The Blog

Watch your step

Sadly as we get over the risk of falling increases. You are most at risk of a fall if you are over 75, female, are taking certain medication, have fallen before, and/or have conditions including Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, diabetes or dementia.


There are steps you can take to reduce your chances of falling. Here are some points to consider:

• Ensure you attend your optometrist regularly, at least once a year if you are over 65 and whenever you notice any changes to your vision.
• Have good lighting in the home. Ensure you have bright light bulbs that come on at full power, as opposed to taking some time to brighten up. Ensure you also have lamps where you need them, for example where you regularly sit to read.
• Also place nightlights in areas such as bathrooms, hallways and bedrooms if you get up during the night.
• Make sure your home is free from trip hazards, such as badly fitted carpets, and if you have rugs ensure they are secured to the floor.
• If you have been advised by your optometrist to wear glasses for distance (long-sightedness), ensure you wear them both in and out of your home.
• Wear suitable footwear both indoors and outdoors, ensuring all your footwear is sturdy with good grips on the soles.
• Where possible have a contrast in colour on your stairs, such as black edges, so they are easily definable. Fitting non-slip treads to stairs is also advisable.
• Wear sunglasses in bright light to avoid being dazzled by the sun.
• Use non-slip mats in baths and showers.
• Keep moving, ensuring you are physically active will improve strength and balance which will reduce you chances of falling.

If you are concerned about falling, please speak to your GP.

National Eye Health Week

As part of National Eye Health Week (21-28 September) we welcome guest blogger David Cartwright, Chair of the week, to discuss some of the concerning issues facing our country’s eye health.

Our ageing population and unhealthy lifestyles are fuelling a steep decline in our vision. Right now almost two million people in the UK are living with sight loss and forecasters predict a further half a million could lose their sight by the year 2020.

Focus on eye health

Poor eye health places a huge economic and social burden on the UK. In 2013 sight loss cost the economy almost £8 billion. Yet, according to research conducted by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) half of all sight loss is avoidable.
By far the biggest risk to eye health is poor uptake of sight tests. Twenty million of us fail to have our eyes checked once every two years, as recommended, and one in 10 of us have never had an eye examination.

Essential health check

Sight tests are an essential health check. Not only can they assess your visual acuity and detect eye conditions, such as glaucoma, before they cause irreversible vision loss, they can also uncover signs of general health problems including diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.
Getting your sight tested is easy – there are qualified optometrists on almost every high street and for many of us it’s absolutely free.
More than 30 million people in the UK are eligible for free sight tests paid for by the NHS, and millions more are entitled to tests paid for by their employer.
Regular sight tests are particularly important for children, the over 60s, people with a family history of eye disease, those with underlying systemic health conditions, such as diabetes and people of certain ethnic origins who have an increased risk of eye disease.

Lifestyle matters

Poor lifestyle choices pose another big threat to the UK’s eye health. Sight loss linked to obesity and smoking is a growing trend amongst younger generations.
A poor diet, a high Body Mass Index (BMI), failing to protect your eyes from UV and a sedentary lifestyle can all have damaging affect your eye health.
As can smoking – smokers have a substantially increased risk of suffering common sight threatening eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
For those whose sight loss is unavoidable there are some important medical developments on the horizon. Eye research charities like Fight for Sight and the National Eye Research Centre are funding pioneering research into some of the most common causes of sight loss whilst advances in stem cell therapies, laser treatments, ophthalmic drugs and lens technologies are all helping make sight loss a thing of the past.
Whatever you do this Week (21 – 27 September) make sure do something to ensure your eyes and vision stay healthy now and in the future.

If you make one change after reading this blog, please make it a commitment to having a regular eye examination.

Optometrist Gillian Bruce to compete in Great Ethiopian Run for Vision Aid Overseas

Gillian shares her motivations for competing for this invaluable charity

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Running is a wonderful sport. It requires little more than a pair of trainers and some get up and go. The World Athletic Championships will start later this month and when everyone lines up at the start line, what will inspire me, is the idea that no matter where they are from, or how wealthy they are, they are all on an equal playing field.

Sadly this equality is not present in all areas of life, in particular when it comes to health care. Thankfully charities like Vision Aid Overseas are helping to address the issue of inequality in eye care. I have been involved with the charity since I qualified as an optometrist and have been able to see first hand, the results of the great work they do. The charity is dedicated to transforming access to eye care in developing countries. They utilise optometry volunteers from the UK to provide eye examinations in health centres and rural settings. Latterly they have also been heavily involved in training local people in VAO health centres with the aim of eventually seeing the countries reach self-sufficiency.


