I’ve never tried contacts before, where do I start?

When you try contact lenses for the first time you will need to ensure that you have an eye test and a full consultation first. The consultation includes an eye health check, a discussion on lens types and suitability, a wear and care teach and an in-store trial of your chosen lens.

I had my eyes tested recently, do I need another exam?

As long as your prescription is less than six months old, and is stamped by the Optometrist or Ophthalmologist that saw you, then you don’t need another eye test. However, you will still need to have a contact lens consultation.

Can I swim / take a shower while wearing my contacts?

No, we do not recommend this as water contains a number of harmful viruses and bacteria, which can irritate eyes, making them sore and causing serious eye infections.

Can I wash my contacts with water?

Don’t be tempted to wash your contacts, or rinse your contact lens cases, with water – contact lens solution will clean and disinfect your case adequately. Allow your case to dry by placing it on a tissue after use, do not use a towel. Do not be tempted to top up your solution with water, use fresh solution every time.

Is there a high risk of infection with using contacts?

Only if you do not look after your contact lens correctly. This is why you have to ensure that the contact lens is completely sterile before you put it in your eye. Bacteria need three things to live; food, water and warmth, which can all be found in your eye if the bacteria are present on your contact lens! Soft lenses are filled with water so these organisms can therefore survive in them and in your contact lens storage case. If you use your contact lens solutions correctly, and follow the advice of your Optometrist/Ophthalmologist, there is very little risk of infection. The importance of contact lens hygiene cannot be stressed enough.

What do I do if the contact lens feels uncomfortable on my eye?

First slide it off-centre and allow it to slide back into place. If it is still uncomfortable, remove the lens and rinse it thoroughly with saline or a solution recommended by your Optometrist / Ophthalmologist.

If you insert a lens that is inside out it may feel uncomfortable. Remove the lens and check the shape.

If you can’t see clearly, the lens may have fallen out when you blinked if it wasn’t properly in place. To find the lens, look first on your eyelashes or cheek, or on the cloth in front of you.
Rinse the lens thoroughly with saline or a solution recommended by your Optometrist / Ophthalmologist. Always carry your lens case filled with fresh soaking solution or saline unless you wear daily disposable lenses.

Keep your spectacles with you at all times.

Can I wear eye make-up with contact lenses?

Yes. But put in your lenses before applying eye make-up.

Can I sleep in contact lenses?

Do not sleep in your lenses – unless your eye care professional has advised that your eyes and lens type are suitable.

When do I replace my contact lenses?

Daily lenses are worn once and then discarded at the end of each wearing period. For monthly lenses, follow the advice of your eye care professional in regards to the replacement period.

You need to replace your lenses regularly to maintain hygiene, so throw away your lenses after the recommended period. It is important to not wear your lenses longer than advised.

Why should I get my eyes tested?

There are many reasons to check your eyes on a regular basis. Your eyes cannot be replaced. You will not necessarily have any symptoms or pain. The eye test can pick up very early signs of any problems; the earlier treated the better. The eye test can detect underlying health problems that you aren’t aware of, such as Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, some brain tumours and multiple sclerosis. The eye test will detect if your vision can be improved. You may just be used to seeing less clearly so don’t realise it can be improved upon. Good vision gives a better quality of life. For children, it is essential that their eyes are functioning normally for them to perform well at school. Don’t accept that poor vision is due to your age. It may be possible to improve it further. It is important your vision meets certain legal standards for driving and certain occupations.

How often should I have my eyes tested?

We recommend you have your eyes checked at least every 2 years, or more frequently if recommended by your Optometrist/Ophthalmologist.

I had my eyes tested recently, do I need another exam?

If you have a prescription that is less than six months old, and is stamped by the Optometrist or Ophthalmologist that saw you, then you don’t need another eye test to make a purchase. If your prescription is older than six months then you will need to book another exam.

How long does the exam take?

An exam can take anything from 15 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the individual, but typically you should expect it to last around 20 – 30 minutes.

Do I have to do anything before the exam?

Note any changes you might’ve seen since your last test and think of any questions you might have for your optician. Remember to bring your current glasses or contact lenses and note the names of any prescription drugs or medication you might be taking.

What is involved?

The eye examination not only provides an accurate assessment of your ability to see, but also gauges the general health of your eyes. The vision exam can result in early identification of other eye problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

What is the cost?

There is no cost to have your eyes examined at Courts Optical.

Am I entitled to my prescription?

Once you fill your prescription at Courts Optical you are entitled to take a copy away with you. If you’re not ready to purchase immediately, you can purchase a copy of your prescription for a nominal fee.

