Scottish Executive announces Free Eye examinations for everyone in
Scotland (click for more info)
From 1 April 2006 the Scottish
Executive has announced a new contract with Optometrists which will see
soe significant changes in how eyecare is provided in Scotland.
Everyone will now be entitled to a free eye examination, irrespective of
age, ocular history or income.
|Inca Trek for local student
We were delighted to
sponsor Catherine Redgate, a local student who wanted to take part in a
trek in the Andes in aid of the local Highland Hospice.
Read about her journey here.
|Half a million unaware they have diabetes?
Commission today published a study which suggests that half a million
people in the UK may be unaware that they have diabetes, and that less
than 50% of diagnosed people in England are receiving regular eye
examinations, putting them at risk of going blind.
For more about this report, see the
Healthcare Commission website.
We participate in NHS Highland's Diabetic Retinal screening programme
which means that any of our patients referred to us by their GP's receive
annual retinal screening to detect any changes induced by their condition
so they can be referred for appropriate treatment.
|Charlie and the Chocolate
Factory - "wonky" chocolate!
Anyone who has seen the most recent
version of Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" starring
Johnny Depp will no doubt have marvelled at the amount of liquid chocolate
needed to make the film.
But looks are deceiving, as the "chocolate" is in fact a concoction
made by a contact lens solution company called Vickers
Laboratories. The concoction is a formula of hydroxyethyl cellulose,
organic pigments and the food grade biocide (if that means anything to
you!), and apparently tastes nothing like chocolate - more like water
according to the chief executive Julian Driver. 1.25 million litres
of chocolate mixture were used in the making of the film. The
company have also made fake blood for the films Band of Brothers
|Optomap® - retinal imaging system
Hot on the
heels of the new GDx instrument, we now have only the fourth Optomap®
retinal imaging system in Scotland. Optomap® allows us an
unprecedented view of the retina with no drops needed to dilate the pupil.
Click for more....
|GDx - the very best glaucoma screening available
We now have the very first instrument of its kind installed in Scotland
for early diagnosis of glaucoma, a sight threatening condition which if
caught early can be treated.
Click for more.....
|Shades Day 2005 - help raise funds for Guide Dogs
COMPETITION CLOSED END JULY 2005 - thank to all who entered.
£20.05 raised for Guide dogs.
We are participating in the shades for a day fundraising/awareness day run
by the Guide Dogs for the Blind charity this month.
|NEW rimless clip-on Invisa-Lites from Hilco
are designed with the modern smaller more delicate frame in mind,
particularly suitable for rimless frames. They have the advantage of
strong polycarbonate, anti-reflection hard coated lenses. Only
£22.95, they come in a range of sizes and shapes to suit many different
frames. Pop in and have a look at these new sun clips.
|NEW frames in stock
Qube, the latest range of
ladies plastic contemporary frames from Mirage Eyewear, are made from
light acetate, and come in a range of bright modern colours, and are
highly suitable for today's young female.
|NEW frames in stock
We have just taken delivery
of some new additions to the very popular Bebe range, a very
contemporary look in plastic or metal for the younger female.
Also new to us are Norville's Collection frames, in a
range of styles suitable for the guys or girls of all ages.
Call in and ask to see either of these NEW ranges.
25.1.05 Happy Burn's Day to one and all!
|Netline Frames - from £59.95
complete with single vision lenses
These economy frames come in a
wide range of styles to suit all ages and both sexes. They start at
only £59.95 for single vision, £79.95 for bifocal and £99.95 for budget
We knew when they came in that they were good quality and would have
wide appeal, but they're proving even more popular than we imagined.
|Going on holiday soon?
Come in and check out all
you need for a safe and fun holiday, from sunglasses (off the peg,
prescription or clip ons) to binoculars and smart cases to keep your
spectacles safe from sand and feet!
|Liable to forget when your appointment is?
have recently decided to phone patients the day before their appointment
as a courtesy service so they don't forget to come and see us. We
hope you find this useful.
|NEW Speedo swimming goggles now available, in minus
prescriptions only at present. However, we are sourcing more from
another supplier that appear to cover plus prescriptions as well, so check
back soon for more info....
