Today is World Health Day – a day to raise awareness on the importance of good health under the support of the World Health Organization (WHO). Wondering what does having good health have to do with your eye health and vision? More that you think. There are some important items to make sure to have on your plate and check off your list in order to keep your vision and eye health at top performance.
Exercise is can reduce your chance of serious medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. These conditions can affect the health of the eyes and the vision. Moderate physical exercise has been linked to a reduction in the development of glaucoma. And age-related macular degeneration risk has been found to be lower in those who exercised three times a week than people who didn’t. Don’t think you don’t have to be a marathon runner to get the benefits from exercise - climbing the stairs or taking a long walk can keep you fit and healthy.
Eating Your Greens
Everyone knows you should eat your veg but when it comes to eyes, make sure to eat your green veg! Vegetables like spinach and broccoli are rich in anti-oxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin. Our bodies cannot naturally make these nutrients that it needs so it is important to get it from your diet. Lutein and zeaxanthin help to protect and maintain healthy cells in your eyes - reducing your risk of chronic eye disease including age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
Found in fruits and vegetables, vitamin C has some positive effects on the eyes. Vitamin C intake may reduce your risk of cataracts. And when in combinations with other vitamins, it can help to reduce your risk for developing age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin C is needed to make collagen used in keeping the eye structures in their best shape.
Just like you protect your skin from the sun, you need to protect your eyes from the UV. Excess UV can cause cause burns to the surface of the eyes, cataracts, macular degeneration and cancer. Just because your glasses are tinted doesn’t mean they are giving you the best UV protection. Make sure your sunnies say UVA/UVB or UV400. Remember even your clear spectacles have good UV protection.
Valarie Jerome Optometrists is proud to carry the sustainable eyewear from Eco and excited to announce their new give away! For a chance to win a pair of Eco sunglasses, participate in our challenge by following these 4 steps...
1. Go through the ol' photo albums from back in the days and find a spectacularly sassy photo of yourself in sunglasses or glasses.
2. Post your sassy self on your Instagram and use #ecoeyewearchallenge and #drvalariejerome (make sure your profile is open for your contribution to be noted).
3. Challenge 3 friends, co-workers or why not family members to participate by tagging them in your post.
4. Follow @ecoeyewear and https://www.instagram.com/drvalariejerome/ on Instagram.
Have fun and Best of Luck!
Lately it’s not business as usual and many professional services have adapted to these changing times.
In eyecare, Virtual At Home Eye Visits are a great solution for those suffering from eye related issues or unable to visit their opticians due to its closure. This can save a trip to hospital - which is no place any of us want to be right now. Plus you can get relief quicker.
In optometry, we refer to this service as TeleOptometry. TeleOptometry visits allows you to get seen by the optometrist at a time that suits you best in the comfort of your own home. No worry about social distancing.
All you need is a smart phone (or webcam) and a WiFi connection. The optometrist sends you all the instructions before the appointment.
Is a Virtual At Home Eye Health Visit what you need? Email or phone for more information.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, as of 22 March 2020 our practice will be closing temporarily to routine eye tests. The health of our staff, patients and the community is of the upmost importance.
I am still available to patients for eye emergencies and can be reached on my mobile at 07771933898. I will be available via video and phone consultations if needed. You may still be able to order your contacts as long as there is not issue with the supply from the manufacturer. This is an unprecedented time filled with much worry and uncertainty. If you have any worries with your eyes or vision, please do not hesitate to give me a call.
I am hopeful but realistically know this may take a few months to stabilise. I will be back open as soon as possible to serve the eye care and vision needs of the community.
From myself and all the staff of Valarie Jerome Optometrists, we thank you for all your support over these first 4 months of the business. I hope each and every one of you are safe and staying well.
