How to care for ageing eyes

As we age we begin to notice some changes to our vision. The risk of age related eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration increase as we grow older. This is why it’s important to start caring for your eyes now to help prevent these conditions and preserve your vision as best as you can.

Below are a few recommended ideas on how to best care for your eyes as they age.

Wear Sunglasses On Sunny Days

One of the best ways to protect ageing eyes is to always wear sunglasses in the summer. On sunny days, harmful UV rays can unknowingly do a lot of damage to your eyes. Overexposure to UV rays can lead to vision problems such as cataracts. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to keep your eyes covered and protected

At R Woodfall, we have a wide range of sunglasses for you to choose from. From lenses to the right frames for you, we can help you out with all of your eye protection needs.

Be More Physically Active

Exercise is good for your body, but did you know that it also benefits your eye health directly? Cardiovascular exercise such as running, walking, and swimming can lower the intraocular pressure in the eye. Intraocular pressure refers to the fluid pressure of the eye, which can cause problems if this pressure is too high. Cardiovascular exercise can lower this pressure and in turn, help prevent eye conditions such as glaucoma.

Quit Smoking

It’s no secret that smoking is bad for your health, but did you know it can directly affect your eyesight too? Quitting smoking is a recommended method of preventing many eye conditions, especially age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Smokers are three to four times more likely to be diagnosed with AMD, so quitting is your best option.

Visit Your Optician Regularly

At R Woodfall, we can help identify any eye conditions you may have and give you the necessary treatment. By visiting us, you can help prevent or improve any eye conditions that you may exist. We have the very best optical technology to perform eye examinations that can detect age-related eye conditions.

It’s better to detect eye conditions early rather than later, so by visiting an optician practice such as one of ours, you can ensure your eye health is in great hands.

Feel free to contact us today with any queries you may have. We’d be happy to help you with all of your eye care needs.

Age-related eye conditions explained

As we age, it’s natural to notice changes in your body; but one aspect that is often overlooked are changes to your eyes and vision. Growing older presents new challenges to overcome, and one of them is an increased risk of age-related eye conditions that could affect our vision.

At R Woodfall, we’re here to share our knowledge with you on these age-related eye conditions, and offer our expert advice on the matter. 

Below are a few of the most common age-related eye conditions and their explanations.


Glaucoma is an eye condition that involves damage to the optic nerve. It’s usually caused by a buildup of fluid in the eye. Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease, which means that it will only get worse without treatment as time goes on.

This is why it’s very important to visit your optician as we have the technology to detect the early onset of these eye conditions.

The symptoms of glaucoma include:

  • Eye pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Tenderness around the eye
  • Headaches
  • A red eye

Macular Degeneration

Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is another progressive eye condition that affects a person’s vision. When someone has AMD, their central vision (not peripheral vision) becomes blurred, meaning it becomes difficult to see clearly.

AMD is when ageing causes damage to the macular. The macular is the part of your eye responsible for your sharp vision, and it forms part of the retina. AMD is commonly caused by abnormalities in blood vessels that then cause fluid leaks in the macular.

Age-related macular degeneration usually first affects individuals in their 50s and 60s. At this age it is significantly important to visit an eye care expert so they can detect any early warning signs.


Cataracts are another age-related common eye condition that requires treatment. This eye condition occurs when the lens in the eye develops cloudy patches. Over the passing of time, these cloudy areas can become larger and larger, resulting in cloudy/blurred vision and eventually vision loss.

Luckily the treatment for cataracts is straightforward and quick, meaning it may not cause you many issues if you choose to have surgery.

Cataracts are a very common age-related condition, the majority of people will experience having cataracts once they reach a certain eldery age.

What Can I Do?

In order to best prevent these eye conditions, you should visit your local eye care specialists. When you visit an optician, they can perform eye examinations on you to search for any signs of an eye condition. If an eye condition is detected then you can receive help immediately to prevent them from getting worse.

