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Can Using a Computer Damage My Eyes?

Many of our patients ask us whether using a computer can damage their eyes, especially those who are required to use a screen for large parts of the day. In our digital age, a vast number of people use computers for many hours during their working day and when combined with watching TV and using smartphones, it is no surprise that many of us are looking to protect our eyes from potential harm.

However, it may surprise you to find out that using a screen will not make your eyesight worse. If your prescription has changed it will not be due to using a screen, as changes in eyesight are only a result of changes to your eyeball shape and size. Although, within children this is not always the case, as long periods of screen time when the eyes are still developing can result in near-sightedness. In contrast, children who spend vast amounts of time playing outside are more likely to develop better distance vision.

Although, using a screen for a large period of time can cause temporary vision issues due to eye strain and tiredness, which are often described as Computer Vision Syndrome. These issues are not usually serious and will go away once your eyes are able to rest. Try to look away from the screen regularly and focus on objects in the distance such as those outside the window, as this will help to relax the muscles within your eye. It is also possible to reduce eye strain by lowering the levels of light in the room, as excessive sunlight or bright lighting can cause significant eye strain.

What is the impact of blue light?

Although using a computer will not cause permanent damage to your eyesight, there is concern surrounding the effects of blue light on eye health. This type of light is emitted from screens and has the ability to penetrate and damage the retina, with concerns that this could contribute to macular degeneration and cataracts. However, it is possible to protect your eyes with lenses that are specially designed to block blue light which we can help you with. 

The importance of regular eye tests

It is important to have regular eye tests, and the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 state that all employees, who are required to use Visual Display Units or computer monitors, must be provided with a fully funded eye examination whenever requested. When you attend your eye test, let your optometrist know how often you use computers, and they will check the overall health of your eyes and whether there are any medical conditions present.

If required, you will be prescribed glasses or contact lenses which will reduce your eye stain and help you to see more comfortably and clearly. The optometrist may prescribe glasses with a special coating which will reduce glare from screens, and they may recommend that you upgrade your display to a modern LCD screen to reduce eye strain. 

We recommend that if you find any discomfort in your eyes that you book an eye examination with us and we can help you ease the eye strain. 

RE Word Press Template

Why Keeping Healthy is Good For Your Eyes

Starting the new year off in a healthier mindset, and living more health-conscious all year long, can be a very positive change in both your life and the life of your entire family.

Did you know that living a healthy active life and eating a well-balanced diet is good for your eyes? We all know the benefits in terms of our overall health; however, many people are surprised to find out just how much their diet impacts their ocular health. Let’s take a closer look at the impact of nutrition on eye health, with recommendations of the best foods to incorporate into your diet to protect your eyesight.

The Links Between a Poor Diet and Poor Eye Health

There are many health conditions which are linked to living an unhealthy lifestyle, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type 2 diabetes. In fact, diabetes is the most common cause of blindness in the UK, as high blood sugar levels can cause significant damage to the delicate eye vessels. Although opticians are able to detect the early signs of damage with regular eye checks, if the issue is not managed a loss of vision can occur.

In addition, both high cholesterol and high blood pressure will also put extra strain on your blood vessels and increase the chance of a blockage. Not only is this very dangerous for your organs, but if a blockage occurs in the retinal vein or artery occlusions it can result in vision loss. Not to mention, the risk of a stroke or heart attack which can also affect your eyesight.

How Can I Improve My Health?

We know that the above risks can sound quite alarming, but it is possible to significantly reduce the risk of these conditions by following a healthy lifestyle. The following are some nutrients which promote eye health by preventing issues such as diabetes, cataract, and dry eye disease, and we are sure that your health will feel the benefits:

Vitamin A – Commonly found in carrots, eggs, and spinach, this vitamin will improve ocular moisture and lubrication.

Vitamin E – To improve overall cell health, fight off infection and protect your eyes from night vision issues, you should incorporate this vitamin into your diet which is found in foods such as nuts, kale, and seeds.

Vitamin C – Found in oranges, broccoli, berries, and sweet red peppers, this vitamin acts as an antioxidant, improves collagen in the cornea and helps to maintain blood vessels in the retina.

Zeaxanthin and Lutein – As the two main carotenoids, these are commonly found in kale, egg yolks and spinach and they work to enrich the macula and protect the retina by absorbing blue light and UV radiation.

Essential Fatty Acids – Tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, and flaxseed oil are all acids which are known for their neuroprotective benefits and prevention of dry eye syndrome.

