Tag Archives: sight test

information, answering questions, thoughts

Visioncall: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have a question about Visioncall, here are some of our frequently asked questions.

What does Visioncall do?

Visioncall are a UK-wide qualified mobile optician helping people to see better and live better.

We deliver person-centred eye care to those who are unable to attend the high street unaccompanied.

Our care partners are largely residential.

Am I eligible for a free NHS sight test?

You can check your entitlement for NHS optical services here.

Your eligibility for a free NHS sight test varies across England, Scotland and Wales.

How do you perform a sight test?

Visioncall’s home sight test is the same as a high street optician, except we test in the comfort of your own home.

During the sight test, we check your prescription and eye health using mobile equipment.

Our optometrists are able to offer a suitable test to everyone we help, regardless of communicative ability.

Visioncall makes use of subjective and objective testing methods to help make sure everyone receives an accurate and appropriate prescription.

You can find out more about what to expect during a Visioncall sight test here.

Can you test the eyes of someone living with dementia?

Visioncall’s optometrists undergo dementia sensitivity training to ensure we can communicate and engage with every person we help.

Being able to communicate appropriately helps to ease anxiety and enable them to have a sight test.

Is it important to test the sight of someone living with dementia?

As sight is a key sense, it’s vital for everyone to have a regular sight test, whether you’re living with dementia or otherwise.

Better sight helps us to interpret the world around us and safely navigate our surroundings.

This is especially important for someone living with dementia, who may experience disorientation as the condition damages the part of the brain the controls memory recall.

Can I choose my frames with Visioncall?

Visioncall offers a wide range of frames following your sight test.

You can view our range of frames here.

As we learn more about you with our eye care planning tools, our dispensers can also help you choose a frame during our visit.

If you currently have a pair of our glasses, you can identify your glasses and their purpose with Visioncall’s engraving or our Eyewear Reminder.

How can I book Visioncall sight test?

To request a sight test, please contact your local Visioncall practice.

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 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.

age-related macular degeneration, visual distortion, blurry vision

To continue our ‘in focus’ series we turn our attention to age-related macular degeneration.

Our ‘in focus’ series includes glaucoma and cataract.

Did you know that age-related macular degeneration doesn’t affect your peripheral vision?

What is age-related macular degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition that affects part of the retina called the macula.

While there are different forms of macular conditions, age-related macular degeneration is the most common.

How does AMD affect vision?

Age-related macular degeneration impairs your central vision so you may notice the symptoms when looking straight ahead.

The condition can cause visual distortions, dark spots, gaps or blurry vision.

It’s also common for straight lines to appear wavey – you can use the Amsler Grid to check this.

As the condition progresses it can become difficult to see clearly.

You might notice words missing as you read, straight lines or doorways looking bent or objects in front of you changing shape or colour.

The visual disruptions can make it a struggle to complete daily tasks like eating, watching TV and driving.

The good news is that because AMD only affects central vision, it’s unlikely that you’ll lose all of your sight as peripheral vision usually remains.

Although you can’t recover any sight loss, daily eye care can help to prevent falls and maintain independence within the home.

Signage can also be beneficial to help a person safely navigate their surroundings.

What are the two types of the condition?

Wet and dry are the two types of age-related macular degeneration.

Both of these names reflect what an optometrist can see inside your eye when examining it.

It’s not because your eyes are watery or dry!

Dry AMD develops slowly and gradually affects your vision, whereas wet AMD develops quickly and can damage your vision within a short period.

Neither types of the condition cause pain or alter the appearance of your eye.

That’s why a sight test is important to help diagnose the condition as you may not always notice the symptoms.

Diagnosing age-related macular degeneration

Until recently, most people with AMD were unaware they had it until their sight was affected.

Nowadays, optometrists can use sophisticated eye scanning machines to help diagnose early AMD.

Diagnosing AMD early is important as treatment’s only effective before the condition causes sight loss.

It’s important to remember that your genes may increase your risk of AMD.

That’s why it’s vital to attend your regular sight test to help preserve your vision.

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

cataracts, cloudy vision, unclear vision

We’re answering that all-important question “what is a cataract?” as part of our ‘in focus’ series.

Our ‘in focus’ series covers glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.

