While enjoying sunnier days and warmer temperatures it’s important to remember to take care of your eyes.
Here is our quick guide to some of the ways you can protect your peepers during the summer months.
Sunglasses are a must, whatever your age
Wearing sunglasses offers your eyes protection against UV rays which, over the years, can cause significant damage to your eyes.
By wearing a good quality pair of sunglasses you’re not just protecting the eye itself but the skin around it, reducing the risk of skin cancer.
Most sunglasses offer full UV protection, cutting out UV to a level required by EU law. Look out for the CE mark to show they conform with legislation.
As long as there are no other sight issues children should also wear sunglasses on bright days. Most damage caused by UV light is accrued over a number of years, so protecting your eyes from a young age can be a real benefit.
Consider the colour of the lenses as well as the size and fit of the sunglasses around your face and go for a pair that cuts out as much light as possible without steaming up or causing inconvenient reflections.
Sand in your eye? Don’t rub it!
There’s nothing better than a sunny day at the beach – until the wind whips up and you find yourself with sand in your eye. If this happens there is one firm rule – don’t rub it!
By rubbing your eye, you are much more likely to scratch the front of it. Even if the sand comes out it will still feel like you have something in there and you open yourself up to infection.
Let your eye water as tears are the body’s natural defence mechanism. Try to let the tears flow and don’t rub them away as they will help to flush out any debris. You can also try very gently pulling the lower lid away from the eye slightly to let the tears flow and well up which should help wash the sand out.
If the irritation continues use an eyebath to soothe your eye, and if it still doesn’t ease then call your optician so they can take a closer look and recommend what you need to do next.
Contact lenses and swimming don’t mix
As a general rule wearing contact lenses while swimming is a no no. For serious swimmers or those who are in the water a lot, ideally opt for a pair of prescription goggles. Otherwise wear an old pair of glasses that you wouldn’t mind losing or damaging as a worst-case scenario.
Combating hay fever
Sadly, one of the downsides of summer for many people is hay fever.
Sufferers often find their eyes become red and itchy with swelling or puffiness around the eyes.
Over the counter treatments such as antihistamine eye drops are usually the best course of action to combat hay fever symptoms. If after a week there is no improvement and your eyes are still dry, itchy and red you should make an urgent appointment at your opticians to make sure you’re not suffering from a different eye condition.
If warmer weather tempts you to play more sport, it’s worth considering investing in eyewear that fits the bill.
Sports frames and prescription goggles really can make a difference to your performance and are much safer, too. To find out more about specialist sporting eyewear take a look at our blog. [link to Glasses, Goggles and Contact Lenses for Sports | Patrick & Menzies (patrickandmenzies.co.uk)]
Check out our selection of sunglasses online.
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Keep your glasses in mint condition with our top tips
Considering plenty of us rely on our glasses to see clearly, it’s amazing that so many people fail to keep them clean!
It doesn’t take a lot to keep your specs in mint condition once you know how. Read on for Patrick & Menzies’ top tips.
Back to basics
When cleaning your glasses, aim to wipe or rub the lenses as little as possible. Every time you do, there is a risk (however small) of scratching.
Start with rinsing your lenses in cold water to wash away any dust. Avoid warm or hot water as this could cause the lenses to expand, potentially cracking and ruining any coatings instantly.
Lens cleaner from your optician is definitely the best option as it is designed to evaporate off the lens leaving less smearing – ask at your local Patrick & Menzies branch next time your visit for an appointment.
If you don’t have any cleaner tailored to the job mild hand soap can be OK, but it can leave your lenses smeary, which in turn means you wipe it more, increasing the risk of scratching.
You should never use washing-up liquid or household cleaners on your lenses as they can contain tiny amounts of solvent which causes damage to certain types of lens materials.
Clear of smear
Always polish your lenses using the cloth given to you by your optician when you bought your glasses. Commonly these are made from microfibre which will keep the need for rubbing the lenses to a minimum.
Most scratched lenses are caused by something getting caught on the cloth from your pocket, case or handbag, so make sure you keep your cloth and glasses case clean, too.
Never use kitchen towel or tissues as they are more abrasive than you think, and hankies should be avoided as they often have dust or debris from your pocket stuck to them.
When you are not wearing your glasses, it makes sense to keep them in their case. Although tempting, avoid keeping pens, nail files and other ‘handy’ items in the case too, as they are sure to scratch.
