Glasses or Contact Lenses?

When coming in for an eye test – do you find it hard to decide between a pair of glasses or contact lenses?

If you feel like your eye prescription has changed then you should be advised to book an appointment for an eye test. Once you have had your initial eye test, sometimes the hardest part is deciding what to do next. Our experienced opticians and ophthalmologists will advise on the options for action, depending on the results they find. Often that will come down to simply choosing some new spectacles, or perhaps choosing to try contact lenses for the first time.

Contact Lenses

Contact Lenses are prescription lenses that correct error in eyesight and maintain eye health.

contact lens payment plans

There are many types of contact lenses you could have and choosing which are best for you can often be the hardest part. Different types of lenses will have different purposes. We will be sure to discuss this all with you.

Many contact lenses can be changed daily, but some can be changed less often – we also have great monthly options.

Contact lenses are inserted onto the tear fluid on the eye surface so that they will move naturally with the movement of your eye. This is a huge benefit because once you are used to them; you will not notice they are even in your eye.

Many people will argue that the hardest part is learning how to insert them properly. When you come in, we will teach you how to fit them in an unrushed manner. Then we will offer you a trial before you commit to buying more.

This way, we know as well as you, that you will be completely satisfied and comfortable with their use and fit, before making the commitment. These can be paid for in monthly plans – or all in one go.

The Positives

  • A large range and selection to choose from.
  • Contact lenses will correct your vision, even taking into account astigmatism.
  • Can be adjusted to deal with long and short sight at once.
  • There are no frames to obstruct your view.
  • Perfect for sports and other physical activities.
  • No weather, such as fog, will affect vision.
  • Can be worn for different periods of time.

The Negatives

  • Can sometimes cause dry eyes.
  • Can become quickly irritated by dirt, or by something entering into the eye.
  • Require more care and maintenance than glasses.
  • They can take more time to get used to.

More information on payment can be found here.


Glasses are the alternative solution to correcting eyesight. They are also be prescribed by our expert opticians, after the initial eye exam. Meaning that we are able to correct your vision perfectly.

We offer many frames, from many brands – there will be definitely something that suits you.

People who are not confident using contact lenses or simply do not want to, will opt for wearing glasses. Or they may just not want to try contact lenses and prefer a pair of spectacles. It works by picking a frame and inserting the specially made lenses into them. Frames also have some aesthetic to them – people often choose glasses by what appeals to them, or the frames that suit them best. The prices vary dependent on type of lenses and brand of spectacles.

The Positives

  • Correct vision.
  • They can be adjusted for short and long sight.
  • Apart from keeping clean, they don’t need a huge amount of care.
  • No need for special cleaning solutions.
  • Don’t have to touch your eyes.
  • Many frames are can be chosen style.
  • If prescription stays the same, no need to replace the glasses.
  • Removeable at own leisure.

The Negatives

  • May not like the weight of glasses on your nose, or pressure on ears.
  • Can get in the way of an active lifestyle.
  • Glasses can be affected by the weather, for example: splattered in the rain.
  • Can become dirty or smeared quickly.
  • People may not like the way that glasses look.

The main difference with glasses is that you or another person, will know you are wearing them. We also offer 50% off the second pair of spectacles, just for supporting us, your local optician.

Both glasses or contact lenses do the same thing – it ultimately comes down to personal choice.

Book an appointment with us today for an initial eye test or contact lens appointment.

Alternatively, give us a call on 01323 442 062 to discuss the many options we have available to you.

8 Reasons for Wearing Sunglasses

At this time of year and certainly with it being far sunnier than we have been used to over recent months, sunglasses are definitely required! Not only do they look great and make you feel more like it’s summer; but also here are our top 8 Reasons for Wearing Sunglasses:

Health Reasons

There are many eye diseases and health complications that can occur over time. Skin cancer is an obvious one but there are also many others that can be affected without the use of eye protection:

  • Cataracts – with prolonged expoosure to the sun’s UV rays, this can worsen the symptoms of cataracts.
  • Glaucoma – UV rays can increase your risk of complications from glaucoma.
  • Macular Degeneration – certain types of UV radiation can speed up this process.
  • Pterygium – also known as Surfers Eye. Prevention is definitely better than the cure for this!

