What are the benefits of wearing contact lenses?

Since their invention in 1887 contact lenses have come a long way, and now, more and more people are wearing them.

According to the Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers (ACLM) there are approximately 4.2 million contact lens wearers in the UK. Out of this group, 1.8 million regularly use prescription contact lenses, and 1.2 million use daily disposable contact lenses. Whether you need lenses for distance or near vision, or multifocal contact lenses, advances in technology mean that nowadays most prescriptions can be accommodated.

Why wear contact lenses this summer?

Why wear contact lenses this summer?

Summer is the perfect time to switch to contact lenses or try them for the first time. Let’s look at why:

  • They give you a panoramic field of vision, unlike frames which can sometimes obstruct your peripheral view. This is great for driving and can really help when playing sports too
  • Contact lenses offer a more natural look that goes with any outfit
  • They are weightless to wear, breathable, and comfortable when cared for properly
  • Contact lenses don’t smudge or steam up like glasses lenses can do in certain environments
  • They give you the freedom to wear non-prescription sunglasses, so you don’t have to keep swapping them with your regular specs to see clearly
  • They do provide UV protection to an extent, helping to protect your eyes in summer
  • They can be worn full time, or simply for special occasions

Get contact lenses at our opticians in Whitley Bay

Get contact lenses at our opticians in Whitley Bay

Here at Robinson Optometrists, we offer a range of options if you’re interested in trying out contact lenses.

As well as daily disposable contact lenses and multifocal contact lenses we have the latest super oxygen permeable silicone hydrogel lenses. They allow 5 times more oxygen to reach your eye than a standard lens, which means you can wear them for an extended period of time.

Whichever contact lenses you choose, you’ll be well looked after by our team at your contact lens consultation. Our practitioners have years of experience and will always carry out a thorough assessment, working with you to align with your vision and lifestyle needs before recommending lenses to you.

Contact lenses eyecare plans in Whitley Bay

You’ll be taught how to insert and remove your lenses, and our team will be on hand to help until you feel confident enough to do it yourself at home. You’ll then be able to take them away for a free tolerance trial for a week before you make your final decision. 

If you opt to wear lenses, you can benefit from our Lens Eyecare Programme, which means all your appointments will be covered by a £7 monthly fee, including eye health assessments.If you’re interested in trying out contact lenses this summer, contact our opticians in Whitley Bay to find out more or book your appointment!

How can UV rays damage your eyes?

We all know that UV rays can cause damage to your skin, but what about
your eyes? Read on to learn about the effect UV light has on your eyes
and why you should always wear sunglasses for eye protection against UV

How does UV light affect your eyes?

UV light is a form of ultraviolet radiation, and too much exposure can
harm your eyes. There are 2 main types of UV rays that can affect your
eyes. UVA has a long wavelength, which means it can reach the retina at
the back of your eyes and eventually contribute to the development of
serious and irreversible eye conditions. UVB has a short wavelength so
reaches the cornea on the surface of your eyes and is associated with the
development of short term eye conditions.

How does UV light affect your eyes?

UV radiation affects people of all ages – so no matter how old you are, it’s
important to be aware of the dangers and how to protect your eyes and
your family’s eyes. The effects of UV exposure are generally cumulative,
building up over time, so protecting the eyes from a young age is
incredibly important.

Eye conditions caused or worsened by UV rays

Eye conditions caused or worsened by UV rays

Many eye conditions can be caused or worsened by UV exposure, and
some of these can lead to eventual vision loss. Macular degeneration is
the leading cause of sight loss in people over 50 in the UK, affecting your
macula, which is responsible for your central vision. UV exposure
increases your risk of developing this disease.

Prolonged UV exposure can also increase your risk of developing
cataracts, as well as increasing your chances of developing skin cancer
around the eyelids and delicate skin around the eyes.

Photokeratitis is another painful condition that can include temporary
vision loss and is caused by prolonged exposure to UVB rays.

