The Blog

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.

Ray-Ban added to range of stylish frames

ray-ban

Ray-Ban added to stylish range of brands including William Morris, Silhouette and Guess.

We are delighted to add Ray-Ban to our collection of stylish frames available at Cameron Optometry. The 2014 range has just arrived and is well worth a look when you’re next in. If you are looking to update your frames or want to treat yourself to some new sunglasses for the summer, come in and have a try.

Ray-Ban is a global leader in eyewear and is very popular amongst celebrities across the globe. Including the classic Wayfarer and Aviator styles, we can supply prescription lenses for any style.

Ray-Ban joins other stylish brands stocked at Cameron Optometry including the British classic William Morris, minimalist brand Silhouette, Hawaiian sunglass maker Maui Jim and American fashion giants Guess. We expect to add some other well-known brands to our range before the summer, so follow us on Twitter @cameronoptom to be the first to find out when they are unveiled.

Follow us

twitter-news

We’ve made it on to Twitter! @cameronoptom

Since we were awarded the title of UK Practice of the Year and with a lot of exciting developments planned this year, we can hold off no longer. We are tweeting! Please follow us @cameronoptom. We will keep you up to date with events and news from the practice as well as exclusive offers for our followers.

20 years of excellence

staff

Lesley Kerr & Heather Grandon celebrate 20 years with Cameron Optometry.

This month we celebrate the anniversaries of clinical dispensing assistant Lesley Kerr and optometrist Heather Grandon who have both been with us for 20 years.

For those of you who don’t know, Lesley is quite the expert when it comes to fitting glasses and contact lenses.  Her knowledge and expertise in dispensing spectacles has ensured that, even those with the most complex of prescriptions, leave content. She has always played a key role advising on which brands Cameron Optometry stocks, keeping up to date with the ever-changing market.

“When I started our ‘dispensing room’ was basically an oversized cupboard. It’s changed quite a bit since then! I remember our first trip to an optical trade show when we took the leap in to designer frames. It was quite a step for Murray and Donald but we haven’t looked back and now have a fantastic array of brands, selected for quality above anything else.
“It is great to have built such good relationships with our clients and it is always nice to catch up with them, many who have been with the practice even longer than I have. Being recognised for all our efforts when we were awarded UK Practice of the Year in November is certainly my highlight and the celebrations that followed!”

Heather’s experience in complex eye conditions is unrivalled. Over the last 20 years she has been responsible for developing the NHS Contact Lens Outpatient Clinic that is run from Cameron Optometry and has developed a reputation for excellence in the industry. An average day can involve fitting patients after corneal grafts, fitting of hand-painted lenses, fitting lenses for babies or simply a straightforward annual check-up.

“It is the variety in my role that means, even after 20 years, every day is different. The varied needs of my patients, coupled with the strong relationships I have built with each of them, make my job so enjoyable. I’ve been able to follow my patients, some from babies, through their lives, meeting their new family members and seeing so many success stories along the way.

“I have been very fortunate to work with a great team at Cameron Optometry, always striving to provide the best care for our clients’ needs. It is a very innovative place to work and it is great to be able to work with market-leading technology.”

We would like to thank Lesley and Heather for their expertise and dedication over the last 20 years. Here’s to another 20!

Exam season: A for vision

study

Don’t let poor eyesight lead to poor exam performance.

Research clearly shows that uncorrected visual problems severely impact academic performance, self-confidence, sporting ability and even behaviour, at school. So with exam season almost upon us, now is a good time to get your child’s eyes checked to ensure their vision doesn’t hold them back when it really counts.

As a minimum, a child’s eyes should be tested once every year or two, however children are constantly developing so it is also worth familiarising yourself with some indicators to look out for which may suggest they should pay us a visit:

  • Headaches and sore eyes, especially after a long revision session
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Using fingers to track text or losing their place when reading
  • Having issues with coordination for example when playing ball games
  • Squinting or closing one eye when reading
  • Showing sensitivity to light or the glare from a screen

Many young people will be reluctant to visit an optometrist for fear that they need glasses. Should this be the case, often they will only need to wear them at certain times, for example when looking at a whiteboard, and they might be able to pack them away at weekends.

There is a fantastic range of children’s glasses available and many adult styles can be fitted to smaller heads. With many celebrities now making glasses their stylish accessory, our younger clients now seem happier to follow suit! You may also be surprised to hear that even young children can be prescribed contact lenses so they may choose to alternate between glasses and lenses.

We are passionate about providing the best possible eye care especially to children and young people in this crucial stage of life, so please get in touch to make an appointment to give your child the best chance in the examination room. All young people in full-time education are entitled to free eye exams, and they also receive a voucher towards the cost of glasses or lenses.

