What To Expect At An M&S Eye Test*

Brace yourself, dear reader, for I have a confession to make: I had never had an eye test until I visited the Marks and Spencer Optician this week. 23 years of using my poor eyeballs every day, and not once had I thought to get them checked! I now know how important it is to attend regular tests, as they can actually be the first place to spot diabetes or even brain tumours. Daunting as that may be, I would much rather know and seek treatment as soon as possible.

I hadn't had a test before because I've had no problems with my eyesight, but I also didn't exactly relish the idea of sitting in a quiet, clinical room, which was the impression I had of most high street opticians. Luckily, the brand new space in my local Marks and Sparks is situated with the clothes, so straight away I felt that little bit more at ease, and I liked that it made the glasses feel like an a fun accessory as well as a medical aid.

My remaining worries totally melted away when I began speaking to the staff. All of them were so excited about the opening and raring to share their knowledge and show off the range. Marks and Spencer have plenty of their own designs plus big brands like Lipsy, Jimmy Choo, DVF, and Marc Jacobs. Both male and female designs are stocked, but Ben, the manager, pointed out that many styles would suit any gender, and it was really nice to know that the staff encourage you to find whatever works for you. He also told me that the staff are there to advise on styles in a kind but honest manner, which I really appreciate. I tried on a nude pair and he suggested that the style was nice, but another colour would be more flattering. The staff were in no way rude or critical, but I felt assured that they wouldn't let me go home looking silly, and it was clear to me that they truly care about giving every customer a great experience.

The customer care extends to making stylish glasses as affordable as they can for every customer. Currently, the most expensive styles are still under £200, while their own are closer to £80, and they offer a buy one get one half price deal. The anti glare add on is £30, and unlike most of their competitors, Marks and Spencer will half that price when you buy new glasses.

When I went in for the pre-test, a lovely lady called Jane explained the machines to me with so much enthusiasm, I actually found myself a little excited rather than daunted. First she had me look into a machine and focus on a hot air balloon in the distance, then she took a picture of the back of my eye, which proved to be quite fascinating! They use the same cutting edge cameras as Manchester Royal Eye Hospital to gain the clearest pictures and therefore the most accurate results to help you get the perfect prescription. It was very weird to be looking at the inside of my own eye, that's for sure. Neither of the tests hurt in the slightest, there was just a bright flash from the camera which Jane had warned me to expect, and they gave the optician to have a starting point for her assessment, which saved time overall.

The full assessment looked at my overall eye health, including how well my muscles were working, then I completed the classic 'read the letters' test with different lenses over my eyes. I was able to read the smallest line on every screen, so my vision was declared perfect! This now means that the optician has a baseline to refer back to at my next appointment in 2 years, or should I have any problems in the meantime.

Marks and Spencer really did open my eyes (ha!) to the importance of regular eye tests, but more than that, they made me truly enjoy mine and I will trust them with my tests going forward. If the lure of having Percy Pigs close by wasn't enough, the staff totally cinched it. I left with every question and concern answered, and through every step of the process I felt really comfortable thanks to their genuine passion.

Are you due for an eye test?

My eye test was provided FOC in exchange for honest review.



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