The need for the charity is great with around 670 million people, 10% of the world’s population, disadvantaged by poor vision due to a lack of spectacles. That means 670 million people with healthy eyes, do not see, simply because they don’t have spectacles. If you wear spectacles you will appreciate just how challenging your day would be without them. Imagine the educational, occupational and social disadvantage that people with similar prescriptions face.
I have undertaken a number of sporting challenges before, ranging from endurance events such as Tough Mudder to the London Marathon. In November I will take on a new challenge: The Ethiopian Great Run, running at altitude in the highest city in Africa. A challenge I am taking on to raise essential funds for those in need of basic eye care.

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I have quite a substantial sponsorship target to reach and I would be thrilled with any donations people can afford to give. Thank you!

You can donate to Gillian by visiting her Just Giving page:

Gillian Bruce awarded Primary Care Ophthalmology certificate

We’re delighted to let you know that our optometrist, Gillian Bruce, has just passed her Primary Care Ophthalmology certificate with distinction. This new qualification delivered by the University of Edinburgh has allowed her to further develop her knowledge in areas including macular disease, glaucoma, patient triage and ophthalmic science.

Developed in partnership with NHS Education for Scotland (NES), the course is aimed primarily at optometrists seeking formal postgraduate training in community-based clinical care, but Gillian also completed the course alongside other medical doctors from around the globe, seeking to improve their knowledge of ophthalmology.

Gillian’s patients can look forward to benefitting even further from her extensive knowledge of emergency and specialist eye conditions.

Well done Gillian!

Signs of cataracts appearing earlier

There was a worrying article in this week’s Optician Magazine summarising research that has found that patients are developing cataracts at an earlier age. A third of British adults knew someone who had been diagnosed with cataracts in their 50s or 60s, much younger than a decade ago. Even those in their 40s are reporting signs of cataracts.


The impact of UV, trauma, diabetes and other eye issues, like high levels of myopia were highlighted as possible causes for this trend. The research by Optegra Eye Health Care also found that 12% were unable to identify any symptoms of cataracts, which include cloudy vision, glare, colours seeming faded, poor night vision and double vision.

Not to sound like a broken record, but this is yet another reason why regular eye examinations are essential, at least every two years and if you notice any changes in your vision you should book an appointment immediately. Cataract surgery is very successful and there is a window of opportunity to carry it out when the chances of success are highest – we can guide you on the right time to intervene so come and see us.

iPad dispensing – giving you the perfect fit

iPads or should that be eyePads, have been an invaluable tool at Cameron Optometry for a number of years now. There have been a several stories about them in the media lately as more optometrists acknowledge the value they can have in a practice.


If you haven’t experienced table dispensing before, it is a fantastic tool to take very accurate digital measurements of your eyes and surrounding area to ensure we find you glasses that fit perfectly. The software can assist our staff in best advising on suitable lenses for your frames, showing you how different lenses would look, for example mocking up how one thickness of lenses would look versus a thinner option or giving you an idea of how each lens coating will look. This helps ensure when your new glasses arrive, they are exactly how you’d imagined, because you’ve already seen them!

In addition, photos can be taken so you can see how you look from various angles, we can email these images to you so you can seek a second option from friends or family. Some are still surprised when we bring out one of our iPads during a glasses fitting but the software we have on them makes for a very smooth dispensing process.

Many practices now use this software and it is a very useful tool but ultimately, it is our staff who are all experts in their field with a vast amount of experience. They are the ones that make the real difference in terms of levels of care and ensuring you go home with the perfect pair.

Cameron Optometry team survive gruelling Tough Mudder (just)

The team at Cameron Optometry donned their protective specs and braved this year’s brutal Tough Mudder challenge in the Scottish Borders.

Tough mudder

Raising money for the International Glaucoma Association, optometrists Ian Cameron, Gillian Bruce, Claire Keith and their unsuspecting partners, braved the gruelling assault course.

Their eyes were about the only body part that was well looked after during their mudder mayhem. A 12 mile, half-marathon of electrical burns, ice cold lochs, soul-crushing terrain and a whole lot of cold, heavy mud, didn’t deter this determined bunch from making it back in one-piece. With still enough energy to say cheese at the end of it all, they obviously need to find something even tougher for their next team-building adventure…

Controlling short-sightedness in children


Myopia Control programme launches in a bid to slow the progression of short-sightedness in children.

