Perspective Optometrists Camden Cartacats Blog

The cataracts facts: all you need to know about this eye disease

On my way to work one morning, I bumped into a Perspective client who had recently undergone cataract surgery in both eyes. She’s a little young to have developed cataracts and it was a big decision to have the surgery as she has young children.

Over the past few years she had become increasingly dissatisfied with the quality of her vision. She avoided driving at night, couldn’t tolerate her contact lenses and found reading for long periods tiring.

We were able to detect that this was down to her developing cataracts. We monitored her vision and advised when to consider treatment.

But as her vision had deteriorated so gradually, she lost sense of what she was missing. Nothing could have prepared her for the impact of having her cataracts removed. Overnight, she could recognise faces from a distance, read road signs and even colours became more vivid.

She was initially keen to avoid surgery and wanted to delay until it was absolutely necessary. But the positive outcome and impact on her life of having the surgery sooner rather than later made it worthwhile.

Don’t fear change

Change is scary. I get that. In my years of experience as an optometrist I understand that the idea of cataract surgery is terrifying for most of us, including myself.

Some of this is due to being misinformed, so let’s bust some myths on the issue.

Myth: Cataracts are a film that grow on the surface of the eye

Cataracts affect the lens inside our eye. The transparent lens is made of protein and water. When the lens (situated behind the iris inside our eye) starts to become cloudy this marks the beginning of a cataract.

Myth: Cataracts are removed by lasers

I’ve heard this so many times and would love to know where this ‘fake news’ originated. To remove a cataract the lens needs to be broken up, removed by suction and replaced by an artificial lens.

This can’t be done by laser or a magic wand, but cataract surgery is carried out commonly in the UK and has a high success rate.

Myth: Cataract surgery recovery can take months

Most people notice an immediate improvement in their vision after surgery but it can take six to eight weeks for the eye to settle fully.

It’s best not to bend, lift heavy objects or rub your eyes for a few weeks after surgery.

So no bungee jumping, weight lifting or watching weepy movies – but most normal activity can be resumed 24-48 hours after surgery.

Myth: You can use eye-drops to reverse the cataract

They can’t be reversed. Once they start they progress gradually in most cases. Certain lifestyle adjustments can help delay their onset:

  • Stop smoking
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetable for a balanced diet.
  • Wear sunglasses which give UVA and UVB protection and avoid excessive sun exposure.

So, that’s the scoop on cataracts. Hope that’s busted a few myths. Cataract surgery tends to be day-case and straightforward so we’re very lucky that in the UK it can be dealt with so easily.

We’ll check for the symptoms of cataracts during your eye assessment. If you’d like to book an appointment, don’t hesitate to get in touch on 020 7586 5508.

Image credit to the National Eye Institute.


Perspective Optrometrist Colour Blind Blog Post

A question of Perspective: how do your eyes process colours?

An interesting exchange with a client recently made me think about the impact that colour vision deficiency can have and how it might influence your life if you’re affected.

Our client was explaining how his colour vision issue was not detected until he was studying Chemistry at University. More specifically he recalled how he found it difficult to judge the end point of a titration colour change and often his test tube or flask would be overflowing.

Read more

Perspective Optrometrist Shopping Habits Blog 1

Shopping habits: how are they influencing your purchases?

I read somewhere that over 70 years ago Sainsbury’s opened its first self-service supermarket which started a whole new culture in retail.

Self-service has since become the norm but when it was first introduced at the Croydon branch it was such a novel concept that they had to issue instruction leaflets to shoppers to explain how the system worked:

“As you go in, you are supplied with a special wire basket to collect your purchases as you go round.

“As you go out you pay and get a receipted bill and your purchases are transferred to your own shopping bag.”

Before this, shoppers would pass their grocery list to a clerk who would put items together and pack them.

Now, for the first time these shoppers did their own choosing. This changed the retail scene forever and paved the way for:

  • Product placement to tempt impulse buys
  • Greater use of Multi-Buy offers
  • Brand merchandising leading to more choice and competition.

The empowerment of shoppers

As shoppers we’ve all become much more empowered and savvy when finding the best deals and many traditional modes of shopping are on the decline.

