Tag Archives: optician

Healthy eye blog

By the time we have reached the age of 65, our eyes have seen a lot from reading many books to watching hours worth of our favourite TV shows and taking in the sights of the world’s most incredible of places.

As you can imagine, our eyesight will change as we age and caring for our eyes should be a priority throughout our lives to help us enjoy the things we love to see for longer.

For example; Regular eye test’s! 

Did you know that regular eye tests are not just about checking whether your current glasses are up to date? Attending regular appointments plays a vital role in protecting the health of our eyes.

An eye test can help detect problems and eye diseases, such as cataracts or glaucoma. Not only that, it can help with identifying general health problems, including the likes of diabetes and high blood pressure.

Here at Visioncall, we take the topic of eye health very seriously. So here are a few tips to help you keep a healthy eye on your vision!

(1) Remember and keep those regular tests up to date for yourself and anyone in your care.

(2) Summertime means sunglasses! Protect your eyes from the sun while you soak in some vitamin D.

(3) A healthy diet goes a long way, not just for that regular balanced life, but fruit and vegetables, with the proper nutrients, are essential for the health of our eyes.

(4) A change in habits can also go a long way, like quitting smoking, as smoking is harmful to the eyes. Smoking can increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts. There are many positive reasons to give up smoking, and protecting your eye’s is just one.

If you are a care home manager and are worried about your residents’ eye health, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team to arrange a visit from one of our optometrists.

 

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 blog header

Visioncall understands that various conditions and issues can strike when it comes to eye health, and many of them are associated with our daily lifestyle. 

One lesser-known condition that is directly affected by overall health and wellbeing is diabetic retinopathy.

This week marks Diabetes Awareness Week. We want to use this occasion to highlight diabetic retinopathy, affecting thousands of people living with Diabetes across the UK every year.

But what is this condition, and how is treated?

The facts

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition related to Diabetes, which affects the blood vessels in the retina, causing them to become blocked, leak or grows haphazardly. 

This can lead to black spots or gaps in the vision and even sight loss if left untreated.

The condition can affect anyone with type 1 or 2 diabetes, whether they’re being treated with insulin, tablets, or diet. 

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the blood pressure and blood sugar levels are always high.

What is it like?

Diabetic retinopathy generally has no noticeable symptoms until it’s advanced. 

It’s essential to attend regular sight tests and annual diabetic eye screenings for this reason, as screenings can pick up early signs of the condition and aid in early diagnosis and treatment.

There are some symptoms that diabetic retinopathy sufferers may experience, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the condition is present. However, anyone experiencing any of the below symptoms should immediately seek advice from their GP:

– Gradually worsening vision

– A sudden loss of vision

– Floaters

– Blurred or patchy vision

– Redness of the eyes

– Eye pain

How can it be treated?

It’s crucial to keep Diabetes under control, both in the early stages, to prevent the issue from developing and in the more advanced stages, to stop it from worsening. 

For advanced diabetic retinopathy affecting the sight, laser treatment can stabilise the retina and leak blood vessels.

People living with Diabetes can reduce the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy or prevent the issue from worsening by following some essential practices. 

People living with Diabetes should control their blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels and take diabetes medication as prescribed. 

It’s essential to attend any screening appointments when invited and ensure that advice is sought if there are any changes to the vision. 

One of the best things people with Diabetes can do for their health is to maintain a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and quitting smoking.

To find out more about diabetic retinopathy and eye health, visit our eye health troubleshooter.

If you are concerned about changes in your vision and eye health or a resident or relative, please don’t hesitate to contact Visioncall for guidance.

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

 

Summer eye care blog header

When it comes to eye health, it can be best to adopt a seasonal approach to ensure that you’re taking all the necessary steps to protect your eyes from the changing temperature and light.

Scorching sunshine, allergies, dry weather and bright light can all play havoc with eye health, so it’s essential to ensure that you’re taking the proper steps to care for your eyes during the summer months.

Here are some easy-to-follow tips to help keep eyes healthy and happy this summer.

1 – Wear sunglasses

Many people don’t realise that you should wear sunglasses every time you step outside during the summer months, even on cloudier days. 

UV (ultraviolet radiation) rays are damaging to the eyes. 

While they come from the sun, they can also reflect off of surfaces such as water, so it’s essential to don a pair of appropriate glasses whenever you’re out and about, even if it’s just in the garden for five minutes. Sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection are the best kind and protect the eyes from various damaging rays.

Ultraviolet radiation overexposure can cause short-term photokeratitis or photo conjunctivitis (commonly known as ‘snow blindness’), but in the longer term, it can lead to conditions such as cataracts or even skin cancer, so it’s essential to protect the eyes adequately.

