Look after your eyes this summer

Protect children's eyes from summer sun

As the region basks in a prolonged period of good weather, here at Alex Gage, we’re alerting people to the danger that the sun’s rays pose to eye health.

Alex says: “People know the dangers of hot weather with regard to sunburn and dehydration, but are less aware of the damage that the sun can do to your eyes. The intense ultraviolet (UV) rays associated with strong summer sunlight can damage the sensitive cells in the eyes and this damage may eventually affect vision.

“The eyes are 10 times more sensitive to UV damage than our skin and there are a number of conditions associated with extended exposure to UV rays including cataracts, macular degeneration and some forms of eye cancer.

“Because up to 80 per cent of the eyes’ UV exposure happens before the age of 18, it’s particularly important to protect children’s eyes with a hat and wrap-around sunglasses or UV-blocking contact lenses when they are outside in the sun.

“Even the best quality sunglasses can let UV rays in around the rims, so we recommend buying your sunglasses from an optician as we can advise on the best fit.”

For those of you afflicted by hayfever, sunglasses also act as a physical barrier to help relieve eye related symptoms.

We also stock contact lenses with a high level of UV-blocking at both of our practices at Woodseats and Crosspool. The UV-blocking filters sit right over the cornea and lens of the eye to protect it. Acuvue lenses are proven to block more than 98% of UVB and 85% of UVA rays as standard.

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Remember eye health care during Diabetes Week

Diabetics should have regular appointments with an optometrist in addition to their annual diabetic retinopathy screening – that is our message during this year’s Diabetes Week (11 – 17 June).

Alex stresses that it is not just diabetics that need to be aware of the importance of having an eye examination: “4.5 million people in the UK live with the condition while 11.9 million are at increased risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. Eye examinations are invaluable as they can detect diabetes at an early stage.

“As optometrists, we have an extremely important part to play in educating and reminding patients, diabetic or otherwise, about the importance of having an eye exam.

“During Diabetes Week in particular, I would like to help to raise awareness of the condition. It’s crucial that people understand the seriousness of diabetes, and realise that diabetic people are actually more at risk of developing complications with their eyes.

“This is why we are encouraging diabetics in the local area to make sure they have a routine eye exam every year to keep check of the overall health of their eyes. That should be in addition to diabetic retinopathy screening.”

Diabetes Week runs between 11 and 17 June and the theme for 2018 is ‘#Talk about diabetes’.

Alex added: “You can get signs of diabetes in the eyes such as variable vision from day to day and leaking blood vessels at the back of the eyes if the condition remains uncontrolled for a long time.

“An eye exam can also pick up other health conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.”

Diabetes is a life-long health condition that occurs when the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body can’t use it properly. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells, meaning no insulin is produced. This causes glucose to rise quickly in the blood.

With Type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough insulin, or the insulin it makes doesn’t work properly, meaning glucose builds up in the blood. About 90 per cent of people living with diabetes have Type 2. Both can be life-threatening if not treated and managed.

Retinopathy is damage to the retina and is a complication that can affect people with diabetes. It is the most common cause of blindness among people of working age in the UK.

If you have any concerns about your eye health or you have diabetes and would like to get your eyes examined, please contact Alex Gage Family Optometrist at 857 Chesterfield Road, Woodseats on 0114 274 8582 or at 48 Sandygate Road, Crosspool on 0114 266 7066.

Posted in Alex Gage Crosspool, Alex Gage Woodseats, Children's eyecare, Diabetes, Optician Sheffield, Optometry, Optos digital retinal imaging, Vision | Tagged | Leave a comment

If you’re one of the 17 million motorists who struggles with night time driving, you might be interested in this..

Essilor RoadPilot is available from Alex Gage Woodseats and Crosspool

We have launched a range of lenses designed to help the 17 million motorists who struggle to see whilst driving at night* and can now supply the Essilor RoadPilot lenses that help to reduce night-time glare by up to 90% at our practices in Woodseats and Crosspool.

