Tag Archives: sight

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.

Protecting Patients During The Pandemic Blog

In a recent blog, we outlined our new approach to prioritising patient care due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

The pandemic has changed other practices to ensure our teams’ safety and, crucially, care home residents and staff.

In the first half of 2020, when Coronavirus restrictions came into force, Visioncall published an Infection Control and Prevention policy to set out the practical steps our practitioners had to take to operate safely in residential settings.

The policy (available here) has been regularly updated with governmental and scientific advice and represents industry best practice. 

Measures that we’ve all grown used to, including hand hygiene, social distancing, disinfection and mask-wearing alongside medical-grade PPE, are all mandatory for our teams.  

Every Associate Optometrist and Dispenser working directly with patients have undergone extensive training on the policy and has been operating under its conditions without fault for almost a year.

Our team is regularly tested too. With designation as primary care staff through the NHS’s remobilisation scheme, our people comply with UK Government guidance on routine and regular testing.

Some of our partner care homes may wish for further testing on the day of a visit, which our Associates will comply with.  

Sterilisation measures – on hands, equipment and spaces we operate in – have been stepped up to minimise any disruption to day-to-day care delivery within homes and avoid creating additional workload for carers and managers.  

Our partners share our commitment to preventing the spread of COVID-19. We will work collaboratively with managers and on-site teams to ensure that all of Visioncall’s infection prevention protocols meet the policies in place in each care setting.

Visioncall is committed to maintaining the highest levels of patient care across the UK.

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.

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.

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.

Computer screen time

We spend a lot of time staring at our screens every day. 

In fact, if you’re reading this blog, you are likely to spend at least two minutes and twelve seconds viewing it on a digital screen.

Whether it’s via your smartphone, tablet device or desktop computer, for work or entertainment, it adds up to a lot of time every day. 

Now, this blog isn’t looking to scare or worry people, but give pause for thought and ask… does too much screen time strain our eyes?

Academic grounds

Studies have shown a link between the amount of time spent staring at screens and the development of dry eye syndrome or its symptoms.

Dry eye syndrome is where the eyes stop producing enough tears, which can cause eye pain and irritation. 

As part of a small study in 2014 involving 96 office workers in Japan, they looked to establish if office screen work was linked to dry eye syndrome. 

While only 9% would meet criteria for dry eye syndrome, more displayed signs and symptoms of dry eyes. 

This particular study established an association between dry eyes and work time spent using a computer screen. 

It is certainly worth taking the time to reduce any potential strain on your eyes. 

What can you do to reduce eye strain?

Eye strain while using devices shouldn’t be a big worry if you take some simple steps during screen time at work and at home. 

First of all, getting regular sight tests is one of the most effective ways to detect problems in your eyes before they further develop. 

You can raise any concerns you have with your optometrist if you feel any particular eye strain while using a digital device. 

To help combat eye strain at work, you should ensure your screen at your workstation should stand eye level, or just below it. 

It is also recommended you look away from your screen every five minutes, taking a few blinks for a few seconds. 

You should also look to give your eyes space when using devices as the closer a phone/computer screen is to your eyes, the harder they must work to focus. 

Studies have suggested that screens shouldn’t be closer than 40cm from your face. 

If you are struggling to read what’s on your screen, you should look to increase the text size instead of moving closer to read it. 

Your screen should stand at eye level, or just below it. It is also advisable to look away from the screen every five minutes for a few seconds and take a few blinks. 

Remember the ’20-20-20 rule’

It is essential to take breaks from using devices to avoid eye strain, to help you should always remember the ’20-20-20 rule’.

With this rule, you will need to look away from your phone/computer screen every 20 minutes and focusing on an object at least 20ft away for at least 20 seconds. 

The rationale behind this rule is that looking at objects at a distance relaxes the muscle that focuses the eye, reducing overall fatigue. 

Ultimately, we hope some of these tips will help you consider ways in which you can reduce eye strain during screen time. 

If you do have any concerns about your eye health or sight levels, always consult an optometrist. 

Are you looking for a sight test in your own home? Visioncall Home Clinic can provide free NHS sight tests at home – check service availability in your area today. 

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.