Latest news

New “Which?” report recommends Independent Optical Practices.

Which?, the UK consumer body, has released a report on the optical sector looking at the “Best and worst places to buy glasses,” with local independent opticians, such as Andrew Martin < Associates, achieving the highest customer satisfaction score.

More than 5,000 Which? members took part in the survey in March 2014, which asked them to rate their experience of using opticians to have eye tests and buy glasses and/or contact lenses in the past three years.

Inside Andrew Martin's shop

The report offers a ‘customer score,’ based on Which? members’ “satisfaction with the practice on their last visit and the likelihood of recommending it to a friend.”

Local independent practices, like Andrew Martin < Associates, topped the survey, achieving a customer score of 88%.

The survey also asked members to rate customer experience in the practice, ranging from ‘store environment’ to ‘product range.’ The results revealed that independent optical practices were the only practices to achieve top ratings for ‘customer service’, ‘timekeeping’ and ‘product quality.’ Independents were also picked out for their ‘staff communication’ and ‘staff skills,’ and were recognised for being ‘more likely to fix a problem with glasses at no extra cost.’

On the question of where to buy glasses, the article recommends that glasses are bought from the practice which “carry out your eye test. Resolving issues can become complicated if you go to different stores.”

Commenting on the results of the survey, Which? editor, Richard Headland, said: “Not all optician stores are the same and we found big differences between them. We were surprised to see that some of the big high street chains didn't fare as well as other retailers.”

(September 2014)

The latest innovation in photochromic lenses

HOYA Sensity

Andrew Martin < Associates are proud to be supplying HOYA Sensity is the latest innovation in photochromic lenses that provides unparalleled performance and outstanding user comfort. Quickly darkening to a category 3 sun lens tint outdoors and fading back to a clear lens indoors, whilst consistently providing full UV protection.

  • Stabilight Technology™ ensures consistent performance in different climates and seasons.
  • Excellent contrast and glare reduction with Sensity's deep, natural colours.
  • Exceptional optical quality and durability due to Photochromic Precision Technology.
  • Widest product range in progressive, single vision and bifocal.

A new approach to photochromic lenses...

Stabilight Technology™ is an innovation in the photochromic category. It is HOYA's answer to light, UV and temperature reactivity - and it works. Tested across different climates, regions, altitudes and temperatures, Stabilight Technology™ provides consistent photochromic performance.

Exceptional durability

Sensity light reactive lenses are made with a microscopically accurate spin coating process that ensures an even distribution of molecules over the entire lens surface. Superior adhesion is the result. And so exceptional performance and extended durability.

Unlimited scope for all preferences

Sensity is available in a huge range of combinations to match any individual requirements. Sensity can be supplied in all single vision, bifocal and progressive lens designs, such as the award-winning Hoyalux iD range. Naturally, Sensity can be combined with all Hoya premium coatings.

Special Offer

Click here to find details of our latest offer on Sensity Light Reactive Lenses

(July 2014)

Patient Wins Nationwide Competition

Freddy and Andrew Martin

Andrew Martin & Associates – Optometrists is one of the many optometric practices across the UK participating in a nationwide competition, offering young consumers the chance to win a £ 100.00 worth of National Book Tokens in connection with the popular children's range of spectacle frames “Jump”. Young patients at Andrew Martin & Associates have been keeping busy whilst waiting for their eye examination by entering the competition.

Freddy Dettmar of Sutton Coldfield, a patient at Andrew Martin & Associates – Optometrists in Four Oaks, has just been announced as one of the three winners of this competition, and was presented with his National Book Tokens by Andrew Martin, who is the owner of the practice. When asked how he felt about winning, Freddy said “I am very happy and excited about winning, and I am looking forward to getting some Star Wars books or books about dinosaurs”.

Dispenser at the practice, Petra Moore, was thrilled that one of her patients had won the competition. She said “It is vital that everyone, especially young patients, have their eyes examined on a regular basis. Introducing a competition for children makes the experience fun and offers patients an incentive for looking after their eyes and general health”.

Much of what children learn is taken in through there eyes and therefore good vision is extremely important in their formative years. It is vital for children to get correct care of their eyes, as learning difficulties can some times be caused by vision problems. Optometrist at the practice, Beverley Hubbard, said “vision problems can be difficult to spot but there are a number of signs that you can be aware of such as constant rubbing of the eyes, squinting, clumsiness, blinking, and red or sore looking eyes. If you have any concerns about your child’s vision then arrange an examination”. Any one under 16 or under 19 in full time education is entitled to an NHS eye examination. There is a brochure on “Children’s Eye Health” available from the practices too.

Information on Children's eyesight and vision can be found on this site by following the following links:
An article Look to the Future in our Spring 2014 newsletter.
Looking After Young Eyes
An articleLooking after the future to let you know all about children’s vision.
An article entitled Child's play tells you all about protecting your eyes in the sun.

(April 2014)


13-19 June 2011 is National Eye Health Week and people in Sutton Coldfield are being urged to love their eyes and get them tested as part of the national Eye Love My Local Independent Optician campaign.

As an additional incentive, other than health and well being, and as part of the Eye Love My Local Independent Optician Andrew Martin < Associates, with practices in Boldmere and Four Oaks, are offering anyone who books an eye examination during National Eye Health Week, entry into a free prize draw to win an iPad.

The national awareness week aims to promote the importance of eye health and the need for regular eye examinations, and is pulling together eye care charities, organisations and health professionals from across the UK to persuade people to take their eye health seriously.

Andrew Martin, an optometrist at Andrew Martin < Associates, said: Each year we support National Eye Health Week and encourage people to really think about their eye health. It is important that everyone has an eye exam every two years or perhaps more frequently if their optometrist advises, and children should be tested annually."

