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Patrick & Menzies is thinking of you this Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching, Patrick & Menzies has your eyecare in mind. Read on to find out how we can help you to enjoy the festive season.

Repairs

If a nose pad falls off on Christmas morning, you lose a screw when tucking into your turkey or sit on your specs during the Queen’s speech – fear not, Patrick & Menzies is on hand to help.

Not only is Christmas the season to be jolly, it also seems to be the season where people break their glasses, and so we are primed and ready to carry out repairs.

Our opening hours over the festive season are set out below. If you do have a breakage, just phone your local branch as soon as we are open and we will make arrangements to return your glasses to their full glory.   

Spares

A great way to avoid the worry of breakages during the festive period – or indeed any time of year – is to invest in a spare pair of glasses. Then, if you lose or break your specs you have another pair to fall back on.

We have a fantastic selection of frames available at prices to suit all budgets. And now you can browse our frames online. Take a look.

If you have an up to date prescription, you just need to give us a call to arrange an appointment to order your spare glasses.

The perfect present

If you are looking for a gift idea that is both practical and indulgent, sunglasses are a great option. We have a wonderful array of sunglasses available – have a browse.

Once you have picked the perfect pair, give your local branch a call, we can even take payment over the phone and send them directly to you.

Best of all we are offering 25% off a selection of non-prescription designer sunglasses until December 24th  while stocks last. Take a look at the frames included in the offer.

Book ahead

If you are worried about your vision or have any concerns about your eyes in the run up to Christmas, don’t leave it to the last minute. Understandably appointments are limited at the moment in line with our Covid-secure measures, so contact us as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. You can either book over the phone or book online.

Festive opening times

Our branches are open as usual until 1pm on Christmas Eve. We then reopen at 9am on Tuesday 29th December.

For New Year, we will be closed on 31 December and reopen on Monday 4th January for the start of 2021.

We would like to wish all of our customers a very merry Christmas, and happy New Year. Thank you for your support over what has been a somewhat challenging year for us all.

 

 

 


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Children’s glasses are anything but dull

Brilliantly bold or simple yet stylish – we have children’s glasses to fit all tastes and personalities.

Frames for children have come a long way in recent years, with a greater focus on comfort and style making them way more appealing to a younger audience than in years gone by.

If your child has been prescribed glasses, choosing a pair of frames they love will go a long way to making sure they wear them when they are meant to.

With so much choice available for our younger customers, we thought we would give you the lowdown on some of our favourite pairs which are sure to be a hit.

Ray Ban Junior

RAYBAN JUNIOR Frames available at Patrick and Menzies Optician

These dark tortoiseshell frames from Ray-Ban Junior are seriously stylish. Fantastic for older children who want a designer look that’s contemporary but not too showy.

 

EyeStuff

Eyestuff Frames for Children available from Patrick and Menzies

These feminine frames from Eyestuff are both fresh and funky, mixing mottled pink with darker tones for an up-to-the-minute look.

Lazer Junior

Lazer Junior Frames available at Patrick and Menzies

Stand out from the crowd with these striking purple specs from Lazer Junior. The psychedelic circle detail on the insides of the arms gives added appeal.

 

Ray-Ban Junior

Ray Ban junior frames available at Patrick and Menzies

Wow – these neon blue frames from Ray-Ban Junior are spec-tacular! Rectangular lenses and angled arms complete the look.

 

Street Kids

Street Kids frames available at Patrick and Menzies

Opting for frames in a favourite colour can often help encourage children to wear their glasses. But if they tend to be more conservative in their style, a flash of colour with an otherwise sedate frame can be a great option. We have several styles in stock which take this approach, but our favourite are these matt grey frames from Street Kids which feature a flash of orange around the lenses.

 

A wide selection of our frames is now available to browse online, so you can pick out which pairs you would like to try on before you come in for your eye test. Take a look at our full range of frames.

Obviously, we don’t have all frames available at all times in all of our stores, but we are always happy to help, so if there’s a particular style you’re interested in, just let us know.

 

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If you have any concerns about your child’s vision please do give us a call today to book an appointment, as the earlier a problem is picked up the better. Eye tests can be carried out on children of any age – they don’t need to be able to read or even speak yet. It’s particularly important to carry out regular eye tests if there’s a history of childhood eye problems in your family. Free NHS sight tests are available for children under 16 and for young people under 19 in full-time education. Find out more on the NHS website.


