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Should My Employer Be Paying For My Eye Examination?

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

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

Who qualifies for free employer eyesight tests?

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

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

Am I entitled to free glasses through my employer?

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

How can I reduce the impact of DSE work?

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

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

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

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

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How do I Choose My First Pair of Glasses?

If your optician has advised that you need to wear glasses, it may have come as a bit of a shock. However, putting on your first pair of perfectly fitting glasses will enhance your natural features and ensure you see everything clearly. It can be hard to know which style of glasses is best for you, so our dispensing opticians and frame styling experts have put together their top tips for choosing your first pair of glasses.

Choosing Your Lenses

Once you have your prescription, you will be ready to choose the perfect lenses. In the past, lenses were commonly made using mineral glass however high-quality plastic lenses are increasing in popularity. It is also important to consider finishes such as anti-reflective coatings, breakage resistance, self-tinting lenses, and hydrophobic and antistatic coatings. There are also task-specific lenses that can enhance your vision whilst working, playing sport or carrying about your favourite hobby. Your dispensing optician should ask you a series of question that will get to know your lifestyle better to help you choose the correct lens to suit you. 

The Best Frame Shape to Suit Your Face

It may be overwhelming at first when trying to decide which is the most flattering frame shape, and you may be surprised at which styles suit your face shape. In general, if you have a round face the angular frames will work well, and for heart shaped faces we always recommend oval shaped styles. Those with an oval shaped face are lucky, as almost every shape of frame will compliment your features. Our frame stylists have gone to great lengths to understand what glasses suit which face shape. 

Think About Colour and Patterns

There are an almost endless array of colours and patterns to choose from, and we always advise our customers to pick frame colours which compliment their skin tone and personal style. Whether you are looking for a bright and bold style or a more traditional tortoiseshell design, there will always be an option which enhances your individual style, which we can help you with. 

Consider Your Comfort

If you are not used to wearing glasses regularly, the weight of heavier styles may be uncomfortable. If you will be wearing glasses daily you should choose a comfortable lightweight style, although for occasional wear, a heavier frame will be fine. We stock brands like Lindberg, that give you the options for a lightweight frame.

What is Your Budget?

Setting a budget is one of the most important steps in choosing a pair of glasses, as the price can vary greatly. We always aim to stock the best quality glasses at the most competitive prices, and we believe a great pair of glasses is possible without breaking the bank.

If you are hoping to purchase a spare pair of glasses or prescription sunglasses in addition to your main pair, we can recommend pairs which fit within your budget. Alternatively, if you have a designer brand which you love to wear, we can point you in the direction of this season’s latest styles.

Whatever you choose we want to make things easier for you so we can offer an interest free credit option to pay for your glasses over a few months. 

An Expert Team of Advisors

Here at Realeyes Opticians, our team are always on hand to help when you are trying on and comparing frames. We can offer our expert advice to help you find the best frames for your lenses, your lifestyle, and your face shape. Your glasses will become a key part of your identity and our team will help you to express your style with a pair of glasses that suit your budget and your lifestyle.

To find out more you can book an appointment at your local branch. 

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What Are The Latest Trends in Designer Glasses?

Here at Realeyes Opticians, we love eyecare and we are passionate about providing our customers with the latest styles from designers across the world. Whether you are looking for stylish everyday glasses or a designer pair of sunglasses, we believe that glasses can be an excellent style statement. From sophisticated classic styles to quirky designs which are sure to make you stand out in a crowd, we take a look at the latest trends in designer glasses.

Vintage Inspired

Frames inspired by the geometric shapes of the 70’s are proving to be very popular, with circles, ovals and square shapes in bold colours sure to give your style a boost. Whether you have a round face, a square shaped face or an oval shaped face, these geometric styles will flatter your features.

Metal Wired Glasses

When it comes to classic wire-framed styles, Ray-Ban’s timeless aviators will always be on trend. However, other designers are adding to this iconic style with metal framed glasses available in a range of shapes, sizes, and colours. If you are looking for comfort, practicality and style, these metal frames are very durable, flexible, and lightweight.

Tortoise Shell

For those who love all things retro, tortoiseshell patterns are a versatile style option. Many designers are adding a modern twist to this vintage style with bold shapes and translucent frames. This flexible pattern can be mixed with a variety of outfits, from business wear to casual weekend clothes, and there are many colours and shades to choose from.

Tinted Lenses

From rustic golden hues to rose-tinted lenses, these colourful styles are definitely a great option for those looking for an eye-catching style. We recommend a lighter pastel hue for day-to-day wear, which can be beautifully paired with a range of frame styles.

Clear Frames

The translucent clear frames provide the perfect balance between being on-trend and sophisticated, with styles available that look great on both men and women. In particular, the clear grey, golden honey and dusted pink are proving to be very popular with designers this year. This transparent style carried through many designer items this season, with bags, shoes and even trench coats given a clear makeover.

Embellished Frames

If you love all things glam, embellished frames are the perfect option for you. The runway this year was filled with sparkling frames which are sure to add a touch of glam to your everyday wardrobe. Take your wardrobe up a notch with Swarovski crystals, bold colours, and luxurious frames.

Cat-eye Glasses

The geometric shape of cat-eye glasses will flatter your face shape and allow your personality to shine through, thanks to their playful design. If you are looking for a pair of glasses which are professional enough for the boardroom, whilst bringing out your fun side, cat-eye glasses are the perfect on trend style.

Now that you know the key trends to look out for, it is time to find your next pair of glasses. We’ve trawled through fashion houses across the globe to bring you the latest fashion trends in store. Our staff are fully fashion styling trained and can help you pick your perfect pair with the best advice on what will look good on you coupled with advice on the right lenses for you. Book an appointment with us and try on the latest trends and designers in a comfortable and safe environment.

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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.