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Q&A about adult and children's eye health with optician Andy Hepworth - ANSWERS BACK

(65 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 10-Jul-13 13:39:08

We're inviting you to send in questions this week to optician Andy Hepworth, a dispensing optician and ambassador for the JUL-EYE campaign that is running throughout the UK this month. Post your questions about eye health for both adults and children before midday on Tuesday 16th July and we'll post up Andy's answers on July 22nd.

JUL-EYE, takes place throughout July and is backed by the Association of Optometrists and has specialist independent opticians all over the UK during July offering help and tips to keep our eyes tip-top. Its new website has a quiz to calculate if you are eyes-wise, a visionary role model or living in the dark ages, based on your individual Eye-Q score. You can also locate your nearest optician who will be able to provide advice on how to keep your family's eyes healthy for the long-run.

AndMiffyWentToSleep Thu 11-Jul-13 05:52:07

My mum and I are both very short sighted. Is there anything I could do for my son to help him have the best eyesight possible? He's only 18 months old. My optician has checked his eyes are 'healthy' already.

Eddie107 Thu 11-Jul-13 06:50:19

I'm in my 40s & I've never visited an Optician before. What eye tests should be included in a standard check-up - eg do all Opticians check intra-ocular pressures & look at your retinas or do some just check visual acuity.

RobinBedRest Thu 11-Jul-13 16:55:16

My 18mo DC has glasses to correct her squint as she is more long sighted in one eye.

Do you have any tips for getting her to wear them. So far I am managing a couple of 3 minute sessions per day before she pulls them off and wont let them near her. I dont want to push it too much and put her off!

quietbatperson Thu 11-Jul-13 17:12:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FarahVS Thu 11-Jul-13 18:50:31

My 22 mth daughter keeps crossing her eyes. And occasionally one moves further in when she does this. Generally her eyes move in same direction and the crossing seems to be voluntary (she does it when tired of eating mostly to try and get a reaction from me). Should I be concerned about this behaviour? I myself am extremely short sighted and have been since very young.

talkingnonsense Thu 11-Jul-13 18:53:25

I have macular degeneration- probably not age related ( have had since mid 30's), possibly related to being v shortsighted- is there anything I can do about it?

BreadAndJamForFrances Thu 11-Jul-13 21:47:45

I am short-sighted, diagnosed at 21.
I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes 7 weeks ago. I am 36, with a healthy lifestyle therefore my doctor thinks it's probably down to genetics rather than diet......I am taking Metformin 500g, which will be upped at my appointment tomorrow as my sugar levels are not yet under control. I had my first Retinopathy Screening yesterday, my question is:
When should the dilating drops have worn off?
I had them put in at 10am, my eyes were still half dilated 17 hours later. Initially I could not see anything close up, and could hardly see at all in the sunlight. This improved through the day, but took 8 hours before I could see enough to read. When I woke up this morning they were no longer dilated but very sensitive to sunlight. Today, they still do not feel quite 'right'.
Is this normal? Is this okay? Will this happen every time? The leaflet I was given said 4-6 hours....
Also, my sight has been getting steadily worse over the last 5-6 years. Could this be down to the diabetes? (I am not sure how long I have had it) and will my sight improve once my diabetes is stable?
Thankyou smile

Beakiebum Fri 12-Jul-13 05:32:37

I have a squint in my left eye, always worse when tired (which is often at the moment!!!) and glasses seem to make it worse. Is it hereditary? My dad also has one, what are the chances that my 16week old son will also develop one? What can be done these days to correct it? I had an op and wore patches when I was a kid, but presumably the medical treatments have moved on since then?

cherry99 Sun 14-Jul-13 11:11:56

I'm 40 and 6 months pregnant with my second baby. In recent weeks I've become more aware of quite a lot of floaters in my eyes, and they are distracting me - eg when I am reading and working at my computer. I'm very short sighted and wear glasses and lenses. Should I be worried?

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 15-Jul-13 09:41:35


MNHQ: aren't dispensing opticians simply qualified to fit glasses and if trained, contact lenses too. I thought it was Optometrists (aka Opthalmic Opticians) that were qualified to discuss and diagnose issues around eye health?

Sorry for delay in getting back to you on this. We're just looking into this and will get back to you asap.

BabyLabyrinth Mon 15-Jul-13 12:50:08

DD (14mo) has just been diagnosed with severe myopia (minus 15 in one eye, minus 16 in the other). Her glasses have been ordered and are coming this week. Is there any chance this is going to get better as she gets older? (I'm pretty short-sighted too (minus 8.5), and mine has got worse since I was little.)

manfalou Mon 15-Jul-13 15:50:37

I have no current concerns for either child but I knew from the age of 9 that I needed glasses but never told anyone. People only found out through routine school checks when I was 13... What would be the signs that a child needs glasses?

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 15-Jul-13 17:33:45


MNHQ: aren't dispensing opticians simply qualified to fit glasses and if trained, contact lenses too. I thought it was Optometrists (aka Opthalmic Opticians) that were qualified to discuss and diagnose issues around eye health?