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Taking Inspiration from Star Specs

Large frames, small frames, brilliantly bold designs – there is a pair of glasses out there to suit everyone.

And as many famous people have found, if you choose the right pair they can become recognisable in their own right.

Taking inspiration from people in the public eye can be a great way to help you choose your next pair of glasses.

So, we’ve searched our stock to find a selection of specs that we think would suit some famous glasses wearers.

Elton John 

Taking Inspiration from Star Specs News

Known for his statement specs, we reckon that Elton John could really rock this brighter than bright pair of frames from Wolf. These glasses conjure up images of cocktails on a palm fringed beach and would fit perfectly with Elton’s star-studded lifestyle.

 

John Lennon

Taking Inspiration from Star Specs News 1

They may not be rose tinted but these round metal-framed glasses from Vogue certainly make us think of John Lennon, many of our ranges feature similar styles inspired by his classic eyewear. The shaping of this pair particularly suits people with a softly curving face.

 

Audrey Hepburn

Taking Inspiration from Star Specs News 2

No one carried off a pair of large-lensed sunglasses like the legendary Audrey Hepburn. We really love these tortoiseshell framed sunglasses from Maui Jim, and we are pretty sure Ms Hepburn would have too. Picture them worn with a wide brimmed sun hat and chunky earrings and you would certainly be heading towards the Breakfast at Tiffany’s vibe.

 

The Queen

Taking Inspiration from Star Specs News 3

For stately style we humbly suggest the Queen would approve of these frames from Silhouette. The monarch errs towards frames which are barely there with oval shaping. This pair accentuate the eyes beautifully without being showy and would be perfect worn at any occasion – from daily outings to Royal garden parties!

 

Harry Hill

Taking Inspiration from Star Specs News 4

Think of madcap comic Harry Hill and we bet his glasses are one of the first things that come to mind. Dark half frames fit perfectly with his fast-paced creative personality. This pair from Emporio Armani are a good match for Harry’s famous specs and would be great for anyone looking to accentuate the upper part of their face.

 

Louis Theroux

Taking Inspiration from Star Specs News 5

King of geek chic, documentary maker Louis Theroux wears heavy dark frames bringing focus to his expressions and his curiosity. We think this super stylish pair of Polo frames would definitely be on Louis’ wish list.

Did you know you can browse our extensive range of frames online? Once you have selected the pair – or pairs – you like, with just the click of a button we can have them ready for you to try on when you come in for your appointment.

And if you are thinking about choosing some new frames, take a look at our blog which offers advice on picking the right pair for your face shape.


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Brand Spotlight | Sea2see

Stylish, ethical frames at affordable prices? Sea2see offers exactly that.

You would never guess it, but Sea2see frames are made entirely from abandoned fishnets and ropes collected by fishing communities off the coast of Spain, making ethical eyewear a very real option.

The company was founded by François van den Abeele, an entrepreneur with a deep passion for oceans and nature.

He believed that waste plastic which is clogging up our oceans could be turned into raw material to produce everyday products. After much investigation and investment his company has achieved just that, creating premium eyewear with a conscience.

Subtle colouring and sophisticated shaping make the range perfect for the ethical consumer who doesn’t want to scrimp on style.

The range includes a selection of sunglasses alongside everyday frames and is sure to impress when you reveal what they are made of.

As the company’s website explains: “Sea2see is leading a change, hoping consumers will start understanding that waste can be transformed into premium products.

“Sea2see is more than a product, it’s a statement that anybody can wear with pride, because sunglasses will not change the world, but people that wear Sea2see will.”

The company has made a commitment not to use products of animal origin in its manufacturing and as a result the entire collection is vegan-friendly.

It’s hard to pick, but here’s our three favourite pairs of Sea2see specs.

Brand Spotlight | Sea2see News
Sea2see – Carmen

Think 1950’s chic with these Carmen sunglasses. The retro cat eye shaping of these frames will make sure you are always selfie-ready when you step out in the sun.

Brand Spotlight | Sea2see News 1
Sea2see – Amalfi

The Amalfi frame is subtly stylish. Bringing the recent ombre colouring trend to glasses frames, these specs would really suit someone who is looking to take a step away from the norm without going too bold.

