Tag Archives: regular sight test

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.

 

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.

 

Nine eye health signs blog image

We’re all taking more responsibility for our health than ever before, but for many, you may also be doing this for your elderly relatives. 

While most of us know the signs to look out for with many health conditions, we understand that you might not be so familiar with eye health conditions.

While regular check-ups are being disrupted like everything else at the moment, we want to help you take care of your vision and eye health, and that of those around you who might be at higher risk of issues developing. 

These are the signs to look out for, to know when additional or urgent care may be needed.

1 – No longer enjoying their hobbies

Have they started showing less interest in activities they usually enjoy, such as reading, knitting, or watching television or do they seem to be struggling with them? 

It might be that their prescription is no longer suitable, so it’s worth checking that they can still see the things they enjoy.

2 – Showing less interest in food

If your relative seems less interested in eating, or if they regularly only eat half of their plate of food, this may be a sign that sight loss is partially clouding their vision.

3 – Increased anxiety or reluctance to socialise

If they’re usually the life and soul, or love going out for a walk, and now no longer seem keen, it may be that their vision isn’t as clear as it used to be. 

Similarly, unexplained bumps and bruises may signify that they’re struggling to see clearly and may be afraid of trips and falls.

4 – Dust and dirt on the walls

Does your relative see dust and dirt on the walls or dark marks in the sky? If you can’t see them, this may be a sign that they’re experiencing floaters. 

Floaters are generally harmless, but if they persist, can be a sign of an underlying health condition and may need to be checked out.

5 – Changes in vision

Complaining that things look blurred or misty, or that their glasses are dirty (even when they’re not) may be a sign of cataracts developing. 

Similarly, feeling that lights are too bright or that colours look faded can also indicate possible cataracts.

6 – Seeing rainbows

Glaucoma is a condition that develops gradually and is often only picked up during an eye test, but symptoms include seeing rainbow-coloured circles around bright lights or reporting blurred vision.

7 – Sudden changes or extreme symptoms

In some cases, glaucoma can come on suddenly and required urgent treatment. 

If your loved one is experiencing nausea, vomiting, a headache, red eyes or eye tenderness, you should request urgent treatment at A&E or call 111.

8 – Hallucinations and altered vision

Macular degeneration is another condition to be aware of, with symptoms including blurred vision; seeing black spots in the centre of their vision; seeing straight lines as wavy; objects appearing smaller or duller than they used to, or even experiencing hallucinations.

9 – Extreme changes in vision

If your loved one reports a ‘curtain’ or shadow moving across their vision, or if they complain of double vision, light sensitivity, distorted vision or red and painful eyes, it’s recommended to call 111 or visit A&E for urgent treatment.

If you’re concerned about a friend, relative or patient’s vision or eye health, get in touch to make an appointment.

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

Jeans Story Blog

At Visioncall, we believe that looking after our eyes is incredibly important. We’re proud to be able to make a difference to our patients’ lives every day. 

But occasionally, a story comes to us that shows us all over again the impact that our work has, not only on the patient themselves, but their families, or carers that are with them around the clock.

One such story is Jean, an 85-year-old resident at Cherry Lodge care home in Birmingham, who underwent lifechanging cataract surgery in 2019. 

We spoke to Jean’s carer, Lauren, who experienced first-hand the difference that Visioncall made to Jean’s life and made her, in Lauren’s words, “a whole new woman.”

When Jean arrived at Cherry Lodge, she was almost entirely blind and required 24-hour one-to-one support.

The impact of reduced vision

“When Jean first came here, she couldn’t see at all,” explains Lauren. 

“She couldn’t see shadows; she couldn’t see if you placed your hand in front of her face – she just couldn’t see a thing. She was very timid and withdrawn.”

It was particularly sad for Jean to lose her sight, as she’d been an avid reader. “Jean used to meet her sister in Birmingham city centre every Thursday, and that they’d go to the library together,” says Lauren. 

“But that all stopped when her sister died. Jean sometimes says that she thinks her eyesight went downhill because she read too much.”

After she arrived at Cherry Lodge, Jean was diagnosed with dementia, which made things more complicated: “Jean would insist that she could see,” explains Lauren. 

“When her dementia was at its worst, she would say things like ‘I’m not blind – I don’t know what you’re talking about, I can see everything’. She was in complete denial.”

