A Whole New Image

April 12th, 2012

As our team here at the Internet Glasses Company are eye care professionals who all work in practice, so rest assured that we do more than just help out our virtual clients online and play patience on the computer all day! We test eyes and talk to real patients as well as looking after you lot.  In practice, new technology is giving us Opticians new equipment to play with, and therefore new means of looking after you in the consulting room. The buzz words of the past few years have been retinal imaging, with 2D and now 3D imaging systems allowing us to go where no optician has been before. If you’ve been offered it in your local practice, you might appreciate a bit of extra information as to what this fascinating new technology can do for you.

In the past, we looked at the retina by peering into your eye and scanning around with a hand held, illuminated instrument called an Ophthalmoscope. The retina is the light sensitive layer that lines the eyeball, and it’s responsible for relaying the image of what you see to the brain. There are several eye health issues that can affect the retina, so close examination, detection of early signs of disease, and possible treatment are really important. Using the Ophthalmoscope relies on your optician being skilled and experienced, and of course they cannot easily record what they have seen. New imaging systems allow us to study the whole area in minute detail, and we can then consult with colleagues, mail images to consultants, and store them for future comparison.

The capabilities of the different systems vary, but generally 2D images are a photograph that we can zoom in and out of, to study specific areas of interest. 3D are more like a mini MRI, allowing us to examine the layers of the retina, cutting through the image to examine each area in minute detail. This means we can spot the very earliest signs of disease, and suggest treatment. These tests usually incur a private fee, so do check that the optician has experience with their chosen system, and will analyze the images with you.

Varifocal Glasses

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What does your eyewear say about you?

April 11th, 2012

Just as your preference in clothes, car, dwelling place, and every other life style choice gives everyone lots of information about your inner self, your choice of frame speaks volumes too! So what do your specs tell the world about you?

Rimless – wearers of these minimal frames tend to be just like their glasses – neat, efficient, sharp and smart. Often chosen by professionals, they don’t shout out for attention, they’re discreet, subtle and quietly confident. You won’t find any flamboyant dressers or wild child types topping their exuberant outfits with rimless. Tailored clothing, subtle colours and neat little accessories are more their style.

Bold Plastics – trendy, funky, show off and shout out, these are the exact opposite of a rimless. Ronnie Barker, Jenny Eclair, Dame Edna, Elton John are fans, so need we say more?!! These are the glamorous, look-at-me option, and plastics wearers will certainly demand that you do. They love bright colours, attention seeking clothes, and will be the life and soul of every party!

Metals – metal frames are the back to basics, no nonsense option. Colours are less noticeable on metal frames, they are sturdy, steady, and dependable. Aside of the occasional funky fashion metal, these are the beige slacks option of the eye wear fashion world. Metal spec wearers will get the job done for you, are reliable and efficient.

Retro/Vintage – This is usually quite a quirky look, so expect it on revolutionaries, hippies, or at the other end of the spectrum, high end fashion victims. It requires a little thinking outside the box to track down a vintage frame that can be glazed, so these will be the people who like something different. True individuals who want to kick back against the uniformity of the British High Street.

So do you think you fit your specs profile? Or are you just wearing what was easy/cheap/they’re-my-husbands-I-can-just-about-see-in-them! Maybe it’s time to tell the world a little more about you via your eye wear, or even go for a new look and fool everyone with the unexpected!

Varifocal Glasses

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Taking Care

April 5th, 2012

Once upon a time, when the good old NHS supplied all of our glasses, lenses were all glass, and we got new specs at a very low price whenever we wanted them. Nowadays however, the NHS have got bigger problems than your specs, and most lenses sold in the UK are private dispensings in plastic. To the consumer, this is a lighter weight, safer, more comfortable product, of equal optical quality to glass. The only problem is that plastic needs a little more care and cosseting than the tough old glass lenses of old.

Plastic is a softer material than glass, so most lenses come with a standard scratch resistant coating – please note the word resistant – not scratch proof! So if you allow anything abrasive to some into contact with your lens, it will be irreversibly marked. This is a problem if the defect cuts across your line of vision, and it may impair your sight, especially for night driving.

Here are our top five causes of scratched lenses!

1.Something stored in the case with the specs, examples we’ve heard of have been keys, coins, a nail file (!!) and a credit card.

2.Laying specs face down, this will give you a stripe straight down the centre off the lens, where it’s curved surface rocks against desks or tables etc.

