Newsletter Autumn/Winter 2021

Winter Eye Health

With the country still in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important that yet again this winter we try to spend time outdoors where the virus is less likely to circulate.

Low winter sun can cause uncomfortable glare, and don’t forget that UV exposure occurs in the winter as well as the summer, so make sure you protect your eyes and reduce glare with well fitting, unscratched sunglasses. Polarised sunglasses such as Maui Jim’s are ideal.

​Mask wearing will reduce transmission in indoor public areas, and although this (at the time of writing) is not mandatory, many people are still choosing to protect themselves and others by wearing masks indoors. There are reports of eye dryness due to masks directing breath up and over the ocular surface (Mask Associated Dry Eye) and you can help avoid this by using a mask with a wire at the top to shape it around your nose.

Central heating also dries out the environment which can also exacerbate the gritty, uncomfortable feeling caused by dry eyes. Radiator humidifiers are easily available to reduce environmental dryness and preservative-free drops can help dry eye symptoms. You can ask us for advice.

Don’t forget to up your intake of Vitamin D – the NHS recommends that everyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the autumn and winter. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can include muscle weakness & pain, bone pain, fatigue and depression. These symptoms can be subtle and if you are feeling under the weather and are not taking vitamin D ask your pharmacist or GP for advice.

With most of the population vaccinated, hospital admissions due to Covid will be reduced on last winter, but flu is waiting in the wings to step in. If you have never had a flu jab – this is the year to get that extra bit of protection. Although it is well known that the flu jab is only effective for some strains of the virus, every little helps. Even if the proportion of hospital admissions due to flu was reduced by only 10%, that is still many thousands less hospital admissions. We all owe it to the NHS to help them out by accepting a vaccination when offered.

Let’s all try to stay well this winter and fingers crossed for a healthier 2022.

What are OCT scans and why should I have one?

When you book an appointment with us, you will be offered an OCT scan. Most of our patients will have had a photograph taken of the back of their eyes at Donner Optometrists before, and many have now added OCT scans into their eye health care.

Quite simply, OCT scanning allows us the most detailed examination of the central part of the back of the eye, in particular the optic nerve and the macula.

Apart from cataract, the two most common eye conditions in the over 40 age group are glaucoma and macular degeneration. OCT scanning allows up to detect these conditions earlier than other tests available – so that treatment if required can be started earlier to prevent or reduce sight loss. OCT scanning can also detect many other eye problems invisible to other methods, due to the high level of magnification and visibility of layers of cells below the surface of the retina.

Diabetics may wonder if they should have OCT as well as their diabetic screening. In fact it is arguably even more important for diabetics, as the national screening program is only for diabetic retinopathy and not for glaucoma (which diabetics are more at risk of developing) as well as macula disease.

Although OCT adds an additional charge to your eye appointment, it is a small price to pay for the additional information it gives us in order to look after your eye health as well as we possibly can. Our optometrists recommend all patients have regular OCT scans at the time of their eye examinations and you can book online here or call us to arrange an appointment.

Three Generations of Spectacle Design – Etnia Barcelona

Etnia Barcelona frames are an exciting addition to our collections in all our branches. Designed in Barcelona, they blend heritage and tradition with innovation.

Their spectacle design spans three generations with passion and dedication. Loved by celebrities the world over, their style and finish can complete any look, be it subtle but quirky or bright and bold. In the 1950s, Fulgencio Ramo created his first eyewear factory. His children joined the business and this second generation designed, created and distributed the glasses all over Spain. It was not until the 1990s when his grandson, David Pellicer joined the company with the dream of creating something new that their spectacles became an exciting fashion accessory.

David brought colour to their products that, until then, had only been brown or black. David wanted to develop the brand to appeal to all people and display forms of expression through colour and art. Even today their design team in Barcelona creates all of their collections from scratch. They are pioneers in colour study, with more than 500 of their own models, inspired by the fashion and art industries.

Quality has been and continues to be fundamental. The entire process is controlled from beginning to end, with every detail scrutinised to ensure quality standards are met. Additionally, they work with the best materials on the market, such as pure mineral glass lenses from Barberini and HD Colours technology, as well as natural acetate from Mazzucchelli.

Etnia Barcelona use natural raw materials and have a social project with the Etnia Barcelona Foundation. They strive for a more sustainable future that respects people and the environment and are developing packaging made of natural and 100% recyclable materials, free of single-use plastics. Having their own factories means they follow the same code of ethics and monitoring as our headquarters in Barcelona.

We carry a wide range of Etnia Barcelona styles with something for everyone – come in and see us and don’t worry, you can remove your face mask to try them on!

Give us your feedback and win!

At Donner Optometrists we are always striving to give the best possible customer service. In order to gain better insight into the level of service that patients feel they receive; we invite feedback via Google reviews.

Google Reviews is easily accessed from our website by clicking the ‘Leave a review’ link on the top right of each webpage and gives you the opportunity to provide information on all areas of your Donners journey; from booking the appointment, to your eye examination, and choosing spectacles. We really value all the comments that we receive: these help us to ensure that we are providing the optimum level of care for our patients.

As a thank you for leaving a review, we hold a biannual draw where if you leave your initials and the date of your visit, you will be entered into the draw and you can win up to £250!

Why is being an Independent Opticians Important to us?

We have been proudly independent since David Donner’s father started the business, and this is important to us since our High Streets seem to be overtaken with big corporate multiple chains, changing the face of our communities. We have retained our ethos as part of a small independent group since David retired.

Being independent gives us the personal touch and allows us to use spectacle lenses from a huge range of manufacturers, letting our clinical staff make the best recommendation for you without being tied to a narrow range.

We’re also able to hold a wide variety of spectacle frame brands, with prices to suit all
pockets and styles to suit both the conservative and the quirky. We also have the freedom to order contact lenses from manufacturers worldwide – so we can fit contact lenses to almost any prescription.

Additionally, it means we can adapt quickly to change – and never was this demonstrated better than in March last year when we had to switch overnight from providing regular eye examinations to being an emergency eyecare provider. In the initial weeks and months of the pandemics the multiples across the UK remained closed (with a small handful of exceptions) whilst Donner Optometrists were able to continue to help patients and supporting the NHS to keep patients out of hospitals and GP surgeries by offering private emergency appointments. This service continues to support the NHS and after a private appointment, if necessary you can be transferred into the NHS hospital service or to private consultants. However, we are often able to treat many patients with minor eye conditions without onward referral being necessary.

Like many businesses we had an unusual number of early retirements and staff changes during the pandemic but we are lucky to have such loyal staff who excel at passing their knowledge on to newer staff members. Despite the pandemic, all our professionals have kept up to date with education, ensuring their skills and knowledge are fresh to be able care for all our patients.

Newsletter Archive

Newsletter Autumn/Winter 2021