The Importance of Regular Eye Examinations

It can be easy to overlook the importance of regular eye examinations. Many people assume that as long as they can see clearly, there’s no need to visit the optician. However, regular eye exams are crucial for maintaining overall eye health and catching potential issues before they become serious problems. Here’s why you shouldn’t skip your next appointment with the optometrist.

Early Detection of Eye Conditions

One of the primary reasons for regular eye exams is the early detection of eye conditions. Many eye diseases, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration, develop slowly and can be asymptomatic in their early stages. By the time symptoms become noticeable, significant and often irreversible damage may have already occurred. Regular eye exams allow optometrists to detect these conditions early and start treatment promptly, potentially saving your vision.

Monitoring Changes in Vision

Our vision can change gradually over time. Regular eye exams ensure that any changes in your vision are tracked and managed appropriately. This is especially important for individuals who already wear glasses or contact lenses, as prescriptions can change. Keeping your prescription up to date ensures optimal vision and comfort, whether you’re reading a book, driving, or working on a computer.

Also, how do you know you can actually see clearly? You get used to what you can see and perhaps your eyesight isn’t as good as it could be.

Eye Health and Overall Health

Your eyes can reveal a lot about your overall health. During an eye exam, optometrists can detect signs of systemic health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and even certain types of cancer. The blood vessels and nerves in the eye can show early signs of these conditions, sometimes before other symptoms appear. Regular eye exams can thus play a critical role in early diagnosis and management of broader health concerns.

Preventing Digital Eye Strain

With the increasing use of digital devices, many people experience digital eye strain. This can cause symptoms like dry eyes, headaches, and blurred vision. Regular eye exams can help address these issues by providing solutions such as computer glasses or blue light filters.  Your optometrist can recommend strategies to reduce eye strain and improve your comfort during prolonged screen time.

Children’s Eye Health

Children’s eyes are still developing, and regular eye exams are crucial for detecting and correcting vision problems early on. Issues like lazy eye (amblyopia), crossed eyes (strabismus), and refractive errors can affect a child’s learning and development. Early intervention through regular eye exams ensures that children have the vision they need to succeed in school and daily activities.

Aging and Vision

As we age, the risk of developing eye conditions increases. Regular eye exams become even more important to monitor and address age-related issues. Conditions like presbyopia (difficulty focusing on close objects), cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration are more common in older adults. Regular check-ups help manage these conditions and maintain quality of life.

The Importance of Regular Eye Examinations

The importance of regular eye examinations is shown in this blog and can be seen as a vital component for maintaining good eye health and overall well-being. They allow for the early detection and treatment of eye conditions, monitor changes in vision, and provide insight into your overall health. Whether you’re experiencing vision problems or not, scheduling regular visits to your optometrist is a proactive step towards preserving your vision and ensuring a healthier future. Don’t wait until you notice a problem—make regular eye exams a priority for you and your family. Give us a call today at 0800 980 34 64 or email us at info@focusmedicaleyecentre.co.uk.

The SUV Boom And Bright LEDs Increasing Headlight Glare

As reported in the news recently, a new report reveals growing concerns among drivers about the dangers of being dazzled by bright headlights, potentially leading to more accidents. In an independent survey by the RAC, stats showed that 85% of 2,000 UK drivers reported being partially blinded by intense headlights, with 89% believing some headlights are too bright. This can be attributed to factors such as the SUV vehicle boom and bright LEDs increasing headlight glare. Of those complaining, 91% experienced dazzle in the past year, and 75% regularly face partial blindness. This issue has led to reduced speeds for two-thirds of drivers, with recovery times of one to six seconds, raising concerns about safety and accidents. In fact, 5% reported near collisions due to temporary eyesight impairment, prompting 7% to avoid night driving altogether. The RAC, having monitored this concern since 2018, emphasises this growing problem.

Four reasons for increased headlight dazzling:

  1. Brighter LED Lights: Cars with blue-tint LED headlights create a more intense and focused beam. Whilst being effective for the driver of the vehicle, this leads to increased glare and reflection, compared to traditional halogen bulbs.
  2. Cheap LED Aftermarket Bulbs: Substandard LED bulbs purchased online, especially for older cars using halogen bulbs, can be dangerously bright. They may also produce the wrong beam pattern, temporarily blinding oncoming motorists.
  3. Poor Headlight Alignment: Over 40% of drivers believe the rise in dazzling is due to misaligned headlights. Since 2019, an average of 1.6 million cars failed their MOTs due to poor headlight aim, contributing to the issue.
  4. SUV Popularity: The growing popularity of SUVs contributes to increased dazzling risk. Their elevated position means lights are higher, potentially shining directly into the faces of oncoming motorists in conventional cars. Non-SUV drivers (62%) attribute the spike in dazzling to higher vehicles, while only 35% of SUV drivers share the same concern.

