Latest News from McBay Mobile Opticians

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01 July 2019It's Macular Awareness Week

We’re coming to the end of Macular Awareness Week and I thought it might be handy to go over Age-related Macular Degeneration. What is Macular Degeneration? What, even, is the macula?
Well, Macular Degeneration gets a lot of press, so you may have heard of it. When I did my training 25 years ago we were taught to call it “wear and tear”. It was something that happened as your eyes got older and there was nothing we could do about it. That has all changed. We now know so much more about macular degeneration. And although there is no cure yet, there are some treatments for some types of the disease. But it is still, by far, the main cause of sight loss in the UK. 
So, what is it? The macula is an area at the back of your eye that controls your central vision. When you’re looking at me, you’re using your macula. So, when this central vision area is damaged it can affect everything - reading, watching TV, communicating, recognising people, crossing a road safely, pouring water into a cup. There are 2 main types- Dry AMD and Wet AMD. Dry AMD is more gradual and has to do with a build up of lipids, or fatty deposits, under the macula area. Wet AMD comes on quicker, has a bigger impact on your vision and is to do with new blood vessels growing under the macula that shouldn’t be there. Sometimes you can get injections to help prevent vision loss with this type, the wet type. But otherwise, so far,  there’s no treatment for either. 
Prevention is the best thing you can do! The risk factors for Macular disease include smoking and poor diet. Eating a real food diet - a diet which limits processed foods and sugar and is rich in “real” foods like vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, dairy-  is a great idea for more than just your macula health! 
And if you’re worried about changes in your vision - book an eye examination straight away. 
And if you can no longer leave your home without assistance, you can book a home visit optician on 0141 611 9696
Ann McBay, principal optometrist, McBay Mobile Opticians

09 June 2019Argh! It's hayfever time again

It's estimated that 1 in 5 of us experience hayfever symptoms at one time or another.

Sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes.

There are plenty of over-the-counter medications available to help. But there are some other steps to help with itchy, watery eyes in particular. 

  • DO NOT RUB THEM. However satisfying, the more you rub the itchier they become. Instead, a cold damp flannel held to closed eyes (no rubbing or wiping!) will immediately take the itch out. A good idea is to keep a couple of damp flannels in a ziplock bag in the fridge ready to go.
  • Showering regularly to remove pollen and tying your hair back from your face will help too.
  • Wrap around sunglasses can help if you have to go outside.

 But if you've tried everything and your symptoms remain unbearable, speak to your optometrist.

 And if you need a home visiting optician, feel free to call for an appointment.

 0141 611 9696

 Don't rub those eyes!

 Ann McBay, Principal Optometrist


15 May 2019"I don't need an eye test - I have Dementia"

Dementia is a disease that leads to changes in the structure and chemistry of the brain. Approximately 90,000 people in Scotland have dementia and about 1/3rd of those have significant sight loss.

Maintaining eye health is important for people affected by dementia. Being able to see well helps with mobilitiy and quality of life even when the person with dementia is no longer reading or able to communicate.

Regulare eye examinations are vital. And it is important to stress that eye tests do not rely solely on patient communication. So, however advanced the disease, annual checks are still a must.

 At McBay Mobile Opticians I can come to see you in your own home for a home eye test which can reduce the anxiety of visiting a new place. It is also a great opportunity for me to advice on environmental factors around your home to improve and enhance your ability to live well with dementia. 

For more information or to find out if you qualify for a free NHS eye examination in your own home call 0141 611 9696. 
I look forward to seeing you soon.


Principal Optometrist at McBay Mobile Opticians

01 May 2019Can you really reverse Type 2 Diabetes (T2D)?

Can you really reverse Type 2 Diabetes (T2D)?

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness in the UK. It is estimated that 1.5 million people have some form of Diabetic Eye Disease with 140,000 of those being visually impaired or blind as a result.

As a home visiting optician, I see people struggling with sight loss from diabetes all the time. How can this terrible complication of diabetes be prevented? I used to advice my patients to keep their diabetes as stable as possible; to take advice from their doctor or diabetic nurse … and that was about it. I would just wait and watch as their eye disease seemingly inevitably worsened. 

And as more and more of my patients started developing T2D I began to despair more and more until I was compelled to research T2D myself. I knew plenty about Diabetic Eye Disease, but not much about Diabetes itself. 

And what I found almost immediately was that T2D is often reversible! I was taught that it is a life-long condition. How did I not know that it is reversible? And how do you reverse it?

Well, there are three evidence based ways to put Type 2 Diabetes into remission

  • Bariatric Surgery - which is obviously extreme
  • Very low fat/ low calorie diet - which can be very hard to stick to
  • Low carbohydrate diet

The third option is the most intriguing when you consider what diabetes is:

“Diabetes is the inability to handle glucose/carbohydrate” Dr Zoe Harcombe, PhD in public health nutrition.

So, if your body can no longer tolerate sugar and carbohydrate (which your body breaks down to sugar once you’ve eaten it), surely reducing sugar and carbohydrate intake to a minimum will sort the problem? 

This might sound easier said than done and I’m not a dietician or even a nutrition specialist, so start by looking here

for more information on ways to reverse your diabetes. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are on diabetic medication, changing your eating habits in any way must be done under the supervision on your GP as this can dramatically affect your blood sugar levels. 

Ann McBay
Principal Optometrist

17 April 2019Assistive Technology website for visually impaired

Vital Tech is a new website for blind and partially sighted people, and for anyone who supports someone with a visual impairment.

It highlights assistive technology - in other words, products that are accessible to someone whose sight is impaired.

There are also short how-to videos and audio recordings of some pages. 

And most importantly, it is managed by blind and partially sighted people who know what they're talking about.

So if you or someone you know is struggling with day to day tasks in the home due to sight loss, this website might be worth a look.


From Glasgow to Greenock, Bearsden to Bishopton, Paisley to Partick - if you need an eye test at home call 0141 611 9696. 
I look forward to seeing you soon.
Principal Optometrist at McBay Mobile Opticians

07 April 2019Macular Society

Receiving a diagnosis of Macular Degeneration can be a frightening event. Many people have told me they feel anxious, worried and alone.

This is where the wonderful Macular Society can play a role. Not only do they help fund more research into a cure, but they can provide invaluable support and information for the newly diagnosed. Becoming a member of the Macular Society give you access to their quarterly magazine full of news, knowledge and tips.

They can also put you in touch with local support groups where you can meet people who truly understand what you're going through. And if you are unable to leave your home they offer a Telephone Befriending Service putting you in touch with people with similar interests or experiences. 

29 March 2019Spring has sprung.

It’s such a delight to be out and about on my home visits when spring is beginning. A beautiful white flowered magnolia took my breath away in Giffnock yesterday. And all the pink cherry blossom right throughout Glasgow is so lovely. 

But how can we keep a spring in our step as the days get longer?

The older we get the more risk there is of falling. But how much does this have to do with vision? Our eyes naturally lose their clarity as the clear structures within our eyes get older and this can affect contrast and distance judging. 

Keeping your glasses prescription up to date is important. And if you have already had a fall or been told you are at risk of falls it is worth considering a change from bifocals or varifocals back to single vision glasses. Even when you are used to multifocal glasses, you might be increasing your falls risk by wearing them. 

For more information or to find out if you qualify for a visit from a home visiting optician call 0141 611 9696
I look forward to seeing you soon.


Principal Optometrist at McBay Mobile Opticians

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