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VIEW : the BIG optician

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How to choose a better Optician

The level of service from independent opticians is surprising and it's not always eyes that they're testing. Your lifestyle can affect your vision too

Learn more about UV protection

"One of the many reasons to visit an optician is to get help with choosing the right lens," says Ravi Sohal, an optometrist with the independent practice Eyediology. Many people are not always aware about the choices available to them.

Eyediology is a state-of-the- art optician in Spitalfields, London. Most of its customers have remained loyal since it opened in 2008, and Sohal and his team pride themselves on giving their customers extra time and attention.

"Many high-street opticians," Sohal says, "are under pressure to get a conveyor belt of patients moving through as quickly as possible. However, patients, elderly patients in particular, need more time to discuss their eye problems."

Smoking, nutrition and UV exposure can all affect your eyesight

Establishing optical prescriptions can be more complicated if there are any underlying conditions such as cataracts or glaucoma. "You can't do that in just 15 minutes," says Sohal.

My own vision test and eye health check at Eyediology are both comprehensive and unrushed compared with my usual high-street optician. I am even offered a cup of tea.

As an optometrist, Sohal also recommends the most appropriate lens. He reveals that some people may benefit from a special coating depending on their hobby or occupation, whether they are a sportsperson or spend all day in front of the computer.

Crizal UV Protective Lenses offer anti-scratch, anti-glare, ultraviolet protection and water-repellent coatings.

Sohal says: "People don't mind paying more once they understand the benefits that premium lenses can provide." Sohal examines my old spectacles, immediately spotting that I have a condition known as astigmatism, before asking me questions about my health and vision.

We then begin a vision test before moving on to a health check. "Your health and lifestyle can affect your vision. We take the effects of smoking, nutrition and UV exposure seriously," Sohal says.

Conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure can also affect eye health. Finally, my optometrist checks my eyeball pressure, a good indicator for glaucoma.

Frankly, I've never had such an extensive eye check-up. We shake hands, and Sohal advises me to eat more broccoli and kale to keep my eyes healthy.

Find out more about Crizal UV Protective Lenses at

Watch the video to discover the benefits of Crizal UV Protective Lenses

(Article taken from by Tim Adler)

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