Dazzling headlights are more likely to affect older drivers

Dazzling headlights are more likely to affect older drivers, according to Mike Bowen, Director of Knowledge and Research at the College of Optometrists. He emphasised the need for further research on how changes in headlight technologies impact drivers’ functional vision and comfort, especially at night. Older drivers may face increased difficulties or choose to avoid night driving altogether, due to headlight glare. Advocating for government-backed research, Bowen stressed the importance of understanding and addressing the issue. John Kushnick, Legal Operations Director at National Accident Helpline, highlighted the significant safety risks posed by blinding headlights, urging drivers to report such incidents to the police. He emphasised driver vigilance, proactive measures, and the role of road safety authorities and manufacturers in enforcing lighting system regulations to ensure safety standards are met. If visibility is compromised, drivers are advised to slow down or avoid challenging manoeuvres.

RAC wants the Government to get involved

Government collision data reveals an average of 280 yearly collisions since 2013 attributed to dazzling headlights, with six fatalities annually. The RAC, expressing driver concerns, contacted Baroness Hayter to inform the Department for Transport. The findings will be presented to MPs for discussion. RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis emphasises the need for government intervention, urging an independent study to understand the rise in dazzling incidents and ensure road safety. Baroness Hayter calls for immediate action to align with road safety regulations, citing concerns shared by drivers in other countries. Nicholas Lyes from IAM RoadSmart highlights the growing worry among drivers about modern headlights impacting safety, urging policymakers to address the issue seriously.

How to limit the impact of glare and prevent dazzling others

Slow down at night

If the glare from an oncoming vehicle at night is so bad that you temporarily can’t see anything, you should slow down to reduce the risk of the impact on your impaired visibility.

However, avoid slowing or stopping abruptly as you don’t want a car that is travelling behind you running into the back of you.

Don’t look directly at oncoming headlights

To prevent yourself from being dazzled, never look directly at the headlights of other cars. Look to the left-hand side of the road and follow the white line marking the edge if there is one, so you can keep track of your position, the RAC recommends.

Make sure your windscreen is clear 

Windscreens are particularly susceptible to steaming up on the inside, especially in cold weather. Car heaters can also blow dirty air at the glass, causing a hazy film to build up on the inside. This can increase glare from oncoming headlamps, so ensure yours is clean and clear.

Adjust your rear-view mirror 

Drivers at night should dip the rear-view mirror to reduce the risk of being dazzled by motorists following them. Many new motors in showrooms today have an auto-dimming rear-view mirror function. If your car doesn’t then you should be dipping the mirror manually.

Consider anti-glare glasses

If being dazzled by other drivers’ headlights or street lighting is an issue, motorists should consider anti-glare glasses when driving at night. At Focus Medical Eye Centre, this is something we can help with. The Essilor Varilux Road Pilot is a brilliant lens for combating reflections from on-coming light.

Use low beams where possible to safeguard other drivers

Use your low-beam headlights instead of high beams when driving in well-lit areas or when approaching other vehicles.

Regularly adjust your headlights

Ensure that your headlights are correctly aimed. If you are travelling with heavy loads, this can also impact the height of your lights beam. Misaligned headlights not only contribute to blinding other drivers, but will also reduce your own visibility.

Get in Touch

Now you have discovered the issue of SUV boom and bright LEDs increasing headlight glare, if you would like to find some lenses that can help combat this problem then please get in touch. Give us a call today at 0800 980 34 64 or email us at info@focusmedicaleyecentre.co.uk.

Reduce Your Child’s Risk of Becoming Short Sighted

Your eyesight is one of your most valuable tools in life. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could reduce your child’s risk of becoming short sighted? Well now you can if you come in to Focus Medical Eye Centre!

Myopia (short-sightedness) is a result of an excessive elongation of the eye where light focuses in front of, instead of on, the retina. This causes distant objects to be blurry while close objects appear normal. As a parent, it is your responsibility to be knowledgeable about the common risk factors for myopia and what you can do to prevent its progression. In this article, we will discuss myopia management in children and how you can help to possibly reduce short sightedness for your child, as this is when treatment is most effective.

Recent studies have shown that the prevalence of myopia is on the increase (by over 70% in Asia & by up to 50% in the US & Europe).

