Road Safety Week

In the month that saw Olympic gold medal winner, Bradley Wiggins, and his mentor, Shane Sutton both hospitalised after colliding with vehicles in separate incidents, the Jones & Jones Optometrists are helping to raise awareness of the importance of driving with good vision by urging people to have a sight test during Road Safety Week. Coordinated by charity BRAKE, Road Safety Week is the UK’s flagship road safety event which takes place from 19-25 November 2012.

Good eyesight is essential for safe driving and poor vision can impair your driving performance. New research shows that drivers with poor eyesight are 62% more likely to stray out of their lane when driving. Road crashes caused by poor driver vision cost the UK an estimated £33 million a year and result in nearly 2,900 casualties, with official tests to identify and rectify the problem in need of urgent reform. You are responsible for ensuring that your vision meets the specified minimum requirements every time that you drive.

The current UK standard for Group 1 (car and motorcycle) drivers is the ability to read in good light (with the aid of spectacles or contact lenses, if worn) a number plate at:

  • 20m for vehicles displaying the new-style number plate
  • 20.5m for vehicles displaying the old-style number plate

Different standards apply to Group 2 (lorry and bus) drivers, who require a documented assessment of vision to renew their licence.

Here are some common eye conditions and the effect they might have on your driving ability:

Condition

Incidence

Common Symptoms

Effect on
driving ability

Short-sight
(Myopia)
Incidence varies by age or ethnicity – myopia usually develops in childhood or adolescence Blurred distance vision

Uncorrected myopia can cause problems reading road signs or street names

Twilight or night driving can be difficult

Long-sight
(Hypermetropia)

Incidence varies by age

Spectacles may be needed full-time or just for near vision

Uncorrected
long-sightedness can cause blurred distance vision and headaches
Uncorrected long sight can cause difficulty reading street names or signs or eyes can feel tired
Cataract
2.5 million people aged 60 and over

Cloudy, hazy vision

Glare from bright lights

Change in colour perception

Difficulties
regularly reported with night driving or in poor weather or bright sunlight
Glaucoma

2% of population over 40, rising to 10% over 75

 

Often without any symptoms in the early stages

May have haloes about lights

Acute glaucoma attack can be severely painful

Glare or difficulties driving at night

Loss of peripheral vision can cause difficulties maintaining lane
position

Macular
Degeneration
1.49 million in UK2
(mostly aged 65 and over)
Problems
seeing detail, vision blurred in centre or distorted vision
Problems with night driving or seeing road signs or recovery from bright light
DiabetesRelated
Eye Disease
748,000 have diabetic retinopathy

Variable or blurred vision

Can be without symptoms

Problems often reported with night driving

There are a range of other eye conditions that can affect driving performance. If you notice or suspect any change in your vision, do not delay, give us a ring on 01446 400015 for an appointment.

New Carrera Frames Arrive

Our stock of New Carrera Frames arrived today!  This classic 1960’s brand has recently been reinvented and we love it! The modern use of colour and original designs make the new optical eyewear collection both reassuring and completely ageless.  The exclusive use of  hand-polished Carrera acetates, with little metal studs providing a distinctively stylish notes, unisex glasses expressing a retro personality in rounded 1960s style, easy-to-wear at its best.  Here’s what they say about themselves:

It costs nothing to make a wish! The young “CARRERA generation” knows that there are no wishes that cannot come true, but only wishes that have not yet come true. They live their life to the fullest because anything can be tolerated except regrets over things left undone, words unsaid and love undeclared.

Live, be free, have fun, follow your ambitions and believe in impossible love and, in the end, lose yourself; because wherever we may end up, we will make it a great place. With no regrets.

Wearing Carrera is a unique, unmistakeable adventure in itself. Are you ready for a new collection fully interpreting the Carrera generation of dynamic, determined dreamers? With the watchword “After all, no regrets”!

Back to School: Helping children to see their future

When I grow up… pilot, fire fighter, train driver, police officer?

Every child dreams of what they’ll do one day. Up to one in five children may have an eye condition they do not know about which could stop them achieving those dreams.

Poor eyesight can have a significant effect on children’s ability to learn and on their behaviour – yet often goes unrecognised by teachers, parents and by children themselves.

A free sight test may give every child the ability to see clearly, learn effectively and fulfil their career aspirations.