Carers were concerned, so they asked Visioncall to visit Jean and make a professional diagnosis. 

Person-centred eye care

Vic Khurana, Visioncall’s lead optometrist, diagnosed Jean with bilateral cataracts and inflamed eyelids and referred her to her GP and a specialist eye hospital in Birmingham. 

Within a week, Jean had an appointment for cataract surgery.

“The surgery was amazing,” says Lauren. “I was allowed to be in the operating room with Jean. When it was done, Jean looked at me, straight in my eyes, and asked how I was! She could see me straight away.”

The changes didn’t stop there. “Coming home with her that day, she didn’t hold my hand – she walked into the building on her own. This was only one eye that had been treated at this stage, and she’d never seen the building before, she didn’t know where her room was, but she walked straight in.

“She began using the bathroom on her own and eating her food by herself – we didn’t need to help her with anything. She got her independence back that day, and it was lifechanging – for Jean, of course, but also for the staff.”

See better, live better

Lauren is adamant that it was Cherry Lodge’s partnership with Visioncall that turned Jean’s life around, saying: “I think if Jean had been here at Cherry Lodge sooner, her eyesight and her independence would never have been so badly affected because Visioncall would have been there to help her before it got to that stage. 

Visioncall is brilliant; they understand the needs of a care home, the needs of residents, and the needs of people with demand. It’s such a good service.”

These days, Jean is very much enjoying her new lease of life, with a return to reading her favourite books, and a newfound love of television and socialising with her fellow residents.

“I honestly think that this experience will be something that I will remember for the rest of my life,” Lauren says. 

“I’ve never seen such a turnaround on somebody before, how something so small can make such a difference. It helped Jean so much; it has changed her whole life.”

If you’re concerned about a friend, relative or patient’s vision or eye health, get in touch to make an appointment.

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

Eye sight health tips

Our eyesight is something that we can take for granted, and when minor issues arise, we know what to do: book an appointment for a sight test. 

But what happens when a sight test isn’t available?

For those aged 65 and over, regular eye health check-ups are an essential part of maintaining personal independence and quality of life, as well as acting as a way of managing underlying health concerns – such as diabetes, strokes, and cancers.

While sight tests may only be available for emergencies and urgent care under current COVID-19 restrictions, that doesn’t mean your vision and eye health should suffer.

As one of the UK’s leading eye care providers to the care home sector, Visioncall wants to ensure that you’re equipped with the information you need. 

Our expert optometrists have shared their top 10 tips to help you understand the little things you can do daily to look after your eyesight for the long term.

Eat a healthy, balanced diet

Eating plenty of fruit and veg is essential for a healthy body. A balanced diet packed with vitamins and minerals can help protect your eyes against conditions such as glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration.

Choose protective eyewear 

Wearing glasses with a built-in UV filter can help protect against cataracts developing, as even the winter sun’s rays can be harsh on eyes.

Stop smoking

Smoking increases your chances of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, as well as many other health issues, so it’s best to quit the habit completely.

Maintain a healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight can help protect against diabetes, which can lead to sight loss. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and trying to stay active where you can, will help you to achieve this.

Let the light in

Did you know that our eyes need three times as much light aged 60 than they did at 20? Keep your home bright and light by keeping the curtains open during the day and ensuring that lighting is appropriate. Daylight bulbs are an excellent investment to keep the house as bright as possible.

Stay active

Regular exercise, good circulation and oxygen intake are essential for eye health, so try and stay active as much as possible, and get outdoors as much as you can. Keeping windows open can also help you access plenty of fresh air during the day.

Get a good night’s sleep

Sleeping is when your eyes are lubricated and cleared out, so a restful night’s sleep is essential. Aim for eight hours a night, and ensure your room is dark enough to aid a night of good, deep sleep.

Check your eyesight regularly

Checking your eyesight individually – or ‘monocularly’ – is an excellent way of comparing the vision in both eyes. Cover each eye in turn with the palm of your hand and pay attention to the level of detail you can see in each eye. Many people don’t notice that sight in one eye has deteriorated significantly, as your ‘good eye’ compensates for it.

