Tag Archives: NHS

Delivering Person-Centred Eye Care

Learning more about a person is key in delivering person-centred eye care.

However, it’s how we use this information that makes the difference to help people see better and live better.

Delivering person-centred care requires empathy, patience and the appropriate tools to tailor the care.

How does Visioncall deliver person-centred eye care?

Visioncall optometrists personalise their approach and eye care recommendation to meet each individual’s needs.

Communication skills

Our optometrists undergo dementia-friendly training to help them engage with both verbal and non-communicative individuals.

This helps to ensure that everyone can have a sight test and eye health check.

Person-centred care focusses on understanding the needs of everyone and so do our optometrists.

Our eye care planning tools (Lifestyle Questionnaire, Lifestyle Passport and Eyewear Reminder) help gather and clearly display a person’s visual needs.

Lifestyle Questionnaire

The Lifestyle Questionnaire helps our optometrists to identify which activities a person enjoys.

The information we learn will help to inform their eye care recommendation.

A one-on-one conversation between our optician and an individual lets us know their routine, hobbies and assess any daily needs.

This ensures that any eye care recommendation is appropriate and necessary to help them to see better and live better.

Simply put, our Lifestyle Questionnaire is essential in delivering person-centred eye care as it gathers relevant information to inform care.

Lifestyle Passport

Information from the Lifestyle Questionnaire generates a succinct summary of an individual’s eye care needs, known as a Lifestyle Passport.

Our Lifestyle Passport offers care providers with an overview of a person’s level of vision with and without their glasses.

It also shows any eye conditions that they may have and provides information on the reverse.

As eye care should be part of a person’s daily routine to help them to see better and live better, our Lifestyle Passport is the perfect addition to their care plan!

Eyewear Reminder

The Eyewear Reminder displays a person’s correct glasses and the activities to wear them for.

It’s most beneficial when on display in a visible living area to ensure correct glasses are worn.

Glasses are only useful when worn appropriately and wearing the correct glasses is vital to help an individual to see better and live better.

Enhanced sight can encourage participation in activities that they may otherwise avoid for fear of falls.

Working with our partners to deliver person-centred care

Visioncall works with care partners to raise awareness of eye care and eye conditions.

Our care planning tools are most effective when they’re actively used on a daily basis.

So, we also guide our partners on how to make the most of them.

The information can help care providers adapt caregiving to fulfil a person’s eye care needs.

We do this because we know that when a person can see better, they can live better too.

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

It's All In Your Family History

Eye conditions become more common as we age and it’s all in your family history!

Our family history of eye health helps us know what to keep an eye out for.

For example, ethnicity is an important part of your family history as it affects your risk of certain eye conditions.

People of Asian or Afro-Caribbean descent are more likely to develop a common eye condition than other groups of our society.

So, it’s worth paying attention to your family’s eye health so you know what to look out for!

It’s also important to attend your regular sight test to increase the chance of early detection of an eye condition.

Usually, the earlier an eye condition is diagnosed, the easier it is to successfully treat or reduce further deterioration.

Who does my family history include?

When your optician asks about your family history of eye health, remember to mention your parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles.

Inheriting our parents’ eyes

Eye colour isn’t the only thing that we inherit from our parents!

We can also inherit a number of eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataract and astigmatism.

Knowing your family history is especially important if you’re a parent and your child is having a sight test. Please provide as much information as possible to your child’s optometrist.

Your family history tells an optician which common eye conditions you’re more likely to develop.

A regular sight test monitors symptoms and progression of any eye conditions.

Your optician will tell you when your next sight test is due. This is determined by your risk factors, including your family history.

It’s important to follow your optician’s advice as well as looking after your eyes on a daily basis.

Common eye conditions and ethnicity

People of Asian or Afro-Caribbean origin are more likely to develop a common eye condition than people of different origins.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

The Afro-Caribbean population have a greater risk of AMD under the age of 60 compared with the Caucasian population.

On the other hand, those of Caucasian origin are more likely to develop AMD over the age of 60 compared with those of Afro-Caribbean origin.

Cataract

Those from an Asian background are more likely to develop cataract compared with those from an Afro-Caribbean or Caucasian background.

Glaucoma

People of Afro-Caribbean heritage are 4 to 8 times more likely to develop glaucoma than those of Caucasian heritage.

Diabetic retinopathy

People of Asian and Afro-Caribbean origin have a greater risk of diabetic retinopathy compared with people of Caucasian origin.

However, those of Asian heritage are 3 times more likely to develop diabetic retinopathy than those of Caucasian heritage.

Refractive error

While a refractive error isn’t an eye condition, it is a common eye disorder.

It occurs when the shape of the eye can’t focus light rays correctly.

People of Caucasian origin are more likely to develop a refractive error than people of Afro-Caribbean origin.

The importance of daily eye care

Looking after your eyes between visits to your optician is crucial.

Daily eye care can help to keep your eyes otherwise healthy, especially if your family history means you have a greater risk of an eye condition.

While healthy eyes may not prevent an eye condition, they may help to delay the onset or progression of an eye condition.

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

Daily Eye Care Guide

Daily eye care is essential to try to maintain our eyesight and eye health so we can see better and live better for longer.

What is eye care?

When we think about eye care, we tend to associate it with just a sight test.

However, eye care doesn’t start or end with a sight test.

Eye care involves a number of proactive daily behaviours – in addition to having a regular sight test.

Daily eye care advice

The following daily eye care steps can help you care for your eyes between visits to your optician:

Wear the correct glasses

If you need glasses, remember to wear your correct and most current pair of glasses for tasks they’re required for.

Wearing the correct glasses can help to prevent eye strain, headaches and vision from deteriorating.