Brand Spotlight | Sea2see News 2
Sea2see – Taormina

Sea2see has really come up trumps with the Taormina frame. This elegant piece is modern, yet classic and is sure to be a favourite with Patrick & Menzies customers.

You can take a look at all of the Sea2see frames we have in stock – alongside our other superb range of specs – on our website. Although we don’t have all frames available in all of our stores, we are always happy to help, so if there’s a particular style you’re interested in, just let us know.


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What are cataracts?

Cataracts are areas that develop in the clear lens inside your eyes, stopping light from reaching the back of the eye, and causing blurred or misty vision. They are not painful.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

  • Blurred, misty or cloudy vision
  • Difficulty seeing in dim or low light
  • Colours look faded or more like sepia
  • Double vision
  • Seeing haloes (circles of light) around bright lights, or finding lights too ‘dazzling’ to look at
  • You feel like the lenses in your glasses are dirty or greasy, even when they are clean

Cataracts can develop very slowly and may not be noticeable for some time. They often develop in both eyes, although not necessarily at the same time or in the same way.

What causes cataracts?

Unfortunately, most cataracts simply develop as we age, although you can reduce your risk by eating a healthy diet and not smoking or drinking alcohol. If you have been exposed to frequent strong UV light, have taken steroid medication over a long period of time, or have had untreated diabetes you may also be at higher risk.

Can you tell me if I have cataracts?

We always check for the signs of cataracts during an eye examination. When we look inside your eyes to check their overall health, we look through the lens inside your eye. In doing so, any cataract or cloudiness will be visible to your optometrist. Other tests will also indicate the presence of cataract, in particular a noticeable drop in visual acuity (the size of the letters you can see on the chart) Most of the time, the vision can be improved by an alteration to the type of correction you have. Where this is not possible, we can discuss referral to an ophthalmologist for more tests and treatment.

Unfortunately, because there are no drops or medicines that improve cataracts, and your vision will deteriorate slowly over time, the only effective treatment is surgery.

What happens during cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is the most common surgery in the UK and has an extremely high success rate. It is a quick and simple procedure which is carried out under local anaesthetic as a day patient, so you will be able to communicate with your surgeon during the operation.

The surgeon will make a tiny incision in your eye to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a new, clear artificial lens. You will not normally need stitches, but your eye will be covered to protect it.

If you have cataracts in both eyes, you’ll need two separate operations, usually carried out 6 to 12 weeks apart to give the first eye time to heal.

So, will I need new glasses after my cataract operation?

After cataract surgery most people will still need to wear glasses for certain tasks, although the prescription will be very different from before the operation, and the vision should be markedly better. You will need an eye examination about a month after surgery once your vision has settled down.

If you’re at all concerned about cataracts contact us today.


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Using technology to better examine your eye health

For years the standard way of checking the health of the back of your eyes has been either direct ophthalmoscopy (when we get really close with the bright light) or slit-lamp ophthalmoscopy where you have your chin on a chin-rest and we look inside the eyes using a microscope, a bright light and a super-powerful magnifying lens.

All optometrists are highly skilled at recognising anything that may be wrong, the only problem with this is one of comparison. Judging whether the appearance of someone’s retina two or more years ago has changed or not, can be difficult, even when comprehensive notes are kept. That’s where photographs can be invaluable.

Many eye conditions can be particularly hard to detect because the changes in the appearance of the back of the eye can be very subtle and slow. If we take glaucoma as an example, the appearance of what’s called the optic disc, where the optic nerve joins the back of the eye, is one of the things that we monitor very closely. Glaucoma damages the optic disc and it’s shape and size change slowly as the damage occurs over time. If we have images to compare, then this damage can be picked up a lot earlier than would otherwise be the case. This is not just true of glaucoma, the detection of diabetes and other problems hugely benefit from this too. At Patrick and Menzies, we were early adopters of this technology, known as Fundus Photography over 15 years ago.

