Do you need an eye exam?

How Do I Know It’s Time to Get My Eyes Checked

An eye examination is an important part of life. Just like you go to the dentist, doctors, hairdressers, an eye examination should become part of your routine. Here we help you understand when to recognise it’s time for your next eye examination. 

You can't remember when you had your last eye examination.

If you can’t remember it was probably a while ago. Your eyes don’t hurt when something is wrong. Many eye conditions have no symptoms at first, and they may go unnoticed and continue to worsen over time and could lead to sight loss.

It's all blurry

If you are experiencing sudden blurriness or unfocused vision, it could be a sign of a bigger health issue. If you start to notice that the writing in books becomes fuzzy when read up close it could be an indicator that your prescription has changed and you need to visit the opticians.

Your gut feeling

If you feel like something might be wrong with your eyes, don’t wait until your next appointment with the optician. You may be experiencing early signs of eye disease or eye infection or injury and you should get it checked.

Family history of Glaucoma or Diabetes

Diabetes and Glaucoma affect the eyes and if you either or have a family history you must have an eye examination frequently. Also, if you have a personal or family history of eye disease, including cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, or macular degeneration you need to have your eye tested regularly.

Headaches

When the cornea and lens fails to focus, the small muscles in the eyes work harder, which causes eye strain and can result in headaches. This indicates a change in vision and you should get an eye examination.

Floaters or flashes of light

If you see floaters or flashes of light in your vision, this could indicate a serious eye disorder like a hole, detachment, or retinal tear. Small specks that move in your visual field are called floaters; they are deceiving because they often look like they are part of what you are looking at the outside of your eye but they are floating inside your eye.

Night time driving is difficult

You have difficulty driving at night and seeing street signs in the dark you could benefit from an eye examination and some specialist lenses. It’s worth keeping yourself and others safe on the roads by having an eye examination.

Red, sore or itchy eyes

This is usually a sign of dry eyes. Dry eyes is caused when we produce less tear because we blink less. There are many things we can do to help alleviate dry eyes. You can book yourself into one of our specialist dry eye clinics.

An eye examination is an important part of your life because your eyes are precious and the last thing you would want is vision loss.

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

Designer glasses

Are Designer Glasses Worth It?

Patients who come in and swap their budget-friendly glasses for a pair of great designer ones, never regret it. Here’s why we think your next pair of glasses should be a designer pair: 

Creates a foundation to any wardrobe

A pair of designer glasses are versatile and can match any outfit. The same pair of glasses can be worn at work and for an evening out and can be jazzed up with a great outfit, handbag or pair of shoes.

Elevates your outfits

Investing in a great pair of glasses means the quality is unparalleled. The quality, style, craftsmanship, and design can elevate any outfit that you wear adding a sense of chic and glamour or even professionalism. And what’s more, they’ll stay looking the same longer than budget-friendly glasses.

The cost per wear makes it worthwhile

Think about what your wardrobe is really costing you. Many of us have designer handbags or shoes that we wear only on special occasions. You wear your glasses every day. This definitely makes the cost per wear worthwhile.

They are super durable

People who have worn unbranded glasses come to us to buy a new pair of designer glasses. One thing they tell us is how durable designer glasses actually are. People rarely come back to complain about the quality of a designer pair of glasses. The manufacturers put the glasses through a stringent quality check.

Have a great feel-good factor

There’s a certain feel-good factor that goes with wearing a designer pair of glasses and since you wear your glasses every day and they are a necessity, you might as well feel good wearing them.

You can pay from them slowly

Many of our patients choose designer glasses and pay for them through our interest-free credit option. You can wear a stunning pair of designer glasses and pay for them slowly.

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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. 

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. 

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.

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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.

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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 ↓