Self Employed and PRSI

We are still getting lots of folks in looking for an eye test, privately, who are not aware that they may be able to use their PRSI contributions.

Mostly these are the self employed who are used to getting nothing, but this has changed now – even the self employed, and their dependant spouses may now be entitled to “Free” Eye Examinations, if you, or they are paying the necessary Class “S” stamp. You don’t need to know, or ask the accountant – we can check with your date of birth and PPSN number, with your consent…. Well if is YOU who is paying it – dependent spouses will need to send off a form, as they require their partner’s consent to seek eligibility. That is Data Protection gone slightly mad for you?

It takes a moment or two to check eligibility, but the number of folks we have had who were surprised that they were qualified – “No I won’t get that” – “Let us try”, and then it does qualify… You have nothing to lose in trying it! And no thanks for not using it…

We would charge more for a private eye test than the government pays us – it really would be in our interest to not try to save you money. But regular eye tests are important. If you qualify for Optical benefit, the eye test is funded, and you will also get a contribution towards specs, should you need or want them – distance and reading if required, or bifocals / varifocals if preferred.

But only once every second calendar year.

Today we also had a lady who was working, but also recently had a medical card, but that was under review, and she had heard nothing. We tried her PRSI, and it qualified, so as far as Optical benefit goes, PRSI gives the same entitlement, and authorisation in less than 60 seconds in her case – why send a form to the HSE and wait weeks, unless you have to?

I am sure the medical card will be useful to her, if she is re approved, but at the opticians, not so much any more.

Everyone, spectacles wearers or not, should get their eyes checked every 2 years. Eye tests are especially important for the over 40’s, and particularly those with Glaucoma in the family, but is true for everyone.

Call us or call in for more information!


“Our” Location—

Out location has changed many times – according to Google.

As has Heery Agri and ATVs, Tunnyduff National School, even Black’s Butchers and Deli has apparently moved according to Google’s map!

I have no idea why this seems to happen on a regular basis. Blacks is between the Bailie Hotel and the post Office. On Google’s current map, it seems to show between Anne Street and SuperValu – at least onĀ  the Google map I can display on my website….

Our location in Bailieborough

Our location in Bailieborough

Heery’s is not on the Main Street, at all. Boyle Sports might also like to have a look at their Bailieborough location. Bailieborough is the Twilight Zone for Google Maps apparently?

If you were to look at the Bailieborough Post Office, directly at it, you would see a door to the right hand side on the wall perpendicular to their front door. That is us! Despite Google’s best intentions, requiring three or more updates to set them back to correct, we are still there! But perhaps not on “their” map which I can display?

Got to contact Goggle again, now they seem to be zooming my map Grousehall, which might be fine, if I wanted to find my way home…though that may be my personal details – Chrome shows different versions compared to Edge, IE and Firefox.

Still there are soo many errors on this tiny map.

For us, look at the Post Office, look right, and THAT IS US!!

Come on in!

PS There is a door handle that you need to depress to enter – this seems to catch out many clients, for some reason…?

Last maps I looked at had Black’s somewhere between Anne Street and Supervalu, but the latest map I am viewing, in Firefox, has no Blacks at all!

And no Nico’s, which was there previously…

What is going on…..

Must ask Niamh Smyth, our local “fixer”, not that even Niamh could take on the might of Google!

I might be late to work tomorrow?

It is looking like it may be a slight “snow day” tomorrow?

Vicky and I were down in Beaumont hospital today and the roads were fairly white at the end of the dual carriageway to Virginia. That was at 6.00pm, but it has snowed a fair bit more in Killinkere? Traffic from the N3 to Bailieborough is very slow at the moment, but it is “early days”….

Just an FYI – If you intend to call to us tomorrow, please don’t call in at 10.00 am. It may, or may not cause me to be later than normal. If the snow is that bad – if I cannot get out of our lane, I’ll update in the morning. If that is the case I will also let you know when I do get there!

I’m on my own on Wednesdays, but as Sandra lives close by, on a bad day that is of little relevance to getting to work – if I can’t get there, neither will she.

