What the numbers on your prescription mean

IntelliSight Opticians

Are you a .45? Perhaps a -5, or even a +2 – we are of course talking about your eye prescription. If you’ve ever wondered what these numbers, and the accompanying abbreviation means, you’re in the right place. Welcome to our one stop guide to everything you wanted to know about the numbers and letters that describe your eyesight.

Be sure to check out our Facebook Live on this very topic too!

What is OD and OS v RE and LE

 The first element is one of the simplest – this simply refers to which eye is being talked about. OD (from the latin Oculus Dexter) or RE all refer to right eye while the OS (from the latin Oculus Sinister) or LE mean your left eye.

There is also an OU option (referring to Oculus Uterque in latin) meaning both eyes…Simple right?!

The difference between being short and long-sighted

This is indicated by the sphere (SPH), the amount of lens power you need, prescribed to correct if you’re near or far-sighted. It’s also where the + or – comes from in your prescription. A minus sign is indicative of short-sightedness while a plus sign, or no sign, indicates you are long-sighted.

Why you may be more Cylinder (CYL) then sphere (SPH)

We’ve mentioned astigmatisms in previous blogs, slight defects in the eye that can change over time. If you do have a significant astigmatism it is very possible your lens requires a cylinder (CYL) adjustment.

This often works in the same way as a sphere prescription, complete with + or – to indicate short or long-sightedness. However, the numbers that accompany a cylinder, are based on the axis of your eye, 90 degrees for vertical and 180 for horizontal.

There are other elements that may be indicated in your prescription, including prisms, but this covers the key parts of what you can expect to find on your prescription – for more information about your eye prescription, or to book a same day appointment, contact us today.


3 reasons you should never buy fake sunglasses

Julie Breen

We all know that designer sunglasses can look amazing but, price aside, is there any real difference between the buying imitations compared to the real thing? Well the short answer is yes; a lot more than you’d think! Here are our top three reasons to never risk faking it.

They don’t stop the harmful UV light

The most important quality in sunglasses, yes even more than how much they match your style, is how much they protect against UV light. The UV light is the harmful rays from the sun that, if not protected against, can cause extreme damage to your eyes. In our recent Facebook post we did a test, showing the effects of real and imitation lenses against UV light.

The results may shock you! Not only can fake sunglasses fail to prevent UV rays but they can actually enhance the damage, as your pupils will dilate and absorb even more of the light.

The quality is NEVER the same

There is an old adage that if you buy cheap you buy twice and, while this is not always true of glasses with a smaller price tag it is almost always the case when it comes to designer imitations. Sunglasses made to look like their real counterparts, or that simply have a fake label slapped on the side, lack the subtle, sometime hidden, details that make real designer frames so long-lasting.

For instance, on our latest Facebook Live session we looked at a stunning range of Ted Baker frames with a gold band covering the top, held in place with extra screws on the top of the frames to ensure it all stays in place and together. Real sunglasses undergo a number of tests to ensure they can last all summer long…and plenty more to come!

They won’t have prescription lenses

Some people may still be unaware that you can purchase sunglasses from an optician with lenses specific to your prescription, not only providing superior quality and the right level of protection, but allowing you to see clearly while looking stylish.

If you’re looking for new sunglasses do not accept any imitations, only buy from a trusted retailer and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you suspect something is not quite right.

Check out a sample of the full range of sunglasses available from IntelliSight Opticians, including our exclusively online Kendall + Kylie range, or come in-store to view our full range.


Why do I need an eye test every two years?

Julie Breen

There are certain measures of time we all know – the sun rises and sets every 24 hours, your birthday comes around once a year (unless you’re the Queen of course who celebrates two different dates) and you will be due an eye test every two years.

But have you ever stopped to ask yourself why?

Well as much as we love our customers it’s not just to have a cup of tea and a good natter – there are a few good reasons you should touch base with your optician at least every two years.

The main reason is to help protect your health. We are so concerned with ensuring the good health of our customers that we set aside 30 minutes for every appointment we make, ten minutes to have a good chat and lots of time to check every aspect of your eyes to ensure they are in tip top condition.

Every two years ensures that, if there any issues with your eyes, for instance glaucoma, for which you will have no outlaying symptoms, we are generally within the time frame to catch and begin treating it before any major damage occurs.

Another great reason to ensure you stick to your regular two-year appointments is down to small changes that are constantly occurring in your eyes. During appointments with us we will compare your past prescriptions with your current sight requirements and either recommend you get new lenses, or assure you there are no reasons to change, depending on the results of your test.

While both of these are great reason to get your eyes checked every two years, find out more in our latest Facebook Live video, the two-year rule is just a minimum.

There are many occasions an optician may ask you to come in more frequently, including check-ups for children and those over 40 with a family history of glaucoma, or any signs of deterioration, for instance cataracts. In these cases, we may recommend just one year between tests, or even less if we suspect a problem may be developing.