All the best to you,
With the news of the possible outbreak of the Coronavirus here in the UK, our practice would like to update our patients. There is sense of worry with many regarding this new virus and how it may impact us living here in the Newbury area. At Valarie Jerome Optometrists, we understand your worry,
We are following and recommending the UK government's guidance to prevent the spread, delay and contain the virus.
To best prevent the spread of infection...
We will continue to maintain the highest levels of hygiene in our practice. Those procedures include...
If you have traveled to any countries in the government's Category 1 specified countries and areas in the last 14 days, we ask that you defer any visits to this practice.
To avoid overcrowding, we are asking for patients to phone in to book for any spectacle adjustments, eye exams/contact lens appointments or for collection of their new spectacles. If you have Apple Pay or contactless, we are encouraging our patients to use that when making a payment.
Any questions, please feel free to give us a ring at 01635 528844.
Michelle has been with us at the practice since Day 1!
She has been in optics for nearly 10 years. You may recognise Michelle from Tesco Opticians in Newbury where she and I worked together.
A lifelong resident of Newbury, when not working Michelle enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. She enjoys knitting and walks with her energetic terrier.
Michelle is here to help you with your frame selection. Michelle is also able to help answer any of your questions about contact lenses use and teach you how to insert, remove and care for your lenses.
In addition to the expertise she has gained from working in optics, Michelle has also worn glasses and contacts for many years. She understands what issues patients may have with poorly fitted contacts and varifocals. She can work with you to solve those issues - even if you haven't gotten them from us. Michelle will tell you it is all about getting the measurements correct when you get fitted the first time so you are successful with glasses or contacts.
Need your specs adjusted? Having issues with your varifocals from another opticians?
Pop in and see Michelle or any of the rest of our team!
The eyes are the window to the soul, so wash them!
This is the slogan for We Love Eyes, a natural and non-toxic products we carry at the practice.
It is the first optometrist-created cleansing system for the eyes and lids.
Don't wear makeup? Do you wear eyelash extensions? Don't have to use mascara with your false lashes?
The lashes and lids still must be kept clean. The solutions are gentle for the most sensitive skin and can be used with false lashes.
Got dry eyes?
Clean lashes and lids will promote less dryness of the eyes by keeping the glands that produce oils for our tears clean and clear and working at top performance.
But I'm a man - why would I need to clean my eyelids?
Cleaning your eyelids gently washes away sources of inflammations such as bacteria, pollen, dust and dirt to help your eyes appear whiter and brighter. The eyelids will look less red. There is also a popular men’s product, the Tea Tree Foaming Cleanser for Men
Don’t forget the wand!
This cleansing brush is the softest brush we’ve felt and is small enough for easy use. Pair the wand with one of the cleansers for the ultimate clean.
Our eyelid and eyelash cleansing spray cleans the eyelids and eyelashes to help improve the appearance of the eyes while being Ph balanced to provide an effective clean.
To purchase and to add this to your nightly cleansing routine, please stop by the practice.
To learn more about We Love Eyes, visit our YouTube channel for an informative video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD0p5gleMaU
What is AMD?
AMD is a common condition that affects many of us later in life. Some can get it as early as their 40s but it is more common in our 70s, 80s and 90s. AMD affects the macula. The macula is responsible for our central vision. The peripheral vision is generally still good but try to imagine going through life only using your side vision. It is very difficult and can be very discouraging to patients as they may not be able to see the face of a dear loved one or read what is right in front of them.
What can be done for AMD?
There are some surgical treatments for wet AMD - that's AMD that has involved a bleed or fluid leak in the back of the eye affecting the macula. For dry AMD there is no treatment. Both conditions - dry and wet AMD - can exist together. And if you have one form, it doesn't mean you won't get the other form. There are some supplements that have been shown to reduce the risk of progression of AMD but it is not certain to work for everyone. Vision loss can be managed by an optometrist or in the low vision clinic at a local hospital. Magnification in glasses can help to enlarge the image but may not necessarily make it clearer. There is a home monitoring test that can be done. This is called an Amsler Grid and should be given to you by your eyecare provider. It can also be downloaded as a PDF online.
