Newsletter – Autumn/Winter 2019

  • Always upgrading your TV and mobile phone for better graphics and high-definition optics? Did you know that you can do this for your glasses?

    Until the end of November Rawlings is offering a free upgrade to Hoya Aspheric coated lenses from standard, surfaced coated lenses when you order standard High-Vision Long Life anti-reflection lenses.

    Aspheric lenses are designed using point-to-point free-form technology which means that your lenses are accurately calculated for perfect vision through every point on the lens surfaces. Each prescription is individually calculated, created and produced to improve visual acuity and performance, with reduced distortion and clearer peripheral vision for clearer viewing areas compared to standard lenses. Aspheric lenses also have flatter curves making them thinner and more aesthetically appealing and fitting your spectacle frames better.

    Combining this aspheric technology with the best Hoya High Vision Long Life anti-reflection coating means you a reducing internal reflections and glare creating sharper vision and clarity, plus the bonus of the incredible 2 year anti-scratch guarantee gives great peace of mind! If you suffer with bright sunny days and find yourself squinting, aspheric lenses are also available with photochromic light reacting technology too.

    Call in to your branch for more information.

  • Many great things happened in 1984; Apple launched their first Mac, Prince Harry was born, Band Aid went to Number 1 and Rawlings Opticians opened our Chandlers Ford branch!

    In the 35 years since our grand opening, we have become trusted and well known, looking after generations of eyes in Chandlers Ford. Claire Shipway, (now a Company Director of Rawlings) managed the branch with her small team for many years in the original location of Bournemouth Road near the train station. Since 2013 we have been located in a larger, modern step–free store, prominent in the thriving Fryern Arcade, under the management of Chris Hobbs. Many of the original staff remain including Pauline, Sue and Rachael, with Claire often there too.

    Rawlings is well known in the community for the unrushed, individual attention. Our aim is to make every visit informative, rewarding and enjoyable. Each adult eye examination lasts at least half an hour, allowing plenty of time to check the health of your eyes as well as measuring for your glasses prescription. Like all Rawlings branches, we have an Optical Coherence Tomographer, which shows all the layers at the back of the eye, highlighting any early signs of disease, so you have the reassurance of the highest level of eye care from our experienced Optometrists’ Lindsey, Kim, Kate and Rachael. We have a large range of spectacles with the very latest of lens technologies to choose from, we are also passionate about contact lenses for all too. Our dispensing team are incredibly knowledgeable and would love to discuss all options with you.

    We are also lucky to have free parking available in the Fryern Arcade, so please come in at any time to meet the team, book an appointment or just have a browse!

  • Eyelashes are big business. From mascara to falsies to growth serums to extensions, lash enhancing products are becoming more and more mainstream. But what are the pitfalls?

    Mascara has been used for many years with early versions simply being made of Vaseline and coal dust!  Waterproof mascara should be avoided with reusable contact lenses (it’s OK to use with daily disposables) as it can adhere to the lens surface and build up then cause irritation. As with all makeup, allergy can occur and it is best to replace mascara every 3 months due to bacterial build up in the tube. Clean the wand regularly and never apply on the move as mascara brush eye injuries are very painful.

    False lashes are great for occasional use (if you have a steady enough hand to apply them). Never share or reuse and if the adhesive causes an reaction, keep the tube so that you can check the chemical composition and avoid in future. As these are temporary, the adhesive can usually be wiped away.

    Extensions should only be applied by a trained technician. Again, glues can cause allergy which may need treatment to avoid severe inflammation and so a patch test should be performed before application of the extensions as the glue is designed to be permanent. Hygiene around the base of the extensions is vital to avoid inflammation and irritation over the days and weeks that the lashes are in situ.

    Lash perms and lifts use pretty harsh chemicals and again should only be done by an expert and only after a patch test to check for risk of allergy.

    Growth Serums fall into two distinct groups. The first group contain conditioning agents which keep the lashes soft and supple preventing breakage and fall out so that your own natural lashes are thicker and longer.  The second group contain drugs called prostaglandin analogues and will often have ‘–prost’ as part of a word in the constituents. These do give long lash growth but can also cause irreversible darkening of the skin around the eyes, change in eye colour and loss of the plumping fatty tissue in the eye sockets causing a sunken eyed look.  These side effects usually take months or years to show in those affected, and do not occur in all users, but should be considered when deciding whether to use these products.

    For more tips on healthy make up use see our blog by guest blogger Trish from Hedge End branch.

  • Roast beef, red buses, Rule Britannia and frame designer William Morris - All sum up the Best of British!

    Eyewear company William Morris London was created by British optical frame designer Robert Morris in 1996 taking the William from his middle name. They are an independent company with a very British theme – offering a designer styled frame for every audience.

