Tag Archives: eye health

Thanking Carers

At Visioncall we want to say thank you to the thousands of care staff who are working tirelessly around the clock to provide essential care for the most vulnerable in our society. 

We want to show our appreciation for everyone who works so hard to keep our loved ones safe during these uncertain times.

These past few weeks have been incredibly transformative to everyone’s lives, and with considerable impact to the care industry.

As one of the UK’s leading providers of domiciliary eye care, working closely with care home partners, we understand how testing this period has been. 

Our teams across the UK are still working with care providers to assist with essential eye care services. 

Supporting you with eye care matters

Our clinical teams to remain on hand to support our care home partners with advice and guidance on eye care matters at home

While we have stopped routine visits, We understand that social distancing measures must be respected during this time to protect our patients, their carers and our staff. 

The effort we are seeing from all NHS and care staff working with those who need the most support is truly inspiring during this challenging time.

It serves as a reminder of one of our core company values – we believe the right people can make a huge difference.

So from everyone here at Visioncall, thank you. 

Thank you for making a real difference in people’s lives when it’s needed most. 

We look forward to seeing our patients safely. 

Until then, support our NHS and carers – stay home, save lives.

Am I At Risk Of Glaucoma?

As our glaucoma entry for our ‘in focus’ series explores the condition, we now look at whether you’re at risk of glaucoma.

Our previous blog covers what the condition is, symptoms, the different types of glaucoma and treatment.

Am I at risk of developing glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the world’s leading cause of irreversible blindness.

That’s why it’s vital to be aware of risk factors and speak to your optician as early as possible.

There are a number of risk factors for glaucoma, ranging from age and ethnicity to blood pressure.

Some of the types of glaucoma share certain risk factors, such as a family history of the condition.

That’s why if glaucoma runs in your family, your optician will monitor your eye health, and you may receive more frequent sight tests.

Did you know that it’s possible to be at risk of one type of glaucoma, but not another?

Potential v strong risk factors

It’s possible to divide some risk factors into potential and strong.

For instance, the use of corticosteroids like eye drops and inhalers are a potential risk factor for open-angle glaucoma.

On the other hand, having a thin cornea is a strong risk factor.

Either way, don’t ignore your symptoms and let your optician know.

Open-angle glaucoma risk factors

This type of glaucoma is most likely to develop in people of black-African or black-Caribbean heritage.

If you’re from these backgrounds, you’re at risk of open-angle from the age of 40.

Whereas, if you’re from any other ethnicity, you’re more at risk from the age of 60.

It’s interesting that this type of glaucoma only affects1-2% of the white population.

Angle-closure glaucoma risk factors

Angle-closure glaucoma is less common fin the UK than open-angle.

However, Eastern Asians are at greater risk of developing this form of glaucoma.

Your risk of developing angle-closure glaucoma also increases if you have an eye injury or eye surgery.

If you suffer from an eye injury, you should ring your optician and follow their advice.

Normal-tension glaucoma

Normal-tension glaucoma is an exception, as you can develop this type of glaucoma even if you have normal eye pressure.

Naturally, you can be at risk of normal-tension glaucoma and not other types of the condition.

Your risk of normal-tension also increases if you have cardiovascular disease or if you have Japanese heritage.

What to do if you’re concerned about your eye health

If you have concerns about your eyes, you should speak to your optician.

You should provide your full family history and answer all lifestyle questions honestly.

Protect your eyes

Proactive eye care is essential to keep your eyes healthy to try and reduce your chance of developing the condition.

However, practising daily eye care does not guarantee that you will avoid glaucoma.

For the latest news and updates from Visioncall, stay posted here on our company blog and follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

Benefits Of Quitting Smoking

We’re going to explore the positive benefits of quitting smoking, from caring for your eyes to your loved ones.

Benefits of quitting smoking

Smoking may be a social activity or a vice, but either way, it can cause some adverse side effects.

There are several benefits when you quit smoking.

For some people, a particular benefit may be their motivation to succeed.

You can improve your general health

One of the main benefits of stopping smoking is to enhance your general health.

By general health, we mean breathing, heart problems, stress, cancer, fertility, cholesterol, diabetes and white blood cell count amongst others.

You can find more general health benefits here!

Quitting smoking can benefit your eye health

Smoking causes damage to the tissue in the eye, which can lead the development of eye conditions or sight loss.

So, by stopping smoking, it helps to preserve your vision and reduce the smoking-related harm to your eyes.

Smoking is a significant risk factor of both cataracts and macular degeneration, and it can cause diabetic eye disease to worsen.