Wear sunglasses for protection against UV rays

Wear sunglasses for protection against UV rays

The easiest way to protect your vision is to wear good quality sunglasses
with full UV protection. Sunglasses are not just for summer, either. UV
rays can cause damage at any time of year, even on overcast days, so if
in doubt, put your shades on.

Now’s a great time to buy new sunglasses, with a huge range of styles
available in our opticians in Whitley Bay. We recommend wraparound
styles for the best coverage, particularly for children, as they stop
sunlight coming in from most angles. We also have a variety of lens tint
options and polarised sunglass lenses to reduce glare from the sun too.

We’re always happy to help, so contact us to find out more about our
sunglasses range and lenses, or if you have any questions about UV
exposure and protection.

How can an 3D OCT eye scan save your vision?

With some eye conditions, symptoms such as blurred vision will let you know something’s wrong. But not all conditions have obvious symptoms – and occasionally, by the time you see the signs, it may be too late to reverse the effects. For many eye diseases, early intervention is crucial to preserve and save your eyesight.

That’s where Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) comes in. This state-of-the-art 3D eye CT scan shows a detailed cross-sectional image of the distinctive layers of the retina at the back of the eye, allowing our optometrists to see every detail in high resolution.

What happens during an OCT scan?

A 3D eye scan may sound a bit scary and invasive, but it’s truly not. When you sit down for your examination, all you’ll have to do is place your head on the OCT’s chinrest and look at the camera. The process only takes a matter of minutes, and you won’t feel a thing. Occasionally your optometrist may administer drops to dilate your pupils, allowing them to the back of your eye with even more clarity.

What does the OCT scan show?

The great thing about an OCT scan is that it can detect problems that traditional retinal photography can’t always see. While standard retinal imaging only shows the surface of the retina, an OCT scan shows all its layers, meaning that your optometrist has a much more detailed picture of what’s going on in your eye.

This means that conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma can be detected and treated much earlier if they are visible in areas which retinal photography wouldn’t show.

How quickly do the results show?

The results are instant, and your optometrist will talk you through them and what they show during your appointment. The images are then stored in your patient record so that over time, with regular testing, we can build a highly accurate picture of your eye health and monitor the progress of any conditions or abnormalities, for your peace of mind.

How to book an OCT eye scan

Here at Robinson Optometrists, we’ve got a 3D OCT scan which you can have when you book a premium OCT eye exam, which takes around 50 minutes in total.

We’re one of only a few opticians in Whitley Bay to offer advanced 3D eye scans. It’s available to all our patients, but we especially recommend it for anyone over the age of 40, as well as patients with existing eye conditions, diabetes, or a family history of eye problems like glaucoma or macular degeneration.

Feel free to call us on 0191 251 6102 for more information about our OCT scan, or book your premium OCT eye test in Whitley Bay online here.

Our best moments of 2021

Our best moments of 2021

It’s been quite the year for all of us with the ongoing pandemic, but there have certainly been some great moments for us. We’re taking a look back at some of our highlights of 2021 and want to share them with you…

Happy birthday to us!

Firstly, we celebrated 30 years in business! From our humble beginnings in 1991, we’ve come a long way and have all our amazing patients and staff to thank for that.

It’s safe to say we had a great time celebrating this milestone achievement!

New team members

We’re pleased to say we’ve had a few additions to our friendly team at our opticians in Monkseaton in the past year!

Megan, our new optical assistant, joined our practice in January. Daisy also started in January as our new student dispensing optician and is now fully qualified – a fantastic achievement!

Both Megan and Daisy have had previous experienced working with opticians, and it’s been wonderful to have them both on board this year.

If you book an eye test at our opticians in the Whitley Bay area, you might see our talented optometrist Hayden Hamilton, who started with us in May. Hayden graduated in 2014 from Glasgow Caledonian University, before specialising as an Independent Prescriber.

Having her join in a part time role means we’ve been able to run 2 clinics for 6.5 days a week – allowing us to see more of you – our valued customers. Hayden is a keen rower and traveller, but most of all loves meeting people, which definitely shows, as she’s been a huge hit with our patients so far. We feel very lucky to have her as part of the Robinson’s team!

