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Four Ways Diabetes Affects Your Eyes

Having a regular eye examination when you have diabetes is vital. A high blood sugar count can lead to eye-related problems and even blindness. We have seen cases where patients as young as 20 years old lose their vision.

We’ve put together some ways in which diabetes can affect your eyes and things to watch out for.

Blurry vision

We often blame blurry vision on ageing but this can be caused by diabetes. If you are unable to see objects with clarity, lack sharpness in vision and the out-of-focus parts of a photograph we recommend booking an eye examination. If left untreated the high blood sugar levels can damage small blood vessels in the retina over time, which can lead to sight loss.

Glaucoma

People with diabetes are likely to have glaucoma. This is when pressure builds up in your eyes because fluid can’t drain like it should. Glaucoma is called the ‘silent thief of the night’ because you can’t feel anything until it is too late. You may notice headaches, blurry vision, watery eyes, halos around the eyes or even loss of peripheral vision but it may have progressed by then. If detected early Glaucoma can be treated with drops or laser surgery.

Cataracts

This is when the lens, a small transparent disc inside your eye, develops cloudy patches. These are common as people get older but people with diabetes tend to get them earlier and they tend to get worse quicker. Cataract surgery is common and simple to perform. A surgeon will remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a new, clear lens.

Diabetic Retinopathy

High blood glucose levels in people with diabetes causes the blood vessels in the retina to ‘leak’ which causes haemorrhaging of blood and fluids. If undiagnosed and untreated, advanced Diabetic Retinopathy has the potential to cause severe vision loss. The leaky blood vessels can produce fluid which can cause swelling (oedema) in the central part of the retina (macula).

The Need for Regular Eye Examinations

A full yearly eye examination can help find problems early, which means they’re easier to treat. It could save your vision. When our patients come in for an eye examination we always take a full medical history that includes finding out if they have diabetes. Many are taken aback and don’t realise how diabetes affects the eyes.

If you have diabetes you should ensure you have an eye examination at least once a year. 

Sunglasses

Top Reasons Why You Should Wear Sunglasses in the Winter

When you think of preparing for winter we think of hats, scarves, gloves and a big wooly jumper. But very few people realise that sunglasses are as important in the winter as they are in the summer.

We recommend you keep your sunglasses out in the winter just as much as in the winter and here’s why: 

The Sun’s Rays

The suns rays are just as strong in the winter as they are in the summer, we just don’t feel the heat as much. Ultra Violet (UV) are just as present in the winter months and can damage your cornea, eye lens and other parts of your eyes. UV rays from sun exposure can be a great contributing factor the development of cataracts and macular degeneration. It’s worth protecting yourself.

The Sun Sits Lower

The sun sits lower during the winter months which leads to more direct exposure to harmful UV radiation. Your sunglasses can help you see more clearly on those sunny days in winter give you better vision when driving.

Protects You From Dry Eyes

Cold winds and snow are more harmful to your eyes than you might think. Wind and snow causes the moisture in your eyes to dry up causing your eyes to suffer from dry eyes. This common condition causes irritation, red, sore and gritty eyes which can be painful. You’re much less likely to suffer from dry eyes by wearing a good pair of sunglasses for protection making your eyes feel more comfortable. 

Our Top Winter Protection Tips:

There are many options for sunglasses, you can have a separate pair of sunglasses with your prescription, you can have a Transition tint put into your current glasses that helps your glasses go dark when you’re outside, you can even have a polarised lens to help reduce the glare.

Driving

Help! I Can’t See Properly When Driving in the Dark

Driving at night is a chore and with the winter months setting in faster than we’d like, most of us will be driving to and from work and school runs in hours of darkness.

Do you find the oncoming headlights really difficult to navigate? Do they shine bright into your eyes and you struggle to see blinding you whilst you are driving?

Night time driving has been deemed the most visually demanding task you will encounter. Road casualty statistics show 40% of road collisions occur in the hours of darkness.

We’re always looking for ways to help our patients see better. The good news is we have partnered up with Seiko vision to bring you a great coating we can add to your lenses called RoadClearCoating.

It significantly reduced irritating glare and reflections from oncoming traffic, wet surfaces and other similar things.

