When someone loses their vision, they could be a risk of suffering from a condition called Charles Bonnet Syndrome. This condition causes someone to "see" things that are not there. These have been termed visual hallucinations which can be in both black.white or colour and can last just moments or hours These hallucinations can include
Now can you imagine experiencing this and then telling a family member or friend? Without any knowledge of the condition Charles Bonnet Syndrome, that family member or friend could think you have lost your mind! Being misunderstood, as you can image, can really make someone feel sad, isolated and hopeless. Often in the case of Charles Bonnet, people suffering don't tell anyone as they don't understand what is happening themselves. They have not been informed of the condition from their optometrist or ophthalmologist. They don't want to tell anyone and suffer in silence.
And sadly this is the case of this beautiful lady pictured here, Mrs Bessie Simpson.
Bessie was my grandmother - my Mamie, as she was called. Mamie developed wet macular degeneration in one eye years ago when injection treatment options were not available in her rural community in Georgia (USA). She became legally blind as the other eye was born weak and never saw much. She lived alone but began seeing things in her house. She rang my dad in the night to say children were in her house. Having owned a day nursery for many years, the family thought she was having dementia and recalling memories from her past. She saw other things as well..some nice..and some not so nice. Due to the hallucinations and failing eyesight, she was forced to move in with family and in a short time passed away.
When my grandmother lost her vision, I was a student at the time studying optometry. While I learned much about wet macular degeneration - causes, treatments and best patient advice - I learned nothing of Charles Bonnet. And it was only after she passed and I began working as an optometrist in low vision did I learn more about it. And it is because of my Mamie, that I take extra time with patients suffering vision loss and at risk of vision loss. I explain to them what Charles Bonnet Syndrome is and what to look out for. I also advise them to educate their family as well.
While there is no cure or treatment for Charles Bonnet Syndrome, there may be some things you could do to help when having the visual hallucinations.
Today marks 16th of November marks Charles Bonnet Syndrome Awareness Day. If you or someone you know has suffered any vision loss, please read more about the condition at https://www.rnib.org.uk/your-eyes/eye-conditions-az/charles-bonnet-syndrome/.
Today is World Menopause Day
After much silence on the topic, the "Change" has gone mainstream and we are learning so much more about this condition and its effect on women. Three quarter of women going through menopause will experience symptoms. And for 1/4 of those women, theses conditions will be severe and affecting their day to day life.
Many women may not realise that changes to hormone levels can be associated with eye health conditions.
Dry eyes is main issue we see in peri menopausal and menopausal patients. A personalised treatment and management program is very helpful to the ways the eyes look, see and feel.
What you may not realise is there are other eye conditions associated with loss of hormones. For those with early menopause (<45), the drop in oestrogen has been associated with increased risk of open angle glaucoma. Oestrogen helps to keep the lens in the eye clear and hydrated. With reduced levels of oestrogen, the lens become less clear and less hydrated leading to cataracts.
If you are going through menopause or peri menopause, make sure to get routine eye exams done and speak to your optometrist about any symptoms of eye irritation or vision loss you may be having.
Speak to your GP if you have any symptoms of peri menopause or menopause.
No need to suffer in silence. Help is there.
For more information visit The British Menopause Society.
If you need an eye exam, give us a ring on 01635 528844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every eye is different and consists of unique characteristics such as colour, shape, size and power deviation. Yet it turns out that 98% of all spectacle lenses worldwide have been produced for years based on the calculation of a 118-year-old standard eye model. As a result, only 2% of the world’s population wear glasses that exactly match their eyes. There is room for improvement.
Thanks to B.I.G. Vision® from Rodenstock, we are now able to make lenses that are tuned to the exact biometric data of each individual eye. In doing so, we go far beyond the current standard in optics. The result: the sharpest possible vision experience, because the lenses are attuned to the unique characteristics of both your eyes.
Biometric data makes the difference B.I.G. stands for: Biometric Intelligent Glasses. We examine your eyes with Rodenstock’s high-precision DNEye® Scanner at each routine eye examination and use the thousands of data points to precisely map both of your eyes. This involves measuring your personal and biometric parameters, such as eye length, pupil size, their reaction to different light conditions and much more.
When all this data is combined, it provides the information we need to produce lenses that are precisely adapted
to the needs of your personal vision.
Our patients with the new Rodenstock B.I.G. lenses report they
If you are interested in learning more about theses new lenses or need a routine eye examinations, please phone us on 01635 528844 or email email@example.com.
Clean makeup refers to cosmetics free from harsh chemicals.
