Covid it is safe to call and visit us:
We are taking appointments and taking great care in sanitising the practice during and after lockdown due to Covid. Our practice is kept very clean in order to keep all of us as safe as possible. You can be seen for your eye or spectacle problems within the next few days, depending on the urgency.
All the staff in both practices have now been vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine both for your safety and ours. This has been done to provide the optimum safety when you visit our practice. We will ensure that we keep up to date with our vaccinations as required.
We test all our staff with fast flow kits twice a week. As most of our clients are older and more vulnerable we keep the amount of childeren present in the practice see to an absolute minimum. We can recommend Bilsons opticians in Halstead and Joseph Lords opticians in Frinton for younger clients.
By using a small independent practice you avoid the crowds and will not be in a crowded waiting room or other highly occupied space. Thus keeping your social distance to other clients. Can we, or anyone, keep totally safe from Covid, no. All we can do is take careful precautions and be vaccinated. That is the best way to be as secure from Covid as possible. There are of course other transmissible bugs, interestingly so none of our staff have suffered from a winter cold recently. So you may well be safer from winter colds by wearing a mask in our practice.
Everyone who enters the practice wears a mask, no exceptions, that may seem harsh to some, however there is very good evidence it reduces the transmission of Covid significantly. If you have breathing issues you need to be even more careful as those patients are going to be suffering more if infected with Covid or other winter colds.
There is isopropanol hand gel by the door on entry for your use.
We use an Optos eye camera to image the inside of your eye, this avoids close contact with the optometrist whilst your eyes are being examined.
All surfaces that you are likely to come into contact with are wiped with 70% Isopropanol between every appointment.
A recent study by public health has shown that shopping in a supermarket is one of the biggest risks for catching Covid, 18% of cases. All schools, primary and secondary 23%, GP surgery 1%. From this you can see that visiting your GP or other health care provider is one of the safest visits to make.
More Covid questions ? Here is a great Covid FAQ link
UV Air Sterilizers in our practice
Air sterilizers are running in the reception area and consultation areas all day, these are also used in dental practices and disinfect the air in these rooms every 20 minutes ensuring the air is as Covid free as possible.
As an interesting fact none of our staff have been ill with a winter cold, this has to be something to do with wearing masks and taking extra precautions.
Does a mask affect your breathing ?
Despite being potentially life-saving, masks have been hard for some to accept. One national survey of nearly 60,000 respondents cites “discomfort” as the leading reason why some choose not to wear a mask in public. Many users report breathlessness, sweating, nausea and increased heart rate from masking — even though doctors have said repeatedly that masks do not inhibit the flow of oxygen.
You will be able to have your eyes properly examined whilst wearing a mask, including having the retina imaged with our ultra wide laser camera. The use of the Optos camera not only gives us a spectacular view of the fundus of your eye it also removes the need for us to get very close to examine the inside of an eye. Thus reducing the contact further.
So where are these side effects from wearing a mask come from, and what can people do to relieve their discomfort?
Discomfort Impacts on How We Breathe
First things first: Wearing a standard surgical face mask or a cloth mask does not lower a person’s oxygen levels. Nor does mask wearing trap a significant amount of carbon dioxide, says Christopher Ewing, a lung specialist based in Alberta, Canada. Dr Ewing, who regularly sees pediatric patients with asthma and cystic fibrosis, says that before the pandemic, his patients would often wear surgical masks in public to avoid respiratory illnesses that could be life threatening given their condition. In all but the most extreme cases, they’ve been able to mask safely.
But wearing a mask can still affect your breathing, Dr Ewing says — just not in the way you might think.
“Most of us aren’t used to wearing face masks, and the sensation of having a mask on your face might make someone anxious or uncomfortable,” says Dr Ewing. “Although much of our breathing is unconscious and driven by our respiratory center, it can also be influenced by the mind. When we’re feeling discomfort, even subconsciously, it can change the way we breathe.” For instance, if we exhale and it causes our glasses to fog up, we might compensate for that discomfort by not exhaling fully on our next breath.
Reducing aerosol and other transmissions
Measuring your eye pressure, this can be done with a puff of air, however the puff of air does create an aerosol, which aids in the spread of Covid. So I have changed the way we measure your eye pressure, we now use small eye drops and dab of yellow dye to measure your eye pressure without creating an aerosol. further benefit from the drops is no sudden blast of air and it is more accurate, in fact it is the only NHS approved way of taking accurate eye pressure measurements.
You are welcome to try on frames as needed, they are all cleaned and sterilised before they are back on display.
For frame and lens measurements we have software designed by Zeiss on an Ipad, this allows for the measurements to be taking without touching or very close contact.
Covid, what increases your risk of getting very ill ?
New treatment for Covid:
A recent Phase 1 trial for a new drug called EXO-C24 is showing promise in greatly reducing lung symptoms in patients with COVID-19. the drug is supplied to the patient in an aerosol and is breathed in by the patients for a few minutes over a few days. EXO-C24 appears to help most coronavirus patients recover within five days. The drug is calms the immune response that can be deadly in COVID-19 — the so-called cytokine storms — furthemore it should have the same effect regardless of how SARS-CoV-2 evolves. More details here.