We all like to know who is actually looking after us within a business. Your visit to your local Opticians in Hailsham is no different and can be somewhat confusing with all the different types of people who work within a practice. One of the main people you will see when you come in will be one of our opticians.



Who is an Optician?

The word ‘Optician’ has been used for many years to describe staff members within a practice. But what does it actually mean and who does it refer to? The simple answer can refer to either the person conducting your eye examination or the person fitting and measuring your spectacles. Optician is a generic name and as such will mean different things to different people.

An Optometrist is a person who actually conducts your eye examination inside a consulting room.  A Dispensing Optician is the person who is the lens expert who helps you pick your new spectacles outside of the consulting room. They are both professionals with special qualifications and have very important but different roles within a practice.


An Ophthalmologist is a medically trained doctor who commonly acts as both physician and surgeon. They examine, diagnose and treat diseases and injuries in and around the eye. They typically have undertaken 5 years of study at medical school and 2 years as a newly qualified doctor. A further 7 years of specialist ophthalmic training is then undertaken before passing very rigorous examinations set by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. An Ophthalmologist generally works within a hospital setting although some will also undertake private work. A Consultant Ophthalmologist is a very experienced doctor who is an expert in clinical care, assessment and treatment of patients and is competent in a range of practical and surgical skills.

If you need to see an ophthalmologist, then please get in touch.

Dispensing Opticians

A dispensing optician is the primary provider of dispensing services within a practice. They are responsible for advising on, fitting and supplying the most appropriate spectacles. After taking account of each patient’s visual, lifestyle and vocational needs.

Dispensing opticians also play an important role in advising and dispensing low-vision aids to those who are partially sighted. As well as advising on and dispensing to children where appropriate.

They are also able to fit and provide aftercare for contact lenses after undergoing further specialist training. They typically have undertaken at least 3 years of specialist training and will also be registered with the General Optical Council which oversees standards and codes of practice within the profession.

Please Note: Sara is a fully qualified Dispensing Optician and Practice Manager at Focus Medical Eye Centre.

Optical Assistants

Optical assistants are the support staff of a practice. They have different roles within a practice based on the needs of the practice and their level of training. The role of an Optical Assistant can range from reception and admin work through to carrying out delegated tests for the Optometrists and dispensing spectacles. An Optical Assistant generally works under the supervision of an Optometrist or Dispensing Optician.

As opticians in Hailsham, we see customers from all around the area of East Sussex, including Horam, Polegate, Heathfield, Herstmonceux, Pevensey, Bexhill and even Eastbourne.

If you have any questions or would like further information about our services, please do not hesitate to contact the practice at info@focusmedicaleyecentre.co.uk or by calling 01323 442062.


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