Your questions answered

Ocular Disease

My eyes are… red, sore, gritty, painful etc. Should I see an optician or my GP?

We have access to superior diagnostic equipment and James has been additionally trained on disease diagnosis and therapeutic treatment. James can prescribe several medications for your eyes and we can often provide sooner appointments than the surgery. Plus a lot of the G.P.s refer to us anyway for our advice through our Minor Eye Conditions Service:

My doctor or optician has told me I have “XXXX”. Where can I find some more information on this that I can trust?

Please see our section on ocular disease that lists out some of the more common disease that affects the eye.

James can provide some information leaflets on certain conditions but for additional trusted information from a fellow prescribing optometrist, please see

Children’s eyes

When should I have my child’s eyes tested?

A child should have their eyes tested at around 3 years old, or sooner if there’s a family history of squints / lazy eyes.

Usually by the age of three most children have developed the fine motor skills and necessary language that allows them to participate in traditional vision testing.
We have tested children earlier than this and can pick up gross abnormalities. However ages significantly younger than this often require specialist assessment and using equipment not available at high street opticians.

Vision screening at 4 years old does thankfully occur at Barnoldswick primary schools in Reception year. However we still see children where they have missed this and if this is the case it is especially important to have your eyes checked by an optometrist. Please see our guide on children’s vision for more information:

My child has had their vision screening performed at primary school in the Reception year. No problems were found so do I need to have their eyes tested again?

Visual screening should pick up any squint, lazy eye, myopia, or significant hypermetropia. A pass on this should eliminate the more serious ophthalmic problems that require immediate attention. However there still can be low levels of hypermetropia, accommodation (focus) and convergence problems that can impair close work function. This can have a marked ability on their school work from initially learning to read in reception right up to the essays / assignments at GCSE age. Because of this the NHS entirely funds eye examinations for children right up to the age of 16.

Are all opticians the same?

Absolutely not; there can be a wide variation in the products and service you receive from opticians, in the same way that there is in any profession. Some GPs will be more knowledgeable about your particular complaint than others and some may be more willing to prescribe than others. Some dentists will be more keen to give you that filling than others, some mechanics will tell you that an item needs replacing sooner than others. The key is to find someone you can trust at a sensible price. We try hard to give the best service we possibly can whilst also being aware that not everyone in Barlick can afford premium prices.


How much are your glasses?

We don’t have headline rates or loss leading promotions to tempt you in as we rely on our service element and word of mouth referrals to grow. We also believe glasses are a very individual item that has to be uniquely prescribed, fitted and adjusted to your exact needs. Please call in and we can discuss the matter individually to best suit your needs. Being in Barnoldswick means we would certainly not exist being the most expensive optician in Lancashire, as they say ‘A Barlicker knows a bargain!’ You may be pleasantly surprised at both what we can provide for you and its cost.

Why can I get glasses significantly cheaper online compared to other products that are only a little cheaper online compared with the high street?

There is more to it than just the people and property costs with having a physical presence like other retailers. Unfortunately the UK optics system means the small amount we receive for performing our service means that that cost has to be added to the product. Hence the online retailer (no service element) can just charge for solely for the product. Budget opticians can reduce their cost with their high throughput (shorter testing times) and driven volume sales with special offers etc.

There is no right or wrong answer as to which opticians (or glasses supplier) to choose. Like choosing any product or service, having a full range of optometry services available in the UK is a good thing and, like most professions, we all have certain minimum standards we have to meet in order to be safe. However this does not mean that all opticians are the same. As a consumer you need to be aware of the advice and service you receive primarily, in addition what you are getting and how frequently you are getting it.