 

Reduce Your Child's Risk of Becoming Short Sighted

What can we do to try to prevent Myopia and it’s progression

Near activity

The association between near work and myopic progression has been evaluated in numerous studies and the outcomes were beyond doubt. It is recommended to limit the time children are spent undertaking near-visual tasks ie viewing mobile phones and tablets. Special spectacles incorporating a reading prescription can be prescribed if excessive near accommodation is found during an eye examination.

Time outdoors

Strong evidence exists that spending time outdoors (more than 2 hours per day) can protect against the onset of myopia (short sightedness) and possibly reduce the final level of adult myopia. The total time spent outdoors appears to be an important factor, rather than the nature of the activity undertaken.

Spectacles and contact lenses

Recent theories & studies are now suggesting that one of the reasons for myopic progression is that conventional spectacles and contact lenses are such that, whilst the central image formed on the retina is in focus, the peripheral image formed by these lens designs is behind the peripheral retina. It is thought this may promote elongation of the eye as it attempts to form an image on the peripheral retina. By prescribing optical corrections such as peripheral de-focus spectacles (MiYOSMART or Stellest lens) and special contact lenses (soft dailies & orthokeratology) we now have options to help slow myopic progression and improve outcomes for younger patients. Studies have looked at pharmacological intervention (such as the Atropine for treatment of Myopia Study) to reduce myopic progression, but this option is not currently available in the UK. Single vision under correction was a popular option for myopia management. However randomised clinical trials unequivocally have shown not only does this strategy not work, but actually can cause progression of myopia, therefore is not recommended as a myopia control strategy.

It is important to note that no one treatment can promise to stop myopia progression in children, only to slow it down.

Why you need to act now

The earlier the onset of myopia in an individual generally leads to a higher level of myopia in later life which increases risk factors for several ocular pathologies including glaucoma, cataract, retinal detachment, & myopic maculopathy brought about by the accompanying elongation of the eye. The highest risk is typically found in high myopia & -5.00DS. So, if we can reduce how myopic an individual ends up as an adult this will reduce their risk of developing certain pathologies in later life.

A reduction in the final level of myopia by only 1 dioptre reduces the lifetime risk of macula degeneration by 40% and the risk of vision impairment by 20%. Myopia progresses fastest in younger children, especially those under 10. This means that the most important opportunity to slow eye growth is when children are younger. Myopia management aims to apply scientific treatments to slow excessive growth to a lesser rate. Experts agree that myopia management should be commenced as soon as a child becomes myopic and continue into their late teens.

Reduce Your Child's Risk of Becoming Short Sighted

Recommended available interventions

Multifocal or bifocal spectacle lenses

This is a lens correction with a reading zone in the lower part of the lens that reduces accommodative effort which helps reduce myopic progression. Various studies show this type of correction can reduce the final level of adult myopia by approximately 11-46%, especially for individuals with additional near vision focussing issues(1).

Peripheral de-focus spectacles

This is a lens which has special ringed zones in the periphery which create a peripheral de-focus which reduces the stimulus for the eye to continue to elongate slowing myopic progression. Studies have shown this type of intervention can reduce myopic progression by up to 67% when worn 12 hours a day(2). The MiYOSMART lens from Hoya and the Stellest lens from Essilor are game-changing innovations in the field of myopia control and are now available at the practice.

Multifocal contact lenses

This works by allowing a clear central image to be formed on the retina whilst reducing the peripheral hyperopic defocus that is typically found in myopic eyes. This reduces the elongation of the eye. Various studies show this type of correction can reduce the final level of adult myopia by approximately 30-50% (3). We are accredited to fit the MiSight Soft Daily myopia control lens at the practice.

Orthokeratology

Orthokeratology lenses ( Ortho-K ) are rigid contact lenses that you sleep in which gently alter the shape of the cornea ( like braces on teeth) so on awakening you can see clearly for the day without the need for contact lenses or spectacles. With regard to myopia control, this works by flattening the corneal curvature in such a way that creates peripheral hyperopic defocus which reduces the stimulus for the eye to elongate similar to the other methods of myopia control. Various studies have shown this type of correction can reduce the final level of adult myopia by approximately 32-63%(4).

Please note: Wearing contact lenses increases the risk of eye infections compared to spectacles with the risk being, 1 in 1000 wearers per year for reusable soft contact lenses or overnight ortho K lenses and 1 in 5000 wearers per year for daily disposable soft contact lenses. With proper hygiene and maintenance, this risk can be well managed.

Myopia Management Screening

How do I arrange for my child to be screened?