    Robert takes inspiration from the fashion scene in London in particular and uses a London Black Cab along with the London red double decker bus in many of his advertising. The company remains a family run independent business, just like Rawlings, and the hard work and pride that goes into the collection, is as strong now as it was 23 years ago.  

    Designed for the young-minded individual, their evolving collection features strong bold colours and effortless style. London’s cutting edge fashion is always at the centre of attention, and WM London frames are no exception, having won ‘Optical supplier of the year’ award in 2013, and nominated for ‘Frame of the year’ with a classic tortoise shell acetate.

    Whether you prefer a large retro metal shape, or a black & gold with a keyhole bridge or even a tortoiseshell acetate with a vibrant turquoise twist. Whatever your age, taste and visual needs, WM London will have a style for you – from classic ‘Geek chic’ to quirky leopard print

    Founder, Robert Morris often says that his favourite style is vintage and when choosing a frame he opts for a classic, iconic look that can look good with a smart suit or with a casual pair of jeans – a look that can stand the test of time. Understated and stylish.

    Robert’s Top Tips for choosing Eyewear
    1. Don’t take a partner when choosing
    2. Choose an opticians that understands your needs
    3. Step out of your comfort zone
    4. Choose at least 2 different looks

    Great British Eyewear – Come and see the collection for yourself – available in all our branches.

  • Are your children short-sighted? Short sight (myopia) is on the increase. Twice as many children in the UK are short sighted now compared to just 20 years ago.

    It’s not just a UK issue - in parts of Asia over 95% of teenagers are myopic. This does not just mean the inconvenience of poor vision without glasses or contact lenses – myopia increases the risk of eye disease developing later in life. For example, someone with a prescription of -5.00 has a 14 times higher risk of retinal detachment – a condition where the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye lifts due to developing a hole or a tear. Cataracts, glaucoma and macula disease are also more common with myopic eyes. Our children’s eyes will have to last them into old age – so reducing the risk of sight loss in later life should be a priority for parents.

    Here at Rawlings we offer strategies to slow the rapid increase in myopia during childhood. We were proud to be among the first in the UK to have access to MiSight, a revolutionary daily disposable contact lens specifically designed to treat short sighted children. Contact lens treatment does not reverse myopia, however in most children it slows or stops the level of myopia increasing. Children are great candidates for contact lens wear, even with glasses becoming a fashion accessory contact lenses have been shown to boost self esteem and confidence in children and teenagers. Daily disposable lenses offer the ultimate in convenience and comfort. Since 2017 when MiSight was launched, Rawlings have also been among the first in the UK to have access to NaturalVue and Mylo contact lenses, which enable us to treat children with higher levels of myopia. We are very excited to now have a raft of treatment options, including Eyedream orthokeratology, which as well as being used for children are also popular with adults who wish to sleep overnight in lenses and be lens-free during the daytime.

    Other strategies found to slow the development of short sight include the use of low-dose atropine drops. These are used extensively in Asia however they are not available in the UK yet, in part because all the clinical studies so far have largely been with Asian children  and so the effects on Caucasian eyes is less well tested. However there are clinical trials being run at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and Aston University in Birmingham.

    If your child is not short sighted, but you are worried that this will happen (it is more likely if a parent or sibling is short sighted), the best thing you can do is to encourage them to spend plenty of time outdoors. Studies show that outdoor time delays the onset (and the final prescription) and this is thought to be due to the high light levels outdoors and the farther peripheral view into the distance when outdoors.

    Click here to find out more about myopia management, or ask the optometrist when you next bring your child into Rawlings for their eye examination. Other sources of information are and

  • Social media has now become a part of everyday life. Did you know that we spend an average of 10 hours per day looking at some type of digital device? But what are you actually looking at? Well, hopefully sometimes it’s our website!

    We work hard to make our website an easy and trusted source of information where you can find out about much more than just our opening times and phone numbers. For example you will find pages on the extra services that we offer such as Myopia Management and Orthokeratology  (which you will not find in many high street opticians), as well as information about common eye conditions, contact lens care, our latest reviews, children’s eyecare and, since October 2018, our blog. 

    In the short time it since we started we have covered many subjects and it is hard to choose a favourite. Our first blog about being independent is very informative; to be able to tell you all about our family heritage is such a treat. Our second favourite is reading about our Hampshire Optometrist, Kate’s trip to volunteer in Cambodia and the experiences she had whilst there. We would love to hear which is your favourite so do have a read and let us know!

    If you don’t have enough time to fully read a blog, then don’t forget that you can follow us on Facebook. All our blogs are released on Facebook too so you will never miss one, but we also announce launches of new frame ranges and events that we have taken part in. You can vote for your favourite Rawlings window displays too, they truly are fantastic. Plus, you can rate us on Facebook too, to help us tell everyone about the high levels of service, quality and spectacles that we are proud to have been supplying since 1895.