It’s worth visiting your opticians. If you have any questions or would like to visit one of our practices then do not hesitate to contact us today.

How often should you visit your optician?

Your eye health should be treated like any other part of your body. Most people visit the dentist every 6 months, the doctors every 3 years for a check-up, but many people neglect a vital part of their health: their eyes.

Often we find ourselves taking our vision for granted, it’s easy to do and even easier to fix! Practising regular eye care and visiting your optician is the best way to improve your eye health now, and later on in life. Below are the recommended amount of times a year you should visit your optician (based on age), and why it’s so vital for your health as a whole.

The Recommended Optician Appointments a Year

According to the NHS, it’s recommended that you visit your optician for an eye test every 2 years. For those over 50, it’s recommended that you see you go once a year, as you’re more at risk for age-related eye diseases such as glaucoma. If you’ve been told by a medical professional to see your optician more than these recommended times then follow their advice as instructed.

It’s important to receive eye tests even if you don’t feel as though you need one as many eye conditions go undetected before they’re discovered through symptoms. Just like it’s important to visit your dentist and doctor, it’s essential that you visit your eye care provider too.

Below are a few of the reasons why eye tests are crucial in maintaining good eye health.

Why It’s Necessary to Visit Your Optician

There are many reasons as to why you should visit your opticians, but here are a few common and important ones that we’ve listed for you below:

Prevention of eye conditions: A very important reason why you should see your eye doctor more often is that they can detect eye conditions before you can. This is important as you may be able to get treatment and prevent the onset of an eye condition before it starts to impact you.

An eye examination examines every area of your eye, meaning your optician will be able to see if there are any abnormalities. Like all illnesses, getting treatment early on gives you the best chance of treating an ailment.

You may benefit from lenses: A lot of people who may need contact lenses or glasses go without them for a while as they don’t think there is anything wrong with their eyesight.

An example of this being people with refractive errors such as myopia (short-sightedness). These people may benefit greatly from glasses to correct their vision, but may put off going to their optician. If you have myopia or something similar and have not yet been diagnosed, a visit to your optician can solve this issue for you and get you the eye care you need.

You may need a lens upgrade: Many glasses-wearers may have prescription lenses that have expired. If this is the case for you then booking in with an optician for a lens upgrade is the best thing to do. Your eye doctor can check for vision changes and then adjust your prescription accordingly.

If you have any eye concerns, or questions then don’t hesitate to contact us today.


Developing cataracts can be a scary time in your life. You may be worried about blindness, the surgery involved, and how to make a good recovery. But, cataracts are a very common eye condition that is easily treatable and taken care of.

So there’s no need to worry, as long as you visit your Optician/GP, they will assist you or your family member receive the necessary treatment.

What is a Cataract?

The term cataract is familiar to many, but what exactly is a cataract and how does it affect your vision? A cataract is simply clouding of the tissue in your eye’s lens. This means that when a cataract forms, your vision will become more and more clouded over time, and in turn, if left untreated, could lead to blindness. However, the good news is that it’s common and readily treatable.

Cataracts are particularly common in people over the age of 60, as it is in general, an age-related eye condition. If you or a family member develop a cataract, it’s important to get the necessary eye treatment.

Early Signs of Cataracts

Here are some of the early signs that you may be developing a cataract. If you experience the following symptoms then contact your doctor or us at R Woodfall today, as we can assist you in all your eye care needs.

  • Yellowing or fading of colours
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Clouded or blurred vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Seeing halos around light
  • Double vision in one eye

The Surgery Process

If you or your family member does develop cataracts, then surgery is highly recommended, but it is ultimately your (or their) choice. Here’s what to expect if you do choose to have cataract removal surgery.

The surgery lasts for about 30 minutes or so and is painless. You will be given local anaesthesia so you won’t feel any pain, and you’ll be able to go home the same day.

