SPECSAVERS arrived in Ballincollig at the beginning of March, just as the pandemic hit. On opening, the team were welcomed into the local community, before having to move into an emergency service during lockdown. With restrictions lifting, Specsavers Ballincollig’s doors are once again open for all routine testing and services, with new measures in place to keep you safe. The store is overseen by store directors, Marie Burke, Deirdre Moore and Joan O’Connell, who between them have a combined 80 years of experience in the optical sector. Together with an experienced team of optometrists, audiologists and highly-trained staff, Specsavers Ballincollig provides customers with great service and value for money across both optical and audiology. Located in Castlewest Shopping Centre and measuring 244.5 m2, the new store employs a total of 13 staff members from the local area. The dedicated team has enjoyed getting to meet their new customers over recent weeks and are proud to have served the community throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. They now look forward to bringing the best level of service to all who need it. Store director, Marie Burke, says: ‘We are delighted to have our doors open once again for routine testing and to welcome the local residents to our Ballincollig store. With a team of local experts, we are delighted to be in a position to bring our professional offering to the commnuity. We were proud to play our part in Ballincollig with an emergency service throughout COVID-19 but now we want to welcome one and all back in to store.’ The store has two optical testing rooms, overseen by a team of eye care experts, all hailing from Cork. There are three optometrists Olivia Meade, Lisa Lear and Maria Hogarth, with a combined 39 years’ experience in their respective fields. Supported by Paula Mealy as dispensing optician with 30 years’ experience, you will be hard to find such an experienced team in any other local opticians. In addition to her wealth of knowledge in the field, Paula Mealy has successfully completed autism training which is recognised by the National Autistic Society, to help understand and cater as best possible to customers with autism. Store director, Deirdre Moore, comments: ‘We are committed to bring advanced technology to the people of Ballincollig along with the expertise of our local team. We have invested in sophisticated, state-of-the-art equipment, ensuring we have the most professional service available to our customers. The new store is a state-of-the-art facility that will house all the latest equipment including five bespoke optical testing rooms and a soundproof hearing room for hearing checks. We use high-tech equipment which can play an important role in the early detection of eye disease as we don’t view it as just a sight test but an overall eye health check.’ Demonstrating their commitment to providing customers with the latest optical technology, the store has invested in hospital-grade Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), a cutting-edge piece of equipment that allows opticians to view the eye in more detail than ever before. An OCT scan can help detect treatable eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration sooner. It can also help detect glaucoma up to four years in advance. This means conditions can be managed before they get worse and can help prevent potential sight loss. An OCT scan only takes a few seconds and allows your optician to look deeper into your eyes than ever before. Specsavers Ballincollig also specialises in audiology with an on-site hearing centre, overseen by audiologist Liz Duffy, who is available for testing in store three days a week. People can also take a free, quick and easy, online hearing test at specsavers.ie. Specsavers will also have new in store hygiene and personal protection measures in place with restrictions on the number of customers, social distancing rules and bank card payments only, where possible. Keeping in line with HSE recommendations, Specsavers staff will use personal protective equipment (PPE) and will practice full sanitisation of testing rooms and equipment. Specsavers director and optometrist, Joan O’Connell, says: ‘We want to assure everyone that our number one priority is the safety and wellbeing of all our customers and colleagues. ‘During tests, face masks and gloves will be mandatory for staff.’ Specsavers Ballincollig offers customers PRSI optical benefits, which are available to both employed and self-employed workers. Under the PRSI treatment benefit, anyone who has been employed or self-employed in Ireland for two years is entitled to a free eye test as well as a free pair of glasses or contribution to a pair of frames at Specsavers Ballincollig. For anyone eligible for PRSI hearing benefits, the Department of Welfare will pay for half of the cost of a hearing aid, up to a maximum of €500 for a single aid, or to up €1,000 for a pair at Specsavers Ballincollig. From kids, to the fashion-conscious male and female glasses wearer, to those seeking glasses for work or other lifestyle purposes, and contact lens wearers, the team at Specsavers Ballincollig ensures customers receive the best possible care and advice for all their optical needs. Specsavers Ballincollig offers local businesses a range of eyecare options under the Corporate Scheme. Choose from eye exams, driver vouchers and safety glasses for employees. For further information on Corporate Eyecare options available, please call 0818 275 664 or pop into the Ballincollig store to speak with the dedicated optical team. Specsavers Ballincollig is located in Castlewest Shopping Centre. For more information on the optical and hearing services available, the range of stylish and designer frames, or to make an appointment, call 021 234 4400 or visit www.specsavers.ie/stores/ballincollig.