Breaking News
August 15, 2018 - Real-time dynamic monitoring of cell’s nucleus for effective cancer screening
August 15, 2018 - Lower rates of Medicare preventive care visits found in racial, ethnic minority older adults
August 15, 2018 - Scientists identify stress hormone as key factor in failure of immune system to inhibit leukemia
August 15, 2018 - Cytoplan introduces three new nutritional supplements
August 15, 2018 - Effective hemorrhage control critical for survival after motorsport accidents
August 15, 2018 - Sygnature Discovery announces ambitious expansion plan with addition of Alderley Park facility
August 15, 2018 - Dietary carbohydrates could lead to osteoarthritis, new study finds
August 15, 2018 - Male tobacco smokers have decreased number of cannabinoid CB1 receptors, study reveals
August 15, 2018 - Scientists explore ways for drug therapies to reach deadly brain tumors
August 15, 2018 - Rethinking fundamental rule of stroke care: ‘Time is brain!’
August 15, 2018 - Scientists reveal role of ‘junk DNA’ in cancer dissemination
August 15, 2018 - Google’s DeepMind AI could soon be diagnosing eye conditions
August 15, 2018 - Scientists trick the brain to embody the prosthetic limb
August 15, 2018 - Researchers focus on uncoupling obesity from diabetes
August 15, 2018 - A class of proteins shown to be effective in reducing drug-seeking behaviors
August 15, 2018 - Gemphire Announces Termination of Phase 2a Clinical Trial of Gemcabene in Pediatric NAFLD
August 15, 2018 - Rheumatoid arthritis in pregnancy associated with low birth weight and premature birth
August 15, 2018 - Study may help increase effectiveness of antibiotics against drug-resistant bacteria
August 15, 2018 - Analyzing resident-to-resident incidents in dementia may hold the key to reducing future fatalities
August 15, 2018 - Robotic walking frame aims to help maintain mobility of older adults
August 15, 2018 - Simple intervention during routine care reduces alcohol consumption in men with HIV
August 15, 2018 - Genetics Home Reference: gout
August 15, 2018 - Scientists ID genesis of disease, focus efforts on shape-shifting tau
August 15, 2018 - OncoThira and NDSU enter into license agreement to develop, market cancer compounds
August 15, 2018 - Scientists unravel the mystery behind ovarian cancer with high-grade serous carcinoma
August 15, 2018 - Common signs that indicate vision problems in children
August 15, 2018 - Removing the cancer label – overhaul in cancer classification proposed
August 15, 2018 - Prams may expose babies and toddlers to more air pollution finds study
August 15, 2018 - Duke researchers track missing T-cells in glioblastoma patients
August 15, 2018 - Cardiac Profiles Up With Exercise, Less Sitting in Early Old Age
August 15, 2018 - Precision medicine offers a glimmer of hope for Alzheimer’s disease
August 15, 2018 - Immunovia’s new blood-based testing platform accurately detects non-small cell lung cancer
August 15, 2018 - New method provides a ‘big picture’ of genetic influences on traits and diseases
August 15, 2018 - Early Onset Type 1 Diabetes Linked to Heart Disease, Shorter Life
August 14, 2018 - SMURF1 provides targeted approach to preventing cocaine addiction relapse
August 14, 2018 - Genetic testing pushed for hereditary high cholesterol disease
August 14, 2018 - Researchers discover new genes involved in Alzheimer’s Disease
August 14, 2018 - Medicare to overhaul ACOs but critics fear fewer participants
August 14, 2018 - Adolescent health projects receive meager percentage of global funding, study finds
August 14, 2018 - University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center launches new CAR-T therapy trial
August 14, 2018 - In the addiction battle, is forced rehab the solution?
August 14, 2018 - Busting myths about milk – Scope
August 14, 2018 - Platelet-rich plasma does not enhance cartilage formation capabilities of stem cells
August 14, 2018 - Wearable devices and ‘mhealth’ technology emerge as promising tools for better health
August 14, 2018 - Johns Hopkins expert panel develops first set of operation-specific opioid prescribing guidelines
August 14, 2018 - Clinical study suggests new treatment direction for head and neck cancer in heavy smokers
August 14, 2018 - Phase 2 Clinical Data Published Showing Summit’s Ridinilazole Preserved Gut Microbiome of Patients with CDI
August 14, 2018 - Cardiac progenitor cells undergo a cell fate switch to build coronary arteries
August 14, 2018 - Study identifies potential guidance to treat gastric cancer patients
August 14, 2018 - Revealed: The molecular mechanism underlying hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or “workaholic heart”
August 14, 2018 - Diabetes epidemic in Guatemala driven by aging, not obesity
August 14, 2018 - New technology shows potential to streamline the analysis of proteins
August 14, 2018 - Rethinking the stroke rule ‘time is brain’
August 14, 2018 - Incidence of coronary artery compression in children may be more common than previously thought
August 14, 2018 - Study helps to better understand disease caused by Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
August 14, 2018 - AI platform identifies acute neurological illnesses faster than human diagnosis
August 14, 2018 - American College of Rheumatology receives grants to support development of lupus clinical trials
August 14, 2018 - New study explains why women get more migraines than men
August 14, 2018 - American Heart Association Urges Screen Time Limits for Youth
August 14, 2018 - Brief interventions during routine care reduce alcohol use among men with HIV
August 14, 2018 - New genome analysis could identify people at higher risk of common deadly diseases
August 14, 2018 - NIH grant for Mount Sinai to study use of inhaled corticosteroids for treatment of sickle cell disease
August 14, 2018 - Daicel supplies free nanodiamond samples to international researchers
August 14, 2018 - Switching anti-psychotic drugs in first-episode schizophrenia patients does not improve clinical outcomes
August 14, 2018 - Study to examine whether modulating gut bacteria can improve cardiac function in heart failure patients
August 14, 2018 - AI technology could hold key to improving health services
August 14, 2018 - One out of two children not getting enough nutrients needed for their health
August 14, 2018 - Mono-antiplatelet therapy after aortic heart valve replacements may work as well as two drugs
August 14, 2018 - Aid-in-dying patient chooses his last day
August 14, 2018 - Exercise Really Can Chase Away the Blues, to a Point
August 14, 2018 - Surgical mesh implants may cause autoimmune disorders
August 14, 2018 - Researchers develop revolutionary zebrafish model to gain more insight into bone diseases
August 14, 2018 - Researchers discover secret communication hotline between breast cancers and normal cells
August 14, 2018 - Study examines how a person adapts to visual field loss after stroke
August 14, 2018 - Researchers show how specialized nucleic acid-based nanostructures could help target cancer cells
August 14, 2018 - Reducing opioid prescriptions for one operation can also spill over to other procedures
August 14, 2018 - E-cigarettes not so safe but still better than cigarettes
August 14, 2018 - Researchers find link between common ‘harmless’ virus and cardiovascular damage
August 14, 2018 - Initiation of PIMs associated with higher risk of fracture-specific hospitalizations and mortality
August 14, 2018 - Genetically modified mosquitoes and special bed nets help tackle deadly diseases
Improving Healthcare in the Community through Eye Examinations

