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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. 

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.

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!

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.

Woman wearing sunglasses

Why Sunglasses Are So Important For Your Eyes

We’re all aware by now that although sunglasses are a great fashion accessory to add to any wardrobe they actually have a health benefit and protect our eyes from harmful Ultra Violet (UV) rays. They should be a necessary part of any wardrobe.

How sunglasses work

The sun’s rays can penetrate through different areas of your eyes. 

UVA rays can reach the retina in the back of your eye and UVB rays reach the cornea in the front of the eye. Sunglasses prevent these rays from penetrating your eye, helping prevent damage to the eyes and in many cases vision loss.

Sunglasses are just like sunscreen you put on your skin. Just like sunscreen protects your skin from dangerous UV light, UV coating can be added to glasses lenses to help block harmful rays from causing damage to your eyes.

What to look for when buying a pair of sunglasses

When thinking of buying a pair of sunglasses it’s important to choose a fashionable pair. Many people go for a designer pair to encourage them to wear them all the time. It’s nice to wear a trendy pair of sunnies. But that’s not all, you need to look out for

99% UV protection levels – this means your pair of sunglasses will filter out all of the harmful UV rays that can damage your eyes.

Wraparound sunglasses – these style of sunglasses will  give you better coverage as they cover more of the eyes.

Polarisation – polarised sunglasses filter the light in a different way reducing the glare that you may face. Keen sports enthusiast and people who drive often prefer these style of sunglasses.

Tint colour – this is purely cosmetic so go for a colour that suits your face complexion and personality.

What sunglasses will suit my face and give me the best protection?

Just like a pair of glasses, different styles suit different faces. Our staffing team are frame stylists and can help you choose a pair that will suit your working environment and lifestyle.

We are all looking for a brand of glasses that speak our style. See what brands we stock here

Reopening 1st July

Realeyes to Re-Open on 1st July

We’re delighted to tell we will be offering all our optical services again from 1st July 2020. Currently you can book online at http://www.realeyesuk.com/bookings

You will see a new side to us when you visit with our extra protective equipment but remember we are the same team just with an added layer of protection

 

Extra Measures

We’ve added some extra measures to keep you and our team safe and healthy:
-> You will receive a pre-appointment phone call to collect all the necessary information prior to your appointment;
-> Social distancing measures are in place to keep you and our team safe;
-> Our staff have access to full PPE as and when they need it;
-> Extra Clinical standard cleaning is in place across all our branches;
-> All our frames will be going through a frame sterilisation process after being handled; and
-> All collection appointments will be booked in advance.

Booking an Eye Appointment

We’re expecting an unusually high demand for an appointment that’s why we’ve opened our booking system in advance.

You can book via the link below ↓

We look forward to serving you soon.

How We Create Our Team

As an independent opticians, we aim to put together a team of experts that work well together and will strive to give our 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.

To book an appointment with us click here

Eating Avocados Can Aid Eye Health

Eating Avocados Can Aid Eye Health

Avocado

Eating avocados can aid your eye health according to a study carried out by scientists at Tufts University.

The study (http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/9/9/919) involved 40 adults and split them in three groups. One group ate an avocado each day, the other ate a potato per day and the third group ate a daily cup of chickpeas.

This was trialled for six months, after which it was found the group eating avocado experienced a 25% increase in levels of lutein. The other groups only saw a 15% improvement.

Lutein is known as a carotenoid vitamin that acts as a colour pigment in the macula and retina of the eye. Lutein protects your eyes from harmful high energy light waves like Ultra Violet (UV Rays) in sunlight. Diets rich in Lutein are known to hold off age related eye diseases.

Clinical Director at Realeyes, Javed Kanani said: “A healthy balanced diet is essential for eye health. The study shows some interesting research; however, it is essential to have a regular eye examination. Our eyes don’t hurt when something is wrong and early detection of any ailments can usually be checked by one of our qualified opticians and be treated when caught early enough.”