The Speedo goggles are £34.95 with
prescription lenses. You can have different prescriptions for each
eye. Call in for more details.
|NEW Silhouette ladies plastic frames in stock
have recently taken delivery of a new range of ladies plastic frames, high
quality and lightweight, they are made from SPX, a light but very strong
material that takes colour superbly. For the lady who wants that
extra special quality frame....come in and we'll be happy to show you.
|Colour Vision - New
books to show the true effects
It's very easy to test someone's
colour vision and make a diagnosis of defective colour vision.
However, to illustrate to a sufferer of defective colour vision or the
parents of a colour defective child the practical effects on the vision
is rather more complicated.
We have two books newly arrived
which illustrate the effects of colour vision deficiency in a most
practical way. These are:
|Colour Blindness* -
Causes and Effects, by Donald McIntyre|
|Effects of Colour
Blindness*, by Spalding & Arden|
We are happy to lend these books
out to any of our patients for a couple of days. Please enquire at
reception when you're next passing.
* Sorry for being a bit PC
here but the correct term is colour vision deficiency, as
true colour blindness - achromatopsia - is very rare.
|NEW Harry Potter
frames in stock today!
See our 18 new Harry Potter
frames, each of which comes complete with its own extremely nice and
tasteful case with Harry Potter on display. £45 in addition to
the NHS Voucher value, single glazing included.
my eyes" by Catriona Macdonald
Read our recent Thurso High School
work experience student Catriona Macdonald's view of work experience in
all this way and didn't see the eclipse?
The weather sadly let down the
many people who braved the early morning to go to Dunnet Head and many
other Far North locations to witness the eclipse, but we'd like to say
to all of you who visited
especially from far afield - don't leave it until
the next eclipse to come back and visit us here in Caithness!
This is a busier place than many think and the local community
website has vast
amounts of information about the area so you can't fail to want to come
back. They also have some lovely photographs
of the eclipse taken at Strathy.
And don't forget, if you need
sunglasses, binoculars, magnifiers or any other eyewear then you know where
to come on your next visit.
Visual Field Screener
We have taken delivery of a new
piece of equipment designed to check your visual field. This
simple to operate system allows our support staff to carry out pre eye
examination checks with the results printed out and given to our
Optometrist to interpret and discuss with you. It is a very
accurate system which supplements the DVLA approved visual field
screener many of you may already be familiar with.
examinations for young
Children’s eyesight could be at
risk after a survey showed that more than 60 per cent of parents are
unaware how often their vision should be checked. Research by the Royal
Institute for the Blind Scotland has found that 61 per cent of parents
do not realise eye tests should be done every year. RNIB Scotland say
all children under 16 should have an annual eye test.
The Scotsman 27/05/03; p.5
eye surgery lawsuits double
The growth of laser eye surgery
could lead to an increase in litigation against eye specialists,
doctors’ groups said yesterday (26/05/03). The Medical Defence Union
(MDU), the UK’s largest insurer for doctors, revealed that lawsuits
over the technique have more than doubled in the past six years. The MDU
said many claims were due to patients’ “unrealistic
expectations" as a result of exaggerated benefits and a higher
failure rate than acknowledged by many clinics.
The Independent 27/05/03; p.4
information about laser surgery
multivitamin tablets may help eye health
We have just taken stock of some
supplies of multivitamin tablets called Visionace®
particularly recommended if you have been diagnosed with macular
degeneration or cataracts. The product manufacturers claim the following
reasons for its helpful properties:
"Antioxidant nutrients such as vitamins C, E and natural mixed
carotenoids also help prevent oxidative stress, which is a leading
mechanism of ageing of eye tissues. Both the retina and lens are
believed to be at risk of oxidation from free radicals. These are
produced by many factors including sunlight or cigarette smoke. Our
in-built repair mechanisms which fight such free radical damage become
progressively less effective as we get older, and for a significant
minority, these signs of ageing lead to degeneration of the macula, the
part of the retina responsible for detailed vision. Cloudiness or
fogging of the eye lens is also thought to mediated by free radical
damage. The antioxidants in Visionace®
help to prevent oxidation, and may therefore be beneficial to eye health."