Looking for a new pair of glasses? With more than 30 years of experience in optics, Tracy Tweddle, who joined us in May, will definitely be able to help you find the perfect pair.

We also had another optometrist, Andrea Turnbull, join us in November. Andrea is passionate about optometry and brings a wealth of experience to the role. She’s also a real people person – all qualities that make her a real asset to our team.

Not strictly a new team member, but we like to think of her as one (!) – baby Lottie was born in June to Robyn, our assistant manager and dispensing optician, and her husband Simon. She is absolutely gorgeous and a bundle of joy – we can’t wait to see more of her next year!

New myopia control lenses

2021 has been a year of investing in more innovative products for the practice too. One of these is MiYOSMART – special spectacle lenses from one of our lens suppliers, HOYA, which are clinically proven to slow the progression of myopia, aka short-sightedness, in children.

Myopia is a growing epidemic worldwide, with kids in particular starting to develop it at younger ages than previously seen. As it gets worse over the year, it can lead to a host of other potential serious vision problems in adulthood, like glaucoma and retinal detachments.

This is why using myopia management methods like MiYOSMART from an early age has become so important, as it helps you as parents to protect your child’s future vision and eye health.

Fitted and worn just like normal glasses, MiYOSMART lenses are ideal for kids, offering UV protection, impact resistance and anti-glare technology too.

Optix conference

There have been some exciting events too; one was the Optix conference at Celtic Manor, which Nigel, Anth and John had the privilege of attending. They were lucky enough to hear some amazing inspirational speakers, including Sir Chris Hoy MBE and Duncan Slater.

In 2009, Duncan Slater was on patrol in Afghanistan when his vehicle hit an IED. Rather than a life confined to a wheelchair, Duncan chose double amputation. Eight months later he completed a charity cycle ride from Lands End to John O Groats. He has since gone on to ski to the South Pole and complete the toughest race on the planet – Marathon des Sables, in aid of Walking With The Wounded.

Sir Chris Hoy was truly inspiring too – the epitome of dedication and modesty; an exemplary individual who showed us what can be achieved with the correct mindset.

Nigel, Anth and John were proud to have been part of the fundraising dinner, which raised £30k – a figure that was matched by the hosts – Optix Software.

Whitley Bay Girls Sports Club sponsorship

We’re all about supporting our local community, which is why we also sponsored the U12 Lionesses team for a third season. We’re thrilled to see how far they’ve come since they first started 2 years ago – in fact, this year, they were playing in the Premier Division!

They’re always welcome here at our opticians in Monkseaton!

Sea2See frames

On the eyewear front, we’re pleased we’ve just started stocking the brand Sea2See as part of our commitment to becoming an eco-friendlier practice. Sea2See works with fishermen to collect plastic from the sea, before processing it to create beautiful frames. This means you’ll be able to support environmental protection in style! Feel free to visit us and view the collection in the new year.

Thank you to our loyal customers

Lastly, a special thank you to you – our loyal customers who have helped to make 2021 the success it was. Let’s hope 2022 is an even better year!

If you’re looking to book an eye test in the Whitley Bay area for the new year, or need to contact our practice for any other eyecare or eyewear needs, please do get in touch with our friendly team.

30 Years In Business


Can you believe it! Our Optician’s Practice has just had its 30th birthday.

Well it doesn’t seem like it, but it was September 1991 when we opened our doors above a chemist’s shop in Monkseaton. At that time, the team consisted of Nigel, Judith and 3 receptionists each doing 2 days a week. We tested 1 day a week, undertaking locum work elsewhere to support the new project.

The practice has moved twice, and worked from a porta cabin during renovations. This was all within 200 yards, but feels like a million miles in where we have travelled.

We are so grateful to our fantastic, loyal patients, who have supported us every step of the way. Of course we are also indebted to our wonderful team whose hard work and dedication has landed us the title of National Independent Practice of the Year on no fewer than 3 occasions, an achievement of which we are hugely proud.