Related articles

Can I Really Eat my Way to a Healthy Eyesight

https://www.realeyesuk.com/can-i-really-eat-way-healthy-eyesight/

Get Yourself Through the Hay Fever Season

Get Yourself Through the Hay Fever Season

Hay Fever

As the hay fever season sets upon us, the Science of the Total Environment has published a map showing the allergenic pollen vegetation in the UK. It’s aimed at helping allergy sufferers by identifying 12 key allergic vegetation types and created maps to show density of each one across the country, helping sufferers to manage their condition by reducing their exposure if they live and work in one of these areas.

The study shows that UK has one of the highest prevalence of doctor diagnosed asthma affecting 10% of the adult population and approximately 80% of people with asthma also have a pollen allergy. According to NHS choices there are 10 million hay fever sufferers in the UK.

If you do suffer from hay fever our optometrist have this advice for you:

  • Always keep an eye on the pollen count in the news that way you’ll know how bad the symptoms may get;
  • Get a pollen filter for your car and keep the car windows closed;
  • Stay indoors when the pollen count is over 50 and keep windows and door closed;
  • Avoid grassy areas and freshly cut grass;
  • Take a shower often shampooing your hair if you’ve been outdoors for a long period of time;
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes;
  • If your eyes feel itchy splash cold water on them;
  • Seek medical advice from the pharmacist of doctors if the symptoms get worse. There are many over the counter and prescription medication that can help.

Senior optometrist and clinical director of Realeyes – The Eye Clinic, Javed Kanani, reminds us: “Itchy eye can be irritating but can also be mistaken for hay fever, in many cases patients are actually suffering from dry eyes. Dry eyes syndrome is a common condition where your eyes don’t make enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. We run a specialist dry eyes clinic in all our stores which will ensure you get an accurate diagnosis and your dry eye condition isn’t mixed up with another conditions like hay fever. Once our specialist optician has given you a comprehensive eye examination, they will measure the volume of your tears and check their quality. They will talk you through some treatment options which work for you and your lifestyle.”

You can book a consultation with our optometrist today by clicking here.

Age Related Macular Degeneration – The Facts

Age Related Macular Degeneration – The Facts

AMD

Whether you have heard of it or not, age-related macular degeneration accounts for almost 50% of those registered as visually impaired in the UK.

What exactly is Macular Degeneration?

The macula is an area at the back of your eye that you use for seeing fine detail such as watching television or reading a book. It is a painless condition. Macular degeneration happens when the macula becomes damaged. The most common forms of macular degeneration happen more as you become older and are known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). There are two types: dry and wet.

Dry AMD This form characterises in a slow deterioration of vision and is the more common of the two conditions.

Wet AMD This tends to be more sudden in onset, sometimes with a dramatic decline in your central vision, usually in one eye.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can vary according to the type and stage of AMD present. Many people do not experience symptoms in the early stages of dry AMD. Some people simply notice that things appear blurry or they have difficulty reading with their normal reading glasses. As the macula cells deteriorate, people may notice that straight lines appear distorted or wavy. People with AMD may notice that they become sensitive to bright light or they find it difficult to adapt when going from a dark to a light environment.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, arrange an appointment at your nearest Realeyes branch.

What are the causes?

Dry AMD is caused by a gradual breakdown of light sensitive cells in the macula. Wet AMD is caused when abnormal blood vessels begin to grow behind the macula and leak fluid or cause scarring. There are certain risk factors associated with macular degeneration:

  • Age – most prominent in over 65’s.
  • Family history
  • Smoking
  • Poor diet – lacking in anti-oxidants or high in saturated fats.
  • Over exposure to UV light
  • Obesity The exact cause is not yet known, so you may develop it even if you do not have any of these risk factors.

What is the treatment for AMD?

Although there is currently no treatment for dry AMD, our optometrists will be able to advise you on lifestyle adjustments to minimise further progression, such as taking specific nutritional supplements. Wet AMD can often be treated if it is caught early enough. At Realeyes, our optometrists routinely check for any changes in the macula and specific tests are carried out if macular degeneration is suspected or observed. If there are signs of macular degeneration, you may be referred to a hospital ophthalmologist for a full diagnosis.

Written by our in-house optometrist Shazia Kanani, who is based at our Wembley store.