The Eye Diet

food

Since the New Year the Sunday papers have been packed full of articles on the ‘latest’ diet.  Sugar seems to be the buzzword for 2014 and it is encouraging to see more focus on simple healthy eating than the usual range of gimmicks and fads from companies selling weird and usually not wonderful, diets.

Most people are inspired by their desire to lose some weight and look better. However few realise how beneficial a good diet can also have on eyesight. Here are some tips for a diet that will leave your eyes looking healthy.

Dark green, leafy vegetables
Eating spinach and kale for example, could help reduced your risk of macular degeneration. They contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two important nutrients that have antioxidant functions in the body and help prevent cell damage. Lutein also helps protect the retina.

Bright orange fruit and vegetables
The likes of sweet potatoes which have a rich source of beta carotene, a natural precursor to vitamin A, the vitamin most commonly associated with healthy eyes. And fruits like oranges are a great source of vitamin C which some evidence has suggested may slow the affects of macular degeneration and the formation of cataracts.

Beans
Adding zinc to your diet by eating zinc-rich foods such as beans, lentils, eggs and turkey will help the liver release vitamin A.

Oily fish
Fish such as salmon and tuna are rich in source of omega-3 which studies have found may also help protect eyes from age-related macular degeneration and dry eyes.

Wheat germ and sunflower seeds
Great sources of vitamin E which can help protect the eyes from free radical damage.

Eating a balanced diet with plenty fruit and veg of all colours will ensure your eyes receive the nutrients they require. Foods like those mentioned above will benefit you in many other ways too, so forget the fads, focus on foods packed full of nutrients and you will notice the benefits both inside and out.

Have a Spectacular Father’s Day

DC

Current managing director Ian Cameron took over the reigns at Cameron Optometry from his dad Donald, who joined what was then McGrath and Cameron in 1976. Donald still works as a consultant in the practice and Ian credits his father’s passion for optometry as a driving force behind his desire to work in the industry. So to celebrate Father’s Day, we are offering all dads free standard lenses with any new frame purchased throughout June. Just call and make an appointment with any of our optometrists and quote “Father’s Day”.

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/

Lenses for the smallest of eyes

Many of my patients will know contact lenses are a passion of mine. Most of my patients have straightforward prescriptions with some requiring more specialist products. However a small number of our patients are a little more complex still.

We are fortunate to work closely with the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion and St John’s Hospital, taking referrals from them to provide specialist expertise in dealing with even the youngest of patients including newborns with congenital cataracts.

Babies who are born with cataracts (the clouding of the eye’s lens) are usually operated on within the first few weeks of their lives. For adults, following surgery the normal course is to be fitted with lens implants or where this isn’t possible they can wear high prescription glasses (around +15.00 or so)

Babies are different. After surgery to remove the cloudy lens they have been born with the eye is usually too small to support an implant until they are at least 2 years old. They can’t be expected to wear glasses as the prescription is as high at +35.00 and changes every few weeks as it reduces towards the usual +15.00 over the first year of life.

In fact a new study has found that wearing contact lenses for a few years before having implants fitted also gives better eventual outcomes. This is an area myself and my colleagues have a lot of experience in and it is encouraging to see further study supporting the treatment. For surgeons to get the prescription spot on for a small baby is very difficult. It is hard to judge the focusing power of the baby and the infant years are a period of rapid growth so the chance of the surgeon getting their lenses as near perfection as possible increases as the baby becomes a toddler. At this time testing is far more straightforward. The eyes have developed substantially and the child’s ability to communicate makes it easier to select the right permanent lens.

As you can imagine, it isn’t easy getting a baby to wear contact lenses, perhaps even harder a toddler, but like anything, they do get used to it and as this research reiterates, the long-term benefits are worth the short-term angst.

Time for style

I was pleased to read about The Bradley Timepiece being up for a design of the year award at London’s Design Museum. The watches I’ve seen before for those with visual impairments have been functional. They tell the time. They don’t look stylish! These days people wear watches like sunglasses, yes they serve a purpose, but they are also worn to add style. So why shouldn’t those with visual impairments be afforded the same luxury?

Bradley Timepiece watch

The Bradley Timepiece, named after a gold-medal-winning Paralympian swimmer who lost his sight in Afghanistan, allows users to not only see what time it is, but to feel what time it is. It is being recognised as a desirable watch, not just for those who are blind, with many being pre-ordered by those without visual impairments.

Hopefully this watch will pave the way for other designers to create good looking objects and accessories that combine the practical with the stylish. The view that blind people care less about their appearance is incorrect and unhelpful.

designmuseum.org

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