We will be able to discuss myopia management screening during your child’s eye examination and make recommendations. A child’s eye examination is £45.00 with one of our specialists at Focus Medical Eye Centre or covered for one child under a parent’s care plan. This will not include the special eye length scan and growth percentiles report but this is available for an extra charge of just £25.00.

Alternatively, the easiest way to manage your child’s care is to join our Myopia Monthly Plan which will include all measurements, a tailored treatment plan and regular followups for just £7.95 per month*

Please note: the basic NHS child’s eye examination will not include any myopia management treatment plans, scans or follow ups.

*This is separate to the parent’s care plan which only covers a basic eye examination for one child. The Myopia plan covers the clinical time needed to manage this service but any spectacle or contact lenses needed are at an additional cost.

References

1. Brien Holden Vision Institute ( bhvi.org ) – Myopia Management
2. Bao, J., Huang, Y., Li, X., Yang, A., Zhou, F., Wu, J., Wang, C., Li, Y., Lim, E.W., Spiegel, D.P.,
Drobe, B., Chen, H., 2022. Spectacle Lenses With Aspherical Lenslets for Myopia Control vs
Single-Vision Spectacle Lenses: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Ophthalmol. 140(5),
472–478. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2022.0401.
3. Optometry Today Volume 58:02 February 2018 – Myopia
4. Review of Optometry July 2012 – Consider ortho K for myopia control

Hugo Boss Eyewear

Hugo Boss produce a prestigious line of fashion eyewear that complements the world-renowned Hugo Boss brand. Since the brand’s establishment in 1924, Hugo Boss has been a distinguished and influential brand in the fashion sphere. Renowned for its timeless design and impressive craftsmanship, they have quickly become one of the most loved designer brands on the planet. Here at Focus Medical Eye Centre, we stock a wide range of both sunglasses and prescription glasses from Hugo Boss.

The History of Hugo Boss Eyewear

Hugo Boss was originally founded by German fashion designer Hugo Ferdinand Boss in Metzingen, a town in southwest Germany. Initially, they specialised in the production of high-quality workwear, then expanded to many more products.  Only venturing into the eyewear industry in early 2000. With an emphasis on elegance and refinement, the brand’s eyewear collection became an instant success. The combination of sleek design and superior attention to detail quickly gained recognition.

Hugo Boss Eyewear has gained immense popularity on the international scale, becoming a symbol of sophistication. Frequently, the brand is spotted on red carpets, fashion runways and on the faces of some of the most influential figures.

Hugo Boss Glasses, Henry Cavill

Why Choose Hugo Boss?

Hugo Boss eyewear embraces the brand’s successful philosophy of creating sophisticated and timeless pieces. Each frame is meticulously crafted using high-quality materials, ensuring durability and comfort. The brand’s eyewear range encompasses a diverse selection of styles, from classic aviators to contemporary rectangular frames, catering to a wide range of faceshapes, tastes and preferences.

Hugo Boss is one of those brands that are consistently moving and evolving with the times. As the fashion industry embraces sustainability, Hugo Boss has taken steps to align its eyewear production with eco-friendly practices. The brand has now introduced sustainable materials, such as bio-acetate. It also implements responsible manufacturing processes, to reduce its environmental footprint wherever possible.

Iconic Collections

Over the years, Hugo Boss has introduced several iconic eyewear collections that have left a lasting impact on the fashion industry. One that comes to mind is the BOSS Black Eyewear line. This range was and still is incredibly popular. Known for its sleek and minimalistic design, the frames exuded an elegance like no other. Making them the go-to choice for anyone working in a corporate industry.

Additionally, the BOSS Orange Eyewear collection embraces a more casual aesthetic, targeting the younger market, with vibrant colours and more modern shapes.

Get in Touch

If you are looking for Hugo Boss Frames & Lenses and want to find stockists in East Sussex, then come into our store on the High Street in Hailsham, East Sussex and take a look at the many styles we have. And don’t forget, if you love Hugo Boss Eyewear, then why not buy them as prescription glasses?

Does Diet Affect Your Vision?

With our eyes being one of the most vital organs in our body, it is natural to want to take good care of them. While many people are aware that factors like age, genetics and lifestyle can all impact the overall health of your eye, very few consider the role of diet. Your diet has such a huge impact on so many aspects of your life, from health to mood! In this blog, we are going to discuss different types of foods and answer the question, does diet affect your vision?

Does Diet Affect Your Vision?

