Men, are you looking after your eye health?

21st January


A trip to the opticians might start like this

Heathfield Opticians, Melina Joy, are excited about this year being 20/20; but most of all they would like to encourage men to look after their eye health. This tongue-in-cheek story from Catriona explains how.

This IS an exciting new year.  You probably don’t realise quite how exciting it is, especially for opticians, so I will enlighten you.   Opticians throughout the ages would have given their hind teeth to be alive in this most wonderful of years, 2020.  20/20 is the standard of vision that is considered normal.  If you can read the 20/20 line on the eye test chart, then you have normal vision.  But it means more than just ‘normal’ in the mind of the person having an eye test.  Men see an eye test as a personal challenge, a test of their mettle, as if the optician were testing them to see what stuff they are really made of and men rise to the challenge and give it their all.  They are going to see the bottom line of letters on that little chart if it’s the last thing they do.  If the optician tells them “Your vision is 20/20” what they actually hear is “You have the vision of a fighter pilot”.

This allows the man to tell his friends that he has incredible vision, the vision of a fighter pilot and in fact he could have been a fighter pilot should he have wanted to.  Some men are so confident and proud of their visual prowess that they refuse to listen to an optician or their wife or anyone else who tries to suggest they might need glasses.

Normally this type of test goes like this: –

Optician: “So how is your vision?”

Man: “Oh, brilliant.  Never better.  I can literally see for miles.  I’ve always had exceptional vision.  I could’ve been a fighter pilot you know.  I’m only here because my wife dragged me in.”

Optician: “Okay, great.  Can you read the letters on the chart for me?”

Man: (Squinting) “What chart?”

There is an air of hope among the profession that this magical year of 2020 will somehow convince the general public that they really should have an eye test and look after the health of their eyes (which is important).  Personally, I fear that the year on the calendar won’t be enough to change anyone’s behaviour, but I am all for opticians promoting the importance of regular eye exams because far too many people don’t have regular eye tests and far too many people lose their vision when it could have been prevented.

The only fly in the ointment is this: 20/20 is an American term.  UK opticians use the terminology of 6/6 which is in metres instead of 20/20 which is in feet.  But as a profession, opticians worldwide have decided to cast aside their differences and fully embrace and support this 2020 thing.  None of us are going to let a little detail like that steal our thunder!

Thank you to Catriona Stead-Smith, Creative Director, Melina Joy Opticians.