Children’s facts and figures

  • Up to 1 million children in the UK currently have an undetected vision problem. (Statistics provided by the Eyecare Trust and based on DCSF 2009 School Census 0-12 year olds);
  • Research shows that around 20% of school-aged children have an undiagnosed vision problem – that’s one in five children. (Professor David Thomson, City University, London);
  •  Over 90% of children visit a dentist regularly, whilst only 53% of children have ever had an eye examination. (Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Survey 2009);
  • 84% of parents agree that improved vision would have a positive impact on their child’s performance at school. (Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Survey 2009).

For more information see our article on Children’s Eyecare

 

 

A clear vision for every child

It is estimated that 1 million children will return to school this year with an undiagnosed vision problem.  Poor eyesight can have a significant effect on children’s ability to learn and on their behaviour – yet often goes unrecognised by teachers, parents and by the children themselves.  Children may not be aware of or may not be able to explain their vision difficulties and a parent or teacher may not notice any problems.

The sooner that vision problems are detected – the better the outcome.  Many childhood eye conditions, such as lazy eye and squint, can be treated if they are picked up early – as the eye and visual system are actively developing during the school years.  If vision problems are identified and treated, it can make a difference that lasts a lifetime.

Sight Tests are free for all children under the age of 16.  Parents can take their children along to a local optometrist or optician for a free NHS Sight Test. Optometrists and opticians in the community are qualified to examine the eyes of all children, paid for by the NHS. Help towards the cost of glasses is also available on the NHS for all children.  Toddlers and young children do not need to be able to read, as an eye examination can be carried out using pictures.

The UK is a long way behind the rest of Europe in the number of children who have regular eye examinations and the proportion of children who wear vision correction.  In France, it’s part of the summer back to school routine to book children in for an eye exam.   In the US state of Kentucky, it is law that every child must have a comprehensive eye examination before they are allowed to start school.

Many parents still assume that their child will have their vision checked at school, regardless of whether this actually happens or not.  Vision screening provision is patchy – many areas do not provide it.  Even where vision screening is provided in school, there are many conditions which, although they may cause significant problems to a child and their ability to learn, will not be picked up at a screening.  Screenings are designed to pick up amblyopia; what about moderate refractive error, binocular vision anomalies and the overall health of the eyes?

A proper sight test is free for all children under the age of 16 – why not book an appointment for your children today?

Police

Back by popular demand, we have just had the new stock of Police ophthalmics arrive today.  This iconic brand doesn’t need any introduction, why not call in and find the pair to suit you??

Founded in 1983, Police stood out immediately as a brand with distinctive autonomous qualities; it entered an already crowded market though soon began to be loved and appreciated worldwide for its decisively underground feel. It stood out with its street style and amazed the general public with its blue lenses that appealed to everyone; this is where the long and extraordinary history of Police began, a brand that has been superbly represented over the years by icons of the showbiz, fashion and sports world, all having something in common, namely the uniqueness of being unique.

 

This is how the Police myth developed, not only a pair of glasses but a lifestyle, an icon for many, a wide-ranging lifestyle identity which now includes perfumes, watches, jewellery, small leather goods and clothing.

The brand’s style is aggressive, with an urban, metropolitan vocation. The brand’s designs are meant for a young and adventurous, independent and rebellious target. Non-conformist. Narcissistic, even a little hedonistic, the brand’s target loves breaking the rules and identifies itself only with a community: that of the fans of Police glasses.

 

 

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of conditions in which the optic nerve suffers a characteristic form of damage at the back of the eye that is often associated with a raised level of intraocular pressure.  It can cause irreversible vision loss if left untreated.  Fortunately glaucoma is easily treated with eye drops  if diagnosed early but despite this it is still one of the biggest causes of blindness in the developed World.

Your eye needs a certain amount of pressure to keep the eyeball in shape so that it works properly.  However, if the optic nerve comes under too much pressure then it can be damaged.  The amount of damage there is depends to a certain extent on how high the pressure is and how long it lasts, and whether there is a poor blood supply or other weakness of the optic nerve.  A really high eye pressure can damage the optic nerve immediately.  A lower level of pressure can cause damage more slowly, and then you would gradually lose your sight if it is not treated.  Having said that, there is an increasing number of patients that have glaucoma but do not have high pressures at all.  These patients possibly have a pre-disposition to sustaining damage to the optic nerve at pressures usually considered to be normal.  It is not entirely clear why this happens, possibly genetic or possibly related to poor blood circulation at the back of the eye.