Did you know that smoking can quadruple your risk of sight loss?

The benefits to your eye health when you quit smoking are more significant than you’d think!

Passive smoking

As you’ll most likely know, passive smoking (also known as second-hand smoking) can be harmful.

However, did you know that passive smoking is almost as damaging as smoking yourself?

Although smoking around others or indoors can seem harmless, passive smoking affects your pets and interior too.

No one wants yellow windows!

Save money when you quit smoking

When we talk about quitting smoking, people typically mention saving money first.

It’s easy for £10 here and there to seem minuscule, but it does add it up over a month or a year (or more!).

Find out how much you can save if you were to quit smoking today with this calculator!

Support to quit smoking

It can naturally be hard and scary to quit something, especially if it’s a coping strategy or recreational.

NHS Smokefree is a free service to help you quit smoking.

The service offers tailored advice and a community to help keep your motivation high and support when you’re struggling.

See the benefits yourself by starting your journey today!

For the latest news and updates from Visioncall, stay posted here on our company blog and follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

Expectations Vs Reality Of Eye Care

With our daily eye care guide helping you to care for your eyes, we’re turning our attention to the expectations vs reality of eye care.

I won’t develop an eye condition

Expectations

As I practice eye care daily, I won’t develop an eye condition.

In fact, I’m immune to glaucomacataractsmacular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy!

Reality

Practising daily eye care doesn’t guarantee that you won’t develop an eye condition.

While these steps may help to prevent eye conditions or delay their progression, it’s not an exact science.

It’s the same with exercise and eating well – neither guarantee that you won’t develop a health condition like diabetes.

Practising eye care means I have perfect eye health

Expectations

After taking time to care for my eyes proactively, they’re now in perfect health.

Reality

Can we ever really achieve ‘perfect’ eye health?

Your eye health can improve as a result of daily eye care, but there are other factors at play.

For instance, your agefamily history and ethnic background can increase your chance of developing an eye condition.

Yet you may have good eye health!

Practising eye care for one month is plenty

Expectations

After following eye care steps for a month, I can stop practising eye care, and my eye health will maintain itself.

Eye care is a one-time, short-term solution when your eye health or eyesight is poor.

Reality

Although it seems like caring for your eyes is a quick and easy fix, in reality, it’s quite the opposite.

Proactive eye care is a labour of love for your long-term benefit.

Following the steps when I remember is enough

Expectations

I follow the eye care steps now and then when I remember, and my eyes are in the best of health.

I also pick and choose which steps to follow because I don’t have time for all of them.

Reality

It’s essential to care for your eyes every day and to stick to the advice.

Although on-and-off eye care is long-term, it’s more beneficial when it’s consistently practised.

Ultimately, you can help to maintain your eyesight by improving your eye health.

Our eye care tips can help you to see better and live better for longer.

You’re now more prepared to care for your eyes after learning about the expectations vs reality of eye care!

For the latest news and updates from Visioncall, stay posted here on our company blog and follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

New Year, Healthy Me

The best time to make positive life changes is at the start of a year, with the “new year, new me” trend.

However, have you thought about “new year, healthy me”?

While “look after my health” can be a resolution, we’ll suggest resolutions that guide how to look after your health.

Here are a few new year resolutions that can help improve your general health and eye health.

Eat well

When we hear the words “eat well”, we naturally think of eating endless salads.

But, don’t worry, it’s not that bad!

As a result of eating well, you can help to maintain or lose weight and reduce your risk of developing certain general health and eye conditions.

Eat a balanced diet

The essential part of eating well is to have a balanced diet.

NHS’s Eatwell Guide makes it easy to understand how much of each food group you should eat.

Keeping a food diary can help you keep track of what you’re eating.

Alternatively, apps such as MyFitnessPal help you see the macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat) of your diet at the click of a button.

Portion control

Understanding portion sizes is key to eating a balanced diet to make sure you eat enough of the right food.

Too much of anything can be harmful to your health.

You can find some helpful tips for monitoring and controlling your portion size here.

Have a regular sight test

regular sight test is vital to monitor and diagnose eye conditions and even some underlying health conditions like diabetes.

The earlier an eye condition is caught, the sooner treatment can begin.

Depending on the eye condition, treatment may help prevent the condition from progressing.

Do you know how often you should have a sight test?

If you don’t know when you last had a sight test, make it your resolution to have a sight test this year!

Get enough sleep

Did you know that a good night’s sleep can help maintain or improve your eye health and general health?

Having enough sleep can benefit your immune system, prevent heart disease and diabetes.

However, too much sleep or too little sleep can be just as harmful to your health.

