Monday, 21 January 2019


A pre-registration year with Matheson Optometrists?

My name is Erica and I'm currently pre-reg here at Matheson Optometrists. I'm in the early stages of pre-reg but can not believe the amount of experience I have already gained.

Training at a Matheson practice is a pre-reg like no other. The patient care is what brings optometry to life and is just how I imagined practice life to be while studying at University. Having a supervisor with IP (independent prescribing) has meant we care, treat and monitor a lot of pathology in house. Patients can be treated or prescribed for during clinic, with others referred to closely linked hospitals.

There are a few practices within the group and we work between a mix of them all. Meaning no two days are ever the same. They are fast paced clinics, which often require you to think on your feet and be ready for new challenges. We manage RGP patients, BV problems, pathology and are also involved in glaucoma monitoring schemes.

Within the first few months of testing, I've checked pressures on a patient with the Goldmann tonometer. Practiced my Gonioscopy skills with the other optometrists. Removed an ingrown eyelash and seen lots of interesting cases and OCT's first hand. The qualified Optometrists are always sharing more complicated cases for us to learn and discuss.

If this sounds like the pre-registration experience you would love then please email your CV and a covering letter to Andrew at Tell us what you enjoy about Optometry and why you think you'd be a good fit. There is always something new to be learnt, so it's key you are looking to develop yourself as an optometrist and hone your skills.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

J&J Join Contact Lens Recycling Revolution

Contact lens giant, Johnson & Johnson recently announced their recycling scheme. In a similar fashion to Matheson Optometrist, they have public collection points for lenses. Patients simply collect their lenses in a box at home and drop them off in practice. The foil seal, plastic blister case and soft contact lenses can all be kept together! 
We are excited and proud to be pioneering the field with the environment in mind. You can drop off your used lenses at any of our practices. 

The small pieces of plastic break up and pollute the environment, often when patients flush their lenses down the toilet. We wrote a blog post in more detail about this, which you can read here. 

Let us know what you think of our recycling collections on our Facebook page!

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Woman Mistakenly Given Erectile Dysfunction Cream for Eye

A woman in Glasgow was treated in a local A&E department after using Vitaros an erectile dysfunction medication instead of VitA-POS to treat her eye condition. The mix up caused chemical burns to the cornea according to a report.

Healthcare services now look into using block capitals for written prescriptions. Dr Edington commented, "Prescribing errors are common, and medications with similar names/packaging increase risk."

It was unusual that the prescribed erectile dysfunction cream, for a female had not been questioned. On discovery of the blunder, the patient was given antibiotics, lubricants and steroids. She showed good response to treatment and is recovering from the mild chemical injury.

Friday, 21 December 2018

New Red Light Macular Degeneration Treatment!

New treatment for macular degeneration?

New research has been found not only to improve vision but also reduce the size and number of the debris built up at the back of the eye.

This amazing new light therapy increases blood flow and stimulates the mitochondria in cells to regenerate. The process  uses infra-red light to target tissues. Retinal cells are one of the most energy dependent cells in the body. The therapy light penetrates deep into the layers of the skin and increases energy production and signalling of these cells. The red light also reduces oxidative stress associated with smoking and can reduce inflammation.

Researchers used a sample of damaged retina and treating with the red light they saw a huge improvement. A seven fold reduction in the  release of VEGF, the growth factor which causes retinal damage. Left alone, VEGF stimulates growth of new, weak vessels which can leak and rupture. The light works by regulating signalling molecules, necessity for make energy and repair. The light therapy improves the cells ability to remove trapped waste built up in the retina and better repair from this damage.
Photobiomodulation (PBM) involves
the use of visible to near-infrared (NIR)
light (5001000 nm) produced by a
laser or non-coherent light sources such
as light emitting diodes (LEDs) applied
to the body to produce beneficial cellu-
lar eects. Light in this range penetrates
tissue depending on the wavelength and
stimulates cellular function via activa-
tion of photoacceptors (Rojas et al.
2008; Tata & Waynant 2010; Rojas &
Gonzalaz-Lima 2011).
Published studies demonstrate that
mitochondrial cytochrome C oxidase
(CCO) is a key photoacceptor of light
at these wavelengths and improves blood
flow and ATP formation, enhances O
binding and reduces oxidative stress and
inflammation (Karu et al. 1995; Karu &

The National Eye Institute has received funding to support randomised trails in Canada, thanks to the results of these studies. The promising new treatment has many potential uses outside of optics too. Red light can be used to repair diabetic wounds, arthritis, as cancer radiation protection, in dentistry and even sports medicine.

Tests on animals showed good results and have no moved onto human subjects at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. Patients who have undergone PMB, have noted an increase in vision. Being able to see further down the chart as well as improvements in their ability to see contrast.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Seeing Success in Gene Therapy Trial! Choroideremia

Gene Therapy Success!
A trial for choroideramia gene therapy has been reported. 14 patients at Oxford Eye Hospital received injections of a virus containing the missing gene, into the eye.

Significant improvements to vision were found across the group of patients. 12 maintained or even gained vision, which remained for up to five years. Of the untreated eyes, only 35% sustained vision.

"I was going into the operating theatre and having my eye injected with a virus that was used to insert the correct DNA into my cells so that the missing protein was produced. After the operation, I had my month one test. When I was doing the usual eye chart test, I had a lightbulb moment. I realised that I was about to go on reading past a point I had not reached in a decade.

