"Very friendly, polite and professional staff. Practice feels welcoming with a mix of modern and traditional opticians about it" - P.K
"Lovely Friendly staff. Very thorough eye test and happy to take time to discuss things. Very good with my kids too. Lovely independent business" - S.F
"Excellent friendly service, they were able to order exactly the frames I wanted and delivered my glasses quickly" - S.M

Who We Are

We are an independent, local and community focussed opticians established in 1904 in Felixstowe, Suffolk.

It is our mission to provide thorough eye examinations tailored to your own personal needs using modern equipment in a relaxed and warm environment. When it comes to our frames and lenses, our focus is on quality and we have a fabulous selection to suit the community from budget to high fashion. We have specialist interests in Visual Stress (Irlen syndrome) management and supply Vista-Mesh lenses. We also specialise in the management of Dry eye.

Between us we have more than 100 years experience in optics and are well equipped to help you with your eyecare and eyewear needs.

Meet the Team

Will Norman


Will has been working in optics for over 20 years. He took over the running of Scarborows in 2017 following a 10 year role as a senior Optometrist for an award winning group of independent opticians. Will himself was shortlisted for Optometrist of the Year in 2015. Will has specialist interests in dry eye management, contact lenses and visual stress.

Henry Sessions

Dispensing Optician

Henry has over 30 years experience in optics and joined the Scarborows team in 2015. He is an expert on varifocals and has spent many years working with premium lens companies such as Zeiss and Hoya. He has a specialist interest in visual stress and carries out most of Scarborows overlay/colorimetry assessments.

Caroline Landles


Caroline is the longest serving member of the Scarborows team. She is the friendly voice on the phone, the smiling face that greets you when you arrive and the glue that holds us all together and keeps the practice running smoothly.

Michelle Offord


Michelle is relatively new to the Scarborows team and to optics but has been a patient at the practice for many years. She is currently training as a Radiographer and helps us out in between studying and working towards her degree.

Jane Gatley


Jane initially trained in the NHS at St Mary Abbots Hospital and at Chelmsford Hospital, gaining her Audiology qualifications and working in the hospital for a number of years. Since then her career has taken her across both sectors of the hearing industry, working in both private and NHS environments in a variety of different roles. When not at work, she enjoys messing about in the mud with her three dogs and two ponies, singing in the Rock Choir, and spending time with her family.

Visual Stress Experts

At Scarborows Opticians we have been treating adults and children with Visual stress for over 20 years. Visual stress (sometimes called 'Meares-Irlen Syndrome' or 'Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome') generally reveals itself in the form of unpleasant visual symptoms when reading or carrying out close work, especially when done so for prolonged time.

  • Movement/'jumping' or blurring of print
  • Letters changing shape or size or fading or becoming dark
  • Patterns appearing, sometimes describes as "worms" or "rivers" running through print
  • Illusions of colour - blobs of colour on the page or colours surrounding letters or words
  • Rapid tiring
  • Headache or eyestrain

Symptoms of visual stress are not always immediately obvious. Many individuals who suffer with this condition believe the discomfort they feel when reading or the distortions they experience on the page are "normal" and experienced by everyone. That is until someone presents them with an appropriate solution and they realise that reading can become more comfortable and even enjoyable.

Signs of Visual Stress can include:

  • Moving closer to or away from page
  • Becoming restless/Poor concentration
  • Using finger as a marker
  • Skipping words and lines
  • Rubbing eyes and blinking excessively
  • Low self esteem or struggling with or avoiding reading.

Visual Stress is not the same as Dyslexia, but it is more common in those who are dyslexic. People who fail to read due to Visual Stress often are mis-diagnosed as Dyslexic and it is important that symptoms of visual stress are discovered early on. Many find that once visual stress has been treated, the remaining difficulties and problems are more easily dealt with.

Visual Stress does occur in non-dyslexic individuals, symptoms may become more apparent during intensive reading - such as studying for exams.


There is plenty of evidence that shows that Coloured Overlays and Coloured Spectacles can increase the speed of reading. This improvement sometimes may only be apparent after 10 minutes of reading or more but is more immediate when reading closely spaced text.

A Coloured overlay is a transparent sheet of coloured plastic that can be placed over a page or a book so as to colour the text without affecting its clarity. This colour reduces the perceptual distortions of text that people sometimes describe. They enable some people to read more fluently, with less discomfort and fewer symptoms of visual stress. If any signs or symptoms of Visual Stress are present we would first recommend a full eye examination and overlay assessment. If an overlay is found to be helpful we would usually recommend trying it at home to ensure there is a continued benefit in your own environment.

If an overlay is beneficial the next step would be to book an Intuitive Colorimetry Test with our Dispensing Optician Henry. With our Intuitive Colourimeter we can determine the precise colour and shade for spectacle lenses. Precision tinted spectacles are often more convenient than overlays for board work and when using the computer and writing.