The Weather

The sun isn’t the only thing that can cause damage to the eyes. Wind, sand and snow can also cause damage! Being beside water is also another factor to take into consideration – the glare can make your eyes extremely uncomfortable.

To Promote Healing and Recovery

If you have just had eye surgery of any sort, whether for cataracts, laser surgery or even lens replacements, wear a good quality pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes. They will protect them as well as keeping them far more comfortable; removing the chances of debris flying into them as well as decreasing the need to squint and removing the glare.

Headaches & Migraines

Wearing a good quality pair of sunglasses can certainly help with avoiding headaches and migraines. They will also help if you get one and need to remove the brightness from your line of vision!

Safer Driving

At certain times of the day, sunglasses could aid your driving. They remove glare from the roads as well as distracting reflections. Overall making your driving experience a safer and more enjoyable time.

Add your Prescription

And why not add your prescription into your sunglasses – then you don’t need to mess around swapping glasses! This is a great and really popular choice of many of our customers.


We can also help by helping you choose some transitions lenses for your choice of eyewear. Transitions by Essilor are great as they quickly “transition” from light to dark, to light again! An ideal choice…

Essilor Xperio Polarised Lenses

Don’t they look great!

There is something about wearing a pair of sunglasses that just make you feel good. A good quality pair will look stylish, as well as giving you all the above benefits!

Many people do not realise we stock and sell sunglasses until they come into our practice. And then they see the amount of designer and top quality brands that we sell a lot of! From Ray-Bans, to Cocoa Mint to Maui Jim, as well as many other brands. And with most of these brands, we can also add in your prescription. Please just ask one of our members of staff when you come in, to show you the different types and styles of sunglasses we stock.

About Self-Pay Ophthalmology

At Focus Medical Eye Centre, we are very pleased to be able to offer a self-pay ophthalmology service from our opticians in Hailsham. This means that you can receive assessments and treatments much quicker and more efficiently.

Certified Ophthalmologists are trained as doctors and act as both a physician and a surgeon. They are able to examine and diagnose eye conditions and injuries, as well as provide treatment. Mr Shahram Kashani, who works with us at Focus Medical Eye Centre is a general ophthalmologist, is able to offer treatments to a number of ophthalmic conditions. He also has a specialist interest in complex cataract surgery, as well as the management of retinal vascular disorders.

self-pay ophthalmology

What are the Benefits of Self-Pay Ophthalmology?

Using our self-pay ophthalmology service at Focus Medical Eye Centre means that you are able to avoid waiting times that you would expect when using NHS services. You can get the peace of mind that you will receive a diagnosis and any necessary treatment much quicker than you normally would. The self-pay Ophthalmology service we offer is also much more flexible; we can work to fit in with your busy schedule.

When using self-pay ophthalmology, you will receive the best care at each and every visit. Plus you can see the same experienced consultant every time, who will be able to fully understand the care that you require.

Our trusted ophthalmologist Mr Kashani is a leading expert in his field. So you can rest assured that you are receiving the very best treatment and diagnosis. He will also be able to address any questions you have about your diagnosis and treatment.

The Price of Self-Pay Ophthalmology

We have a simple self-pay ophthalmology service available at Focus Medical Eye Centre. Our initial assessment is £165.00 and any subsequent follow-ups are £100.00. Various scans may be necessary as part of our initial assessment and other appointments; these do incur a separate charge. However, we will always let you know when this is the case.

With this service, you will be able to receive a specialist assessment and management of your eye conditions quickly and efficiently.

How do I book an Ophthalmology Appointment?

If you would like to make an appointment for Self-pay Ophthalmology; call us on 01323 442 062 to book an appointment. You can also find out more about our ophthalmology service here.

Corporate Eye Care

Over the last year, businesses across Sussex are realising that looking after the health of their employees brings huge benefits to their business. Whether it be providing more support for mental health during lockdown, or looking after physical health; it is clear that if you look after your employees, they will be much happier at work.

