Coronavirus Information

What’s happening in our practice…

COVID-19: College of Optometry update, 19th March 2020.

Telephone-based consultancy for replacement glasses and contact lenses

“We are encouraged by the GOC’s response to our concerns regarding patients’ need for eye care during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this period, we want to ensure patients can still access replacement contact lenses and spectacles safely. This guidance gives members confidence that they will be able to work within the GOC’s standards of practice and act in the best interest of the patient.

The ability to supply optical appliances by telephone review when an eye examination or contact lens aftercare is due is both a sensible and proportionate approach to achieve this. We have developed contact lens and spectacle telephone review forms to help support professionals to deliver the best possible care during this time, when some patients may not be able to attend the practice due to self-isolation.”

Due to the government-mandated suspension of business, we are currently closed to the public except for emergency appointments; for example if you’re suffering from double vision, painful eyes, loss of vision or light flashes, please call us on 01243 940180 and we can arrange for you to come in.

We are also able to offer telephone reviews, as mentioned above; again, if you require this, please call us on 01243 940180.

If you require an emergency replacement of glasses, we have a small selection of frames and basic lenses which we can use in order to tide you over. Please call us for more information and to make arrangements.

  We are working with our glazing labs to get orders to our patients as soon as possible, but there will be unfortunate delays as a result of the government mandate.

Due to the customised nature of these orders, we are unable to offer refunds but as stated above we will monitor each order closely and advise you of its progress and collection options.

All contact lens orders will now be delivered to our patients homes. If you require contact lenses, we can take payment over the phone. Our contact lens provider is remaining open, but if there is a change to this, we will let our customers know as soon as possible.

If you are unable to collect your glasses, please let us know and we will keep them safe until it is possible to collect them. Alternatively, at this time we are also offering delivery to homes, so if you would like this, please call us and we can make arrangements.

Everyone here at North wishes you the best of health at this time.

Kindest regards



Fun Vision Facts!

We searched the internet to bring you some fun vision facts. Which is your favourite?


Humans can see more shades of grey than another colour.

Gorgeous greyscale lion

Gorgeous greyscale lion.


Dolphins can sleep with one eye open.

What a smiley chap!

What a smiley chap!


The most active muscles in the body are in the eyes.

Look at those blues!

Look at those blues!


Some people are born with two different colour eyes.

Siblings with heterochromia - two different coloured eyes.

Siblings with heterochromia – two different coloured eyes.


Brown is the most common eye colour  in the world.

People with brown eyes are said to appear more trustworthy too!

People with brown eyes are said to appear more trustworthy too!


An eye condition may have been responsible for Leonardo Da Vinci’s artistic genius!

A very stern looking Da Vinci.

A very stern looking Da Vinci.


Do you have any fun eye facts? We’d love to hear from you!




SCHOOL’S OUT! How to protect children’s eyes from the sun during the holidays

School’s out for summer! The beach beckons and long sunny days in the great outdoors are ahead. It all sounds idyllic.  But the holidays can only go with a swing when we know the children are having fun safely.

Children need protecting from so many things; life, monsters, busy roads and the sun!  We know that sunshine is essential for growth and our general wellbeing, and we know that our children’s skin needs protecting from it’s harmful rays – we know what appropriate action to take to ensure protection.  However, often overlooked are young eyes.  The sun’s rays can be very harmful to our eyes, so we recommend some simple steps to  keep them in tip top condition while the kids are having fun in the sun!

Nano Sol sunglasses, available at North Opticians

Nano Sol sunglasses, available at North Opticians

  1. Sunglasses should be worn in bright conditions. Parents are always quick to put on their own sunglasses but very often you see a family where the adults are wearing them but children aren’t!
  2. Choose a good quality pair. In order to block out harmful UV rays you should look for the CE quality mark when choosing.
  3. Sunglasses can have a prescription lens or just glass.
  4. Always discourage your children from looking directly at the sun.
  5. Take care when playing in the sand; remember the light can be intensified on the beach so make sure you take plenty of shade breaks.

So there you have it! Our top 5 tips to keep kids eyes safe in the sun. For more information you can look at the NHS article here.

Any frame at North Opticians can be made into sunglasses, with or without a prescription, so why not pop in today and have a look?

Myth Busters!

We all know an urban myth or two! They are great entertainment value and here at North Opticians we enjoy a joke as much as the next optometrists; but children’ eye health is no joking matter. Here, we dispel some of the more common myths we hear at our clinic so that you can be reassured that a free NHS eye test with us is the key to looking after your child’s eye health.