3.Polishing specs on t shirt, dirty hankies etc, if you don’t wash your lenses with soapy water before polishing, abrasive particles on the lenses will be polished into the lens surface.

4.Twigs! You’d be amazed how many people walk into bushes etc in the garden, and get an artistic jagged line engraved across their lens. At least it hurts less than a poke in the actual eye!

5.Not using a case is another popular one, specs get stuffed into pockets, handbags, car door pockets, and lurking abrasives can then damage unprotected lenses. Always use a case, preferably a rigid one that gives plenty of protection to the frame too.

So take care of your specs, and your lenses will take care of you, giving you clear sight for as long as your prescription lasts.

Varifocal Glasses

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Making Things Clear….

March 16th, 2012

You’d think that an Optician, or spec supplier, would be super talented at making things crystal clear – but sometimes we’re guilty of throwing around the sort of jargon that would confuse an astrophysicist! So here’s our non-nonsense guide to what those confusing optician’s terms really mean!

Clients often think we’re talking about the tablets they take when we mention prescriptions, but in our world we’re referring to your glasses prescription – the power you need in your lenses to enable you to see as clearly as possible. Those weird hieroglyphics that your Optician scribbles down are actually numbers, expressed in a value called Dioptres. Plus is for long sighted correction (Hypermetopia), minus for short sighted (Myopia). The strength goes up in steps of 0.25, and the more plus or minus you are the stronger the lens power needed. If you have an Astigmatism, this just means your eyeball is shaped more like a rugby ball than a football, so you need a separate power for the long axis of the rugby ball and for the short axis. We also write down the direction of your rugby ball, so your lens will have three values written down for us to make your order. A reading addition is what we need to add to your distance prescription to give you extra magnification for close work, sometimes just written ‘add’ followed by a plus sign and a number.

Many terms that we use for lenses also cause confusion because we use names of products instead of the actual type of lens. A varifocal or progressive addition lens is often referred to as a Varliux – the oldest and most famous branded type of varifocal lens. Photochromic lenses, which go dark in sunlight, are often called Reactolites – again a brand name for the original light-reacting lens.

If we bandy about some term that you’re not familiar with, do let us know that you need an explanation – and you’ll be clear about things in every respect!

Varifocal Glasses

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IGC – Y?

March 12th, 2012

Browsing online, it’s amazing to see how many choices there are nowadays for purchasing over the net. As we become more computer savvy, and have our phones, notepads and myriad computers to use, it’s now a virtual world, and more and more of us shop for specs this way. So with lots of options out there, why would you pick the IGC? Here are a few good reasons……….

1.Qualified Staff – We are all fully qualified eye care professionals, with our team made up of Optometrists, Dispensing Opticians, and fully trained workshop technicians. We have a wealth of experience, which means we won’t make up specs if the lens/prescription/frame combination doesn’t work, and we can spot potential errors in your order. Every pair of glasses that leaves our workshop is checked several times over, at each stage of creation from initial order to dispatch.

2. Communication – If you phone or mail us, a real person will deal with your enquiry! You won’t be shunted around a complex phone system, and if you leave a message we will reply as soon as possible. Our team will deal with your questions personally, or one of our Optometrists will call you back if they are not immediately available.

3. Try Before You Buy – Our simple, no fuss way to ensure that you have selected the perfect frame for you. You can order anything you like the looks of, try it home in different lighting conditions, or with different clothes, and return the frames when you have decided. You can re-select if you don’t like your initial choices.

4.Quality Product – We only stock frames and lenses that give you high quality, at excellent value for money. We don’t ship in vast quantities of inferior product, we use branded goods that offer you comfort, the best vision possible, and durability. If you have a problem with anything that we supply, just send it back – we’ll resolve the issue for you.

4.Our Guarantee – We dispense really high volumes of varifocals because we offer you a 100% safe, cast iron guarantee that if you don’t like them – for what ever reason – we’ll exchange them or refund your money, the choice is yours. This gives our clients the peace of mind to try these amazing lenses with no risk.

We love what we do and obviously lots of you do too – so many thanks to all of our present customers, and to potential new clients – try the Internet Glasses Company with confidence. You’ll wonder Y you didn’t do it sooner!

Varifocal Glasses

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Spring is Sprung!

March 11th, 2012

After enjoying some of the hottest days on record for February, and with the Midlands threatened by drought – is it safe to say that spring is on the way? So it may now be the moment to take some time out from watching gambolling lambs and dreaming of Easter eggs to consider your eye wear wardrobe for summer….