The surgery itself involves the surgeon removing your lens and replacing it with an implant. This is a very common procedure and is very likely to highly improve your eyesight.

It takes about 6-12 weeks to recover fully from cataract surgery.

The Risks and Benefits

Even though cataract surgery is very common, there are also some risks that come with it. These risks include: blurred vision, vision loss, detached retina. These risks can be managed with further treatment, and the chances of one of them happening are about 1 in 50.

Some of the benefits of having your cataracts removed are: being able to see things in focus, being able to tell the difference between colours, and being able to see without glares and halos impacting your vision.

If you think you have cataracts or another age-related eye condition, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team.

How Does Blue Light Affect Our Eyesight?

How Does Blue Light Affect Our Eyesight?

Technology allows us to stay connected with one another. There’s no doubt that the convenience technology provides us has made our daily lives a whole lot easier. However, it’s been found that dedicating too much time to our electronics can have ill health effects. 

You may have heard of the dangers technology poses to our wellbeing. But have you ever wondered exactly why digital screens may be bad for us? The blue light emitted from our much loved screens is debated to have negative health effects, particularly surrounding eyesight. More research is needed to support these claims long term, but it’s still good to be in the know. 

Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know:

What is Blue Light?

Blue light is found in the LED lights in smartphones, tablets, and computers. Similar to UV rays, blue light is short, powerful, high energy waves. We’re exposed to a large amount of blue rays everyday. Unlike other kinds of rays, our eyes do not block out blue light, meaning most of it goes straight onto our retinas. 

Does Blue Light Cause Eye Strain?

It’s said that spending too long staring at LED screens can lead to digital eyestrain. Digital eye strain is the term for vision problems due to excessive amounts of screen time. Commonly known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), this condition can cause an array of uncomfortable symptoms. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Dry eyes
  • Headaches 
  • Eye redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye discomfort 

Luckily, these symptoms usually go away after limiting screen time. If you have underlying eye conditions then these symptoms may worsen, so it’s important to regularly visit your optician. 

Is Blue Light Bad For Our Health?

It can cause CVS, but it’s also said to have a more severe impact. Macular degeneration is an eye condition that occurs in older people (50+). It affects your central vision, causing blurriness and reduced eyesight. 

It’s caused by the thinning of the macular, a part of the retina. It goes straight to the back of the eye, onto the retina, and is associated with the thinning of the macular, causing macular degeneration.

Ways To Limit Blue Light

If you have CVS or just want to limit your time spent on digital devices, we’ve put together a list of things you can do. 

  • Adjust your screen’s brightness. This is a common cause for eyestrain and headaches that is a simple fix. 
  • Invest in some blue light glasses. A quick solution to stop the potential damage to your eyes is to wear a protective lens. 
  • Take breaks from your screen. 

As always, the best way to care for your eyes is visiting your optician. Book in for a routine appointment with us at R Woodfall today.

Blue Light Glasses

How To Find The Right Sunglasses

How To Find The Right Sunglasses

Protecting our eyes from the sun is one of the most important things you can do for your eye health. Overexposure to UV rays can harm your eyes and cause long term issues. This is why it’s important to protect your eyes from the sun, just as you would your skin. The most effective way to do this is by wearing sunglasses. 


Sunglasses can help prevent photokeratitis, a painful but temporary eye condition caused by overexposure to ultraviolet rays.

There are several options when it comes to finding the right pair for you. From different lenses to various styles, there’s more to consider than you may think. 

Here’s your ultimate guide to finding the right sunglasses for you.

Find The Right Lens

Arguably the most important thing about every pair of sunglasses isn’t the frame or style, it’s the lens. With a wide range of lenses to choose from, each serves a different purpose to best suit you. There are lenses for every purpose, whether you need protection from glare or you need to be able to see well in sunlight, there’s a lens available for you. Here are a couple of options available:

  • Photochromic lenses

These lenses are a great option to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. These lenses work by turning darker when exposed to UV rays. Meaning they protect you from the sun when necessary. Photochromic lenses will remain transparent indoors, so you can see clearly when you’re not exposed to sunlight. 