£6.95 for a 30 day supply.
|Smart eggs could
hold key to healthy eating
“Smart eggs" produced by
hens fed a special diet that includes tuna oil go on sale next week. The
eggs contain an ingredient called DHA that helps to maintain healthy
brain and eye structure. Stonegate Farms, the producer, said two eggs a
day could provide the correct amount of long-chain fatty acids
recommended by the Food Standards Agency.
The Independent 15/05/03; p.9
the eclipse the safe way
We have been asked if we are stocking any
special glasses or filters so people can watch the forthcoming eclipse
on 31 May in the early hours. The eclipse is apparently to be best
viewed from along the north coast of Scotland where we are.
Having done some research we have to say
that watching the eclipse is NOT something we recommend you do directly
as unless you have specialist well fitting equipment there is still a
chance you could damage your eyesight. But there are ways
round this and if you want to read more, see
our guide which is based on a
leaflet issued by the RNIB for the 1999 eclipse.
Of course, knowing the fickle nature of our
weather maybe none of us will see anything!
Safe and happy eclipse-observing.....
Newsletter out this week
This week sees the launch of our new more
personalised newsletter "Eye on the News" which we will be
sending out with this month's reminder letters. The newsletter is
full of items of general and specific interest giving latest offers,
information about NHS fraud, the website, recycling old spectacles and
lots more. If you are not yet due to have an eye examination but would
like a copy of the newsletter just call into the practice or drop us an email
with your name and address and we'll be happy to post one out to you.
Diabetics could soon be able to check
their blood sugar level simply by looking in a mirror, according to
scientists. US researchers are working on a contact lens containing a
chemical sensor that measures glucose in the blood, and changes colour
if levels are heading for the danger zone. The lens is being created at
the University of Pittsburgh and is able to detect glucose in human
Daily Mail 25/04/03; p.11
us this week! Designer eyewear from £169.95 including lenses
Kenneth Cole New York
American designer, Kenneth Cole adds a twist of excitement to eyes with
the UK launch of this new eyewear collection. Easy to wear, it appeals
to men and women who know their designer brands and want style but not a
heavy price tag.
Worn by the rich and famous – Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer
Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brad Pitt, Meg Ryan and
Hallé Berry – Kenneth Cole is a well known, diverse fashion label,
encompassing clothing, bags, belts, watches, fragrances and of course,
eyewear and sunglasses.
Mixing modern sophistication with classic chic, the collection brings
sleek rimless shapes with almost floating lenses, under fine coloured
brows. There are also bold, rimless metals, semi-geometrical shapes,
confident two-tone plastics and seriously chic tortoiseshell looks.
Photograph by Norville Group
number of web visits for March
So far this month, we have had 879
visits to the site, beating previous months' totals. We hope that
those of you who take time to visit our website find it useful and
informative. If you have any comments or suggestions for items you
would like to be included, let us know and we'll see what we can do!
|Contact lenses treatment
Scientists in the US say contact lenses
could be used to deliver drugs to treat eye diseases and correct vision
problems. The researchers, from the University of Florida, have been
able to encapsulate drugs in nanoparticles, which are mixed into the
contact lens matrix during manufacture. The drugs move into the film
between the cornea and the lens and remain there for much longer than
drugs delivered in drops.
BBC News Online 24/03/03
We have a range of budget spectacles
called EconomyLine which now come with hard coated plastic lenses
included in the price. Prices are from £59.95 for single vision,
from £89.95 for bifocal and from £99.95 for Progressive Start 2
a spare pair of spectacles?
New "Ideals" Two for One
offer may be just the answer!
