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Top Tips to Help Spectacle Wearers Beat Face Mask Fog!

Hot breath escaping from the top of a face mask can cause your spectacles or sunglasses to steam up, making it difficult to see clearly.


So, we’ve compiled these top tips to help Britain’s 30 Million+ spectacle wearers beat the fog!


Keep your lenses clean
Cleaning your lenses with your regular spectacle lens cleaning solution creates a thin film on the surface of the lens that can disperse fine water molecules in your breath and help prevent the lens misting up.


If you don’t have any lens cleaner to hand, try washing your lenses in warm soapy water.


Carefully wash your spectacles or sunglasses in soapy water – washing-up liquid works well – shake off any excess water and leave to air dry (or gently dry with a soft cloth).


Never use a paper towel or your sleeve to dry your lenses and avoid abrasive cleaners.


Apply anti-fog lens coatings or sprays 
Your dispensing optician can advise on anti-fog lens coating or off-the-shelf sprays, waxes or gels.


Seal it up
Use double-sided sticky tape to ensure your mask fits snugly across the bridge of your nose and cheek bones. This is not recommended for extended wear.


A good fit
A well fitted mask will dramatically reduce the amount of air escaping. Masks with a mouldable frame can help you achieve a good fit.


Double strap tying technique
A trick used by hospital surgeons is to tie the top straps of a surgical mask firmly below the ears before tying the bottom straps above the ears around the crown of the head to form a snug fit and vent air from the side.


Breath in a downwards direction
As a temporary fix you can try breathing downwards so the air you breathe out flows away from your glasses. Try holding your upper lip over your lower lip, then blowing air downward, as if you’re playing a flute.


Remember – always fit your mask to your face, not to the frames of your glasses!

 

Published : November 2021

Used Tea Bags Provide Relief for Dry Eye

A warm compress applied to the eyes can help provide relief from symptoms of evaporative dry eye caused by winter weather (cold windy conditions), central heating and prolonged screen use.

Symptoms of evaporative dry eye include: dry, itchy, red, gritty or even watery eyes.

 

How to Make a Tea Bag Compress

Make a cuppa as you normally would but hold the milk and sugar.

Once your tea has brewed squeeze the tea bag out, allow it to cool for a couple of minutes*, then sit back, close your eyes and place the bags over your eyelids.

Relax with the tea bag(s) in place for 5 to 10 minutes.

Make sure you use a separate bag for each eye.

 

If your symptoms persist speak to your optometrist or pharmacist for advice.

 

 

*Ensure the tea bag has cooled sufficiently before placing on your eyes

 

Published: November 2021

Firework Eye Safety Alert

Every year around 300 people suffer serious eye injuries as a result of accidents caused by fireworks. And, its not just children larking about that are at risk – three quarters (73%) of serious ocular traumas are sustained by adults and most (45 per cent) occur at private parties (1,2).

Rockets take first place in the danger stakes accounting for more than a third (36%) of all serious eye injuries, but also flying high on the dangerous firework list is the innocent sparkler. Although sparklers are often thought to be one of the safest fireworks, they burn at temperatures up to 2000ºC – hot enough to melt gold.

Follow Eye Health UK's SPARKLER code for a safe and injury free Bonfire Night:

Shield your eyes with protective eyewear when lighting fireworks. Use an electric torch to read the instructions and light at arms length using the taper provided. 

Plunge sparklers into a metal bucket of cold water as soon as they have burnt out

Attend organised displays wherever possible

Read the instructions on the fireworks with a torch and follow them carefully (ensure your fireworks comply with the British Safety Standard (BS 7114) or are CE marked.

Keep all fireworks in a closed metal box and only light one at a time. use an electric torch to read the instructions and light at arms length using the taper ptovided.

Leave fireworks that fail to go off – never return to a lit firework

Ensure everyone stands a safe distance away – AT LEAST 25 metres from Category 3 fireworks

Remove all debris and flammable objects (including plants and trees) from your firework display area

David Cartwright, Chairman of the charity says: “Eye damage caused by fireworks is so often avoidable and can lead to permanently reduced vision or even blindness, so this year the Trust is urging people to take extra care of their eyes and follow the SPARKLER safety code.”

If anyone in your party does suffer a firework eye injury:
• Seek medical attention immediately. Quick action can minimise long-term damage.
• Do not rub or rinse the injured eye, or apply any ointments to the eye area. If you do, it could increase any damage and make it more difficult for a specialist to provide treatment.

 

For further information about firework safety visit ROSPA.

