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





Scan of a healthy eye from a 15 year old.





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.



eye 1


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.




camera-eye : eye-camera

I had a young patient (8 yrs old)  in for an eye examination  this week who was explaining to me how his teacher told the class that the human eye was based on a camera.

I did try and explain that really it was the other way round but he was having none of it because “his teacher told him that the eye was based on the camera and She is always correct”

The lens of the camera focuses light onto the film (or digital plate)

The lens inside your eye focus light onto the retina.

The aperture can be adjusted on a camera to let differing amouts of light in – in the eye it is the iris that does this job.

A camera lens can be moved backwards and forwards to change the focus – in the eye it is the Ciliary muscles that change the shape of the lens to alter the focus.


The young lad is quite keen on photography as am I and we got into a discussion about taking photos- it led to me looking through some of my old photo files – which is an excuse for me to post some images here.


(All of these images were taken by and are owned by me so please do not use them without permission.)


Local children on the slopes of Mount Pinatubo – Philippines


Manila Fish Market


Alaskan Costal Brown Bear – near Anchorage


American Bald Eagle


Green Turtle


Red Panda


Zantedeschia aethiopaca



The improvement in camera technology over the years means that all of us can become budding photographers with nothing more than our phones – although these were all taken with an Olympus E510 DSLR – except for the underwater shot of the turtle taken with a Fuji Fine Pix XP90





how do you solve a problem like myopia

In a previous blog post I mentioned the increase in Myopia that some have likened to an epidemic.

Apart from correcting the vision traditionally with spectacles or daily wear contact lenses what else is available – especially for  children.



Refractive Surgery has been an option in various form since the mid 1960’s and whilst techniques have been improving it is still usually not recommended for those under the age of 21 (or at least until any prescription changes have stabilised).

For a lot of  patients the thought of having any form of surgery will be enough to dissuade them from this option.

Happy snapping

Another possibility is Orthokeratology – or Ortho K – a technique of overnight contact lens wear that gently reshapes the cornea by about the thickness  of a hair. I have been using this technique in the practice for nearly 10 years.  (Previous Blog Post on Ortho K)

Until recently I have used Ortho K  mainly on adults but in the last 6 months I have been fitting the  lenses more and more to children with excellent results.

Isabella Green drawing a

One of the first youngsters that I fitted last summer was Isabella  whose extended  family have been with the practice for many years. Isabella had been wearing spectacles for six months and her myopia was increasing rapidly, her father is quite myopic so Isabella was concerned that she would follow a similar pattern. We discussed all of the options available and decided to fit Ortho K – with great success.  Isabella has recently featured in a news article  about  Ortho K on ITV Meridian News.

ITV Meridian News Feature

Since Isabella’s success I have had an increasing number of children coming along and being fitted with Ortho K and it has proven to be a wonderful tool to enable children to cope with an active lifestyle without having to worry about vision, glasses or contact lenses during the day.


Boy Heading a Soccer Ball - Isolated

If you are interested in Ortho K or any aspect of either your eyes or your childs eyes  then contact us to have a chat about it.



“myopia epidemic”

Recent studies on childhood shortsightedness both in the UK and in the US have shown that the condition is on the increase.

Both the studies from California and Northern Ireland have shown that there are twice as many children today who are myopic than in the 1960’s.

16.4% now compared to 7.2% in 1960

The study also showed that children with one myopic parent were three times more likely to become myopic than those who had non myopic parents. Those who have two parents with myopia were seven times more likely to be myopic.

The Northern Ireland Childhood Errors of Refraction Study also found that children were becoming myopic at an earlier age.  Myopia is more likely to occur between the ages of 6 and 13.


There are many opinions on what the reasons for this increase in shortsightedness are but opinion seems to suggest that too much time indoors on mobile devices and not enough time outdoors is a factor.

Myopia is generally a progressive condition so it is worth keepin an eye on (apologies for the awful pun).

I will blog later on some of the options that are available to both correct the vision and also to control the myopia.



the sale @eyelines

Unlike a lot of other  optical practices (and other retail establishments) eyelines very rarely hold a sale – the last time was about 6 years ago.

We have decided to look at the ranges that we carry and try and free up  space for some new ranges and some new stock.

Therefore there are a lot of bargains to be had.

Frame prices starting from £1.50

Come in and have a look.