We have now taken in new stock for the
latest two for one offer from Norville. From a range of six frames
which come in different colour ways, you can have two complete pairs of
spectacles with identical prescriptions made up for the price of one
vision (2 pairs)
is for two pairs of spectacles to the same prescription e.g. two
single vision, two varifocal or two bifocals, with coated
clear plastic lenses. Bifocals are D25
or D28, varifocals are image
progressive. You can choose to have the same
prescription in two different frames, however.
This offer is subject to
availability and may be varied without notice by our
suppliers. We will let you know as soon as there is an
contact lenses increase their power.....
Provis have announced that they are
extending the range of powers of its daysoft
one-day contact lenses. The full range is now from -12.50 D to
+7.00 D. Many of our existing patients use these disposable lenses
but this news means potentially more people can take advantage of these
hearing induction loop installed
If you have a hearing aid then you might
be interested to know that we have just had a mains powered hearing
induction loop installed a the reception counter, to make life easier
for those with hearing loss.
The system, supplied by Mini
Loop Systems Limited, has a range of 1m which means you can rest
assured that if you are discussing personal details with our
receptionist they will not be heard by other hearing aid users outwith
the 1m zone. Just switch your hearing aid to the T position when
you come up to the desk.
We hope this added facility makes a visit
to our practice easier and more relaxed. Let us know what you
Sunglasses - for kids and older kids!
We have just taken delivery of a new
consignment of brilliant value sunglasses. All the new ones are
suitable for bright sunlight and block out the harmful UV light -
important for young and old eyes alike. Costing £9.95 each they
come in a great range of today's styles. Come in and have a look -
make sure you choose the "3" rated new styles if you
want full sun
Deafcare and Highland Vision Services join forces
Caithness Deaf Care are
joining forces with Highland Vision Services in the near future to
provide a "One-Stop-Shop" for people with visual and hearing
impairments, our premises at Harbour Terrace is being renovated to
make it more user friendly and advise and equipment will be available
for anyone with any degree of sight or hearing loss. We'll post
more details when this venture takes place.
|Breakthrough in diabetic
US scientists say a drug used to treat
back pain may also prevent blindness in diabetes patients, and reduce
their need for amputations. Researchers at Albert Einstein College of
Medicine in New York say benfotiamine stops cell damage caused by excess
glucose. The drug has been licensed for use in Germany for 10 years,
where it is prescribed for sciatica and other painful nerve conditions.
BBC News Online 18/02/03
of eye procedure “played down"
Patients undergoing laser eye
surgery are not being told about the possible risks to their sight,
according to Which? magazine. Around 100,000 people have corrective
laser eye surgery in the UK every year, but a Which? investigation shows
that not only can any doctor can carry out the treatment without
specialist qualification but some practitioners say the procedure
carries no risk at all. The Medical Defence Union and the Medical
Protection Society are raising the fees they charge doctors working in
this field because of increased compensation claims by patients.
BBC News Online 11/02/03
If you are considering laser surgery, we
would recommend that you read our information
leaflet on the subject before going ahead, as well as finding out
about the Centre you are thinking of going to.
|Message from Guide Dogs UK
DON’T FORGET THE COOLEST EVENT OF
Shades for a Day 15 July 2003
For the third year, we'll be asking kids and adults alike to wear their
sunglasses and pay £1 to "look cool for Guide Dogs". Everyone
can take part – schools, offices, leisure clubs – and help to raise
money next summer.
As well as raising money and being great fun, Shades for a Day, gets
across vital messages about taking care of your eyes in the sun.
to be a part of it!
claim eye treatment breakthrough
Doctors in Singapore have made what they
call a “groundbreaking" achievement in growing conjunctival
cells. Donald Tan, of the Singapore Eye Research Institute, says, “We
think we are the first to grow conjunctival cells specifically to use
them for clinical transplantations."
The institute says it carried out the
first successful conjunctival stem cell transplant in October 2001, and
that 22 patients suffering from pterygium have since received
transplants, all of which have been successful.
ABC Online 30/01/03
(courtesy of NetDoctor News)
to change colour to protect eyes
Salmon is to be made less pink and egg
yolks less yellow under new EU rules to protect people’s eyesight.
