Penzers offers new test to detect diabetes for a limited period

Grafton Optical has delivered CLEARPATH DS-120 to the market, which can detect diabetes. Penzer Opticians is currently trialling this equipment. Usually a test costs £20, but during the period of the trial, Penzers is offering it for just £5. Call to book your appointment on 0121 430 5538.

The evaluation starts with asking patients simple questions to assess their risk of having uncontrolled glucose problems. These questions are based on the American Diabetes Association Risk Test and include: height/weight, exercise, gender, race and family history of uncontrolled glucose.

In order to further confirm after one or more positive responses, a scan of the eye is performed using the CLEARPATH DS-120™ Lens Fluorescence Biomicroscope.


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20s Plenty for Us campaign calls for 20mph limits to help people to see

20s Plenty for Us calls for 20mph limits to help people to see and be seen on roads

20s Plenty for Us calls for 20mph limits to help people to see and be seen on roads

The 20s Plenty for Us campaign, supported by VISION 2020 UK, is calling for a 20mph default speed limit in residential streets without physical calming in order to protect vulnerable road users, including those who are blind and partially-sighted. The aim of the campaign is to help people to see and be seen on roads.

20s Plenty for Us reflects the Highway Code, which recommends that drivers go carefully and slowly in residential areas and around vulnerable people. Below 20mph, road users can better see hazards, signs of vulnerability such as a guide dog, white stick, youth or age, and react in time to avoid a crash. In its latest guidance, the Department for Transport set considering the introduction of more 20mph limits and zones as a priority for action.

Rod King MBE, founder of 20s Plenty for Us said “Every driver must assume that any pedestrian may be one with poor vision. Traffic authorities have a legal responsibility to set speed limit policies that do not discriminate against disadvantaged groups. A general 30mph limit is no longer seen as fit for purpose for delivering the equitable safety on our streets that communities and government now demand. Default 20mph limits are affordable, effective and benefit most sectors of the community, particularly people who are blind and partially-sighted.”

Matt Broom, VISION 2020 UK Operations Manager said: “20mph limits lessen fear and danger to the blind and partially-sighted community, enabling them to lead more active and independent lifestyles. As the UK’s umbrella charity for eye health and sight loss organisations, VISION 2020 UK support 20s Plenty for Us’ campaign for 20mph speed limits to be the norm.”

The 20s Plenty for Us campaign calls for:

• Local councils to introduce fairer, wide-area 20mph speed limits for better equality and quality of life for all.
• Local authorities to urgently update their urban and village speed management policies in line with the Equality Act 2010 with default 20mph and targeted 30mph limits.

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New from Penzers Etch-A-Lens

Here is something different to personalise your lenses either by your initials, nickname or symbol. For example an anchor for the sailing enthusiast, a gift for someone, your favourite football team, Batman logo; or any of the 2,000 symbols that can be found on What’s App. Check to see for yourself.

Another excellent application for Etch-A Lens is for the elderly. For example if in a retirement home, their initials could be etched on to the top left or right of their lenses to ensure they are not lost (approximate size of etching is 3mm).

Create a personalised etching for your glasses that is unique to you. The cost of each etching is just £15 on top of the normal lens price, a small price to pay to create something very individual.

Also new from Penzers – rimless only lenses shaped to your own shape and style. For example, star shaped, triangle, Batman, round or whatever you fancy (within reason). Try us with your design and see if we can do it. Stand out in the crowd for just £40 extra on top of the lens price.

Pop into the practice to have a chat about these new services, or call us on 0121 430 5538.

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An eye test for Alzheimer’s is possible says research

According to the Australian science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, which conducted new research, eye tests for Alzheimer’s could in future be used to diagnose Alzheimer’sthe disease in its early stages.

In their early trials a key Alzheimer’s biomarker can be identified in the retina and lens of the eye. The research, which is in its early stages, could see such tests used as a first step in identifying individuals with Alzheimer’s.

It is thought to be essential in diagnosing of Alzheimer’s early to allow effective treatments to do more than just ease the condition’s symptoms. Shaun Frost from the Australian science agency the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation said, “We envision this technology potentially as an initial screen that could complement what is currently used: brain PET imaging, MRI imaging, and clinical tests.

“If further research shows that our initial findings are correct, it could potentially be delivered as part of an individual’s regular eye check-up.

“The high resolution level of our images could also allow accurate monitoring of individual retinal plaques as a possible method to follow progression and response to therapy.”

The eye tests exploit the fact that the eye is, in effect, an extension of the brain. Scientists looked for signs of beta-amyloid protein, which forms clumps in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients and is a key indicator that the disease is present. The Australian team used the turmeric spice ingredient curcumin as a fluorescent tag that allowed beta-amyloid to show up in the retina.

A total of 200 volunteers were asked to participate in the research. Preliminary results on 40 participants showed that the test picked up every participant with Alzheimer’s and correctly identified more than 80% of those who did not.

Clearly there is much more work and research to be undertaken before a cure for Alzheimer’s can be found. But once again it is extraordinary and further evidence of what the eye can reveal and highlights the need for regular eye checks.

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