FAQ

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

General question of services: 

If you need help or assistance to get to a high street optician for an eye test, then you are eligible for this service.

Yes, if you are eligible and entitled to NHS optical vouchers.

All team members carry an identity badge which includes their company ID Number & Name. The Optometrists have all had a Disclosure Certificate through the Disclosure and Barring Service (Formerly the CRB) and is registered as required. If you have any concerns, call us to check their identity.

Proof of eligibility will be requested by your optometrist, as required under current regulations. For the vision test to be performed, you will be required to sign a General Ophthalmic Services application form. Signing this form is also confirmation of your entitlement, in the case of evidence not being available.

Your completed spectacles will be delivered and fitted by a member of the Homecare Optical dispensing team at your home.

Once you are over the age of 60 you are entitled to a free eye examination through the NHS, usually every two years. If you’re on certain qualifying benefits, you’ll get a voucher towards the cost of your glasses – your optician will be able to tell you this.

If not, you might still be eligible for help based on income by completing and sending off an HC1 form which you can get from any post office or your opticians. You should do this before arranging an eye test.

Prescription related questions: 

A dioptre is the unit measuring a lens’s refractive power the ability to bend light passing through the lens.

Is the power of a lens (measured in dioptre units) to correct the degree of short or long sight you require? Usually, this number will be different for each eye. The figures will have a plus sign if you are longsighted and a minus sign if you are short-sighted.

If you are astigmatic, a prescription will include a number indicating the amount of cylindrical power that the lenses will require. This number describes the difference in dioptres between a cornea’s steepest as well as shallowest curves.

The axis number on a prescription tells the optician the direction they must position a cylindrical power in your lenses this is needed for those with astigmatism. This number shows the orientation/ angle in degrees from 1 to 180. The number 90 means vertical position and 180 horizontal.

A higher number for the axis will not mean that a prescription is stronger as it simply describes the position of the astigmatism.

Eye Health related questions: 

This is not uncommon as in low light levels, eye pupils become larger and this can enhance any small underlying problems in focusing, causing blurred effects.

Sometimes, more serious conditions might cause problems with night vision, so you should book a eye test with your home visiting mobile opticians to evaluate the symptoms. The home eyes examination health check will find out whether you might benefit from spectacles or update your prescription.

Problems with peripheral vision should be checked by our qualified mobile opticians. Your optician can test your ‘visual field test’. This is designed to detect if there is a problem with any part of your visual field; to see if one eye is affected or not and if there is any chance of it getting worse.

If you feel like a problem has arisen suddenly or might be affecting your everyday life, it’s best to arrange an appointment with us as soon as possible.

Watery eyes are usually caused by an increase in the product of tears. It can occur in one eye or both eyes and usually caused by either overproduction of tears due to irritation in the eye, allergies or sometimes due to an obstruction of the drainage system which results in an overflow of tears.

If you notice that your eyes are unusually watery, book an appointment with your home visiting opticians.

First step is to not rub the eye! If the foreign object isn’t cleaned away by your tears or by washing your eye, seek out an eye examination in your local hospital as soon as possible, especially if the object can’t be seen. Try your best to keep the affected eye closed until you can be seen.

A higher number for the axis will not mean that a prescription is stronger as it simply describes the position of the astigmatism.

There could be several reasons behind an eye feels painful. The most common reason will be the presence of a foreign body, infection or injury. Hence an optician or GP will be able to judge the best treatment for you in such a situation.

Sunglasses that can wraparound your face and eyes required for long periods of UV light exposure. The larger framed wraparound sunglasses give protection for eyes from all angles and can be available with prescriptions lenses or without to wear when needed.

Major impact on the symptoms of eye strain can be helped by changing your workspace and environment. Here are useful tips:

  • Your electronic device screen should be between 18-30 inches from your eyes
  • The top of the screen should be at eye level or below, so you must look down slightly at your work
  • Your input device should be placed directly in front of the monitor
  • Use a stand for reading materials at the same angle and distance as the monitor
  • Tilt the monitor downwards or move it to a different position on your desk so that the brightest light sources are to the side, parallel to your line of sight to the monitor or you can use a screen shields or filters
  • Try to take regular eye breaks by looking away from the screen every ten to fifteen minutes, and every two hours move away from the electronic device to give both your body and eyes a rest.

The sudden appearance of blood in your eye is normally due to a subconjunctival haemorrhage. It may look worrying, although it is usually a harmless condition which is not painful or serious. It occurs when one of the tiny blood vessels in your eye leaks under the conjunctiva.

It’s not known why some vessels leak; it might occur spontaneously or may follow a violent sneeze, cough or vomiting.

The blood is usually reabsorbed by the body and disappears within a few weeks. However if you do experience pain or there are any changes in your vision you should seek a opticians immediately.

Redness occurs as blood vessels in the white of the eye, the sclera, expand. If the redness only happened in localised areas/spots, this is could be due to an injury. If, however the entire sclera appears reddened this maybe due to an infection, allergy, glaucoma or simply tiredness.

The cure for red eye depends on the cause if the redness doesn’t resolve itself consult your optician or a  GP.

Electronic screen users tend to blink less frequently, which may lead to dry eyes. It’s more apparent if you work in an air-conditioned office, which can add to drying out of your eyes.

Using eye drops can be one of the best treatments for dry eyes; such as hypermellose, however it  contains preservative that you can be sensitive to and is watery and does not remain in the eye for very long. The newer generation of ‘artificial tears’ are advanced formulas tend to stay in the eye for longer thereby giving more relief with little risk of sensitivity.

Recommended brands include the following:  Systane Ultra, Hyabak, Ocusan, Lubristil, Hydromor, Clinitas and Blink – your optician is the best person to go to for recommendations.

