As we’ve looked at what it means to ‘think vision‘, we now turn our attention to understanding the benefits of thinking vision.
Have you ever found a good piece of advice and followed it? Only to stop after a while because you forgot or didn’t have time?
Well, it’s more difficult to forget the advice once it gains meaning through understanding the overall benefit.
What does it mean to ‘think vision’?
When we talk about thinking vision, we mean to actively consider our eyesight (and eyes!) daily.
Practising eye care proactively day-to-day can help us maintain our eyesight and eye health.
One of the key eye care steps is to wear the correct glasses for the tasks that a person needs them.
So, what are the benefits of eye care?
The benefits of thinking vision
See Better and Live Better
Actively considering and caring for our eyes on a daily basis can help us to see better and live better.
Ultimately, the benefits that better vision and leading a richer life can bring are priceless, both physically and psychologically.
When you can see the world around you more clearly, it can help to:
Keep you safer and reduce the risk of falls as obstructions, steps and stairs are more visible.
Maintain your independence and make you feel empowered by even the smallest of tasks.
Reduce feelings of depression and isolation, which can cause further physical and psychological distress.
So, actively thinking about our eyesight and eye health can help transform our lives.
Avoiding or reducing falls can be physically and emotionally freeing, encouraging a person to participate in the world around them.
Also, less physical injuries means not being bed-bound or house-bound.
Maintaining mobility inside and outside the home, along with social activity, can help avoid low moods and isolation.
Most importantly, having more clearer vision can help us to regain what we may have lost.
Living within a care environment
The benefits of thinking vision apply to everyone, regardless of whether a person lives within a care environment or not.
We all have activities or hobbies that we enjoy doing. Perhaps, we even have hobbies that we used to enjoy doing, but no longer can due to poor vision.
We all deserve to lead as rich a life as possible!
The purpose of raising awareness of ‘think vision’ is to help people better their own lives and the lives of others too.
Our eye care advice can help everyone – and for those who can’t care for their eyes themselves, Visioncall can help.
How can I look after my eyes?
Eye care can help maintain your eye health even if you’re living with an eye condition.
Looking after your eyes is easier than you think!
Here’s a checklist of our eye care advice:
If you need glasses, it’s vital to wear the correct pair for the tasks you need them.
However, the key to eye care is to stick to practising the advice and making eye care part of your daily routine!
The benefits of thinking vision can be life-transforming, with both physical and psychological benefit.
Ultimately, eyesight and eye health are worth protecting.
The real question is, how much are your eyes worth to you?
While a sight test is fairly routine, it’s important to consider easing anxiety for those who find it a struggle.
Anxiety, stress and frustration can be the result of a fear of eyes (ommetaphobia), communication difficulties or general discomfort.
Many conditions can make people feel socially or emotionally uncomfortable, which can cause them to not provide all of the relevant information.
It’s important that an optometrist has the means to engage with these individuals and help ease their anxiety.
As a sight test contributes to our general health, it’s important that optometrists have the means to engage with all individuals.
So it is essential the optometrist will take the time to communicate with them.
How can Visioncall ease sight test anxiety?
Visioncall optometrists undergo training to understand and respond appropriately based on the individual’s needs.
We train our optometrists to deliver a sight test with dignity, integrity and respect for the individual.
Presenting in a calm, friendly and respectful manner helps ensure the person is comfortable.
When an individual is calm and co-operative, our optometrist is then able to carry out a sight test.
We know that a subjective response isn’t always possible though (i.e. responding to a letter chart).
So our optometrists are trained to use alternative equipment to deliver an objective sight test to non-communicative individuals.
By easing sight test anxiety using this skill set, we can enable a person to have a regular sight test.
However, it’s vital that the individual is co-operative and willing to sit (even briefly) so our optometrist can carry out the sight test.
A regular sight test is important to check for any changes in a person’s prescription and their eye health.
Someone who experiences anxiety, stress and agitation during a sight test still needs their sight and eye health checked.
As Visioncall optometrists make use of both subjective and objective testing, these individuals are able to have a regular sight test.
Visioncall understands that when a person can see better, they can live better.
