Have you noticed that you can't focus on a book or magazine like you used to? maybe the words or images are looking a little blurry or out of focus and you need to hold your book out at arms length in order to read what's on the pages?
If that sounds familiar, then you may be showing symptoms of presbyopia.
Although it's a complicated sounding word, there's nothing to worry about as it's a natural part of ageing.
It occurs when the crystaline lens in your eyes becomes harder & this in turn means your ability to focus on near objects becomes harder for you. This usually happens in our 40's and is a gradual decline - even more reason for us to make regular appointments to see the optician!
Symptoms of Presbyopia
As mentioned earlier, it's important you visit your optician. A simple eye test will let you know if your prescription has changed and appointments usually only take 30 minutes or so.
It is also important that you have the right lighting for the tasks you are doing. We have a range of LED lamps and lighting that can help.
Don't go for the easy option of buying glasses that can be bought without knowing your prescription. Although these are a cheap option, it's important that you get your eyes checked out to ensure you are wearing the right prescription.
Podcasts are extremely popular right now. There's no better way than spending some time on a sunday afternoon listening away to your favourite podcast and spending some time relaxing.
Seeing as they're so popular, we thought we'd check some podcasts that are related to sight and in particular Visual Impairment to see which ones we could recommend for you.
If you have or know of a podcast that isn't on the list, please let us know about it in the comments at the end of this article.
LightHouse for the blind & Visually Impaired podcast
At the time of writing this post, there hadn't been any updated podcasts but there are more than enough episodes to get you going with this podcast specially designed for the blind and visually impaired.
Learn more and listen here
Eyes on success
This is a podcast that is set like a radio show. It lasts about 30 minutes each week and focuses on topics ranging from general interest to visual impairment
Learn more and listen here
Guide dogs for the blind
This podcast focuses on how guide dogs are raised and trained. With insights focusing on the work of guide dogs and their owners, this is a really good podcast if you are getting a guide dog or looking into becoming a trainer of one.
Learn more and listen here
Eyes-Free Fitness podcast
A good, well rounded health podcast focusing on topics such as your health to easy to cook recipes.
As well as interviews with others
Learn more and listen here
More so now than ever before, we are finding ourselves glued to several screens per day. The work computer, our phones even the television at home, we spend alot of our day in front of some sort of screen.
This is causing many people to suffer from screen fatigue but not really recognising that they may well have it. How do you recognise the signs of screen fatigue? and what can you do about it? read on and make a few simple changes to help your eye health today.
If you've been following us, you'll know that in November Nick, Ian and Stuart are cycling around Costa Rica on behalf of heart UK.
The guys are already working hard on their training. In fact, just 2 weeks ago they managed to complete a 20 mile training session when they all met up for a meeting.
Nick has been working so hard to raise extra funds to help support HeartUK. Recently, Nick and his friends from a band he is part of raised £550 at a charity concert to help support the Costa Rica cycle ride.
We want to say thank you to everyone who attended the concert, to Nick and his friends for all of their hard work and to everyone who has so far donated towards the trip.
Stuart, Ian and Nick are regularly meeting up in their spare time to put more practice in to their training and we're so excited for them .
If you'd like to donate, you can do so HERE
So if you haven't already, please make sure you like our facebook page
You can also follow our updated over on twitter
If you'd like to learn more about the amazing work HEARTUK do, please visit their website here
We are only too aware of the damage the sun can do to our skin if we leave it unprotected. Sun burn and skin cancer are just some of the damaging effects from UV rays. However, have you ever thought about the damage UV can do to your eyes if not adequately protected?
The month of May is UV awareness month and with that in mind, here at Associated Optical, we wanted to talk about UV protection and how you can help keep your eyes healthy.
Invest in the best
Protecting your eyes from the glare of the sun isn't important just to stop them watering or from you squinting to see, it can also help protect your eyes from long lasting future damage.
Sadly, a lot of people buy cheap sunglasses thinking that they will give us adequate protection. However, this isn't always the case. If sunglasses don't have adequate UV protection, they can trick the eye into thinking it's dark outside. Therefore, the pupil will dilate to allow more light into the eye and that can cause more UV to get into the eye than it normally would.
How your eyes may get damaged by UV
Even on cloudy days, we should wear adequate eye protection but you should be more aware of protecting your eyes from damage if you...
What else can you do to protect your eyes?
Sadly, our eyes can easily get neglected. In order to maintain good eye health we recommend you:
Some people call them dedicated, some people call them crazy but Ian, Nick and Stuart from Associated Optical love a challenge and when Stuart - Sales Director at Associated Optical saw a charity bike ride being advertised by HEARTUK, he just knew it was the opportunity of a lifetime.