Will I develop AMD?
There is a known link of AMD and...
How do I know if I have AMD?
Having routine eye examinations are key to learning if your optometrist suspects early AMD. If you have sudden changes to your vision, get seen right away. With AMD, you may experience...
Why would you see "people" who aren't there with AMD?
There is a condition called Charles-Bonnet Syndrome. The best way to describe it is that with AMD vision loss, you don't really get the whole picture of what is going on around you due to lack of central vision. You may not get all the pieces to the puzzle so to speak. And what the brain doesn't see, it begins to make up. Blind persons can also suffer from this condition. My grandmother lost her sight to AMD and began to see people in her home that were not there. Some of my family wrongly assumed she may have developed dementia and she became very negatively affected by the experience.
Is there any support for AMD in Newbury and West Berkshire?
While the eye consultant works to "fix" the condition and the optometrist or opticians work to give you the best vision with glasses, many people with AMD feel helpless as they just may want some extra explanation and support. Fortunately, Newbury has a wonderful support group for people with AMD. Newbury and West Berkshire Macular Society meet monthly.
For more information visit their website at https://www.macularsociety.org/groups/newbury-west-berkshire-support-group
To find out if you have AMD or any other health condition that could be sight-threatening, book in for a comprehensive eye examination. Phone 01635 528844.
If you’ve popped into the practice on a Tuesday or Thursday, you may have met our newest team member, Karla.
One thing you may have noticed it that Karla is an American too! We met through an American Women in the UK Facebook group and everything just clicked.
Karla has lived in West Berkshire for three years. She moved with her family from a village within the Norfolk Broads, where they lived for 10 years. She was raised in the state of Minnesota, known for its 10,000 lakes, cold winters/hot summers and Prince.
She met her husband on holiday in Mexico in 2007 and hasn’t looked back. They now have two children aged 7 and 4 and she has a step-daughter, 15.
While she is new to optics, she brings the American customer service with a smile and a bubbly personality, which she puts down to copious amounts of coffee.
Karla will be at the end of the phone to book you in for your eye exams or discuss frame selection.
I have often had patient shed a tear or two in the consulting chair either from a worry about their eye condition, having a bad day or perhaps lost a loved one. And with all the tears I have shed and been around lately as my father recently passed away, it got me thinking again about tears – how they are different and what they provide to us.
Tears are generally made of several layers. The lipid layer prevents evaporation. The aqueous layer adds to the optical clarity of our vision and the mucin layer provides additional lubrication. Blinking spreads our tears across our eyes.
There are 3 types of tears – reflex tears, basal tears and emotional tears. Each one serves a purpose and has different components designed to help us at a particular time. Even under a microscope these tears appear vastly different.
Reflex tears are protective. When something gets in our eyes or our body thinks something has gotten in our eyes, the body reacts with supplying reflex tears. These tears act to wash away irritants and fumes like from smoke and also onions. These tears have been shown to contain more natural antibiotics.
Basal tears are our normal tears and present all the time. They act to lubricate the eyes and provide nutrition to the cornea. They also act as a barrier so that things like dirt or sand can scratch the eye.
Emotional tears happen in response to a sadness, grief or fear. Laughing can also produce emotional tears. Studies have shown that this particular type of tear has elevated levels of stress hormones and proteins not found in our normal or basal tears. When emotional tearing occurs and the stress hormone is released, the person can feel a relief or release. Some theories on emotional tears link crying with social bonding.
Whether your tears are for protection, nutrition or a form of release, they are working to help you eyes and your whole body.
If you have a lack of tears this could affect the comfort of your eyes and your vision.
If so, book in for a comprehensive eye examination with our practice.
Phone 01635 528844.
Dr Valarie Jerome
Writing and sharing interesting topics affecting patients in their daily life, our practice news and the profession of optometry.