Zinc – The retina contains the highest levels of zinc of all the organs in your body, so it is important to incorporate foods such as beans, beef, nuts, oysters, and cereals into your diet to maintain retina health and protect your eyes from light damage.

It can be hard to track and actively manage everything you eat, however simply filling your plate with colourful fruits and vegetables will help you to make sure you are getting the essential minerals and vitamins that your body needs.

As optometrists, we are here to identify, diagnose and help you to prevent issues, and we always aim to promote awareness of issues that can affect your eye health. To find out more or to book an appointment, please contact your local Realeyes branch.

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Is there anything that can help with night driving?

As the dark winter nights draw in, many of our customers are asking for tips on how to drive at night, especially when the lack of light can highlight vision issues. Many of us are not familiar with driving in the dark, and unfortunately in many situations driving at night can not always be avoided. However, there are ways to improve safety and help you stay safe.

Clean Your Windows and Mirrors.

Sounds super simple but it’s a great place to start. We often forget to clean our windows, mirrors and our own glasses. 

Reduce the Impact of Glare

During the hours of darkness, car headlights, street lighting and even the reflection of light from wet roads can cause significant glare issues. Glare is very dangerous when driving, as it causes our pupils to rapidly constrict which leads to momentary blindness as we adjust to the change in light. Although it may only be for a few seconds it can be very dangerous, especially in low light or darkness when our eyes are already working harder. 

As we age, our eye’s ability to adapt to light and momentary glare worsens and you may find that you begin to struggle more. Although this is usually a natural part of aging, as optometrists we can check for underlying issues such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and presbyopia and we can prescribe the correct lenses. 

Adjust Your Interior Lights

Driving at night will put a strain on your eyes, so you should look for ways to reduce this as much as possible. A great tip is to reduce the level of lighting within your interior, as the constant adjustment between your interior and the darkness outside will increase the stain your eyes are under. Wherever possible turn off your GPS and lower the lighting of your instrumental controls, as this will help to match the level of light inside your car to the outside conditions.

Treating Dry Eyes

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition which can be more prevalent during the winter months, as the cold weather can dry our eyes out. If you are experiencing dry and irritated eyes when driving, point the heating vents away from your face and always keep eye drops inside your car. However, if the problem persists, you may have a blocked gland or duct, which will need clearing to rebalance the moisture levels in your eyes. As always, an optometrist should be your first point of call if you are struggling with any issues.

Choose the Correct Glasses

It is important that you have your eyes tested regularly, so that your vision is the best it can be when driving. Whether you are short-sighted, long-sighted or a combination of the two, the correct prescription will help to keep you safe during both day and night driving.

There is a common misconception that yellow tinted glasses will reduce glare, however at night they can actually make your vision worse by darkening shadows. Instead, we recommend specially designed anti-glare lenses which our optometrists can prescribe at your next appointment. 

Make sure you keep yourself safe behind the wheel. ROSPA estimate that 40% of road traffic collisions happen during nighttime hours and many of these can be avoided. If you do struggle with night-time driving we can help you with your vision and look at options for different lens to help you. Find your local branch by clicking here. 

Miyosmart

The launch of MiYOSMART – A revolutionary lens design for children and teenagers with short-sightedness

We are delighted to announce that Realeyes is launching the revolutionary MiYOSMART lenses, which are designed to slow the progression of myopia, otherwise known as short-sightedness, in children and teenagers. They are lenses that can be put into a pair of standard glasses. 

Throughout the world the prevalence of myopia is increasing at an alarming pace, as children and young adults spend longer periods of time using digital devices and less time outside.

As opticians, we are committed to supporting the health of our customers, and after years of research and trials we are excited to introduce the patented Hoya MiYOSMART technology in our branches.

What is MiYOSMART and who will benefit?

MiYOSMART is the brand name given to the award-winning Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments technology from Hoya, which is capable of slowing the progression of myopia in children aged between 8 and 13 by 60%. The MiYOSMART lenses are designed to under-correct peripheral vision, whilst also providing clear vision, and the amazing lenses have won numerous industry awards.

How does MiYOSMART work?

Wearing MiYOSMART lenses daily will significantly slow the progression of both myopia and axial elongation, and we are sure that the safe, easy to use and effective glasses will become popular with children and adults alike. The lenses which are installed within standard frames are an exciting development as they are the first non-invasive option available to children. 

