Lenses for occasional wear

We’re supplying a patient with free lenses ahead of their participation in the Spartan Race in Edinburgh later this month. She’s running, as well as tackling various obstacles and mud, in aid of Downs Syndrome Scotland so we’re delighted to help out. She’s a glasses wearer but obviously glasses and muddy, wet obstacle courses don’t go too well together. The point of this blog is to highlight that lenses don’t have to be a fulltime commitment. You can dip in and out as you please.

The great thing about most lenses on the market is they don’t actually take much getting used to, especially daily disposables which are what we usually recommend for occasional use. Sometimes there is a bit of trial and error before we find you the perfect pair, but because we know our patients’ eyes so well we almost always find them the right pair first time.

Participating in a sporting event is an obvious time where glasses wearers can struggle. Whether on the ski slopes, to partake in some holiday snorkeling or when running a marathon, glasses are just not the practical option. Or maybe it’s a vanity thing – nothing wrong with that! You perhaps don’t want to wear glasses to attend a stylish black tie do. Occasional contact lens wearing is perfectly possible. Once you’ve tried them, you won’t look back.

Cameron Optometry on BBC Scotland following research on vision and driving

In light of research by charity Brake encouraging drivers to get their eyesight examined regularly, I was asked on to BBC Radio Scotland’s John Beattie Show to discuss the lifecycle of the eyes. Listen here:

The research found that almost nine in 10 (87%) are in favour of drivers having to prove they have had a recent sight test every 10 years, when they renew their licence or photo card. The survey also shows that a quarter of drivers admitted they have not had their eyes tested in more than two years.  A worrying one in eight drivers (12%) who know they need glasses or lenses to drive have driven without them in the past year.

I discussed the four stages that most people experience in their vision lifecycle. The developmental phase from birth until late teens, where a prescription is developing, followed by the stable phase from early twenties until late forties. People then enter the period in their early sixties where their vision may experience some decline as the eyes lose the ability to focus making near tasks, like reading, difficult. This is then followed by a phase of continual decline where people may experience conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma.

I finished off by highlighting that regular eye tests can also help avoid tricky discussions with loved ones! Rather than having to point out to a family member that perhaps they need to get their eyes tested as they strain to see the newspaper or don’t see a cyclist in the corner of their eye, an eye examination at least every two years, will pick up any signs of declining vision.

A four-medal haul for Cameron Optometry

It is impossible to ignore sport at the moment. The World Cup, Wimbledon, the British
Grand Prix and the build up to the first Scottish Commonwealth Games in almost 30 years.
Ok, so here at Cameron Optometry our sporting prowess hasn’t quite reached those heights
but we’re having a good go!

photo-7

Between us we’ve clocked up nearly 50 miles of running. Hazel stepped out to complete her
first-ever competitive race. And no, she didn’t start with a gentle 5km to ease her in, she
went full throttle with the grueling Tough Mudder. Branded as “probably the toughest event
on the planet”, the 12 mile assault course saw her tackling electric fences, climbing over
various challenging obstacles, running through water and yes, facing a lot of mud.

Our newest optometrists, Claire, who has completed a full marathon in the past, took on
a half marathon. And with very little training, understandable as has just started a new job
and has two children to run around after, still completed it in under two hours.

And Gillian, an experienced runner who will shortly begin working at the Glasgow 2014
Commonwealth Games
as part of the medical team in the athletes’ village, completed the
half marathon. This time she acted as pacemaker for her twin brother who left her for dust
on his first ever run, not quite the show of gratitude she was expecting!

And finally, Carol completes our medal tally. She was part of the Hairy Haggis marathon
relay, running the anchor leg to bring the team home in a great time.

So sorry to any clients who have come in this month and found one of our team hobbling
around sporting the odd war wound. Now you know why!

Independent opticians top Which? poll of where to buy glasses

It was fantastic to read, as we’d always suspected, that Which? has found that the best place to buy glasses is an independent optician. We have a mass get together at the annual independents’ conference next week and are sure to be celebrating these results.

which-logo

Independent opticians were the only opticians to score top marks for product quality, timekeeping and the all important, customer service. We also shone when it came to staff skills. I know at Cameron Optometry we often talk about the expertise of our optometrists so it is encouraging that this is as important to clients as it is to us.