 

1. Eye (2008) 22, 944–947

2. Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file30136.pdf

 

Published: 1 November 2021

Halloween Eye Care

The charity, Eye Health UK, today warned unregulated sales of contact lenses poses a risk to the public’s eye health.

Despite often being regarded as a fashion accessory or novelty item cosmetic or decorative contact lenses – including plano (non-prescription) lenses – must, by law, be supplied by or under the supervision of a registered optometrist, suitably qualified dispensing optician or medical practitioner . Yet, worryingly, cosmetic and decorative lenses are increasingly available from unregulated internet sites as well as market stalls, beauty salons and general retailers nationwide.

Kelly Plahay, Optometrist and Trustee of the charity explains: “All contact lenses whether you wear them for fun or to correct your vision require the same level of care and attention because improper use can lead to serious eye infections, corneal ulcers, abrasions and even sight loss.”

Kelly continues: “Coloured and decorative contact lenses are really popular during the Halloween season so Eye Health UK is urging people to seek professional advice at their local optical practice if they or their children plan to wear them.”

Common symptoms associated with unsupervised contact lens use include: red, sore or gritty eyes; a watery discharge; dry eyes; sensitivity to the light; headaches; blurred vision and in very extreme cases, eve sight loss.

Follow Eye Health UK’s ten top tips for wearing cosmetic contacts to help safeguard your eye health and keep your eyes looking gorgeous, sassy and bright…

 

  1. First, have an eye test. Your optometrist will advise you on your suitability for contact lens wear
  2. Take advice on the best sort of lens for your individual needs. Poorly fitted lenses can scratch the surface of your eye
  3. Only buy from a registered optical professional who will give essential advice on how long and how often you can wear your lenses, as well as guidance on handling, cleaning and storing your contacts
  4. Don’t wear the cosmetic lenses for longer than advised. Wearing time restrictions will vary from person-to-person
  5. Ensure you go for regular check-ups of both your contact lenses and eyes
  6. Disinfect and clean your lenses and any storage case daily in the recommended solution to kill any micro-organisms that may cause infection. Never use water.
  7. Don’t shower or bathe with your lenses in.
  8. Daily disposables should be disposed of daily! Remember to check the expiry date on packaging.
  9. Never wear anyone else's lenses or allow them to wear yours
  10. If your eyes hurt, look red or feel irritated remove the lenses immediately and seek professional advice. You should also seek advice if you suffer discomfort after wearing your lenses

 

Contact the General Optical Council or your local Trading Standards Department to report suspected mis-selling of cosmetic contact lenses.

 

Say 'Eye Quit' for Stoptober

We all know that smoking is bad for our health, but many are unaware that it can be damaging to our eyesight too. A recent survey by the Macular Society found that more than half (53 per cent) of UK adults were unaware that smoking can cause blindness.

The toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the delicate surface and internal structure of the eye, which can increase your risk of eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – the UK’s leading cause of sight loss – as well as nuclear cataracts, thyroid eye disease, dry eye and poor colour vision. The link between smoking and sight loss is as strong as the link between smoking and lung cancer.

David Cartwright, Chair of Eye Health UK, comments: “Any amount of smoking, even light, occasional or second-hand, can affect your eye health and increase your chances of suffering sight-threatening eye diseases. “Half of all sight loss in the UK is avoidable and smoking is the single biggest modifiable risk factor. Saying ‘eye quit’ and joining one of the free NHS cessation programmes will improve your eye health and significantly reduce your risk of losing your sight. After a decade or so being smoke free your risk of sight loss reduces to that of a non-smoker.”

Statistics reveal that smokers are up to four times more likely to have AMD than non-smokers and are more likely to suffer the condition earlier than non-smokers. Smokers are also likely to experience a more rapid progression of AMD and poorer treatment outcomes.

In addition, smoking increases your risk of developing cataracts as tobacco toxins cause oxidative damage to the lens proteins; the risk of nuclear cataracts (those that form in the centre of the lens) is three times greater in smokers.

Smoking increases your risk of thyroid eye disease by up to eight times and can increase the severity of symptoms.

Smoking cigarettes has also been found to increase the risk of dry eye syndrome and can exacerbate existing eye conditions.

Smoking is linked to other eye conditions, including diabetic retinopathy and uveitis – an inflammation of the eye’s middle layer, or uvea, that can result in complete vision loss.

There is also growing evidence that cigarettes impair colour vision; smokers who consume more than 20 cigarettes per day may suffer colour vision defects.