Choose your ‘indoor’ glasses with UV-protective lenses to help combat the risk, and you can even get prescription sunglasses to ensure your eyes are protected at every opportunity.

2 – Wear a hat

Sunglasses provide excellent protection of the eyes on hot and sunny days, but they won’t offer complete protection to the area around your eyes. 

The gaps in their design can lead to UVR exposure in the area around the eyes, so it’s a good idea to wear a hat with a brim that’s at least three inches wide, to significantly decrease exposure levels and limit the risk of conditions such as skin cancer.

3 – Use eye drops to stay hydrated

Summer can dry out the eyes, combining a hot, dry and often stagnant environment and cool, artificial air from an air-conditioning system. 

Dry eyes can be uncomfortable and irritating, but they can also bring a heightened risk of eye infections; rubbing the eyes can transfer germs, dirt or debris into the eye. 

It’s best to regularly use eye drops to hydrate the eyes, especially if there’s air conditioning in the vicinity, and remember to blink periodically to lubricate the surface of the eye naturally.

4 – Take care if you have allergies

Those with allergies can suffer during the summertime as pollen levels rise. Many people start to experience chronic hay fever symptoms, including redness, itchiness and watery eyes.

Contact lens wearers should consider switching to glasses during the summer months, which can be much more comfortable to wear if you’re experiencing symptoms and can also help to shield the eyes better from dust and pollen particles. 

Your optometrist can advise further.

5 – Eat healthily, and stay hydrated

A balanced diet is good for the whole body, but especially the eyes. 

A diet packed with the right ingredients and plenty of fluids can help support eye health and keep you bright-eyed all summer long. 

Fill your plate with ingredients such as oily fish, like salmon or tuna, green leafy vegetables, avocados, eggs, nuts, beans, and citrus fruits to keep eyes healthy, moisturised and in tip-top condition. 

It’s also essential to drink plenty of water during the summer, as we dehydrate quicker. 

Six-eight glasses of water each day will help you to stay hydrated and healthy all summer long.

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

360° Service Blog

At Visioncall, we’re proud to offer a ‘360°’ service that ensures end-to-end care and quality assurance for every single one of our care home partners, clients and patients. 

It’s something that sets us apart from our competitors. We’re proud to bring that extra level of quality, care and personalised service every time we interact with our clients.

But what does a ‘360° service’ mean? We’ve highlighted a few key points below:

Our in-house lab

Our in-house Visioncall Lab is a point of difference that we’re very proud of! 

In a nutshell, our Lab facility means that we can make every pair of glasses prescribed for Visioncall patients. 

We have the framework that means every pair is tested and checked by someone who is part of team Visioncall. The same dedicated team who will visit and test the resident in their home. 

The Visioncall Lab also enables us to offer fast, fuss-free and fine-tuned repairs for our patients, but more on that in a moment…

Repairs and replacements

Our dedicated Repairs & Replacements team will personally inspect all repairs or replacements, whether it’s one or multiple pairs of glasses. 

As part of our service, we include any emergency repairs or adjustments required for your residents, and we’ll carry these out on-site.

Unlike competitors, Visioncall has an in-house lab, where all other repairs are conducted by our specialist Repairs & Replacements team for end-to-end quality assurance. 

Having round-the-clock access to the Visioncall Lab means that we can ensure high quality and speedy response for you and your residents every time you call on us.

Patient eyewear advisors

Our Patient Eyewear Advisors will provide detailed eye care recommendations for residents following a Visioncall sight test. 

They’ll include helpful background information, such as who performed the sight test and what equipment was used, and detailed insights into the glasses that have been recommended to allow you to make an order with ease.

The Patient Eyewear Advisors can also liaise directly with residents’ next of kin, where required, to outline to them the recommendations and help them to feel engaged and up to date with the care their loved one is receiving, and so that they can have some input into the style or type of glasses chosen for a patient.

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

 

Trips and falls blog header

Unfortunately, trips and falls can be a common occurrence for the elderly population – in fact, falls are the most common cause of hospitalisation for over-65s in the UK, with one in three experiencing a fall every year.

The likelihood of impaired vision increases significantly with age, meaning that older people are more likely to experience trips and falls, even with carers present. 

The way we see it is fundamental to coordinating our balance and stability and how we move around. 

When vision is impaired, negotiating obstacles or stairs becomes much more challenging, impacting how safely residents can move around unaided.

Regular sight testing can play a crucial part in preventing falls by detecting and appropriately treating visual impairment instances. 

In contrast, regular visits from an optometrist can provide both patients and carers with helpful advice.

We’ve highlighted just a few ways that regular sight testing can help residents remain steady on their feet and feel confident travelling safely around their home environment.

