March is one of our favourite months of the year. It’s a month of new beginnings, with fresh new growth popping up in the garden and days starting to draw out as we approach the first day of spring. As the winter months start to fade behind us, we look forward to the start of British summer time and hopefully better weather and warm sunny days.

Another reason we love March so much is because it’s a month chockfull of awareness days. Marie Curie hold their daffodil appeal this month; the Downs Syndrome Association have their awareness week (21st), marking it by wearing odd socks. It’s also World Glaucoma Week (10th-16th), International Women’s Day (8th) and World Book Day (7th). And let’s not forget that March is Alison’s birthday month too.

A lot of these awareness days have come about to help make people more aware of certain conditions and the related associations out there to help these causes, either by support or research. So we thought we’d use the theme of awareness for this month’s blog. And specifically draw attention to the importance of regular eye examinations, how some sections of our society have difficulty accessing this service and what a difference a thorough eye examination can make to people’s lives.

We’d like to start by telling you about one of our patients; a lovely elderly couple who come to see us regularly. Unfortunately, the wife has dementia and her quality of life has deteriorated over the last few years. The last time we saw her in 2018 she had no communication, had reoccurring eye infections and had not opened her eyes for more than six months. Her very caring husband called us earlier this year asking for advice about these infections and what could be done to ease his wife’s discomfort.

After clearing the infection, we recommended starting a hygiene regime involving an OPTASE Heat Mask to help sooth the eyes, cleansing the eyes with tea tree oil lid wipes and hydrating with Hycosan Night Ointment to help improve the tear film and protect the ocular surface. A week later, the lady’s husband called to say that she had opened her eyes for the first time in over six months! He was thrilled, as we were. He said her eyes obviously hurt but as she’d lost the power of speech, she wasn’t able to let anyone know. We spoke to him recently, to book his annual eye examination, and he let us know that since we’d last spoken his wife had also had her ears syringed and was now responding to the TV and was even singing along. She has regained two of her senses and it has obviously made a huge difference to her quality of life.

Real life stories like this highlight just how important it is to be aware of peoples’ needs. Especially if they are vulnerable and have additional needs, because they may not be able to make themselves understood or they may not even be aware that their eyesight is not as good as it could be. A full eye test will also check the health of the eye. The visual check is only part of the examination and some conditions, like for example glaucoma, if left undetected can cause major issues or even sight loss. You should have a regular examination even if you think your eyesight is fine. So call us and book an eye examination today.

Use our online booking form to book your next eye examination. Alternatively, give us a call on 01858 433 577 or pop into our shop on Manor Walk in Market Harborough.

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