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General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) at Brady Opticians

Looking After Your Data and Safeguarding Your Information

Your vision is our vision at Brady Opticians, with the health of your eyes being our number one priority.  We are committed to delivering the highest possible standards of eye care to all our patients. In order to do so we need to keep records about you, your health and the care we have given to you (or plan to provide to you), whilst maintaining and upholding privacy and security at all times.

Information Recorded

Information recorded can include basic information about you such as your name, address, date of birth, next of kin, spectacle lens or contact lens prescription, details of the frame or contact lens supplied.  Other details about your health and medical treatment or details about the medicines you have been prescribed by your doctor may also be held.

As part of providing a professional, safe and efficient service we need to record certain information including; information about your ocular health, general health, advice given and details of any referrals made to other health professionals.

The information held about you will not be shared for any reason, unless:

  • You ask us to do so
  • We ask, and you give us specific permission, e.g. to share information with your doctors (GP and hospital) and other health professionals.
  • We are permitted by law, for example, where public interest overrides the need to keep the information confidential.

Anyone who receives information from us also has a legal duty to keep this information confidential, subject to recognised exceptions of the types listed above.

Important Notice

Following an eye examination (or on completion of a contact lens fitting) patients will be offered a copy of their prescription.  In order to safeguard our patients the following should be noted:

  • The prescription needs to be signed by the prescribing optician. He or she may be available on the same day, however the signature may be delayed until the optician is next in the practice.
  • Details will not be given out over the phone. This is for both security and the elimination of errors.
  • Under no circumstances will patient details be given out to a third party unless under strict written authorisation from the patient concerned.

Your Rights at Brady Opticians

Under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), the Human Rights Act 1998 and the common law duty of confidence (the Disability Discrimination and the Race Relations Acts may also apply) you have the right to confidentiality.

We also comply with the HSE Code of Practice on Confidentiality and optical practices have a condition under their professional Code of Ethics to keep records about you confidential, secure and accurate.  Furthermore, all of our staff employment contracts contain a requirement to keep patient information confidential.

Your Right to View Your Health Record at Brady Opticians

You have the right to ask for a copy of all our records about you.  In order for our staff to identify you, you need to provide satisfactory information including your full name, address and date of birth.  If you think any information we hold on you is inaccurate or incorrect, please let us know.

Our general data protection policy is set out below;

  • All personal data will be relevant and lawfully collected
  • Data will only be held and used for lawful purposes
  • Data held on a specific patient will not be disclosed without written permission from the said patient
  • Every effort will be made to ensure data is accurate and up to date

An individual is entitled at reasonable intervals and without undue delay or expense to be informed by any Data User whether he holds personal data of which that individual is the subject to have access to any such data held by a Data user; and where appropriate, to have such data corrected or erased.

Request for Access to Data at Brady Opticians

A request for access to personal data must be made in writing subject to any applicable exemption.  We are required to respond to your request within 21 days.  We will provide a copy of any information held on both manual record and computer.  We will not charge for this.

Christmas and New Year Opening Hours at Brady Opticians

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Brady Opticians. Our opening hours will vary over the Christmas Season. Here’s a handy reminder!  Please note the practice will reopen as usual on 2nd January 2018.

Brady Opticians Christmas Opening Hours

How to Reduce Glare When Driving at Night by Dr Brendan McCreesh

Road Pilot Crizal Drive at Brady Opticians DonegalIf bright headlights and glare bother you when you drive at night, you’re not alone – and the great news is you don’t need to continue suffering!  With the right lens in your glasses, you can greatly reduce the level of glare from traffic headlights, traffic lights and street lamps when driving at night.

Discomfort whilst driving is a common occurrence with changes in light causing eye sensitivity.  It is well documented that more accidents happen at night with 25% of car journeys taking place at night.  According to research, drivers experience visual discomfort from the glare of oncoming headlights, affecting not just their ability to see, but also their ability to react to changes on the road in lower light conditions.

