Author Archive for: ‘Ian McLeish’

Christmas Card

Last chance…..

Our delivery mechanism, DX is now closed to us until the new year – we will not be able to get any more deliveries.

As far as we are aware, anyone that has anything outstanding awaiting collection has been told that as of 5.30pm Friday, we are gone for the Holidays, not back until the 3rd of January –


(I’m Scottish, and Scottish folks never work on the 2nd of  January it is the law ).

So please, please collect anything that you need before 5.30pm on Friday – Seeing as Monday is a “Bank Holiday” and we never open on the Saturday preceding one of those, Friday it is!


Have a great holiday, watch your eyes with those Champagne corks, and do not overwear your contact lenses!!


Sligo Cataract Scheme Can Save 20,000 Hospital Appointments And Reduce Waiting Times

(The Association of ) Optometrists say Cataract Waiting Times Highlighted in RTE Investigates can be solved!

Optometrists have today said that lengthy waiting times for cataract treatment, as highlighted on RTE Investigates last night, can be reduced by making greater use of Optometrists.

Just to be clear, this news is NOT from last night!!

The Association of Optometrists Ireland said that a scheme has been developed and is successfully being applied in the North West called the ‘Sligo Post-Cataract Scheme’. It has proven highly successful in reducing waiting times for patients and in reducing costs in that region.

Under the scheme cataracts patients are co-managed by Optometrists in the community and Ophthalmologists in Hospital. The scheme simplifies the patient pathway and speeds up access.

AOI Chief Executive Sean McCrave called for the Sligo Scheme to be applied nationwide. “AOI together with the HSE has successfully trialled the ‘Post-Cataract Scheme’ in Sligo / the North West and it has proven clinically effective and brought cost savings.

“In the award winning scheme, Optometrists are provided with access to the hospital IT infrastructure and electronic patient records; and provided with training on the specific protocol to follow.

“Instead of two separate follow up appointments, one in the hospital and one with the community Optometrist, patients are given the option of a single appointment with their local Optometrist. This can be made at the patients’ convenience, in a local practice.

“This combined appointment facilitates the Optometrist to examine the eye and carry out a refraction in one appointment and then enter the details on the electronic patient record held in the hospital. “With over 20,000 procedures a year, rolling out the Sligo protocol nationally would reduce out-patient cataract appointments by approximately 20,000 at reduced cost with no capital expenditure,” Mr. McCrave said.

There are 8,500 people currently awaiting cataract surgery and waiting times of up to four years in some parts of the country.

A repost of a press release from the Association of Optometrists Ireland, but the RTE details are here.


Sadly, and perhaps a little cynically, I feel that some eye doctors must have a vested interest in longer waiting times – longer waiting times are better for private work after all?

Christmas Bauble

Please order your Contact Lenses sooner, rather that too late(r)!

As one particular client (let’s call him Jerry) has found out (more than once), Santa cannot deliver contact lenses – he too busy to stop by our suppliers on Christmas Eve! So – please do not try to order lenses on Christmas Eve for Christmas delivery!

All the other “couriers” are also very busy at this time of year, and the suppliers are often closed until the new year, even before Santa’s trip around the world. No other couriers seem to deliver on Christmas day, so to order on Christmas Eve is a little too late, even for Santa!

This is not the “last call” to order contacts for the holidays, but if you might need some, please order them – they can sit until 2018 no worries, if you don’t need them. We do not want to see you stuck!

We have not yet been advised of our last order times from the various suppliers, but we all by now know that Christmas is coming?

(I have got absolutely nothing bought, planned or done as yet – who am I to talk!?)

Use your PRSI entitlement in 2017??

If you do not avail of the new PRSI treatment benefit scheme in 2017, you have lost out?

There has been a significant change to the rules of entitlement to the PRSI scheme – it has been changed from “once every 24 months” to “every second calendar year”. This made no difference in my mind, at all – but Sandra pointed out that if you were to claim in 2017, you would be re-entitled in 2019. If you do not use your entitlement until 2018, you will then need to wait until 2020. Sandra is quite correct that if you need something – glasses or contact lenses, you should arrange to get them before the end of the year, otherwise your 2017 entitlement is gone! It is all about this new rule arriving so late in a calendar year.