Salmon and chicken farmers must use less canthaxanthin, an additive used
for cosmetic purposes in fish and poultry feed. Research has linked its
use to eyesight problems.
The Times 28/01/03; p.4
|Considering laser surgery?
In response to patients' questions on
this subject, we have produced an information sheet with points to
consider if you are thinking about having the procedure done.
Follow this link to read more...
|Look of light rimless
frames from only £174.95 complete
"Open your eyes to possibly the
lightest pair of spectacles you will ever wear" say Rodenstock, who
have a range of rimless spectacles which we now have on offer at our
Complete rimless spectacles with
mid-index, anti-reflection hard coated lenses and a hard case.
Prices include VAT.
|Single vision spectacles (Cosmolit
|Bifocal spectacles (S28 1.56 Flat
(*Progressiv life XS Perfalit 1.6 or
Progressiv AV Perfalit 1.6)
|Magnifiers prove to be a big
hit on website!
One of the most visited areas of our
site, apart from the section on VDU usage, is the information on
magnifiers. It seems that many people need bigger images.
If you're one of them, make sure you check out our magnifier
pages. Whether you are a jeweller, student, teacher, college
tutor, medical technician, stamp collector or other hobbyist, you will
be surprised by our range of image increasers. We can
supply by post if that's easier for you.
If you're interested in magnifiers,
contact the practice and ask for Carole.
National Institute for the Blind claims 2,500 people a year with
age-related macular degeneration, the
commonest cause of blindness in older people, will be denied
sight-saving treatment because The National Institute for Clinical
Excellence has limited aid to the 5,000 most needy patients.
The Times 17/01/03; p.4
(courtesy of NetDoctor
|Thinnest lens ever launched
by Seiko for 2003
January 2003 sees the launch of the
thinnest, lightest, resin lens in the world without compromising optics.
The SPG 1.74 bi-aspheric is the latest offering from Seiko.
Some 50% thinner and 40% lighter than
CR39, it is also 10% thinner than the front surface only aspherics,
according to UK distributors Norville.
Eye protein promises good
An eye protein that plays a key role in
dilating the pupil has been identified by scientists who promise new
methods of treating jet lag and other sleep disorders. Researchers in
the UK and the US found that melanopsin, a protein found in a small
number of cells in the retina, determines the eye’s response to light,
one of the crucial factors that sets the body’s internal clock. The
findings, published in the journal Science, suggest that along with rods
and cones, the retinal cells that govern vision, a third light detection
system is at work, exerting a major influence over wakefulness and
The Times 10/01/03; p.13
and thanks to Deirdre!
Today sees our receptionist Deirdre's
last day in the practice. She is stepping down to do other things
from today, and we wish her well on behalf of all the staff and
patients. Deirdre has been with us for many years and has built up a
good rapport with patients, not to mention keeping us in order!
On behalf of us all, thanks and enjoy
your new life, whatever direction it takes, Deirdre!
new receptionist will be starting after the New Year when we will tell
you who she is and a bit about her! Watch this space....
window displays 2002
|Young visually impaired in
View Point Highlands
Young visually impaired people in the
Highlands now have a new and additional initiative to support
them. Its aim is to encourage them to identify and challenge
barriers that they encounter while growing up and to network and support
This initiative has been funded under the
Scottish Executive's Innovation Grants Programme. The bid for
funding was made jointly by the Highland Society for Blind People and
Highland Council's Education Visions Support Service.
For more information, contact:
Scott Rae, Youth Worker, Highland
Society for Blind People, 38
Ardconnel Street, Inverness, IV2 3EX Tel
01463 233663 e-mail scottlistens2urviews@hotmail
(Information supplied by CHIP -
Children in the Highland Information Point, Birnie Child Development
Centre, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, 01463 711189)
|Charity's plea over school
A leading charity has renewed its calls
for more eye tests for school-age children, after an independent report
recommended that the practice should be scaled down. Tests are currently
available to all youngsters both before they start school and between
the ages of seven and 11. But an independent report for the Department
of Health by the UK National Screening Committee has suggested that
youngsters should only be tested when they begin primary school. The
Royal National Institute for the Blind said it was concerned at the
proposals, especially after finding last year that one in five children
could have undetected poor eyesight.