Did you know that an estimated 30% of people aged 65+ have a visually impairing cataract in one or both eyes?

What is a cataract?

A cataract is an eye condition where the lens in our eyes becomes cloudy and affects how light enters the eye.

This condition forms inside the eye, rather than over it. It’s a common misconception that a cataract forms over or outside the eye.

A cataract can develop in either one or both of your eyes as part of the natural ageing of the eye.

As cataracts develop gradually, it means that any changes to your vision may not always be noticeable.

That’s why it’s important to attend your regular sight test to help diagnose or monitor the condition.

How can cataracts affect vision?

Cataracts can affect your vision and cause sight loss as the condition progresses.

As the condition causes cloudy, blurry or even misty vision, it can be difficult to see detail in the world around us.

It may become harder to carry out daily activities such as driving or even recognising faces.

The condition may also cause fading of colours, difficulty seeing in dim lit conditions and finding bright lights dazzling.

However, in a lot of cases vision can benefit from simply prescribing and wearing the correct glasses.

If you currently wear glasses, it may often seem like your glasses are dirty even when they’re clean.

Can the eye condition be treated?

If your cataract is severe and restricts your daily life, your optician may refer you for cataract surgery to treat the condition.

There’s no need to worry because the operation is a quick and routine procedure.

In fact, the surgery is usually offered as an outpatient appointment.

After surgeons remove the cloudy lens, they will insert a plastic or silicone lens.

The artificial lens is designed to not need replacing for the rest of your life.

Of course, with any surgery there are risks. However, cataract surgery is one of the most common operations in the UK and is highly successful.

Whether you wear glasses to ease your symptoms or need surgery, it’s possible to see better and live better with cataracts.

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

Visioncall's Empathetic Optometrist

Visioncall’s empathetic optometrists help those most in need of care to see better and live better.

Our optometrists use their soft skills and take the time to make sure we deliver person-centred care.

All of our optometrists receive training to help them engage with verbal and non-verbal individuals.

Visioncall’s understanding team

Our office team and dispensers work tirelessly with our optometrists to deliver our eye care solution.

We do this because sight loss and eye conditions don’t discriminate and neither do we.

It’s vital that everyone has a regular sight test to spot changes in prescription and identify or monitor any eye conditions.

Being able to understand a person helps to put them at ease, enabling them to undergo the essential sight test that they need.

We understand that most of the people we help are unable to pop down to the high street to visit the optician.

This is why we take the optician to them!

We take the time to understand

Visioncall’s empathetic optometrists and dispensers take the time to understand a person’s needs and preferences.

We use our eye care planning tools to help us achieve this.

A one-on-one engagement can help to ease an individual during their sight test as well as when browsing our frame range.

These conversations are key to informing a necessary and appropriate eye care recommendation for each person we help.

Our eye care recommendation is relevant as it helps a person know what tasks they should wear their glasses for.

A suitable sight test

Our optometrists often make use a subjective sight test (the one with a letter chart).

You’ll probably be familiar with it since this is the testing method we’re most likely to have.

However, if a person can’t respond to subjective testing due to agitation or communication difficulties, our optometrists understand.

Our experienced optometrists determine how suitable the letter chart is for each person.

Some people are able to better respond to a number or picture chart than a letter chart.

Visioncall were able to develop a high-resolution and universal picture chart using Kay’s picture cards to enable sight tests for more people.

However, an optometrist should also be able to offer a sight test for non-communicative individuals.

Visioncall’s optometrists can carry out an objective sight test if subjective testing isn’t suitable for a person.

Since objecting testing doesn’t require a verbal response, it’s ideal for anyone who finds it difficult to communicate.

This helps to ensure that everyone can undergo a sight test to receive an accurate prescription and an eye health check.

To find out more about our dedicated people, click here.

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

A Closer Look At Glaucoma

We’re taking a closer look at glaucoma and how it can affect vision as part of our ‘in focus’ series.

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

Did you know that glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable sight loss in the UK?

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a common eye condition that damages the optic nerve and can cause sight loss.

The optic nerve transmits visual information from your eye to your brain to process.

A regular sight test can detect and diagnose glaucoma, which is why it’s important to attend your regular sight test.

How does glaucoma affect vision?