How do I make an appointment?

You can book your eye test online today by calling 1-268-484-1640 ext 3011. Choose the location most convenient to you from any of our stores island-wide.

Can I book an exam for my child?

As with any medical procedure, an eye test, can be daunting to a child the first time around, however we have modified the process to be more fun and child-friendly whilst ensuring we get as much information as we can from their eyes.

Up to 1 in 5 children have an undetected eye problem. Needless to say, this can be very damaging to the child’s educational development, since 80% of what children learn is through vision. Quite often, children do not realise that there is a problem with their eye sight, which can develop into larger problems. Gradually, being unable to read what the teacher writes upon the board can start to cause a decline in learning, they can start falling behind in class, which can lead to emotional problems and sometimes even be misdiagnosed as learning problems.

What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is the optical term for more than one point of focus. It occurs when the surface of the cornea or crystalline lens is not spherical. Light from an object does not focus exactly on the retina but at two separate points. An astigmatic eye has curves that are steeper in one direction than the other. An example of this could be where the cornea is not spherical and shaped more like a rugby ball than football – of course this is not noticeable by just looking at someone’s eyes.

As a result, the eye is unable to focus a point or object into a sharp focused image on the retina. There are two types of astigmatism, regular and irregular. Irregular astigmatism is often caused by a corneal scar or scattering in the crystalline lens and cannot be corrected by standard prescription lenses, but may be corrected by contact lenses or mild astigmatisms can be treated by laser eye surgery. Regular astigmatism arising from either the cornea or crystalline lens can be corrected by a toric lens.

What are cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye and can develop in one or both eyes. The lens is normally clear and sits behind the iris – the coloured part of the eye. The lens helps focus light to produce a sharp image on to the retina at the back of the eye and changes shape to allow you to see close objects. A cataract acts like a frosted glass coating that scatters light, causing blurring and lack of clarity.

How can diabetes affect my eyesight?

Diabetes can lead to a condition called Diabetic Retinopathy as well as other eye conditions. Diabetic retinopathy (damage to the retina) is caused by complications of diabetes mellitus, which can eventually lead to blindness. It is especially important that patients suffering from diabetes have their eyes checked regularly.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye conditions where the optic nerve is damaged at the point where it leaves the eye. The optic nerve carries images from the retina, the light sensitive membrane attached to the inner surface of the eye, to the brain.

There are four main types:

  • Chronic glaucoma (slow onset)
  • Acute glaucoma (sudden onset)
  • Secondary glaucoma (caused by another eye condition)
  • Congenital or developmental glaucoma (a condition in babies caused by malformation of the eye)

Regular eye tests are important. The risk of glaucoma increases with age and if left untreated it can cause blindness.

What is conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin layer that covers the white of the eye and the inside of the eyelids. It can affect one or both eyes, causing discomfort.

The causes of conjunctivitis can be bacterial, viral, allergic or from another source. If you have mild symptoms of discomfort, a red eye and some white/yellow/green discharge, you can usually treat it with over the counter antibiotics from your pharmacist. Any pain or severe redness or inflammation should be checked out by your GP immediately. Conjunctivitis can be very contagious, so ensure you wash your hands thoroughly after touching your face and try not to share towels and face-cloths.

What is macular degeneration?

The retina is the light sensitive membrane attached to the inner surface of the eye. Light enters the eye and falls on the retina allowing us to see images, these are transmitted along the optic nerve to the brain where they are processed so we can see.

The macula is a small area in the middle of the retina with the greatest amount of light sensitive cells and is used for fine-detailed central vision. Macular degeneration is a painless disorder that can affect either eye, causing progressive loss of central and detailed vision.

What is myopia?

A person with myopia or short sight can see clearly objects close to them, but not far away. Myopia is caused by the shape of the eye; either the eyeball is slightly too long or the cornea (the clear covering of the front of the eye) is too steeply curved.

Myopia is corrected by spectacles or contact lenses with lenses which are ‘minus’ or concave in shape. So if you’re short sighted, your prescription will have a minus lens power, e.g. -2.50D.

What is presbyopia?

Presbyopia describes the condition where the eye exhibits a progressively diminished ability to focus on near objects. It is a perfectly natural condition that eventually affects everyone but because the effects are gradual, you may not notice that anything is wrong with your eyesight initially.

However, as the condition progresses, you may find yourself struggling to read small print or books unless they are held at arm’s length. With presbyopia, there are many factors (such as deterioration of lens elasticity) that affect the eyes ability to accommodate over varying distances; causing light (and therefore images) to be focused behind the retina. This leads to the eyesight becoming blurred. Presbyopia can be easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses with a combination of options such as, varifocals, bi-focals, separate glasses or mono vision for contact lenses only.