 

Foods that are high in nutrients

Yes, of course, the diet you choose to consume will have an effect on your vision. Like all organs, the eyes require a variety of nutrients to function correctly. A lack of these nutrients can result in significant damage to your eyes over time. Here are some of the nutrients that are essential  in order to maintain your vision.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a critical factor in maintaining good vision. It is a key component of the protein rhodopsin, a protein in the retina that assists with vision in low-light conditions. Vitamin A is readily found in foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale.

Does Diet Affect Your Vision?

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega fatty acids are essential for the health of the retina and can help prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration.  Age-related macular degeneration or AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in older adults. It is one of the many reasons why we recommend you continue regular vision tests every two years. However, as you get older you are at a higher risk of experiencing at least some degree of macular degeneration, or a range of other issues related to the eyes. So we are happy to see you sooner to remain on top of these issues and get the necessary help, early in the development of any possible issue.

Omega 3 fatty acids are commonly found in foods like salmon, sardines, flaxseeds and many others. Be sure to include some more of these in your daily diet if you’re looking to maintain your vision.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two antioxidants that are found in high concentrations in the retina. These antioxidants can prevent damage to the eyes from harmful blue light and similarly to omega-3 fatty acids, may help prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration. Include foods such as spinach, kale, and broccoli in your diet to increase your intake of these antioxidants.

Foods to avoid

It’s crucial to be mindful of the types of food you consume. Certain foods are going to have a negative impact on your overall health and the well-being of your eyes. Here are some foods you should consider avoiding, or at least limiting, in your diet.

Processed food

A small amount as a treat from time to time will have very little effect on your overall health. However, regular consumption of processed foods will have a negative effect on your entire body, including your eyes. Processed foods tend to have high levels of saturated fats, salts and sugar. Alongside an increased risk of heart disease and a much higher blood pressure, this can increase your risk of developing AMD and cataracts.

Alcohol

While being a drink, we thought it would be appropriate to include it in this blog. Like processed foods, drinking in moderation is not extremely harmful to the body, some may even argue the benefits. However, excess alcohol consumption can cause damage to the optic nerve, leading to lifelong vision problems.

Does Diet Affect Your Vision?

High Glycemic Index Foods

Foods such as white bread, pasta and rice are classified as foods with a high glycemic index. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly the body can break down and convert carbohydrates into glucose. Foods that can be broken down quickly have a high glycemic index and food that cannot have a low. This high increase in glucose can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels and potentially damage your eyes.

Maintain a healthy, balanced diet

A diet that is rich in these nutrients can help keep your eyes healthy and prevent vision problems. It’s key you maintain a healthy, balanced diet if you want to extend the longevity of your eyes and avoid potential conditions down the line. Be aware that a diet high in saturated fats can increase the likelihood that a person develop AMD. Similarly, a diet that involves consuming too much sugar can lead to diabetes, a leading cause of blindness in adults.

Does Diet Affect Your Vision?

Any burning questions?

It’s important you understand the effect your diet can have on your vision. Eating a diet that is rich in nutrients like vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, and zinc can help keep your eyes healthy and help to prevent vision problems. At the same time, it is good to try and avoid foods that can harm your eyes, such as those that are high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sugar. By making healthy food choices, you can help protect your eyes and maintain good vision for years to come.

Obviously diet, whether good or bad, won’t make a difference if you have a hereditary condition, but by following the above rules as much as and where you can, it will help with all health aspects within your body.

If you have any questions about the topics discussed in the blog or think you may be experiencing any of the conditions mentioned above, please get in touch with Focus Medical Eye Centre. Call us today on 0800 980 34 64 or email us at info@focusmedicaleyecentre.co.uk to arrange a thorough eye examination. A member of the team will be in touch as soon as possible.

Having Trouble Seeing Your GP For An Eye Problem? We Can Help!

Here at Focus Medical Eye Centre, we have built a reputation as being your local eye care specialists.

All of our NHS services are under great strain. People are experiencing long waits in A&E and trying to see your GP on short notice has never been more difficult. Additionally, if you have an eye problem these settings often lack the specialist equipment needed to assess your eyes properly. Even clinicians with specialist eye training cannot assess you thoroughly. Focus Medical Eye Centre is able to help by providing a local NHS scheme called MECS (Minor Eye Conditions Service). 

Having Trouble Seeing Your GP For An Eye Problem?

