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The right look

28 May 2021

Looking good and seeing well goes hand in hand at Christchurch's new offering in eyewear and optometry care. We speak to Roberta McIlraith of OCULA about achieving the best possible vision and the importance of exceptional eyewear.

For those who haven't had an eye assessment before, what does one entail?

For my patients, it involves a thorough discussion about their initial eyesight concerns, then broadens to discuss occupational and lifestyle requirements and their history of ocular problems and treatments. There is a substantial work-up involved looking at their current visual performance and then establishing their best possible vision.

I undertake a thorough health-check, including eye pressures and visual field assessment to rule out glaucoma (adults); examine the eyes internally and externally, and take photos of the retina.

We then establish a management plan together, typically glasses or contact lenses, although it can be anything from dry eye treatments, a prescription for medication or referral for surgical or medical intervention – sometimes it’s a combination of all of those things! 

What should we look for in a good pair of glasses?

Aesthetically the frame must ‘sing-to-one’s-soul’. I think it’s a great way to show-off one’s individuality and character and will make you feel great!

Functionality is of utmost importance. It takes specialised dispensing skills to understand the requirements of a particular prescription and occupational and lifestyle needs, this is how lens design, thickness, coatings and tints are determined and the knowledge of how these will come together in the chosen frame.

Quality is also very important. To avoid creating landfill and wasting time and money, you want a frame and quality lenses that will give you years of enjoyment, which brings me back to having your soul singing... go for a style you love, made with love.

Are all contact lenses created equal?

No, there are almost as many options for contact lenses as there are frame choices in the showroom! There are lenses for long-sightedness, short-sightedness, astigmatism, multifocal and bifocal contact lenses and lenses as specialty lenses custom-designed for certain corneal conditions. Then we have daily, monthly, quarterly and annual options. Hard options and soft options, and then there is the magical ortho-K lenses, which we typically use for short-sighted progression management whereby the person sleeps in the contact lenses at night and removes them in the morning for all-day correction of their vision and reduced progression of short-sightedness. Contact lenses are amazing little bits of plastic!

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