Five hearing aid myths debunked

As hearing specialists with 30 plus years’ experience in the industry, we’ve encountered more myths than we can remember. Here’s five of the most common hearing myths we’ve heard, all debunked for your own peace of mind.

1). Hearing aids whistle all the time

In simple terms, hearing aids should not whistle.

What most people refer to as ‘whistling’ is actually feedback from the hearing aid and it is a common, frustrating issue for the hearing aid user which should not be ignored. 

If you experience any ‘whistling’ at any point, you should contact your audiologist to investigate the cause and find a solution for...   read more

Read More

Top 5 Tips For Caring For Your Eyes When Working At A Screen All Day

As a result of advancements in technology and digital media and the impact that has had on the changing workforce, many people now spend a significant time at their desks working away at the mercy of a computer screen. Even those who do not work in office jobs may have to encounter screens from time to time. In addition to this, we live in a day and age where we are constantly glued to our phones and tablets on a regular basis, with some of us looking at the screens for several hours a day.

It’s understandable that in certain roles and industries – such as marketing, IT and graphic design – some of us have no choice but to use computers and laptops constantly, but it is vital to ensure that your eyes receive the care that they need. Here are our top 5 tips for caring for your eyes when working at a screen all day.

1. Take regular breaks away from the screen

Make sure you schedule regular breaks away from the screen to refresh your eyes because working at a screen non-stop can cause eye strain and headaches. Plus, taking regular breaks is beneficial anyway – it’s not healthy to be constantly on the go and have a rest from time to time can help you to refocus and reduce your stress levels.

2. Shut your eyes at regular intervals

In addition to taking breaks, a really good tip for caring for your eyes is to shut your eyes for 90 seconds at regular intervals throughout the day. This is another way to help your eyes to refresh, relax and re-adjust away from the screen.

3. Prevent glare

Glare – light that reflects from the sun and bounces back to your eyes – is very problematic for the eyes as it can interfere with your vision and cause eye strain. In order to prevent this, you need to ensure that your working environment is structured in such a way to prevent light from hitting your computer screen. First of all, make sure that you have blinds in your office to reduce the number of sun rays reflecting on the screen. You might have to consider sitting in a part of the office when you don’t have your back to the window and your computer or laptop is facing away from the window.

Other ways to reduce or prevent glare include:
⦁ Wearing sunglasses
⦁ Adjusting the angle of your screen
⦁ Adjusting the brightness setting on your laptop/computer
⦁ Applying a monitor hood
⦁ Adding anti-glare film

4. Use an adjustable seat

When working on the screen, it is important to make sure that your eyes are directly focused to the top of the screen. Use an adjustable seat or purchase props to help you adjust your seating position (i.e. cushions or a footrest) so that you are directly facing the screen in the right way.

5. Go for regular eye tests

Going for eye tests is essential to maintaining the health of your eyes, regardless of your age or other factors. However, if you find yourself using screen a lot, then perhaps you should consider going for checkups more regularly. In general, you should aim to go for a checkup once every two years (if you don’t have issues with your eyes) or at least once a year.

Read More

Laser Eye Surgery

The Pros & Cons Of Laser Eye Surgery

More than 30 million people worldwide have chosen to have laser eye surgery since the technique was introduced over 30 years ago.

If you’re unfamiliar with laser eye surgery, here are the essential facts:

The technique works by using a laser to adjust the shape of the cornea (the transparent front part of the eye). In the vast majority of cases, the precise operation enables the eye’s focus to improve – resulting in sharper vision.

As technology has advanced, laser eye surgery has become quicker, cheaper and safer. However, as with all medical procedures, there are still some risks to be aware of.

Firstly, though, let’s take a look at the benefits of laser eye surgery.

Top 3 Benefits of Laser Eye Surgery

#1 Freedom from contact lenses and glasses.

As someone who uses both contact lenses and glasses, I know just how inconvenient they can be at times. For example, my glasses often get steamed up or covered in rain drops.

Laser eye surgery can give you the freedom to discard your contact lenses and glasses – and the need to clean and replace them.

You can also expect to save money in the long term, as you’ll no longer need a contact lenses subscription or new glasses. Please note that some people still require glasses for night driving.

#2 New career and activity opportunities.

Some jobs require you to have 20/20 vision without the aid of contact lenses and glasses. In other words, you need perfect vision.

These jobs include: airline pilot, air traffic controller and firefighter. So, if you currently have impaired vision, but have your heart set on one of these career choices, then laser eye surgery may be able to make your dream a reality.

Laser eye surgery will also enable you to take up sports and hobbies that may not have been suitable when wearing glasses. For example, football, rugby and swimming.

#3 Confidence booster.

While some people enjoy wearing glasses, and find them stylish, others aren’t so keen. You may be one of the latter. Perhaps glasses can sometimes make you feel awkward or self-conscious?