Just in case……?

The forecast doesn’t seem too bad, but forecasting is predicting theĀ future, which is difficult.

I will update if there are any problems – need some winter tyres!

I’ll update if there are issues….

At least we have a standard!

In the U.K. as elsewhere there are minimum eyesight standards required to obtain a driving licence. This requirement is checked when the person sits their practical driving test -they need to be able to read a car number plated at 65 feet, 20 metres. However, this check is done once (unless you need to resit the driving test), and from then on, it is up to the individual to inform the DVLA if there are any reasons their sight, or other health issues might cause driving problems.

But how many people will willingly advise the DVLA?

I once saw a young lady in the Tennent Institute of Ophthalmology in Glasgow. I was measuring her field of vision using a Humphrey Field Analyser, which checks peripheral (round about) vision. She had a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, which caused her to have severely restricted peripheral vision. As I recall she had about a central 10 degree of vision, but little or no peripheral vision. This is what “tunnel vision” is.

This young mother knew that she should not be driving, but she still was. She admitted that she would clip a few kerbs and wing mirrors, and would NEVER drive with her kids in the car. It was unsaid, but I am sure she was aware that there were plenty other peoples kids around who were not in her car. She had been advised not to drive, but it was up to her to involve DVLA about that.

I have complained a good few times about the implementation of the updated Irish vision standards for driving, though these varying requirements now seem to have settled down, pretty much to what they were before the changes.

But at least there is an enforced standard here, which is what the UK is thinking to implement, so everyone on the road in Ireland should have adequate eyesight.

There is a report here from the AOP in the UK about driver’s vision, and a later similar topic from the BBC.


Optic Nerve Haemorrhage At 4 OClock

Glaucoma Suspects and Continuity of Care

Optic Nerve Haemorrhage at 4 to 5 O'Clock position

Optic Nerve Haemorrhage at 4 to 5 O’Clock position

I recently had a lady in who was last tested by us 7 years ago, but returned to us having visited an optician’s chain, twice apparently. Her last eye test was two years ago. She complained that her glasses were “never right”. Though they were not “not right enough” to complain, or have another eye test, until they broke.

She admitted that she was supposed to return to that optician’s after six months for a check up, but did not bother, and claimed to not remember why she should return.

One of her eyes showed classic signs of Glaucoma- she had a loss of optic nerve tissue in a specific area of the optic disc, and a flame shaped haemorrhage at the same place. Visual field testing was full- there seems to be no loss of vision in the eye which I suspect has a problem- this means that (IMHO) it has been detected early enough – flame shaped haemorrhages are incredibly suspect for glaucoma damage, and we will refer her on via the GP to see a specialist.

The Ophthalmologist specialist perhaps will not agree with me, but an optic nerve haemorrhage at an area of disc loss is very, very suggestive of Glaucomatous damage to the optic nerve. There were also other changes which were evident from the previous records, which also showed an increase in the cupping of the optic nerves – indicative of progressive (damaging) changes.

The Optic Nerve connects your eye to your brain, and is therefore rather important for your normal vision!

This elderly lady should have understood why returning in six months was required, it should have been explained in a way she understood, though perhaps it was and she just does not remember…..

Being a Glaucoma suspect is not the end of the world – it is an easily controllable eye problem. But first you must be diagnosed, and then controlled – slowly go blind, or put drops in the eyes at bed-time, maybe twice a day?

Hmmm – SLOWLY (AND PAINLESSLY) GO BLIND, or put drops in my eyes – I would rather not have to put drops in my eyes every day, but it is I think better that SLOWLY GOING BLIND!?!

My first suggestion, to most of my clients would be pick an optician, and stick with that optician – otherwise no-one will get to know your eyes!

This post is not “touting for business” – it is a suggestion that you should stick with the same Optometrist, the one who know your eyes and sight the best – the one who has your previous records!

My number two suggestion, which perhaps should be number one, is to regularly compare the vision from each eye individually, and call an Optometrist if there is any distortion or anomaly in either of the eyes.

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