Mono-vision is where we correct one eye for distance and the other for reading.

What is dry eye?

Dry eye is a common medical condition and is caused by a problem with the drainage, evaporation or production of tears. Tears are moved across the eye when you blink to lubricate the front surface of your eye, wash away debris, protect against infection and to help stabilise vision.

What brands of frames does Courts Optical carry?

We have one of the widest selections of brands in the region, with something to suit all tastes and budgets. For those who like to stay at the cutting edge of fashion we carry Armani, Vera Wang, Ralph, Dolce & Gabana and Polo. For the fashion and budget conscious, you can’t go wrong with brands such as Converse, Lucky Brand, Jones NY, Pepe Jeans and Reebok. Our own Toscana brand is available exclusively at Courts Optical and features cutting edge styles in both acetate and metal, designed by our team.

What is the price range for your frames?

We offer frames for all budgets, and while prices vary between brands, they typically start from as low as US$44. On top of this we have special offers all year round, so you’re bound to find Value You Can See at Courts Optical.

Are your frames genuine?

Absolutely! We only source frames from the authorized brand retailers for the region, and we have cultivated an excellent relationship with these suppliers over the years. Most of our frames come with a certificate of authenticity, as many brands do not offer them, but you can rest assured that not only are all of our frames genuine, but they also carry a one-year manufacturer’s warranty to protect you in the case of defects.

Do you sell frames for children?

Yes, we have a great selection of frames for kids. We stock known brands such as Converse, brands TMX, Hello Kitty and Lucky Brand and brands such as Maxima, who specialize in designing frames that are built to withstand being pulled and twisted by the most exuberant of kids!

Should I purchase acetate (plastic) or metal frames?

It’s entirely up to you, and is predominantly down to personal taste. Typically we find that most of our customers prefer acetate (plastic) frames, but we ensure we always have a good selection of metal frames too. At Courts Optical you can choose from a rainbow of colours, in full-rim, semi-rim or rimless styles.

How do I know if a frame fits me?

If the frame is comfortable to wear that’s a great start. There are a few other things to keep in mind: pupils should be near the center of the lens; lenses shouldn’t extend past the side of your face; eyebrows should not be inside the glasses; when you smile, your cheeks don’t push the frames up; frames shouldn’t slide down your nose.

If a frame isn’t quite right there are a few adjustments that we can make, free of charge: if the frames are too tight or loose behind your ears; the temples are too long or too short; the temples are too tight or loose at the side of your face; the frames are crooked or slide down your face.

How should I care for my frames?

There are a number of things to keep in mind when looking after your frames. First of all, try to keep frames in their original case when not worn, to keep them safe from scratches. If you lose your case, pop in to any of our stores and ask for a replacement Courts Optical case. Secondly don’t push your frames up onto the top of your head when not in use, as this can bend the temples, and they may become loose over time. Thirdly, do not leave your glasses in the car, as the heat can damage both the frame and the lenses over time. For more information on caring for your frames visit any of our stores and ask our qualified staff for assistance.

What is the difference between single-vision and progressive lenses?

Single-vision lenses offer one correction throughout the entire lens (usually for distance or reading). Progressive lenses offer multiple focal corrections in one lens, providing a seamless transition from distance correction on top to reading correction on bottom. This means you can see your whole field of vision without switching between multiple pairs of glasses.

What’s the best way to clean my lenses?

To clean your lenses, we suggest using only Courts Optical cleaning fluid, which is available at any of our stores, and a lint-free cleaning cloth, which you can also pick up at any of our locations. For day-to-day cleaning of light smudges, a few swipes of this cloth should do the trick. Avoid using hot water on your lenses (especially if they are high-index lenses), as they can develop bubbles or cracks when exposed to high heat.

What are photochromic lenses?

Often referred to as Transition lenses, after the most widely-known brand, photochromic lenses are clear indoors, but darken when exposed to the sun. They can be a great alternative to having a pair of regular glasses AND a pair of prescription sunglasses, and help protect your eyes when outdoors. Clarity SunFast, available exclusively at Courts Optical, is a more affordable alternative to Transitions-branded lenses.

What is anti-reflective coating?

Anti-reflective, or AR, coating, is a thin membrane that is applied to the outside of the lens to reduce the impact of reflective glare, and is particularly important if you spend a lot of time in front of a computer, or driving at night. Using AR coating makes the experience of wearing glasses more comfortable, and also helps reduce negative effects of excessive computer use such as eye strain and headaches.