Fortunately, laser eye surgery can allow you to take off your glasses for good. You can then feel confident about your looks, and about your eye safety.

And you never know. Your new-found confidence may help you to find a new job – or even attract a new partner!

Top 3 Concerns about Laser Eye Surgery

#1 Changes made to the cornea can only be corrected with additional laser eye surgery.

If you currently suffer from myopia (short-sightedness), then any laser eye surgery that you undergo should last a lifetime. However, this is not guaranteed, as the operation may not be 100% successful, and/or your eyes may change shape.

For hyperopia (long-sightedness), it’s likely that you’ll need follow-up operations due to the natural way the eyes change shape as we age.

So, best-case scenario is that you have one operation that gives you 20/20 vision for the rest of your life. Worst-case scenario, you may need to undergo further treatments to correct or improve your vision.

#2 Discomfit after the operation.

Many people are put off laser eye surgery due to feeling squeamish about the operation. It’s understandable, as our eyes are incredibly sensitive organs. Just think of the last time you got something in your eye!

There’s no point pretending that laser eye surgery won’t result in some discomfit. In fact, it’s normal to experience some or all of the symptoms following surgery: mild pain, itchy eyes, overproduction of tears. However, these symptoms normally clear up within a few days.

#3 Potential side effects.

As with any decision in life, it’s best to be aware of what can go wrong. And this is especially important when it comes to your eyes.

While the vast majority of laser eye surgery procedures are successful, there are potential side effects that you should know about. These include: dry eyes, glare, light-sensitivity, seeing halos and impaired night vision.

Some of these symptoms may clear themselves within a month of the surgery, unfortunately, others may be permanent.

My recommendation is to talk to family members and friends who have undergone the treatment. Ask them straight: “Was the surgery worth it for you?” “Have you had any problems?”

By doing this, you’ll be able to get an honest picture of laser eye surgery.

If you choose to go ahead with the treatment, you’ll be in famous company. Celebrities such as Elton John, Nicole Kidman and Brad Pitt have all benefited from laser eye surgery. However, you don’t need to be earning a celebrities salary to have laser eye treatment.

Currently, prices start from around £1,500 per eye. Many opticians also offer easy payment plans.

Finally, for more information on laser eye surgery, and its suitability for you, please get in touch with your local optician.

Read More

Woman Underwater

Warning: Keep Contacts Away From Water

In order to keep your contact lenses sterile – you must prevent them from coming in contact with water.

Unfortunately, it’s often too easy to let convenience take the upper hand over safety.

For example: you’re running late for a night out with friends, and you need to take a quick shower before heading out. But, time is running out. You decide to keep your contact lenses in while showering, instead of taking them out.

Convenient? For sure.

However, contact lenses and water are a potentially hazardous combination. Here’s why.

Contact Lenses & Swimming

While lounging poolside, you may consider wearing contact lenses for a dip.

Opting for contact lenses during swimming sessions may sound like a great idea, but unfortunately it’s not.

Water in swimming pools can contain countless, dangerous microbes and viruses. If you choose to wear your contacts in the pool, you’ll be putting your eyes at risk of irritations, infections, and even serious conditions such as corneal ulcers.

But don’t let the above put you off having fun in the water.

Here are three quick tips to help you swim safely while still being able to see clearly:

  • If you’re a regular swimmer (or sportsperson), consider correcting your vision with laser eye surgery
  • Use swim goggles, so you can keep wearing your contact lenses.
  • Get yourself a pair of custom-made prescription swimming goggles (No need to wear contact lenses with these)

Buy Now »

Bath Time & Showering While Wearing Contacts

This question can be answered with just two words… Absolutely not!

Soft contact lenses are porous and can easily absorb bacteria and chemicals. When water comes into contact with your lenses, there is a risk of eye irritation and infection.

When you slip into a hot tub, or take a quick shower – it’s inevitable that tap water will get into your eyes. It’s not just water either. Soaps and shampoos are prone to coming into contact with our eyes too. And again, soft contact lenses will likely absorb these products.

So, please don’t be tempted...   read more

Read More

Dog's Eyes

Top 5 Ways to Keep Your Dog’s Eyes Healthy

Dogs can be affectionate, fun and loving. However, just like us, they can also suffer from health issues.

If you have a dog, then you’re no doubt used to treating him/her for fleas, ticks and worms. You probably also have them vaccinated annually to protect against diseases such as Infectious Canine Hepatitis and Kennel Cough.

While all of the above are certainly helpful for keeping your dog healthy – have you stopped to think about your dog’s eyes?

Dogs eyes are prone to various ailments and injuries. Luckily, however, if you follow the five recommendations below, you can help to reduce the chances of your dog experiencing eye issues.