Worryingly, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the number of smokers here in the UK; a study funded by Cancer Research UK found that hundreds of thousands more people smoked compared to before the pandemic hit. There was a 25 per cent rise in 18- to 34-year-olds who smoke – resulting in more than 652,000 new smokers.

It’s not all bad news though, as the research also found increases in the number of smokers quitting successfully. Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s Chief Executive, said: “There’s no ‘safe’ level of smoking or drinking, and stopping smoking or cutting down drinking will help to reduce your risk of cancer.”

It’s never too late to stop smoking, quitting at any age can reduce your risk of developing many sight-threatening eye
conditions. It’s time to take care of not only your eyes but your overall health too; it’s time to stub it out for good and say eyequit.

Help to quit…

In England:
■ Smokefree (nhs.uk/betterhealth/quit-smoking)
■ Call the Smokefree National Helpline on 0300 123 1044

In Scotland:
Quit Your Way is a free NHS stop smoking service. To find out more information on stop smoking services, call the Quit Your Way Helpline Service on 0800 84 84 84 or visit QuitYourWay.scot.

In Wales:
■ Help me quit
■ Call the free Stop Smoking Wales Helpline on 0800 085 2219

In Northern Ireland:
■ Want to stop
■ See local support services for telephone support

Or visit your local pharmacy for more advice on quitting and local smoking cessation services.

 

Published : October 2021

Poll of the Nation’s Favourite (Eye) Sights Confirms We’re A Nation of Animal Lovers

Watching our pets beats looking at our partners in a poll of the nation’s favourite (eye) sights[1] conducted to mark FrEYEday[2], a National Eye Health Week initiative, designed to get people taking better of their eyes.

Our vision is so important, which is why it’s no surprise 83 percent of us say it’s the sense we’d least like to lose.[3] And, when asked about our favourite (eye) sights, watching our ‘children play’ came top, closely followed by looking at a sea-view and watching our be-loved pets at number three.

The sight of our partner trailed in at number five in the poll. Other favourites included scenic views such as the rolling countryside and the sunset, whilst sports fans voted seeing their team score and frazzled home workers admitted they couldn’t wait to see the clock strike 5pm on a Friday.

While we all cherish our eyesight, we’re not always good at looking after it. An incredible 50 percent of sight loss is avoidable.[4]  “So it’s vital that we get back into the habit of having routine sight tests and making healthy lifestyle choices” says David Cartwright chair of Eye Health UK the charity responsible for National Eye Health Week.

David continues: “There were more than four million fewer sight tests conducted in 2020 than 2019[5] so I’d urge anyone whose missed a routine eye check recently to book one, as early detection of chronic eye conditions is crucial to prevent unnecessary vision loss.”

Lifestyle choices pose another big threat to eye health. Regardless of your genetic predisposition, diet, weight, activity levels, alcohol consumption and whether or not you smoke can all affect your chances of suffering poor eye health, including the four main causes of sight loss – macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts.

However new research conducted for National Eye Health Week found awareness of the link between lifestyle and eye health is low.

Just a fifth of us (20%) are aware that physical activity can impact eye health, almost two thirds (63%) of us are oblivious of a link between weight (BMI) and eye health, whilst fewer than 4 in 10 of us are aware of a link between smoking and eye health, when in fact smokers are up to four times more likely to lose their sight than non-smokers.[6]

------------------------------------

Poll of the Nation’s Favourite (Eye) Sights

Top 10

1. Children playing,

2. A sea-view

3. My pet

4. The countryside

5. My husband / wife

6. A sunset

7. The beach

8. Fresh snowfall

9. The sunrise

10. My sports team scoring



[1] Favourite (Eye) Sights poll of 2,073 UK Adults conducted for National Eye Health Week by .Yonder 13 & 14 September 2021.
[2] People are being encouraged to share inspiring stories about why vision matters to them on social media using the hashtag #FrEYEday on 24 September 2021
[3] Healthy Eye Report, Eye Health UK
[4] Deloittes, Access Economics for RNIB
[5] State of the Nation’s Eye Health Report 2021, Specsavers
[6] Survey of 2,073 UK Adults conducted for National Eye Health Week by .Yonder 13 & 14 September 2021

We're going on a garden bug hunt...

It's estimated that by the year 2050 more than half of us will be short-sighted. Spending time outdoors has been shown to reduce the risk of myopia (short-sightedness) in children.

Here are our top tips for outdoor fun for kids of all ages.

 

Go on a Garden Bug Hunt

How many creatures can you find hiding in your garden? Try counting how many different species you can find. Grab a magnifying glass to take a closer look – how many legs has the bug got? Is it hairy? Draw pictures of what you find and create a colourful gallery of minibeasts.