Additional care needs
A person with expressed additional care needs may not be in a position to clearly communicate their needs or concerns to someone in charge of their care.
It’s important that when we care for those who need additional care, we’re able to communicate with them.
Empathy and patience enable caring professionals to engage and draw a verbal or non-verbal response from a person.
This response is vital to truly understand a person’s needs and preferences.
Avoiding assumptions about a person’s preferences is key to achieving person-centred care.
That’s why Visioncall ensures that all of our optometrists and dispensers are trained extensively.
Easing sight test anxiety is possible simply by communicating and listening to an individual.
We all rely on signage and we can be guilty of underestimating the importance of it.
Signage is a wayfinder – something to help us safely navigate the world around us.
In essence, using signage is a natural instinct.
Since the beginning of time animals and humans alike have taken directional cues from nature.
Getting from point A to point B is difficult without something to show us the way, or even our location.
Some animals overcome this with an incredible inbuilt sense of direction!
Did you know that a Sahara Desert Ant is able to walk in a straight line for miles?
By comparison, humans have a faulty internal sense of direction… a blindfolded or disorientated human will walk in circles.
As a species, we’re susceptible to losing our way even in an environment that we’re familiar with.
This makes us more reliant on signage and finding other ways to help us find our way.
Using landmarks to find our way
When we lose our way, our natural instincts kick in and we rely on mental-mapping and memory recall to help us find our way.
The part of the brain that controls these skills is called the hippocampus.
We use landmarks to determine our location, our destination and how to get there.
The term “landmark” here isn’t exclusive to famous buildings – it can be a school, a particularly big tree or even your staircase.
Navigation relies on the hippocampus retrieving memories, but it’s not always as simple as that and that can cause us to lose our way in familiar surroundings.
Simply put, it’s possible to recognise a landmark but be unable to recall where from.
Mental-mapping and memory recall can become more challenging if damage occurs to the hippocampus.
The hippocampus is usually one of the first areas that Alzheimer’s disease will damage.
Alzheimer’s makes it harder to recognise familiar objects, create new memories and learn new information.
With our vision and hearing pathways running separately, a person with Alzheimer’s may emotionally respond to a landmark, but be unable to recognise it or pair it with directional information.
As a result, someone living with Alzheimer’s is prone to confusion within their own home.
Seeing a landmark from a different angle that the hippocampus can’t recall can also be very disorientating.
Depending on the progression of the disease, this can make daily life just as disorientating, if not more, than life would be for us without signage.
Signposting is an excellent solution to help someone when they’re lost and disorientated in their own home.
Our range of dementia signage eases orientation around the home by design.
The colours, typeface and icons we use are researched and specifically selected for universal understanding and contrast.
Visioncall’s dementia signage is beneficial within the home, ensuring that everyone can navigate safely through their home.
To browse our range of dementia signage, click here.
We also know that at least half of all sight loss is avoidable, so there’s a real need to help people live more prosperous lives.
For most of us, a quick visit to the local optician is all it takes.
However, it’s not as simple to visit the high street for those who require extra care.
That’s where Visioncall can help.
What difference can better sight make?
When a person can see better, they can live better.
Better sight can enable a person to look at photos of their loved ones, watch the TV or see their dinner.
It’s the things we take for granted that can help someone with poor vision lead a richer life.
Better sight can enable someone to engage in the world around them, and help an individual to maintain their independence.
Correcting the sight of someone with poor vision can help them to avoid bumps and reduce their risk of falls.
How can Visioncall help your residents?
Our experienced opticians will visit your residence – you can tell it’s us by our uniform and ID cards!
We also request a private space to ensure we maintain a person’s dignity and privacy.
Engaging appropriately with the individual, we identify a person’s lifestyle and activities that they can’t do anymore due to poor sight.
All of our opticians are dementia-trained to support non-communicative individuals objectively to help them to see better and live better.
If this conversation isn’t possible, our team will speak with the staff in charge of a particular person’s care.
Whether or not a person can communicate doesn’t determine whether or not they can benefit from better vision.
So we use an objective testing method which involves as little distress and probing as possible.
Subjective testing isn’t suitable for everyone, but we can reach the same outcome of better sight using either method.