The MECS service allows patients with acute eye problems to be seen in our practice and assessed for free*. From this initial examination, patients can then be managed accordingly. A decision will be made on whether the condition can be treated in-house or if onward referral needs to be arranged, for more serious eye conditions. Here is the following list of some common eye conditions that would be covered by MECS:

  • Red eye or eyelids
  • Dry eye, or gritty and uncomfortable eyes
  • Irritation and inflammation of the eye
  • Significant recent sticky discharge from the eye or watery eye
  • Recently occurring flashes and floaters. 
  • Ingrowing eyelashes
  • Recent and sudden loss of vision
  • Foreign body in the eye

If you have a major eye condition that is being regularly monitored by your optometrist or hospital eye service, this will not be covered by our minor eye conditions service. For example, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma.

*Assessment by our specialists is covered but charges may apply for any necessary scans, products or complex prescribing with management.

Who is this service for?

If you are registered with a local GP you can use this free service. It is for people of all ages – adults and children. Children under 16 years must be accompanied to their appointment by an adult. 

Having Trouble Seeing Your GP For An Eye Problem?

Please note: Not all local GPs are included in this scheme please contact us for further information.

What is Special about Focus Medical Eye Centre?

Focus Medical Eye Centre is a rather unique practice. All of our clinicians are highly trained eye specialists with hospital experience. Both Anthony and Amanda Bahadur are Independent Prescribing Optometrists. This means they can prescribe prescription-only medication like an eye GP and Mr Kashani is a Consultant Ophthalmologist. All of these practitioners can prescribe, treat and manage more complex eye conditions (in-house) in addition to the more simple MECS conditions.  An example would be prescribing and management of recurrent anterior uveitis, which can be treated in-house without the need to refer to a hospital. Charges may apply for treatment of more complex eye conditions requiring specialist prescribing and subsequent follow-ups. 

Mr Kashani also runs a dedicated private Ophthalmology Service once a month for those patients who do not want to attend the hospital or wait extended times for NHS services. An example would be a patient who would like private cataract surgery with a consultant carrying out the procedure and not having to wait in a queue for NHS treatment.

How to book a MECS appointment with Focus Medical Eye Centre?

To make an appointment, please call us on 01323 442062. You will be asked some questions about your symptoms, in order to assess how quickly you need to be seen by the service which will be within 24 hours in urgent cases and within a few days for routine appointments.

Having Trouble Seeing Your GP For An Eye Problem?

Please note: Due to high demand we cannot always guarantee we will have the capacity to see you, especially for short-notice appointments. If we cannot see you, we work closely with other providers and will help signpost you to where you need to get to.

Please take your glasses and a list of your current medication with you to the appointment. The optometrist may put drops in your eyes to enlarge your pupils in order to get a better view of the inside of your eyes.

You should not drive until the effects of these drops have worn off, which may take a few hours. If your condition is more serious, the optometrist will book you an urgent appointment at a hospital eye clinic. If you need a routine appointment with a hospital, the optometrist will organise this for you. You may also be advised to make an appointment with your GP if your eye condition is related to your general health.

Do Carrots Really Improve Your Eyesight?

Growing up everyone heard the classic “make sure you eat your carrots – they’ll make you see in the dark!” Do carrots really improve your eyesight? Is there any truth to this? Or was it just a trick used by adults to make us eat our vegetables? So many questions that we now have the answers to – let’s discuss…

Do Carrots Really Improve Eyesight?

Are carrots good for eyesight?

Yes, carrots are one of the best foods you can eat for your eyes. They are crammed with huge amounts of the compound beta carotene. Carotenoids are pigments that give yellow, orange, and red fruits and vegetables their colour. The body is able to convert some of these carotenoids into a form of vitamin A. Vitamin A promotes great overall health and in particular assists your eyes with adjusting to the darkness. So…in this sense, it does technically help you see in the dark.

We must stress though, it won’t give you night vision, which a younger version of yourself will likely be disappointed in finding out.

Vitamin A and why it’s important

Vitamin A is important for maintaining accurate vision, the functioning of the immune system, growth as well as development. Additionally, vitamin A also helps your heart, lungs, and other vital organs function properly.

Specifically for your eyes, vitamin A is excellent at preventing the formation of cataracts and macula degeneration. This is important as these are the two leading cases of blindness. If you’re not a fan of carrots you’ll be pleased to know vitamin A is common in a variety of foods. For example, kale, spinach, liver and sweet potatoes are all foods jam-packed with goodness. Unfortunately, a diet high in vitamin A won’t cure blindness, nor will it grant a person 20-20 vision. However, a severe lack of vitamin A can cause blindness and deterioration of the eye.

Do Carrots Really Improve Eyesight?

