Saturday, 18 August 2018

UV and you


With the recent wave of summer sun, brings an increase of UV. Come rain or shine, we are always susceptible to the harm of UV rays. In the summer months however, exposure is at its peak! Fight for Sight, an eye research charity found only 1 in 2 of us are wearing UV blocking sunglasses. 

Here are 5 tips to reduce UV damage:

Darker lenses don't necessarily mean better protection! Sunglasses aren't equal in their ability to block UV. So a tint can be purely cosmetic with or without blocking UV well.
Tip: Look for CE marks to ensure your lenses meet the European standard for UV protection. 

It's a common misconception that we don't need protection on cloudy days. This may be true for wearing a tint,as it may not be as bright. UV however can penetrate through the clouds, so is still present, even when the sun isn't shining.
Tip: Day to day spectacle lenses can now be glazed to completely block out the sun's UV, therefore preventing long term damage. So now, clear lenses can give full coverage, all year long.

Have blue eyes? It's true that people with blue or lighter coloured eyes are more at risk of UV damage. Which in turn increases the risk of AMD. This is because lighter coloured eyes contain less melanin, a naturally occurring protective pigment.
Tip: Become familiar with the risk factors that contribute to AMD (Read more about AMD here). 

Sand and water are highly reflective, so they increase the UV levels in the surrounding area. If you're visiting the beach or planning a holiday, be sure to have protective sunglasses ready. 
Tip: Polarised lenses are extremely effective at blocking out glare, giving clear, undisturbed vision even on the sunniest of days. 

Our most vulnerable time, is up to the age of 5. After this our lens becomes more adapted to blocking out UV; so we better protect our retina (the camera film like layer, at the back of the eye). Damage done at this age can contribute to the development of cataracts later on in life.
Tip: Making sure your children have the appropriate sun protection, will help to reduce the cumulative effects of UV damage early on. 

If you are frequently exposed to UV, whether walking the dog or vacationing in warmer climates, you should protect your eyes. Be sure your sunglasses provide good vision, a high level of protection and enjoy the summer!

Matheson Optometrists stock a large range of optical quality sunglasses that give excellent protection against UV light giving you safer more comfortable vision in strong sunlight.We can provide plano sunglasses or have them made to your prescription. Prescription sunglasses are available at Matheson Optometrists from £59.95, including frames, lightweight tinted plastics lenses and UV 400 treatment.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

National Eye Health Week 18-24 September 2017 - CHILDRENS EYECARE

Childrens eyecare

It has been proven time and time again that poor vision equals poor grades. The tragedy is that a simple routine vision examination could detect and virtually eliminate poor grades in some children.

Studies show that 80 per cent of learning is arrived at visually. If the child can't see the blackboard clearly, then the teacher's instruction is limited. Additionally, there are other repercussions to the well-being of a child with poor vision.

Some children will not admit that they can't see for a number of reasons. There is still a stigma that wearing glasses is not cool.

A vision condition can remain undetected when it develops over a long period of time. The child does not notice that they are not seeing as clearly as they should.



NHS_eyes_FINALEXPORT from Dave Mckenna on Vimeo.

Vision screening offered in schools may detect a potential vision condition. However, the typical school eye chart is designed to be seen at approximately six meters and measures how well or poorly the child sees with each eye at that distance. Problems with near vision, eye coordination and focusing ability are among the many problems that may not be discovered in this test.
Due to Government pressure, less visual screening of children of school age than in the past.

We feel a non-sympomatic child should receive an annual eye exam between the ages of 3 and 16. This should increase in frequency if visual problems are detected.

Doing so can prevent most vision conditions from becoming health or learning problems.

All children in the lower third of their class, particularly those with the ability to achieve above their percentile ranking, should be given a complete visionexamination. Every child who, although achieving, is not performing within reasonable limits of individual capacity should receive a complete vision analysis. A child's visual maturity is an important consideration in academic development.

In addition to regular vision care, there are many things that a parent, can do to help a child's vision development.

At birth, a baby can see surprisingly well. In these early months, a baby begins to follow slowly moving objects with his or her eyes and begin to reach for objects. In the first year you can help your child's vision development by :

Changing the position of the crib often and changing your infant's position in the crib to allow the child to respond to light from different directions.

Hanging a mobile outside and above the crib to provide variety and movement.

Keeping reach and touch objects within baby's focus.

Talking to your baby as you walk around the room, giving him or her a target to follow and helping associate hearing with seeing.

Allowing your baby to explore many different textures and shapes with his or her fingers.

Providing toys, stuffed animals and other objects with texture and detail. Vision is one of your baby's most precious senses. As your child grows, much of what he or she will learn will depend upon vision. The most important thing a parent can do is to start their child on an early vision care program.

Eye alignment and muscle balance may be the most important areas for optometrists to assess. Using light reflexes, toys and playing 'peek-a-boo' while covering and uncovering the infant's eye allows optometrists to evaluate the amount and smoothness of eye movement that indicates proper eye alignment and muscle balance.

Using a retinoscope, optometrists can observe the light movement within the pupil and by holding lenses in front of the child's eyes determine, quite accurately, any out-of-focus condition present in the child.

Eye health can be monitored at a very early age. Using toys, games, colourful objects and lights, the examination can be quite enjoyable for the child.

It is recommended that children have their first eye examination by age three.