The coating can help reduce ghosting effects and haloing around lights when night driving, improve your ability to see and contrast, reducing eyestrain and fatigue.

Older drivers benefit from the road experience but as we get older we can face difficulties with contrast sensitivity, light and dark adaptation, glare, colour perception and restricted field of view; and these difficulties are often exaggerated when driving at night.

It is therefore essential for the older driver to have a regular eye examination and to discuss the lens options and features that will benefit them and enhance their vision for driving at night.

Our highly qualified staff can carry out a comprehensive eye heath examination and help chose the right lens for night time driving.

Top tips for night drivers:

We want you to arrive safely at your destination when driving at night. Book an appointment for an eye examination and we can help you drive better at night. 

halloween

Are Halloween Contact Lenses Safe?

With Halloween just around the corner and many planning to dress up to scare, we urge you to avoid using spooky novelty contact lenses that could harm your eyes.

Halloween contact lenses have become popular over the last few years, but wearers aren’t aware of the dangers that these types of contact lens pose, leaving many with infections and sight threatening conditions.

Many Halloween enthusiasts are not regular contact lenses wearers and haven’t been trained on how to put the lenses in and take them off safely or given advice on how to care for their lenses.

The results can be nasty and range from mildly irritating complications to potentially sight-threatening conditions like corneal infections.

If bought online or from a market stall, it’s possible that the lenses could give you an infection because they may not have been medically approved.

We also urge people to take care when wearing Halloween make up such as eyeliner and mascara and ensure they are removed before sleeping to reduce the link of getting a bacterial infection.

Our top Halloween contact lens tips:

If you’re wondering about contact lenses in general and you would like to discuss the possibility of wearing them you can book a consultation with us. Call your local branch or visit Our Secure Online Booking Page to book an appointment.

Dry eyes

What is dry eye syndrome and what does it look like?

Have you ever suffered from sore, watery, uncomfortable, red eyes?

You could be suffering from a condition called Dry Eyes. You’re not alone, the condition affects nearly five million Britons over the age of 45 years.

As we age, we produce less tears which causes Dry Eye Syndrome. This leads to your eyes drying out and becoming itchy and sore. Sometime this can affect our vision and we’re left tired and confused.

What Symptoms Can I Get With Dry Eyes?

With dry eyes you could experience and of these symptoms:

How Dry Eyes Occurs?

A number of factors can increase your risk of dry eyes:
Digital devices – when we work at a computer or use or phone we tend to blink less frequently which can cause dry eyes.
Ageing – although dry eye syndrome can occur at any age, but it becomes increasingly more common later in life, especially after age 50.
Indoor environment – air conditioning, ceiling fans and forced air heating systems all can decrease indoor humidity, causing dry eye symptoms.
Outdoor environment – Arid climates and dry or windy conditions increase the risk of dry eyes.
Flying – The air in the cabins of airplanes is extremely dry and can lead to dry eyes
Health conditions – Certain diseases like diabetes, thyroid-associated diseases, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjorgen syndrome contribute to dry eye problems.
Medications – Many prescription and non-prescription medicines, including antihistamines, antidepressants, certain blood pressure medications and birth control pills increase the risk of dry eye symptoms.
Eyelid problems – when we blink or sleep some of us don’t close our eyelids fully which can cause dry eyes.

How Dry Eyes Can Be Treated

You can book an appointment in one of our dry eye clinics and we will run through some tests. We will prescribe a course of treatment which could be as simple as applying specialist drops to more advanced treatment like increasing the tear flow in your eyes through special plugs.

We will discuss all the treatment options available and map out a treatment path. We will also monitor you frequently to ensure the treatment plans are working or if any adjustments are needed.

How can I book an appointment?

You can call any of our branches. you will find a list here 👉 www.realeyesuk.com/branches or book online at www.realeyesuk.com/bookings

Optician

Why Independent Opticians Are Better

Choosing an independent optician is clearly the right choice. Most of us would agree that our eyes are the most important of our senses and losing your vision would be awful.