At Focus Medical Eye Centre, we are able to provide businesses across Sussex with an Eye Care Scheme to help look after the eye health of employees. So we thought we’d put together just a few of the benefits of using this kind of eye care scheme.

benefits of corporate eye care

How does the Corporate Eye Care Scheme Work?

Signing up your business to our Eye Care Scheme means that your employees will receive reduced price corporate eye tests along with additional benefits and discounts.

Eye Examinations

Our corporate eye examination, including Optomap and OCT scans, is only £45.00

Prices and Levels of Employer Contribution

Our contracted fee for an employee is £45.00 for a comprehensive examination in our practice. This equates to a £40.00 saving for the employer off the private enhanced eye examination fee of £85.00.

Basic VDU glasses including Frame £60.00 (Employees can top-up if they prefer a higher value frame)

If you are looking to improve your employee benefits package, then you can choose to provide them with a higher level package.

For more information, please take a look here: Corporate Eye Care Info Pack 2021

Benefits of a Corporate Eye Care Scheme

If you have a legal requirement to maintain the eye health of your employees; you may already be familiar with such schemes. They are perfect for making sure that your legal requirements are met.

However, if you don’t have this legal requirement, it can be a real added benefit for your employees to make sure their eye health is maintained. If your employees spend a lot of time sitting at a computer, their eyes can be put under a lot of pressure and could cause problems such as headaches, eye strain or even migraines. Therefore, it might be beneficial to have an efficient eye care scheme in place.

Interested in Joining our Eye Care Scheme?

We work with many businesses across East Sussex, in Bexhill, Herstmonceux, Horam, Pevensey, Polegate, Heathfield and Hailsham.

To find out more about the benefits of the Corporate Eye Care Scheme, click here or open up one of our eyecare forms here: focus-corporate-eye-care-forms 2021.

The Benefits of Transition Lenses

Transition lenses are uniquely designed to make sure that your eyes are protected from intense light. It doesn’t matter whether you’re indoors or outdoors, the benefits of Transition Lenses are that they  “transition” quickly and will help protect your eyes from harmful UV light. Compared to ordinary lenses, lenses such as Essilor Transitions XTRActive Lenses or Essilor Transitions Signature Gen 8 Lenses have plenty of added benefits to make sure your eyes stay protected.

Transition Lenses

How do They Work?

Transition lenses work with photochromic dyes that enable the lens to darken when they are exposed to light. The more intense the UV rays are, the darker the lenses become.

Therefore, if you move from a dark area to a light area, the lenses will sense this kind of change and adapt the tint of the lenses accordingly. In every light condition, they will aide more comfortable vision and ensure your eyes are always protected.

The Benefits of Transition Lenses

The largest benefit of Transitions lenses is that they protect your eyes from harsh light conditions and reduce any glare. Your eyes will therefore not become strained as much, also helping to prevent eye fatigue.

There are other added benefits that may not be so obvious. For example, as these lenses block out 100% of UV rays; they also help to protect you against blue light from modern artificial lighting. Plus you will only need one pair;  you won’t need any additional pairs of sunglasses to take with you everywhere.

Transition Lenses


Transition lenses such as the Transitions XTRActive Lenses are also available in different coloured lenses. You can choose from colours such as brown, graphite green and grey.

Want to find out more about Transition Lenses?

If you are interested and would like to find out more about transition lenses, then please get in touch and we can help you. With many styles and colours for both men and women, you will definitely find a pair that you love.

We look forward to showing you the ranges that are available, including the Essilor Road Pilot night time lenses, with Crizal Drive coating.

Beware of Cheap Sunglasses!

As we’ve seen a little bit more of the sun over the last few weeks, you might be thinking about picking up a new pair of sunglasses. There are plenty of different brands to choose from and many retailers will stock sunglasses. But when it comes to buying a new pair, you should always beware of cheap brands!