For instance, an early study in America found a correlation between glaucoma and lack of sleep and too much sleep.

The NHS recommends that an adult should have 8 hours of sleep every night.

If you have trouble going to sleep, you can find the NHS’s advice on a sleep routine here.

Stop smoking

Smoking is damaging to your eye’s tissue.

It is proven to increase your likelihood of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Did you know that after a year of not smoking, your risk of a heart attack halves?

British Heart Foundation explains how each element of a cigarette is harmful and offers practical guidance on how to quit smoking.

NHS Smokefreealso offers support and advice to help you quit.

Wear sunglasses

Sunglasses that block the majority of UV rays coming through can help protect your eye health.

Overexposure to UV light can increase your chance of developing certain conditions like cataracts and AMD.

So, when you’re buying sunglasses, make sure they carry the UV 400 mark, CE or British Standard Mark.

It’s also vital to check how dark they are (the filter category) as category 4, for example, are not suitable for driving.

For the latest news and updates from Visioncall, stay posted here on our company blog and follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

Are You Concerned About Your Eye Health?

It’s quite common to be concerned about your eye health at some point or another.

We’re going to look at what you should do if you have concerns about your eye health.

Who should I talk to about eye health?

If you experience changes in your eyesight or have concerns about your eye health because of your family history, you should speak with your optician.

Your optician is a better source of information than Googling your symptoms or worries – we all know how that ends!

For eye related issues, you should always speak with your optican rather than your GP.

If necessary, your optician will refer you to the doctor.

What symptoms should I look out for?

Common symptoms

Some of the common symptoms of eye health issues include headaches, itchy eyes, blurry vision and sensitivity to light or dark.

However, it’s essential that you do not self-diagnose an eye condition.

While these symptoms can indicate an underlying eye or health condition, they can also be the result of different factors like stress or lack of sleep.

Sometimes, the common symptoms may simply indicate that you need a new prescription.

If these common symptoms persist, you should speak with your optician.

Serious symptoms

If you see any of the following in your vision you should ring your optician immediately:

⚫️ Flashing lights or a shadow in your vision.

⚫️ Red or painful eyes.

⚫️ Sudden loss of vision.

Make sure you describe your symptoms clearly and accurately.

How can I care for my eyes daily?

If you’re concerned about your eye health, you can help look after your eyes between your regular sight test – and our guide can help you!

You may even be doing some of the eye care steps without realising!

Proactive eye care can help you maintain your eye health and eyesight for longer, but critically, it’s not a guarantee.

Ultimately, a few easy lifestyle changes can help you delay or prevent age-related eye conditions.

As a result, you can help avoid sight loss, benefit from maintaining your independence and lead an enriched life.

For the latest news and updates from Visioncall, stay posted here on our company blog and follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

Family Eye Health History

When we talk about eye health, it’s essential to be aware of your family’s eye health history.

Hereditary eye conditions in your family are just one of the risk factors of developing an eye condition.

Did you know that your family’s eye health history includes your parents, siblings, aunt, uncles and children?

Which common eye conditions are hereditary?

Some of the common eye conditions (glaucomacataractsmacular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy) can be hereditary. 

However, it’s key to remember that if your family has a history of a particular eye condition, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll develop it.

You should attend your regular sight test to monitor your eye health.

By having a regular sight test, if you do develop an eye condition, your optician can diagnose it early on.

In doing so, it can increase the success of treatment or management of the condition, and help you to continue living an enriched life.

If you have any eye health concerns, you should speak to your optician.

Visioncall Daily Eye Care Guide

Visioncall Daily Eye Care Guide can help maintain your eye health between visits to the optician

Glaucoma

Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of the condition, and it can be hereditary.

The NHS are vigilant if there’s a family history of glaucoma as it increases your chances of developing it.

Since the symptoms of glaucoma can often be unnoticeable, only a sight test can diagnose the condition.

Consequently, NHS England offers a free NHS sight test to if you:

⚫️ Are over 40 and have a parent, sibling or child with glaucoma.

⚫️ Have been told by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you’re at risk of the condition.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

AMD is one of many forms of macular disease and in some cases, it can be genetic.

A family history of any macular disease increases your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration.

Similar to glaucoma, symptoms of AMD aren’t outwardly noticeable or painful, but a sight test can diagnose the condition.

Diabetic eye disease

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the eye conditions that collectively are known as diabetic eye disease, which can affect anyone with diabetes.

While diabetic eye disease isn’t necessarily hereditary, diabetes in some cases can be genetic.

If you have diabetes, you should attend your diabetic screening, as it can diagnose diabetic retinopathy.

