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Latest news from our North Essex branches

With spring finally here there is lots going on at our four North Essex branches.
Read on to find out more!

New sunglasses brands join our collection

With brighter days on the way, there has never been a better time to invest in a new pair of sunglasses. And we have some exciting new brands in store you’re sure to want to check out.
Radley’s designer sunglasses are every bit as stylish as you would expect from this luxurious brand, most famous for producing high end handbags. Featuring a mix of metal and acetate frames in an on-trend palette, these are sunglasses you will want to wear all year round.
O’Neill sunglasses will also be appearing in our branches. As the brand explains: “A killer pair of sunglasses looks great and keeps your eyes fresh. Whether you’re planning a day on the water or just relaxing outside.”
And there are certainly some killer designs among the O’Neill collection!
We are proud to confirm our third new brand will be Land Rover sunglasses, offering the high level of design and performance you would expect from this world-renowned name.
Patrick & Menzies Partner and Dispensing Optician Dan Edwards explained: “These new additions to our range of sunglasses give even more choice, helping patients find the perfect pair to suit their style.
“Investing in a good quality pair of sunglasses and wearing them throughout the year is one of the easiest things you can do to help look after your eyes. The tint of the lenses in a pair of sunglasses provides protection not only for your eyes, but also the eyelids and the skin around them.”

Improving our eyecare offering

We are now offering OCT scanning at all four of our North Essex branches.
​OCT – which stands for Optical Coherence Tomography – allows us to scan the back of the eye in greater depth, to better check for conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Using OCT scans can help us to pick up these sorts of conditions much earlier than they would have been previously.
We have just started to regularly offer OCT scanning to patients at our Manningtree branch, while also updating the OCT technology at our Mersea branch.

Keeping pace with latest technology

When you last had an eye test, do you remember the optician puffing a little air onto your eye?
This ‘air puff’ test – or Non-Contact Tonometry (NCT), to give it its proper name – is used to check your eye pressure.
With technology continuing to develop we have now invested in new handheld devices which work in a slightly different way and record more reliable results when testing our patients’ eye pressure.
Gone is the puff of air, replaced by Contact Tonometry (CT), which is very quick and a lot of more comfortable – in fact you won’t feel a thing while the test is carried out.
Dan explained: “Handheld CT devices will now be used at all four of our branches. This technology is much more comfortable, and more accurate – leading to fewer referrals for specialist checks.”

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Wear sunglasses for year-round protection

Do you tuck your sunglasses away at the end of the summer, only digging them out again when the weather gets warmer, or you head off on holiday? If so, there are some very important reasons why you should change this habit today!

Benefits of sunglasses year-round

Wearing sunglasses year-round is one of the easiest things you can do to help look after your eyes. The tinted lenses in a pair of sunglasses are designed to cut out the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UV) providing protection not only for your eyes, but also the eyelids and the skin around them.

Excessive or prolonged exposure to UV rays over the years can damage the eyes, potentially leading to problems such as early cataracts and macular degeneration.

It’s even more important for people with very blue or pale coloured eyes to wear sunglasses as they are more sensitive to light and therefore face a higher risk of experiencing sun damage.

Advice for all ages

We’re not just talking about adults here! As most damage caused by UV light takes place over years, it can be of real benefit for children to get used to wearing sunglasses from a young age.

Most sunglasses offer full UV protection, cutting out UV to a level required by law. You can check they comply with these regulations by making sure they are labelled with the CE and/or UKCA Mark.

As well as providing protection from harmful UV rays, sunglasses can also help to make your vision more comfortable.

During the winter glare can be a real issue – for example in the afternoon when the sun is low or when bright rays reflect off snow or puddles. This dazzle, which can lead to eyestrain or headaches can be greatly reduced with the right pair of sunglasses.

Top tips for sunglasses shopping

  • Comfort is key – make sure your chosen pair is comfy both when it comes to the fit of the frames and the tint of the lens.
  • From grey and blue to green and brown, standard or polarised, sunglass lenses come in many different colours and finding the right one for you will just be down to personal preference. Try on a variety to help you find the most comfortable tint.
  • Planning to wear your sunglasses when driving? Make sure you pick frames that don’t obscure your vision and lenses that aren’t too dark.
  • Try to go sunglasses shopping on a sunny day so you can give them a proper test.

At Patrick & Menzies we stock a great variety of sunglasses. Whichever pair you choose they can be made to your prescription, are properly UV filtered and will be fitted with as much care and attention as your regular glasses.







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A whole rainbow of frames to suit your style

At Patrick & Menzies we know how important it is for our customers to choose the right glasses. 