Although sunglasses are primarily worn to help you see better and shade your eyes from the sun, they actually play a vital role in protecting your eyes from UV radiation. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can cause significant eye problems, such as cataracts, macula degeneration, pterygia, and pingueculae.

cheap sunglasses

Protecting your eyes from UV Radiation

When you’re out enjoying the sunshine, you’re always being exposed to solar radiation. This is particularly harmful to the eyes, so wearing a good pair of sunglasses will help block 100% of the suns UV radiation. Interestingly, your eyes still need protection when it’s cloudy, because the sun’s damaging UV rays can penetrate cloud cover. And many of our contact lens wearers say they need sunglasses a lot of the time.

But not all sunglasses block 100% of UV rays. Particularly cheap pairs of sunglasses as they don’t give protection from harmful radiation from the sun. That’s why you should always check that the sunglasses you are buying have a UV rating of at least 400; which then blocks up to 100% of the sun’s radiation.

At Focus Medical Eye Centre, all of our prescription sunglasses will protect your eyes from 100% of the UV rays on sunny days. We are stockists of Maui Jim sunglasses, which have the Seal of Recommendation from The Skin Cancer Foundation; a well-known symbol of safe and effective sun protection. We also sell Ray-Bans and Cocoa Mint sunglasses which are also of the highest quality.

Designer Sunglasses Prescription in Hailsham

Looking for New Sunglasses this Summer?

If you’re looking for new sunglasses this summer, come and visit us at Focus Medical Eye Centre. If you’re not sure what pair of sunglasses you’re looking for, then we can help. It’s not just designer brands like Maui Jim and Ray-Ban we stock – there are so many more to choose from! And most of the branded and designer sunglasses can also have prescription lenses retro-fitted. So if you are a spectacle wearer, then we still have you covered!

If you’re in Hailsham, Horam, Heathfield, Polegate, or Herstmonceux, plus anywhere in the surrounding areas, then please get in touch. We would love to see you and help you choose your new pair of sunglasses. Please give us a call to check if you need to book an appointment to come and see us. We’re also available by phone or email if you have any questions about any of the sunglasses lines we stock.

Top Tips on Cleaning Glasses and Sunglasses

If you’re a seasoned glasses wearer, you may be well aware of the “dos and don’ts” of cleaning your glasses or sunglasses. Whilst you might think it’s fairly simple to keep your glasses clean, it is important that you make sure you clean them with considerable care and attention to keep your glasses in pristine condition.

Not cleaning your glasses in the proper way and using unsuitable cloths and substances could cause permanent damage to your lenses.

Throughout the day your glasses will gradually get covered in small particles of grit, dirt, and saliva. Grease builds up as well, due to heat from your skin and also perspiration. Especially at the moment, with masks being worn.

So, ideally you should be cleaning your glasses once a day to keep your glasses looking great.

cleaning glasses

What cloth is best to use to clean glasses?

When you buy a pair of glasses, you should get a case with a glasses cleaning cloth inside. This is the best cloth to use when it comes to cleaning your glasses. This should be washed occasionally, as after a while, small particles of dirt may get caught in the fibres and scratch the lenses.

If you don’t have your glasses cleaning cloth at hand, you should use a microfibre cloth.

A definite no-no is to use the bottom of your shirt or jumper to clean your glasses. Clothing is often full of tiny fibres and bits of grit that will scratch the lenses. You should also avoid using any kind of kitchen towels, tissues or toilet paper; these are full of lint which can easily scratch the coatings off your glasses.

What detergents can I use for cleaning glasses?

You should avoid using dishwashing soap to clean your glasses, as this may break down the coating on the lenses. Instead, you should try and only use specific glasses cleaner, or alternatively, if you are really desperate, a neutral hand soap. We stock a great glass cleaner called Glasklar at our surgery in Hailsham.

Make sure you clean the nose pads and the frames too, as these can get covered in oil and hair grease.


We offer a complimentary glasses cleaner called Glasklar. So when a patient purchases spectacles from us they receive a little bottle of complimentary lens cleaner which they can return and refill whenever they want to as a thank you for using our service.