It can also be beneficial to have a general health check to monitor conditions like diabetes.

So, by being aware of your family history, you can help care for your eyes accordingly.

As a reminder, if you have any eye health concerns, you should speak to your optician.

For the latest news and updates from Visioncall, stay posted here on our company blog and follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

Caring For Your Eyes, Eye Care

This National Eye Health Week, Visioncall want to make it as easy as possible to help you care for your eyes.

Actively looking after our eyes can help us to see better and live better for longer.

So, we’ve put all of our resources in one place… here!

Eye health and common eye conditions

Age, lifestyle and family history can affect your eye health.

Poor eye health can increase your risk of developing a common eye condition.

Such conditions include age-related macular degenerationcataractsglaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

Usually, the symptoms of eye conditions are difficult to notice until sight loss occurs.

If you or your loved one are living with sight loss, RNIB‘s sight loss support service may be helpful.

That’s why it’s important to have a sight test to identify underlying eye conditions as early as possible.

The benefits of a sight test

sight test is an essential health check that monitors your eyesight and eye health.

It provides you with an up-to-date eye care recommendation that can help you care for your eyes.

Your prescription may or may not change, and you may need glasses for the first time or to update your existing pair.

Glasses can help you achieve better vision and enable you to see the world around you more clearly.

We should think of glasses as a tool to help our body, similar to how someone might use a crutch to help them walk.

It’s important to have a regular sight test to help address any eye health issues before a condition progresses.

Are you unsure how often you should have a sight test? You can find out more information here.

Maintain your eye health with daily eye care

Our daily eye care guide can help you look after your eyes between visits to the optician.

These tips and tricks can help you know which lifestyle changes can help improve your eye health.

Part of good eye care is wearing the correct glasses for relevant tasks so a person can see better.

Enhanced vision can help improve a person’s confidence, maintain independence and reduce their risk of falls.

From eating well to protecting your eyes against UV light, find out how else our eye care guide can help you care for your eyes today!

You can also find some delicious and healthy recipes from National Eye Health Week here.

Visioncall’s service can help care for your eyes

Visioncall provides a person-centred eye care service to those who are unable to visit the high street unaccompanied.

We carry out a sight test in the comfort of a person’s home and we make sure that their eye care fulfils their individual needs.

Visioncall’s empathetic optometrists have a speciality in delivering an alternative sight test for people living with dementia.

Our optometrists use their soft skills to help ease any anxiety and enable the person to undergo a sight test.

Following the sight test, we provide bespoke eye care planning tools for each person we see.

We also have a range of partnership benefits for our care home partners, including dementia-friendly signage.

Our exclusive range of Visioncall signage can help ease orientation for people living with sight loss or cognitive impairment.

To find out more information about how Visioncall can help care for your residents’ eyes, visit our FAQs or contact your local practice today!

For the latest news and updates from Visioncall, stay posted here on our company blog and follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

What You Need To Know About Eye Health

This National Eye Health Week, we’re going to tell you what you need to know about eye health!

It’s important to be aware of different eye conditions, why a regular sight test is essential and your risk factors.

Did you know that if you have any eye health concerns, you should speak with your optician?

Common eye health conditions

As we age, our eyesight and eye health naturally change.

However, there are also other risk factors that affect eye health which we’ll highlight shortly.

When our eye health is poor as a result of these factors, we are more likely to develop an eye condition.

In some cases, poor eye health and eye conditions can cause sight loss.

As a result, this can affect a person’s independence and increase their risk of falls.

That’s why it’s important to know what to keep an eye out for and how to look after your eyes.

So, here’s what you need to know about eye health conditions:

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

⚫️ Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is one of many types of macular disease.

⚫️ AMD causes a blind spot in your central field of vision and usually, it doesn’t affect peripheral vision.

⚫️ Common symptoms of AMD include visual distortions, such as straight lines looking wavy.

⚫️ Over time your vision can worsen and it can affect your ability to do things such as read, drive and recognise faces.

You can find out more about AMD here, or speak with your optician if you have any concerns.

Did you know?

It’s possible to train your eyes to increase the span of vision and use peripheral vision to read.

This is the same technique that speed reading uses. Over time, the eye becomes better at using peripheral vision to see detail.

As a result, it can help a person living with AMD to continue enjoying hobbies and safely navigate their surroundings.

Cataracts

⚫️ A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside your eye, resulting in cloudy, blurry or dim vision.

⚫️ The condition can gradually interfere with your vision and make it difficult to see detail clearly.

⚫️ With time, a cataract can develop and it may require an operation to help restore sight.