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Matheson Optometrists Recent Macular Society Talk

Recenly, on Friday 2nd June. Andrew Matheson gave a presentation to  the Macular Society at Haslemere entitled  “Dry eyes, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, and Retinal Detachment”. This was very well recieved and provided an update on perevious talks and whats new in our community specialist therapeutic optometry clinics in Hampshire. Videos of various procedures such as intra-vitreal injections and the fitting of amniotic membranes which enlightened members of the society and also provided reassurance that things have moved on in recent years and these procedures are much less invasive than in the past. These and other educational videos can be found on our youtube site

Andrew and Claire Matheson demonstrated various low vision aids including the new USB Colour Monomouse that can plug into a laptop or other computer. A Television version is also available. These can be ordered on an impressive new scheme, found at

Brieley the manufacture have a club you can join ensuring you always have the most up to date equipment. Find out more here.

At the end of the meeting the macular society made a collection that raised more funds for the Returning Vision/Sight 2020 Africa cause, unabling more visually deprived Africans to regain their sight.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Flashes and Floaters - New educational video by Matheson Optometrists

What should you do if you do notice flashes or floaters in your vision? We hope to give you a better understanding of the reasons that you may experience these symptoms. 

This educational video is intended to enlighten patients about the symptoms of flashes and floaters and what they mean.

What should you do if you do notice flashes or floaters in your vision? We hope to give you a better understanding of the reasons that you may experience these symptoms. 

The symptoms of retinal detachment vary enormously. The most common symptoms will include flashing lights in the periphery of vision, floaters (particles interfering with your normal visual scene which sometimes look like a fly in front of your eyes or opaque dots or squiggles in the way of vision which move when you move your eye) and veils or cobwebs blocking vision.

Dilation involves drops which make your pupil big so your optometrist is able to assess the back of your eye right out into the periphery. We do not recommend that you drive for several hours after you have a dilating drops in your eyes as they can affect vision and cause uncomfortable and distracting glare. You may experience large pupils and more sensitivity to light for up to a day though most symptoms have usually resolved after 6 hours. The optometrist will complete an inner-eye examination, visual field check, pressure check, vision check and often advise an OCT scan to rule out other causes. If you are found to have a tear, break or detachment of the retina, the optometrist will get in contact with you local hospital eye department to arrange an ophthalmologist review.

Retinal detachment has several causes. It is normal that inside of the eye is filled with a jelly called the vitreous. As we get older it is normal for the jelly to pull away from the retina and become more liquid-like. Sometimes the jelly is attached in certain places more than others. When the jelly pulls away, letting go of the retina it is called a posterior (back of eye) vitreous (jelly in the eye) detachment (lets go).

When the jelly in the eye pulls on the retina at a weak link (usually at the periphery) and does not let go, the retina can tear causing a retinal detachment.

As mentioned earlier, you are more at risk of retinal detachment if you are a moderate to high myope (short-sighted/ minus prescription), if you have a family history of retinal detachment, previous retinal detachment in either eye, trauma to the eyes, cataract or other eye surgeries or diabetes.

Differential diagnosis- there are other reasons why you might experience flashing lights and floaters in your vision. These include but are not limited to:

Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD)
Migraine with aura
Vitreous haemorrhages
Vitreo-macular traction

Information relating to these conditions can be found elsewhere on our website.

Treatment- If the tear, hole or detachment is small and peripheral, it is often treated with laser, which can act like glue, holding the remaining retina in place. If it is larger or the macular is affected, surgery maybe required. This may include using gas or silicone to push the retina back into place. Your treatment will be planned in consultation with a retinal ophthalmologist.

If floaters are due to PVD (posterior vitreous detachment) only with no retinal detachment this normally does not require treatment as many people stop noticing floaters after a period of time. This maybe because floaters break up or because our brain stops noticing them.

It is possible to have persistant floaters removed by having a Floater-Vitrectomy if they are centrally placed and affect your vision adversely. This operation carries risks which vary from individual to individual. It is important to discuss this fully before proceeding with surgery.

You may be referred privately or through the NHS. You may choose the consultant you see, be seen quicker and may have faster treatment through a private consultation.

If you experience new flashes or floaters in your vision, or veils, cobweb appearance or reduced vision, you should be seen as soon as possible. Do not wait to see if the floaters disappear as they could be an indication of a more serious condition. A retinal detachment is a medical emergency!

Further information can be found on the Matheson Optometrists website.

A list of local surgeons can be found in our eyecare providers section.

You may also wish to visit the informative site


A new drug, currently in clinical trials, could potentially treat both macular oedema and wet AMD
The clinical trial of a new drug, known as ‘SF0166,’ has launched in the US in a study of 40 patients with diabetic macular oedema (DMO), alongside a second for those with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The early-stage study will primarily monitor how well the patient groups tolerate the drug, as well as give an initial overview of how effectively it worked over the two-month trial for each disease.
A key feature of the new pharmaceutical, which was developed by pharmaceutical company SciFluor Life Sciences, is that it is able to reach the retina in high concentrations when used topically – in contrast to current anti-vascular endothelial growth factor drugs that must be injected.
SciFluor’s vice president of research, Dr Ben Askew, told OT that: “Getting something to the back of the eye is the challenge.”
However, the potential drug has an advantage over other medications of its kind as it is highly water soluble and is also “greasy,” he explained, adding: “We have been able to fine-tune the properties of the drug.”
Patients will either receive a low, high or no dosage of the medication, which they will administer themselves for 28 days. The DMO study is expected to conclude in February, with the results to follow.
Dr Askew outlined that ‘SF0166’ works by interrupting the body’s response to the “abnormal signals” of DMO and wet AMD, which the eye interprets as a lack of oxygen.
He highlighted that, if successful, the drug could be used to complement or even replace current therapies.
“This is fairly early stage in terms of clinical trials but we’re cautiously optimistic that this will offer a real advantage,” he concluded.

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