As part of your child’s routine eye test, our opticians will be able to look for key warning signs of myopia, and if there is an indication that your child may be at risk, we will discuss the MiYOSMART lenses with you. As children’s eyes continue to grow rapidly until early adulthood, slowing the progression of myopia is an essential part of eye health. Without treatment, these children and young adults could experience retinal damage, glaucoma, and cataract, with increased risks of vision impairment.

How much will MiYOSMART cost?

If it is recommended during your child’s free NHS eye test that further investigation is required, the charge for an initial myopia management consultation is currently free. During the appointment we will measure the length of your child’s eye and assess their suitability for the new MiYOSMART lenses. If the lenses are an ideal treatment option, you will be able to purchase the lenses upfront for £345 or you can spread the cost easily over nine months for £38 per month. 

Why choose Realeyes for your child’s myopia management

Our optometrists have been through a training programme and are fully accredited to prescribe MiYOSMART. With dedicated myopia management equipment, experienced opticians, and access to the latest MiYOSMART technology, Realeyes is the ideal choice. 

Our clinical director, Javed Kanani said: “Nothing is more important than the health and wellbeing of your child, now and in the future, you want to see your child thrive and that’s the key: seeing. You may have noticed your child struggling to see clearly at a distance, making it harder to concentrate at school and have a fulfilling experience at play. Your child may have myopia, or near-sightedness.

The incidence of myopia is expected to increase significantly as lifestyle changes, with children taking part in more near-work activities like using digital devices, studying, reading and spending less time outdoors. Hereditary, behavioural and environmental factors also play a part. Being able to have your child’s myopia diagnosed early not only corrects their vision now, but can help slow the progression of myopia and preserve their vision and eye health for the future.”

To book an appointment with the optometrist to discuss MiYOSMART visit http://www.realeyesuk.com/bookings

To find out more information click here 

 

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Should My Employer Be Paying For My Eye Examination?

Working with Display Screen Equipment (DSE) can be visually demanding, and the strain on your eyes can lead to the diagnosis of unknown eyesight issues. Screens themselves do not actually damage your eyesight, however they can cause eye discomfort, tired eyes, headaches, and temporary short-sightedness.

If you have noticed any issues whilst working with screens, it is advisable to arrange an eye test, and the law states that employers must arrange tests for DSE users if they request one.

Who qualifies for free employer eyesight tests?

To qualify for a free eyesight test from your employer, you must be a user of display screen equipment. This means that you must spend at least 1 hour per day using a screen as part of your role. According to the Health and Safety Display Screen Equipment Regulations, any employee who uses a screen at their workstation, on a numerical control display, at a machine tool or even at a supermarket till is classed as a DSE user.

If you are a DSE user, you will be entitled to a full eyesight test, which will include a vision test and an examination of your eye. The employer can decide how to provide the eye test, so you may be reimbursed immediately after the test or within your next pay, or you may be asked to attend an optician selected by your employer which they will pay for directly.

Am I entitled to free glasses through my employer?

If your eyesight test shows that you require glasses specifically for use with display screen equipment at the distance you view your workplace screen, your employer will be required to pay for the glasses. However, if your ordinary prescription is suitable for use with your workplace screen, your employer will not have to pay.

How can I reduce the impact of DSE work?

Although your employer may not have to pay for your glasses, they can help to reduce the impact of DSE work. Whether you work at a screen for an hour or for the majority of the day, it is visually demanding. Your employer can help by providing equipment which can be properly adjusted and positioned, ensuring lighting conditions are suitable for working and by providing regular screen breaks.

Your employer has a responsibility to ensure that you can safely perform your job, so if you are concerned about eye strain or eye fatigue, speak to your employer about your workstation setup and an eye test.

It is not just traditional office workers which are affected by long periods of screen use, as many roles today involve the use of DSE equipment. With the average adult on in the UK spending 9.5 hours looking at a screen, it is more important than ever to take care of your eye health.

Here at Realeyes Opticians we offer competitively priced eyesight tests and eye examinations, with a range of glasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses available. To find out more, please contact your local branch today.

Children's Eyes

How Do I Know If My Child Has Eye Problems?

Children often have no idea if what they can see is normal. If they have had a problem from when they were really young they just take it as a given that what they can see is normal. That’s where you, as a parent or grandparent can help them.

Ideally, you should be bringing your child in for an eye examination at least once a year so that we can examine their eyes, make sure they are healthy and they can see properly. Here are some telltale signs that something isn’t quite right and you need to visit your local optician. 

