Specialist Services

Specs of Kensington recommend a regular eye examination, usually every one or two years, as a vital part of your eye care and your general heath care for all the family to allow for early detection, prevention and treatment of any eye care problems. It may be that we can help you further with other tailored clinical services. Please see below our specialist services and don’t hesitate to give us a call to discuss your needs.

OCT - Ocular Coherence Tomography

Ocular Coherence Tomography – is an advanced 3 Dimensional eye scan for people of all ages. Similar to ultrasound, OCT uses light rather than sound waves to illustrate the different layers that make up the back of your eye in 3D.

We also capture a digital photograph of the surface of your eye to cross-reference areas of concern.

OCT – Optical Coherence Tomography

Dry Eye Clinic

Treatment of dry eye depends on the cause and if there is any associated blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction. By performing certain tests your Optometrist can determine the cause and recommend the appropriate treatment.

The following recommendations can help alleviate symptoms and applies to all types of dry eye:

1. A humidifier puts more moisture in the air. With more moisture in the air, your tears evaporate more slowly, keeping your eyes more comfortable. Both central heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer decrease the humidity in the air.

2. Excessive air movement dries out your eyes. Avoid having excessive air movement by decreasing the speed of ceiling fans and/or oscillating fans.

3. Large amounts of dust or other particulate matter in the air may worsen the symptoms of dry eye. In those situations, an air filter may be helpful.

4. If you notice your eyes are dry mainly while you are reading or watching TV, taking frequent breaks to allow your eyes to rest and become moist and comfortable again, is helpful. Closing your eyes for 10 seconds every five to 10 minutes will increase your comfort, as will blinking more frequently.

Research has also shown that nutrition can be factor in dry eye. Incorporating certain elements in your diet, such as flax seed and fish oil, has been shown to improve dry eye. Omega-3 fatty acids (containing eicosapentaenoic acid [DHA and EPA]) are thought to decrease inflammation, stimulate aqueous tear production, and augment the tear film oil layer by enhancing the flow of oil out of the meibomian glands.

Other types of treatment your Optometrist may recommend include:

  • Lubricating eye drops
  • Warm compresses
  • Lid massage/hygiene
  • The EyeBag
  • Prescription medications
  • Food supplements
  • Punctal plugs
Treatment for Dry Eye

Overnight vision correction - Orthokeratology

Imagine waking up each morning with prefect vision and not having to wear contact lenses or glasses through the day.  Overnight vision correction (OVC) lenses correct your vision whilst you sleep so you remove them each morning to leave you with crisp unaided vision through the day. These lenses are custom made lenses which gently reshape your eyes while you sleep. They are suitable if you are moderately short sighted (myopic) up to -5 and even if you have mild astigmatism up to -1.5. The effect is reversible and the risks are no greater than with daytime contact lenses. Check out the i-GO or Eyedream website and watch the video on YouTube to find out how it works. You can also read about us in the travel section of the Evening Standard and the testimonial of Jo Fernandez, Evening Standard Travel Journalist.

How it works in terms of fitting appointments and what it costs:

At Specs of Kensington we are dedicated to giving you the best eye care possible and that applies to our approach to looking after your eyes if you choose to have OVC. The ongoing cost of wearing OVC is about the same as wearing the best quality Daily Disposable Contact Lenses.

To start with, you will come in for a consultation to discuss your suitability for OVC. If it‘s been more than 6 months since your last full eye examination or you don‘t have an up-to-date written prescription, then we‘ll need to do an eye examination for you too. The cost of this initial consultation is just £50 (or £95 if you need the eye examination as well).

If you prove to be a suitable candidate for OVC and you decide you‘d like to go ahead to try lenses out, then you will pay a fee of £300 and we will order your first pair of lenses. The fees you have paid will cover you not only for the initial visit and this first pair of lenses, but also for all the appointments within the following 4 weeks. (Teach and issue appointment, next morning follow-up, 1 week follow-up and 1 month follow-up, plus any extra appointments that might be needed within this time.)