However, to achieve better sight, it’s essential to engage with our eye care solution from start to end.
So, what’s new at Visioncall?
First of all, welcome you to the all-new Visioncall website!
Thanks to the mobile responsive design and modern layout, it’s now easier than ever to discover more about Visioncall online.
We hope you enjoy the changes and keep your eyes peeled for future updates and improvements.
What else is new at Visioncall?
You may also have noticed that our website isn’t the only change… we have also updated our company brand to better reflect our values.
Our company strapline now reads ‘See better, Live Better’ to communicate our purpose succinctly to the world.
Visioncall is dedicated to helping those who need it most to see better and live better.
This is and always has been at the heart of everything that we do.
Our brand update serves to remind ourselves and our fantastic partners of this at a glance.
We know that sight directly improves a person’s quality of life and that’s why it’s our mission to help those who can’t help themselves.
It’s also about promoting awareness of eye care conditions and meeting an individual’s specific eye care needs.
We constantly develop ways to continue working with and supporting our partners to facilitate their residents to see better and live better.
Care planning innovations such as our Lifestyle Passport and promoting eye care awareness through staff training help us achieve this.
We look forward to the next step in our journey as we help make our mission a reality for the millions of people currently living with sight loss in the UK today.
In the meantime, we hope you enjoy all the exciting changes introduced and discover more about Visioncall on our website.
While your regular sight test will be every year or two, it’s vital to know the tell-tale signs for needing a sight test.
For instance, it’s common for our eyes to ache due to a bad cold, sinus infection or lack of sleep.
However, if the pain is limited to the eyes and causes irritation then it’s time to visit your local optician.
An optician is better clinically equipped to provide an optics diagnosis and treatment than a GP is. If needed, the optician might advise you to follow up with your GP to get things investigated further.
Blepharitis (dry eye)
The most common cause of eye pain is dry eye syndrome or blepharitis, which is inflammation of the eyelid.
Watery eyes can ironically be a sign of dry eye, along with redness, stinging, blurry vision or a gritty sensation.
It’s easy to confuse these symptoms with tiredness, so a good test is to stare straight ahead at something for as long as possible. If there’s any discomfort or a need to blink before 10 seconds is up, it could be dry eye.
While dry eye can be a natural sign of growing old, it’s recently on the rise in younger people.
With all the time spent on computers and screens, because we blink less while we concentrate, the hydrating tears on the surface of the eye evaporate before we can replace them.
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for dry eye, but there are several things an optician can do to manage and improve symptoms. For instance, prescribing preservative-free eye drops.
Another tell-tale sign of needing an eye test is bloodshot eyes.
Bloodshot eyes can be the result of a number of things from sleepless nights and allergies to dry eye.
Some of the most common causes of bloodshot are infections such as conjunctivitis, but if the redness is significant and causes discomfort you should make an appointment with your local optician.
Temporary and permanent visual disturbances can be another sign of needing a sight test.
A visual disturbance is something that interferes with sight, most commonly flashing lights, kaleidoscope vision, zig-zag patterns and blind spots.
Treatment can help relieve temporary visual disturbances.
As these visual disturbances can include partial or complete blindness for a brief period, they can be extremely distressing.
While these symptoms can be caused by a number of conditions, they’re most commonly associated with ocular and retinal migraines, otherwise known as visual migraines.
Typically, visual migraines cause problems in both eyes at the same time and can last up to half an hour. A visual migraine will usually subside by itself, but the best thing to do is rest until it’s better.
If you experience these symptoms, even if they disappear, it’s important to let your optician take a look at them.
The symptoms can appear with or without a headache, so it can be difficult to recognise what they are.
If you’re unsure whether it’s a migraine, you should seek advice from your optician.
Any pain, irritation and discomfort caused by dry eye, bloodshot eyes and visual disturbances can restrict daily life.
A sight test can help you to see better and live better sooner.
If you experience any issues with your eyes, visit your local optician as soon as possible.
If out of hours, contact NHS 24 by dialling 111 for advice. For any eye injuries that need emergency, visit your nearest Accident and Emergency department (A&E).