Using clean makeup has great benefits for the eyes. These include having less toxins around the eyes and less chemicals to irritate your eyes. Clean makeup causes less damage to the meibomian glands in lids and less chance of reducing skin cell death. Wearers of clean makeup will have reduced eye and eyelid redness, irritation, inflammation, allergic reactions. They are less likely to have watery eyes, and contact dermatitis (scaley/flakey skin)
And perhaps the best benefit of clean makeup is that it slows signs of ageing… that right…LESS WRINKLES
Many countries are banning toxic cosmetic chemicals. The European Union has banned 1300 chemicals in cosmetics which includes makeup, hair dyes, nail polish, shaving cream, lotions, deodorants and more. The USA has only banned 168 chemicals.
The top 10 toxins to avoid in your personal care products
2. Acetyl hexapeptide-3 (Lipotec, Botox in a jar)
3. Benzalkonium chloride (BAK or BAC)
4. BHA and BHT
5. Butylene glycol and Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)
7. Isopropyl cloprostenate
8. Parabens (methyl-, isobutyl-, propyl-, and others)
10. Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate
Best makeup use for good eye health
Removing eye makeup can be quite a challenge but it is important to use oil free eye makeup remover. While it may dry skin, oil free makeup remover has lots of benefits like
If your eyes are irritated from makeup, you may not only need to avoid products but also benefit from seeing your optometrist to treat any eye redness and irritation and calm the eyes down.
If you have any questions, please call 01635 528844 to book in to see one of our optometrists.
Weekend over and back to the work week means more coffee for some of us.
Coffee in moderation won't hurt the eyes but drinking too much can cause a problem. The dreaded EYELID TWITCH!
If you have ever had an eyelid twitch you know how annoying it is. You can not concentrate on anything else. And you are convinced everyone can see it.
This condition is called lid myokymia. It is a benign condition that is related to...
- too much caffeine
- too much nicotine
- lack of sleep
- too much stress
Got one, two or all of the above? Remember to reduce your caffeine or nictine and get more sleep in you can. Work on ways to reduce your stress if at all possible. Easier said than done, I know.
Alternatively, you can also sip on tonic water. Tonic water has a substance called quinine that helps to calm the muscle spams of the eyelid.
Still worried? Book in to see one of our optometrists by phoning 01635 528844 or book online at www.drvalariejerome.com
Snoring can be annoying for your bed partner or others in next door rooms but it can also be a sign of a very serious medical condition.
Snoring is associated with a condition called sleep apnea.
There are 2 types of sleep apnea - central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
OSA happens when the soft tissue of the throat collapses and causes the airway to become blocked. This happens on and off during sleep and causes a decrease of oxygen in our blood flow. There is a pause in the person's breath and then the brain tells them to breathe again and the person gasps. Despite all this happening, the person doesn't wake up.
As you can imagine, the lack of oxygen in the blood flow can have an impact on the way our body's organs work and keep healthy. Heart disease, stroke and even cancers have been associated with people with sleep apnea. But also the eyes are one of those structures affected. Some conditions such as retinal vein occlusion and non-arteritic ischemic optic neuropathy can be associated with OSA. These conditions can cause significant sight loss which can be permanent. Other conditions of the eye related to OSA are glaucoma, keratoconus and floppy eyelid syndrome.
Wondering if you may have sleep apnea? Here are some of the risk factors
🌜Neck circumference of over 19 inches
🌜Others seeing you stop breathing when sleeping
Treatments for OSA include devices to wear in your mouth and/or using a breathing machine called a CPAP when sleeping. Even playing the didgeridoo can strengthen the throat muscles and help make them less likely to collapse when sleeping.
If you are worried about your snoring and having sleep apnea, contact your GP and make sure to let you optometrist know of your condition when you visit for your eye exam.
We have all heard the eyes are the window to the soul. But you should know they are also a window into our body. How healthy our body is doing or how UNHEALTHY our body is doing can show in our eyes. Conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, brain tumour, cancers, high cholesterol are just a few things that can be picked up at a routine eye examination.
So if you are one of the lucky ones who sees great. without the need for glasses or contact lenses, you may not feel the need for having an eye examination - with an optometrist not Dr Google.
Just remember even those with great vision can go on to develop health problems with the eyes. And for many eye related diseases and disorders, vision loss happens.
Want to keep your eye healthy and keep good vision? A routine eye exam at least every 2 years is something you should do.
Some other things you can do to keep healthy eyes...