While it’s essential to ensure your chosen specs are comfortable and suit your prescription, you also need to find a pair that you feel fits your look.  

After all if you don’t love your glasses, you are less likely to wear them as much as you should. 

Increasingly glasses-wearers are realising the benefit of having multiple pairs of frames that they can switch between depending on the occasion or what they are wearing. A collection like this might include a classic pair of glasses for daily wear with a few more daring picks for evenings out or days where you want to make a statement. 

Whether you choose to have a selection of specs or just one pair, we have a whole rainbow of options available, alongside classic neutral designs and ever-popular metal frames.   

Read on to find out more about some of our favourite colourful frames. 

Lulu Gui


Dare to be different with these bold red frames from Lulu Guinness which are sure to add a splash of colour to your look. Although standout, the red of these specs is slightly muted, creating a sophisticated look. 



A whole rainbow of frames to suit your style News 1


Bold, bright and with a tropical vibe, these Wolf Eyewear glasses frames make us dream of sipping cocktails on a palm fringed beach!  


A whole rainbow of frames to suit your style News 2

You can trust Walter & Herbert to create eyewear that’s a cut above the rest, and this modern twist on the classic tortoiseshell certainly doesn’t disappoint. We love the warm tones combined with the chunky frame. 


A whole rainbow of frames to suit your style News 3


This pair of kids frames from Ray-Ban offer the perfect balance of serious black around the lenses with a flash of mint green along the sides.  


A whole rainbow of frames to suit your style News 4


These Mattisse frames are real showstoppers thanks to their round shaping and vivid blue tone, broken up with a speckled black line design. The two-tone sides are the icing on the cake. 


A whole rainbow of frames to suit your style News 5


In cool purple, the thin line of these Cameo frames is fresh and vibrant. We love the classic shaping, too. 


Looking for your next pair of glasses? You can browse a wide selection of frames available at Patrick & Menzies from the comfort of your home.

If you are worried about your vision or are due a regular check-up get in touch today to book an appointment. We have branches in Braintree, Brightlingsea, Manningtree and Mersea. 

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Prue Leith and Ronit Fürst frames arrive at Patrick & Menzies

Prue Leith and Ronit Fürst frames arrive at Patrick & Menzies Brands Glasses News 2At Patrick & Menzies we pride ourselves on offering a varied selection of spectacle frames, with options to suit all tastes and styles.

So, we are excited to announce we have added two new collections to our range which are sure to be popular with our patients.

Specs by Prue 

If you are a fan of The Great British Bake Off you will no doubt have admired the striking glasses frames worn by presenter, restauranteur and chef Dame Prue Leith. 

Her iconic eyewear is bold, bright and joyful. And now you can emulate the look with MAC Eyewear’s Specs by Prue collection. 

Selected frames from the collection, which range in colour from the brightest pinks to the deepest greens, are now available in our Manningtree and Brightlingsea branches and we just know they are going to be popular. 

Prue Leith and Ronit Fürst frames arrive at Patrick & Menzies Brands Glasses NewsTalking about the collection Prue explained: “I think of specs as an accessory! I don’t feel right without them.” 

She continued: “”I would rather spend money on glasses (and necklaces) than shoes and handbags that spend most of the time under tables. 

“I need specs to see, but even if I didn’t, I would still wear them.” 

Ronit Fürst frames

Prue Leith and Ronit Fürst frames arrive at Patrick & Menzies Brands Glasses News 1If you are looking for unique glasses frames that truly stand out from the crowd Ronit Fürst is the brand for you. 

Each pair of glasses is painted by hand – yes you read that correctly! They are designed to look different from every angle and include a beautiful level of fine detail. 


Supplier MAC Eyewear explained: “Looking closely one can actually see the paintbrush strokes and the texture of the paint, just like a painting on canvas. After the painting is completed the frames undergo a special coating procedure, which will give it it’s finished look – crystal shiny or sandy matt – and which also protects the painting from dirt and other unwanted effects.” 

These frames will be the perfect match for anyone looking for something a little quirky and individual that truly captures their personality.

They make a perfect second pair to wear on those days when you want to add that extra impact to your look. Again, a selection of frames from the Ronit Fürst range is available now from our Brightlingsea and Manningtree branches. 

If you are worried about your vision or are due a regular check-up get in touch today to book an appointment. We have branches in Braintree, Brightlingsea, Manningtree and Mersea.

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Helping children to thrive with Vision in Learning

At Patrick & Menzies we couldn’t be prouder of our Vision in Learning service. 

Designed to remove visual barriers which may be standing in the way of a child achieving their full potential, Vision in Learning goes beyond the standard NHS eye test examining everything the eye needs to do to be able to read well.  

