halloween

Are Halloween Contact Lenses Safe?

With Halloween just around the corner and many planning to dress up to scare, we urge you to avoid using spooky novelty contact lenses that could harm your eyes.

Halloween contact lenses have become popular over the last few years, but wearers aren’t aware of the dangers that these types of contact lens pose, leaving many with infections and sight threatening conditions.

Many Halloween enthusiasts are not regular contact lenses wearers and haven’t been trained on how to put the lenses in and take them off safely or given advice on how to care for their lenses.

The results can be nasty and range from mildly irritating complications to potentially sight-threatening conditions like corneal infections.

If bought online or from a market stall, it’s possible that the lenses could give you an infection because they may not have been medically approved.

We also urge people to take care when wearing Halloween make up such as eyeliner and mascara and ensure they are removed before sleeping to reduce the link of getting a bacterial infection.

Our top Halloween contact lens tips:

If you’re wondering about contact lenses in general and you would like to discuss the possibility of wearing them you can book a consultation with us. Call your local branch or visit Our Secure Online Booking Page to book an appointment.

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.

AOP Encourages Parents to take Children For an Eye Examination

AOP Encourages Parents to take Children For an Eye Examination

More than one in 10 children, in every classroom, are estimated to have an undiagnosed vision problem that is impacting their learning and development, according to the Association of Optometrist (AOP). Realeyes is urging parents to get their children’s eye examined as a priority.

Good eyesight is crucial in making sure a child develops to their full potential both at school and socially.  It’s especially important to look after children’s eyes – the eye is still developing throughout early childhood so if problems are treated early, it can make a lasting difference.

It’s natural that every parent will have burning questions about their children’s eyes. In launching the ABSee campaign the Association of Optometrists is encouraging all children to visit their local optician and have an eye examination. They have put together a leaflet answering some questions that parents may have and our optometrists will be happy to answer the rest.

AOP Leaflet – click here to read more

Children as young as three years old visit Realeyes Opticians to have an eye examination and we can carry out an examination using pictures if they are unable to read. Most children think what they can see is normal and it might not be so it’s always a good idea to have their eyes examined regularly from a young age. The test is painless and we’ll talk you through the results. Our optometrists often comment on how parents wish they’d brought in a child sooner to have their eyes examined.

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/

US Scientists Create Glasses to Prevent Near Sightedness

US Scientists Create Glasses to Prevent Near Sightedness

Near-Sightedness

US based scientists have created a pair of glasses that could prevent near sightedness (myopia) in children.

Jay and Maureen Neitz, professors of ophthalmology at the UW School of Medicine collaborated to create a pair of therapeutic glasses that children with regular vision can wear to prevent myopia for life. The glasses, which can’t repair damage that has already occurred, can be taken off at the end of adolescence, when the eyes stop growing and aim to prevent near-sightedness.

By 2050, 5 billion people across the globe will have myopia, according to a 2016 study in the Journal of Ophthalmology. At least 1 billion of those people will have high myopia, making it the number-one blinding disease in the world.

The Seattle based scientists conducted three studies that compared their therapeutic glasses with standard glasses, the results show that the glasses are effective at slowing or stopping the progression of myopia.

We’re not all going to rush out and get the pair of glasses just yet, so our team of optometrists have come up with the following advice to help your children:

1. Ensure your children wear their glasses or contact lenses and keep their prescription up to date with a regular eye examination.
2. Ensure they eat a healthy diet, although there isn’t a direct link between a poor diet and increase in myopia, proper nutrition is essential is maintaining good eye health.
3. Encourage your children to spend more time outdoors. A lack of natural light is known to increase myopia. Just an hour day outside, playing sport or running around makes a huge difference to their general vision and health.

Read more Link: http://ophthalmology.washington.edu/news/seattle-scientists-have-invented-glasses-might-stop-surging-cases-nearsightedness-children

Book your child for an eye examination today click here

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.

Take the Stress Out of Children’s Eye Health

Take the Stress Out of Children’s Eye Health

Childrens Eyecare

National statistics show that only 20% of parents take their children to have their eyes tested yearly, however, 92% of parents will take children for a dental check up. Don’t get caught out – it’s worrying that 20% of children starting reception were found to have an undiagnosed vision problem.

Many of us will remember having our eyes tested at school, however 70% of primary schools in England don’t offer visual screening and where it is offered it’s not extensive extensive enough given how modern technology has moved on, especially in eye care

Children find it hard to tell parents that they have an eye condition because they don’t know what normal is. So it’s important that you include eye examinations into your to do list.

Our optometrists are trained to check children’s eyes. At Realeyes we:

●      Have the facility to use symbol charts instead of letters when needed;

●      Check for conditions like squints, lazy eye, long and short sightedness. The earlier these conditions are picked up the better the treatment outcomes;

●      Check their colour vision, focusing ability, depth perception;

●      Use a Retinoscopy to closely check the back of the eye;

●      Look the outside of the eye, looking at their eyelid health, eyelash follicles and any eye discharge or swelling;

Your children’s vision is very precious and at Realeyes we can help to ensure that it stays precious so book an appointment today. If your child does need vision correction, we have a huge selection of kids’ frames, featuring their favourite characters and colours.

Learn more about Childrens Eye Care here, or book your appointment online your nearest Realeyes branch.