👁 Eat a diet that is rich in colourful vegetables
👁 Don't smoke
👁 Protect your eyes from the UV from the sun - even on cloudy days
👁 Maintain a healthy weight
👁 Exercise routinely
👁 Take breaks when working on the computer or reading
👁 Protect your eyes and play it safe at work, home and doing sports
If you have great vision, you still can book in - it's ok - go on. Click BOOK ONLINE or give us a call on 01635 528844.
Want to check your vision before coming in for your eye exam? Complete your online vision screening at https://visionscreening.zeiss.com/en-GB
Not all varifocals or progressives are made the same. It's not a one size fits all sort of lens for most people. And golfers are one of those who need special attention to their glasses. For many, every day varifocals or work glasses just don't work on the golf course.
Sports like golf require that you switch your gaze between close up and distance. To keep you vision as comfortable as possible with golf when you wear varifocals, the spectacle lens design needs to be tailored to your particular sport needs. Extra large and balanced distance vision combined with great near vision is needed to help your golf game. From hitting the ball to tracking the ball to keeping the score - all need to be in focus to keep you performing your best.
Once you have your best prescription and tailored spectacle lenses, choosing the right frame is important. Light weight and good fitting is key for any sportsman or sportswoman. In addition, particular care must be made to get the correct tint and anti reflective coating to improve the contrast in all weather. Great UV protection is needed as well to protect your eyes from the sun's harmful UV which can increase the risk of macular degeneration.
For more information, give us a ring on 01635 528844.
Such an honour to be recognised tonight for the Newbury Town Business Civic Award for my work running a volunteer homeless eye care program in conjunction with Newbury Soup Kitchen at their Tuesday Health Clinic at the Salvation Army.
The 25th Annual Newbury Town Civic Awards presentation saw the presentations of
I had the pleasure of meeting lots of others in the local community trying to make a difference to our Newbury. The awards are done every year in recognition of outstanding contributions to the Town of Newbury. Recognising unsung heroes going above and beyond, these awards highly all the volunteers in our area making exceptional contributions.
To check out the full list of winners visit https://newbury.gov.uk/the-council/civic-office/civic-awards.
Special thanks to the Newbury Town Council for hosting the awards in the beautiful town hall.
Special congratulations to all the well deserving winners!
International Women’s Day 2022 was a very memorable one for our optometrist, Dr. Valarie Jerome.
In recognition of her strong contribution to entrepreneurship, Valarie was among 100 impressive, multi-achieving female business owners, championed by Small Business Britain’s ƒ:Entrepreneur #ialso100 campaign invited to attend a special International Women’s Day reception at the House of Lords earlier this month.
“Meeting so many inspirational businesswomen who have set up and are running small businesses all over the UK in such a historic place was delightful. After 2 years of so much uncertainty and sacrifice for small business owners, it was refreshing to celebrate coming out the other side of the pandemic with fellow entrepreneurs” explained Valarie.
The women enjoyed afternoon tea and networking in Westminster, meeting their peers from ƒ:Entrepreneur #ialso from both 2021 and 2022, as well as special guest speaker Labour MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, who paid tribute to the power of female entrepreneurship.
Dr. Jerome was named an ƒ:Entrepreneur #ialso100 in 2021, in recognition of her inspiring entrepreneurial journey, which has involved opening up her own independent opticians, Valarie Jerome Optometrists, in late 2019 and representing fellow optometrists from the South East of England on The Association of Optometrist Council.
Delivered by Small Business Britain – the leading champion of small businesses in the UK – f:Entrepreneur campaign was launched in 2017 to highlight the stories of amazing female business owners and to help provide inspiration and role models across the wider small business community.
Now in its fifth year, the campaign offers a host of events, training, and networking opportunities to boost skills, capability, and confidence. Recent research carried out by the campaign this month found that, following the pandemic, nearly a fifth (17%) of women are considering entrepreneurship, with 44% of them citing pursuing a passion as a key motivator, alongside 46% wanting greater flexibility.
“To hear the incredible things that these women do, and the impact they are making, not just in their businesses but in their wider communities, is truly inspiring, and underlines that we must do everything we can to support them,” comments Michelle Ovens CBE, founder of Small Business Britain and the ƒ:Entrepreneur campaign.
To see the full line-up of the 100 women featured in this year’s f:entrepreneur #ialso100 campaign visit https://f-entrepreneur.com/fentrepreneur-100/.
Dr Valarie Jerome
Writing and sharing interesting topics affecting patients in their daily life, our practice news and the profession of optometry.