We are delighted to be able to announce the launch of our Myopia Control service at Cameron Optometry using our expertise in contact lenses, to significantly reduce the progression of short-sightedness in children. The aim is to ensure by the time they reach adulthood their vision is substantially better than it would be if left untreated and also reducing the chance of a child developing serious eye conditions in later life.

What is myopia?

Myopia is the medical term for short-sightedness, when the eyeball is too long or too powerful, causing objects in the distance to look blurred.

Generally once you have myopia your prescription declines over time, in particular during childhood as the eye develops. If a child is myopic, they are at risk of their vision deteriorating quickly. Not only does this mean reliance on strong glasses, higher levels of myopia are also linked to an increased risk of developing eye diseases such as glaucoma, retinal detachment, macular degeneration and cataract in later life.

What is Myopia Control?

Myopia Control aims to slow the progression of myopia in children through the use of specialised contact lenses. At Cameron Optometry our expertise in contact lenses allows us to provide the most advanced options available based on up to date research, which has found Myopia Control contact lenses can slow the progression of myopia by up to 50%.

How do the contact lenses work?

Myopia Control contact lenses are designed to correct your child’s vision by slowing the process of elongation and enlargement of the eyeball. There are two types of Myopia Control lenses available currently: lenses that are worn only when asleep (orthokeratology) or lenses which are worn during waking hours (multifocals).

It cannot completely halt the progression, however the aim is that by the time your child reaches adulthood their prescription will be significantly less than it would have been if their myopia was left untreated, reducing their risk of serious eye disease in later life.

For further information please visit or get in touch to speak to Gillian Bruce, our specialist in Myopia Control.

Perfect vision without lasers



EyeDream, vision correction without the need for lenses or glasses during the day. Coming soon to Cameron Optometry.

We are gearing up for the launch EyeDream, a vision correction therapy for short-sighted people that provides clear, comfortable vision without the need to wear contact lenses during the day.

EyeDream is ideal for low to medium short-sighted people who:

  • Want clear natural vision all day – every day
  • Have considered refractive surgery because of the freedom it provides, but are worried about the risks
  • Find soft contact lenses do not fulfill the comfort demands their lifestyle places on their eyes
  • Are involved in recreational and sports activities where periods without wearing contact lenses is ideal

So how is this possible?

EyeDream is a specially designed contact lens that gently and subtlety reshapes the cornea, at the front of the eye during overnight wear, a process called orthokeratology. Once the full effect has taken place, the new shape of eye neutralises your natural short-sightedness so you can see clearly during the day without glasses or contact lenses.

With EyeDream you will benefit from:

  • Freedom from contact lenses and glasses during the day
  • Very easy adaptation, only overnight lens wear required
  • A comfortable, semi-permanent alternative for the correction of short sightedness
  • A safe and reversible vision correction therapy without surgery

Our expertise

Our optometrists are experts in contact lens fitting, some of the most experienced in the country. We fit contact lenses for the most complex of prescriptions so you can rest assured that your vision is in safe hands.

For more information please arrange to speak to Claire Keith, our EyeDream specialist.

Cameron Optometry welcomes new screening specialist

We are delighted to welcome Andrea Salgado to the team at Cameron Optometry.

Before joining us, Andrea was an optometrist living and working in Madrid, specialising in contact lenses in particular Ortho-K lenses, which are worn overnight to correct short-sightedness. Andrea has been using theses lenses to successfully correct her myopia for over 10 years.

In her new role she is a member of the pre-screening department in the practice, performing a range of tests and scans to ensure the optometrists have a full picture of the patient’s eyes health. Using the most high tech equipment including the highly detailed Optos Daytona scanner, Andrea is the first port of call when patients arrive for an appointment.

Andrea is passionate about helping patients appreciate the value of looking after their eyes. On her appointment, she said, “In my opinion it is the leading practice in its field and it was exactly the kind of environment I was looking for in Spain. Cameron Optometry’s approach to eye health is the same as mine and the quality of care is exceptional. It is exciting to be part of such a practice.”

Managing director, Ian Cameron added, “We are delighted to welcome Andrea to the practice. Her role is essential in ensuring that we are able to develop a detailed picture of each patient’s eyes, which is essential for us in making any diagnoses. We are fortunate to have such a highly qualified individual in our pre-screening department, and her experience is hugely beneficial to our optometrists and patients alike.”


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