If you’re not sure when you need to wear your glasses, speak to your optician.

Wear sunglasses

Protect your eyes from UV light by wearing close-fit wraparound sunglasses to minimise the sunlight reaching your eyes.

This will help to reduce your long-term risk of developing a cataract as a result of overexposure to UV rays.

A balanced diet

Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamins C and E can help to support your eye from age-related vision problems like macular degeneration.

Foods that naturally contain these supplements include leafy greens, oily fish, eggs, beans, nuts and citrus fruits.

Reducing the frequency or avoiding harmful habits and junk food can improve your overall health and keep your eyes healthy.

Stop smoking

Smoking damages tissue in the eye through an increase in the number of free radicals which speed up ageing.

In addition, smoking also affects the body’s absorption of necessary minerals and vitamins.

The accelerated ageing and lack of vitamins mean that smoking can double the risk of sight loss, as well as increasing the risk of age-related eye conditions, particularly macular-degeneration and cataract.

For advice and support on quitting smoking, visit the NHS website here.

Regular sight test

While a regular sight test is an essential part of eye care, it’s important to remember that a sight test is not the only step to take to maintain eyesight and eye health.

It’s vital that you attend your regular sight test to monitor your prescription and eye health.

A regular sight test is every two years unless your optician advises otherwise.

Remember to use our eye care advice between your regular sight test!

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

Protecting Eyes From UV Light

There’s more to protecting eyes from UV light than meets the eye!

What is UV light?

Ultraviolet light (UV light) is a type of radiation that is invisible to the naked eye.

Radiation is the movement and transfer of energy or heat through objects.

Many objects emit radiation, from light bulbs and mobile phones to microwaves and the sun.

Background radiation is the term for the low levels of radiation that are all around us.

On the other hand, nuclear power plants create huge amounts of radiation, but the reactor typically safely contains this.

If a nuclear reactor is severely damaged it’s possible for radiation to escape and harm the environment around it – such as with Fukushima and Chernobyl.

How to protect your eyes from UV light

Our eyes are more sensitive to UV light than our skin is, so actively protecting eyes from UV light is vital.

Longer daylight hours and sunny weather bring an increase in UV exposure from the sun.

Prolonged exposure to UV rays without appropriate eye protection can be harmful to our eyes.

You don’t have to be looking directly at the sun for UV light to enter your eyes.

However, we strongly advise that you don’t look directly at the sun as this can also cause severe damage to the eye.

Overexposure to UV light has been linked to temporary and even permanent sight loss, like cataract and macular degeneration.

Sunglasses are more than a fashion statement – they’re essential for protecting our eyes from UV light.

Close-fitting wraparound sunglasses provide the best protection as they reduce how much stray sunlight reaches your eyes from above and around your lenses.

When buying sunglasses always look out for the CE, UV 400 or British Standard markings as they indicate a safe level of protection for your eyes.

While some contact lenses provide UV protection, they don’t cover your whole eye, so you still need sunglasses.

Whether you’re travelling to work or on holiday, remember to wear sunglasses to reduce the UV exposure to your eyes.

UV light isn’t exclusive to sunny days

Did you know that our eyes need protection from UV light even when the sun isn’t out?

Surprisingly, the risk of UV exposure can be quite high even on overcast days because UV rays can penetrate clouds.

Eyes also need protection from UV rays that reflect from surfaces into the eye.

Sunglasses can protect your eyes from UV light in ‘high glare areas’ such as near snow or water.

This means that you should remember to wear sunglasses even when you’re in the shade as your eyes will still be exposed to UV rays reflecting from buildings, roads and other surfaces!

You don’t have to fear sunny days or being outdoors.

Equipping the correct eye and skin protection reduces your exposure to UV light.

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

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.

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

Regular Sight Test

Many of us know that a sight test identifies a change in prescription.

It indicates whether glasses could help someone to see better and live better.

Ultimately, a sight test is an important health check for our eyes.

It can detect common eye and general health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

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.

What’s a regular sight test?

The term “regular sight test” means having your eyes tested yearly or every two years.

Your optician will recommend the frequency depending on your age, family history, current eye health and eye conditions.

Why is a regular sight test important?

A regular sight test is useful to identify and monitor minor or major symptoms of common eye conditions.

It’s important to attend your regular sight test to help prevent potential eye health problems before a condition progresses.

Your local optician monitors your current level of vision, any symptoms and eye health every time you visit to measure changes.

This helps to identify any changes to your vision or eye health and the rate of change.

It’s possible to identify eye conditions before symptoms begin or become noticeable.

If certain eye conditions are found early, they are often successfully treated before they cause serious damage or sight loss.

A regular sight test is proactive eye care, to help us to see better and live better for longer.

How can Visioncall help?

When someone struggles to go to the high street for their regular sight test, we’ll come to you.

We are one of the UK’s leading home eye care providers in the care home sector.

Residential homes are really in need of this help and assistance to enable their residents to live richer lives.

People deserve to see better and live better, including if their home is within a care environment.

You probably won’t see us during visiting times as we visit during the day, but if you do see one of our team, be sure to say hi!

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

Better Sight Blog

Helping others to see better and live better is at the heart of everything we do.

We know that better sight can enhance a person’s quality of life and a regular sight test is the starting place to help make this a reality.

We also know that at least half of all sight loss is avoidable, so there’s a real need to help people live richer 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 is able to 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 simply 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.

In addition, our person-centred approach helps us select an appropriate testing method and informs a bespoke eye care recommendation.

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 important to engage with our eye care solution from start to end.

This is because we work together with our partners to facilitate and support daily eye care, from a sight test to care planning and adaptation.

Stay posted to find out what part you can play to help your residents to see better and live better.

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