As I’ve been wearing glasses since I was ten hearing OCULA Optometrists and Eyewear Boutique were in town I was more excited than an excited person who loves glasses.
That’s basically thirty years of screwing my eyes up to make out who’s in front of me, pretending to know what the letters are on that screen (ama right?), hearing those words “better A or B”, having to respond 1000 times “erm I’m not sure”. And the glasses; oh the bad glasses decisions.
I’ve had them all: John Lennon shape, the huge red pair (because my sister said they looked cool), the librarian horn rimmed, the wire frames, the black I-think-I’m-a-hipster pair. And the contact lenses; the pain and misery of finding the right pair that, like Goldilocks and the three bears, fit just right.
Moving to New Zealand there was a distinct lack of style when it came to frames and also a distinct lack of well, just style when it came to optometrists. It all felt a bit rushed, a bit misguided until I realised that OCULA had landed in Queenstown (and Wānaka and Christchurch!) and I scurried on down with my old pair in tow.
OCULA give everyone a forty-five minute appointment as standard (because your eyes are important people) and they go through a number of checks before they send you out the door (like a WOF for your eyes!).
Eye history, making sure both eyes are working as a team, options around what is out there for eye health (not just the ones they have), a thorough eye exam to make sure they can detect anything like glaucoma, cataracts etc and the biggest thing for me making sure I understand what they’re talking about and how the brain and eyes work together.
There were ALOT of “ahaaaa” moments.
They also offer babies (from six months) their first InfantSEE appointment (which is free) and paediatric appointments (children from five years) which allows the optometrist to discuss if they are aware of any issues early on. 64% of children have undiagnosed visual problems and as I remember thinking a trash bin was a person rolled up on the floor at ten I know that stuff needs sorting as soon as possible. Children need to be getting on with what they love doing; playing and eating ice-cream not worrying about whether that’s their friend standing next to them or a small fridge.
There’s also the option of contact lenses. Something I hear a lot of is “oh I can’t wear them, I’ve been told they’re not for me”. This is where OCULA come into their own because the choice is huge, there’s also the new OrthoK which allows the wearer to wear the lenses at night while they sleep and then have good vision when they take them out for the day. Magic!
OCULA are also leading the way in the disposing of lenses and packaging, they have set up a system whereby you can drop your old contact lenses and blister packs into one of their special bins and they will recycle for you!
But back to the important stuff. The deliciousness that is eyewear and in particular names you might recognise; Tom Ford, L.A Eyeworks, Lindberg, Celine, Anne et Valentin. OCULA stock some of the most drool inducing eyewear I’ve ever seen and every single time I pop in there I want them all.
It took me about 17,000 attempts to pick the ones I wanted and even then I “uhmmed” and “ahhhhed” as I decided on the pair I fell in love with. But all along the way is help to assist you in that purchase. Glasses generally are on your lovely face for around two years so it’s important to get that choice right.
There’s a whole wonderful system set up to help if you find it difficult to know what suits you. Firstly the shape of your face, the diameters of where the glasses sit on your nose, your eyes, the whole kit and caboodle. It’s really really important (which I’ve only ever hear the clever staff at OCULA say) is that you have to LOVE them.
They’ll be sat on your face waving at you most days so you need to look at them and want to put them on. Once you’ve got an idea of what you like and you’ve picked a couple of pairs they’ll help you narrow it down. Two pairs if you can one pair if you can’t.
After excitedly deciding on my pair and their arrival came around they were again fitted making sure they sat right on my ears, nose and across my forehead. It takes a few days for them to settle in (as my prescription had changed from last time).
OCULA are now my must do for frames and service. No more misunderstandings about the machines you’re sitting in front of, no more rubbish frames that you don’t want to wear on your first date. Kids who are flat out refusing to go to that boring appointment; staff at Ocula are a whizz with understanding the goings on of a grumpy seven year old (and make them laugh too!).
A beautiful store, three lovely locations (Queenstown, Wānaka and Christchurch) and staff who have up to date knowledge and make sure you do too so you can impress all your friends. That way we can all head to OCULA and finally see who we’re hanging out with.
Ocula Optometrists and Eyeware Boutique
Queenstown, Wānaka, Christchurch
10 Athol Street
47 Helwick Street
184 Papanui Road
Ocula and I collaborated on this blog post. But if I didn’t like them I wouldn’t share them with you lovely lot.