Research suggests that many motorists don’t feel comfortable when driving at night, with 85% of drivers experiencing glare and 31% preferring to avoid driving altogether*.

Alex Gage said: “At night, multiple light sources impact our vision which makes it difficult for us to adapt to glare. We also suffer from low peripheral vision, decreased contrast sensitivity, increased response time and difficulties in motion perception.

“For some people, simply avoiding night driving is not an option, so Essilor has launched RoadPilot to help motorists stay as safe and confident as possible. RoadPilot is available in single vision and varifocal lenses and wearers experience 90% less reflections from on-coming light and other light sources when driving, thus reducing the risk of accidents.”

According to research from The Royal Society of the Prevention of Accidents in June, 2017, only 25% of all car journeys take place in the dark, yet 40% of collisions happen at night, when the accident death rate increases three fold.

For more information about Essilor RoadPilot, please contact us at 857 Chesterfield Road, Woodseats, on 0114 274 8582 or at 48 Sandygate Road, Crosspool, on 0114 266 7066.

* Source The Eyecare Trust survey 2014

Posted in Alex Gage Crosspool, Alex Gage Woodseats, Eyecare, night driving, Optician Sheffield | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

We’re proud to be participating in a pioneering trial

We’re delighted to share that we have been  invited to participate in a programme that will help to shape the use of contact lenses specifically designed for myopia (short-sightedness) control in children.

We will be working with patients at our practices in Woodseats and Crosspool to test the lenses, follow their usage and collect data for the programme instigated by the contact lens manufacturer CooperVision.

We are now appealing for parents of short-sighted children to come forward to try the MiSight daily disposable lenses that have been proven to not only optically correct existing myopia, but to slow the rate of progression in children.

Alex said: “As our practices are at the forefront of optometry, we are pleased to offer this new product to slow the progression of myopia in children, and use the experiences of participants to support the wider launch of MiSight in the future.

“There is no age restriction but patients must be willing to wear contact lenses and have previously required a stronger prescription each time they have an eye appointment as their myopia worsens.”

According to optical journal Optometry Today, there has been a rapid rise in the prevalence of myopia in the UK over the last 10 years. There are links between myopia and conditions in later life such as cataracts, retinal detachment and glaucoma.

Alex added: “MiSight helps reduce the chances of high levels of myopia developing thus lowering the possibility of developing associated eye conditions.”

At present, eight-year-old patient Emma is testing MiSight at Alex Gage’s Crosspool practice.

Alex said: “Emma’s myopia went from -1.00 to -2.50 in 18 months and at the age of eight, she has many growing years ahead and plenty of time for her myopia to worsen.

“She has taken to the MiSight lenses very well and is a perfect role model for other children wanting to slow down the development of myopia.”

Emma’s mother, Philippa said the lenses have made a difference to her daughter’s sight and day to day activities.

She said: “Although it took a while for her to get used to taking them in and out, she has found that the lenses give her more freedom than glasses to take part in sports and other school pursuits.

“Not only that, but the lenses give her clearer vision and she hopes that they will improve her sight further. Emma would wholeheartedly recommend them to other children in a similar situation to her own, and I think the fact that they are daily disposable lenses helps.”

MiSight contact lenses from CooperVision have been developed as part of their Myopia Management System.

The manufacturer presented the results of a three-year study into the effects of the myopia control one-day contact lenses at the British Contact Lens Association clinical conference in June.

Results showed the lenses were 59% effective in slowing myopia progression in children.

Although the product has not yet been launched in the UK, 50 optometrist practices, in particular those that have embraced myopia management in the UK, are offering the specialist programme.

Parents of short-sighted children interested in taking part in the MiSight programme are advised to contact Alex Gage at 857 Chesterfield Road, Woodseats, on 0114 274 8582 or at 48 Sandygate Road, Crosspool, on 0114 266 7066.

