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Prescriptions, lenses, and eye examinations

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Prescriptions

Do you offer express or next-day glazing?

Yes, we do. Our Express Glazing service is offered on non-prescription and 1.5 index single vision prescription lenses, subject to availability. Orders must be made in store by 4PM, and will be available for collection in store the next day. This service costs £20 and is available Monday to Friday.

How do I get my prescription?

After having an eye test with any qualified optometrist, it is your optician’s legal obligation to provide you with a copy of your prescription.

By law, we are not allowed to prescribe anything other than what is written on the prescription under section 5(1) of The Sight Testing (Examination and Prescription) (No.2) Regulations 1989. Section 5(1) states that a prescription must be dispensed as it is written; and the date of the examination, signature of the authorising optometrist, and date of expiry must all be present and in date in order to dispense.

How can I send you my prescription?

During the checkout you have 2 options.

1. Upload a photo or scanned copy of the prescription

2. Email the prescription later to info@cubitts.com

What is my pupillary distance and why do you need it?

This is the distance between your pupils, measured in mm. We need this measurement to correctly glaze the lenses in your frame. In the UK this measurement is part of the dispensing service, and won’t necessarily be written on your prescription. You can ask your optician for the measurement, or use our online measuring app which you will receive access to upon order placement. Alternatively, you can stop by one of our stores where we will happily measure this for you free of charge.

What prescriptions can you cater for?

Online, we offer single vision lenses for either distance or reading vision. Our standard price of £125 includes single vision prescription lenses using a 1.5 or 1.6 index lens. This typically covers prescriptions with sphere (SPH) values between -5.00 and +5.00. For stronger prescriptions you can add higher index, thinner lenses to your order. You have the option to add these in the checkout, but if you don’t we’ll get in touch after you’ve made your order to discuss the best option. There is a limit to the strength of prescription that we can cater for online. 

Online, we can cater between: 

Sphere (SPH) between -.600 and +6.00

Cylinder (CYL) between -3.00 and +3.00

Values outside of this range require precise measurements and fitting adjustments for lenses to provide optimum vision. Therefore, we do not recommend ordering spectacles online for such prescriptions. If your prescription lies outside of this range you have two options:

1. Visit one of our stores, where we can cater for stronger prescriptions

2. Buy the frame without prescription lenses and take it to your local optician to have lenses fitted

Please note: In certain cases our ability to fulfil your prescription for the standard price may depend on the combined sphere and cylinder values in your prescription, as well as other factors such as PD measurements and frame choice. In such circumstances we may need to contact you to discuss lens options.


Can I order varifocals or bifocals online?

Unfortunately not. Online we offer single vision lenses only, which is a 1.5, 1.67 or 1.74 index. The good news is that we do offer them in all of our stores, pricing for which is available here. Precise measurements and adjustments must be made whilst you are wearing your chosen frame in order to fit varifocal or bifocal lenses. If our stores are not convenient for you, you can buy the frame without lenses and take it to your local optician to have the lenses fitted.

What do all the terms on my prescription mean?

Cubitts


Prescriptions can be unnecessarily complicated things.

Prescriptions sometimes refer to the OD and the OS. These are the Latin initials for your right eye (Oculus Dexter) and left eye (Oculus Sinister). The right eye is always written before or above the left eye.

The sphere

The SPH indicates the amount of lens power, measured in diopters. If the number has a minus (-) sign, you are short-sighted (you struggle to see objects in the distance). If the number has a plus sign (+), you are long-sighted (you struggle to see clearly up close). If your sphere says plano, PL, 0.00, ∞, or is simply blank, you are neither long nor short-sighted (and have zero power for the sphere). Sphere values range from 0.00, can go as high as +/- 20.00, and are measured in increments of 0.25. You may have one eye that is short-sighted (-) and one eye that is long-sighted (+).

The cylinder

The CYL indicates the amount of lens power for astigmatism (when your eye isn’t completely spherical). It is only present if you have astigmatism. The cylinder number may be preceded with a minus or a plus. Most values range from +/- 0.25 to +/- 6.00 and are measured in increments of 0.25. Both right and left CYLs are always written with the same sign, i.e. both plus or both minus.

The AXIS

The AXIS is the angle the lens is set at to correct astigmatism and is only present if you have a correspondent cylinder value. If there is a CYL there is always an AXIS. If you have no astigmatism the CYL and AXIS boxes will be blank, or it may say DS in the CYL box.

The ADD (addition)

The ADD, or NEAR ADD, is the additional magnifying power required for reading or near work. The ADD value is always a “plus” power, generally from a range of +0.50 to +3.00. If you’re buying online and your prescription includes an ADD, you will need to let us know if you’d like the spectacles for distance vision (DV) or reading (NV).

