Specialist Conditions

At Summers Opticians our highly qualified and hospital experienced Optometrists are able to detect, monitor, and in some cases treat patients with specialist conditions.

Whilst we strongly recommend our Advanced Eye Examination to all of our patients, this is especially true for patients with the following conditions. The state of the art technology we use during the Advanced Examination gives your Optometrist the most thorough and detailed picture of your eye health, and allows for even the smallest changes to be detected from one eye examination to the next.

Patients with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing certain eye diseases, including cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy is a serious eye condition caused by damage to the blood vessels at the back of the eye, and is more commonly found in patients who have had diabetes for a long time.

Regular screening is therefore vital, and all diabetic patients will receive a letter from their local Diabetic Screening Service inviting them for an annual NHS screening. Summers Opticians provide diabetic screening to patients on behalf of the North of Tyne and Gateshead diabetic eye-screening programme.

As well as an annual screening, it is also essential that diabetic patients attend regular eye examinations. Patients should never put off having an eye test until they notice their vision deteriorating, as changes to your retina can be taking place without any obvious impact on your vision. Changes to your retina may require treatment, and most sight loss in diabetes is preventable, which is why early diagnosis is vital.

We strongly recommend our advanced eye examination to all our diabetic patients, as the imaging techniques we use enable our Optometrists to view up to 97% of your retina. As a comparison, standard digital retinal photography, offered by most UK practices, shows as little as 15% of the retinal surface.

Glaucoma is damage to the eye’s optic nerve, and generally happens due to a build up of fluid at the front of the eye. This extra fluid increases pressure in the eye, resulting in damage to the optic nerve.

Glaucoma becomes more common with age, however there are several other factors that increase the risk of developing the condition:

  • Family history: People are more likely to develop glaucoma if they have a close relative with the condition. It is therefore vital for anyone over 40 with a family history of glaucoma to have regular eye examinations
  • Race: People of African, Caribean and Asian origin are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma
  • Short-sightedness: People with high levels of short-sightedness are more likely to develop glaucoma
  • Diabetes: Those with diabetes have an increased risk of developing the condition

As with many eye conditions, glaucoma often shows no obvious symptoms until a late stage, and glaucoma is often detected during routine eye examinations, which is why regular eye exams are essential.

For patients with glaucoma, or at a greater risk of developing the condition, we strongly recommend our advanced eye examination. Core tests used in standard eye exams can diagnose glaucoma, but our advanced eye examination utilises technology that allows your Optometrist to detect glaucoma in its earliest stages, and the sooner the condition is diagnosed the more effective the treatment.

The macula is a small area located at the centre of the retina, allowing us to see fine details clearly for activities such as reading and writing. As we age the macula deteriorates, and a common condition found in those over 60 is age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

In its early stages people often notice that their central vision is blurred or distorted, or straight lines may appear wavy or bent, and as the condition progresses people may become aware of dark areas in the centre of their sight. Whilst AMD may result in poor vision it never leads to complete sight loss as only the central vision is affected.

The main risk factors for developing macular degeneration are:

  • Age
  • Family history of the disease
  • Smoking

Other risk factors include long term exposure to UV light without eye protection, light coloured irises, race, being overweight, cardio-vascular disease and high blood pressure. Whilst some of these risks cannot be controlled, a healthier life style, including changes in diet, may slow the progression of the disease.

If you have any concerns or questions about macular degeneration, or if you have already been diagnosed with the condition and are concerned it may be worsening or developing in your other eye, then please book an appointment to come and see us.

Our hospital trained and experienced Optometrists have vast experience of macular disease, and our Advanced Eye Examination includes scanning techniques that can detect early signs of the disease and monitor changes in the condition.

Cataract is a common condition associated with aging, in which the lens becomes progressively cloudy resulting in blurred vision. Most people will start to develop cataracts in their late 50’s or early 60’s, and cataracts are one of the most treatable eye conditions.

Cataract surgery is the most common operation performed with the UK, and the procedure is quick, usually lasting between 30-45 minutes. For patients with cataracts in both eyes, your cataracts will generally be treated on two separate occasions. This allows for the first eye to heal, and your vision to stabilise, prior to your second eye being treated.

After cataract surgery it is important to attend regular eye examinations, as this allows your Optometrist to monitor the health of your eyes. At Summers Opticians all of our Optometrists have worked within hospital eye departments, and have an advanced understanding of cataracts and cataract surgery.

Refractive surgery refers to surgical procedures used to correct common vision problems. The most popular refractive surgeries performed are LASIK, LASEK, refractive lens exchange, and ICL (implantable contact lens).

Our head Optometrist Stephen is a specialist within refractive surgery, having worked in the field for over 10 years. In addition he’s had LASIK surgery himself, so fully understands the process from both a clinical and personal perspective.

Patients are often concerned that high street Opticians don’t fully understand the changes to their eyes following surgery, which is why our refractive surgery patients always feel reassured after seeing Stephen. His knowledge and understanding of how refractive surgeries alter the structure of the cornea, and common problems that may arise, ensure our patients receive the most expert eye care tailored to their needs.

We strongly recommend our advanced eye examination to all patients who have had refractive surgery. Whilst complications from refractive surgery are uncommon, the state of the art imaging techniques used during our Advanced Eye Exam allow your Optometrist to detect any changes to your retina.

407 Durham Road, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE9 5AN