new GBBO – fancy bakes and fancy specs

as has been mentioned in a previous blog , I love watching Great British Bake Off , it is fun friendly nice programme and the contestants genuinely seem to get on well and actually want each other to succeed. ( If we ignore freezergate from the 2014 series)

 

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I was looking forward to the move from BBC to Channel 4 – not that I have anything against the good old beeb but I do like Sandy Toksvig and Noel Fielding. The new batch of contestants are great , the baking is superb and I think that Sandy Noel and Pru Leith have all added to the show, whilst Paul Hollywood is still keeping all the contestants waiting for that sought after handshake. Sandy in particular really seems emotionally caught up in the success and failures of the contestants and I do like Noel’s fashion sense.

 

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With my optical hat on I do look forward each week to see what specs Pru will be modelling. So far they have all been frames  by Ronit Furst a wonderful hand painted collection that has been available at eyelines for the last 10 years.

 

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So if you want to look as stylish as Pru come in and try some on – there is of course no guarantee that you will be able to bake as well as her.

 

 

 

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blue light,screen time & your child’s eyes

I have been asked a lot lately about Blue Light and screen time and potential problems with vision and eyes especially with Children. The piece below if from an Association of Optometrists  leaflet : Screen Time – Facts for Parents.

 

 

Screen time — facts for parents

 

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Most parents worry how much time their child is spending on
digital devices. Here are some  facts about screen time.
What is blue light?

 
Sunlight contains red, orange, yellow, green and blue
light rays. Combined, this spectrum of coloured light
rays creates what we call ‘white light’ or sunlight.
Depending on where they fall on the spectrum, light
rays have long wavelengths (with less energy) or short
wavelengths (with more energy).

 
Blue light is a high-energy visible light and has shorter
wavelengths. It is known as blue light because it is
on the violet-blue band of the spectrum. Blue light
is naturally present in sunlight but is also something
we can see from screens such as TVs, computers,
smartphones and tablets.

 

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Can blue light damage my child’s eyes?

 
There is currently no scientific evidence that blue light
causes damage to the eyes. However, there is evidence
to suggest that carrying out near tasks, involving
looking at something close-up, such as using mobile
devices, screen time and reading a book, can increase
eye strain for those who do this for long periods of time.

 
What is digital eye strain?

 
Digital eye strain happens when a lot of time is
spent using near vision, for example, reading on
screen or playing online games. Digital eye strain
does not cause permanent damage to your eyes but
can be uncomfortable. One of the main symptoms
is temporary blurred vision but other signs such as
sore and tired eyes, dry eye and headaches are also
associated with digital eye strain.

 
Can blue light affect my child’s sleep pattern?

 
Using screens close to bedtime may contribute
to poorer sleep, which may mean your child’s
concentration levels are lower during the day. This
may be because blue light is linked to the suppression
of the hormone melatonin which makes us feel sleepy.
However, there is a range of other factors linked to
disrupted sleep.

 
Can blue light filtered lenses help?

 
Some people report that lens coatings that filter blue
light make their eyes feel more comfortable or are
helpful before bed, but there is no clear scientific
evidence to support this. There is also no evidence
that these kinds of coatings prevent eye disease.

 
Why have I heard that blue light is harmful to eye health?

 
Several studies have been carried out into the effects
of blue light, and research in this area is still ongoing.
Some past studies have revealed that exposure
to blue light can lead to changes in animals’ eyes.
However, because the time and intensity of exposure
to blue light in these studies was far more than that
of natural daylight and that of screens, this does not
show that blue light is harmful to eyes.

 
Is there a link between screen time and short-sightedness?

 
Short-sightedness, or myopia, is increasing
throughout the world. Family history, ethnic
background, environment (living indoors, in cities)
and carrying out near tasks, such as screen use,
have all been linked to the development of myopia.
However, there is no clear evidence to suggest that
screen time alone is the direct cause. But, there is
good evidence to suggest that children who spend
more time outdoors are at lower risk of developing
short-sightedness.

 

 

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Some Tips to help keep your child’s eyes healthy

 

 

Get them outdoors — regular play and exercise can help prevent or
reduce the development of myopia (short-sightedness). Studies show two
hours of outdoor activity a day is ideal.

 
Using night settings, if your device has them, may help children sleep
by reducing the amount of blue light given off by the screen during
night-time hours.

 

Make sure digital devices are turned off at least an hour before bedtime.

 

Book your child in for a sight test every two years, from the age of three,
or more often if your optometrist recommends it.

 

 

20-20-20

iStock_000030825040_XXXLargeMay & June – Exam season – GCSE’s, A- Levels, International Baccalaureate

All designed to stress the visual system to its maximum.

Digital devices usage is increasing in everyday life, how many of us go any length of time before we are peering at our screens. I am as guilty of this as anyone else.

 

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I have been asked a lot by patients what can be done to help? Do I need glasses? Should I sit closer/further away from the screen – and lots more similar questions.

