Ruth Knox is store director of Specsavers in Elgin.
Tell us about yourself
Born and bred in Lossiemouth, I left to study in Glasgow and settled there for some years after university. I moved to New Zealand, initially as a six month working holiday, which ended up in permanent residency, but the seven year itch brought me home to family and friends in Moray.
How did you come to run a Specsavers store?
I have known Peter Taylor, our retail director, for over 20 years so I was aware there was an opportunity in the Elgin practice to work alongside him and the team there. I was keen on cementing myself in this busy practice – allowing me to contribute and help lead a vibrant and happy team of people.
Do you wear specs, what your favourite style?
I'm moderately myopic and have several pairs of spectacles; my frames usually have a nod towards retro styling because cat-eye shapes suit me best, but I have lots of options for different occasions.
I wear daily disposable contact lenses at weekends and my many pairs of sunglasses are always polarised (prescription and non-prescription with contact lenses) – they're great for our low winter sun and occasional summer sun in the north of Scotland.
Tell us about your job
I have been lucky enough to work in very varied optical practices with different models of optical care. My comfort zone is in the examination room helping patients and in my new role as director I will still do that for the majority of my time – I enjoy the interaction, we genuinely get to help people every single day and I will never give that up.
This is why, in 2015 I completed additional training to allow me to prescribe ocular medications – as an independent prescriber I can diagnose, treat and review my patients without the need for additional GP appointments.
The new part of my role as a director is helping bring together a strong and established team of optical professionals – making sure they have the environment and the tools they need to do an excellent job for each and every patient we see.
What does an eye test involve?
Your eye examination will always be carried out by an optometrist and should take around 30 minutes, sometimes extra checks are required which may take a little longer – this will only ever be to ensure your eye health.
To help you get the most out of your time with your optometrist, our clinical team will perform some delegated tasks – including confirming your personal details, eye pressure checks and retinal photography to pass onto the optometrist. In your private consultation, your optometrist will ask you further questions covering any problems or issues you may be having, your general health, any medications and your family history. This is an opportunity to discuss any information you may feel is relevant.
The vision tests include checking any spectacle correction you may have, your best possible level of vision for distance, reading and computer use, your eye movements and coordination and your peripheral vision.
The optometrist will also examine the health of both the inside and outside of your eyes, using special microscopes and lenses – assessments always include pupil reflexes, lens and media checks (most commonly for cataracts), optic nerve and retinal health checks. Each eye examination is particular to you and your needs, whether that be routine checks, changes to your vision, health concerns or occupational requirements.
Do you offer hearing services?
We have been a provider for hearing care services since 2014, offering shorter screening appointments as well as full hearing assessments and aftercare services. We have a team dedicated just to our hearing services, they are always available to answer any questions or queries. We also provide and fit a wide range of state-of-the-are hearing aids.
Who should consider getting a hearing test?
Anyone with concerns regarding their hearing or hearing loss should seek advice – our hearing care team are always on hand to offer advice and book appointments. Hearing tests, like eye examinations, become an important part of our routine health checks. Attending regular hearing tests, every two years, can detect even early changes, that’s why we advise anyone over 40 to make hearing checks a part of their regular health care.
How can patients book a test?
Most of our patients enjoy the convenience of booking through our website or calling us directly – we usually need to ask some routine questions at this stage, just to make sure we are placing you in the correct type of appointment. This ensures you get the most out of your time with us.