Take screen breaks

Try and keep your screens at eye level, and around 40cm from your face, and every five minutes, look away from your screen and blink a few times. Follow the 20x20x20 rule too; every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds away from your screen and focus on something 20 feet away.

Check your prescription regularly

If you wear glasses or lenses, check that you’ve got the correct prescription, to prevent eye strain.

We hope these tips will help you maintain great eye health, but if you do have any concerns about your eye health or sight levels, always consult an optometrist.

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

How Often Should I Have My Eyes Tested, Eye Test

It’s essential to have a sight test – but it’s also vital to know how often you should have a sight test.

Did you know that while sight is the sense that most of us would least like to lose, we visit the dentist more than the optician?

How often should I have a sight test?

You should have a sight test every two years, as advised by your optician.

This is also known as having a regular sight test.

However, depending on your eye health risk factors, your optician may recommend having a sight test more frequently than every two years.

Your risk factors include:

⚫️ Age – as our eyesight and eye health naturally deteriorate with age, we become more likely to develop an eye condition.

⚫️ Family history – as your background may increase your risk of developing certain eye conditions or hereditary eye condition.

⚫️ Lifestyle – as your eye health can be affected by your diet and smoking or drinking amongst a few other things.

As a result, if you’re over 65, your optician should advise that you have a yearly sight test.

A regular sight test is beneficial to help diagnose an eye health condition as early as possible.

Such eye conditions may include cataractsglaucomaage-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

You can help to look after your eyes between visits to the optician with Visioncall’s daily eye care guide.

What should I do if I notice a change in my eyesight?

If you experience new symptoms or notice a change in your vision, you should visit your local optician.

For instance, visual disturbances, eye strain, squinting and dry eyes are common visual changes which may require a new prescription.

Your eyesight can change regardless of whether or not you currently wear glasses.

However, if you experience redness or pain in your eye you should make an urgent appointment with your optician.

Where can I get my eyes tested?

If you’re able to visit the high street optician, you should book a sight test with your local optician.

However, remember to attend your appointment!

You can search for your local optician here if you live in England, or here if you live in Scotland.

Am I eligible for a free NHS sight test?

You can check if you’re eligible for a free NHS sight test here across England, Scotland and Wales.

To find out if you’re eligible for an NHS free sight test in England, click here.

To find out if you’re eligible for an NHS free sight test in Wales, click here.

In Scotland, everyone is eligible for a free NHS sight test.

You can also check your eligibility for a free NHS mobile sight test across the UK here.

Visioncall’s eye care service

Visioncall specialises in delivering mobile sight tests, especially within the care home sector.

Our person-centred eye care service can help those who need it most to see better and live better.

A sight test and eye care can help to maintain a person’s independence and also reduce their risk of falls.

So, if your loved one could benefit from a home sight test, contact your local Visioncall practice today!

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

Regular Sight Test

Many of us know that a sight test identifies a change in prescription and indicates whether glasses could help someone to see better and live better.

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

It can detect common eye health 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 is 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 agefamily history of eye conditions and your current eye health.

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 essential to attend your regular sight test to help prevent potential eye health problems before a condition progresses.

Common eye conditions that an optometrist looks out for are age-related macular degenerationglaucomacataracts and diabetic retinopathy.

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

In doing so, it helps to identify any changes to your vision or eye health and the rate of change.

So, it’s possible to identify eye conditions before symptoms begin or become noticeable.

Early identification of some conditions can improve the success of treatment, especially before severe damage or sight loss occurs.

A regular sight test can ultimately help to maintain a person’s independence, reduce their risk of falls and generally benefit from better sight.

However, it’s just as important to practice daily eye care and wear your glasses if you need them!

Visioncall Daily Eye Care Guide

Visioncall Daily Eye Care Guide can help maintain your eye health between your regular sight test

How Visioncall can help you

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

Visioncall is one of the UK’s leading home eye care providers in the care home sector.

Our person-centred eye care service can help those who are unable to visit the high street without assistance.

Visioncall’s expert optometrists use their soft skills to help deliver a suitable sight test for every individual.

Are you looking for an eye care planning solution for your home?

We provide a tangible outcome of each sight test in the form of a Lifestyle Passport and Eyewear Reminder.

Our partnership benefits are also available to help support care staff and residents to make eye care part of the daily routine.

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