Many drivers over the age of 50 complain of glare, and it is interesting to note that it takes a 15-year-old 1 second for their eyes to recover from glare, compared to 9 seconds for a 65-year-old.

One of the most common adult complaints about vision that I receive during eye tests is difficulty with night time driving.  This complaint can include blur after the sun sets, glare from headlights, ‘night-blindness’, difficulty remaining in the lane of traffic, and difficulty reading road signs at night.

New ‘Crizal Drive’ Driving Lenses at Brady Opticians

To tackle this, a new spectacle lens called ‘Crizal Drive’ has just been launched by Essilor – one of the world’s leading lens manufacturers.  These lenses offer impeccable clarity of vision during night driving, and reduce glare by approximately 90% when compared to other reflection free lenses.

Having to travel at night myself, I have tried the lenses and am very impressed by the sharpness of vision they offer and the greater visual comfort achieved.  I also noticed an improvement in my ability to see when entering a street-lit area.  Yellow coloured street lights have always added to the ‘glare affect’ causing visual discomfort, however with the new ‘Crizal Drive’ lenses this has virtually eliminated all the discomforting glare, giving me crisper sharper vision at night.

The ‘Crizal Drive’ lens can also be combined with a ‘Transitions XTRActive’ lens, which activates a tint on the lens to darken to protect the eyes from the sun’s glare for example at sunset. It is also available in a varifocal design enabling wearers to naturally and easily shift their focus between the road, and the dashboard.

By Brendan McCreesh Ph.D. BSc (Hons) MCOptom

If you would like to improve your vision whilst driving at night or simply reduce the strain on your eyes, come and talk to us at Brady Opticians.  To book an appointment call us on 074 97 21727 or click here.  We look forward to welcoming you.

Screen Time Explained – the Facts for Parents

As optometrists, concerned parents often ask us about the effects of screen use on their child’s eyes.  In order to dispel some myths about screen time, we decided to put together this useful fact sheet.

What is blue light?

Blue light is a high-energy visible light and has a short wave length.  It is called so because it is on the violet-blue band of the spectrum.

Blue light is naturally present in sunlight but is also something we can see from screens such as TVs, computers, smartphones and tablets.

Can blue light damage my child’s eyes?

The Association of Optometrists (2017) state that “there is currently no scientific evidence that blue light causes damage to the eyes.  However, there is evidence to suggest that carrying out near tasks, involving looking at something close-up, such as using mobile devices, screen time and reading a book, can increase eye strain for those who do this for long periods of time.”

What is digital eye strain?

Digital eye strain occurs when long periods are spent using near vision, for example, reading on screen or playing online games. Digital eye strain does not cause permanent damage to your eyes, but can be uncomfortable. The main symptom is temporary blurred vision but other signs include sore and tired eyes, dry eye and headaches.

Can blue light affect my child’s sleep pattern?

Using screens close to or at bedtime can contribute to poorer sleep, which may mean your child’s concentration levels are lower during the day. This may be because blue light is linked to the suppression of the hormone melatonin which makes us feel sleepy.  However, there are a number of other causes that may affect sleep pattern also.

Can blue light filtered lenses help?

Some people report that lens coatings that filter blue light make their eyes feel more comfortable or are helpful before bed, but there is no clear scientific evidence to support this. There is also no evidence that these kinds of coatings prevent eye disease.

Why have I heard that blue light is harmful to eye health?

Research into the effects of blue light is still ongoing. Some past studies revealed that exposure to blue light can lead to changes in animals’ eyes. However, because the time and intensity of exposure to blue light was more than that of natural daylight and that of screens, it does not prove blue light is harmful to human eyes.

Is there a link between screen time and short-sightedness?

Short-sightedness (myopia) is increasing globally.  Family history, ethnic background, environment and carrying out near tasks, such as screen use, have all been linked to the development of short-sightedness.  There is no clear evidence to suggest that screen time alone is the direct cause. However, there is good evidence to suggest that children who spend more time outdoors are at lower risk of developing short-sightedness.