Since fundus photography became commonplace, a newer, more advanced technology became available, known as Optical Coherence Tomography or OCT. From the patient’s perspective the procedure is very similar to fundus photography. However instead of a flat 2D photograph of the retina, OCT uses scanning light beams to create a 3D image, not unlike an ultrasound, of the retina. The advantage of this is that we can see the deeper layers of the retina, nerve fibres and blood vessels underneath, things that can’t be seen on a conventional fundus photograph. Conditions like Glaucoma, diabetes and many others can be picked even earlier than before, enabling treatment before any significant sight loss or other complications can occur. We installed OCT in all our practices over 5 years ago and they have proved invaluable.

Our Braintree practice also has something called Optomap. These machines give us an ultra-widefield image of the back of the eye, enabling easier detection of any problems in the peripheral areas of the retina.

These more advanced ways of examining your eyes are a standard part of our private eye examination, and included if you are part of our VisionPlan scheme.

For anyone who receives a basic NHS check, they are available as an upgrade for a small fee.

For more information, or to book an appointment, just get in touch.  We’d be very happy to look after you!


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Brand Spotlight | Prada Eyewear Collection

Prada is the Italian luxury fashion house, specializing in leather handbags, luggage, shoes, ready-to-wear, perfumes and accessories, founded in 1913 by Mario Prada. It represents the best of Italian culture and tradition and is one of the most innovative, prestigious and widely recognized world brands, with a keen attention to detail and a finger on the pulse of new trends. In 2000, Prada launched their eyewear collection, which reflects this approach with unmistakable style, refined elegance and uncompromising quality.

Prada’s eyewear collection is made by Italian eyewear conglomerate and the world’s largest company in the eyewear industry, Luxottica. Luxottica was founded by Leonardo Del Vecchio, who began his career as the apprentice to a tool and die maker in Milan. In 1961, he moved to Agordo in the province of Belluno, which is home to most of the Italian eyewear industry and in 1967, he started selling complete eyeglass frames under the Luxottica brand, which proved hugely successful. Today Luxottica make glasses for Chanel, Versace, Armani, Burberry and Dolce & Gabbana, as well as their own lines.

Prada glasses are among the most colourful, avant-garde and yet wearable on the market today. The brand is renowned for both anticipating and influencing future tendencies, so they’re the perfect option for those who want to lean towards a timeless aristocratic elegance. The collection also includes the Prada Linea Rossa line, which is inspired by the world of luxury sports to convey an everyday casual yet sophisticated style.

“Beauty, creativity and superior quality have always been the guiding principles of the Prada Group,” says Carlo Mazzi, Prada’s Chairman, but the Group is also committed to environmental and corporate social responsibility, so you can sure you are making an ethical choice too.

Take a look at some of the frames: The Duple come in a abundance of colours and has a chunky 1960s feel, upgraded with an exposed metal nose piece, the Ultravox has a beguiling kitten shape and doesn’t overwhelm finer-boned faces, the Journal captures the nerdy-cool vibe with a solid square-frame, the Cinema and the Ornate both have interesting corner details and the Minimal Baroque are so fashion-forward you’ll be on the cover of a magazine!

From sophisticated designs with intriguing detail to vintage models reimagined in different, original nuances, the Prada Eyewear Collection is a range we are very proud to stock. Obviously, we don’t have all frames available at all times in all of our stores, but we are always happy to help, so if there’s a particular style you’re interested in, just let us know!


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Case Study | Mr Manton

The quick thinking actions of one of our optometrists proved to be life saving for our first-time customer Neil Manton.

Earlier this year Neil was driving home from Yorkshire in grey and rainy weather when he noticed a strange shimmering sensation in his right eye. Putting it down to tiredness, initially Neil wasn’t too worried, but when that shadow didn’t seem to go away after a few days he decided to book an appointment at Patrick & Menzies Braintree branch.

At Neil’s appointment our optometrist Charlotte Wearmouth listened carefully to Neil’s concerns and gave him a thorough examination which took almost two hours but couldn’t come to a definitive conclusion. Charlotte said, “Despite not finding any obvious cause, I was aware that Mr Manton’s symptoms were serious, especially as they developed suddenly and were not improving.”

Realising that the problem needed further investigation Charlotte sent the images of Neil’s eye and her findings to Broomfield Hospital with a request for them to follow up. Three or four days, later Neil was called into Broomfield for a further battery of tests, including a brain scan, which revealed that the carotid artery in Neil’s neck was 84% blocked, restricting blood flow to his eyes, and putting him at imminent risk of stroke or fatal heart attack.