Sunspec fashion for summer is still huge, so if you don’t need glasses for distance, dust off your bug eye sunnies from two years ago, the bigger the bigger is still cool, but styles are a bling free zone if you want to look high fashion this season. There are a few wrap around visor styles creeping out again this spring, so check the fashion pages and see if you can recycle some old sunnies. If you have any from the 1970s even better – the Margo Ledbetter look is hot this summer!

If you have a prescription for distance, you have three options – lenses that go dark in the sun, prescription sunglasses, or contact lenses with a prescription sunnies over the top. Let’s take it a step at a time!

Lenses that go dark in the sun – Photochromic lenses are triggered by UV, so they are light indoors, and dark outside. You only have to carry one pair with you, they adapt to any light conditions, and this can be a cheaper option than two separate pairs. You can choose most lens options in a photochromic version.

Prescription Sunglasses – These are permanently dark, which will give plenty of sun protection, but you need to have a clear pair with you, in case you suddenly get caught out and have to drive at night – or if the sun goes in! You can choose from dedicated prescription sunnie ranges, or choose a fashion frame that is suitable for glazing with prescription lenses.

Contact Lenses – You could wear contacts all the time, which is perfect for sport, and fog free cooking!! You can then pick the fanciest sunnies you like to wear over the top, and no one will know that you have a prescription! But bear in mind that you do also need prescription glasses to wear in case of eye infections or even late nights.

It’s a lifestyle choice that you might want to think about sooner rather than later – we’re inundated with orders for sunnies from the first snowdrops up until the burning days of August – and it’s always desperate for that special holiday, so take the time to think about it now, and get set for the sunshine.

Varifocal Glasses

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Eye Disease in the News

March 10th, 2012

Age Related Macular Degeneration has been in the news again this week, after reports that Judi Dench is a sufferer. Publicity for this eye disease is always welcome, as early detection of signs and possible preventative action is important. ARMD is the leading cause of blindness in the Western world, and as our population ages the statistics will rise. Although there is no known cure at present, there are therapies and advice that can help.

There are two forms of ARMD – wet and dry. The wet form is a medical emergency that needs immediate treatment if permanent sight loss is to be prevented. There is treatment that can help if sufferers are caught early. The dry form develops more slowly, and there is no cure at present, although research is ongoing. The latter is the most common form of the disease. Both types are a result of cells dying in and around the macula, a tiny area of the retina that’s responsible for detailed vision. Dry ARMD arises because debris from the dying cells builds up and causes problems with sight. Wet ARMD is more dramatic as blood vessels that form around the macula suddenly rupture, and the flooding of fluid damages the delicate tissues and destroys sight.

You can prevent your risk of the disease by giving up smoking, eating a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, taking moderate exercise, and wearing lenses with full UV protection, even on overcast days. Unfortunately genetics also play a part, so be extra vigilant with check ups if a family member has a history of ARMD. Regular eye examinations, with retinal imaging, will pick up early signs before you notice any symptoms. There are supplements available that provide anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals to help to protect the retina. If you have light coloured eyes, or have several risk factors, supplements may help you. Your GP, consultant or optician will be able to offer advice.

Varifocal Glasses

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Buying for Boys!

March 9th, 2012

When it comes to men and fashion, our little darlings can be a touch more reticent than us girls. Often when they’re choosing specs they don’t want to admit to vanity, and can often be found shuffling around displays, furtively trying things on while to look like they don’t care what they look like! This can lead to problems when it comes to selecting stock for men, and encouraging them to try something new. All too often they come out with the same old same old – “I’ll have another pair just like my present ones thanks.” “These Jack Duckworths will keep me going for another few years.” “I’ve only had these since 1989. They’re still ok aren’t they?”

Does this sound like your nearest and dearest? Do you need some help to drag your man kicking and screaming into fashion? This is where we heroic internet spec providers can come into our own. Your man can browse on line, which is kind of teccie, and not like real shopping at all. They can look for as long as they want, while pretending to be busy with many pursuits like online poker or the match report. They can try before they buy, so they can sample as many styles as they like, without fear of ridicule.

While old frames can be re-used, they have to be strong and still in one piece, and take a close look at the colour on the rims. If it is chipped or peeling, this means the protective layers of lacquer that protect the underlying metal have worn away, and if you continue to wear it you may end up with a rash or even a severe reaction to the base metal. Old pairs can also provide you with a good quality spare pair, for use in emergencies or to wear if you’re gardening or decorating.