What are the benefits of Clarity lenses?

We like to refer to our Clarity product as a “superlens”. Clarity lenses are manufactured exclusively for Courts Optical, using a special type of polycarbonate that results in lenses that are thinner, lighter and stronger than most on the market. Clarity offers UV protection up to 400 nm, the maximum wavelength for ultraviolet light (most lenses only protect up to 100nm).

Clarity lenses are hydrophobic, which means they repel water, like the bodywork of your car after it has been waxed. They are also oleophobic, which means they repel grease. Owners of the iPhone 6 will be familiar with this technology, as the screen is also oleophobic, allowing you to wipe away fingerprints quickly and easily.

Clarity lenses feature an anti-reflective element that is actually built into the lens, giving you comfort and protection from glare, without the risk of the coating cracking over time. The lenses also feature anti-scratch technology.

Clarity lenses are available as both clear and photochromic lenses (Clarity SunFast), as well as Freeform lenses.

What is the difference between UVA and UVB?

A is for Aging. UVA rays tan your skin but also cause premature ageing and can accelerate the development of age-related illnesses. They cause damage over a long period and excessive exposure can damage eyesight.

B is for Burning. Responsible for causing sunburn, UVB rays can quickly damage eye tissue with prolonged and unprotected exposure.

Where possible look for lenses that offer both UVA and UVB protection.

What are polarized lenses?

All sunglasses are designed to reduce brightness, but glare from the sun can still cause eye strain, squinting or even temporary blindness. Polarized lenses provide 100% protection from glare and UV rays.

How do polarized lenses work?

Visible light waves from the sun travel in all directions. When sunlight reflects off a horizontal surface, like a road or water, it often becomes concentrated horizontally. This is known as glare.

Vertical light is useful to the human eye, but glare masks useful light, making it difficult and uncomfortable to see. Polarized lenses block glare and allow only useful vertical light to enter the eye and are especially useful for activities such as driving, sailing and fishing.

What are freeform lenses?

Freeform technology is a revolutionary digital manufacturing process that uses computer-aided design and surfacing to create high-definition, customised lenses based on individual prescriptions and frames.

High Definition: if you’re familiar with high definition (HD) television you’ll know how the technology makes colours brighter, shapes sharper and brings everything keenly into focus, when compared to traditional analogue television. Freeform lenses work the same way – you may be able to see fine with your current lenses, but once you’ve tried freeform we guarantee you’ll never go back to regular lenses!

Customised: if you want a suit that fits your physique perfectly you can visit a tailor and have something designed and cut specifically for you. It’s the same with freeform lenses – freeform generators can read and respond to your prescription up to 1/100th of a diopter (0.01D compared to 0.125D – 0.25D with conventional lens manufacturing), and the lenses are created to account for variations in your eyes across the entire surface of the lens, helping you see better across more of your lens. They also take into account the pantoscopic tilt of your chosen frame (the angle of the lens in front of your eye).

In addition to improved visual clarity, better peripheral vision, exceptional contrast perception, and brighter and more intense colours, freeform lenses also provide exceptional night/low-light vision, by reducing glare and halo effects caused by light sources such as car headlights.

Freeform lenses are available to all patients, but those with complex prescriptions and/or progressive lenses will benefit the most from making the switch.

What options do I have for paying for my eyewear?

As you would expect from the Courts family, we offer a number of convenient and affordable ways to make your purchase. You can purchase using cash, cheque and credit card, but you can also take advantage of Courts Ready Finance to spread the cost of your purchase over a period of time, allowing you to keep your disposable cash for other needs. Ready Finance is available for up to 24 months on prescription eyewear, and up to 12 months on sunglasses. Terms and conditions apply, and our sales associates will be happy to advise you on the options available to you.

Do I have to pay a deposit?

Depending on your circumstances, and whether you have shopped with us before, you may be able to walk away with your eyewear and pay nothing for 30 days. Visit any of our stores for more information.

I already have a Ready Finance account with Courts, do I need another one?

Not at all. You can use your available spend limit to purchase eyewear the same way you would to buy a television or a microwave, there is no need to open a separate account.

What warranty do I have on my purchase?

All of our frames and lenses come with a minimum of twelve months warranty against manufacturer defects. If you have any problems with your purchase please return to the store at which you made your initial purchase, and we will happily assist you.

What special offers do you have?

We run special offers all year round, and there is always something exciting happening at Courts Optical. You can check out our latest promotions here [insert page link] or by visiting any of our locations.