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Two out of five eye tests not up to scratch, according to Which? probe

We were delighted, but not surprised, to read that Independent Opticians came out on top in the latest Which? report into the quality of eye tests.

Independent and small regional stores were the only type of stores we visited that did not carry out eye tests rated unsatisfactory by our expert panel. All of the big chains had at least one unsatisfactory appointment – and some as many as three.

You can read the full story here

Posted in Alex Gage Crosspool, Alex Gage Woodseats, Children's eyecare, Eye Examinations, Eyecare, Independent optician, Optician Sheffield | Leave a comment

Short days, long nights and more news from Alex Gage

Because the UK is closer to the North Pole than the Equator, there are significant variations in the length of our days and nights. These seasonal changes pose a variety of vision-related challenges, which might affect your optimal choice of eyewear.

Low sun The sun is lower in the sky between late autumn and early spring, often shining directly into your eyes. Our sunglasses will reduce dazzle, as well as protecting against harmful ultraviolet light.

Changes from day to night Photochromic lenses graduate their tint according to the amount of light reaching them. They’re very effective as ambient light levels drop, which is also useful when moving between indoor and outdoor environments.

Reflections Wet or snowy surfaces reflect sunshine that causes people to squint and experience discomfort. Polarising lenses lower the risk of headaches from sun glare by reducing reflections, which is especially beneficial for activities on water.

Take care in the dark Low light levels reduce depth perception and colour recognition. These changes may really affect everything from reaction times to fatigue levels, so give yourself (and your eyes) regular breaks.

Winter sports provide a perfect example of how important appropriate eyewear can be. Skiers and snowboarders often wear dedicated sports eyewear with lightweight polycarbonate lenses.

These shatterproof lenses typically come with scratch-resistant coatings for added durability, and protect against reflections and UV light.

Whether you’re choosing sports eyewear or normal sunglasses, ensure each pair of frames fully covers your eyes without any gaps, to prevent sunshine getting through.

Levels of UVA and UVB light actually increase in snowy conditions or high altitudes, so suitable protection is still important in winter. Our range of sunglasses lenses will block both types of UV rays.

Follow this link to read the rest of our newsletter and please pop in to either Woodseats or Crosspool if you have any vision concerns.

Posted in Alex Gage Crosspool, Alex Gage Woodseats, Optometry, Vision | Leave a comment

We’re proud to help a Crosspool junior football team look the part

We are delighted to announce that we have sponsored the two Crosspool Juniors FC Under-11s teams by providing them with rain jackets.

Alex Gage has helped the Under-11s Green and Red teams, who both play in the Sheffield and District Junior Sunday League to look the part for their matches this season.

Team members have been proudly sporting the new black rain jackets, which are in-keeping with their team colours, for training and matches as the autumnal weather closes in.

Alex, who has a diploma in sports vision, has supported the junior football team for three years after he first came across them on the Crosspool community website.

A keen sportsman himself, he said: “We are always enthusiastic about supporting the local community and it is a pleasure to help the youngsters who are taking part in sport in this way.

“They are a talented group of footballers and we’re keen to continue our support as they progress as a team. We hope they enjoy wearing their new jackets and wish them every success for this season.”

Alex previously co-sponsored a rain shelter for the team when they played at Under-9s level.

The Green and Red teams are managed by Matthew Franklin and Ted Baker respectively and train at Tapton School in Crosspool.

Matthew, who has managed the team since they were playing as Under-8s, said: “As a community football team, we are very grateful for the generosity of businesses like Alex Gage Family Optometrist.

“It is thanks to their commitment to local sports that we’re able to operate in the way we do. The players are working very well in their teams, and for this age group, I think success is about keeping it fun for the children. We try to develop life skills, not just football ones.

“On behalf of the boys and the parents, we’d like to say thank you to Alex Gage for sponsoring our kit again.”