The damage may be caused by raised eye pressure or you may have an eye pressure within normal limits but the damage occurs because there is a weakness in the optic nerve.  In most cases, high pressure and weakness in the optic nerve are both involved to a varying extent (Eye pressure is not connected to your blood pressure).  However, there are a significant number of people who have raised intraocular pressure but do not have glaucoma. The normal range of eye pressure is up to 21mmHg.  If your eye pressure is above 22mmHg, you will generally be told that you have ocular hypertension.  This is not the same as having glaucoma.

A diagnosis of glaucoma means that the pressure in the eye has caused some damage to the optic nerve but a diagnosis of ocular hypertension may mean your pressure is higher than normal but there isn’t any damage to your optic nerve.  Only a minority (about 10%) of people with ocular hypertension will go one to develop glaucoma, unfortunately there is currently no way of telling who will develop glaucoma and who won’t.

The optic nerve damage causes patchy loss of vision that varies in severity from patient to patient.  Most patients with glaucoma are not aware of problems with their vision.   This is because the damage that occurs with glaucoma has a slow time course and the central vision (for reading and recognising people) is only affected when glaucoma has advanced to a late stage.

Without treatment, the loss of vision in glaucoma is permanent, but with early treatment, the damage to vision can be minimised.

Even when central vision is still good, glaucoma may affect the vision needed for driving and getting about (for instance, seeing steps).  Blindness from glaucoma is rare.  If blindness does occur, it is usually because the glaucoma is already advanced when it is first diagnosed, because the eye pressure has not responded well to treatment or because patients have not taken their drops regularly.

Risk factors other than high eye pressures include increasing age, being short sighted, having a first degree family member with glaucoma (particularly siblings) and being diabetic.

If you are concerned about glaucoma or have been identified as being at risk we can provide a NICE compliant  diagnostic examination performed by Dr Adrian Jones that will provide you with an diagnosis and treatment if required.

Alternatively, if you already have been diagnosed with glaucoma and no longer want to have the inconvenience of attending the hospital for your follow up visits, we are able to provide NICE compliant follow up at a time that is convenient to you.

We comply fully with the recently published guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on diagnosing, treatment and monitoring of patients with glaucoma or whose at risk of developing the disease.

For more in depth information about glaucoma visit the International Glaucoma Association website.

Givenchy 2012 Frames

They’re finally here, after a long wait due to stock problems that majority of the 2012 Givenchy frames have arrived this week.  Was the wait worth it? Most definitely: exquisite, chic design and top quality as you would expect from this leading design house.

Research into design and refined materials are the key features of the new Givenchy eyewear collection, developed under the creative direction of Riccardo Tisci.  Rich in high stylistic content, the Givenchy eyewear collection expresses a bold and alluring femininity that is in line with the spirit of the French Maison, presenting retro opticals that draw inspiration from prêt-à-porter themes.

Givenchy, founded in 1952 by designer Hubert de Givenchy, is an international luxury brand known for its haute couture, ready-to-wear collections for men and women and fashion accessories. Its iconic little black dress became a rage all over the fashion world after Hollywood actress, Audrey Hepburn wore it in the old classic, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

Hubert de Givenchy retired after forty-three years of fashion design.

Since 2005, Riccardo Tisci has been appointed Artistic Director of the women’s haute couture, ready to wear and accessories collections. In 2008, his contract was renewed, expanding to menswear and its accessories. Aristocratic and distinctive, sober and mysteriously sensual, he has tenaciously built a coherent, modern universe at Givenchy, firmly anchored in the company’s illustrious heritage, but determinedly forward-looking.

New: Zuma London

In our quest to find new, fresh and innovative frames to stock, we stumbled upon these fabulous rimless designs from Zuma.  They are a small but rapidly expanding London design house, we were blown away by the quality and attention to detail these guys have.  Plus it’s great to be able to support British design and manufacturing.

Zuma is the essence of London inspired eyewear design.  Concepts created by exciting new designers from the Royal college of Art and the London Institute of Art working closely with Optical professionals and product engineers, we always aim to deliver fresh exciting designs with a chic appeal.

Zuma means balance, and balance means Zuma.  At the centre of our design core, in our designer DNA, is the aim to balance the excitement of bold and the bright with the clean and classic.  The culmination is the delivery of frames that enhance the face with comfort and style.