There you have it, the answers behind why you should always visit make it a priority to pop by and see us at least every two year, our friendly team look forward to welcoming you to the orange and black store soon.



World Glaucoma week – Five key facts

Julie Breen

‘The silent blinding disease’, ‘the sneak thief of site’, no matter what you call it, or what variety you have, glaucoma is a terrible disease – and by 2020 s many as 11.2 million could be suffering with it undiagnosed. 

This is why, during world glaucoma week, this week our Facebook Live session concentrated on some of the key facts about glaucoma.

Be aware

While traditionally thought of as a disease that can affect older generations, glaucoma can strike at any age. Crucially if left untreated it can cause blindness, making regular sight tests vital.

Is it in the family?

Again, while glaucoma can affect any member of the public, it is common to find it in families where another relative is already suffering. For those with a family history of the disease we recommend eye tests every year, instead of two years, are vital to look for signs of any development.

Check your blindspot

The damage from glaucoma generally begins in the optic nerve, or ‘blindspot’.  Damage presents on the long nerves before moving towards your retina and affecting your peripheral vision first before moving in to the rest of the eye at varying speeds.

You may not see the problem

Your brain is a wonderful mechanism, and it will compensate more than you realise; particularly in the early stages of glaucoma. It will remember sites and ‘paint over’ the blurry vision of your peripheral vision so you may not even notice you have it at first.

It is only through regular eye tests that any early symptoms of glaucoma can be detected.

What happens next?

While the glaucoma itself can sound terrifying, you’ll be relieved to know that the cure is generally not too arduous. Once a patient has been referred from an optician to a hospital for further diagnosis they will be given drops, used every day, to help stave off the spread.

Unfortunately, glaucoma currently has no known cure but, rather than jump straight to surgery, drops can usually be a great method for staving off the effects.

Check out more about the progression and typical timelines on our latest Facebook Live video.



Three reasons cheap sunglasses can end up costing you more than you realise

Julie Breen

We start this post with a fun fact; Did you know that most designer brands survive not through splashy ad campaigns or big catwalk shows, but through their easily-accessible accessory lines, including perfume, scarfs and, of course, sunglasses!

A true pair of designer sunglasses can look stunning but, with so many imitations flooding the market, not to mention non-branded imitation of popular frames available for peanuts, what is the real cost of cheap sunglasses?

Here are our top three reasons to make sure that, when you pick your sunglasses, they are truly fit for purpose...

Fake sunglasses just don’t do the job

The main purpose of sunglasses is to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Unfortunately, not every pair of sunglasses fulfils this most basic of tasks. The problem is all down to how lenses filter the light, or in the case of cheap or fake sunglasses, absorb and concentrate the harmful rays causing damage to your precious retinas. 

For more information check out our latest Facebook live video, including our demo about just how shockingly ineffective some frames can be!

No protection is better than fake protection

You may think that so long as the lens is dark enough you’ll be protected. Sadly, not only is this not the case but, if they don’t effectively block out UV rays, the dark of the lenses can cause your pupils to dilate, allowing more of the rays to penetrate through your eye, causing additional damage.

Short-term skimping can cause long-term damage 

Whilst it is difficult to effectively track the exact levels of harm from exposure to UV rays on your eye-health, the effects can be ‘clear to see’ including pterygium, or surfers eye, cataracts or in some cases, even cancer.

The best way to ensure your sunglasses are fit for purpose is to check they are labelled UV 400, meaning they can absorb virtually all the harmful rays before they have a chance to cause damage. We would also recommend buying from a licenced optician who can ensure your sunglasses are fit for purpose, as well as having a team on-hand who help you pick a flattering and functional frame, and even fit them with prescription lenses if needed. 

To find your perfect pair of safe sunnies, search the IntelliSight website or pay us a visit in-store.


‘Scratching the surface’ of cleaning your lenses

Julie Breen

From advice on why you should always place your glasses down gently to celebrating our Paralympic champions to our new self-serve ‘bar’ – it’s been a busy old week at IntelliSight!

Anyone who caught Friday’s Facebook Live session (we love when you join us – even more when you ask questions!) will know that this week we were discussing all about how to keep your glasses looking good for longer – or, in other words, how best to clean your specs!

We do appreciate that it’s not the most fascinating of topics but taking those few moments to properly clean can have a huge impact on the length of time your lenses last by removing the debris build-ups that can lead to scratching.

Glasses are always fitted with the highest point of the lens, the optical centre (clearest bit) in front of the very centre of your pupil, ensuring the best vision. Unfortunately, this also means that every time you place your glasses down lens first they tend to rest of these high points, which is why scratches always seem to occur right in your line of sight!