  • Sport sunglasses

UV protection is important for everyone, which is why there are many lenses and frames to suit peoples lifestyle needs. If you play a lot of sports then you may find that regular sunglasses hinder your performance. 

Whether you can’t see as well as you need to or you need a stronger frame, sport sunglasses are the solution for you. Designed to withstand the rough and tumble of sport as well as allowing you to see better in the sunlight, these lenses could be a great choice for you.

The Different Categories of Sunglasses

Every pair of sunglasses falls into one of 5 categories, depending on the level of tint. They range from category 0-5, with 0 being little tint and 5 being the darkest tint available. This information is pretty useful when it comes to hunting for your next pair of sunglasses. A category 0 lens is suited for safety eyewear as you can see clearly; whereas a category 5 lens is made to protect you from harsh sunlight in extreme climates. Most sunglasses fall into the middle! 

To find out more about our range of sunglasses including lens and frame information, contact us today to speak to a specialist.

What your lens means

What your lens means

There are many kinds of lenses to treat a variety of eye concerns. Many people need corrective lenses to fix a refractive error and improve their vision as a whole. Others may need multifocal lenses to manage two conditions. 

Glasses and contact lenses help by focusing the light that comes into the retina in one spot. Some people may need multiple pairs of glasses or contact lenses for different problems. It’s important to know what your lens means to make sure you have the right one.

It can seem like there’s a myriad of different lenses and reasons why people may need them. Which is why we at R Woodfall have made you a short guide on the different types of lenses and what they mean. 

Varifocal Lenses 

Also known as progressive lenses, varifocal lenses allow you to see all distances and focal points with just one lens. Unlike bifocal lenses, the line differentiating between distances is absent, making varifocals a great option for those with multiple visual needs. Varifocal lenses work by graduating between short and long sightedness. This means that you can use them for both distances, in a gradual manner.

Toric Lenses 

This lens was made for those with astigmatism. Astigmatism is a type of refractive error that happens when the cornea is misshapen. People with astigmatism often experience blurred vision, even with an average lens. Toric lenses differ from standard lenses as they are shaped to fit the irregular cornea of those with astigmatism. This makes toric lenses the best option for astigmatism as they were designed to deal with that specific refractive error.

Photochromic Lenses

Many people who wear glasses have often struggled finding sunglasses to fit over their prescription lenses. Photochromic lenses solve this problem by offering lenses that darken in bright sunlight, and lighten in darker lit areas. This makes being outside in the sun a lot more tolerable. Photochromic lenses are a great option, not just for glasses-wearers but for people who are concerned about their overall eye health. Photochromic lenses are designed to block out 100% of UVA and UVB light which can cause vision damage.

So how do I know which lens is for me?

At R Woodfall we have a variety of lenses to suit every eye care need. Contact us today to enquire about which lens you may need and we can offer you expert advice. 

What is Astigmatism?

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common eye condition that causes blurry vision. Similar to myopia (near-sightedness), astigmatism is a refractive error that can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. It’s believed that 1 in 3 people will have some degree of astigmatism, however, you are more likely to be at risk if there’s a family history. It can also usually occur alongside short and long sightedness.

What are the symptoms and causes of Astigmatism?

Similar to other refractive error conditions, astigmatism is when the cornea is mis-shapen. A lot of people with astigmatism may not even notice they have it. However, if you have moderate or severe astigmatism, you may need to visit your optician to find a solution for you.

The main symptom as we know is blurred vision, but there are a number of other symptoms to be aware of:

  • Headaches
  • Eye strain
  • Light sensitivity 
  • Night vision problems

Headaches and eye strain cause discomfort and can be corrected with the right glasses or contact lenses. Here at R Woodfall, we offer a range of lenses that are specifically designed to correct a refractive error such as astigmatism. 