This is in essence a loyalty reward scheme and also is a great product to keep your lenses clean. The great thing is patients never have to buy more lens cleaner as long as they do not lose their bottle! We can also carry out mini services of spectacles when they come in and tighten screws and reshape frames which is also done free of charge for patients who have bought spectacles from us.


Are you regularly finding scratches on your glasses?

If your glasses regularly get scratches on them from daily use, you might want to consider getting new glasses with a Crizal Lens Coating. This coating can help protect your lenses from scratches, smudges, dust, and water. These lenses also help to protect your eyes from UV and harmful Blue-Violet light. This would be particularly useful if your glasses see some heavy use and are prone to getting scratched.

If you’d like to find out more about the Crizal Lens Coating, click here. If you have any more questions about how we can help you with a shiny new pair of glasses, then please get in touch with us today.

How to Treat Hay Fever and its Effect on the Eyes

With spring firmly waiting round the corner, we are all looking forward to some warmth and sunshine. However if you are a hay fever sufferer (an allergy to trees, grasses ,weeds and pollen) it could be a nightmare for you as billions of particles are about to be released by flowering trees and grasses. Plus, added to this, research shows that the pollen season is getting longer, by up to 30 days over the year! So instead of starting mid to late March and ending early September, it is now starting in late February and continuing well into October!

In a typical year, the tree pollen season begins first, starting in February and lasting until June. The grass pollen season starts in May and finishes in July. Weeds such as stinging nettles release pollen from June to September. It used to be that there were good allergy years and bad allergy years but now they all tend to be bad. This could possibly be down to climate change and warmer temperatures.

It’s not just in the countryside either…

Increased air pollution may also be to blame. Pollutants found more in cities, including diesel particles, irritate the lining of the airways and make them more sensitive and cause an inflammatory response. Studies have shown people who live in areas of higher pollution are more likely to have more severe nasal symptoms.

The techy stuff!

Particles in the air from trees, grasses, weeds and pollen trigger an allergic reaction in the body. The immune system sees these particles as a threat and make antibodies in response.  These antibodies bind to special cells involved in the immune response called mast cells which are found in various structures in the body including the eye.  During exposure by the pollen, the mast cells release a powerful chemical called histamine in an attempt to rid the body of the threat. This is where the trouble starts, as histamine dilates blood vessels causing fluid to leak which in turn triggers a runny nose, sneezing, red and itchy eyes.

If you know you suffer from hay fever, you can take action in advance. Corticosteroid nasal sprays such as Nasonex or Flonase are available over the counter and can be used 2 weeks before usual symptoms start. They work by reducing local inflammation but it can take a little while for them to take effect. Oral antihistamine tablets work well and are widely available, and creams containing antihistamine can help skin rashes and itchy skin.  However, all of these preparations are often ineffective in treating red itchy eyes due to the low concentration actually reaching the eye.

How you can help yourself

  • Pollen levels in the air tend to be highest in the morning because they have risen throughout the night; and again at around 5pm because many plants release their pollen later in the day. Try not to sit outside in the late afternoon.
  • Keep windows closed at these times to reduce the amount of pollen that manages to get into your home.
  • Watch the weather forecast. Rain can either raise pollen levels or reduce them, depending on the type of rain. Heavy droplets may break pollen grains into smaller particles, increasing the problem, but gentle rain absorbs pollen and brings it down to the ground where it can do no harm.
  • High pollen levels are more likely on a hot, sunny day with little wind, because pollen grains stay airborne for longer then. So take extra precautions on bad days, such as wearing wrap-around sunglasses to stop pollen affecting the eyes.
  • Keep eye glasses on whenever you go outside during the pollen season.
  • Keep car windows closed and use the air conditioning on the “recycle air” setting.
  • Don’t hang your washing out in the fresh air – try and tumble dry to so you don’t find pollen has attached itself to your clothing. Especially your bedding!
  • If you know you always get hay fever symptoms at a certain time of year, start using them in the two weeks running up to that time. Keep an eye on when your symptoms start one year and adjust the timing accordingly.

Treatment for the eyes

If nasal sprays and oral antihistamines are ineffective for your itchy red eyes there are 2 main eye drops that can be used.