So many of us are guilty of pushing our specs up on the top of our heads, but this is also a no no as it bends the sides out of shape and can make them loose.
If you are taking your glasses off momentarily, put them down sides closed, lens up and do your best to avoid sleeping in your specs.
Ideally if you play sports invest in the right eyewear for the job rather than wear your everyday glasses. Prescription goggles for swimming and appropriate safety specs for other sports such as tennis or football, are designed to keep you safe and help you get the most from your vision.
If you are concerned about your eyesight please do give us a call to book an appointment. Even during lockdown we’re open to look after your eyes, glasses, and contact lenses, with measures in place to keep everyone safe.
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Tell-tale that signs you need your eyes checked
Regular eye tests are an important part of keeping your vision in check, and for most adults that usually means seeing the optician every couple of years.
But if you spot a significant change to your sight it’s important to get it looked at rather than wait for your next regular appointment.
Dan Edwards, Patrick & Menzies Partner and Dispensing Optician, said: “There are lots of reasons that lead to people booking an eye test, but if your vision is different to normal you really should get it checked out.”
One of the most common symptoms of late is eye strain or tired eyes which can often be caused by spending long hours looking at a screen. Although everything may look clear you may need to strain to keep focus and your optician can often prescribe glasses to help with this. Focusing on something up close can lead to headaches, too, because tension builds up across the forehead and temples.
Dry eyes – leaving your eyes feeling gritty and uncomfortable and looking a little red – may also be an indicator that you need an optician’s appointment.
And, if you need to screw your eyes up to focus it can be a sign that things are starting to go blurry. You might not even notice you are doing it, but because you are screwing up your eyes you may find you are getting a slight headache or tension.
Floaters – often caused by debris such as dust or bits of eyelash in the tear layer on the front of the eye – are very common. They look transparent and keep moving, following the direction of your gaze.
However, floaters are more concerning when they are darker in colour and are more permanent and defined.
Dan explained: “Nine times out of ten they are nothing to be concerned about but we can put people’s minds at rest. If you have had floaters like that for a number of years it is likely that is normal for you and not necessarily a concern, although if you have never seen an optician about them, you should probably consider it. However, if you experience a sudden onset of floaters, or get a noticeable change or increase in the number of floaters you can see, that’s when you should book a, examination.”
If you notice a different sort of obstruction to your vision such as something which looks like a curtain or cobweb, it might indicate something more serous and you need to book a consultation as soon as possible.
Changes to a child’s vision can be harder to spot either because they are unable to put it into words or because they find ways to adapt to the change.
Difficulty focussing can make them unusually grumpy, not want to do their work or complain that their eyes feel uncomfortable, it’s a good indicator that it’s time for a test. Children normally should be seen each year, even if they are not having any obvious problems. Sometimes more frequently if they have glasses, your optician will recommend the correct interval.
Getting back on track
Measures put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic to keep everyone safe limited the number of people who could be seen over the course of an average week, which means lots of people may now find themselves overdue for a test.
Those with conditions such as glaucoma or diabetes, who would usually have a check-up every year, should arrange an appointment to make sure there are no changes to their vision or eye health.
If you are worried about your vision please do contact us to book an appointment. Get in touch however you prefer | telephone, email or in person!
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Colour focus | warm tones
Bronzes, oranges, browns, reds and golds – warm toned glasses can make a real statement.
Typically, these colours are best suited to people with a warm skin tones, though when choosing your glasses, be confident in your own style.
But warm tones don’t have to be so bold. You could try a solid muted shade or how about bronze or gold metal frames which offer a more traditional mellow hue and timeless style?
Check out just some of our favourite warm toned glasses at Patrick & Menzies.
Emporio Armani – 3154
This modern twist on tortoiseshell features flecks of gold and is sure to attract attention. Classic shaping and the Emporio Armani attention to detail and quality make these a pretty special pair of specs.
Lulu Guinness – L914 Red
Wow. These solid strawberry red frames with dark sides from Lulu Guinness really pack a punch. Thy definitely live up to the company’s ‘dare to be different’ motto, while managing not to be over-the-top. Lulu Guinness eyewear may be most noted for bold design but they are high-quality and comfortable too.
Puccini – 302 C1
Silhouette – 1560
Get all the warmth you are after without being too bold with these beautiful glasses from Silhouette. These sleek frames are a perfect shape to flatter most faces.