Neil was admitted urgently for a 5-and-a-half-hour operation which resolved the issue and Neil was allowed home the following day.

Neil couldn’t be more grateful. “Patrick & Menzies are life savers! I really can’t praise them enough for the professionalism of the service I have received,” he says. “If Charlotte hadn’t been so thorough and taken so much time over my appointment when I went to her, I might not be here to tell the story today.”

Neil returned to Patrick & Menzies just six weeks ago for a further check-up and we are delighted to report that his eye health is even better now than it was before the operation.

Our eyes really are windows to our wellbeing, so if you have any concerns or notice any anomalies with your eyes or vision, please do make an appointment to see one of our optometrists today. We really do go the extra mile to make sure our patients stay well and happy and perhaps enjoy the odd game of golf, as Neil does!


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Important Notice

 

Because of the current health emergency, from Monday 23rd, temporarily, we are restricting our service to telephone and email contact only. This is to protect our team and the wider public. We hope this period doesn’t last too long while we work out a system to deal with any emergency you might have.

Our team are currently working extremely hard contacting everyone who has an appointment booked and those who are imminently due, arranging deliveries of glasses and contact lenses and generally being fantastic. If you do need to contact us, we are here but please do but bear with us as this is a fast-moving situation and we are quite busy.

If, however you are having problems with your vision, have lost your glasses, or any other situation where you need our help, then we will do everything possible to ensure we can take care of you.

Braintree: 01376 320419
Brightlingsea: 01206 302249
West Mersea: 01206 383455

Or email enquiries@patrickandmenzies.co.uk

While we await guidance on what, emergency/essential cover we may be able to provide, please go to 111.nhs.uk first or call 111 if you feel you really do have an emergency.

Please take care of each other and stay safe.

The Patrick & Menzies Team


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Brand Spotlight | Flexon

In 1961 US Naval scientists discovered that the metal alloy they were creating for missile heat shields automatically returned to its original shape, even after being hit with a hammer! This advanced memory material became the unique selling point of Flexon, which, since its launch in the US in 1988, has changed the world of eyewear with its unique attributes, building on the memory metal and further utilizing Japanese materials and technology.

Many brands have tried to imitate Flexon’s incredible success, but none have done so. That’s because Flexon frames feature technologically advanced memory metal in the bridge and/or temples allowing them to be flexed, bent or twisted and yet return to their original shape. Flexon frames require a minimal amount of adjustment but the nose pads and end pieces can be fine-tuned for a more custom fit.

Over the years Flexon eyewear has consolidated its design and manufacturing experience to create a varied collection filled with colour and comfort. Memory metal is combined with rubber, TR90 and stainless steel to make lightweight yet durable frames which allow the user to confidently go into any situation their busy lifestyle demands.

In 1997 Flexon Juniors launched: We all know how hard children can be on their glasses, so the Zeus and Aphrodite frames, among others, offer mature yet fun looks in durable, sit-on-able, chuck-in-your-school-bag-able memory metal.

in 2003 the Flexon 600 series quickly became the industry benchmark and in 2014, the modern, practical Evolution collection debuted. From these ranges, the temple of the Nathaniel model has been enhanced with an embossed, rectangular-brick pattern in contrasting shiny and matte finishes; the Julian has bowed temples to accommodate a wide fit; the Gloria is enhanced with a laser etched pattern design with crystal detailing and the best-selling Mariene has two-tone interwoven stainless steel temples.

In 2016 the Sun Collection launched in a rage of classic styles with polarized lenses and backside anti-reflective coatings, and in 2019 the new premium collection, Flexon Black: Sunglasses come in classic aviator and flat metal shapes and Flexon Black offers innovation with screwless spring hinges and tailored temples padded with rubberized detailing.

Flexon spectacles are an ideal choice if you play sport in your glasses or just tend to put your glasses through a lot, but a word of caution: Although Flexon frames are durable, they are not indestructible! Flexon frames should not be twisted more than 90° and Flexon temples should not be twisted more than once around the finger!

Having said that, it’s a stylish, lightweight range well worth considering, so pop in to any of our branches when you’re next in town to see which models we have in stock and how amazing the memory metal really is!


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