⚫️ Better lighting and glasses can initially help improve a person’s level of vision.

You can read more about cataracts here, or speak with your optician if you have any concerns.

Did you know?

As a cataract develops slowly, it can be difficult to spot it – but a sight test can!

Glaucoma

⚫️ Glaucoma can cause ‘tunnel’ vision due to damage to the optic nerve.

⚫️ The condition is usually the result of a build-up of pressure in the eye which damages the optic nerve.

⚫️ The earlier glaucoma is diagnosed and treated, the lower the chance of irreversible sight loss.

⚫️ Usually, eye drops are used to treat glaucoma, but sometimes an operation is needed.

You can read more about glaucoma here, or speak with your optician if you have any concerns.

Did you know?

Although glaucoma tends to be due to high eye pressure, it’s possible to develop glaucoma even if your eye pressure is within the normal range.

This is known as normal-tension glaucoma.

Diabetic eye disease

⚫️ Diabetic retinopathy is a form of diabetic eye disease and it occurs when blood vessels at the back of the eye are damaged.

⚫️ The longer someone has diabetes and uncontrolled blood sugar levels, the higher the chance of developing this eye complication.

⚫️ If left untreated it can cause blurred or reduced vision, which can lead to blindness.

⚫️ If you have diabetes, you should attend your diabetic screening appointment as treatment is available if the condition is caught early.

You can read more about diabetic retinopathy here, or speak with your optician if you have any concerns.

Did you know?

As early detection of diabetic retinopathy can reduce your risk of vision loss by 95%, it’s important to attend your diabetic screening and have a regular sight test.

How are eye conditions diagnosed and monitored?

A sight test can help to identify and monitor any eye health conditions that you may have.

That’s because most symptoms are only visible with professional equipment.

Having a regular sight test can help to identify an eye condition as early as possible.

Depending on the condition, early identification can help to increase the success of treatment.

Although treatment may be unable to cure a condition, it may reduce symptoms and prevent further sight loss.

However, once vision loss occurs, the damage is often irreversible.

So, having a regular sight test is important to help you see better and live better for longer.

Your risk factors of developing an eye condition

While anyone can develop an eye condition, there are some factors that can increase a person’s risk.

Age and any family history of eye disease can increase the likelihood of having an eye condition at some point in life.

Additionally, lifestyle is also a considerable risk factor, which includes exercise, diet, smoking and drinking.

You can find out more about your eye health risk using an eye health calculator. However, please remember that this is only an estimate.

If you have any questions or concerns about your eye health, you should speak with your optician.

For the latest news and updates from Visioncall, stay posted here on our company blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

diabetic retinopathy

As part of our ‘in focus’ series, we’re going to explore another common eye condition, diabetic retinopathy.

Our ‘in focus’ series includes age-related macular degenerationglaucoma and cataract.

Did you know that diabetic retinopathy can affect anyone who has type 1 or 2 diabetes?

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a type of diabetic eye disease.

The condition is the result of a complication of diabetes that affects the eye.

It can affect anyone who has diabetes, whether they’re being treated with insulin, tablets or diet only. It’s the most common form of diabetic eye disease.

The condition occurs when blood pressure and blood sugar levels are always high.

This can cause a blockage, leakage or haphazardous growth of small blood vessels in the retina.

Damage to these blood vessels can affect how your retina receives what you see.

How does the condition affect vision?

The damage to the blood vessels in the retina can cause black spots or gaps in your vision.

As the condition progresses, it can become difficult to carry out daily activities and it may even reduce a person’s independence.

However, it’s possible to maintain your vision with good eye care and

If diabetic retinopathy is left untreated it can cause permanent damage to your vision.

Unfortunately, diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common causes of sight loss as there aren’t any obvious symptoms until the condition advances.

Reduce your risk of diabetic retinopathy

You can help reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy whether or not you have diabetes.

We advise making a few lifestyle changes as well as caring for your eyes between your regular sight tests (or diabetic screening).

By taking care of your general health, you can help to control your diabetes or reduce your risk of developing it.

It’s as simple as having a healthy, balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.

You can also further benefit your health by keeping your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control.

These lifestyle changes can be beneficial for everyone.

Naturally, by reducing the risk of diabetes, it also decreases the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.

Diagnosing the condition

If you have diabetes, it’s crucial to attend your diabetic screening as the earlier the condition it caught, the more effective the treatment.

However, it’s important to also continue attending your regular sight test to monitor your eye health and prescription.

If you’re concerned about your vision, make an appointment with your local optician.

For the latest news and updates from Visioncall, stay posted here on our company blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.