It is great to see that clients aren’t being swayed by flashy advertising campaigns from big brands and they still value the expertise, quality, care and attention they get from their independent eye care provider.
Here is the full press release from Which? rather aptly entitled, Should have gone to…an independent optician

New Which? research reveals the best and worst places to buy glasses, with local independent opticians coming top and some of the well-known brands falling down.
We surveyed more than 5,000 Which? members about using an opticians and found:
• Local independent stores came top with a customer score of 88%.
• Members-only store Costco came a very close second with a score of 86%, performing highly on timekeeping, product quality, price and value for money.
• Optical Express came in last place with just 59%, falling down on special offers, price and value for money.
• Vision Express also scored poorly for special offers with around four in 10 (43%) having spent more than they bargained for, and three in 10 (28%) saying there were so many offers they found it confusing.
• Independent opticians were the only stores to achieve top ratings for customer service, staff skill and communication.
• Popular high street brand, Specsavers, came near the middle of the table with a customer score of 72%.
• Tesco Opticians lagged behind all others in the survey for its customer service.
• Independents were more likely to fix a problem with glasses at no extra cost (54% of those who complained, compared to 47% of stores overall).
Editor of Which?, Richard Headland, said:
“Not all optician stores are the same and we found big differences between them. We were surprised to see that some of the big high street chains didn’t fare as well as other retailers, like Costco, who aren’t famous for selling glasses.”
Notes to editors:
We surveyed 5,409 Which? Connect members online in March 2014 about using an opticians to have eye tests and buy glasses and/or contact lenses in the past three years. The overall customer scores are based on customers’ satisfaction with the store on their last visit and the likelihood of recommending it to a friend.

Store Customer score
Local independent optician 88%
Costco 86%
Asda Opticians 77%
Rayner Opticians 74%
Specsavers 72%
Boots Opticians 69%
D&A/Dollond & Aitchinson 69%
Vision Express 68%
Tesco Opticians 65%
Scrivens Opticians 61%
Optical Express 59%

As well as rating the store they used overall (customer score), customers also rated them on areas such as price and customer service, on a scale of one to five: 1 – very poor, 2 – poor, 3 – fair, 4 – good, 5 – excellent. These results were then used to create star ratings.

Sights on the Commonwealth Games

Having volunteered at the Olympic Games in London, our optometrist, Gillian Bruce has now been selected as part of the team of eye experts for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer. She was part of a large gathering of medical experts who took part in training at the weekend and here shares what her role will be and her impressions of how the Games are shaping up.

glasgow+2014+logo

“The Commonwealth Games training was at Hampden Park which will host the athletics. The track is now laid so it looks a far cry from the football pitch that I remember (from lots of failed bids to watch Dundee United win the Scottish Cup!). The athletes’ village is really taking shape. Positioned in the East End of Glasgow just behind Celtic Park that will be used for the opening ceremony and across from the new Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, it is a very impressive site.

“The medical team is made up of not just the obvious professionals like doctors and physios, but also podiatrists, sports massage therapists, dental teams, emergency doctors, crowd doctors, chiropractors, orthoptists, ophthalmologists, radiologists and of course optometrists. The idea is that everyone staying at the athletes’ village, athletes, coaches, officials, media teams, lawyers – whoever makes up each country’s entourage – should have access to all the medical care they might require onsite. Only real emergencies would be whipped round to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

“I will be working as part of the optometry team in the polyclinic in the athletes’ village. So from 8am-10pm each day there will be optometry care on hand, from sorting out eye infections and removing foreign bodies to replacing lost or torn contact lenses or repairing specs, the team will certainly be kept busy. Thankfully I know what I’m getting myself in to having worked at the 2012 Olympics in London. I’m delighted to be part of the enormous team of volunteers on home turf. It’s very exciting being part of the buzz.”

http://www.glasgow2014.com/emergency-care

Welcome to new optometrist Claire Keith

claire-keith

Last year was a fantastic year for the practice, culminating in winning the UK Practice of the Year award and we are busier now than we’ve ever been. As a result we are delighted to be opening a third consulting room and next month we welcome experienced optometrist Claire Keith to the practice. Claire has recently moved to Edinburgh after running her own practice in Aberdeen for 17 years. Since qualifying as an optometrist in 1993, Claire, who is originally from Warwickshire, has developed a passion for contact lenses, in particular, working with patients with complex needs.