The change in technology has been mind-blowing. It seems no time at all since we were
using little trial frames to add the lenses to our patients test routine. Now the integrated
system is cross linked to a record card and lenses changed at the click of a mouse.
Who would have thought that we would be performing our own CT scans of the eye within a practice environment? Our OCT tests are now undertaken on an almost routine basis.

Disposable lenses that we throw away on a daily basis? (This packaging is now recycled by the way). We used to see so many red and painful infected eyes, through people not looking after their contact lenses. They are now an altogether safer option than they were.

Lens technology has come on leaps and bounds! Modern varifocals are so easy to adapt to, yet we probably all remember seeing folks walking like they were on the moon, when first wearing some of the older designs.

One thing that hasn’t changed, is our commitment to providing you with the very best in eye-care and eyewear, in a warm friendly environment.

As we have said, “We couldn’t have done it without you”, so thank you! As part of the celebrations we will be running a weekly prize draw.

Anyone who buys a designer frame, or boutique frame will have the chance of getting the frame free of charge. Watch this space, and our Facebook page for details.

We look forward to the next 30 years!

2021 – COVID update Whitley Bay Opticians. We are available for all of your eye-care needs.

Happy New Year!

As an essential service, we remain open for the provision of all eye-care services, including:

Emergency eye-care

Eye examinations

Contact lens examinations

Glasses purchase and collections

Glasses repairs.

We continue to operate on an appointment only basis and would like to assure you that we operate under strict COVID compliance, with full PPE and disinfection procedures in place. We also restrict the number of patients in the practice at any one time, which is why we work on an appointment only basis.

Should you fine it difficult to be able to collect your contact lenses, please let us know so that we can try and organise a home delivery.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

All The Team.

Optician Awards – Independent Practice of the Year 2020

We are delighted to announce that we have once again been pronounced Independent Practice of the Year.

We cannot tell you how much this means to us in what has been a challenging year. Thank you so much to every member of our wonderful team, and to the amazing support of the public which makes this all possible.

We will continue to strive for clinical excellence, stand out fashion and 5* customer service, ensuring that we are deserving of this prestigious award that has been bestowed upon us.

Thank you!

COVID 19 – November 2020 Update

We will be remaining open

Following guidance from Public Health England, we are pleased to advise that, as an essential public service, we will remain open during the November lockdown. However, we are operating on an appointment only basis for all visits, including

  • Eye Examinations
  • Contact Lens Examinations
  • Product Collection
  • Glasses Adjustments
  • Repairs

Online booking is now available, and appointments of all types can be made by calling us on 0191 2516102. Current safety measures will continue to ensure the safety of our customers and our colleagues.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Whitley Bay Opticians are proud to sponsor a Local Hero

Did you know that the Disabled British Golf Open Champion is from Whitley Bay?

Jonathan Jones won the title in 2019 but was unable to defend his title this year due to COVID restrictions. He’s now been selected to play in the Phoenix Cup, the disability equivalent of the Ryder Cup. The tournament takes place over 6 courses including Carnoustie, Glenaeagles and Trump International. Originally against the USA, the competition will now between Britain and Ireland.

Jonny was born with a rare medical condition called arthrogryposis. Arthrogryposis affects muscle development in arms and wrists, causing wrist bones to fuse. With wonderful medical care from a team led by paediatric neurologist Professor David Gardner-Medwin, Jonny underwent a series of operations on his hands and feet to help his mobility.

When he took a keen interest in golf, his condition was never going to deter him from what he wanted to do – compete at the highest level.

The support of a loving family directed him to coaching by the late Ken Philips of Wallsend, and then to the expert guidance of Tynemouth’s John Mckenna.

A very unassuming young man, Jonny is someone our whole region can be proud of. This is why it is an honour for us to be able to help in the sponsorship programme.

We all wish you the very best of luck Jonny. Watch this space for how he gets on.