The Vogue brand in synonymous with style and you get it in bucket-loads with these frames! The muted warm tone of these glasses is taken to another level with a flecked, almost floral, pattern. But what we love the most is the cat-eye shaping which really makes them stand out from the crowd.
Wolf Eyewear – 3101
It would be wrong for a blog about warm-toned glasses not to feature this bold bright pair from Wolf Eyewear. These make us dream of drinking cocktails under a palm tree on an exotic beach! Wolf Eyewear is known for producing high-quality and innovative specs that reveal your wild side – and these certainly do just that.
If you favour silvers, blues and greens for your glasses, we haven’t forgotten you! Keep an eye out for a focus on cool tones, coming soon.
Need help picking the right frames for your face shape? Take a read of our recent blog – Finding the Right Frames for Your Face.
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Eye care when working from home
Working from home has become the new normal for many people over the past year.
At first there were the struggles of getting to grips with Zoom, finding a space within the home where there was peace and quiet and making sure the wifi worked.
But even more important is the need to make sure you are looking after your eyes, especially as home working looks set to continue well into 2021 for many people.
Glare on your computer screen can lead to eye strain so while you are working try to position your computer so you are side on to a window.
You might need to shift this around slightly for video calls, ideally positioning your computer so you face natural light to avoid appearing in silhouette, or looking ill or tired.
For glasses wearers it’s definitely worth considering anti-reflective lenses if you video call a lot as they limit light bouncing between you and your screen, reducing scatter, distracting reflections and giving a less ‘cluttered’ image – helping you see better.
Give your eyes a rest
Don’t forget to take a break from your screen every now and then. As a rule, every 20 minutes look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
And don’t forget to blink! It might sound silly but research has shown that when we stare at screens we tend to blink less which can lead to dry and itchy eyes.
Position your monitor
Make sure that your monitor is in the right position. The College of Optometrists suggests the ideal distance is between 40 and 76 centimetres (16 to 30 inches) from your eyes with the top level with, or slightly below, your eyes. Try to position your screen to avoid any distracting reflections, too.
You can then adjust the brightness, font and the size of the type to suit.
Get your eyes checked
According to a study by The College of Optometrists, one in five adults in the country said they thought their vision had become worse during the first national lockdown, with one in three blaming it on too much screen time.
If you are worried about your vision please do give us a call today and we can arrange an appointment.
At Patrick & Menzies we are working hard to make sure that we can still offer our usual high level of service to our customers, even though the experience may feel a little different due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Don’t forget your specs
It’s all well and good going for a regular eye test, but you really do then need to remember to wear your glasses when you are meant to! If you have specs that are specifically for screen use then leave them on your desk at the end of the working day so you don’t have to spend time tracking them down the following morning.
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Brand Spotlight | Roald Dahl frames from International Eyewear
Searching for some phizz-whizzing, scrumdiddlyumptious specs for your child? Look no further than this amazing range inspired by the work of Roald Dahl.
With World Book Day taking place this month, (4 March) we thought it was high time to take a closer look at this fantastic selection of frames.
From Matilda to The BFG and Fantastic Mr Fox to Charlie and the Chocolate factory, – it’s no wonder Roald Dahl’s stories are treasured by children and adults all over the globe.
International Eyewear has taken inspiration from some of these titles to create an array of bold, bright frames which are sure to make children keen to wear their specs.
Designs feature original Quentin Blake illustrations and quotes from the novels. Each pair is accompanied by a rather special branded case and lens cloth.
So, without further ado let’s take a look at our top five picks from this absolutely squiffling range!
Inspired by The Enormous Crocodile, these feature the book’s central character along both of the sides. Dark green and chunky, these glasses are sure to be a firm favourite with children.
This deep blue frame takes inspiration from Matilda, the story of a brilliant young girl who discovers she has the power to move things with her mind. We love this pair because the rich colouring makes them striking in their own right, while illustrations from the book on the sides are the icing on the cake.
James and the Giant Peach
Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker would hate these glasses – which makes us love them all the more! Inspired by the best-selling James and the Giant Peach, they feature James’ new, strangely loveable, giant insect friends along the sides.
Fantastic Mr Fox
Fantastic Mr Fox is the inspiration for this stylish pair of specs. The warm brown frames give a nod to the book’s central character with the little ear detail on the front.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Wow – these glasses are beautiful. Taking inspiration from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory they look almost good enough to eat! The blue metal frame around the lenses is coupled with striking plastic sides, spiked with colour. The perfect finishing touch is the golden ticket which links the two materials.