Prism

The prism is if you have a muscle imbalance in your eye and the base shows the direction of the prism in your lens.

Base

This shows the direction of the prism in your lens, for example IN, OUT, UP or DOWN.

BVD

Back Vertex Distance is the distance between the back surface of the lens and the apex of the cornea.

My prescription has a prism. Can you make my lenses?

In most circumstances this is not a problem. Email us a copy of your prescription and we’ll take a look.

Can I use my contact lens prescription?

Unfortunately not. Contact lens and spectacle prescriptions are slightly different due to the different proximity of the lenses from your eyes. We can’t make spectacle lenses from a contact lens prescription.

Can I order prescription sunglasses?

We offer prescription sunglasses with CR39 scratch-resistant lenses with green, grey, or brown tints as standard. For stronger prescriptions you may need thinner lenses, which are available to buy in the checkout. More tints and finishes are available in our stores. If you’re interested in a different tint, we may be able to help you. Just get in touch at info@cubitts.com for more details.

Are your prescription sunglasses polarised?

Not as standard, but you can select this option during checkout. There is a £50 charge for this service, excluding 1.74 index which we are unable to polarise.

Eye examinations

How can I book an eye examination?

You can visit our booking page here, or contact customer services here.

What happens during an eye exam?

Our eye examinations include assessments of your:

- vision and any spectacle prescription you may require
- binocular vision, which determines how well your eyes work together as a pair
- internal and external ocular health, including retinal photographs
- peripheral vision
- internal eye pressure

We also offer a longer test with an OCT scan. OCT stands for Optical Coherence Tomography. It is a painless non-invasive scan that allows us to view structures of your eyes in 3D. 

Unlike retinal photography which only allows us to see the superficial layer of the retinal, an OCT scan lets us see all 10 layers. These can then be mapped and their thickness measured to help make diagnoses for sight threatening conditions. 

OCT is also useful in the detection of glaucoma, and can do this up to four years earlier than a standard retinal examination or photography.


Can I bring someone with me to my appointment?

Where possible, please come alone as we do not have the capacity to allow waiting in store.


How much do your exams cost?

Our routine exams cost £40, or £25 if you decide to purchase spectacles after. Our exams with OCT scans cost £65, or £50 if you decide to purchase spectacles after. Our optometrists are not sales people, they’re experts in eye health, and will never try to sell you a pair of spectacles if you do not need them. 

Does it cost me anything to cancel?

No. However, we do ask that you try to give us 24 hours notice so that we can see other patients in your cancelled appointment time.

Why are your exams longer than other clinics?

Our exams are 30-40 minutes long, which gives our optometrists ample time to discuss any issues you may be having, as well as any needs that are particular to your situation, such as strong prescriptions, varifocals or ocular pathology. Our optometrists are also happy to walk you through the tests they are performing so that you have a good understanding of your eyes and their health when you leave.

What is OCT and what are the benefits?

OCT stands for Optical Coherence Tomography. It is a painless non-invasive scan that allows us to view structures of your eyes in 3D. 

Unlike retinal photography which only allows us to see the superficial layer of the retinal, an OCT scan lets us see all 10 layers. These can then be mapped and their thickness measured to help make diagnoses for sight threatening conditions. 

OCT is also useful in the detection of glaucoma, and can do this up to four years earlier than a standard retinal examination or photography.


Who should have an OCT scan?

Scans are recommended for people aged 25 or over, who want to know more about their eye health. We also recommend OCT scans for those who have diabetes, glaucoma, or have family history of eye disease. 

Why is the OCT scan longer?

The OCT scan is in addition to your regular eye examination, not in place of. It takes place after (but during the same appointment) your routine check is complete. The scan itself takes a few minutes, but explanation and diagnosis can take up to 15 extra minutes.

Which stores offer the OCT scan?

Cubitts Hampstead and Spitalfields currently offer OCT and it will be offered in further practices in 2021. 

What if I don't know I need an OCT scan? Will you tell me?

If our optometrists see a need for it during your regular examination, we will offer it in addition to your regular test.

Do you offer contact lens consultations?

No, we do not.

Why can't I use an out of date prescription? My eyesight doesn't seem like it's changed.

A spectacle prescription is issued at the end of an eye examination once the optometrist has carried an internal and external examination of the eyes, plus any additional tests required. The expiry date of the prescription will depend on when the optometrist feels you next need your eyes examined. This is most often 2 years, but is sometimes sooner if you’ve had a significant change in your prescription or if any eye health problems were detected. After the expiry date, it is possible your prescription or eye health has changed, and you will need another eye examination before being able to purchase new glasses.

