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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New lens replaces traditional bifocals

How we look matters to us all and we all want to look our best, especially those who wear bifocals. The visible line across flat top bifocals gives the lens an undesirable look. At the same time it compromises visual comfort by creating a disturbing image jump. Shamir has addressed this issue and developed Shamir Duo, which is now available to patients of Penzer Opticians. This new generation of bifocal lenses offers a more aesthetically appealing solution improving not only the way the wearer looks, but also the way they see.

So years flat top bifocals have been a good solution for presbyopic needs, but they do have some disadvantages. With their visible dividing line, flat top bifocals give the wearer a look that is generally associated with advanced age and they introduce a vertical surface discontinuity resulting in a disturbing image jump with loss of image as the eye moves from one visual zone to the other.

To overcome these disadvantages, this new Freeform lens offers surface continuity, eliminating the visible line. It also offers optical continuity, eliminating the image jump and loss of image. Therefore, this innovation enables the wearer to maintain a natural, distortion free visual path as the eye moves from one vision zone to another.

In addition to improved appearance and vision, these Freeform lenses offer other advantages that limit the type of lens materials and treatments that can be used, allowing less versatility and offering patients fewer choices.

•  Improved appearance. Gets rid of visible dividing line between vision zones
•  Suitable for sunglasses – tinted, photochromic and polarized
•  Available in a wide variety of materials including high index for thin and aesthetic lenses
•  Suitable for a range of advanced coatings
•  Ideal also for presbyopes with progressive lens adaptation difficulties

Ask in-store for full details.

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New survey says independent opticians are best

New Which? research has revealed the best and worst places to buy glasses, with independents coming top of the poll. Independent optician shops topped the survey with a customer satisfaction score of 88%, with wholesale co-operative Costco not far behind in second place on 86%.

The Which? survey revealed big differences between independent opticians and the major high street brands and supermarkets. Specsavers came near the middle of the table with a customer score of 72%. But Tesco Opticians, Scrivens and Optical Express got the worst customer scores with the lowest at 59%.

The survey is based on the views of over 5,409 Which? members in March 2014.

The top scoring stores are all about convenient appointments, punctuality, great products and value for money. And if budget is your main concern, there were two stores getting five-star ratings for price. But value can mean more to customers than price and special offers. One optician store was rated only average for price, but good value for money overall as customers praised it for staff skill, communication and customer service.

So it seems that is still pays to use and support your local independent opticians for your eye care needs.

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