Remember that most self employed people are now also entitled to eye tests and help towards glasses or contact lenses, for the first time.

The difference between 24 months and every second calendar year will make little difference in the longer term, but in the short term, you could use your entitlement in December 2017 and January 2019 – that is a claim in the second calendar year. Wait till January (18), and you will need to wait until January 2020.

You can use your entitlement once every second calendar year, but not necessarily at the same time – you can use the glasses/contacts claim in 2017, and still have an eye test in 2018, if you wish, or need one, but you would have no help towards spectacles, or contact lenses at that visit, which is fair I reckon?

This post would probably be of most interest to people who have recently damaged their glasses, or need to reorder their contact lenses for the Holiday Season.

But! We need to know that you want to use it in 2017 – if you call in 2018 to say you should have/ wished you had used it – it will be too late – claims cannot be submitted before the authorisation date! If you do not use the facility in 2017, your next but one claim will be 2020 at the earliest..

Clients who have a Medical Card, but also PRSI entitlement – “Dual Qualification”, can chose to use either entitlement – we would recommend the PRSI route as it is faster – no need to wait 8 weeks for a HSE authorisation. But you are not entitled to use BOTH, apparently – I have asked the Department about the client who used their Medical Card last year, and now wants to use their PRSI, but as yet I have had no response. We are not, never were allowed to “dual claim”, so it is “either or” as we understand, unless or unless that is clarified.

Call us for more information or to book an appointment.

Rp 1182

Saline is not suitable to store contact lenses!

I had a young lady in on Saturday, looking for a contact lens case. She is a student and was home for the weekend, but forgot her case. She had purchased her usual contact lens solution in a nearby pharmacy, but they did not have any contact lens cases.

The solution she had purchased was LensPlus – a bottle of Saline – suitable for rinsing all types of contact lenses. But it is not suitable for storing contact lenses – it has no antimicrobial activity, at all. It is salty water, with a tiny amount of Hydrogen Peroxide, to prevent the solution itself becoming contaminated, but the Peroxide concentration is such that it will not kill bugs on a contact lens, and breaks down rapidly when exposed to light! I advised her that the solution was a bad choice, and that she should return to request a refund, but then she admitted that she had been using that one for ages with her lenses.

I gave her a trial pack of Optifree Puremoist, which has a bottle of correct solution in it, and a case. She was very grateful as “her eyes were killing her”, as she had slept in her lenses.

Daily contact lenses are supplied (Sterile) in salty water, but they are sterile until opened, and (should) only be used once! This student was wearing monthly lenses, which are also sterile until opened. After that first day, they need to be disinfected. Poor advice when she was taught about how to look after her lenses, I guess?

I cannot think of any disinfecting solutions which are supplied without a case these days, so please be aware – if the solution does not come with a new contact lens case in the box, it is likely because the solution is not suitable for storing/disinfecting your contact lenses!

You should probably be using a “multipurpose solution” – suitable to clean, rinse and store (disinfect) the lenses. Her solution was suitable for rinsing only.

Unless you were recommended a different care scheme, such as Hydrogen Peroxide based, which often requires a separate cleaner, and neutralisation before wearing the lenses, either with a different solution in the morning, an added tablet in the evening, or a platinum catalyst in the base of the barrel case, but these are less common these days – I would only recommend these types to people with very “allergic” or sensitive eyes. These solutions often have a red tipped bottle nozzle, to indicate it cannot go into your eyes. I’ve been there, and it SMARTS, more than a little!

Contact lens solutions can be bought in the pharmacy and in the supermarket, but READ THE LABEL, and if you are in any doubt, consult your contact lens specialist?

Best advice I reckon is do not change brands until you check with the optician – the number of people I see who do not know what they are using – “it is a white and blue bottle”, it has a yellow label, it is a square bottle……

Local eyecare for all the family