Claire said, “I am very excited about coming to work at Cameron Optometry. It deservedly has a fantastic reputation for offering the best possible eye care with the most up to date equipment. I am thoroughly looking forward to getting know all the patients, providing them with the best possible level of service. With great staff, equipment, care and service, the practice has built its reputation and the loyalty of its customers.”

In Aberdeen Claire became her clients’ first point of contact for all emergency eye care, rather than visiting their GP or the eye department. This increased her experience and expertise allowing her to deal with the wide range of eye-related issues we see at Cameron Optometry, from removing foreign bodies to acute, sight-threatening conditions. She is currently working towards her Independent Prescribing qualification, allowing her to manage more eye conditions and use the full range of available eye medications. Once Claire has passed her exams Cameron Optometry will be the only practice in the UK with three independent prescribing optometrists giving us a unique ability to manage the most complex and challenging patient issues and problems.

Outside work, Claire and her family are a sporty bunch, embracing the great outdoors at every opportunity. Having run her first (and not last!) marathon last year alongside her husband, she keeps her body as healthy as her eyes. Her children, Connor, 15 and Ella, 11, share her passion for sport and she spends her weekends watching them participate.
To make an appointment with Claire, please call 0131 225 2235.

Sunglasses – not just a style statement

I’ve been reluctant to start this blog. Talking about sunglasses and sunny weather will no doubt result in a May where the sun goes AWOL. Regardless, it is good to remember sunglasses aren’t just for the summer. There are benefits of wearing sunglasses even on a lovely crisp and chilly January’s day. Many fashion conscious folk don’t need encouraged to wear a pair but they shouldn’t just be seen as a style statement. They are essential to help keep our eyes healthy.

Ultraviolet (UV) light is harmful to the eyes and continued exposure to UV light can lead to long-term damage including macular degeneration and cataracts, both serious conditions affecting vision in later life. In addition, constant squinting can be very uncomfortable and lead to fine lines around the eyes. UV rays also affect the delicate skin around the eye area. This area of skin is probably the most sensitive skin on our bodies so should be treated with extra care. Jackie O had the right idea. Bigger is better when sunglasses are concerned as more of this delicate area is covered and therefore protected.

jackie-o-show-1

Few also realise that exposure to bright light can make it harder to adjust to seeing in the dark. So for example if you’re driving home in the dark after a day in the sunshine, it is especially important to wear sunglasses to ensure your eyes are able to adapt effectively.

Here are a few tips:

· Make sure the glasses you buy meet EU and British Standard and block 100% of UV light.
· Darker lenses don’t mean better protection. In fact the darkest of lenses are too dark for wearing whilst driving so watch out for that.
· A study by Which a few years back highlighted the issues that can be faced from buying cheap high street sunglasses. That said there are many low cost options out there just make sure you look for 100% UVA and UVB protection, as well as considering how dark your lenses are.
· Polarised lenses are the most effective at blocking glare.
· Always wear specialised glasses for sport, tailored to the requirements of your chosen pastime.
· Remember the little ones. The damage of UV rays can start from a very young age so make sure your children wear sunglasses too, as well as hats to cover the face, should the sunglasses get tossed aside! Wrap around glasses like www.babybanz.com are especially good to ensure they remain on, as well as protecting against peripheral glare.

So make sure you and all your family have your sunglasses close at hand for when the sun makes an appearance both at home and abroad. It will happen!

Here are some eyewear brands that we stock. All are available with prescription and non-prescription lenses. Speaking of Jackie O, there is a Ray-Ban model still available in her iconic style called Jackie Ohh – it comes in 4 colours with 2 lens colour options. http://www.ray-ban.com/uk/products/sun/RB4101

http://www.ray-ban.com/uk/

http://www.mauijim.com/shop/en/uk

http://www.williammorris.co.uk

http://www.guess.eu/en/Catalog/Browse/women/sunglasses/

http://www.silhouette.com/gb/en/home/

London’s first eye show – showcasing industry innovation

This month I attended 100% Optical, the UK’s inaugural eye show at London’s ExCeL. Thousands of eye enthusiasts congregated for three days of displays, conferences, fashion events and workshops. Coinciding with London Fashion Week, the event showcased some of the most stylish eye wear brands. In addition, suppliers were proudly displaying their new products and innovations.