Most of us would be lost without the convenience and comfort of shopping online. Whilst technology (online shopping, click and collect, home delivery) can be hugely beneficial it can also be impersonal.

Observing shoppers at my local supermarket, I have noticed that the queue for the human operated checkouts are always full even if the fully automated checkouts are free. It seems we like a fellow human to scan our items and take our payment.

These transactions might be peppered with a chat about the weather or an interesting item in the shopping trolley.

I’m often asked how I cook the tofu that finds its way into my shopping list from time to time. Once I even got accused by the checkout lady of not knowing how to make chapattis because I had tortilla wraps in my basket!

These social exchanges are light-hearted but might be the highlight of someone’s day.

Sometimes too much choice is overwhelming. Scanning shelves of similar looking products will often leave a consumer scratching their head in confusion. The easiest way to buy becomes based on price and product placement, all tactics used by retailers to get certain products in our shopping baskets.  

Does self-service cut it?

When it comes to products that require expert advice, self-service doesn’t really cut the mustard.

In the age of online shopping Apple stores are a big hit precisely because of the advice and experience they offer. When things go wrong with your Apple device or you want a new product, you can visit the store and let someone help you face to face.

Google has followed their lead by opening brick-and-mortar stores. Google’s entire mode of operation is online. It makes billions from selling online advertising.

However to encourage more people to go digital Google has opened a shop with four walls and a door and installed human beings to provide personal service and training – all because they’ve realised the power of providing a face to face skills service.

We think shopping for eyewear should be an immersive experience, where you get to sit down, enjoy a coffee, talk about what you really want from your glasses. Rather than being left to scratch your head in front of rows of similar looking eyewear or buying glasses virtually, we listen, consult and guide you to find glasses that suit your needs and lifestyle.

One thing that’ll never change is our desire to interact with one another. And so I think today and in the future personal and attentive service with a human touch will be the next ground-breaking trend!

Perspective Optometrists Healthy Sight Month Blog 1

Celebrate Healthy Sight Month this February

It seems like every year life gets busier, and sometimes it’s difficult to find time to do the things we know we should, particularly when it comes to looking after our health.

That’s why it’s important to start the year on the right foot by looking after yourself.

After a busy first day back at work I came home to my four-year-old watching a children’s TV show which showed a day in the life of Axel, a trainee guide dog. It really was fascinating to see how they can teach a puppy to act as their owner’s eyes.

The level of restraint and discipline that these dogs have to show was commendable. Even Meghna commented “Axel’s a really good dog isn’t he? He listens to everything his mummy tells him.”

It took some restraint on my part to hold my tongue so that I didn’t compare Meghna’s listening skills to Axel’s!

Pay us a visit this February

This little exchange inspired the idea of making February Healthy Sight Month at Perspective.

If it’s been 12-24 months since your last eye test, this is something you really should do. An eye test will ensure that you look after the health of your eyes.

Maybe you’ve been putting off an eye examination as you feel your sight is fine, but an eye test can bring sight issues to light and detect conditions like cataracts, ocular hypertension and glaucoma.  

So as part of Healthy Sight Month we’re doing two great things this month which are good for you and also good for a great cause.

Sponsor the training of a guide dog when you visit us

If you have your eyes tested in February, we’ll donate all the proceeds from the private eye examinations to Guide Dogs for The Blind.

Guide Dogs is a charity that provides people with sight loss the support they need to move around safely and confidently, to get out of their homes and to live independently. They’re best known for achieving this through their world-famous guide dogs.

Guide Dog Puppy

In more recent years Guide Dogs have extended their work into research which ensures they develop services that people with sight loss want. They also campaign for equal rights, rights that sighted people take for granted. Our goal is to raise £1000 in February to sponsor the training of a guide-dog puppy.

So when you get your eyes examined in February, you won’t only be looking after your vision – you’ll also be helping Guide Dogs for the Blind.

As a thank you for helping us raise funds for Guide Dogs, we’ll also give you a £45 certificate that you can put towards new eyewear (which technically means your eye exam will be free if you get new glasses).

To take advantage of this great offer, get in touch on 020 7586 5508.