If you don’t proceed beyond the first month, you return the lenses to us and we will refund you £100 – this being the deposit you paid towards lens costs & you will simply have paid our professional fees.

That‘s it – no long term commitments until you see if OVC is right for you – peace of mind that your suitability for OVC is well established before you proceed to use OVC as your longer term vision correction of choice.

If, after the first month, you wish to carry on wearing OVC, you will put in place a DD which starts from £49.00 per month. This monthly payment covers you for all your ongoing contact lens check-ups as an OVC wearer, both routine and unscheduled, as well as routine eye examinations, as needed. It also covers the cost of a new pair of lenses every six months, which is the time frame on which they should be routinely replaced, as well as your contact lens care products. The only extra cost you might incur would be if you need any extra lenses because of loss or breakage.

Call us today to book an appointment for your initial evaluation. You‘ll need at least an hour for this and if you need an eye examination as well, please allow an hour and a half.

Myopia control

What is Myopia?

Myopia is also known as short-sightedness.  Near objects are clear but objects in the distance are blurry. This is usually because the eye becomes too long to focus correctly.

For most short-sighted people the main problem is inconvenience. Being dependent on spectacles or contact lenses can limit activities and be frustrating. However, highly myopic eyes are at a greater risk of developing some serious eye conditions such as retinal detachment and glaucoma.

You are most likely to develop short-sightedness if your parents are short-sighted. Myopia is increasing worldwide and is increasing at a rate which can’t just be explained by genetics alone.

Myopia Prevention

Research has shown that more time spent outdoors as a child helps prevent myopia. It doesn’t matter if a child does a lot of reading, this won’t make them short-sighted, and it doesn’t matter if the time outdoors is spent sitting around or playing sports, it’s just that they are outside.

Unfortunately once a child is short-sighted the amount of time spent outdoors doesn’t have any effect on the progression of their short-sightedness.

Myopia Control

There is currently no cure for short-sightedness. Even laser surgery in adulthood doesn’t change the length of the eye, just the front surface, so doesn’t change the risk of conditions associated with myopia.

The aim of myopia control is to slow or halt the progression of myopia. Research into myopia has shown that the light going to the periphery of the retina is responsible for eye growth or the lack of it. As normal contact lenses don’t change the way the light hits the peripheral retina they aren’t effective at controlling the length of the eye.

However, other forms of contact lenses have been shown to change the way that the light reaches the peripheral retina whilst still giving clear vision and have had an effect on slowing the progression of myopia. The results vary for individual children and there is no way to predict what the effect will be for a particular child.

Orthokeratology (Ortho-k or Overnight Vision Correction) for Myopia Control

Extensive research worldwide has shown orthokeratology has the greatest effect on the slowing of myopia progression. It is thought that the effect on myopia control may be greatest with orthokeratology because the reshaping of the front of the eye is combined with the refocusing of the light that reaches the peripheral retina. The effect is not guaranteed, as results vary for individual children, but it has never been shown to make children more short-sighted.

Ortho-K lenses are rigid gas permeable contact lenses, made of very high oxygen permeable materials of a type which have been shown to be safe over many years of wear. All lens wear is done overnight so the lenses are not worn out of the house, which means less worry about lost lenses or spectacles! Also, daytime is free of specs and lens wear so children can take part in all activities and sports without having to worry about their vision.

Who Is Suitable for Ortho-K?

We use a variety of Ortho K lenses and may be able to fit people with up to the following degrees of short-sightedness and astigmatism:

• A spherical spectacle prescription of up to -8.00 D

• Astigmatism of up to -2.50D

Orthokeratology lenses are worn overnight to gently reshape the front of the eye so that the lenses can be removed in the morning and give crisp, natural vision all day.

Ortho-K at Specs of Kensingtonon

As well as being experts in all types of contact lens fitting, our Optometrists have attended extensive training programmes in Ortho-k fitting. We will be pleased to advise on suitability and provide the necessary ongoing professional care.