Glaucoma affects the peripheral field of vision first.

The condition can create a ‘tunnel effect’ in your vision and it can become difficult to read, drive and safely navigate the world around you.

The damage can also lead to an eventual loss of central vision if left untreated, but blindness is rare.

Vision deteriorates slower with the most common type of glaucoma, primary angle open glaucoma.

What causes the condition?

Damage occurs to the optic nerve when there is too much or too little pressure at the back of the eye.

Unfortunately, any damage to vision is irreversible as the optic nerve’s fibres can’t regenerate themselves.

Early detection of the condition allows for monitoring and treatment to help delay progression and prevent further sight loss.

The good news is that lowering eye pressure and using drops can help treat glaucoma.

It’s vital to attend your regular sight test and to take care of your eyes between visits to the optician to help you to see better and live better for longer.

What are the types of glaucoma?

There are 4 main types of glaucoma: primary open-angle glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma, secondary glaucoma and congenital glaucoma.

Primary open-angle glaucoma progresses slowly and is the most common type of the condition.

Angle-closure glaucoma is a rare type of glaucoma, occurring slowly (chronic) or rapidly (acute) with pressure painfully building-up in the eye.

Secondary glaucoma is the result of another eye condition like uveitis (inflammation of the eye’s middle layer).

Congenital glaucoma is a rare (sometimes inherited) form of the condition resulting from developmental issues of the eye’s drainage system. This type of glaucoma is typically diagnosed by the age of 1.

Keep an eye out for the symptoms

This closer look at glaucoma highlights the need for a regular sight test to assist early detection of the condition.

There are usually no warning signs for the most common type of glaucoma (primary open-angle), so a regular sight test is a must.

On the other hand, pain and redness of the eyes can indicate a different form of glaucoma.

If you experience these symptoms or have a family history of glaucoma, you should visit your local optician.

Remember, early detection of glaucoma can help delay progression and preserve your sight.

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.

Sight loss, image of an eye

When we think about growing old, most of us don’t think about sight loss, which is a natural part of the ageing process.

We tend to associate dementia, arthritis and incontinence with old age, ahead of the loss of vision.

However, sight loss can be just as emotionally and physically distressing as other conditions relating to growing old.

What is sight loss?

Sight loss, or visual impairment, is a reduced ability to see to an extent that can’t be corrected by glasses.

The causes of visual impairment can include reduction of peripheral or central vision, cloudy or blurred vision and dark spots.

These particular symptoms are caused by common eye conditions such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, cataract and diabetic retinopathy.

What are the effects of sight loss?

Deteriorating vision can be restrictive and present challenges to daily life, including isolation, depression and an increased risk of falls.

Visual impairment can cause an independent person to struggle or feel embarrassed.

It’s natural to find it difficult to come to terms with a sight loss diagnosis as the future can seem scary, confusing or angering.

This is because there’s a correlation between sight loss and independence.

Loss of vision can contribute to a person living their worst nightmare of having to ask for help or rely on others.

So, it’s vital to consider the day-to-day safety of someone living with sight loss to facilitate and encourage their independence.

Adapting a daily routine and room layout are just some examples of how to increase independence and safety.

Visual impairment affects a person’s ability to navigate, recognise and engage with the world around them.

For those of us living without sight loss, this seems minor, but vision loss greatly reduces a person’s quality of life.

Visioncall understands that when a person can see better, they can live better too.

That’s why it’s our mission to help those who are unable to visit the local optician or to ask for help.

Is sight loss avoidable?

RNIB estimate at least 50% of sight loss to be avoidable, which means it’s possible to help prevent these unnecessary effects.

Regular sight tests and daily eye care can make a world of difference later in life.

A sight test can identify and monitor eye conditions, eye health and even some underlying health conditions like diabetes.

Having a regular sight test is the first step in achieving proactive eye care to help delay or prevent visual impairment.

As almost two-thirds of sight loss in older people is caused by uncorrected refractive error and cataract, the vital part of proactive eye care is remembering to wear spectacles.

It’s important to ensure we wear the correct and clean glasses for the tasks we need them for.

Although refractive error and cataract are not necessarily preventable, a sight test and proactive eye care can diagnose and monitor both.

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