 

Create Patio Art

Encourage your budding Van Gough to get creative and produce a giant artwork on your patio or garden path. Use chalks to create colourful designs that will simply get washed away in the rain.

 

Enjoy a Bike Ride.

Whether you’re going for a ride around your local park or travelling along part of the 13,500 miles that make up the National Cycle Network, cycling is a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

Click here for more on the National Cycle Network

 

Cook up a Feast in a Mud Kitchen

All you need to make a basic mud kitchen are some old pots and pans, a couple of spoons, a patch of earth or bucket of mud (top soil is great) and water.

Kids can while away hours getting messy mixing up mud pies and foraging for decorative toppings.

 

Grow your Own

Nothing tases better than fruit and veg you’ve grown yourself so whether you sew a few cress seeds in an old yoghurt pot or create your very own garden allotment you can enjoy the tasty rewards of time spent outdoors tending to your crops.

 

Roll Play

Make action dice from cube-shaped cardboard boxes.

Draw or write a forfeit or action on each side of the cardboard box eg, do a roly poly, jump like a frog, run a lap of the garden, floss!

Then, roll or throw the dice and follow the action.

 

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are great fun and you can play them almost anywhere. Try a colour-themed hunt and track down objects from every colour in the rainbow.

 

Build a Den

Whether you’re creating a den using cushions and blankets or branches and bracken den building is fun for all the family. 

 

Go Birdwatching

Go for a walk and see how many different types of birds you can spot. The RSPB website has a great step-by-step guide to birdwatching for beginners.  

 

Nature Craft

Make a self-portrait using materials you can find in your garden or local park.

Use, sticks, leaves, berries, stones, grass cuttings, feathers, conkers and moss to create your masterpiece.

 

Puddle Jumping

Get out whatever the weather. Pull on your wellies and go splash about in puddles.

 

 

Published: September 2021

 

Public blind to warning signs of sight-threatening conditions

Half of sight loss is avoidable[1] yet new research conducted for National Eye Health Week (20 -26 September 2021) reveals a worrying lack of awareness when it comes to ‘red flag’ symptoms linked to sight threatening eye conditions.

Despite being symptoms of retinal detachment (RD) – a condition requiring urgent treatment to avoid permanent loss of vision – more than 4 in 10 of us (43%) are unaware that suddenly seeing lots of flashes or floaters in our vision could be a warning sign that something is amiss, whilst a third of us (36%) are unaware a shadow, veil or curtain over our vision requires emergency (same day) medical attention.[2]

Retinal tears (one of the possible precursors to a retina detaching) are common.. These can be detected early during routine eye tests and then monitored and treated before eyesight is affected. However, incidence of retinal detachment have increased significantly over recent years fuelled by factors such as an ageing population, increasing myopia (short-sightedness) and rising rates of diabetes.

Without urgent treatment a detached retina will lead to vision impairment. Vitrectomy – the most common surgery used for treating retinal detachment in the UK – rose four-fold between 2000 – 2018, to 29,923.[3]

David Cartwright, Chair of Eye Health UK, the charity responsible for National Eye Health Week says: “Better awareness of the warning signs of sight loss and increased uptake of routine eye tests will prevent avoidable vision impairment. In many cases the cause of red flag symptoms will be minor however, it’s vital that if you experience severe eye pain, sensitivity to light, acute redness or a shadow across your vision it is checked out by an eyecare practitioner straight-away, as every day you delay could potentially result in unrecoverable sight loss.”

Red flag symptoms that require urgent medical attention include, but are not limited to:

 

  • A curtain, veil or shadow in your vision
  • Sudden sight loss or double vision
  • Acute redness in one or both eyes
  • Sensitivity to light photophobia
  • Severe eye pain
  • Suddenly seeing lots of flashes or floaters (little dots or squiggles).

 

You should also seek urgent attention in you suffer eye trauma or have a foreign object in your eye that you can not flush out at home using an eye wash solution.

It may seem obvious that these symptoms are cause for concern but the National Eye Health Week research found almost a fifth of us (18%) would not consider severe eye pain an eye emergency whilst two thirds of us would dismiss acute red eye as ‘nothing to worry about’.

Yet acute redness, especially if accompanied by eye pain or reduced visual acuity is linked to a host of serious and sight-threatening eye conditions including: scleritis, uveitis, corneal abrasion, corneal ulcer, viral keratitis and acute angle closure glaucoma,

If in doubt, get your symptoms checked out at your local optical practice, call NHS 111 or contact your hospital eye emergency department.