Another bad habit we have is to rub glasses on clothes, blankets, scarves, paper towels or more. Not only does this tend to be ineffective but it can also lead to more dirt ending up on the lenses from your clothes and extra scratches from the small, woody bits in paper products. It’s always best to hold onto the cleaning cloth we provide in your glasses case which is designed to not only remove dirt but also to soak up the greasy residue that everyone can find winds up on their lenses from time to time.

At IntelliSight all of our glasses are scratch-resistant, sadly scratch-proof lenses haven’t been invented yet (unless you’d like to walk around with diamonds for lenses - very bling but not great for seeing clearly!) but by following our top tips you can ensure your glasses stay great for longer.

If the cleaning cloth needs a bit of extra oomph a good spray can help, which leads us nicely onto our newest in-store addition – refillable lens cleaner! Simply purchase a small bottle of our lens cleaner and, when it runs out, pop back in-store to refill for free, FOREVER!,  from our handy self-serve unit, quick, simple and, like everything with IntelliSight, a little bit fun 😊

Last week also saw the start of the winter Paralympics – and Team GB are off to a flying start! Just as during the Olympics we will be running our Julbo offer with 5% off for a bronze, 10% for a silver and 15% for every gold medal that Team GB win. Be quick, the offers only last 24 hours from the medal ceremony, but here’s hoping we get the chance to run it many times over #GoTeamGB


Go Team GB!

Julie Breen

At Intellisight Optician’s we love some healthy competition – so you imagine out excitement as Olympic fever once again grips the nation!

To celebrate we’re encouraging others to get involved in all things winter sports with a very special offer on our Julbo range.

For very medal Team GB bags in PyeongChang throughout February we will be offering a special 24-hour discount on Julbo, our sportiest of frames – 5% for a bronze, 10% for a silver and 15% for gold! With experts predicting anything up to 10 medals that’s plenty of chances for our customers to claim their discounts, and for the nation to celebrate!

Check out the video below of our launch event…although we think we’d better leave the sporting excitement to the professionals and stick to our day job 😉

Team GB Medal Table (updated daily)






Mens Skeleton






3000 customers - and we're just getting started!

Julie Breen

Redcar-based IntelliSight Opticians was delighted to welcome the 3,000th customer to their high street store, marking a milestone just two years after opening.

Since their beginning, the independent optician has worked hard to bring a unique offering to the optical community, including fun Facebook Live sessions that directly address common customer queries, on-site workplace tests, and an industry first savings club that allows individuals to spread costs.

Their 3,000th customer, Frasier Wilson, was the lucky recipient of a gift of optical accessories, and Hotel Chocolat goodies.

Speaking about hitting the big milestone, MD and Optometrist Julie Breen said: “I am delighted to have achieved this milestone so quickly. It really is a credit to the fantastic team here in-store, they make the customer experience.

“We take pride in not being your average run-of-the-mill optician and I think the warm and friendly atmosphere is apparent from the moment you enter. We’re also very mindful to stock ranges that aren’t available everywhere and cater to different tastes, everything from Kendall + Kylie to the Dennis Taylor snooker range!”    

The business has garnered fantastic reviews from customers online, particularly for those with young children who rate the company for taking a holistic approach, reassuring parents as much as their young patients.


Welcome to 2018!

Julie Breen

Happy New Year to all of our followers!

We are starting 2018 with a bang, including a fantastic January sale, offering up to 40% off our unique designer styles, our popular savings club, offering the opportunity to spread the cost of specs and contact lenses across 15 weeks, and, of course, the return of our popular Facebook Live sessions!

Check out our first video of the year, inspired in part by the lovely reviews we get from our Facebook followers. The subject was one that is close to our hearts, that of children's eye-health. We're really proud to go the extra mile to help our youngest customers, and their accompanying adults, feeling relaxed and at ease, whilst ensuring we deliver a thorough eye-check. 

In the video we introduce some of our favourite props to help children feel settled during their appointment, including the very cuddly teddy, our funky feathery pen and a good old cuppa for the parents. We also discuss the best ages to bring children for their first appointments and how long they should be spending on tablet screens.

Check it out above and be sure to come and visit next week for more fun from the gang at IntelliSight! 


2017 - The year of the eye!

Julie Breen

With over 1,000 views across all our social media platforms the verdict is in - our Facebook (and Twitter!) live sessions have been a hit!

We'll be back with even more in 2018 but, in the meantime, we wanted to share with you our round-up video, and just a few of the topics we've covered in the last few weeks, including - 

Contact lenses 

Macular degeneration 
Eating for good eye-health (carrot-gate!) 
Common eye complaints in winter 
Frames to fit the face 
Age-related changes 
Buying glasses online
The most popular FAQs and, of course, our now infamous tour of the practice! 

It's been a busy old year...See you in 2018!