People who enjoy excellent vision often wonder whether they really need to schedule an eye exam. But an eye exam is just as much about checking the health of your eyes as it is evaluating how well you can see. Independent opticians, like us, put eye health at the forefront of their services and here’s why we think you independent is best:

Dedicate time

Independent opticians can dedicate the time needed to give you a thorough and properly explained eye examination rather than a rushed job. We avoid booking as many patients into our clinics as high street opticians, so we have time to talk to you as a human rather than a person on our database and are not rushing to see the next patient. Some of the discoveries made in our testing rooms have been potentially lifesaving and they have come through checking patients’ eyes thoroughly and deeper conversation after the test have been completed. You can find our more about the importance of an eye examination here.

Create the right environment and team

Independent opticians want to put together a team of experts that work well together and will strive to give their patients exceptional service. When you visit your independent optician you want to be examined by a highly qualified and professional optometrist who has the ability to explain the tests they are carrying out and answer any questions you may have, giving you peace of mind. You want to choose your glasses in a relaxed and friendly environment where our team can help you pick a pair of glasses that suits your personality and lifestyle. So, we choose people who have the ability to help you achieve your glasses goal. We also want to make sure that we have an efficient team on the back end who look after the day to day running, ensuring your glasses are ordered, checked and delivered on time and call you back when your next eye examination is due, never missing any eye related conditions. Collecting your glasses is also a big deal for us so we spend time making sure everything fits perfectly and you can see clearly.

Get to know you and your family

You will usually see the same familiar faces at independent opticians and they will take the time to get to know you and your family. This can help to make you feel at ease if you are nervous about a particular eye problem that needs monitoring on a regular basis. When you and your family start building a bond with your local opticians, we start to connect the dots with your family’s medical history. Some eye conditions are genetic and can be passed down generations. Knowing the genetic conditions a parent has, allows us to monitor your children and their eye care closely with greater awareness.

Work with local communities and businesses

Independent opticians get excited by this. We work with local communities sponsoring local sporting teams, running events at schools and bringing the business community together. It’s important for us to support local businesses in looking after their employees so that they can work effectively and comfortably. At Realeyes, we work with alongside the Vision Care Partnership (VSP) that gives employees access to eye care services and added value on a range of eyewear, contact lenses and eye care products. When you visit a VSP network optician you gain access to a great range of savings across your eyecare services taken care of under your benefits allowance. Find out more by clicking here. We also work with companies in the area to offer a competitive corporate plan so that employees can have their eye examined.

Is My Company Enrolled on the VPS programme and How Can I Access It?

Invest in Specialist Equipment

Like with any specialist independent store in any industry, independent opticians will spend money on specialist equipment. The leader in the field is the OCT – 3D eye scan which offers in depth analysis of the eyes and can detect conditions up to four years in advance. Independent opticians will have specialist knowledge and equipment to help you diagnose eye related conditions and offer the right course of treatment or point you to the right specialist. Directors of independent opticians, like us, will most likely be optometrists or work closely in the field. They have a vested interest in optometry and furthering their studies in eye related matters – so it’s not just a job for them!

Run Specialist Clinics:

Independent opticians will have the time and expertise to offer specialist clinics. For us, this would include clinics like a dry eye clinic, helping patients who suffer from sore, watery, uncomfortable eyes that feel gritty at times or a visual and learning clinic where we can help children and adults who come to us complaining that when they are reading books the text moves, they get tired reading or they get headaches, eye strains or even migraines. These clinics are a vital part of your eye health. We can give specialist advice to computer users easing their eye strain.

Create a love for fashion

Independent opticians can spend time looking at fashion house across the globe and choosing the latest pair of glasses that suit the community they serve. You’ll find some stores carry more exclusive brands because patients come is asking for something a little more unique. We spend time getting to know our customers and their fashion sense and choose frames accordingly and train staff to offer the best glasses to suit face shapes. We partner up with the likes of Gucci, Tom Ford, Ray-Ban, Oakley to others alike to bring you the latest designs.

 At Realeyes we love looking after your eyes. We love talking to you about the best solution for any eye health or vision problems and uncovering solutions together that will help you see and feel better. 

We want our customers see the best and look the best whatever they do in life. The right lenses can help ease the workload and make you more efficient in all parts of your life.

Office Lens

What is an Office Lens and Do I Need One?

An office lens helps those people that work in front of a computer, read or write. It’s suitable to use if you work in an office or from work from home.  

The lenses will give you better and relaxed vision at work and provide comfort for your eyes. It will help alleviate tired eyes, eye strain and headaches from concentrated working. Many of our own team members enjoy wearing these lenses. 

