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Five Reasons Why You Should Get Your Eyes Examined

We may not always appreciate how precious our eyesight is until something goes wrong. It’s vital to get an eye examination at least every two years, or earlier if recommended by your Optometrist. We’ve put together our top reasons to get your eyes examined.

Your Eyes Are Always Changing

You only get one pair of eyes and you can’t replace your eyesight once it has gone. Your eyesight and general state of your eyes is always changing. Your age, wear and tear, medical conditions, exposure to the sun and more can all contribute to changes in your eyesight, so it’s important to regularly check whether your vision has changed. Lifestyle choices, such as your job or hobbies can affect your vision also, for example sitting in front of the computer for a prolonged period of time can change your eyesight.

Detect Any Issues

Your eyes don’t usually hurt when something is wrong. Detecting a condition early gives us a better chance of curing conditions. Your eyes can hold a good indication of other problems occurring in the body as well. A routine eye exam could detect a serious illness that you may not have noticed, so it’s important to get checked regularly by your local Optometrist. Also, potentially blinding conditions, like glaucoma, can be detected early in an eye examination.

Ensure You’re Legal

Poor eyesight is dangerous on the roads. If you drive you have a legal standard of eyesight you have to meet. Many drivers don’t realise that they’re not legally compliant and this could result in prosecution or confiscation of your driving licence if discovered. You could also lose your job if you work in an industry that requires the operation of vehicles. Many drivers do not notice their vision gradually waning as they get older, so it’s important to regularly check your vision.

Maintain Healthy Eyes

Healthy eyesight is fundamental to getting the most out of life. Other health problems like diabetes or heart conditions can be spotted in an eye exam. Many eye conditions or diseases do not always have obvious symptoms. There could be a problem with your eyes that you haven’t noticed yet, so it’s vital that you ensure your eyes are checked regularly to stay healthy. As well as checking your vision, your Optometrist will be able to determine if your eyes are in a healthy state and recommend treatment if needed.

Check Your Glasses and Contact Lens Prescriptions

Regular examinations help ensure any correction you need is the best available. Wearing incorrect glasses and contacts can strain your eyes and further damage your eyesight. An eye examination gives your Optometrist the chance to check that your prescription is still suitable and that your glasses are fitted correctly and gives you the opportunity to ask any questions about contact lens care.

If you can’t remember when your last eye examination was due then it’s likely you’re overdue for one. You can book an appointment online by clicking the link below. 

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Are Sunglasses Really Necessary?

The answer is YES!

This week marks Sun Awareness Week and we really wanted to remind you how important it is to stay safe in the sun.

It’s quite easy to be safe when outside, with the simplest and most important thing is to put on sun screen and wear your sunglasses. Make sure you put on a hat, or cover your skin as well. It’s the easy things like this that save your skin and eyes from harmful and painful damage caused by the sun when over-exposed.


What damage can the sun cause?


Over-exposure to the sun’s rays can cause serious damage to your body and eyes. You have to protect yourself from skin cancers and sunglasses will protect your eyes from the Ultra Violet Rays, which can have harmful effects on the eyelid, cornea, lens and retina.

Who is affected?


Everyone is affected by damage to the skin and eyes from the sun. Many people don’t realise that the sun can have a long term impact on eyes when they’re left unprotected. From cataracts to sunburn (yes, your eyes can get sunburned) it’s important to protect your them.

Sunburn

Have you ever spent a day in the sun without your sunglasses and experienced watering, itchy, gritty dry eyes – that’s probably sunburn. You can help alleviate the symptoms by using a cool compress on your eyes.

Cataracts

This is the clouding of the lens of the eyes, where your vision becomes blurry and difficult to see. Research has shown that UV light from the sun’s rays is a significant factor in the onset of cataracts.

Macular Degeneration

The macular is the main part where you see from and as you get older it deteriorates. UV exposure, over time, can increase the onset of macular degeneration.

So this year, remember to wear sunscreen, wear a t-shirt, stay in the shade and wear a decent pair of sunglasses and during Sun Awareness Week spread the word of sun safety and the dangers of over exposure!

It is important to invest in the right pair of sunglasses for your visual needs. There are a number of different types of lenses including polarised, tinted, mirrored – all with different benefits and styles. We can help you choose the right pair for your lifestyle.

Child wearing glasses

How do I get my child used to wearing glasses?

Not every child takes to wearing glasses and some struggle with their newfound accessory.

Here are our top tips on helping children love their new glasses:

The Right Fit

Glasses that don’t fit right won’t feel right and children won’t want to wear them if they aren’t comfortable. Make sure before you leave the opticians the glasses are fitted correctly. At Realeyes, we ensure you leave plenty of time on collection for us to adjust children’s glasses.

Understanding

Don’t turn wearing glasses into a daily battle or constantly nag your child to wear the frames. Help your child understand that being able to see is a gift that is precious in life.

Positive Language

Use encouraging and positive language about their new look. Don’t just remind them how well they’ll be able to see but concentrate on how good they look as well.

Relaxed Mood

When trying glasses on, make sure your child is rested and in a relaxed mood. Rushing them in and out of the opticians appointment will only cause more anxiety.

Praise

Encourage and praise your child when they do wear their new frames.

Routine

Make glasses-wearing part of their daily routine, like brushing their teeth. They put their glasses on when they wake up and take them off before bed.

If they’re really struggling start with wearing them for short periods of time when they are doing something they enjoy and would benefit their vision and increase the time slowly. 

At Realeyes, we have a great, trendy range of kids glasses from La Font to Ray-Ban. You may remember the struggles you had as a child wearing glasses but nowadays, there’s a style to suit every child. Our high trained staff can guide you through styles, fitting and look at what glasses are suitable around your child’s lifestyle. 

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