Discovering and understanding conditions

Suppose a patient is experiencing trips and falls more often than usual or appears unsteady on their feet. In that case, they may be experiencing a sight loss condition. 

Only a sight test with an optometrist can distinguish what the case might be. Several common eye health issues can affect sight and directly contribute to falls.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) creates a gap in the central vision, while glaucoma blurs the peripheral vision, creating a ‘tunnel vision’ effect and blocking obstacles from view. 

Cataracts create an overall blurry vision, making it hard to identify where hazards might be, while a case of diabetic retinopathy can cause multiple gaps or black spots in the vision. 

A rarer condition that can also affect mobility is Charles Bonnet Syndrome, which can distort how rooms look and make it difficult for a resident to move around confidently and safely.

Any one of these common conditions could affect how a patient sees the world and how they move around, so a regular eye test can help monitor conditions and understand what possible issues a patient might be experiencing.

Helping carers adapt their care.

A regular sight test can uncover these common conditions, but that’s not all. 

Armed with the knowledge of the issues a patient might be experiencing, carers can easily understand their patient’s needs and adapt their care routines to suit.

Perhaps a patient needs more assistance travelling around the home, or help with basic tasks such as bathing or dressing, to lower the risk of falling. 

If their central vision is affected, they may struggle with specific tasks. In contrast, damage to their peripheral vision may make specific tasks more hazardous, like moving unaided around the home or taking the stairs.

Regular sight tests and advice from optometrists can ensure that carers can provide the right care and support for each patient, limiting their risks and helping them feel confident.

Prescribing appropriate spectacles

A regular sight test detects underlying conditions, monitors existing conditions, and assesses the patient’s changing needs. 

Having an up-to-date prescription and wearing the right glasses is crucial in lowering the chance of experiencing a fall.

Sight tests will determine the quality of the patient’s vision and assess any changes, allowing the optometrist to prescribe suitable spectacles, even if that means separate spectacles for different tasks. 

The optometrist can provide advice and guidance on which pair should be worn for which activities. Include this information on the patient’s Visioncall Lifestyle Passport for easy reference whenever a carer or manager needs it. 

This will allow the care team to ensure that residents are wearing the right glasses and have the correct prescription, lowering their probability of tripping or falling and helping them feel safer and more independent every day.

If you are concerned about changes in your vision and eye health or a resident or relative, please don’t hesitate to contact Visioncall for guidance.

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

 

Associate Blog Image

Leaping into a new job can often be intimidating, but how much easier would it be if your job offered you complete flexibility and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of thousands of vulnerable people each year?

For 27-year-old Priya Chopra, the decision to swap a role as a high street optician for becoming a Visioncall Associate Optometrist was simple – and made even easier by having the chance to trial the role first with a ‘shadow day’.

“I’m always looking to develop my skillset, and I just thought ‘, Why limit yourself?'”, Priya explains. 

“This side of optometry is very overlooked, but it’s hugely rewarding. On my shadow day, it really struck me that something as small as a new pair of glasses can make a huge difference to someone’s life.”

Leicester-based Priya joined Visioncall in 2019. While she found the idea of domiciliary care daunting to begin with, she soon found that working in the care home environment was far more relaxed, far more patient-focused, than her retail optometry experience.

Priya explains: “I’m here to help people, which I really enjoy. It’s so nice to have the freedom to listen to the patients’ wonderful stories, to have a laugh and a joke with them, but still to get the work done without feeling pressured.”

Now more than two years into her role with Visioncall, Priya has found that a significant benefit of the job is the sense of reward she gets from working with care home residents – something that was compounded in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Since COVID-19 hit, I’ve realised how important our visits were to patients,” Priya says. “When we’ve been able to return to homes, patients have been so grateful for our visits, and it shows how important it is that they get regular treatment. 

“These people are in the same environment all day, every day, and they rely on doing the thing they enjoy the most if they still can, like reading or knitting or watching the TV. Helping them to be able to do those tasks again is so valuable.”

Priya works closely with her patient community, visiting care homes around Leicester and the Midlands. 

She decided to take advantage of the flexible Associate package offered by Visioncall, opting for two days a week as an Associate Optometrist and working a few days a week with an independent optician. 

The Associate role’s flexible structure meant that Priya could choose her working days and pick the hours to suit her lifestyle, supporting a better work-life balance.

“I really enjoy my days with Visioncall, and the Associate package is great. I have so much flexibility, and it means I can keep a day in the community, which I didn’t want to lose. For me, it works really well. 

“The Associate package is great for everyday life too; the hours are very different to retail hours. It’s Monday-Friday, and generally, you’re finished by 4.30 pm, so you have much more time to yourself. The flexibility is probably my favourite thing about the Associate package that you wouldn’t get otherwise.”