We don’t know what causes astigmatism, but it is thought to be hereditary. If you have a family history of astigmatism then you may have it yourself. Astigmatism can be present from birth, but it can also be caused by an injury or after an eye surgery. 

Why does my astigmatism get worse at night?

At night time or in dimly lit places, your eyes dilate as they need more light. This dilation means that more light is entering the eye and so this influx can cause glares and halos, worsening the effects of astigmatism.

Have you ever been a passenger in a car at night and noticed that the street lights have become blurry and distorted into a line? This is a common example of how astigmatism affects night vision.

f you believe you have astigmatism, it’s important to check with your doctor if it is safe for you to drive at night.

Arrange an appointment with R Woodfall

If your astigmatism is getting in the way of your everyday life, or you simply wish to correct it, contact us today to arrange an appointment. We can help you receive the eyecare you need.

The Sun And Your Eyes

The Sun And Your Eyes

We are all well aware of the risks of overexposure to sunlight and the damage this can cause our skin. However, many people are not so aware of the damage the sun can cause to our eyes. As spring and summer approaches, here we have helped to explain the importance of sun protection for your eyes. 

Harmful UV rays 

There are two types of UV rays you should be aware of: 

UVA – This type of UV rays can cause damage to your central vision. 

UVB – The Cornea and Lens, at the front part of your eye are likely to be damaged by UVB rays as they will absorb these most. 

When overexposed to sunlight, your eyes will absorb these UV rays which may increase your risk of experiencing common eye conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration. 

How to Protect your vision from UV Rays 

There are several ways you can ensure your vision and eye health is protected against these harmful UV rays. When outdoors, you should wear protected lenses, this could include photochromic lenses, polarised lenses or sunglasses. When purchasing a lens solution, you should always look for a lens that offers 100% protection against both types of UV rays, UVA and UVB.

Combining UV protection with your lens prescription

If you already wear eyeglasses to correct a refractive error, this doesn’t mean you can not upgrade your lens solution to combine this with additional UV protection. At RWoodfall we carry a wide selection of sunglasses, including designer brands, which we can personalise to support your individual prescription. You may be interested in switching to a photochromic lens for a hassle free solution. These lenses are light sensitive and will darken in sunlight to offer additional protection. When indoors these lenses will be completely clear. Offering a comfortable, fast-reacting and hassle free lens solution for eye protection. 

Other ways to protect your eyes in the sun

As well as wearing a protective lens, there are a few other ways you can protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays emitted by the sun: 

  • Wear a wide brimmed hat to keep your eyes protected from bright light and glare on a sunny day. 

  • Avoid looking directly into the sun at any time. 

  • Be aware of the dangers of UV rays for your eyes and remember these can be harmful at any time of the year. Not just on bright, sunny days! 

Managing Myopia

Managing Myopia


Do you or children in your family struggle to see things that are in the distance clearly?

Perhaps you are not able to read car number plates or road signs easily, but you can still see close up objects really clearly. If so, then visit our opticians for a full eye examination as it is likely that you have a condition referred to as myopia, or short sightedness.  

Myopia Epidemic

Short-sightedness or myopia is a very common eye condition. It is normally due to the eye length being too long and therefore light cannot focus on the retina, causing blurriness in the distance.

A landmark 2015 study by the Brien Holden Institute in Australia published that by the year 2050, half of the global population will be myopic, and it is estimated that around one billion people will be highly myopic (over -5.00). The implications of this, is that the exponential increase in risk of pathology leading to serious eye conditions and even blindness is a global concern, which we are finally able to have an impact on by slowing the progression of myopia in children.

Options available to slow the progression of myopia

It is important to have regular eye examinations, every two years is normally recommended, unless your optician suggests otherwise, to ensure that your eyes are healthy and your glasses remain the correct strength. This is because over time your vision may continue to change. 

