Although the COVID-19 pandemic has now passed its peak, we are still having to deal with the consequences of an unprecedented shock to society. While everything from mental health to children’s education has suffered greatly over the last year, we have been working hard to ensure the wellbeing of our patients does not suffer as well
As an independent local practice, we can make decisions to suit our loyal customers and local community. We are not bound by head office guidelines that might not be appropriate in our practice, and we have been free to implement the safety measures we believe are in our patients’ best interests.
These include regularly deep-cleaning equipment and products, installing protective screens and additional hygiene measures wherever possible, and using PPE as often as is practical.
We have studied industry best practice and implemented the highest standards of hygiene as recommended by health protection bodies.
If you require more information on our infection control policies, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
As the world slowly returns to normal, we understand people may feel uncomfortable resuming their old pre-lockdown lifestyles. This is why we continue to offer remote services, including expert advice over the phone (or even by video call) and triage questions for acute vision-related conditions.
We can access clinical records to review current prescriptions, and it may even be possible for us to supply replacement glasses or contact lenses based on your most recent prescription if you cannot visit our practice.
Whatever your circumstances, we are here to help.
In the complicated world we live in, it is easy to forget how fragile our vision is. Even people with severe short-sightedness can experience clear vision with our range of spectacles, sunglasses and contact lenses. However, there is more to making the most of your vision than stylish glasses fitted with up-to-date prescription lenses.
As one of the body’s most complex organs, our eyes need to be looked after to deliver their best. It is well recognised smoking significantly increases the risk of developing cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. It is obvious that going to bed with make-up on will unnecessarily expose your eyes to chemicals, dirt and oils, yet did you know diet can also play a crucial role in allowing your eyes to function effectively?
Like any part of the body, our eyes require a balanced diet, ideally without any excess. This enables them to function optimally, while reducing the risk of developing age-related vision problems like cataracts and macular degeneration. A good diet also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, which is the most common cause of blindness in the working age population worldwide. Obesity is also a factor for many eye-related health conditions, including blood vessel health, glaucoma, cataracts and again macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in the over 65s).
Dietary health underpins eye health, particularly foods rich in zinc, vitamins A, C and E. Lutein is also beneficial, and it is found in green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale. Other eye-friendly foodstuffs include citrus fruits and tomatoes, peppers, nuts and dairy produce. A generous weekly portion of oily fish like salmon and mackerel is recommended by health experts, while vegetarians and vegans should maximise protein intake with beans, tofu and spelt. Moderate amounts of red wine can also help to protect our sensitive retinas from damage, though alcohol consumption in general is more likely to be damaging than beneficial.
If you would like to know more about the relationship between diet and eye health, we will be happy to offer you both advice and guidance.
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In the late 18th century, a scientist called John Dalton published a ground-breaking paper called “Extraordinary facts relating to the vision of colours”.
It was the first time anyone had identified the concept of colour blindness – when a person’s eyes cannot correctly identify certain colours.
Dalton’s paper was especially impressive as it is difficult to self-diagnose colour blindness. Our optometrists can ensure your eyes distinguish the three primary colours of red, green and blue properly.
When your colour vision is normal, it is described as trichromatic – tri meaning three, and chrome from the Greek word for colour. Most people who have a colour blindness can still ‘see’ colours; they just appreciate them differently.
The most common form of colour vision anomaly is ‘red-green colour blindness’ – this can take on different forms. People who are affected by this will confuse colours which contain red or green – this may include brown, purple, pink and orange. Protanomaly describes reduced sensitivity to reds, deutanomaly relates to greens and tritanomaly represents blues. Tritanomaly is very rare and usually is acquired later in life. Protanomaly and deutanomaly are usually inherited traits on the X chromosome. It is thought that 1 in 12 men will have a colour vision anomaly, whereas only 1 in 200 women will.
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Our optometrists can carry out simple pattern tests during a child’s examination. If an issue is highlighted, schools can usually tailor lessons around a student’s specific needs, and bright lighting helps at any age. And while a few careers require trichromacy (such as the police, decorators and electricians), even monochromatic patients can enjoy life to the full as this is the only way they've ever seen the world.
A well-chosen pair of sunglasses can be a wonderful year-round companion. They will help you combat low sun while driving in the autumn and repel glare from snow in winter. However, they come into their own in the spring and summer months when we spend more time outdoors in brighter conditions.
Every pair of sunglasses we sell offers full protection against the harmful UVA and UVB rays whilst outdoors. Just because the sun has not come out, there can still be UV light bouncing off surfaces such as buildings and roads. Some frames will suit your specific facial shape and lifestyle better than others. For instance, if you spend long periods outdoors, it is more important to consider wraparound frames which prevent UV rays being able to get over or around the sides of the lenses.
If you spend most of the day driving, narrower sides will provide optimal peripheral vision during manoeuvres. And if you are regularly found on sports pitches, dedicated sports sunglasses offering impact resistance are a must.
Your facial shape can affect the optimal choice of sunglasses, as it does with spectacles. Dainty facial features may suit smaller, rounder lenses, whereas a square jaw tends to complement larger aviator-style frames.
Your skin tone might also steer you towards (or away from) certain styles or colours, and people wanting to accentuate their cheekbones and eyebrows should consider whether certain sunglasses would highlight or obscure these facial features.
It is also important to consider the weight and thickness of your lenses in larger sunglasses frames – this is something our team will be able to discuss with you to find the optimal solution.
Feel free to try on different designs in our practice while looking in the mirror or taking selfies, so you can judge them from every angle. Our qualified experts will also offer advice on issues like practicality and durability, to ensure your new sunglasses will be practical and comfortable for years to come.
There is something very satisfying about collecting a new pair of spectacles. As our friendly staff fine-tune the position of the nose pads and side length to achieve perfect fit, you can admire your new appearance in a mirror.
Seeing your eyes through pristine lenses is a pleasing experience, and there are plenty of things you can do to keep glasses looking as good as new.
Firstly, protect your spectacles when they are not being worn. We can advise about the relative merits of hard, and soft-shell cases, and we also stock an array of cleaning cloths and lens sprays, including those that will help your lenses remain fog free whilst wearing a facemask.
These are the only materials which should be used, since washing up liquid, household soaps and non-optical sprays may damage lens surfaces. Similarly, clothing or tissues leave tiny scratches that cumulatively will reduce the ability of the lenses to offer optimal vision correction.
If you regularly participate in outdoor sports, investing in sports sunglasses or a retaining sports band will ensure your new specs do not end up damaged by sudden drops or falls. Contact lenses provide an alternative visual solution for situations such as this too. Surface abrasions should be avoided by folding glasses up and placing them in the case provided when they are not being worn. Although the lenses we sell are extremely hard-wearing, unnecessary impacts should always be avoided.
If your lenses have picked up dirt, rinse it off with warm water rather than trying to scrape dried mud off with fingernails or cloths. Speaking of water, carry a spare cloth in a handbag or the car glovebox, to wipe away raindrops and mist without having to use towels or tissues. Hold your glasses by the bridge and lightly wipe lenses in a circular motion, ideally ensuring your own hands are clean first.
These tips should ensure your glasses remain in as-new condition for many months to come.