Myopia Control

Vision & sports

Whether you are a golfer, cyclist, angler, runner or even a kite surfer, we have a frame and lens combination to suit your requirements. Especially selected with functionality, style, quality and value for money in mind. Our professional dispensing opticians are experts in the products that we offer, so if you have a particular leisure or sport activity you enjoy, speak to one of our staff and they will be able to suggest a range of frames and lenses that will be the perfect fit for your sport.

You can also book an eye test to see whether your prescription has changed.

Vision and Learning

Helping children with specific learning difficulties.

Should my child have further assessment?

The first step with any child is to have a full eye examination which is free of charge to you, being covered by the NHS. This will check if there is any need for spectacles or ocular health issue that could explain any visual difficulties.

A child with difficulties who is found to have no significant refractive error (spectacle prescription), or who presents with classic symptoms of specific learning difficulties such as “words jumping on the page” will then be recommended for further assessment. This appointment is not covered by the NHS at present, and private fees will apply.

What should we expect?

The assessment is designed to detect any visual factors which may be contributing to a child‘s difficulties. These may or may not be related to any diagnosed Specific Learning disability.

During this test your optometrist will concentrate on the co-ordination of the two eyes (binocular vision). Muscle weaknesses or strain found by these tests certainly explain difficulty sustaining focus when reading. They will also check your child‘s ability to focus on near objects in order to make text clear. Should any of these tests find areas of weakness then simple eye exercises will be issued for your child to perform at home.

Finally your child will be assessed for “Meares-Irlen Syndrome” which is a sensitivity for colour where using a prescribed coloured overlay may increase the speed of reading. A recent study found that about 20% of subjects found a decrease in symptoms of eyestrain and headache when using a coloured overlay. Should your child demonstrate an improvement whilst using their selected individual overlay then a specific coloured A5 sheet will be issued. The child should never be forced to use the overlay as voluntary use of the overlay is evidence itself that it may be helping.

Follow up

Following your child‘s examination, an in depth report will be provided for your reference and with your consent, another fully documented report will be sent to your child‘s appropriate teacher so they are fully aware of our findings and recommendations.

Most children are recommended to return 6-8 weeks after their initial assessment where the results of exercises will be investigated and the effect of using the overlays discussed.

Please note

You should be aware that recent studies into improvements in reading performance achieved when using coloured overlays have shown that this may be due to Placebo effect.

We are not able to diagnose a specific learning disability. Our job is to try and find any visual factors which may be contributing to a child‘s difficulties. Our role is to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team with your child‘s teachers and educational psychologists.

There are many other vision training / tests available but currently there is lack of scientific evidence to support them. You should discuss any concerns you have with your child’s teachers to consider other possible areas of support. For instance Phonics instruction may provide improvements in reading.

Glaucoma Screening Services

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the name for a group of eye conditions in which the optic nerve is damaged at the point where it leaves the eye. This causes a loss of peripheral vision which is why it can go undetected until the later stages. If it remains undetected for a long period of time then it may result in “tunnel vision” and blindness. The optic nerve carries information from the light sensitive layer in your eye, the retina, to the brain where it is perceived as a picture.

Your eye needs a certain amount of fluid pressure inside it, to keep the eyeball in shape so that it can work properly. In some people, the damage is caused by raised pressure. Others may have an eye pressure within normal limits but damage occurs because there is a weakness in the optic nerve. In most cases both factors are involved, but to a varying extent.

Raised ocular pressure is NOT the same as high blood pressure and detection of the early stages of glaucoma is often difficult because it is so gradual.

There are 4 different types of glaucoma:

Chronic Glaucoma: This is the most common type of glaucoma. The eye pressure rises very slowly and there is no pain to show there is a problem, but the field of vision gradually become impaired.
Acute Glaucoma: This is less common in western countries. This type of glaucoma occurs when there is a sudden blockage to the flow of aqueous fluid to the eye. This can be quite painful and will cause permanent damage to your sight if not treated properly.
Secondary Glaucoma: This type of glaucoma occurs as a result of a rise in eye pressure caused by another eye condition.
Developmental Glaucoma: This is a rare but sometimes serious condition which occurs in babies and is caused by a malformation in the eye.