For other optometrists contemplating a career change into domiciliary care, Priya has some words of advice on how to take your first steps with Visioncall: “I would tell anybody to take a shadow day. Keep an open mind, as it’s going to feel unfamiliar, but know that Visioncall has the right support and training processes, and there’s always somebody on the other end of the phone you can talk to.

“I think Visioncall is one of the best companies I could take on this role with because the support was phenomenal. They gave me the time I needed to find my own rhythm and flow. It’s a great role, a very, very rewarding job – I would definitely recommend it.”

Visioncall’s Local Clinician Network spans the UK, with hundreds of expert optometrists and dispensers on call to help whenever one of our care home clients need them. 

We may be headquartered in Glasgow, but our Clinician Network covers the entire country, with a Visioncall Local Clinician in your area, no matter where you are.

We are always on the lookout for more Visioncall Associates, so if you are an optometrist or dispenser searching for a new challenge in a way that fits around your lifestyle, visit https://jobs.vision-call.co.uk/ to find out more.

Patient Care Blog

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way all of us live our lives go about our daily business. 

At Visioncall, the way we provide our care has had to change too.

We still aim to provide the highest quality of patient care to everyone who needs it and have changed our approach to continue to do that while maintaining stringent infection control measures (find out more on those measures in this dedicated blog).  

So what are these changes, and how will they affect the care in your home?

As part of the NHS Remobilisation Scheme, Visioncall can still provide the same broad range of essential and emergency eye care services within care home settings with enhanced PPE and social distancing measures. 

Where residents, managers, nurses or carers are concerned about a patient’s eyesight, they can still call on us to drop-in to assess any urgent eye health requirement. 

Previously, we would have assessed that patient and then continued to deliver routine sight tests and consultations with all residents. However, routine visits are on hold for now due to current restrictions. 

Now, we are prioritising care for those who need our help the most – those with developments in conditions like cataracts or glaucoma, for example – to reduce any risks of transmission between patients themselves and to protect our team of optometrists and opticians.  

As always, we’ll provide care to whoever needs it. If residents display any symptoms or have complaints about they’re vision, don’t hesitate to call.

Most problems with our sight can be tackled simply if they’re caught early enough, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Visioncall is committed to maintaining the highest levels of patient care across the UK, helping individuals to see better and live better. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, we’re delivering that care while to prioritise those most in need.

To find out more or to book a visit, please visit our contact page

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

 

Winter eye health blog

You might already know that your eyes need a little extra care in the summer months, but did you know that they need just as much attention in the winter? 

With plummeting temperatures, snow and ice, dark evenings and artificial heating on in our homes, it’s no wonder that this season can play havoc with our eyes.

Here are some easy-to-follow tips to help keep your eyes healthy and bright this winter:

1 – Keep eyes moisturized

The combination of chilly temperatures and central heating can leave your eyes feeling sore and dry. 

To keep eyes moist and reduce irritation, use eye drops, or place a warm, damp cloth over closed eyes to ease soreness.

You can also lower the temperature on your central heating, use a humidifier to bring moisture back into the room, or most straightforward of all, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated!

2 – Vary your activities

We tend to stay indoors much more during winter, which means we’re more likely to spend the day in one place, watching TV, reading or doing close-focus work like knitting. 

Concentrating like this for more extended periods means we blink less often, which can cause dry eyes. 

Remember to blink frequently, and practice the 20x20x20 rule (every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds) to restore moisture to the eyes.

3 – Use the right lighting

Good lighting is essential in the home, especially in winter, when natural light is significantly lower. 

Dull, dim lighting can cause eye strain, headaches and redness.

Keep the curtains open as much as possible, and use multiple light sources around the room, increase light without relying on an overhead light, and shading the bulbs so that you’re not looking directly at them. 

If reading or writing, use a desk lamp with directed light to limit eye strain.

4 – Wear sunglasses

Yes, even in winter! The sun sitting lower, snowfall and ice can all create reflective surfaces that bounce UV rays around, so it’s vital to shield your eyes. 

Glasses with polarized lenses can help with this, to protect your eyes when the light is low.

5 – Eat for your eyes

Generally, we need more vitamins and minerals in winter, to aid in good overall health, but this is especially true for eyes. 

A diet packed with the right ingredients can all support eye health, helping you to stay bright-eyed this winter. 

Try filling your plate with things like salmon, tuna and oily fish, green leafy vegetables, eggs, nuts and beans, and plenty of citrus fruits to keep your eyes healthy, moisturized and in tip-top condition. 

Remember to drink plenty of water too!

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