaptation to new glasses.


These non-tolerance issues are relatively easy to resolve when the patient has the eye examination and spectacle dispensing at the same practice. This is because that practice will take responsibility for making whatever changes to the spectacles are necessary (or provide a refund). These non-tolerances are far more problematic when the patient has the glasses made up at a different practice to where they had the eye examination. The Optical Consumer Complaints Service has, for many years, highlighted this as a major factor in intractable complaints in the optical industry.


These problems led to advice in December 2014 from the Optical Confederation  that in such situations "it is the responsibility of the dispensing practice to resolve any non-tolerance issue and if necessary to issue a new dispense". Therefore, if you wish to obtain glasses from another practice it is best to also ask them to test your sight and issue their own prescription. Alternatively, if you wish to buy frames elsewhere then they can be brought to us for lenses.

This advice not to separate prescribing and supply is especially important for people with complex prescriptions or who find it difficult to adjust to new glasses. In particular, for complex lens designs such as varifocals it is important to obtain the prescription and the glasses at the same practice. There are over 300 different types of varifocals and all require careful measurements and fitting.



“Free frames”: are they really something for nothing?

Some outlets try to attract new custom by offering “free frames” when lenses are purchased. Of course, nothing in life is free and the wise buyer is wary of such offers. Spectacle frames can be bought for next to nothing from some suppliers in the Far East, but this does mean that they are likely to last for very long. In any case, are the frames really free or is the cost of them being put on the cost of the lenses?


“Free second pair”: another something for nothing?

Another common offer, the “buy one get one free” enticement is sometimes used to provide a second pair of prescription sunglasses at a reduced cost. Typically, these offers tie the buyer down to a limited range of frames and these should be viewed very carefully.

The purpose of these offers is, of course, to increase the profits of the seller. So, are you absolutely sure that DSC00058you are not paying for both pairs, and for the cost of the advertising, in the price of the first pair?

Technological developments have resulted in very effective photochromic lenses which darken and lighten automatically as the light level changes. In particular, the latest generation of plastic photochromic lenses have improved performance. Yet, photochromic lenses are typically not available in these “free second pair” offers.

Many patients, particularly drivers, benefit from anti-reflection coatings to reduce glare from lenses. These again are unlikely to be available in these special offers.

Recent research has addressed the causes of eye diseases that occur in old age. Some findings suggest that sunlight falling on the eye throughout life can contribute to diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Tinted lenses should be carefully designed to filter out the harmful rays. The cheapest lenses may not necessarily be the best.


“While you wait” guarantees

Some “opticians” advertise guarantees that your glasses will be made up within a fixed time period, such as one hour. At Cole Martin Tregaskis Optometrists we believe that the most important stage of the manufacture of your spectacles is the checking of these by our professional staff when they arrive at our practice from the manufacturing optician. We only deal with the best manufacturing opticians, but still we find that a small proportion of the glasses that the manufacturers make for us do not meet the high standards that we set. You never see these glasses since we return them to the manufacturer to re-make them.

Clearly, no manufacturer is perfect, and this is one reason why we will never guarantee to supply your glasses in, for example, one hour. Some of the manufacturers we deal with collect and deliver to the practice every day and can make up most prescriptions within a day. But when they are delivered to us we still check them very carefully and only release them to you if they meet our own high standards.


Comparing like with like

Spectacle lens design has never been more complex. There are many large manufacturers, such as Zeiss, Rodenstock, Essilor, Pentax, Seiko, and Nikon who each make a dozen or more different types of lenses. These, and other, reputable companies often make a “top of the range” lens for a given visual problem and other cheaper alternatives. Additionally, there are many other manufacturers who might make cheaper copies of lenses.

This is particularly true of sophisticated lenses like varifocals. You need to be sure that you are getting the optimal lens for your own particular visual requirements. You must be completely sure that you are comparing like with like and that what you are being quoted for is the best lens for your needs.


Professional help

At Cole Martin Tregaskis Optometrists we believe, as do many other practices, that our patients deserve the help of highly skilled professionals. The two professions who have the highest level of training and professional qualifications in dispensing spectacle lenses and frames are Registered Dispensing Opticians and Optometrists.

At Cole Martin Tregaskis our team includes five Optometrists and three Fellows of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians. We always have professional people available to advise you on the best lenses and frames for your prescription.

Click here for a video on how to clean your spectacles.


Independence matters

There are dozens of companies who manufacture or import spectacle lenses. Often the big chains of “opticians”, and even some independent practices, align themselves to one manufacturer. The inducements for this are plain: some manufacturers offer a 25% discount or more to opticians for such arrangements.

In some of the big corporate optical practices staff are not allowed to order their lenses from the supplier of their choice. Instead, they have to order from certain suppliers, or from the company’s own manufacturing centre. We see this as a worrying development. No single manufacturer has the monopoly on good lens design. One manufacturer might make the best varifocal for a certain prescription, another will make the best high index plastic lens, and so on.

At Cole Martin Tregaskis Optometrists we are an independent practice. We are not tied in to any single company and regularly order from dozens of suppliers. In short, we are committed to providing the best lenses and frames for your requirements and will go to whatever lengths are required to obtain these.


Buying frames

Patients nearly always find the frame they want from our extensive range and we get new frames in very regularly, so our range is constantly being updated. These include the exclusive hand-painted Ronit Furst eyewear, as described above. We also hold extensive catalogues giving us access to thousands of other frames, which can be ordered on approval. In the very unlikely event that you do not find the frame that you require in our range, if you purchase a frame elsewhere we can arrange to have lenses put into the frame.


Continuity of service

Although it is rare for people to have trouble adapting to new glasses, problems are more likely to occur when the eye examination occurs at one practice and the prescription is dispensed elsewhere. This is stressed by an independent body, the Optical Consumer Complaints Service. The College of Optometrists has issued the following advice:

“The prescribing and dispensing of spectacles are very closely linked and it would be in your best interests to have your spectacles dispensed where you have your eyes examined. It is often more difficult to resolve any problems you may have with your spectacles when prescribing and supply are separated.”


Our goal and our guarantee

At Cole Martin Tregaskis Optometrists our goal is, quite simply, to give you the best level of visual performance that you are able to achieve.

We do not advertise but rather believe that the success of our practice should be based on our reputation. Nearly all our new patients are referred to us by doctors, other optometrists, or by recommendations from our existing patients. It is not in our interests for our patients to have glasses that they are not entirely happy with.

Since this practice was established over 80 years ago we have always adopted a cast iron policy about patient satisfaction. If, for any reason, you are unhappy with any spectacles that we have provided then return them to us and we will either replace them or refund you in full for the cost of the spectacles. If you are unhappy we would prefer that you come back as soon as possible, but as long as you return within 6 months of collecting your spectacles then this guarantee will still hold.

                                                          Last updated February 2018

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