We've spoken to the JUL-EYE team and they have come back to say 'The questions will be answered by a team of eye experts headed up by Andy Hepworth, the JUL-EYE optician. The team also includes David Shannon, optometrist and director of the Association of Optometrists'. Hope this helps. Please send all Qs to the team before midday tomorrow.

insancerre Mon 15-Jul-13 18:08:23

I have a lazy left eye. I have had it since childhood and I am now in my mid forties. I was given an adhesive eye patch to wear when I was about 10 but I am allergic to plasters so couldn't wear it. My optician has said this would have been too late to have fixed it wanyway.
I have recently been given reading glasses by the optician and advised to go for annual tests to make sure my right eye remains healthy.

What can I do to maintain my eye health?- I have very limited vision in my left eye and I am worried that if my vision in my 'good' eye gets worse this would affect my ability to do my job.

I cannot read anything with my left eye. Would this be classed as being visually impaired?
What is the criteria you have to meet to be classed as visually impaired?

googietheegg Mon 15-Jul-13 18:18:41

I'm -11.5 in glasses (-9.50 in daily contacts) do you think there'll be a time when it's 'safe' for me to get laser surgery?

ChestyNut Mon 15-Jul-13 19:16:49

How long should I be free of contact lenses in a day?

My optician told me to reduce wear.

I have astigmatism but do not wear toric lenses.
Monthly disposables -3.50 and - 3

Can you tell me benefits of a toric lens as I have worn lenses for 20 years and it has only just been mentioned.

My eyes/brain don't react we'll to change.


minimalisthoarder Mon 15-Jul-13 19:39:56

My 4 year-old DD has recently started wearing glasses for long sight and astigmatism (which she's taken to well, fortunately). I felt a bit guilty that I hadn't noticed but was told that children can accommodate really well, but this strains the eyes and can cause a squint. I wasn't really looking for signs of long sight in her as I have (had, thanks laser surgery) short sight and astigmatism, as does hubby to a minor extent.

A few questions! Is it possible that she will grow out of the long sight? Why is it so common (according to our optician) in children? Is it possible that DD will eventually have short sight too? Am I correct in thinking that it's unlikely that she'll grow out of the astigmatism?

Fraxinus Mon 15-Jul-13 19:53:15

I tried to make an appt for my 7&8 yr old children at the optician. The man was not sure if they could do the appointment after school because of the eye drops, and said something about it being late in the day. I agreed to phone back to find out if an after school appointment would be ok, but I haven't got it together. I would like to know what the eye drop thing is, and if in general,it would preclude an after school appointment. Thanks

Fraxinus Mon 15-Jul-13 19:57:03

I suffer from a lot of headaches. Worse just now because my computer use at work has increased. I went to the doctor and she said get an eye test, I did and got a new prescription for short sight (much worse in 1 eye). The optician recommended I wear the glasses all the time now. I tried really hard to do this but just have to take them off if I have a headache, especially in front of a computer.

Do I go back to the gp and say I can't bear to wear the glasses because the headaches are so bad? Or do I go back to the optician?

MrsSlocombesPussy Mon 15-Jul-13 20:27:23

I've been short sighted since the age of 21 (-3, -2.5). I've been using contact lenses for about 15 years.
I've just been prescribed varifocal glasses, as I have started to get a little long sighted too - I can read OK close up without lenses, I just have trouble in dim light.
Will there come a time when I won't be able to wear contact lenses if close up vision becomes worse. Will I have to switch to glasses permanently?

quietbatperson Mon 15-Jul-13 20:28:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WouldBeHarrietVane Mon 15-Jul-13 20:56:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ouryve Mon 15-Jul-13 21:30:45

My 7yo has severe ASD and is non verbal. We had never noticed anything obvious with his eyesight, but, since DH and I both wear glasses (DH is short sighted and started wearing glasses in puberty, I have an astigmatim that wasn't noticed until I was in my 20s) we managed to get a referral to an orthoptist to have his sight tested. My 9yo started to have trouble with his vision at 7 and is becoming progressively more short sighted as he grows and we've told he'll end up with a higher prescription than DH, which is what prompted us to ask for the referral, despite no obvious problems.

Anyhow, he had his test last week and we were quite shocked. He has an astigmatism as strong as mine and is long sighted - +5.75.

I'm now feeling guilty about having not asked for him to be tested sooner, as having such poor vision can't have helped him at all, when he already has so many challenges. I know that a lot of long sightedness in small children resolves as they grow, but I'm worried that we've left it too late and done lasting damage to his eyesight.

CheeryCherry Mon 15-Jul-13 21:34:14

My DD (12) was diagnosed with slight astigmatism last year. The initial optician days she should wear her glasses for all reading, screen work, crafting.
A year on, a different optician has said her eyes are the same, and she should just wear them occasionally if she feels her eyes are tired.

So...which is right? Wear them a lot, or hardly at all?
And may her eyes correct themselves in time or is it all downhill from here?

Thank you.

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