If you are concerned about your child’s eye health and would like to speak to an optometrist, please call Brady Opticians on 074 97 21727 to arrange an appointment.

 

The Benefits of Choosing a Good Pair of Sunglasses

Whilst most people understand the importance of using sun cream, the benefits of a good pair of sunglasses may not be so obvious.  In addition to being stylish, a good pair of sunglasses offers many benefits to the health of your eyes.

Sunlight mainly consists of two types of ultraviolet (UV) rays namely UVA and UVB light.  There is a lack of awareness in Ireland, of the damaging effects these rays have on the eye.  Damaging UV rays can cause early cataract, macular degeneration –the leading cause of blindness in people over age 65, discolouration to the white of the eyes, as well as cancer of the eyelids and the skin around the eyes.  The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., but, even on a cloudy day, UV radiation is all around us, and there is potential for damage to occur.  People with cataracts (and those who have had cataract surgery), macular degeneration or retinal conditions should be extra careful, as exposure to UVB rays can aggravate these conditions.

Brady Opticians stock kids sunglasses for all ages starting from 0-3 months.

Wearing sunglasses eliminates ultraviolet rays, and it’s vital that you choose a pair of sunglasses that will offer both protection and visual clarity in the sun.  Like adults, children’s delicate eyes need protecting from the sun.  From birth, it is a good idea to protect a baby’s eyes with a sunhat and by sitting them in the shade.  As soon as possible, they should be wearing sunglasses made with tough polycarbonate lenses that will not damage their eyes if they break.

Dr Brendan McCreesh from Brady Opticians explains the features that we should look out for, when buying a new pair of sunglasses;

“Quality sunglasses should have polarised lenses or anti reflective coating which cut reflected glare.  Polarised lenses block out the horizontal glare and haze from flat surfaces such as roads, desktops and tables.  When sunlight hits the lenses, the reflective light is filtered and this eliminates the visible glare.  This is particularly helpful when driving in the sun.  Polarized lenses also improve your depth perception, which is beneficial when playing sports such as golfing, cycling or skiing.  Anti-reflecting coatings reduce glare caused by light reflecting off the back surface of your sunglass lenses.

 Mirror coated lenses are another option and are highly reflective coatings applied to the front surface of sunglass lenses to reduce the amount of light entering the eye.  This makes them especially beneficial for activities in very bright conditions, such as skiing on a sunny day. 

 Choose a pair of sunglasses that protects you from 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB light.  This includes those labelled as “UV 400”, which blocks all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometres.

 Look for the CE mark, which proves they conform to the European Community Standard.  They should also satisfy British Standard BSEN1836, meaning that they will provide high levels of protection against damaging ultraviolet light.”

What Sunglass Brands at Brady Opticians Check All the Tick Boxes?

Dr McCreesh recommends Maui Jim and Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Maui Jim

Maui Jim’s have nine anti-reflective layers on top of the polarised lens, which eliminate glare.  The colour-enhancing filter is embedded into the lens resulting in crisp, sharp colour definition.  They are available in a range of different styles and colours to suit casual wearers and sports enthusiasts!Maui Jim sunglasses at Brady Opticians

Ray-Ban

Best known for their Wayfarer and Aviator lines of sunglasses, Ray-Ban is the world’s biggest sunglass brand.  Their lens has similar properties to the Maui Jim lens, in that it eliminates glare and harmful UV rays.  Their glass lenses also have high impact resistance and resistance to scratching.

All sunglasses at Brady Opticians offer 100% UV protection and comply with all EU legal standards.  For more information on the sunglass ranges featured, please contact a member of the Brady Opticians team on 074 9721727 or visit the practice on Upper Main Street, Donegal Town.

Brady Opticians Sunglasses Competition Winner

Congratulations to Mary Heraghty, Killybegs who was the winner of our Ocean FM designer sunglasses competition. Our Optical Assistant Rachel selected the lucky winner live on air.  Thank you to everyone who entered – we had a phenomenal number of entries!

To be kept up to date with all our latest news, competitions and offers be sure to like ‘Brady Opticians’ on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.