Even if a child has 20/20 vision, there still can be issues with their vision which hold them back. In the main, Vision in Learning is aimed at children aged seven and up as the eye is not fully grown until that point. However, teenagers and adults have also used from the service to great success.  

Charlotte Wearmouth, P&M Partner and lead on Vision in Learning, said: “In the past I have had adults crying on me as they cannot believe how much of a difference Vision in Learning has made to them. People travel from quite a distance for the service – we have had patients from as far away as the Isle of Wight!” 

Who can benefit from Vision in Learning?
Charlotte explained: “Often children will come to see us after their parents have noticed they are struggling at school. They may be having difficulty reading, complaining that the words jump around on the page, or they find it hard to stay focused and end up daydreaming rather than concentrating on reading. Handwriting can also be quite scruffy and untidy as the lines may appear to be moving when they try to write.” 

Referrals also come from teachers, or the optometrist may have noticed a patient jumps from line to line when reading from the chart during a standard eye test. If a child is diagnosed with dyslexia, they will automatically be referred to the service, though it’s important to note that not everyone we help through Vision in Learning has dyslexia. 

How do I access the service?
Currently the Vision in Learning service is not funded by the NHS. Once a potential need has been highlighted, parents are asked to complete a questionnaire to make sure the Vision in Learning approach is the right direction to take for the child. If the questionnaire shows the service could be of help, then the patient is invited to book in for a full assessment. 

What happens at the assessment?
The full assessment takes one hour and costs £189. First a routine eye test is carried out.  

Charlotte explained: “Some children have never had an eye test before so it’s important for us to check their eyes are healthy and there is nothing physically wrong which may be causing issues. 

The optometrist will then carry out a more detailed assessment examining everything the eye needs to do to be able to read well.  

Part if the test involves looking at the child’s eye muscles to assess how well they cope with changing focus from something in the distance to something close to them. In school children often have to switch from looking at the white board to their workbooks. This can cause visual stress as the eye is unclear whether to focus on the white of the background or the black of the text. During the assessment the optometrist will see if using coloured overlays can help with this, for example.” 

What happens next?
The optometrist will come up with a solution based on what they find in the assessment. That could be glasses with coloured lenses to use for schoolwork, reading, writing and computer work or it could be exercises to help strengthen the eye muscles. Often, it’s a combination of both. 

Charlotte added: “At the start of the assessment we ask the patient to read from a sheet. At the end of the session, we ask them to read it again with the solution we have put in place and usually there is a 10% improvement straight away.” 

The cost of the assessment includes a follow-up appointment 3 or 4 months later, and most of the time the patient will have seen a difference in this time.  

The solution and the rate of progress is different from case to case. Some children will always need coloured lenses, while others will grow out of it. The colour that helps can change especially if the patient is still growing,” Charlotte added. 

If you think your child could benefit from a Vision in Learning assessment, please call us on 01376 320419. 

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Taking care of your eyewear this Christmas

We’re fast approaching the festive season – and as staff at our four north Essex branches will tell you it also seems to be the time of year when more people than usual break their glasses!

So, if a nose pad goes missing while you’re unwrapping your presents, you sit on your specs when you settle down to watch King Charles give his first Christmas speech or a screw slips out while you’re on a Boxing Day walk, don’t worry. The Patrick & Menzies team can help.

Patrick & Menzies’ Dan Edwards said: “We always find people seem to break or lose their glasses more around Christmas time, so we do advise patients to consider investing in an extra pair of specs. Then, if the worst does happen, you still have a fall-back plan. So long as you have an up-to-date prescription then all you need to do is call us to book a dispensing appointment and we can help you to choose the right spare pair for you.”

Many people now choose to have multiple pairs of glasses frames as if you want to dress to impress, altering your eyewear is an easy way to switch up your look.

And if you do break your classes we are also primed and ready to carry out repairs. Just phone your local branch once we reopen and we will do our best to make them as good as new.

So, whether you need a simple spare pair, or you’re searching for new standout eyewear, we have plenty of options to choose from. You can browse a large selection of the frames available from Patrick & Menzies on our website, with options to suit all tastes and budgets.

Needless to say, if you are worried about your vision or have any concerns about your eyes, get in touch with us as soon as possible to book an appointment. Our branches are closed for the period between Christmas and new year, so it’s important to contact us as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. You can either book over the phone or book online.

Festive opening times

All of our branches will be open right up to 1pm on Christmas Eve, reopening at 9am on Tuesday 3 January for the start of the new year. 