 

The easiest piece of advice that I can give – that does work is the 20-20-20 rule:

 

 

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I have said to my kids and say to all my patients who are studying that taking a break from the books and picking up the Phone , Tablet or laptop to log into social media is not resting your eyes. Looking into the distance is when the eyes are at their most relaxed natural state.

 

There are lots of Apps available that use the 20 20 20 rule and have a timer that will alert you when its time to rest and relax the eyes. Look out the window – even better get outside and get some fresh air as well .

 

Good luck to all our patients in their exams and remember 20/20/20.

not a dry eye in the house

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Itchy, sticky,gritty,dry,weepy,burning,red all words that are regularly used to describe the symptoms of dry eye.

We are seeing more and more people coming in to the practice with dry eye symptoms. It seems that a lot of patients feel that the underlying cause is VDU and Electronic gadget use.

Whilst this may well be a factor there are other things to consider – we live in centrally heated, sealed houses, our workplaces are generally very dry , we drive around in air conditioned cars, we do not keep ourselves properly hydrated, age ,  some medications, hormonal changes,  diet.

All of these can be factors – the important thing is what can be done to not only relieve the symptoms but also to determine the cause and implement a treatment plan.

 

At eyelines we can carry out a full dry eye assessment to determine what the cause is and can implement a treatment plan to not only relieve the symptoms in the short term but to mange the condition to give long term comfort.

 

Dry eye drops can be used to lubricate and hydrate the surface of the eye, in order to help to restore and maintain the natural balance of tear composition. Modern eye drops can also  protect the eye from environmental stresses. Some are also available in gel form for longer lasting relief, particularly overnight. We generally recommend eye drops that do not contain preservatives.

 

Heat Treatment on the eyelids can also give short term relief as well as helping to restore the efficiency of the tear flow.

 

 

 

Nutritional supplements can also be beneficial in treatment of dry eye.

 

 

 

 

 

A new treatment programme for dry eye that we are carrying out at eyelines is the Blephex treatment.

A soft medical grade sponge is moved across the eyelids and base of the eyelashes, whilst it spins it  removes debris and bacterial build-up that contributes to blockages of the glands in the eyelids.

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Blepharitis – pre Blephex treatment.

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Post Blephex treatment.

This is similar to a dental hygienist removing plaque, the unblocking of the glands and the removal of the biofilm build-up from the lids means long term relief and clean clear comfortable eyes.

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Contact us at eyelines to discuss further any dry eye issues that you may have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cpd makes me feel old

I have just attended an all day conference in London hosted by one of our  suppliers Thea Pharaceuticals. It enabled me to gain some valuable CPD (Continuing  Professional  Development) and to catch up with some of the changes in Optics.

It was a full days course with a mix of Lectures Workshops and Peer reviews with a choice of options depending on what your requirements were.

I choose to attend a Peer Discussion on Interpretation of OCT cases. A Workshop on Dry Eye & Blepharitis Management and Lectures on Blinking and  Vitamin D Deficiency.

I managed to learn at least one new thing from each of the sessions I attended and will make sutble changes to what we do in practice – which really is the point of CPD.

When I first qualified it was not compulsary to do any further education – although I always have.  It now is a condition of registration with our professional body – but I  enjoy expanding by knowledge and it is always of benefit to the practice and our patients.

I also met up with a couple of Optometrists who I had not seen since we graduated – and we realised that we graduated nearly 25 years ago – hence why CPD makes me feel old.

 

 

abc 123 OCT

For almost a year now we have had an OCT Scanner within the practice at eyelines.

OCT or Optical Coherence Tomography is basically an ultrasound for the eye. Instead of using sound waves to image structures within the body the OCT uses light waves to enable high quality imaging of sub surface structures of the eye –  generally the Retina.

 

This is a non invasive technique that enables viewing and measurement of the layers of the retina  that will help in the diagnosis and monitoring of Glaucoma and conditions affecting the retina such as: Macular Degeneration; Vascular Disease; Diabetic Retinopathy; Retinal Detachments.

 

It has proven to be a very useful addition to our testing routine and we have spotted a number of conditions much earlier than we would have been able to in the past, and been able to refer for treatment or been able to monitor for change ourselves.

Here are some of the scan images

 

 

 

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Scan of a healthy eye from a 15 year old.

 

 

 

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Scan showing sub retinal fluid around the Macular area that did not have much effect on the visual acuity. The patient was able to draw a vague area of distortion that he was aware of that matched the size and shape of the sub retinal fluid exactly.

 

 

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Scan showing a Macular hole and associated retinalschisis and epiretinal membrane.

 

Of course we never like discovering anything wrong with a patients eyes, it is much better to be able to do the scans and tell the patient that everything is perfectly healthy, but if we do pick up an abnormality we can get the patient referred to an eye hospital and treated.

 

The technology that is available to an optical practice now has changed by a huge amount even in the 20 or so years that I have been practicing. It will be interesting to see what the next developments are in the next few years.