The first eye drop is a mast cell stabiliser containing sodium cromoglycate such as Opticrom. This works by stopping the mast cells releasing histamine and as such is useful for regular hay fever sufferers just before symptoms start.

The second is an antihistamine eye drop such as Otrivine which tackles the histamine after it’s been released. These drops work well in the short term but regular sufferers may also need to use a mast cell stabiliser in conjunction. Newer prescription only drops are available from Focus Medical Eye Centre which are dual acting combining the mast cell stabiliser and antihistamine in one.

Please speak to our team about assessment and treatment via our Minor Eye Conditions clinic. This is a free NHS run service for patients registered with a local GP for any minor eye complaint including red eye.

New Precision1 Daily Contact Lenses by Alcon

At Focus Medical Eye Centre we are very excited about these new Precision1 Daily Contact Lenses by Alcon!

Obviously over the years, there have been many contact lens launches. But these are actually slightly different. This brand new contact lens from Alcon has been designed for ambitious, goal orientated, all day active patients who want precise vision. With great handling of a contact lens and comfort that really does last all day. It is a contact lens designed with smart technology, to start in and stay in!

They are also available as both a spherical and a toric lens which is great and will appeal to a wider range of our customers.

New Patient Support Programme

Alcon are also introducing a unique patient support programme, powered by Augmented Reality. Designed to help people who:

  • Have not worn contact lenses before
  • Are trying Precision1 for the first time
  • Already have contact lenses but they are not meeting your needs

New Precision1 Daily Contact Lenses by Alcon

Get in touch

If you would like to try the New Precision1 Daily Contact Lenses by Alcon, then please get in touch! Please call us on 01323 442062 or download our Mysight booking app.


The Benefits of BiFocal and Varifocal Lenses

You may have heard people talking about bifocal and varifocal lenses, and not really understood what they are. Or even fully understood the benefits of having them. But for many people, these types of lenses have a number of different advantages that can help benefit you in your everyday life. That’s why we thought we’d give you a quick guide on what bifocal and varifocal lenses are. As well as the benefits of them over ordinary prescription lenses.

What are BiFocal and VariFocal Lenses?

Both of these lenses aim to reduce the number of glasses you might need during the day. If you struggle with distance as well as close-up vision, having Bifocals would combine the two prescriptions into one lens. The lens itself is then broken up into two sections, with a prescription lens for each. What this means is you can use the same glasses for near vision, for doing things like reading a magazine and then have an intermediate lens combined, that means you can see things a bit further away.

The Benefits of BiFocal and Varifocal Lenses

As you might expect, if Bifocal lenses combine two lens prescriptions; Varifocals (used to perhaps be called Trifocal lenses) combine a number of prescriptions into one lens. They are a really superior lens; Varifocals have superseded trifocals because the three zones can be blended seamlessly, offering as close to natural vision and focus as possible. Although trifocals can still have their place for certain patients.

The Benefits of Bifocal and Varifocal Lenses

These lenses become much more useful as you get older. You might find that you’re struggling to read things that are close-up such as your phone screen. Bifocal lenses are a great way of correcting your vision so that you can wear the same glasses throughout the day.

If you struggle with more than one distance of vision, then Varifocals will be a better option for you. By combining all of your prescriptions, you won’t need more than one pair for your daily life.

Bifocals are used by many people and we often recommend these lenses to patients who find that their vision is deteriorating for distance sight. And they are not like they used to be with an obvious line across the different prescription – they are now combined to achieve a seamless look.

We recommend that you book an opticians appointment and we can help discuss whether bifocals are right for you.

Want to Book an Appointment to Discuss Your Lenses?

If you’d like to talk about upgrading your lenses to Bifocals or indeed Varifocals, then please book an appointment with us at Focus Medical Eye Centre. Based in Hailsham, we have patients from Herstmonceux, Horam, Polegate, Bexhill, and Pevensey. If you’d like to book an appointment, please call us on 01323 442062 or download our Mysight booking app.

Get 50% OFF Lenses

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