How common is glaucoma?

In the UK some form of glaucoma affects about 2 in 100 people over the age of 40.

Are some people particularly at risk of chronic glaucoma?

Yes. There are several factors which increase the risk:
Age: Chronic glaucoma becomes much more common with increasing age. It is uncommon below the age of 40 but affects one percent of people over this age and five percent over 65.
Race: If you are of African origin you are more at risk of chronic glaucoma.
Family: If you have a close relative who has chronic glaucoma then you should have regular eye examinations. You should advise other members of your family to do the same. This is especially true if you are over 40. Those with a family history of glaucoma are 10 times more likely to develop it.
Short sight: People with a high degree of short sight are more prone to chronic glaucoma.
Diabetes: It is believed that diabetics have an increased risk of developing chronic glaucoma.

Can glaucoma be treated?

If detected early enough, glaucoma can usually be treated to control the pressure and prevent futher damage to the eye. In most cases, eye drops to reduce the pressure will be prescribed, although in some cases a minor operation is needed. Treatment is unable to restore vision that has been already been lost but aims to preserve the remaining sight. This makes detecting it early even more important.

Regular eye examinations where the ocular health, eye pressure and field of vision are checked are essential. New examination techniques, such as OCT, are helping to diagnose glaucoma ever earlier. If you are worried about glaucoma, or would like any more information then just contact the practise and we will be happy to talk to you.


Medical Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are often used as therapeutic devices in medicine and our Moorfields Eye Hospital trained optometrists have all the skills needed to hlep you, if this is what is required. For instance we are experts at fitting specialised contact lenses for keratoconus, and we are happy to fit bandage lenses for relief of symptoms in cases of severe dry eye conditions or after ocular trauma, generally working hand in hand with your Consultant Ophthalmologist.


Recent discoveries about the cornea, the clear part of the eye‘s protective covering, are showing that corneal thickness is an important factor in accurately diagnosing eye pressure. When we measure the intra-ocular pressure we don‘t always get a truly accurate reading. The intra-ocular pressure reading depends on the thickness of the cornea, thicker corneas cause falsely higher eye pressure readings and thinner corneas cause falsely lower eye pressure readings.

Your corneal thickness therefore affects your risk for glaucoma, and knowing what your corneal thickness is can make your diagnosis more accurate. With an ultrasonic device called a Pachymeter we can measure your corneal thickness. It is also known that people with a thin central corneal less than 0.555mm are significantly more at risk of developing Primary Open Angle Glaucoma.

Corneal topography

This is a process for mapping the surface curvature of the cornea, similar to making a contour map of the land. The cornea is the clear part on the surface of the eye that a contact lens fits over. About 70% of the eyes focusing power is done by the cornea so its shape can determine the visual ability of the eye. A perfect eye has an evenly rounded shape, but sometimes the cornea is too flat making it long-sighted, too steep making it short-sighted or unevenly curved causing astigmatism (rugby ball shaped).

The pupose of corneal topography is to produce a detailed description of the corneal shape and power. We can use the computerized imaging technology to produce a 3 dimensional map. This is a fantastic tool for giving a base-line of the shape of the cornea and monitoring the health for any changes that may be caused by contact lenses.

Laser Surgery

Modern Laser surgical techniques to correct refractive errors, such as myopia, have evolved significantly over the past 20 years and there are now various procedures which deliver increasingly predictable end results. There are also other types of eye surgery designed to reduce dependency on spectacles or contact lenses, such as lens replacement surgery (similar to a cataract extraction operation). The type of operation which might be best for you is very dependent on the type of visual error you have and factors such as whether you need reading glasses as well as distance correction and so on.

We are delighted to discuss with you what the various options are, and which, if any, might be the most appropriate to try and solve your particular visual difficulties, together with the relative risks and benefits of different techniques. Just arrange to come to see us and mention at the time of booking your appointment that you would particularly like to talk about refractive surgery options.

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