Optical Assistant Marie with Ocean Fm Sunglass Winner

Optical Assistant Marie Murrin with sunglasses competition winner Mary Heraghty

 

Is Your Vision Roadworthy?

Good eyesight is essential if you are to drive safely on our roads – it’s a bit of a no-brainer, right?  Wrong!  It is estimated that road crashes involving a driver with poor vision were estimated to cause 2,900 casualties (RSA Insurance Group plc, overview available on the Road Safety Observatory, 2012).

It was one such accident in the UK that Poppy-Arabella Clarke lost her life in July 2016.  The 3-year-old girl was knocked down by a pensioner whilst on her way to nursery. He was completely oblivious to what he had done until someone stopped him.

Sadly, this tragic accident could have been prevented.  The police investigation revealed that the pensioner was not wearing glasses. He had also been informed that his eyesight was below the legal standard for driving weeks before the accident.  Despite understanding clearly what he was told, he chose to ignore the advice of two separate Optometrists. The pensioner was jailed at the end of last month, for four years, after being charged with causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Poppy Arabella’s parents are now calling for a change in law in the UK “requiring medical professionals to report people who are unfit to drive to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency” (AOP, 2017), so their licence can be revoked.

In 2011, 16-year-old Cassie McCord died from fatal head injuries after being struck by a car.  It was discovered the driver, an 87 year old pensioner had failed a police eyesight test just days before the accident, and was advised by police not to drive.  However, a legal loophole enabled him to continue to drive and police had no power to immediately revoke his licence.

Following her daughter’s death, Jackie Rason, fought for a change in the law.  Subsequently Cassie’s law was introduced which empowers the DVLA to revoke licences much quicker.  Also when the police “believe that the safety of other road users would be put at risk if a driver with insufficient eye sight remains on the road, they can ask for the licence to be urgently revoked” (McCormick, 2015).  If a banned driver then continues to drive, they are committing a crime, which may lead to them being arrested or having their vehicle seized.  Since the introduction of the new powers in 2013, 609 licences have been revoked (McCormick, 2015).

Optometrist Aisling Hennessey at Brady Opticians is currently “unaware of any prosecutions made within Ireland with similar circumstances”.  However, she goes on to highlight a survey documented by the Irish Health website which reveals “one in three motorists who require spectacle correction, regularly drive without their prescribed spectacles or contact lenses. One in five, surprisingly, admitted to an accident caused by or involved poor sight. “

Aisling would “like to see sight testing as a requirement for every application for a licence renewal. However, it is each individual’s responsibility to themselves and to other road users to ensure they are fit to be behind the wheel of a car.”

Key Points to Remember

  • You are personally responsible for ensuring that your vision meets the specified minimum requirements every time you get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Have your eyes tested regularly, at least every two years, unless advised otherwise by your Optometrist.  To book an appointment call us on 0749721727 or click here .
  • It is a criminal offence to drive with eyesight below the legal standard and you risk invalidating your insurance.
  • If advised by your Optometrist to wear spectacles or contact lenses for driving you should wear them at all times when driving.
  • You must notify the National Drivers Licence Service (NDLS) of any medical condition, which may affect your ability to drive safely.

Visit Brady Opticians, Donegal Town, for further information on vision and driving, including the best type of lenses, frames and sunglasses available to suit your needs. Call us on 0749721727.

Merry Christmas from Brady Opticians – Seasonal Opening Hours

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Brady Opticians. Our opening hours will vary over the Christmas Season. Here’s a handy reminder! Please note the practice will reopen as normal on 3rd January 2017.

Opening Hours Brady Opticians Donegal

Become Driver Aware This Winter

Coming into the winter months, people notice a change in their vision in the darker evenings and early mornings. Many people are unaware if they are meeting the legal driving standards for driving. The National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) set out guidelines that we as
Optometrists must follow. You must meet these requirements in order to get your first licence or renew your existing licence if you are a spectacle wearer. One way to know for sure if you are safe on the roads is to visit your local Optometrist for a sight test. 54ca5e20b5919_-_night-driving-06-0312-lgn

 

A lot of drivers have trouble with glare at night time especially coming into the winter months. We can help alleviate this problem with our Crizal reflection free, UV protective lenses, which will reduce night time glare from oncoming traffic and other sources of light pollution.
Call us on 0749721727 or call in store for more information.