We would like to wish all of our customers a very Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. Our deepest thanks for your ongoing support.

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Focus on short sightedness

We’ve all heard the terms short and long sighted but do you know what they really mean?

In the first of two blogs we are going to take a closer look at short sightedness and what this may mean for your eyes.

What is short sightedness?

Short sightedness – or Myopia to give it its technical term – occurs when light rays that enter the eye, converge too much and come to a focal point in front of the retina giving a blurry image. In effect, the eyeball is too long. The longer it is the more short sighted (and more blurry) you will be.

In real terms it means you can see objects clearly when they are close-up, but anything in the distance may appear blurry.

Is it unusual to be short sighted?

No! Short sightedness is more common than long sightedness, and in fact it appears to be on the rise. Lots of research is going on to explore why levels are increasing.

Initial findings seem to show one cause could be that on the whole people now spend more time indoors, focusing on things that are close-up, rather than relaxing their eyes by focusing on the distance. In turn this is having an impact on their vision.

Who is likely to become short sighted?

Short sightedness tends to develop during teenage years and when people are in their early 20s.

Can I grow out of being short sighted?

No, once you are short sighted you will be for life. Although it’s not reversible (except with refractive surgery) the right glasses or contact lenses can help correct your vision.

What happens if I have just been told I’m short sighted?

Depending on how short sighted you are, you will receive a prescription for minus powered diverging lenses. One of our team will talk to you about when you are likely to need to wear your glasses or contact lenses – for example if you will need them for driving – and we will help you choose the right option to suit your lifestyle.

It’s important to note that you don’t have to be very short sighted before you legally need glasses to be able to drive.

Is there any treatment that would improve my short sightedness?

There are some emerging treatments which aim to stop the progression of short sightedness. For example, if a young child is quite rapidly becoming increasingly short sighted, we may recommend special glasses or contact lenses. Although these cannot necessarily reverse the Myopia, they have been shown to be able to help slow the progression. Unfortunately, these are not available on the NHS, but it is an option we can talk through with the patient or their parent.

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Stylish sunglasses to wear all year round

Want to know one of the easiest things you can do to help look after your eyes? Wear sunglasses! 

Although many only think about slipping on a pair during the summer or months or on holidays abroad, sunglasses can be of real benefits to your eyes whatever the season.

Over the years excessive or prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause real damage to your eyes potentially leading to problems such as early cataracts and macular degeneration.  

But if you wear sunglasses the lenses are tinted to cut out the ultraviolet rays (UV) from the sun, protecting your eyes, eyelids and the skin around them.   

Plus, there are so many styles and designs available you can’t fail to find a pair you love. 

Read on to discover some of our favourites currently in stock at Patrick & Menzies. 

Maui Jim Pokowai Arch 439 

The Maui Jim brand is famous for making statement sunglasses and this pair is a great example of what you can expect. The vivid blue lenses stand out beautifully against the dark frame.  

Sunglasses lenses come in many colours and it’s important to spend a bit of time trying on different pairs to find the right shade that is comfortable for you.  Find out more >


Ocean Blue 9326-c1 

With a thin metal frame and sleek sides, these classic sunglasses from Ocean Blue will never go out of style. They are lightweight and easy to wear all year through.

Find out more >


Sea 2 See Abyss-c02 

At Patrick & Menzies we love the Sea2See brand, which offers stylish, ethical frames at affordable prices. Although you would never guess it, all the Sea2See frames are made entirely from abandoned fishnets and ropes collected by fishing communities off the coast of Spain. This pair features a chunky black frame and dark lenses for an ultra-stylish way to protect your eyes from the sun.  Find out more > 


Tiffany 4156

When picking your sunglasses, it pays to opt for a pair that’s a bit bigger than standard glasses, such as these frames from Tiffany. We love the flash of Tiffany blue around the edge of the frames coupled with the metal sides and added detail at the hinge. 

Find out more >

Michael Kors 2062

These sunglasses from Michael Kors will make you feel a million dollars – for just a snip of that price! We love the bold shaping around the lenses connected by a simple metal bridge over the nose. 

Find out more >

Find out more about the benefits of wearing sunglasses and tips on how to pick the right pair in our recent blog.

Think it’s just adults who need to pop on a pair of shades? Think again! Another recent blog explores the importance of sunglasses for children, too.

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Brand Spotlight | Ocean Blue

Thinking of treating yourself to a new pair of sunglasses? Look no further than the Ocean Blue range from International Eyewear  

The brand promises to provide: “An eclectic mix of exquisite contemporary and classic styles for him and for her offering extraordinary quality at an affordable price and with no style compromise.” 

And it really does deliver.  

