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Daily Mail Report on £70 Specs

Daily Mail reports on how safely you can trust buying “a £70 specs from the supermarket?"

May 2012

The Daily Mail provided an “expert”, for an informed and impartial judgment. Dr Sneh Khemka, is a medical director of Bupa International (and previously an eye surgeon at Moorfields hospital in London). The paper states that Dr Khemka himself wears a pair of £500 glasses.

He was asked to grade the quality of the frames and lenses — and to measure how well the final lenses corresponded to the prescription given by the ophthalmologist, who carries out sight tests.

The paper wished to relook at the optical market following the recent entry on the scene of opticians at Tesco and Asda.

Vince Graff from the paper compared glasses from various stores with a budget of just £70
The  Mail reports that 68 per cent of adults need glasses or contact lenses and, last year, according to the industry’s trade body, the Optical Confederation, UK opticians performed 21 million eye tests.
A typical consumer also spends £150, according to research. But some supermarkets offer even cheaper deals like Asda, who they contend provide designer glasses for just £70.

The Mail’s “Good Health” section decided to put five of the biggest players to the test with a prescription for reading glasses to see what  could be got for £70 from supermarkets and High Street chains.
The prescription for reading glasses was “around”  +6.

“After an eye test (some opticians charged nothing, others varied, up to £22), what would be available?” Vince asked.

Attention was paid not only to the frame quality but also how thin the lenses would be? Crucially, is £70 enough to buy a pair of decent specs?

Then, taking into account other factors such as the cosmetic look of the lenses and the quality of my vision, Dr Khemka was asked to produce an overall score for each pair of glasses. The Mail considers the results surprising.

‘I’m pleasantly surprised at the good quality of some of the frames,’ says Dr Khemka. ‘The Tesco and Asda frames stand out as excellent, and most of the other ones are fine. Spectacle frames are very often a complete rip-off. You can buy them for £30 or £40, but they’d sell for £300 if they had a designer label.

‘For someone with a high prescription, spending a bit more for a thinner lens is a good idea. But what this experiment has shown is that the vast majority of glasses-wearers can get a very good pair of spectacles for £70, and there’s no point in spending much more.’

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