Top Tips and Kit Essentials for Wearing Contact Lenses at a Festival

With June heralding the start of the summer music season and almost 750 UK festivals planned this year,  advice for contact lens users on caring for their eyes during the festival season is needed.

Brendan McCreesh, optometrist at Brady Opticians, said: “Festival season is hotting up and it’s time to start thinking about lenses. With a little preparation, basic awareness and the right kit, contact lenses can be used easily and safely at festivals. Simple steps will help ensure eye infections and even more serious corneal infections – which can cause pain and scarring of the eye, permanently impairing vision – are avoided.”

Commenting on the need to keep contact lenses clean from bacteria, Brendan said: “Festival goers are likely to have a limited supply of running water, but unless you want to leave a festival early to see your optometrist, make sure you never touch your contacts, or eyes, with dirty hands. A tent is probably the best place to change lenses rather than in the festival’s public washing area, due to increased risk of infection. Use anti-bacterial wipes or gel and remember to always carry some with you, in case you need to remove your contacts mid set.

“Make sure you prepare for unusual circumstances by ensuring you have access to clean lenses; daily disposable users should bring a few spare changes. And, if you’re not using disposables, it’s a good idea to bring two storage cases, one for when you are out and about and one for back at your tent. Remember, never be tempted to store contact lenses in anything other than the sterile contact lens solution recommended by your optometrist.”

Beyond keeping contact lenses clean, a weekend of partying also creates other challenges. Brendan added: “Dehydration can play a big role in eye irritation, especially for users of contact lenses. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water, around five to seven small bottles a day, and consider contact lens rewetting drops – most festivals will allow small sealed bottles into the arena. It’s also essential, unless your contacts are specifically designed for overnight use, to take them out before going to sleep, even if it is just for a few hours. Your optometrist can advise if ‘extended wear lenses’, which can be slept in, are suitable for your eyes.” Essential kit for contact lens users from the AOP (2)

Brendan continued: “Some festivals will throw up situations, for example swimming in a lake or taking a dip in a hot tub, that run high risks of your contact lenses coming into contact with the water born microorganism Acanthamoeba, a nasty little organism which can get trapped between your contact lens and eye and cause a serious infection. Most contact lens users will be aware of this but it can be easy to forget when on holiday. If an activity seems risky think ‘Would I do this at home?’ and, if not, either take your lenses out or avoid it. It’s always better to be safe, especially when you have an event to enjoy and you’re away from home.

“Finally if you are concerned about any discomfort on your return home, visit your local optometrist who should be your first port of call if you have any eye concerns. They can assess the problem and, if necessary, refer you to the right place for treatment. However if you have a red and painful eye, that needs immediate medical attention and you should visit the medical facilities at the festival.”

Brendan has advised on seven festival essentials for contact lens wearers:

  1. Antibacterial gel or wipes to clean hands
  2. A small mirror to help put contact lenses in correctly
  3. Contact lens solution and two contact lens cases (if you are not using daily disposables)
  4. Contact lens rewetting drops, to help keep your eyes lubricated
  5. A bottle of drinking water to keep you hydrated
  6. Spare lenses in case you rip or lose your supply
  7. Your glasses, just in case

Contact lenses wear and care

The festival season is a time when people may experiment with different types of zero-powered cosmetic lenses. Also known as ‘non-prescription’ or ‘plano’ lenses, cosmetic lenses are designed to change the appearance or colour of the eyes. As with all contact lenses, cosmetic lenses should only be bought from a reputable supplier. Illegal lenses may result in serious infections and cause damage to the eyes. It’s important to follow the advice given by your optometrist or optician to ensure good hygiene, handling, and wear and care of your lenses.

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