I was fortunate to be one of the speakers, taking the stage to discuss communication and contact lenses; both passions of mine. People can feel that they have been overloaded with information after visiting their optometrist. With numerous tests and options available, it is vital that communication is at the forefront of patient care. Good communication skills, in particular, having a caring and listening nature, don’t always come naturally but these are qualities I feel are essential to ensure a productive patient/optometrist relationship.

After my seminar in the ‘Lens Hub’ I was able to enjoy all the show had to offer. As many of you know I love embracing new technology and am proud that Cameron Optometry has some of the most advanced technology available to the industry. So, I particularly enjoyed exploring the 3D Frame Factory to see how the 3D printers work and how frames are then produced. The process first involves taking a 3D scan of your head. I, of course, was happy to volunteer to be a guinea pig! I was then able to see the frames being produced first hand, as well as trying out a few of those that had been ‘made earlier’. They don’t look anything special at first, with clunky bits of plastic, but the finished products are quite impressive. European designers such as Patrick Hoet and Monoqool are winning numerous awards for their cutting edge frames. I will watch with great interest to see if this trend takes off in the UK.

Scanned head

3D printer

One designer who has definitely taken off and is now one of the leading names in stylish eyewear, is Robert William Morris. It was a great honour to meet the man behind the global brand William Morris London. He established the brand some 15 years ago and now it is seen as one of the most stylish choices in eyewear, which we can testify to as it is one of the most popular brands that we stock.

Ian&Robert

It was a hugely successful event and has certainly left me feeling inspired with so many fantastic products and suppliers demonstrating the cutting edge nature of the industry.

Open day success

Thanks for coming!

We have just about got back to normality after a fun-filled open day on Saturday. We’d love to say we’ve spent the week polishing off the cupcakes and Prosecco but, with over 150 of you coming, there were no goodies left for us! It was great to see the building bustling with old and new faces.

I’ve never hidden the fact that I love new technology. That’s why we’ve always got the latest piece of kit to help us get a thorough insight into the health of your eyes. We were delighted to see everyone queuing up to have a go of the Optos Daytona laser scanning ophthalmoscope. The Topcon 3D OCT scans also wowed, with all those who had a go amazed at the detailed pictures. For those who missed out, our Daytona scanner arrives later in the year, one of only a handful in the UK, so you can have a go then.

open day scans

A lot of time was spent in front of the mirror, with many liking what they saw! Hardly surprising considering we had the full 2014 ranges from William Morris London and Silhouette on show. Even those who don’t like to be seen in their specs were pleasantly surprised, realising that a stylish pair could make them look bang on trend.

Many seized the opportunity to try out the very latest contact lenses and we seem to have a few converts too. Dailies Total 1 from Alcon, MyDay by Coopervision and varifocal daily disposables from Sauflon were all trialled with great success.

As most of you know, we’re a family business and so we were delighted to welcome so many families along. The kids were well entertained throughout the day with face painting and our design a frame competition. A few even had a dabble with our numerous pieces of technology.

We gave away Seiko watches, discount vouchers, cupcakes and hundreds of freebies so it was an eventful day.

Open day cakes

Thanks again for all those who came and helped make it such a success. If you weren’t able to make it but would like to come in to chat about your eyes please make an appointment on 0131 225 2235.

Open day – Sat 18th Jan

IF YOU’VE BEEN NEAR THE PRACTICE IN THE LAST WEE WHILE YOU’LL KNOW HOW PROUD WE ARE TO HAVE WON UK PRACTICE OF THE YEAR 2013 AND NOW ITS TIME TO CELEBRATE.

We’re having an open day and be delighted to welcome you and any friends and family who may be interested in find out what makes us unique and award-winning.

To celebrate properly we’ve chosen a open on a Saturday,

We’ve got

  • The complete 2014 frame ranges from leading brands William Morris and Silhouette
  • Special offers on the day
  • New pieces of high tech kit to show off
  • Free cupcakes and drinks
  • Prize draw for Seiko watches, cupcakes and more
  • Activities for kids
  • Loads more

There’s plenty for everyone so come along anytime between 10am and 4pm to celebrate with us. We’d love to see you there.

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5 St. Vincent Street, Edinburgh EH3 6SW
0131 225 2235