Back in January last year, I took ownership of my first pair of reading glasses and it revolutionised my life. Now I could actually read words on the page without having to stick them on my self-stick and extend them 4 metres away from my face.
And all was well with the world. Most of the time they spent a lot of time on top of my head, like a spectacle shaped headband that only needed to be move when I needed to read something quite close up.
This was how life was until March this year.
Then we were told to stay at home.
And that’s dutifully what I did. Moving my life and work to a little screen on my laptop. Whereas before I’d meet with clients and customers for coffee in real life, now I had to make my own coffee and meet them with via video conferencing.
My daily routine changed from a healthy mixture of walking around, outside, talking to people in real life straight to not moving from my little home office.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful that I worked throughout lockdown, and will continue to do so during the next one, but man alive, my eyes took a right battering.
On occasions, I would spend up to 5 or 6 hours a day either hosting or attending Zoom meetings. I wasn’t just spending my work time online, but out of work activities were now taking place via video conferencing - knit club, speakers club, even rowing club circuits. This was my new norm and although I adapted to it quite well, my eyes were less keen.
During the Summer months, I began to realise I was really straining to read again. At the end of the day, my eyes felt so dry and tired. I was also using my reading glasses pretty much all the time.
It was time for a retest
Fortunately, because Wardale Williams provides an essential service, they reopened earlier on in Lockdown 1. And remain open during this lockdown period. You do just have to make an appointment.
I booked an appointment to see their optician. Every aspect of the appointment adhered to the government’s COVID requirements and more. From ringing a bell to be let into the branch, to the test itself, at no point did I feel concerned about any pesky virus. In fact, I felt very safe.
For those that wear glasses, you will have no doubt experienced the fogging of the spectacles when wearing your mask. Well, the same thing happens with the eye test glasses. But don’t worry. If this does happen, you’re more than welcome to remove your mask for short periods of time as all Wardale Williams team members wear ffp2; higher grade medical respirator masks that prevent both them or you potentially spreading the virus. In addition, there are plastic visors on all the equipment and the room is thoroughly sanitised in between appointments.
As my test clarified, my eyes were indeed feeling a little less productive, shall we say. So, Sudbury manager, Amanda Skinner sat down to discuss frame and glasses options. Now, Amanda has known me for many years. She also knows how indecisive I am when it comes to choosing frames. But the decision gods must have been in our favour and a blue pair (on brand!) practically screamed at me. This is the year I feel I need glasses with a bit of colour.
Amanda also knows my life these days involves a lot of screentime, so recommended occupational lenses. These lenses are perfect for me because I require having to look at my laptop and then look away at other things. They also take a bit of the screen strain from my eyes with their Blue control filter which blocks harmful high energy blue light giving better screen contrast and less tired eyes.
Whilst choosing and measuring my glasses, Amanda worked behind a perspex screen, all equipment is sanitised as are the glasses that I tried on.
So, even though we’re heading to Lockdown 2, you shouldn't neglect your eyesight, especially if you’re spending additional hours on the computer. Wardale Williams are open 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am- 1pm and on Saturday. Call them on 01787 372492 to make an appointment or discuss any issues you may have with relating your eyes
Member since: 17th March 2014
Hello! I'm Penny from thebestof Sudbury, shouting about the best local businesses from Hadleigh through the Clare. When I'm not doing that, you'll find me knitting socks or tending to my 6 chickens