Toddler looking through a magnifying glass

Children always get their eyes tested at school.

Some do at about 5 years old, but is is a vision screening not a comprehensive eye test. The provision of vision screening is patchy at best. A comprehensive eye test is a thorough ocular health examination.

There’s no point until children can read the alphabet.

An experienced optometrist will employ a variety of methods to ascertain how well your child can see. Problems picked up early can be treated very successfully and we’d encourage all parents and guardians to book a child’s first appointment at around three years old.

Children are too young for contact lenses.   

Well, it really depends on the individual child. A sporty child might find them much more practical. Many children are responsible enough once taught how to handle and look after them.

Mum and Dad don’t need glasses so their children won’t either.

Not true! A mix of genetics and environmental factors contribute to eye health. City living, time spent indoors and family history all play a part in the make up of children’s eye health.           .

Wearing glasses will make my child’s eyesight lazy or give them a lazy eye.

Glasses will not make your children’s eyes dependent. When an expert optician prescribes glasses for your child, it can relax eye muscles and relieve strain. It’s always important to encourage children to wear their glasses as prescribed to maintain optimum eye health.


So there we have it! Now that we’ve busted some myths for you, you can book your children in with us by following this link.


Information found at Optometry Today.



Children’s eye tests in Chichester! Are we the best?

Here at North we’re proud to offer free NHS children’s eye tests. It’s a big statement to make, but here’s why we think we offer the best children’s eye tests in Chichester!

  1. We LOVE kids. Helen and Iain have their boys, Gayna and Bina have young children, and Ellie and Angie adore nieces and nephews. It brightens up our day when children come in the shop!
  2. Experience. Between us all here at North, we have over 50 years of experience in working at an opticians, including Iain who has been a fantastic optician for 12+ years. In that time he has been awarded Most Trusted Optician in the UK, and was Contact Lens Retailer of the Year.
  3. Family run = family friendly. Since opening, it has been a point of pride here at North to be described by our patients as warm and welcoming. We want to make you feel at home, and as mentioned before, having young children gives our team first-hand experience of what works and doesn’t work when caring for children’s needs in a retail/medical environment.

Added to those points, we have a gorgeous collection of kid’s frames. Look!

New at North, we have Nano. These frames have been described as ‘kidproof’ and are incredibly hardy. They have patented S-shaped hinges which means no more snapping arms, a soft padded bridge, and you can have the arms 3 different ways – regular arms, a band that attaches to the arms and keeps the glasses firmly on your child’s head, or you can take the arms off altogether and have a band instead! Perfect for sports, playtime, or even a fidgeter.

Blue Nano kid's glasses with descriptive text

Nike frames have proven very popular here, especially for older boys. They look grown up, are sporty and have that all-important brand name.

Kid's Nike frame in grey and blue

Bulget frames bridge the gap between very young and almost teenage children. They come in lots of fun colours and a variety of frame shapes!

Pink Bulget kid's frame

So look no further for children’s eye tests in Chichester – you’ve found the perfect place.

What is an OCT scan?

Here at North Opticians we offer an advanced eye test, which includes an OCT scan. But what is it?

OCT imaging is offered to give your eyes a thorough examination using a 3D scan of your retina. OCT is painless and very quick!

Far superior to traditional retinal photography, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is an extremely advanced health check for people of all ages. It is quite different to digital eye photographs offered by your doctor or other opticians, since they only image the surface of the back of the eye. OCT scans all the different layers of the retina revealing parts that cannot be seen by any other instruments at the opticians.

How does an OCT scan work?

It’s similar to an x-ray, though the OCT scan uses light waves rather than sound waves to map the surface of your eye. It’s completely safe as there are no harmful x-rays involved! It’s basically a powerful 3D photo of your eye.

What does it show?

An OCT scan can help diagnose the following:

  • Age-related macula degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Macula oedema
  • Macula pucker
  • Central Serous retinopathy
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Epiretinal membranes
  • Macula hole

As well as this it can be used to search for nerve disorders such as the beginning of glaucoma, though as it uses light waves the OCT scan is not effective in diagnosing cataracts.

We pride ourselves here at North on offering fantastic in-depth services at competitive prices, so if you’re looking for peace of mind and a thorough exam, look no further!

Why not book an advanced eye test with us today? Simply follow the link at the beginning of this post or use the navigation bar and find advanced OCT scanning under eye care services.