Posted in Alex Gage Crosspool, Children's eyecare, Crosspool Juniors, Eye Examinations, Eye studies, Eyecare, Optometry, Sports Vision | Tagged | Leave a comment

Focus on your eye health during National Eye Health Week

Regular check-ups are essential to protect our vision and overall health yet many of us don’t take the time to think about the importance of caring for our eyes, says Alex Gage as National Eye Health Week approaches (18 – 24 September).

Alex and the team at both Woodseats and Crosspool practices are backing the week-long campaign running from 18 to 24 September and are urging Sheffield residents to prioritise booking an eye examination if they do not have one regularly.

Alex said: “Routine eye examinations are crucial for not only helping to detect any problems with your vision, they allow eye health professionals to also check for more general health problems and a wide range of conditions that can lead to sight loss if not treated in time.

“Half of all sight loss cases are preventable – and an eye examination can detect eye disease, such as glaucoma and other health conditions such as diabetes, raised cholesterol, high blood pressure and increased risk of stroke.”

He added: “Raising awareness and educating people about the importance of looking after their eyes through regular testing and better lifestyle choices is absolutely vital to addressing the nation’s eye health problems.”

David Cartwright, chair of National Eye Health Week, said: “Over recent years we have seen how National Eye Health Week can connect with people and promote positive action. An eye test is quick and easy, and for a lot of people, including children and over-60s, is free on the NHS.

“Poor eye health is affecting every aspect of daily life. Our message is clear: people across the UK, of all backgrounds, age groups and genders need to recognise that our vision is both precious and fragile, and thus the risks to it need to be understood, accepted and addressed.’

Last year’s Generation Eye Report, commissioned by National Eye Health Week and Specsavers, found almost 14 million people in the UK have not had an eye test at least every two years as recommended, despite the fact that one in two had expressed worries about deteriorating vision later in life.

To find out about events taking place across Yorkshire for National Eye Health Week and to learn more about the campaign, visit www.visionmatters.org.uk.

Posted in 3D OCT, Alex Gage Crosspool, Alex Gage Woodseats, Behavioural Optometry, Blindness, Children's eyecare, Eye Disorders, Eye Examinations, Eye studies, Eyecare, Glaucoma, Loss of sight, Myopia, Optometry, Optos digital retinal imaging, Vision | Tagged | Leave a comment

Welcome to the team, Sadie!

We’re delighted to share that we have given a permanent job to the optical assistant who first joined us on work experience from school in May 2016.

We have appointed Sadie Bradbury to the role of part-time optical assistant at our Woodseats branch following a successful year long apprenticeship.

Sadie, who lives in Woodseats, said: “I enjoy working here and I’ve learnt a lot from the manager Cara Smith and Rachel Ireson, who is another optical assistant, as they’ve both been here for around 20 years each and they’re very good teachers.”

Having earned her diploma in level two business administration, Sadie is now looking forward to learning more about different lenses.

“We all get on really well and a lot of our tasks require good communication and team work. I get to do a lot of hands-on practical work here which I might not have had the opportunity to do had I worked for a chain optometrist,” she added.

Sadie will continue to work with other optical assistants Rachel and Kate Wilson at the practice, where her day to day tasks include manning the reception desk, dispensing glasses, selling frames, contact lens sales, assisting customers and cutting lenses.

Posted in Children's eyecare, Contact lenses, Eye Examinations, Eyecare, Sports Vision, Vision | Leave a comment

We’re looking for children with myopia to try a new contact lens

We recently attended some fascinating training about a ground breaking new soft contact lens that has been proven by experts at the University of Birmingham to slow the rate of myopia (short sightedness) progression in children. We were thrilled to be invited to be one of  only 50 practices in the UK to be part of the seeding partnership and we have been asked to closely follow the first 10 patients to use the MiSight lenses. So if you know anybody who would benefit from these new lenses and would be happy to be a part of our trial, please contact Alex Gage by e mailing alex@alexgagevision.co.uk with misight and the branch (Crosspool or Woodseats) you want to attend in the subject.

Thank you.

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