At Scarborows Opticians we have also had huge success in treating visual stress with Vista-Mesh lenses.

The Vista-Mesh lens has a micromesh filter built into the lens which acts in the same way as a Polarizing filter, elimating flicker, reducing glare and deflects EMI (electromagnetic interference) radiation. All of these things can cause problems for visual stress sufferers.

Vista-Mesh, if found to help has the added benefit of being a much more inconspicuous option.



During your examination you will:

  • Be asked about your general state of health and about any medication you are taking.
  • Be tested to see if you need spectacles, and if so, what prescription is required.
  • Have the health of the inner and outer eye checked to ensure they are healthy.
  • Receive additional tests for various eye conditions, such as glaucoma, depending on your individual needs.
  • Be asked questions about how you use your sight, i.e. for driving, work, hobbies, sports etc

An eye examination is an important health check on your eyes, whether you need spectacles or not. Everyone is advised to have an eye examination every two years, or more frequently if recommended by the ophthalmic optician. Regular examinations are important because:

  • Eye diseases can be detected before affecting your sight
  • Early detection ensures prompt treatment
  • Any prescription for spectacles stays up-to-date

After the examination:

Your Optician will tell you about the standard of your vision, the health of your eyes and any individual visual requirements you may have. You will be told whether spectacles are required and what to use them for. You will be advised when your next eye examination is due, and will be given a copy of your prescription or a statement confirming you do not require spectacles. If spectacles are required, you will see a Dispensing Optician who will advise on frame styles and lens types suitable for your lifestyle and visual needs. We look forward to looking after your sight.

Retinal photography is an advanced diagnostic tool that can be used to effectively detect and diagnose a wide range of abnormalities within the retina, the light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. These photographs can be used to evaluate the health of the optic nerve, vitreous, macula, retina and surrounding blood vessels, to diagnose conditions such as:

  • Macular degeneration
  • Diabetic eye disease
  • Hypertensive retinopathy

Retinal photographs are taken during a simple, painless procedure using a high resolution camera and a specialized optical system.

Retinal photographs can help track any changes within the retinal tissue that may indicate early signs of a disease. They can also be used to track the progression of certain diseases. It is important for patients to have routine photographs taken so that any abnormalities can be detected as soon as possible.

At Scarborows Opticians we aim to give you the best possible eye care and the highest levels of considered advice and choice. That is why we have invested in OCT technology to take revolutionary scans of your eyes similar to an MRI scan for the rest of your body.

Like ultrasound, OCT uses light rather than sound waves to illustrate the different layers that make up the back of your eye. We also capture a three dimensional cross sectional scan of the back of your eye in one sitting. This allows us to instantly diagnose a number of conditions. The scan is non-invasive, painless, simple and quick. Furthermore, the software can automatically detect even the most subtle changes to the retina with every scan. This gives you an invaluable ongoing record of the health and condition of your eyes.

Do your eyes feel itchy and gritty? Or maybe they water excessively? Are they red, sore and uncomfortable? You may have dry eyes (yes, even if they water. this can be due to underlying dryness issues).

You are not alone, its estimated 20% of people suffer with dry eye, and this figure rises to 50% over the age of 65.

Here at Scarborows Opticians we are able to carry out specialised eye examinations investigating dry eye symptoms, and provide you with a suitable treatment plan. During a dry eye assessment we carefully discuss your concerns and carry out a detailed observation of your eyes. We will use a microscope to look at the surface of the eyes and tears at high magnifications. We also put a very small amount of coloured dye into the tears to assess how the tears flow and see if there are any dry areas on the surface of the eyes. This does not hurt, sting or change your vision in any way. Dry eyes can be caused by several different reasons including poor production of either the water or oily layer of the tears. Following a full dry eye assessment we will design a tailored management plan just for you to help ease your symptoms. We have a range of the best eye drops and lid hygiene products to help get your eyes and tears working properly again.

It is now easier and more comfortable to wear contact lenses than ever before. No longer do you have to be either a contact lens wearer or spectacle wearer. Nowadays you can wear either contact lenses or spectacles when you want.

We supply contact lenses from every major contact lens manufacturer this allows us to offer you a choice of lenses to suit you, your visual requirements and your lifestyle needs.

As a specialist contact lens practice we are able to fit and supply almost anyone with contact lenses, regardless of prescription. We also supply lenses to correct astigmatism,and progressive lenses that are similar to spectacle lenses. So, you no longer have to be under 40 to benefit from contact lenses.

Contact us today to find out how wearing contact lenses could allow you to get more out of life.



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Get in touch

Scarborows Opticians
34 Orwell Rd
IP11 7DB

Opening Hours:
9:00am - 5:30pm, Monday - Saturday