1. Look into Your Dog’s Eyes

One of the best ways of spotting problems with your dog’s eyes, is to regularly gaze into them. And not just your usual loving gaze…

You need to be looking specifically into your dog’s eyes to see if they are: clear and bright, the pupils are of equal size, there is white around the eyeball, and no discharge from the eyes (or crust in the corner of the eyes).

Other things to look for include: cloudiness, a change in eye colour, and rubbing of the eyes.

Any of the above symptoms strongly suggest that you take your dog to your vet to be properly examined.


2. Keep Their Eyes Clean

Just like humans, dog’s eyes can naturally collect gunk and dirt around them. Unfortunately, dogs have the added problem of not being able to reach their eyes.

However, you can help your dog out by using a damp cotton ball to gently cleanse the corner of their eyes. (Please be sure to wipe outward and away from the eye, otherwise you could scratch the cornea.)

The second thing to do to help keep your dog’s eyes clean and healthy, is to use eye drops especially formulated for dogs. With anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, eye drops for dogs can quickly clear up common eye issues such as: conjunctivitis, irritation and stinging. You can choose to regularly use eye drops – or use them only when your dog experiences eye issues.


3. Protect Your Dog’s Eyes During Bathing Time

Picture the scene: You’ve come back from a long walk in the countryside. Your dog has enthusiastically romped through fields and forests – but there is a problem. They’re now coated from head to toe in mud!

It’s times like these, when giving your dog a bath or shower is essential. However, just be careful during this activity not to cause any irritation to your dog’s eyes. Many soaps and shampoos contain harmful chemicals that can lead to major irritation for your dog (if the product gets into your dog’s eyes.)

Ideally, only bathe or shower your dog using products designed specifically to be safe for dogs. Nevertheless, even with these products, it’s best to avoid them having any contact with your dog’s eyes.


4. Keep Their Hair Short Around Their Eyes

Depending on the breed of your dog, you may find they are prone to long hair on their face, which can lead to eye irritation and even injury.

Fortunately, you can easily help your dog out with this issue.

The trick is to regularly trim the hairs around your dog’s eyes by using scissors with rounded tips. (Please be careful when doing this!)

By keeping the hair around the eyes short, you’ll be protecting your dog from pokes and scratches from wayward hair.


5. Don’t Let Your Dog Stick Its Head out of Your Car Window

How many times have you seen cars driving past with a dog’s head poking out the side? Lots of times, no doubt.

Hopefully, you don’t allow your dog to do this, but in case you do, here are some important reasons to STOP asap.

Firstly, the wind generated by travelling at speed can lead to your dog having dry, irritated eyes. Not a good start.

The second reason is even more concerning. By allowing your dog to stick its head out of your car window, you will be putting its eyes at risk of damage from flying debris or insects.

While it’s certainly good practice to open a window in your car to allow fresh air to circulate, just be sure that the window is only opened far enough to prevent your dog from poking its head out.

Better to be safe than sorry.


Dogs are fantastic pets that can inject warmth and joy into our daily life. It’s no wonder that 24% of all UK households have at least one dog.

However, our love affair with our fluffy friends should definitely extend to caring for their eyes.

Be sure to implement the tips above to give your dog the best chance of having healthy eyes throughout its lifetime. And finally,  if you’re ever in doubt about your dog’s eye health, please consult your vet for advice.


Share your picks with us at #SelectSpecsSelfie

Follow Us:

Read More

The History of Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are incredibly popular nowadays, but have you ever thought about their origins?

As you’ll discover below, the development of contact lenses is a fascinating story filled with inspiration, perseverance – and timing.

The Da Vinci Codex

Go back more than 500 centuries to the year 1508 where contact lenses were first born.

The same year that Leonardo da Vinci introduced the concept of contact lenses in his Codex of the eye, Manual D.

In the book, he sketched ideas for vision correction through a contact lens/water combination. It’s believed that his inspiration for these ideas was from noticing a person’s vision could be corrected by immersing their head in a bowl of water. Not the best, or recommended way to correct your vision.

Sadly, his idea was totally impractical at the time of invention, and remained nothing more than a concept for some time to come.

First Glimpses of a Clearer Future

It wasn’t until 1636 that another idea for contact lenses was proposed.

This time, it was René Descartes who suggested that a glass tube filled with liquid placed in direct contact with the cornea could be used to correct impaired vision.

However, his concept was flawed, as the device prevented patients from blinking.

Luckily, the idea of correcting vision through contact lenses was not forgotten.

In 1887, German glassblower by the name of F. E. Muller succeeded in producing the world’s first eye covering to be seen through and tolerated.

One year later, German ophthalmologist Adolf Gaston Eugen Fick became the first person to fit contact lenses. His initial test fittings were made on rabbits, then himself, and then on a small group of volunteers.

