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Mathematics in Optics!

It may not be surprising to hear, as in most subject areas, that there is a substantial amount of mathematics in Optics. Luckily for most of us (or unluckily if you like maths) this maths is ‘hidden’ by using rule of thumb systems, data tables or computer software that does all the work for us. This is also largely true of Optics, though there are some purists out there who prefer the aid of mathematical equations in deriving specific results. I am naturally one of those purists, proud of it too. However, there are some equations that are routinely used in practice, both by Dispensing Opticians, and Optometrists. Firstly let us consider something fundamental, the power of a correcting lens.

Myth Busting Contact Lenses

Ever wondered about contact lenses but been too scared to try them? Maybe you thought they weren’t quite right for you. There are lots of myths around contact lenses and in this blog I’m going to help bust some! [if !supportLists]1. [endif]Lenses can get stuck behind my eyes! This can’t happen. There is a thin clear membrane around the eye that makes it impossible for anything to get in behind the eye. Therefore your lenses simply can’t get stuck in that area. [if !supportLists]2. [endif]I don’t like the thought of having to touch my eyes When putting your lenses in, the lens will be between your finger and your eye. Therefore your finger doesn’t actually touch the eye itself. We can

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition that affects the optic nerve (the ‘wire’ that connects your eye to your brain). Over time, the nerve fibers that make up the optic nerve die off slowly leading to loss of vision. The exact cause of Glaucoma remains unknown however it is related to elevated pressure inside the eye (intra-ocular pressure). The raised pressure is thought to be caused by either an overproduction of Aqueous humor (fluid) inside the eye; or poor drainage of the Aqueous out of the eye. Aqueous humor is required to maintain the shape of the eye (think of the air inside your car tire) and to provide the structures inside your eye with nutrients. That said, not all cases of Glaucoma are a res

Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Noise Induced Hearing Loss can affect many areas of your life. Without a thorough understanding of your ears, and the delicate nature of them, it is easy for you to take your hearing for granted and fail to ensure they receive proper protection. A terrible symptom of Noise Induced Hearing Loss is you may not even notice you are suffering from it, as it is often a gradual process. For example you could be finding it difficult to hear conversations with friends and family or others may complain that you have your TV on too loud. In many cases people do not realise that they have a hearing defect, however a simple hearing assessment can determine a patient’s hearing health. National statistics

What can I do to Keep my Eyes Healthy?

The first, and perhaps the simplest answer is to wear protection against harmful UV rays. This doesn’t mean wearing sunglasses year round but DO ensure your spectacles have UV protection. Most of our anti-reflection lenses, including all of our Neva Max and SmarT lenses will ensure your eyes are protected against daily UV damage. Contact lens wearers should ensure their chosen lens also has UV protection AND wear protective sunglasses to protect the delicate skin area around the eyes. However, a well-fitting pair of Polarised, Transition or UV tinted sunglasses are essential for those sunny days when UV rays reach dangerous levels. UV damage to the eyes can be a primary cause of cataracts,

What are Transitions?

This is a question we regularly get in our practice so we thought that we would answer some of the questions people ask about transitions. 82% of people tell us that glare affects their vision outside. 60% of people suffer from tired eyes as evening approaches. 100% of our customers will be affected by harmful UVA and UVB rays. 73% of our patients tell us their eyes are sensitive to light. If any of these statements rings a bell with yourself, then Transitions lenses would be the way to go. Transitions are our recommended brand of photochromic lenses, which enable the lenses to rapidly darken when they are exposed to ultraviolet light. The greater the intensity of UV rays, the darker the len

What are Flashes and Floaters?

Flashes Some people may see flashes of light in front of one of their eyes like small sparkles. These tend to be in the extreme corners of your vision - they come and go and do not affect your vision. They don’t last for a defined length of time and may be more noticeable if you go from a light to a dark area. These are different to the zig-zag lines that often accompany a migraine attack. Migraine shimmers are a flickering of light, often on only one side of your vision, which then expands to the outside of your vision with a jagged pattern. This will often obscure part of your vision, either the left or right side. The shimmers usually disappear after 10-20 minutes and may be followed by a

What Age Should My Child Have Their Eye Test?

The most important thing here is to note that your child does not have to be able to read or talk to have a sight test. There are many methods that a qualified optometrist will be able to utilise in order to check your child’s vision, and a qualified optometrist can perform an eye examination on a child as young as 6 months old if necessary. Babies can see when they are born, but their eyes don’t always focus accurately. A baby’s eyes may squint sometimes (they may not always line up with each other), but if their eyes always seem to squint, this should be investigated. Their eyes develop gradually and after about six weeks they should be able to follow something colourful or interesting wit

What can I do About Dry Eye?

Once your optometrist knows what is causing your dry eye, they can give you advice on how to manage it. There are four main ways to help your dry eye. [if !supportLists]1. [endif]Avoid using make-up and keep your eyelids clean Eyeliner, particularly when put on the rim of your eyelid, may block the meibomian glands that produce the oily part of your tear film. This may cause the area around your eyes to be inflamed. It is also important to make sure you keep your eyelids clean, particularly if you have blepharitis. [if !supportLists]2. [endif]Be aware of your environment There are some environments that make your eyes feel more dry. High temperatures and central heating may increase

Why Can't You Make the Lenses Stronger?