How to protect your eyesight

The best way to improve your eyesight is to give your eyes the natural goodness they need! A steady supply of nutrients and vitamins keeps your whole body, including your eyes, healthy and working at their best. As mentioned, vitamin A is great for maintaining eye health. However, there’s more to focus on if you want to protect your eyesight.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein is helpful, particularly for your eyes. It is a pigment found in high concentrations in the Macula. The Macula is the layer of the retina that protects against excessive light. The greater the pigment density in the Macula, the better protected your retina is and the lower your risk is for suffering from Macular degeneration.

Both lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids, which help protect the macula and reduce the effects of macula degeneration. Current evidence suggests higher dietary intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin are likely to play a role in protecting the eye against macula degeneration. A diet high is green leafy vegetables such as kale and broccoli contain these nutrients but often we do not absorb enough in a high enough concentration due to the bioavailability. As such luetein and zeaxanthin supplements are recommended for those patients with established macula degeneration to increase macula pigment. Macushield Gold is a recommended supplement by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists formulated to the Areds 2 trial which is scientifically proven to reduce the risk of progression of macula degeneration. We stock Macushield Gold at both Focus Medical Eye Centre and our Heathfield Practice, Pople & Broad.

Seek the assistance of a professional

While introducing a better diet to your life will be extremely beneficial for your eye health, it will not be enough to cure or remedy any serious problem. If you feel as though you are suffering from poor vision always seek the opinion of a professional. We cannot correct our vision without this help. Unfortunately, there’s no easy quick fix when it comes to eyesight issues. Please don’t hesitate to contact your local optometrist as soon as you can, to discuss any queries or concerns you may have.

Using The New Slit Lamp

 

Get in touch

It’s always best to seek some professional advice. Here at Focus Medical Eye Centre, we are always willing to offer guidance where possible. Whether it is for a new pair of spectacles, sunglasses, lenses or just some drops to calm and lubricate your eyes. Give us a call today on 0800 980 34 64 or email us at info@focusmedicaleyecentre.co.uk.

Introducing Evolv AI

Better hearing has finally arrived! Introducing the Evolv AI range from Starkey.

Who Are Starkey?

Starkey is one of the largest leading manufacturers of hearing aids in the world. They believe that hearing is the key to human happiness and health. Being able to hear people and the world around us is as essential to human experience as breathing. Through their innovative products, they show dedication to delivering the best hearing experience possible.

Evolv AI

What is Evolv AI?

Starkey has a complete family of the world’s most innovative hearing technology that seamlessly connects and adapts to your life. Their hearing aids perform 55 million automatic adjustments an hour, to suit whatever activity you’re doing. What’s more is that their Evolv AI hearing aids have the clearest ‘Starky Sound’ ever and are expertly designed to automatically deliver realistic sound quality in every listening environment.

Compared to previous technology, Evolv AI provides an additional 40% reduction in noise energy designed to reduce listening effort. The Evolv AI offers the smallest 2.4 GHz CIC to their most powerful BTE, making them the perfect combination of exceptional sound quality and a full line of discrete easy-to-hide hearing aids. When it comes to effortless hearing, Evolv AI is the answer.

More information on the Evola AI range

Effortless Connectivity

Evolv AI has seen the introduction of Starkey’s latest and most advanced connectivity ever. With improved connection, more Android connectivity than ever before and our best sound quality, patients can seamlessly experience and enjoy their favourite TV, music, and conversations. Evolv AI effortlessly fits with your lifestyle.

The Thrive Hearing App

Evolv AI

With the Thrive Hearing App, users can easily view and manage their health information and receive daily feedback on their progress. The full-featured, user-friendly app provides users with full control of their Evolv AI, Livio Edge AI, Livio AI or Livio hearing aids. The app is essential for you to see activity progress as well as the benefits of wearing hearing aids.

Compatible with both Apple and Android devices, the Thrive app offers additional features designed to enhance patients’ listening experiences and gain more control of their hearing aids

Looking for a Product From the Evolve AI Range?

If you’re looking to find out more information about the Evolve AI range then we highly recommend contacting us. You can fill out our contact form. Alternatively, you can contact us directly by calling 01323 442 062 or email info@focusmedicaleyecentre.co.uk. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Essilor Polarised Transition Lenses

The Essilor Polarised Transition Lenses are the latest addition to the Essilor range of lenses. They are fantastic for patients wanting automatic sun protection and glare reduction. Transitions™ XTRactive® Polarized™ lenses combine an exclusive multi-layer matrix with new Transitions™ XTRactive® broad-spectrum dyes. This innovative lens has allowed for more darkness and new ultra-fast dichroic dyes for polarisation.