Now that we’ve got over their aversion to shopping, what should they choose? A few subtle pointers from the better half might help. Skinny metals and rimless have given way to chunky plastics over the past couple of years, and plastic is actually more skin friendly, has less bits to break, and is robust. If they do still want a metal, upscale the size, go for thicker sides, and note that matte colours are much trendier than those old classics, shiny gold and silver.

So bring your boys bang up to date, without the pain of trailing around the High Street. Leave them to shop at the screen, and you can enjoy your browsing in peace!

Varifocal Glasses

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Advice for Lush Lashes

March 5th, 2012

It may be the fault of TOWIE or Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, or just girls being girls, but lashes are having a bit of a moment. There are super mascaras that make your lashes grow, falsies, semi-permanent lash extensions – exhausting to be a girl isn’t it!! But amid all this fluttering and flattering, we must make sure that lashes and eyelids – especially the edges, called the lid margins, are healthy and happy.

Lashes and lids are very important in keeping the eye and entire visual system healthy. The glands which surround them supply vital components which protect the front surface of the eye, sterilizing, lubricating, and providing a smooth surface for optimum vision. Who knew it was all so complicated! Eyebrows, the protruding shape of our brow bone, and our lashes also work towards keeping dust and debris out of the eye.

Eye infections, whether of the surface of the eye itself or the surrounding tissue, can all disrupt the delicate balance of the tears and the lubricants that the lid margins provide. So careful cleansing of the eyelid area is really important – your mother was right! Always remove eye make at night, and if you have lash extensions or use false eyelashes, follow instructions as to which cleanser you should use, and keep a watch on the lid margins.

Some useful little allies called the glands of Zeis and Moll nourish the lash follicles, but if you don’t cleanse carefully you can get a blockage here that can cause styes if they become infected. Not pretty and pretty painful! If you’ve been out partying too hard or have an underlying illness, styes become more common, so prevention is better than cure. If you notice any redness, swelling, or sore areas amid the lashes, seek advice before things get nasty! Note that mascara should be discarded within three months of opening, and always start a fresh one if you’ve had an eye infection.

Besides styes there are other problems that can threaten your hard work at lash loveliness.  Blepharitis is the one we come across most often, a sore and unsightly irritation of the lid margins. The skin around the lashes becomes red, itchy, and flaky – not nice! You can get help from the pharmacist, or for a home remedy, bathe the affected area with a solution of bicarbonate of soda mixed into freshly boiled water – let it cool first! There are products such as lid wipes that will help, but check their compatibility with your eye fashion products!!

If you’re choosing new glasses, make sure the frame fits at a distance that allows lash fluttering behind them.  If you haven’t got enough room you’ll have irritated eyes and constantly smudgy specs! Pull all this together and you’ll have lashes that will make all the hard work worth while. All the girls of TOWIE will be proud of you!

Varifocal Glasses

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Back In Contact

March 4th, 2012

If you’re around forty to fifty, and you’ve been short sighted since your teens, you may remember the heady days of hard contact lenses. These rock solid tiny circles of plastic may have saved you from the hell of NHS specs, but for many they were the corrective measure you loved to hate. Lots of patients come into practice nowadays, and shudder at the thought of contact lenses because their only experience of them was stressful at least, nightmarish at worst. So if you are of this lost generation, take a deep breath, read on calmly, and think about getting back in contact with contacts!

Hard contact lenses are rarely dispensed today, with the vast majority of patients wearing soft contact lenses, which are high water content, safe, comfortable, and flexible in their wear regimes. They can correct long and short sightedness, astigmatism, and even come in bifocal and varifocal forms. The first thing you will notice is the size difference – hard lenses had to be small, so oxygen could still reach the eye around their periphery. Soft lenses are made of oxygen permeable material, so they are much larger – covered the coloured part of the eye. They are also as lightweight and floppy as cling film – amazing if you were only familiar with seriously hard hard lenses!

Your first task is to think about which aspects of your lifestyle would be improved if you didn’t have to wear your specs. Would golf be easier? Would you feel great on dinner dates? Would it be nice to look different for work and home? Or would you like to wear lenses all the time? There are lenses that you wear for a day then throw away, lenses that you keep in and sleep in for up to a month, lenses that you pop in when you need them. Some need cleaning regimes, some are disposable. If you do need a cleaning system, they are simple and low maintenance today, and very portable for travel.

So whether you wore them in your youth, have never screwed up the courage to try them, or think you’re too old – think again! Go on, be brave, and make contact with your optician!

Varifocal Glasses

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