How do they work?

These lenses are adapted to make the transition from near to intermediate vision as pleasant as possible.

The lenses are split into two parts – the top half is for intermediate vision, and the bottom half is for near vision – however there is no ‘jump’ from one part of the lens to the other; it is a gradual progression.

Intermediate vision includes things that are about 1-2 metres away – like your computer screen; while near vision includes things that are just in front of you or in your hands – like your mobile phone or a document you’re reading or writing.

The demands of adapting to different work environments make it a great choice for those working in front of a computer, reading or writing.

How can I get an office lens?

When you come in for your eye examination we usually find out about your lifestyle. You may want to mention to the optometrist that you are interested in an office lens. You don’t have to wait until a year is up for your next eye examination. We offer private eye examinations at any point during the year.

These lenses can be put into most of our frames and will make a world of difference.

We are here to help you see better. To book an eye examination click on the link below ↓

Copy of WP

Is My Company Enrolled on the VPS programme and How Can I Access It?

Realeyes The Eye Clinic has become a well-known provider of one of the best Vision Service Plan (VSP) insurances on the market. We work alongside the health insurance company to ensure you get the best possible eye care service. We can style you with a great pair of glasses as well. 

What is VSP Eye Insurance?

VSP is a vital insurance plan that ensures you get the best optical care when you need it the most. Not only because it’s handy not to have to fork out thousands on designer specs you can’t really afford two weeks into your paycheck, but also because they invested millions into the best optical testing which can detect diabetes, diseases and tumours. Getting your eyes tested through your VSP plan could potentially save your life. 

Do I qualify for VSP?

Individual plans are not available at present. You could be eligible for a VSP if you are an employer or if you have a health care company or private healthcare plan. You’ll be seen at your local independent optician at Realeyes which has major benefits over high street chain. Use our checker below to see if your company is enrolled on the programme ↓

What Benefits Will I Get?

You would be entitled to the following: 

  • Eye Exams 
  • Glasses
  • Corrective Lenses
  • Contact Lenses
  • Special Lenses For Glasses

Benefits do vary for each VSP plan so please check your plan to see what you are covered for. 

VSP eye examinations are particularly important if you work in front of a computer. Your opticians can offer you computer glasses, which are different from regular eyeglasses or reading glasses, and they provide several solutions to optimise your eyesight.

Why Realeyes?

As a VSP optometrist, we are committed to providing personalised service and the best possible care to help you see well for life. We’re knowledgeable, helpful and friendly and will get to know you and your family. Through this personal relationship, your optometrist will be able to offer high quality eyecare and health care.

People who enjoy excellent vision often wonder whether they really need to schedule an eye exam. But an eye exam is just as much about checking the health of your eyes as it is evaluating how well you can see.

Access data UK Limited

Balbec Capital LP(UK)

Bluebay Asset Management Corporation Ltd

Citadel Securities (Europe) Limited

Elan Capital Management LLP

Fortress Investment Group

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Partners LLP

OANDA Europe LTD

PG CIQ UK Private Limited

Prosek UK Ltd.

Proxima Procurement Ltd.

PulsePoint INC

Stripe Payments UK Ltd.

Acacia Communications, Inc.

Aerie Pharmaceuticals Ireland Limited

Aralez Pharmaceuticals Trading DAC

Blockdaemon Limited

Citadel Enterprise Management

Dimension Data

EJ2 Communications, 

Technology Ireland Ltd.

KKR Credit Advisors (Ireland)

ReliaQuest Ireland Limited

Stripe Payments Europe Ltd. (IE)

Strongbridge Ireland Ltd

ViaSat Ireland Limited

Camida LTD

PicMonkey International Ltd

Zeltiq Ireland Unlimited Company

Noden Pharma DAC

Amazon UK Services

Ancillare LP

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Cheniere Marketing

CNA Services

Concentrix Europe Limited

Information Services Consulting Limited

Jacobs UK Limited

JPMorgan Chase Bank, 

N.A., Keypath EducationUK Limited

KPMG UK Limited

Lmax Exchange

Mundipharma International Limited

Nomura International Plc

Ontario Teachers Pension Plan

Qualcomm Technologies International Limited

Skyworks Solutions Ltd.