The Birmingham Post 09/12/02; p.7
|Wearing contact lenses 'increases pulling power by 400%'
Research suggests that wearing contact lenses instead of glasses increases your pulling power by 400%.
University of Warwick psychology researcher Dr June McNicholas says her research indicates that the saying "men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses" has a ring of truth. ....(courtesy of NetDoctor
Dogs pin badges raise £50!
Thanks to those patients who bought the
lovely Guide Dogs for the Blind Association's sunglasses pin badges, a total of
£47.45 was put into the collection box for the Association.
We have rounded this up to £50 and the cheque is winging its way to the
Guide Dogs. Your contribution is much appreciated.
Change to Limited Company
from 1 October 2002
Please note that from Tuesday 1 October
2002 our practice will become a limited company, G A Henderson
(Thurso) Ltd, company number SC201018, registered in Scotland.
This is a legal alteration but will not affect our operations or
staffing. To the untrained eye nothing will have changed!
Any legal or financial documents from
this date will be assigned to the limited company and its own bank
account, details of which can be supplied to other businesses with whom
we trade, or to customers who wish to pay directly into our bank
account. A new cheque stamp bearing the title "G A Henderson
(Thurso) Ltd" will be available to make the change easy for our
patients wishing to pay this way.
If you have any questions about this
change, or how it may affect you, please call into the practice and ask
to speak to Carole.
Eyecare Newsletter now available to patients
most recent eyecare newsletter
is now available and will be
sent out with the regular recall letters over the coming weeks.
Copies are also available in the practice. If you would like a
copy meantime, either check out the Newsletter page here or for a full
colour paper version, email
us and we're send one to you with our compliments, subject to
availability (UK only).
This edition looks at
changing your eye
colour with contact lenses.
Eye Week starts 23 September 2002
We will be featuring some interesting
links and items for this awareness week this month.
Thanks to you all from
Vision Aid Overseas
We have received a letter addressed to
"All the Patients at this Practice" from Tym Marsh, Director
of Vision Aid Overseas. His letter reads:
"TO ALL THE PATIENTS AT THIS
On behalf of the Chairman and
Trustees of Vision Aid Overseas please accept our very sincere thanks
for passing your unwanted used specs and sunglasses, via this practice,
to us for recycling.
You may be interested to know that
it is estimated that there are now over 200 million people in the world
who simply need a pair of specs to be able to live normally, work to
support their families, or receive education. What a huge problem,
but one that could be solved!
Vision Aid Oversees sends teams of
skilled opticians to Third World countries to test the eyesight of needy
people, and to dispense the recycled spectacles where necessary.
In spite of financing about 12 projects a year we are barely managing to
scratch the surface of the problem, and as well as specs we desperately
need money to finance more teams to more countries. If you can
help in this way, we will be delighted to hear
Once again, thank you for your
support, and keep up the good work!"
So don't forget, if you are hording any
old spectacles because you can't think what to do with them, don't
hesitate to drop them into our VAO box by the practice door. You
don't even have to be a patient to do this! Thanks again.
Health Benefits of Sunglasses
The WHO (World Health Organisation) and
other global groups have launched a major project aimed at reducing
cataracts caused by solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation by promoting
protective eyewear. The initiative promotes protecting the eyes
with wraparound design sunglasses or sunglasses with side panels to
reduce the risk of the more than two million cases of blindness caused
by cataracts worldwide.
Guide Dogs "Shades
for a day
The National Association "Guide
Dogs for the Blind" are having a fundraiser/awareness day on 16 July entitled
"Shades for a day", where the public are being encouraged to
wear sunglasses for the day. We will be stocking the Guide Dogs' sunglasses
pin badges in our practice nearer the time (available for a suggested
donation of £1).
Check the Guide
Dogs website for more details.