You can take a look at all of the Roald Dahl frames we have in stock – alongside our other superb specs – on our website. Although we don’t have all frames available in all of our stores, we are always happy to help, so if there’s a particular style you’re interested in, just let us know.
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Top tips to encourage children to wear their specs
As any parent knows getting your child to do what’s good for them isn’t always easy.
Being told your child needs to wear glasses is a case in point. Despite there being very real advantages to the child in terms of improved vision, getting them to actually wear their specs may be a little trickier than it sounds.
So, we have come up with a few handy tips to help make your life easier.
Explain the benefits
Many parents will have already talked to their child about why they should have their eyes checked regularly before they first come in for an eye test. Once the need for glasses has been identified, it’s even more important for your child to understand how to look after their eyes and why wearing specs will improve their vision. Don’t underestimate their capacity to take on board this information. For children who are short-sighted, once they try their glasses on they immediately experience for themselves how much better they can see which may in itself be enough to convince them. Long-sighted children often have a little more difficulty as the benefits are more subtle and take a little more time to ‘feel’, however they are no less life changing and important.
Choose frames they love
Choosing a pair of frames your child loves will go a long way to making sure they want to wear them.
Children’s glasses frames have come on leaps and bounds in recent years. Forget the dull standard issue frames of the past and think bright, fun and comfy glasses to match your child’s personality and style.
At Patrick & Menzies we have a great variety of children’s frames so there is sure to be a style that they will love.
Comfort and fit is key
These are so important to making sure people of all ages – especially children – wear their glasses when they need them. If your specs don’t fit properly, they will more than likely spend much of their time in the case. At Patrick & Menzies we take the time to make sure all our frames are fitted with the care and attention needed to ensure they are comfy to wear.
Find good influences
Depending on the age of your child, there are plenty of famous faces who show it’s easy to look great in glasses – from Harry Potter to Clark Kent and Katy Perry in her stylish cat eye specs.
For younger children it may prove useful to watch the episode of CBeebies’ favourites Topsy and Tim where Tim gets his first pair of glasses [BBC iPlayer – Topsy and Tim – Series 3: 8. New Glasses]. There are lots of great story books about wearing glasses, too such as Charlie and Lola’s I Really Absolutely Must Have Glasses or Douglas, You Need Glasses by Ged Adamson.
And of course, there may be other glasses wearers in your family who act as real-life role models.
Talk to the teachers
If your child is of school age, have a chat to their teacher when they are first prescribed glasses to let them know when your child is meant to be wearing their specs. It’s quite normal for your child to simply forget about their glasses when they are brand new, so having someone around who can remind them can prove invaluable.
To book an eye test for your child, contact your nearest branch of Patrick & Menzies today.
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Sunglasses are not just for summer
Think sunglasses are just for summer? Think again! Wearing sunglasses can be a real benefit to your eye health all year round.
Many people dust off their shades as spring moves into summer, but really if you want to keep your vision at optimal level you should be wearing those sunglasses all year round.
A good pair of sunglasses will help protect your eyes against the sun’s Ultra-Violet rays. These are present throughout the year, not just during the warmer months. Just like skin your eyes are sensitive to UV rays and it is possible for them to be damaged by the sun.
When buying a pair of sunglasses, make sure they have the CE mark which shows they have been made to EU standards. This will mean all harmful UV is filtered out.
Sunglasses are great at reducing glare. Imagine the dazzle of the low sun on a winter afternoon, or bright rays reflecting off snow or puddles. Sunglasses can help in these situations where bright light can lead to eyestrain and headaches.
It’s also easy to see how glare can cause accidents when you are behind the wheel.
With safety in mind, it is really important to choose the right pair of sunglasses for driving. The lenses shouldn’t be too dark and the frames must not obscure your vision.
For more information about picking sunglasses for driving take a look at this useful article from The AA.
At Patrick & Menzies we stock a great variety of sunglasses from big names such as Maui Jim and Serengeti which offer superior glare-protection.
Whichever you choose they can be made to your prescription, are properly UV filtered and will be fitted with as much care and attention as your regular glasses.
Thinking about investing in some new sunglasses that are not just for summer? Here are our top three picks.