Two Sigma International Limited

Universal Music Operations Ltd

Apple Europe Limited

Google UK Limited

Allergan Sales LLC

Bon Secours Health System

Cook Ireland LTD.

Fitbit International Limited

LAM Research

M2M Telematics Ltd, Madison Logic

PHI Consulting (Ireland) Ltd

Regeneron Ireland, Riot Games

SquareSpace Ireland Limited

Apple Europe Limited


Login and make sure you are enrolled on VSP website https://vsp-uk.co.uk/

Book yourself in for an eye examination and bring VSP member ID number and we’ll do the rest! 

We’ll tell you how much you are entitled to and talk you through your benefits. Just remember to bring in some form of ID so we can identify you and keep your VSP account safe!

Children's Eyes

How are children’s eyes tested?

The first step to a successful eye examination is to make your child feel comfortable. We do this by talking to them, find out about their nursery or school, what they like doing and telling a few jokes to relax the mood. We always leave time at the beginning and the end of each appointment to discuss any concerns you may have about your child’s eyes.

Eye Checks

There are a few things that we check during your child’s eye examination. It might not all happen in this particular order but this is what we focus on:

We carry out a check to examine their colour vision, focusing ability and depth perception (that’s their ability to perceive the world in three dimensions (3D) and the distance of an object).

We use a opthalmoscopy to closely check the back of the eye and check the health of the eye.

We also check for conditions like squints, lazy eye, long and short sightedness. The earlier these conditions are picked up the better the treatment outcomes.

We also have a good look at the outside of the eye, looking at their eyelid health, eyelash follicles and any eye discharge or swelling they could have.

When children come in for an eye examination some of them can’t read so we have invested in the facility to use symbol charts instead of letters when needed. We will also check how well they can see and determine whether they need glasses or not.

When is the best age to bring in my child for an eye examination?

Children can have their eye examination at any age but it is recommended that an optometrist sees them before they start school and start learning to read.

Sometimes, vision problems can be the reason a child does not perform well at school – they may find it difficult to concentrate if they can’t see the board etc.

School aged children should have an eye exam at least every year, even if no vision correction is required. The earlier a problem is detected the more chance there is of successful treatment.

Children’s eyes are fully developed by the time they are eight years old so it is very important to have any eye problems detected before this.

What if my child needs glasses?

If your child does need vision correction, we have a huge selection of kid’s frames featuring their favourite characters and colours. Many of our stores also carry the fashionable Ray-Ban for kids collections.

We’re ready to help you and your family 😀

You can book an appointment with our qualified optometrist by clicking the link below ↓

Healthy food

Best Foods to Eat for Better Eye Health

Using sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays, taking breaks from digital devices, having an eye examination at least every two years are all part of keeping your eye healthy. However, one of the most important thing is to also ensure you are eating healthy. Not only does it help with your eyesight but it helps with overall health. We only get one set of eyes so its crucial to look after them.

So, what are the best foods to eat for a healthy eye sight.

Beta-Carotene Veggies

We’ve all heard of eating carrots for a healthier eyesight. Carrots contain Beta Carotene. The body uses beta-carotene to make vitamin A, which is really important.

Vitamin A helps the eye convert light into a signal that can be transmitted to the brain, allowing people to see under conditions of low light. In addition, the cornea (the clear front of the eye) can literally disappear if the body does not get enough vitamin A.

Greens

Spinach and other dark, leafy greens are rich in two antioxidants stored in the macula—Lutein (Loo-teen) and Zeaxanthin (Zee-ah-zan-thin). The macula is a part of the retina that acts as a natural sunblock, shielding the eye from damaging light. Lutein and Zeaxanthin absorb blue light, which is especially harmful to the retina.

These nutrients can also help the eye detect contrast better, so eating foods rich in these antioxidants not only improves vision, but they help maintain your vision long-term. Since lutein and zeaxanthin are fat soluble, eating your greens with olive oil will help ensure that you absorb more of them. 

Omega3

There have been quite a few studies that show the health benefits of eating foods rich in Omega-3. It is believed to reduce the risk of AMD.

A great benefit to Omega-3 is the prevention or reduced symptoms of Dry Eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to a lower tear evaporation rates.