Essilor Polarised Transition Lenses

What are Photochromic lenses by Transitions?

Photochromic lenses give constant protection against harmful UV light. This allows for light to be tolerable and safer for those who are extremely sensitive.

Overexposure to sunlight has been linked to several eye conditions. By offering the right sun protection to you, we can help reduce the risk of you developing these conditions in later life.

Transitions are one of the most popular brands of photochromic lenses here in the UK. With 4 different types to choose from, Transitions photochromic lenses have something to suit every lifestyle and vision need. From the Transitions Signature range offering the latest technology in photochromic lenses to the  Transitions XTRActive lenses that will darken behind a car windshield. You will definitely find the right collection of sun protection lenses for your needs.

What the Research Says

The latest research in eye health continues to reinforce the importance of light protection and the impact of light on our vision. It shows that 9/10 people are light-sensitive and a huge 3/10 are very light-sensitive. To combat this, Essilor has introduced a new Transitional Lens. To meet the need for extra light protection, their new lenses are chockablock with all the new cutting-edge technologies.

Essilor Polarised Transition Lenses

Why You Should Be Excited!

These lenses are excellent at reducing the amount of glare. These new lenses help improve your visibility by up to 33%, compared to non-polarised sun lenses. This anti-glare technology protects your eyes and will also greatly improve your quality of life. If you have become used to the way you see the world, you might not be fully able to understand what it is you’re missing out on. A visibility increase of 33% is huge; truly a life-changing difference.

On top of this, a quantitative study evaluating the visual benefits of the polarisation properties of lenses carried out by Prof. Nicholas Roberts found that the lenses also alter the colours we see. The properties of Transitions™ XTRactive® Polarised™ lenses actually make the world 30% more colourful, due to the unique polarisation technology. This technology reduces glare outdoors, providing a better visual experience with sharper vision, a larger field of view and bright vivid colours.

Looking for Essilor Polarised Transition Lenses

If you’re looking to find out more information about Essilor Polarised Transition Lenses then we highly recommend contacting us. You can fill out our contact form. Alternatively, you can contact us directly by calling 01323 442 062 or email info@focusmedicaleyecentre.co.uk. We’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.

Do VR Headsets Damage Vision?

In the last few years, VR headsets and the introduction of the innovative technology of virtual reality have been taking over. If you’re anything like us you are concerned about wearing one of these headsets for long durations and whether or not these VR headsets damage to vision.

What is VR

VR (Virtual reality) is a computer-simulated experience that can be similar or completely different to the real world. VR is an extremely versatile tool and is now often seen being  used in education, entertainment and business. However, new applications are regularly emerging due to advancements in technology. Essentially through the use of sensory stimulation this technology ‘tricks’ the eyes and brain to perceive the virtual environment to be reality.

VR headsets damage vision

VR’s effects on your eyes

Due to the recent introduction of VR headsets, the effects long term are still to be discovered. However, studies have found that staring too long at a VR screen can lead to eye strain and fatigue. This comes back to the fact that we tend to blink much less when using a device with a digital screen.

Motion sickness is also extremely common among early VR headsets. This has led to trouble focusing with your eyes, headaches, lightheadedness, nausea and even vomiting. However, as the refresh rates and pixel density increased the hazy image that we saw was dramatically improved.

The issue isn’t with the screens being so close to the eyes; as you might have thought. Instead, it’s that we’re not allowing the muscles in our eyes to relax, causing us to strain them.

What Oculus says about VR headsets and vision

Oculus, the largest manufacturer of VR technology states in its handbook that 1 in 4000 may suffer from”dizziness, seizures, eye or muscle twitching.” It recommends to users suffering with these symptoms, to discontinue using the headset and see a doctor.

Oculus also said that the reaction is more common in children and young people. They recommend that anyone experiencing these symptoms should take off the headset and visit a doctor.

What we recommend

Here at Focus Medical Eye Centre, we recommend that you take regular breaks when you’re using the headset for extended periods of time. In many blogs, we talk about the 20-20-20 rule, which you can read about here. It describes an excellent method that helps prevent eye strain whilst using digital screens.

If you have suffered from eye strain or have developed a new condition since using a VR headset we do recommend that you seek advice directly from a professional.

We’re an award-winning local opticians based in Hailsham, East Sussex, so if you’re in the area and want an eye test, or have any questions about the health of your eyes, then please call in and see us!

If you’d like to book an appointment with us, click here, or call us on 01323 442 062.

 

 

 

 

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