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

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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. 

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

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.

Can I really eat my way to healthy eyesight?

Can I really eat my way to healthy eyesight?

eye health blog

Yes, that’s right, what you eat does impact your eyes! Having a healthy, balanced diet not only keeps you in good shape but also affects the functionality of the eyes. Read on and find out more.

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

Main Benefits Lowering blood pressure
Reducing inflammation
Reducing risks of heart attacks and strokes
Benefits for the eyes Crucial role in visual development and retinal function
Helps reduce dry eyes
Reduced risk of macula degeneration (largest cause of blindness)
Reduces the risks of diabetic retinopathy
Reduced risk of glaucoma
Food containing omega-3 fatty acids Oily fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines)
Flaxseeds
Chia seeds
Walnuts
Soybeans

LUTEIN & ZEAXANTHIN

Main Benefits It can slow the progression of age related macula degeneration
Reduce the progression of nuclear (central) cataract
Reduces glare sensitivity
Food containing Lutein & Zeaxanthin Kale
Spinach
Basil
Lettuce
Asparagus
Broccoli

VITAMIN C + E

Main Benefits Reduced immune system deficiencies
Reduced cardiovascular disease
Reduces skin wrinkling
For the eyes Reduces risk of cataract
Reduces risk of age related macula degeneration
Food containing
vitamin C and E
Peppers
Guava
Strawberries
Mango
Sunflower seeds
Kale
Orange juice
Pomegranate
Pumpkin
Tomatoes

VITAMIN A AND ZINC

Main Benefits Normal functioning of the immune system
Regulation of gene expression
Embryonic development
Improves cardiovascular health
Supports reproductive health
Avoids depression
For the eyes Reduces risks for macula degeneration
Reduces risks for dry eyes
Food containing
vitamin A and Zinc
Red Meat
Poultry
Pumpkin seeds
Chick Peas
Carrots
Sweet Potatoes
Kale
Cocoa powder
Cashews

There are a lot of supplements available which incorporate these vitamins and minerals, however sourcing them from natural products is highly recommended. It’s cheaper and tastes better too!

However, do remember, nutrients are most potent when they come from food rather than supplements. Having a healthy well-balanced diet will incorporate a good amount of the nutrients required to keep your eyes healthy.

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