Category Archive for: ‘Information’

Glaucoma and Coffee

The latest news is that coffee drinkers may have an increase in risk of developing a particular type of Glaucoma. It isn’t necessarily the coffee, they suspect that caffeine, also found in energy drinks, fizzy drinks, and tea may be the culprit. There is evidence that Exfoliative Glaucoma is more likely in those with a high caffeine intake, though there may also be a genetic issue- not everyone with a high caffeine intake gets it.

Presenting at the 22nd American Glaucoma Society, researchers have stated that more investigation needs to be done to be certain, and for the moment are making no recommendations that people should cut caffeine intake to reduce the risk.

As a coffee drinker, who drinks too much and too strong, I’m off for a decaf.

Medical Card Applications

Medical card holders, unfortunately the waiting time to have a Medical Card authorised for an eye examination remains ridiculously high! The wait was up to nine weeks at the end of 2011, but they may now be reducing- at the moment they seem to be taking 6 weeks or so. This is beyond our control, as is the fact that we are not allowed to see anyone under the scheme without an authorised application form.

You can try to contact the Optical Department in Railway Street, Navan to enquire as to the progress of your application-  (046) 9076432, best of luck with that- apparently they are often too busy to answer the phone these days.

And then- had someone in on Wednesday (22nd) who’s form was received in Navan on 17th February and authorised 3 days later!

Vision Aid Overseas

We are pleased to accept used spectacles for the Vision Aid Overseas charity. The spectacles are checked and measured, and if suitable, bagged up and taken overseas. Volunteer optometrists who test the eyes of the local people may then give those spectacles to a very grateful person who would otherwise have had to live life with poor sight. The spectacles sent overseas all need to be of very good quality- there is no point in giving someone a pair which will fall apart in a few months! If you have any pairs of specs which are no longer used, please consider giving them to this extremely worthwhile cause.

Thanks, Ian

More information about Vision Aid Overseas and a link to their website here.

OptiFog

Optifog Logo

 

Tired of your spectacles steaming up when you Open the dishwasher? Go indoors in the winter? Open a pan on the stove? Exercise?

You get the message, spectacles steaming up is a pain!

Released in January of this year, OptiFog coated lenses from Essilor very impressively eliminate this problem. They really do make a difference- they require about a weekly rub with a special solution which activates the coating, and from then on they hardly steam up at all. If you were to go into a very warm place from a very cold place- into the pub in the evening for example, they may mist very temporarily, but not so much that the wearer would notice, definitely no more removing the spectacles and waving them around until they warm up and demist!

Optifog is available on any and all Essilor Prescription lenses- thinned down, bifocals, varifocals, but is not yet available on the stock range.

And no, unfortunately the activator solution will not introduce this property to your current spectacles, except for a minute or so until it evaporates.

RSA Logo

Driving Sight Tests

D502 Driving Sight Test

In late December 2010 the RSA wrote to us informing us of new standards to which applicants had to be tested. These new standards were introduced November 1st, but they were willing to accept old standards until 1st February 2011.

The new standards require a full eye examination plus central and peripheral visual fields, for which we charge more than a standard eye exam. There are some more tests which were introduced, but have been postponed until the RSA can advise us of the required pass marks for the relevant tests.

However, The Irish College of GPs have interpreted the new standards in a different way to the Association of Optometrists- the ICGP are advising their GP members that if the candidate passes the Visual Acuity test- the old test, and there is no reason to suspect any other problem, then that is all they need to do.

From ICGP’s clarification document- “Thus having tested visual acuity if the doctor is happy with the result and has no other reason for concern re vision there is no need to proceed to or arrange testing for twilight vision etc.”

As members of the Association of Optometrists we are bound to take the advice and guidance of our Association, and therefore cannot continue to provide the old Driving Sight Test, as GPs seem to be doing. Indeed, the Association of Optometrists has written to the RSA regarding the GP’s interpretation of the standards, but as yet has not had a response.

As can been clearly read in the pdf form D502 – EYESIGHT STANDARDS – The examination shall cover the following: visual acuity, field of vision, twilight vision, glare and contrast sensitivity, diplopia and other visual functions that can compromise safe driving.

The whole situation is unfortunate- the RSA has had approximately 3 years to put these new standards into place, and their implementation has been at best rather tardy.

If you notice a large discrepancy between what Optometrists and GPs are charging for a Driving Sight Test, this is the reason- for the meantime you can choose to have the test done wherever you can, but in the longer term it seems that because most GPs do not have the necessary equipment, they may be unable to continue to offer these tests, if and when the RSA clarifies its position.

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