Stuart put the idea to Ian & Nick (Area Sales Managers at Associated Optical) that they should all sign up for the ride and now 6 months on, training has begun!
Lets face it. Sometimes some of us can be a little guilty of neglecting our eyes when it comes to self care. We may even have picked up bad habits that we aren't even aware of. The reality is, that when it comes to eye care and our sight, we need to make sure we treat our eyes as a priority and that's why in this post, we're going to discuss the mistakes that you are making when it comes to your eyes.
Going out without your sunglasses - EVEN IN WINTER
How many times have you forgotten your sunnies when nipping out to the shops? It's ok you tell yourself, it's not too bright. Truth is that UV rays can cause our eyes damage that we won't notice until it's too late. UV rays can damage the macular (leading to issues such as macular degeneration), cause melanomas, cause cataracts and other vision problems. If you regularly squint in the sunlight, this can cause damage to the sight in the long term. Even in Winter, it's important to ensure you are wearing adequate sun protection for your eyes. Look for sunglasses that offer full coverage for your eyes, sunglasses that block at least 99% of UVA rays. Here at Associated Optical, we have a range of anti-glare and contrast enhancement glasses that offer protection for your eyes.
REMEMBER - Even on cloudy days, it's important to wear sunglasses!
Not getting your eyes tested (enough)
It's so easy to neglect your eye tests. Some of us don't really remember to book our eye tests until we notice a problem (such as straining to read the writing on the tv) but it's really important to pop a reminder on your phone or in your diary.
Ideally we should have our eyes tested every 18 months (sooner if you have experienced previous issues with your sight). Eye tests don't take up too much time but they really are worth the money you may spend on them. In the UK, some patients will even be able to get their eye test for free or claim back a percentage of the cost from their employers (Please look into this to see if you are eligible) Opticians are highly trained and continue their professional development on a regular basis so you know you are in safe hands. If you are nervous, your optician will work with you to ensure that you are comfortable whilst having your eyes checked.
REMEMBER - After having your eye test, put a reminder in your phone or diary to set up another appointment for a date your optician recommends.
Sleeping in your contact lenses
It can be easy to forget about taking your contact lenses out at night. Especially if you are tired. However, sleeping with your contact lenses in can increase risk of eye infections by between 5 & 10 times!
Make sure you wash your contacts in the correct solution and store them as recommended. Never use tap water to clean your contact lenses.
Whilst we're talking about contact lenses, another habit some people mention they do is showering with their contact lenses in. This can cause eye infections or in worse case scenarios - blindness. This is due to amoebas that can easily get onto your contact lenses and then transfer to your eye.
If you do wear contact lenses, please ensure you change them regularly. If you are a wearer of daily contact lenses, then please replace them on a daily basis and likewise for different types of lens.
You won't notice it on a day to day basis but your contact lens can easily harbour germs or dirt. Make sure you regularly clean them as recommended and replace them when recommended too.
Rubbing your eyes
It's so annoying when a stray eyelash falls into the eye causing pain and discomfort. We then rub our eyes to get rid of that eye lash. Whilst this won't necessarily cause any damage, if you are the type of person who regularly rubs their eyes, this can cause problems such as keratoconus.
Keratoconus is a condition where your cornea becomes thin. This can affect your vision. Sometimes this can lead to surgery.
Make up mistakes!
Again, germs and nasties can easily get onto our make up . When it comes to our eye shadows, eye liners, mascaras and brushes, we need to ensure we keep them clean and replace on a regular basis.
Make up brushes should be washed on a weekly basis to ensure they are kept clean. Replace your make up brushes every year.
Mascara should be changed every 3 months, eye shadow every 2 years. However, if you have had an eye infection such as a stye, we would recommend you change your brushes and mascara/eye liner to prevent any cross contamination.
If you would like more information relating to Glaucoma, Please CLICK HERE to learn more from The McIndoe Centre
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Unless you have experienced them first hand or have a loved one who has experienced cataracts, the likelihood is that you don't know too much about cataracts and what they are. Let alone the treatment available for them.
A cataract is clouding of the lens. Your vision can become blurred due to this cloudiness that the cataract causes at the back of your eye(s).
You don’t have to be a contestant on the Great British Bake off or MasterChef to make the most of your baking skills. By simply organising your kitchen and having the right tools, your next bake will be a great success!
At Associated optical, we feel that just because you may low vision, it doesn't mean you should lose confidence and stop baking.
The joy of reading should not be diminished just because your eyesight might not be as good as it used to be. Did you know that the lighting can make a real difference to making the most of your sight and can help you re-discover the joy of reading?
Sandra Taylor, Marketing & Executive Coach. Developed solutions to improve the lives of people living with sight loss for over 20 years.