This is a question that is often asked by patients, or by the family of patients, who are suffering with AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration). AMD affects the part of the eye that deals with detail and close-up vision. So very often, poor reading vision is a symptom of this condition. Now, when they are younger, most patients will have traditionally had problems with reading vision corrected by a change in their reading glasses prescription. We just give the prescription a “tweak” or “make it a bit stronger” and hey presto! You can read clearly again. This is because the lenses in your reading glasses are correcting a condition called presbyopia (literally “Old Eyes”), where the lens in yo

Are Contact Lenses Comfortable?

Have you ever been fed up with wearing spectacles and feel they restrict your life somehow? We have heard many people call their glasses as “scaffolding” on their face and lots of spectacle wearers hate the weight on their nose and also having red, sore marks on their noses from wearing them. Imagine playing sport not worrying about having a restricted field of view or them falling off. Even that ideal situation of going to an important social function but not having to hide behind glasses so people actually see your face in its natural beauty! Most people with an optical correction will consider contact lenses but then think “can I even put them in my eyes?” and “they must feel like having

Will I Become Dependent on my Glasses?

“I’ve been told that if I get glasses, my eyes will become dependent on them” This is a something we hear all the time and so, for the benefit of you dear readers, it’s time for a quick analogy. Imagine a world before the washing machine. Having to wash everything by hand in a tub, the rubbing and the soap making your hands sore. Then having to run it through a mangle to get rid of most of the water by turning the handle and making your arms and back ache. It’s hard work, but you get used to it. Then someone turns up with a super-duper, gleaming white washing machine. Shazam! Immediately, life is better. You have more time. Your back and arms and hands don’t ache like they did before. Life

Does my Eye Sight Meet Driving Standards?

Driving is essential for many of us for our daily lives whether it is driving to work or for social use. A range of vision standards apply for different driving licences. Our qualified optometrists will check your eyesight using various techniques and will advise if it is in-line with the applicable DVLA vision standards. There are three main areas assessed which are listed below. You must be able to read a car number plate registered after 1st September 2001 from 20 metres away. You must also have a minimum eyesight standard of at least 6/12 measured on a Snellen chart using both eyes together or one eye if that is the only eye you have sight. Lorry and bus drivers have a different requir

Am I Suitable for Contact Lenses?

If I had a fiver every time someone asked me this question over 20 plus years of contact lens fitting experience I would have been off to the Bahamas a long time ago! The question however is not so clear cut, there are many considerations when someone first presents for a contact lens consultation. Not only whether they are suitable for contact lenses per say but which type, which material, which disinfecting system, which modality. The list goes on and not forgetting which price range. From a prescription point of view, it’s a shame that some spectacle wearers or previous lapsed contact lens wearers presume contact lenses are not suitable for them relating to information that is now out of

What's so Special About The Steve McQueen From Persol?

Persol is known for its elegance and originality within its Italian manufacturing of sunglasses and optical frames. The name itself comes from ‘Per il Sole’ meaning for the sun. The company first started out creating sun protection for the Italian air aviation and armed forces. Its brand has developed since then to be seen on well-known sportsmen and woman, international figures and celebrities of the acting world. One of the renowned actors of the 1960’s and 70’s was that of Steve McQueen who appeared in well-known films such as The Magnificent Seven (1960), The Great Escape (1963), Thomas Crown Affair (1968) and Papillon (1973). He rose in popularity as a role model of the counter culture

Are You Making A Great First Impression?

When you meet someone for the first time you judge them. Whether you agree or disagree with this, it is a fact. Your brain creates a metal image which generally influences how that person is treated! The first thing a person sees is generally the face. So why on earth do so many of us buy cheap, badly designed eyewear that doesn’t suit us. Our face, which includes our eye wear is one of the first things a person sees and judges us by. Would you wear the same pair of shoes to work as you would to go to your daughters Wedding. You wouldn’t, but many of us see no problem in wearing the same pair of glasses! Because of the Health Service in the UK we have been conditioned for many years to view

What is Better Monthlies or Daily Contact Lenses?

I have worn contact lenses for nearly 10 years now. Having both worn monthly and daily lenses, I can tell you I have experienced the high and lows of both. They have transformed my life for the better by suiting my active lifestyle and providing me with greater clarity (I am very short sighted!). Contact lenses manufacturers have developed their ranges to include higher quality lenses in greater volume. This making them accessible for a greater amount of people. In general, the more complicated your prescription is, the less likely you will be suited for daily lenses. Our optician would be able to advise you if you are not sure. Let us assume you have been told you can have either daily or

Protect Your Child’s Eyes From UV Rays

We all know how important it is to make sure children wear plenty of sun screen to protect them from the harmful rays of the sun, however, studies suggest, many of us often neglect to ensure we are protecting their eyes. The eyes of a child under the age of 10 transmit 75 per cent of UV radiation compared to 10 per cent in adults over 25. Despite this, 76 per cent of parents admit to not making sure their child wears sunglasses when out and about in the sun. It is thought that 80 per cent of a person's lifetime exposure to damaging sunlight occurs before the age of 18. Ultraviolet light rays are as dangerous to your child’s eyes as they are to their skin and it is well documented that prolon

Mythbusting Contact Lenses! What You Need to Know.

Ever considered getting contact lenses but felt put off by some of the negative myths surrounding them? We’re here to get the bottom of those myths and tell you they’re not true! Contact lenses are a fantastic, cost effective and hassle free alternative to glasses. Let the Myth Busting begin Contact Lenses can get stuck behind your eyes False! It’s physically impossible. A thin membrane around the eye prevents anything from slipping behind the eye and causing any damage. You need to be comfortable touching your eye balls if you want to wear contacts… Not true! In fact, if you insert your lens properly, you shouldn’t need to touch your eye at all. The lens will be between your finger and your

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