Why can't I use my contact lens prescription?

A contact lens prescription is not the same as a spectacle prescription. Contact lenses sit on the surface of the eyes, whereas glasses sit in front of them. This affects how light is refracted and can alter the prescription. As there are a multitude of contact lens materials, curvatures and diameters, all contact lens prescriptions are specific to the lens type stated on the prescription. These cannot be converted to a spectacle prescription.

Why should I have an eye exam if my vision hasn't noticeably changed?

Eye examinations aren't just about checking your prescription. They're vital for detecting both changes to your eye health and wider health issues such as glaucoma and diabetes. Think of it like servicing your car, but for your eyeballs.

Lenses

Our spectacles and sunglasses are available with or without prescription lenses. We have a range of lenses for whatever you’re looking for.

We believe choosing lenses should be simple. If you have an up-to-date prescription, all you need to do is send it to us and we will do the rest.

Single vision lenses provide correction for one field of vision. For most people this will either be distance or near (reading). The area in between is called Intermediate vision (computers).

Ready glasses provide simple magnification power for reading, like the ones available off the shelf in pharmacies. No prescription is required.

Non-prescription clear lenses are ready to wear and can be changed by a local optician if required. These are also known as ‘plano’ lenses.

We also offer progressive, bifocal, and occupational lenses in our stores.


Coatings

Our optical lenses have UV protection and come with a number of coatings:

Scratch-resistant – to protect from scratching

Anti-reflective - to reduce reflective glare

Water-repellent – to help prevent smudging


Lens materials

Most prescriptions require standard 1.5 or 1.6 index lenses. Stronger prescriptions may require high-index lenses. High-index lenses are lighter and have flatter curvature. When cut to size they achieve a thinner finish. This is only necessary with prescriptions over +/-4.50. 

Standard 1.5 and 1.6 included

Thinner 1.67 +£50

Thinnest 1.74 +£75


Sunglass lenses

Prescription sunglasses

Our tinted sun lenses all come with UV protection and a scratch-resistant hard coating. All tints are 85% ABS (the darkest tint that is legal to wear when driving).  

Standard 1.5 CR39 tints included

Thin 1.6 tinted +£50

Thinner 1.67 tinted +£75

Non prescription sunglasses

Our non prescription sun lenses are made from 1.5 CR39, a strong, durable plastic that is easy to tint. They are all 85% ABS (the darkest tint that is legal to wear when driving).

Polarised lenses

Our polarised CR39 lenses have a built-in filter to reduce glare caused by horizontal light. They are ideal for activities around water, where light reflection causes glare, but they may cause difficulty when looking at screens or driving (as many windscreens are already polarised). Our polarised lenses cost £50 extra.



Lens colours

Our sunglass lenses come standard with either grey, green, or brown sun lenses, as pictured on our product pages.

We have a wide range of tints, gradients, and mirrors available both in store or on request online. To request a lens colour change online, simply email our customer services team on info@cubitts.com before ordering.

Additional lens treatments

Polarisation for sun lenses

Our polarised CR39 lenses have a built-in filter to reduce glare caused by horizontal light. They are ideal for activities around water, where light reflection causes glare, but they may cause difficulty when looking at screens or driving (as many windscreens are already polarised). Our polarised lenses cost £50 extra.

Transitional lenses 

These lenses are available for our spectacles, and are light adaptive depending on changing light conditions. 

Blue filter lenses 

These are available for our spectacles, and filter the blue light from excessive screen use. 

Digital eye strain can be an issue, although there's no scientific evidence that blue filter lenses can actually help with this. Indeed, we actually get more exposure to blue light from the sun than we do from computers and smartphones. It's not the blue light that's making your eyes feel bad, it's staring at the screen for hours without a break. 

One of the main causes of eye strain is actually glare, so it's important you have lenses with an anti-reflective coating. Thankfully all Cubitts’ lenses come with this as standard.  

Blue filter lenses can potentially be useful at night, when blue light from screens can disrupt natural sleep patterns. Our bodies associate blue light with daytime, so being exposed to it when you're trying to go to sleep can push our internal clocks later, meaning it's harder to doze off. 

Our advice is that if you have trouble sleeping it might be worth trying blue filter lenses. This isn't dissimilar to ‘Night Mode’ on an iPhone, we do suggest trying that first. Or even trying (brace yourselves) to reduce your screen time before you go to sleep. 

Blue filter lenses are available at the checkout for an additional cost of £50 for this service.