Independent community opticians associated with the campaign are dedicated professionals keen to take care of the nation’s sight. It’s often the case that people only book an eye exam when they think they have sight problems, however, an eye exam can identify worrying general health issues that if detected early can be referred.

In a survey* conducted by, a quarter of respondents admitted to not having been for an eye test for more than two years, despite over half thinking they would benefit from an eye test now. More than 40% confessed to not visiting the opticians regularly, with a fifth citing a lack of time for not doing so.

Andrew Martin continued: "The health of your eyes is important, and as part of the large awareness drive around Eye Health Week, we are encouraging more people to discover the added value received when visiting an independent optician".

Practices up and down the country, that are part of the Eye Love My Local Independent Optician campaign, are full of highly skilled professionals that take the time to understand a person and their lifestyle when reviewing the health of their eyes."

(June 2011)

Emma Stewart and Andrew Martin

Prize Winner Collects Prize

Sutton Coldfield student, Emma Stewart, got more than she expected after she had her eyes examined at Andrew Martin's opticians practice in Boldmere. When she had her eyes examined she entered a competition to win £25.00 of i-pod download vouchers. The competition was being run at the practice to promote children’s eyecare. This week she found out that her entry had been drawn out in the draw, and she returned to the practice sooner than expected this week to collect her prize.

Commenting or her win Emma said "I was amazed when I was told that I had won, and I didn't need any glasses, I will really enjoy listening to the songs that I download". The competition had been conducted in association with Jump frames, which provide teenage frames at the practice, and no purchase was necessary. Dispensing Optician, Jane Rose, said "the jump range of frames is very popular with teenagers due to their modern styling and colours".

A new competition, which closes on 30th April, is being run at the practice with another chance to win more download vouchers.
Entry forms are available from the practice

Much of what children learn is taken in through there eyes and therefore good vision is extremely important in their formative years. It is vital for children to get correct care of their eyes, as learning difficulties can some times be caused by vision problems. Optometrist at the practice, Andrew Martin, said "vision problems can be difficult to spot but there are a number of signs that you can be aware of such as constant rubbing of the eyes, squinting, clumsiness, blinking, and red or sore looking eyes. If you have any concerns about your child’s vision then arrange an examination" Any one under 16 or under 19 in full time education is entitled to an NHS eye examination. The latest practice newsletter has an article on children’s vision and is available from the practice too.

(November 2007)

Local Campagn To Improve Children's Eyesight

Andrew Martin has just launched a campaign to make local people more aware of the availability of free NHS sight tests for their children. He has produced a special "Young Eyes" leaflet which gives detailed information on looking after children's eyesight. As well as running a free prize draw to win a £25.00 music download voucher, in association with children’s frame supplier "Jump".

"We recommend annual eye tests for all children", says optometrist Andrew Martin, "because a child's vision can change more quickly than an adult's. Yet it is often difficult for parents to spot the warning signs".

A survey by the Optical Information Council suggests that one in five children has an undetected eye problem. These children may experience learning difficulties at school loose confidence and develop more slowly. Also, without early treatment, problems such as "lazy eye" can become permanent disabilities.

"Good eyesight is every child's passport to the future", points out Andrew, "and an NHS sight test costs nothing. We even have a selected range of children's glasses which are completely free".

The practice has all the equipment necessary to examine the eyes and vision of children of all ages. There are also a wide range of frames designed to appeal to children, including the "Jump" range. Many frames have soft nose pads for extra comfort and virtually unbreakable polycarbonate lenses. For further protection, a special lens coating can also be applied which blocks out potentially harmful UV light.

(August 2007)

Local Optician Short-Listed For National Awards

Boldmere optometrist Andrew Martin has been short-listed for a national award. His practice has been short-listed for the "Technology Practice of the Year". The award is open to all optical practices nationally. The award, which recognizes and rewards achievement, encourages high standards in practice, and is run by the Optician Journal.

The overall winner is to be announced at an award ceremony held at the Metropole Hotel on April 21st. This will coincide with Optrafair, the major optical tradefair, at the National Exhibition Centre.

Commenting on the short-listing Andrew Martin said "It is a great privilege to be nominated for a national award like this. It is primarily due to the practices capacity to offer a comprehensive examination of patient's eyes."Equipment at the practice enables optometrists to accurately diagnose different eye conditions, and manage them appropriately. The full text of the submission to the judges can be found on the downloads page.

"Winning an Optician Award is one of the highest accolades any practice can achieve" said Optician Editor, and chairman of the judging panel, Chris Bennett "These awards are not just for the flagship super optical outlets of the multiple sector or the upper echelons of the most exclusive independent eyewear boutiques but for practices of all shapes, sizes and persuasions."

"Technology Practice of the Year" recognises the practice which can demonstrate the most effective use of technology. Andrew Martin and his staff use eye examination technology for the direct clinical needs of the patient. They are able to offer an in depth, comprehensive eye health examination, which makes use of all the modern technology at the practice. Particular emphasis on the detection of ocular conditions and provision of strong eye care is a major theme at the practice and of the judges' criteria for this award. The judges are looking for evidence of a range of technologies including the ability to measure the pressure of the eye, measuring the eyes peripheral vision, photography of the front and back of the eye, measurement of the shape and size of the eye. The recipient of this award will be the practice which has bought modern technology and used it for the benefit of the patient.

Over the past two years Andrew Martin has participated in the North Birmingham Primary Care Trust's eye care pathway pilot project looking at new ways for optometrists to work in the NHS . The project has been specifically looking at referral refinement in relation to suspected glaucoma and the monitoring of stable glaucoma patients. The results from this were presented in Januarys "Delivering the Vision" conference attended by the health minister Rosie Winterton.

(February 2007)