The superior optical quality lenses come with full UV protection as standard and all of the styles are prescription-ready, perfect for people who rely on their glasses on a daily basis. 

Not only do Ocean Blue sunglasses look great, they’re comfy too and are designed to the same high standard as International Eyewear’s other optical ranges. 

Read on to discover some of our favourites in the current range. And if you need help picking out the right pair of sunglasses for you, check out our recent blog.  

Ocean Blue 9341-c1

Ocean blue sunglasses in tan with animal print - available from Patrick and MenziesMake a style statement with these super chic sunglasses. The neutral frame is coupled with sides that offer a modern-twist on classic tortoiseshell. And the larger lens offers that little extra protection from the sun. 

Find out more >


Ocean Blue 9349-c1

ocean blue sunglassesThese sunglasses make a hint towards cat-eye shaping and feature a subtle mottled fleck that we love. But it’s the twist design on the sides that really make these frames stand out from the crowd.

Find out more >


Ocean Blue 9249-c1 

ocean blue sunglassesIf you favour a smaller lens then these are the frames for you. We particularly love the golden link design on the sides – a detail which adds personality to these otherwise classic frames.   

Find out more >


Ocean Blue 9260-c1

Ocean Blue sunglassesSimple metal frames like these will complement most looks and will never go out of style. These frames are paired with cool grey lenses. 

Find out more >


Lenses come in many different colours from grey, shown here, to blue, green and brown. When you are shopping for sunglasses it’s important to try them on before you buy to make sure you pick a tone that’s comfy for you.   

Ocean Blue 9322-c1 

ocean blue sunglassesThese metal frames with a rounded lens scream summer. The classic style makes for a look that will last. 

Find out more >


Did you know you can browse the current selection of Ocean Blue sunglasses available at Patrick & Menzies from the comfort of your home?

If you are worried about your vision or are in need of a regular check-up get in touch today to book an appointment at one of our four North Essex branches – Braintree, Brightlingsea, Manningtree and Mersea.   




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Brand Spotlight | Wolf Eyewear Inspirit

If you are on the look-out for ethical eyewear which packs a punch in the style department, Wolf has come up with the solution. 

Known for its bold, bright frames with plenty of personality Wolf Eyewear has been a favourite with Patrick & Menzies customers for some time. 

Now the brand’s offer has got even better as it’s making moves to become more sustainable with its Inspirit ethos. 

As Wolf Eyewear explains: “Over the past few years, brands have been rushing to bring out eco frames, but we want to go further. Rather than designing a specific line of eco-friendly frames, we want to embrace a shift toward moving all our eyewear and associated product lines to more sustainable materials from the frames, cases and cloths to the business as a whole.” 

Already Wolf Eyewear has made a number of moves to start to achieve this aim, such as using renewable energy to almost entirely power its offices and exploring ways to lower its energy consumption. 

Now it has launched a new range of frames featuring bio-acetate, a more “planet positive” material which is made from renewable sources.   

We’re pleased to say we are now stocking a selection of these frames, and they are already proving popular. Read on to check out some of our favourites. 

3139eco c12 in green 

Brand Spotlight | Wolf Eyewear Inspirit News


Wherever you look at the moment, a design trend seems to be emerging for all things emerald green. These gorgeous glasses pick up on that popular colour choice while the cat-eye shaping is further enhanced by a splash of pink at the hinge.  

Find out more >


3139eco c21 in burgundy 

Brand Spotlight | Wolf Eyewear Inspirit News 1

Two tone frames seem to be a signature element of the new Wolf Eyewear range, with bold colour combinations creating standout eyewear which our customers love. Here a deliciously dark burgundy is paired with a vivid heather shade, again highlighting the cat-eye shaping to perfection. 

Find out more >



3140eco c21 tortoiseshell

Brand Spotlight | Wolf Eyewear Inspirit News 2

A truly modern twist on the classic tortoiseshell, these frames are full of detail which add character. The neutral frame is freckled with darker flashes, and we particularly love the indigo hint towards the hinges which then runs along the sides. If you have always opted for tortoiseshell but are keen to refresh your look, these frames are definitely worth exploring. 

Find out more >



4092eco c13 amber stripe 

Brand Spotlight | Wolf Eyewear Inspirit News 3

We love the shaping of these frames, which would look fantastic if you have a rounder face. The muted blue is sliced through with a horizontal mottled amber stripe adding interest and depth to these stunning frames. 

Find out more >


You can now browse a wide selection of our frames from the comfort of your own home via our website.  You can then pick out which pairs you would like to try on before you come in for your eye test, and even book your appointment online.

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