I read the equivalent of four lines on the eye chart more than I could before. I was sitting there reading and I had tears just streaming down my face with this massive grin" - Joe Pepper, a Surrey teacher on receiving gene therapy.

This research will hopefully pave the way to future breakthroughs, for other eye diseases including macular degeneration.

Choroideremia is a condition that causes progressive loss of vision. Mainly affecting males, the first symptom is usually night blindness. Patients often feel their vision is not as good in low lighting, often starting from early childhood.

The visual problems are a result of loss of the cells that pick up light and also the choroid blood complex surrounding,this is also known as atrophy. As the condition progresses, visual field loss can follow, narrowing to leave tunnel vision. Fine detail or acuity can also be lost over time.Generally vision can decrease over time, but the severity each person experiences can vary.

Choroideramia is caused by mutated genes, specifically the CHM gene. CHM gives instructions and attaches to other molecules called Rab proteins inside cells. A mutation causes a cascade of events which mean the Rab proteins can not reach or attach to the correct area (organelles inside the cells), cells then die off prematurely.

An X-linked recessive pattern. The X-chromosome, one of the two sex chromosomes, are found as pairs in females XX and XY in males. So males only require one copy of the mutated gene to cause the condition, while females need two mutated copies. Women with just one copy are called carriers, they generally will not have symptoms of choroideremia but may show small areas of cell loss during a thorough eye examination. Though these changes may affect vision, but later on in life.

It's estimated that choroideremia affects 1 in 50,000 to 100,000 people. It has been noted that they condition may go underdiagnosed because it shares similarities with many of eye disorders.
Of all causes of blindness, choroideremia accounts for 4%.


Monday, 29 October 2018

Don’t Flush It!!...... .....Recycle It!!

Don’t Flush It!!......

                                                                                                   .....Recycle It!!

For most people it is much better for their eyes if they replace their contact lenses frequently, often on a daily basis is best. Doing so produces plastic waste both from the contact lenses and the blister packs and cardboard packaging they come in.

 Recent research indicates that possibly 20% of contact lens wearers dispose of their used contact lenses by flushing them down the toilet or sink. There are 5 million contact lens wearers in the UK.

Fragmentation of contact lenses into microplastics (particles less than 5mm in size) within a wastewater treatment plant can occur that can then result in microplastics pollution of our rivers and oceans. UK rivers have some of the highest concentrations in the world. In fact the river Tame at Denton in Greater Manchester has the world’s worst recorded micro-plastic pollution, according to a study in march 2018 at University of Manchester. It recordedover half a million – 517,000 particles – per square metre, more than some of the worst rivers in the Far East.

The problem is due to the fact that the plastics do not degrade, merely breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces over time. Microplastics have been shown to have a negative effect on the health of some forms of sealife, even sometimes causing death.

Because bottom feeding sealife which injest these microplastic particles form part of the food chain it is likely that these particles will affect birds and animals higher in the food chain, possibly humans too.

The flotsam in the pacific ocean, nick-named the great Pacific Garbage Patch has been estimated to be 3x the size of france. 

People think of contact lenses as being too small to cause much of a problem. This is NOT the case. Because so many people are flushing them directly into the water system, they pose a real threat. We must do something about this NOW.

Conventional recycling facilities typically cannot handle contactlenses and their blister packs.

Until now the best advice has been to put your contact lens waste apart from the cardboard packaging into the normal domestic waste bin. 

In this area it will be incinerated at high tempreture producing only carbon dioxide and water. This is less than ideal as it still contributes to raising the levels of greenhouse gases, but at least it produces valuable electricity for the national grid and does not contaminate the atmosphere or oceans.

There is a new scheme now underway at certain forward thinking optometry practices such as the Matheson Optometrists group with several branches in Hampshire, where there are special contact lens collection boxes. People can put there used contact lenses and blister packs into these boxes and they will be sent to specialist recycling centres just for this type of material. This is something we can all do to make a difference by lowering the microplastic polution of our oceans and global warming.

Matheson Optometrists also recycle people’s old spectacles that are no longer required. The are measured and serviced and catalogued and taken with their optometrists to places such as the deprived areas of Eastern Europe and Africa.
                                                            Pic of purple recycling box
Purple collection boxes are available at all Matheson Optometrists practices for this purpose. Childrens spectacles are especially needed for these charitable trips to africa                                                           


Make a difference now, recycle your spex and contact lenses, help the environment and those less fortunate than you in undeveloped countries.

Why not visit the youtube video channel to find out more about these ventures?

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Police Road Side Checks

Seeing correctly while driving is crucial to road safety. It's true that most of us can see while we drive, but are we really seeing everything we need to?

Of course there are the legal requirements to meet, but having sharp vision gives us more time to react to hazards in the road. Police are stopping drivers and conducting road side eye examinations. If your unable to read a licence plate at 20 meters  your licence could be immediately revoked.

Large objects such as cars and road signs may be visible, but this isn't always a true representation of your vision. Having an up to date prescription and protection from glare can improve your vision.

The current UK driving laws only require vision to be tested once. It is then up to the driver personally to notify the DVLA if their vision becomes too poor to keep driving. With this new testing taking place across Hampshire, Thames Valley and West Midlands police the data found will give huge insight into visual standards nationally.

We sometimes forgot that our insurance providers will not hold the agreement if your vision is not meeting the requirement.

It has been great to see so many proactive patients coming to check their vision, book in to see one of our optometrists today.