Fick’s lenses were made from heavy blown glass and measured 18–21 mm in diameter. To prevent abrasion of the eyes, he used a dextrose solution between the cornea and glass.

While Fick’s lenses succeeded in correcting myopia, unfortunately, they were cumbersome. Additionally, they could only be worn for up to 2 hours at a time.

Contact Lenses Come of Age

Let’s jump forward to the 20th Century.

The time when science and technology saw rapid advancements in all areas. Included in this powerful trend was the development of comfortable and practical contact lenses.

Shortly after World War II, in 1949, the first ‘corneal’ lenses were developed. Much smaller than earlier lenses, they could be worn up to an impressive 16 hours per day.

As you can imagine, these lenses proved to be hugely popular throughout the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.

However, the lenses did have one major disadvantage. Namely, they failed to allow any oxygen to reach the conjunctiva and cornea. This serious downside had the potential to lead to adverse clinical effects in patients.

The late 1970s and early ’80s saw the introduction of oxygen-permeable contact lenses. While these were ‘rigid’ or ‘hard’ lenses, soft contact lenses were also evolving and gaining in oxygen permeability. Furthermore, it’s worth noting the contribution of British optometrist Rishi Agarwal, who in 1972, suggested the idea of disposable soft contact lenses.

This section wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the release of the first silicone hydrogel contact lenses by Ciba Vision in 1998. These lenses offered such high oxygen permeability and comfort, that opticians were allowed to prescribe them for extended (overnight) use.

A Simple, but Revolutionary Idea

Millions of people around the world benefit daily from wearing contact lenses.

Glasses are not always convenient, especially in terms of high-impact sports such as basketball and rugby. And not everyone likes their personal appearance when wearing glasses.

Fortunately, contact lenses are now so advanced that wearers find them incredibly comfortable and easy to use. Contact lenses can also be so thin that they are practically invisible to other people.

They can also be fun and fashionable. Many people choose coloured contact lenses that emphasis their natural eye colour – or even dramatically change it!

Next time you put in your lenses, take a moment to remember the creative endeavours of the many people who have helped develop them. Their work has helped transform the lives of millions.

Follow us:

Read More

How to Protect Your Eyes from Screen Glare

Have you ever bought yourself a shiny new laptop, tablet or mobile?

If the answer is yes, then you may have experienced a scenario similar to this:

You unpacked the device from its box, powered it up, and were instantly mesmerised by how everything was beautiful and new. However, after using the device for leisurely browsing or work, you quickly come to realise the screen is highly-reflective, almost like a mirror.

Despite your best efforts to adjust the screen brightness and contrast, begrudgingly, you finally admit it: the screen is nothing more than a glare magnet!

Screen glare is a genuine nuisance, and can often lead to eye strain and headaches. Luckily, however,  there are several things you can do to mitigate this contemporary dilemma.

Not All Screens Are Made Equally

Many years of working in IT and as a freelance writer taught me that screens vary massively.

Some of the most expensive screens may have crisp, sharp displays – but they can also be the worst offenders when it comes to glare.

The secret is to make sure that you both see and try using a screen before purchasing one. You’ll be amazed at the difference in glare that screens have.

From my own recent experience, I remember walking into a computer shop and instantly noticing one monitor that was completely unaffected by intense sunlight streaming into the store. The other dozen or so monitors couldn’t handle the bright light (despite some of them being advertised as anti-glare).

The lesson here is to definitely view and compare screens before making a purchase.

Additionally, try to spend the most amount of your screen time on devices that are easy on your eyes. A great example of this is Amazon’s Kindle device, which uses e-ink technology to digitally recreate ink on paper. The screens on these devices are so good, that you can read a book on the beach in bright, midday sun. And what more could you ask for?

Screens & Direct Light: A Poor Combination

If you don’t have an anti-glare screen, then the best option to reduce glare is to position your screen away from direct light.

For instance, do you have a desk at home that you work from, where your screen is directly facing a window? If yes, then during the daytime your screen will be subject to unnecessary glare. To resolve this, sit facing the window instead of having your back to it. This will mean that your screen is naturally shielded from the light coming in from the window.

This one change can provide significant benefits to your eyes and your ability to work for long periods of time.

The same is true for using any of your devices such as mobile phones, tablets and TVs. Try at all times to find the angle and place where the least amount of direct light is hitting the screens.

At this point, you may be wondering about your office.

They’ve allocated you a poor-quality screen, and unfortunately, it’s directly facing a large window that is letting in copious amounts of light. In other words – your screen is hellish!

Don’t despair though, as there a few things you can do:

  1. Ask for blinds or curtains to be fitted on the window, so you can control the amount of light coming in.
  2. Ask for a high-quality, anti-glare screen to be fitted at your desk.
  3. If the first two steps are declined, then ask to be moved

...   read more

Read More