Improving Healthcare in the Community through Eye Examinations

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

An interview with Paul Morris, conducted by Alina Shrourou, BSc.

How common are eye conditions and how are they diagnosed?

Eye conditions account for 3% of all GP appointments, and the ophthalmology budget is the third largest budget within the NHS. One of the reasons for this is the fact that the morbidity for eye conditions is relatively low and people tend to live a long time with conditions and therefore require repeated visits.

Although some patients with acute eye problems may report directly to hospital eye service or their GPs, eye conditions are most commonly picked up by a visit to an optometrist on the high street through routine sight testing. The figures from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) demonstrate that half of all sight loss is avoidable and obviously early detection is the key to that avoidance.

Please outline any current barriers preventing the public from checking on their eye health.

One of the biggest barriers would be awareness of where to go. There’s some confusion as to whether patients should go to the GP, pharmacist or the optometrist. Research last year showed that most patients would still go straight to the GP if they had a sudden onset eye condition. However, with optometric practices having lots of specialised equipment for eye examinations, it is advisable to go to an optometrist first and then be referred on if needed.Please outline any current barriers preventing the public from checking on their eye health.

It’s interesting to see that a number of services have sprung up in England, as well as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, that manage a wide range of eye conditions while actively signposting patients from GP practices. For example, NHS direct lines into the inter-optometric practice for triage and management.

Why is it important for the public to monitor the health of their eyes?

50% of all blindness is preventable and most eye conditions carry no initial symptoms. Sometimes you wouldn’t be aware of those symptoms until the disease was at quite an advanced stage, like with glaucoma for example.

Therefore, it is advisable that every patient has an eye examination at least every two years, and for younger children even more frequently than that. Of course, there are other at-risk groups that require close monitoring, such as people with a family history of glaucoma etc.

What are the early signs which indicate that a patient may need an eye examination?