Across all of our practices, we offer Essilor Stellest spectacle lenses and Coopervision MiSight contact lenses as a treatment to slow down the progression of myopia in children.

Essilor Stellest spectacle lenses are a unique aesthetic design to ‘defocus’ light in front of the back of the eye, without affecting the quality of vision.

MiSight daily disposable contact lenses work in a very similar way, they are comfortable and convenient, and we also recommend they can be used in conjunction with Essilor Stellest spectacle lenses where glasses cannot be worn all of the the time due to activities such as sports.

Book an Appointment with R Woodfall 

For an appointment at one of our practices with a member of our expert team of highly qualified eye care professionals, do not hesitate to get in touch. We can talk you through a diagnosis of myopia and offer you a solution to help manage myopia and slow its progression. 

Healthy Eyes for Life

Healthy Eyes for Life

Your eyes are with you for life, so keeping these healthy throughout should be top priority. Many of us take our good eye health for granted, but would experience huge life changes if this was to be impacted in any way. In the UK we are very fortunate to have access to some of the very best eye health care, meaning, as a patient, you can receive regular, in-depth eye examinations and access to a range of treatments and solutions to ensure you have healthy eyes. On top of this, there are many lifestyle changes you can make to ensure you are protecting your eye health for life.

Keeping fit and healthy

Eating healthy and doing regular exercise isn’t just great for your body, your eyes will benefit too! Ensuring you eat plenty of leafy greens and lots of fruit will provide your eyes with the necessary nutrients to keep them healthy. Avoiding bad habits like smoking is also important when maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your eye health. Smoking can negatively impact your eyes and can also put you at a greater risk for common eye conditions such as cataracts. 

Visit your optician regularly

Making regular trips to your optician will ensure early signs of common eye conditions do not go undetected. Eye exams, including OCT scans will take an in-depth assessment of your eye health to ensure your eyes are healthy and your prescription is up to date. The NHS recommends making an appointment for an eye examination every 2 years. However, if you have a concern or have been advised by your optometrist to make these visits more often, this could be once a year. 

How Are Menopause And Dry Eyes Connected?

How Are Menopause And Dry Eyes Connected?

Menopause s often a subject surrounded in confusison and mis-information. When women reach their 40’s, the changes in their body and hormones can have an impact on many aspects of the body. Since, some people know very little about menopause, we thought we would address a concern many will be unware of. 

Many women who have experienced menopause or are experiencing meonpause have noted struggling with dry eyes during this time. Although this is not a serious condition, it can cause some feelings of dis-comfort and is best treated with the support of an optician. 

How does menopause cause dry eyes? 

It may not be the case for all women, but as we age our eyes experience a reduction in tear production. Meaning our eyes are less lubricated than usual. As a woman experiences menopause she experiences a decrease in the production of hormones such as androgen and oestrogen. Some research has looked into this and found that as androgen levels decrease, as does the oil content in the tears produced. Which can impact how quickly these tears evaporate. Subsequently causing women’s eyes to become dry and inflamed. 

The Symptoms Of Dry Eyes

If you are currently experiencing menopause and are unsure if your symptoms are symptoms of dry eyes, here is what to look out for: 

  • Sore eyes
  • Burning and itching eyes 
  • Red and watery eyes 
  • Temporary blurred vision 
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Contact lenses feeling uncomfortable

Treatment for Dry Eyes

If you are suffering with dry eyes, you will be pleased to know there are several options for treating this. If you have only mild symptoms, giving your eyes some time to rest is really important. For example, spending less time using digital devices and reducing the amount of time you spend wearing contact lenses. However, if your symptoms are beginning to impact your daily life, it is best to speak with an optician or a pharmacist who can recommend some treatment solutions. For example, lubricating eye drops will work amazingly to lubricate your eyes and minimise feelings of dis-comfort. 

If you do have any of the symptoms mentioned above and would like some support from a team member at one of our practices, do not hesitate to get in touch.