This Sea2See frame offers a modern twist on a classic look. Best of all they are a great ethical option as all of the brand’s glasses are made entirely from abandoned fishnets and ropes collected by fishing communities off the coast of Spain.
The rimless design of these sunglasses from Serengeti is super stylish and lightweight. Perfect to wear whatever the season.
Maui Jim boasts that all of its sunglasses are polarized and protect from 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Add to that the company’s flair for great design and you are left with something pretty special. This pair features an almost woodgrain-like pattern.
Browse all of our sunglasses from the comfort of your own home.
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Brand Spotlight | Walter & Herbert
Stylish, sophisticated and a whole lot of fun – Walter & Herbert glasses will make sure your eyewear is noticed for all the right reasons.
At Patrick & Menzies we pride ourselves on offering a stunning selection of specs, and the Walter & Herbert range is a great addition as it has so much to offer.
The brand pays homage to entrepreneurs Walter Conway and Herbert Thorn who helped to shape the way glasses are manufactured worldwide.
Around 70 years ago the pair developed a machine which inserts metal reinforcements into acetate spectacle sides with absolute precision, paving the way for many of the styles of frames we love today.
The Walter & Herbert brand now produces quality frames which are designed, made and tested in England: “With innovation and creativity at the heart of every design, the dedicated team of in-house designers skilfully create eyewear to appeal and flatter, whilst always maintaining the fundamentals of comfort, quality and wearability.”
This exciting range offers such a diverse selection of styles we’ve chosen our favourite five to give you a taster.
These frames are a playful take on a classic design. The strong square shape is coupled with warm colouring for a truly contemporary look that is bold without being showy.
Two-tone hues give a real edge to these simple, classic frames. The colouring makes us think of evening skies just before sunset. The no-nonsense shaping of these designer frames would suit most faces.
With a heavy, almost marbled bridge to these glasses, attention is drawn to the eyes and makes for a bold look. Natural tones make these frames incredibly versatile.
We love the cool colouring of these frames. Classic shaping makes them incredibly wearable, no matter the shape of your face. A further design touch is added in the two-tone arms.
Wow! These round frames will make the wearer stand out from the crowd. In classic tortoise shell they offer a modern take on a timeless classic which would particularly suit someone with an oval face shape.
You can take a look at all of the Walter & Herbert frames we have in stock – alongside our other superb range of specs – on our website. Although we don’t have all frames available in all of our stores, we are always happy to help, so if there’s a particular style you’re interested in, just let us know.
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Patrick & Menzies is thinking of you this Christmas
With Christmas fast approaching, Patrick & Menzies has your eyecare in mind. Read on to find out how we can help you to enjoy the festive season.
If a nose pad falls off on Christmas morning, you lose a screw when tucking into your turkey or sit on your specs during the Queen’s speech – fear not, Patrick & Menzies is on hand to help.
Not only is Christmas the season to be jolly, it also seems to be the season where people break their glasses, and so we are primed and ready to carry out repairs.
Our opening hours over the festive season are set out below. If you do have a breakage, just phone your local branch as soon as we are open and we will make arrangements to return your glasses to their full glory.
A great way to avoid the worry of breakages during the festive period – or indeed any time of year – is to invest in a spare pair of glasses. Then, if you lose or break your specs you have another pair to fall back on.
We have a fantastic selection of frames available at prices to suit all budgets. And now you can browse our frames online. Take a look.
If you have an up to date prescription, you just need to give us a call to arrange an appointment to order your spare glasses.
The perfect present
If you are looking for a gift idea that is both practical and indulgent, sunglasses are a great option. We have a wonderful array of sunglasses available – have a browse.
Once you have picked the perfect pair, give your local branch a call, we can even take payment over the phone and send them directly to you.
Best of all we are offering 25% off a selection of non-prescription designer sunglasses until December 24th while stocks last. Take a look at the frames included in the offer.
If you are worried about your vision or have any concerns about your eyes in the run up to Christmas, don’t leave it to the last minute. Understandably appointments are limited at the moment in line with our Covid-secure measures, so contact us as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. You can either book over the phone or book online.
Festive opening times
Our branches are open as usual until 1pm on Christmas Eve. We then reopen at 9am on Tuesday 29th December.
For New Year, we will be closed on 31 December and reopen on Monday 4th January for the start of 2021.
We would like to wish all of our customers a very merry Christmas, and happy New Year. Thank you for your support over what has been a somewhat challenging year for us all.
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