You would think that this would just be poor or reduced sight. However, it’s not just pathology that can be picked up with an eye examination, but also conditions relating to refractive error, such as myopia, hypermetropia and astigmatism. Refractive error refers to the shape of your eye, causing light to bend so that it doesn’t fall directly onto the retina resulting in less clear vision.

These conditions can cause headaches, blurred vision, and all manner of symptoms, which can lead to the patient feeling uncomfortable or simply not being able to carry out their day-to-day activities as well as they should.

Here, we could really get into a whole factor of visual demands. It is a fact these days that most people use computers or display screen equipment of some kind. With the advent of smartphones and tablets, we spend more and more time on visually demanding tasks than we did previously.

This means that people with relatively mild prescriptions that we may not have prescribed for in the past, may still benefit from an optical appliance to correct their refractive error to ensure that they have the most comfortable vision and avoid headaches etc, while using electronic devices. The eyes are working harder than ever before because we’ve got so many more things that we use up close.

How can information gained from an eye examination reveal other general health conditions?

A large range of systemic conditions have early, or established signs within the eye. The most known example of this is diabetic retinopathy. Some individuals with diabetic retinopathy do not realise that they have the condition until an eye examination identifies haemorrhages and other vessel changes at the back of their eye. The same is true for hypertension, blood pressure, and a whole range of other eye conditions.

Please outline the process involved during an eye examination at Specsavers.

In the UK and Ireland, an eye examination has its contents defined in law. For example, anyone over the age of 40 should be offered digital retina photography of both eyes as part of their eye examination.

However, at Specsavers, we try to build on top of that. We offer digital retinal photography free of charge, whereas many others charge extra for this service.

We also make huge investments in technology and equipment that is used directly with patients for diagnostic purposes. Recently I outlined plans to include Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) soon in all our practices in the UK and Ireland by the end of 2018. This technology will further help community optometrists to manage patients in the community and benefit all stakeholders.

More investment is made in our clinical staff. Since 2015 we have assisted our clinicians in achieving over 10,000 additional accreditations and qualifications in a wide range of fields including glaucoma, cataract and minor eye conditions.

What conditions can be identified from an eye examination at Specsavers?

As part of every eye examination the optometrist makes a thorough examination of the anterior and posterior eye to screen for the common eye conditions. The identification of conditions such as glaucoma, retinal issues, and age-related macular degeneration is possible, as well a whole host of associated conditions including anterior eye conditions, such as conjunctivitis.

There are too many to list, but what we can confirm is that our optometrists are highly trained clinical professionals backed up with cutting-edge technology within the practices that help with identification of these diseases and conditions.

What happens if the patient receives news on an eye condition that they were not expecting?

All optometrists are trained in interpersonal skill and receive ongoing training on how to empathize and relate to their patients’ needs and concerns. We provide a robust package of leaflets and patient information, which are co-branded by the College of Optometrists in the UK.

These provide reference to additional help and support services that the patient can access. However, we are always sure to explain to patients that they should contact us at any point if they need further help or assistance.

What impact do you think these services have on not only eye health, but also on healthcare in the community in general?

These services are vital to detection of eye conditions. Specsavers play an important community role in terms of educating people about their eye care and their general health. We have a growing remit in terms of public health awareness.

We spend a good proportion of time explaining to patients the risks and benefits of certain lifestyle choices that they may make, including walking, good diet, access to other services that may benefit them etc. We do all that we can to make ourselves visible and accessible within the community including outside of our remit of healthcare, getting involved in lots of community projects, which we are very proud of.

Where can readers find more information?

Please visit our website: https://www.specsavers.co.uk/eye-health/RNIB

About Paul Morris

Paul Morris is the Director of Professional Advancement for Specsavers Opticians in the UK andIreland. The role involves furthering clinical scope, professional services, standards, training and forming future strategy for the group. He previously held the role of Director of Optometry Advancement.

Paul has written, piloted and delivered various Specsavers training initiatives including Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Peer Review Facilitator Training. He sits on the editorial board of the ProFile Journal and is a CET article and case author. Paul is also the Ophthalmic Director of Specsavers Opticians in Bridgend and Porthcawl.

Outside of Specsavers Paul has been a Director of FODO, Chair of the Optical Confederation IT & Information Committee as well as an Optometry Wales Vice Chair. He has previously undertaken work as a clinical supervisor for the AOP and was founder and Director of BAM Optical Training & Solutions that delivered teaching to optometrists and pharmacists in ocular pathology. Paul has also held positions within the Hospital Eye Service as well as the School of Optometry & Visual Science in Cardiff and in 2011 began working within WOPEC (Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre) to deliver postgraduate training to a range of Health Care Professionals and inform policy.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles