Green Kale Smoothie

You are what you eat: your diet and your sight

Stating your dietary preference or being asked at functions, parties and events has become the norm these days.

But even in this age of flexitarians and vegans, a recent visit to the hairdressers took me by surprise.

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Eye with cataracts

The cataracts facts: all you need to know about this eye disease

On my way to work one morning, I bumped into a Perspective client who had recently undergone cataract surgery in both eyes. She’s a little young to have developed cataracts and it was a big decision to have the surgery as she has young children.

Over the past few years she had become increasingly dissatisfied with the quality of her vision. She avoided driving at night, couldn’t tolerate her contact lenses and found reading for long periods tiring.

We were able to detect that this was down to her developing cataracts. We monitored her vision and advised when to consider treatment.

But as her vision had deteriorated so gradually, she lost sense of what she was missing. Nothing could have prepared her for the impact of having her cataracts removed. Overnight, she could recognise faces from a distance, read road signs and even colours became more vivid.

She was initially keen to avoid surgery and wanted to delay until it was absolutely necessary. But the positive outcome and impact on her life of having the surgery sooner rather than later made it worthwhile.

Don’t fear change

Change is scary. I get that. In my years of experience as an optometrist I understand that the idea of cataract surgery is terrifying for most of us, including myself.

Some of this is due to being misinformed, so let’s bust some myths on the issue.

Myth: Cataracts are a film that grow on the surface of the eye

Cataracts affect the lens inside our eye. The transparent lens is made of protein and water. When the lens (situated behind the iris inside our eye) starts to become cloudy this marks the beginning of a cataract.

Myth: Cataracts are removed by lasers

I’ve heard this so many times and would love to know where this ‘fake news’ originated. To remove a cataract the lens needs to be broken up, removed by suction and replaced by an artificial lens.

This can’t be done by laser or a magic wand, but cataract surgery is carried out commonly in the UK and has a high success rate.

Myth: Cataract surgery recovery can take months

Most people notice an immediate improvement in their vision after surgery but it can take six to eight weeks for the eye to settle fully.

It’s best not to bend, lift heavy objects or rub your eyes for a few weeks after surgery.

So no bungee jumping, weight lifting or watching weepy movies – but most normal activity can be resumed 24-48 hours after surgery.

Myth: You can use eye-drops to reverse the cataract

They can’t be reversed. Once they start they progress gradually in most cases. Certain lifestyle adjustments can help delay their onset:

  • Stop smoking
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetable for a balanced diet.
  • Wear sunglasses which give UVA and UVB protection and avoid excessive sun exposure.

So, that’s the scoop on cataracts. Hope that’s busted a few myths. Cataract surgery tends to be day-case and straightforward so we’re very lucky that in the UK it can be dealt with so easily.

We’ll check for the symptoms of cataracts during your eye assessment. If you’d like to book an appointment, don’t hesitate to get in touch on 020 7586 5508.

Image credit to the National Eye Institute.

 

Colour scale on crayons

A question of Perspective: how do your eyes process colours?

An interesting exchange with a client recently made me think about the impact that colour vision deficiency can have and how it might influence your life if you’re affected.

Our client was explaining how his colour vision issue was not detected until he was studying Chemistry at University. More specifically he recalled how he found it difficult to judge the end point of a titration colour change and often his test tube or flask would be overflowing.

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Girl wearing glasses, holding shopping in a supermarket

Shopping habits: how are they influencing your purchases?

I read somewhere that over 70 years ago Sainsbury’s opened its first self-service supermarket which started a whole new culture in retail.

Self-service has since become the norm but when it was first introduced at the Croydon branch it was such a novel concept that they had to issue instruction leaflets to shoppers to explain how the system worked:

“As you go in, you are supplied with a special wire basket to collect your purchases as you go round.

“As you go out you pay and get a receipted bill and your purchases are transferred to your own shopping bag.”

Before this, shoppers would pass their grocery list to a clerk who would put items together and pack them.

Now, for the first time these shoppers did their own choosing. This changed the retail scene forever and paved the way for:

  • Product placement to tempt impulse buys
  • Greater use of Multi-Buy offers
  • Brand merchandising leading to more choice and competition.

The empowerment of shoppers

As shoppers we’ve all become much more empowered and savvy when finding the best deals and many traditional modes of shopping are on the decline.

Most of us would be lost without the convenience and comfort of shopping online. Whilst technology (online shopping, click and collect, home delivery) can be hugely beneficial it can also be impersonal.

Observing shoppers at my local supermarket, I have noticed that the queue for the human operated checkouts are always full even if the fully automated checkouts are free. It seems we like a fellow human to scan our items and take our payment.

These transactions might be peppered with a chat about the weather or an interesting item in the shopping trolley.

I’m often asked how I cook the tofu that finds its way into my shopping list from time to time. Once I even got accused by the checkout lady of not knowing how to make chapattis because I had tortilla wraps in my basket!

These social exchanges are light-hearted but might be the highlight of someone’s day.

Sometimes too much choice is overwhelming. Scanning shelves of similar looking products will often leave a consumer scratching their head in confusion. The easiest way to buy becomes based on price and product placement, all tactics used by retailers to get certain products in our shopping baskets.  

Does self-service cut it?

When it comes to products that require expert advice, self-service doesn’t really cut the mustard.

In the age of online shopping Apple stores are a big hit precisely because of the advice and experience they offer. When things go wrong with your Apple device or you want a new product, you can visit the store and let someone help you face to face.

Google has followed their lead by opening brick-and-mortar stores. Google’s entire mode of operation is online. It makes billions from selling online advertising.

However to encourage more people to go digital Google has opened a shop with four walls and a door and installed human beings to provide personal service and training – all because they’ve realised the power of providing a face to face skills service.

We think shopping for eyewear should be an immersive experience, where you get to sit down, enjoy a coffee, talk about what you really want from your glasses. Rather than being left to scratch your head in front of rows of similar looking eyewear or buying glasses virtually, we listen, consult and guide you to find glasses that suit your needs and lifestyle.

One thing that’ll never change is our desire to interact with one another. And so I think today and in the future personal and attentive service with a human touch will be the next ground-breaking trend!

Man cleaning his glasses

A lesson in keeping your glasses clean

We had a winter break in the sun over the Christmas period.

On the first day we headed straight to the beach and pool and didn’t step back in to our room until late afternoon.

Our room had been cleaned and made-up in our absence (such a treat on holiday). To my surprise there was a nicely packaged cleaning cloth next to each of my glasses cases.

How I travel

Glasses & Cleaning Products I always travel with at least four pairs of glasses – two clear glasses, one pair of prescription sunglasses and one pair of normal sunglasses for contact lenses.

Each of my cases was arranged neatly on a surface with the company of a glossy new cleaning cloth beside them.

As a glasses geek, I was delighted!

It prompted me to immediately clean all my glasses so they were sparkling and ready for the next day’s assault from sun cream, sand and sea spray.

I thought that this was a lovely touch from the hotels housekeeping team. It turned out to be a critical yet nonessential detail which made this hotel memorable for me.  

You should always keep your glasses clean to avoid wear and tear. To learn more or to purchase lens cleaners, pop into our store or give us a call on 020 7586 5508.

Spring is in the Air – A Guide to Surviving Hayfever Season


At last Spring is in the air.

If you are one of the 10 million people England who suffer with hayfever, you may find Spring is in your eyes too!

Hayfever is an allergic reaction to pollen. Pollen is released from trees, grass and weeds throughout Spring, Summer and Autumn. The pollen contains proteins which causes our body to release histamine. Histamine results in swelling, irritation and inflammation of the nose, throat and eyes. Common symptoms are sneezing, blocked nose and itchy eyes.

Eyes are often overlooked when treating hayfever and wearing contact lenses can be especially challenging in the summer months.

  • 1. Wear wraparound sunglasses when outdoors – this protects the eye surface from exposure to pollen.
  • 2. Rinse your eyes regularly with water to remove any pollen particles.
  • 3. Wash your hands regularly to avoid transfer of pollen.
  • 4. Avoid rubbing your eyes – this can be tricky when they are itchy but will aggravate your symptoms. Instead use a cool compress across your eyes for relief.
  • 5. Avoid contact lens wear during the day (pollen count is lower at night) as pollen can accumulate on the lens surface and make your lenses uncomfortable. Switching to Dali Disposable lenses during the summer months can help as using fresh lenses at each wear will limit irritation.
  • 6. Wear your glasses on days that the pollen count is high.
  • 7. Consider using preservative free lubricating drops. This will dilute the pollen on the eyes surface and give relief from gritty feeling.

End of Line Spectacle Frames will be half price for limited period only
(Ends April 13th).
A bargin for you, and a spring clean for us!