Misaligned eyes

If you notice that your child’s eyes don’t look in the same direction you really need to get their eyes examined. If left untreated it can lead to poor visual acuity in their eyes. It’s easily treated when they are young but left untreated can lead to a lazy eye.

Tilting their head to the side

This is also a sign that their eyes can be misaligned. When a child constantly tilts their head to see they are actually changing the angle in which they look at things. Head tilting can also be associated with a condition where the eyelid droops and impairs their vision.

Squinting

When a child squints they are actually trying to change the shape of the eyes and adjust the amount of light that comes into their eyes. Squinting is often a sign that a child needs their vision corrected with a pair of glasses.

Covering or closing one eye

Children who cover or close one eye are likely to have poor vision in one eye. This eye can be strengthened at a young age by patching the stronger eye, but again, left untreated can lead to a lazy eye.

Headaches

Headaches can often be related to eye strain. If their vision is blurry their eyes have to work harder to see and this puts stress on them, leading to headaches.

Eye Rubbing

It is quite normal for children to rub their eyes but if they rub them frequently it can be a sign of eye strain, in which case it’s likely they will need to wear glasses. 

Sitting too close to the TV or holding a device too close

Myopia or short-sightedness has been in the news frequently over the last few years. Children don’t understand they can’t see so they naturally sit or hold the device to where they can. If left untreated, myopia can worsen over time. 

Reading inaccurately or missing lines

Many of our patients come to us complaining that when they are reading books the text moves, they get tired reading or they get headaches, eye strain, or even migraines. We offer a visual stress screening for children that can determine whether you could benefit from a different coloured background when reading. 

Clumsiness

Does your child walk into doors and tables or tries to pick up something and misses? This could be an indication that they need vision correction or glasses.

Troubling focusing at school

What seems like ‘behavioural issues’ or a ‘short attention span’ at school could just be a vision issue. We have so many children come into our opticians with this issue and have discovered they just can’t see. It’s hard to focus on a task when you can’t see. 

Listening to your children is important. We often hear children come in and tell us they have been telling their parents they can’t see but the parents don’t take them seriously. We understand that as parents it’s difficult to manage everything but your child’s vision is precious and it is better to sort out any vision problems when they are young as leaving it too long can often lead to poor vision and vision loss. 

Your child should have an eye examination at least once a year. You can find out how children’s eyes are examined at Realeyes by clicking here 

Closed eyes

What is the Fastest Way to Cure Blepharitis?

Do you find you have crusty, flaky, red or irritable eyelids? That’s what we call Blepharitis, a type of eye infection. Find out what it is and how you can cure it. 

Do I have blepharitis?

Sometimes you may find your eyes are burning, sore or stinging or your eyelids become puffy and greasy. For many of our patients the symptoms are worse when you wake up in the morning. You may find your lids stuck together or an ulcer or stye around your eyes.

How can you help me?

Although blepharitis sounds really painful and dangerous, it really isn’t. If you are concerned you can book an appointment with our optometrist would will recommend a course of treatment. In the meantime, we recommend you avoid eye make-up and being in atmospheres that are smoky.

We also recommend you follow this three step routine to relieve the symptoms of blepharitis:

Step 1 - Warm Compress

Close your eyes and apply a warm compress to your eyes for 5-10 minutes and given them a quick massage afterwards. This will open up the blocked glands in the eyes and and ease the symptoms. You can use an eye bag to help you.

Step 2 - Keep your eyelids clean

Use special lids wipes and wipe your eyes from the inner corner to the outer corner of your eyes twice a day. This will help clear the infection. We recommend Blephaclean wipes which are available in all our stores.

Step 3 - Lubricate

We may ask you to lubricate your eyes with eye drops, after you have completed the above steps. This will replace the ‘tears’ and lubricate your eyes to make them feel more comfortable.

In severe cases you may require antibiotics in addition to the above but we always recommend you seek our professional advice when it comes to Blepharitis.

Am I at risk of blepharitis?

You can get Blepharitis at any age but it is more common in people aged over 50. As you get older, the glands in your eyelids that secrete the special substances can become blocked more easily. Your tears then contain fewer lubricants and your eyes can feel gritty and dry,

Blepharitis causes discomfort in the eyes but it’s rarely dangerous. If you are concerned about blepharitis you can book an eye examination and we’ll be happy to check it out for you and recommend a course of treatment.

If you are concerned about Blepharitis you can book an appointment to see one of our opticians at your local branch

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.

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.