 

--------------------------------------

About Retinal Detachment:

What is the retina?
Imagine that your eye is like a camera, and the retina is the film. The retina is a fine sheet of nerve tissue lining the inside of the eye. Rays of light enter the eye and are focused on the retina by the lens. The retina produces a picture that is sent along the optic nerve for the brain to interpret. It's rather like the film in the camera being developed so that pictures can be produced.

What is retinal detachment?
Usually the retina is attached to the inner surface of the eye. If there is a tear or hole in the retina then fluid can get underneath it. This weakens the attachment so that the retina becomes detached - rather like wallpaper peeling off a damp wall. When this happens the retina cannot compose a clear picture from the incoming rays and your vision becomes blurred and dim.

Who is more likely to get it?
Detachment of the retina happens more to middle aged, short-sighted people. Very rarely, younger people can have a weakness of the retina.

What are the symptoms?
The most common symptom is a shadow spreading across the vision of one eye. You may also experience bright flashes of light and/or showers of dark spots called floaters. These symptoms are never painful.

Many people experience flashes or floaters and these are not necessarily a cause for alarm. However, if they are severe and seem to be getting worse, and/or you are losing vision then you should see your eyecare practitioner urgently. Prompt treatment can often minimise the damage to your eye.

What is the treatment?
If you get help early, it may only be necessary to have a laser or freezing treatment. This is usually performed under a local anaesthetic.

Often however, an operation to repair the hole in the retina will be needed. This is usually done under a general anaesthetic and can be repaired with a single operation in 90 per cent of cases. This does not usually cause much pain but your eye will be sore and swollen for a few days afterwards. You will usually need to stay in hospital for two or three days after your operation.



[1] Two million people in the UK are living with sight loss, that is severe enough to have a significant impact on their daily lives. Half of this sight loss is avoidable. Future Sight Loss UK (1): The economic impact of partial sight and blindness in the UK adult population, AccessEconomics PTY Ltd09
[2] NEHW21 Eye Report. Research conducted by .Yonder 13 & 14 September 2021. Sample size 2,073 UK Adults
[3] https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.11.06.20214734v1.full#ref-4

Daily Themes for National Eye Health Week 2021 Announced

The daily themes for National Eye Health Week 2021 will be:

 

Monday 20 September 2021 - How's Your Sight Seeing?
 Eye test call to action & spotlight on red flag symptoms for poor eye health

Tuesday 21 September 2021 - Focus on Kids’ Eye Health 

Wednesday 22 September 2021
 - How to be Screen Smart 

Thursday 23 September 2021 - 
Live Well, See Well - how your lifestyle can impact eye health

FrEYEday 24 September 2021
 - Help us light up social media with stories of why Vision Matters.

Saturday 25 September 2021
 - Vision and Falls

Sunday 26 September 2021
 - Good Vision for Driving

 

To support the Week on social media don’t forget to include the official National Eye Health Week hashtags: #EyeWeek, #VisionMatters and #FrEYEday.


 

 

Published: September 2021

Save the Date for National Eye Health Week 2021

Eye Health UK today (25 February 2021) announced National Eye Health Week 2021 (NEHW) will run from 20 to 26 September.

The Week will aim to raise the profile of optics as it encourages the public to be ‘eye aware’ with a series of initiatives inspiring greater up-take of routine sight tests and highlighting the role healthy lifestyles play in preventing avoidable sight loss.

Despite the obvious challenges of 2020, last year’s campaign raised optics up the public health agenda with Google searches around ‘eye health’ peaking during the Week – up more than 20 per cent on the next highest point in the year.

NEHW 2020 was also effective in motivating behaviour change. According to independent consumer research, three quarters (74%) of those who saw, heard or read advice about eye health during the Week said it had prompted them to act when it comes to looking after their vision and eye health.[1]

David Cartwright, chair of Eye Health UK said: “National Eye Health Week is an important occasion for optics and has huge potential for the sector to come together to create a premier health event. We’re urging everyone with an interest in vision and eye health to get involved. The Week is a great platform for public health promotion that can benefit us all.”

Anyone interested in getting involved can register via the website. Supporters are kept up to date with regular bulletins to their inbox and free supporter resources.

The charity is also looking for strategic partners to help expand its range of health promotion resources and turn up the volume on generic eye health messages across traditional and social media.

Email us to find out more about official partner opportunities.



[1] Yonder UK Representative Consumer Survery.2000 online sample of GB adults 18+. Conducted between 29 & 30 September 2020

 

Published: 25 February 2021