Once or twice a day may not be enough hence use them as frequently as you feel is needed.

It’s also worth bathing your closed eyes with a clean flannel rinsed under hot water and repeating between three or four times a day. This will help the secretory glands under your eyelids to function and in turn improve the quality of your tears.

The difficulty in opening your eye might be unrelated to a dry eyes problem. As for dry eyes we suggest the latest type of dry eye drops which are a huge improvement on the watery type of drop and they can help condition a cornea. You may also benefit from using a thicker, gel-like drop before you go to bed to help keep the cornea as moist as possible as you sleep.

The issues with your eyelid could be due to a weakness in the muscle that lifts the lid. The cause may be hard to determine but it may be due to a such problems such as: growth in the eyelid like a stye, a medical problem, a nerve injury or part even the result of a normal ageing process.

Eye Medical Condition Explained:

Patients with astigmatism have an unevenly curved cornea (the clear covering at the front of the eye) or an unevenly curved lens inside the eye, shaped more like a rugby ball than a football. Imagine a rugby ball sliced in half, lengthways. The cut surface is an oval shape, and imagine you are looking at it from its pointed end – the sides curve up steeply.

Now imagine you’re looking at it from halfway between the two-pointed ends – the sides curve much less steeply. This is an exaggerated version of the shape of an astigmatic cornea.

It is corrected by spectacles with a cylinder shape built into the lenses at a certain angle.

When the home visiting opticians talk about intra-ocular pressure, (also known as IOP), they mean pressure of the fluid which fills the eye, rather than blood pressure in the vessels which keep the structures of the eye supplied with oxygen and nutrients.

High IOP is associated with the development of certain eye conditions, such as glaucoma. Poorly controlled high blood pressure can cause other problems related to damage to the delicate blood vessels at the back of the eye. Regular eye test with  your optician are the best way to make sure about the condition of your eyes and vision.

This type of visual effect is known as a ‘floater‘ it occurs due to small clusters of cells breaking off the inside wall of the eye and floating in the gel that fills the eye. If you have only a few it is unlikely to be significant but it’s always worth mentioning them on your next home visiting optician.

 

This is a group of related diseases in which vision is affected as the light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye – the rod and cone cells – become damaged. The symptoms gradually worsen over time, and the nature of symptoms depends on which cells are affected. Some people might find their central vision is relatively good whereas others might find theirs diminishes but their peripheral vision remains unaffected. The rate at which vision deteriorates varies from one person to another.

The causes of retinitis pigmentosa aren’t clearly understood, though there is some data indicating that it is inherited which means it can affect other members of the patient’s family.

Unfortunately, there’s no current treatment. However, intensive research is being done all over the world to identify the causes, means of prevention and possible treatments.

Blind spots or ‘scotoma’ are small areas where no vision is present. One of these occurs naturally in all people because the light-sensitive layer – the retina – lining the back of the eye is not continuous. There’s a gap in the retina where the optic nerve, which takes the visual information to the brain, leaves the eye. We’re not usually aware of this blind spot because our brains ‘ignore’ this small patch of missing information and ‘fill in’ our view.

Although in some eye diseases, the retina is damaged and new ‘holes’ appear within the field of vision, but these may not at first be noticed. After a certain amount of damage, the brain is unable to compensate for the lack of information and a person will then become aware of a gap in their vision.

Amblyopia or commonly known as lazy eye is a condition in which vision in one eye is very much worse than the other. The two views provided by the eyes cannot be combined into one 3D image by the brain, so the patient loses their binocular vision. Binocular vision is where the combination of the images from the two eyes enables the person to see in 3D.

The are three major causes of amblyopia or ‘lazy eye’ – squint (also known as strabismus, a condition where the eye muscles are not working properly and one eye is at an angle), very short or long sight in one eye only, and visual deprivation in one eye due to a disorder such as a cataract.

If left untreated, amblyopia may result. This means the brain is not able to make the images from both eyes combine into one 3D view of the world, so it ignores the worse image to avoid double vision.

Cataracts are clouding of the lens of the eye (not, as sometimes believed, a skin that grows over the eye).

There are several causes the most common form of cataracts is associated with ageing, although not everyone develops cataracts as they get older.

Cataracts may also be caused by an eye injury such as a sharp blow, a chemical or electrical burn or a very high dose of radiation. Rare causes include side-effects of some long-term medications and eye disease. Genetics can also rarely lead to the development of cataracts at birth or early childhood.

The signs and symptoms do with cataracts cause objects beginning to appear blurry or hazy; night vision being poor; sensitivity to light; double vision; contact lens/spectacle prescription needing changing often; a visible lightening of the pupil.

A full eye examination is the best way to determine whether someone has cataracts and to eliminate more urgent causes of some of these symptoms. If you experience changes in vision you should visit your optician or GP.

Conjunctivitis is the most common eye disease in the western hemisphere. It’s an inflammation of the conjunctiva which makes the sclera appear reddened due to an increase in blood supply. An eye with conjunctivitis feels itchy and watery and sometimes there can be a sticky discharge, which feels uncomfortable and blurs the vision.

Although conjunctivitis is sometimes referred to as ‘pink eye’, this only really refers to one type of the disease, bacterial conjunctivitis.

Viral conjunctivitis usually gets better without treatment. Bacterial conjunctivitis will often get better without treatment within a couple of weeks, but it can also be treated with antibiotics. Allergic conjunctivitis can be treated with anti-allergy medications. In the vast majority of cases, conjunctivitis is a mild condition which poses no threat to the eye or your vision, but you should not wear contact lenses until the symptoms have completely gone.

Conjunctivitis can affect people of all ages but is more common in children.

The best way to avoid infection is to wash your hands frequently and avoid sharing towels with someone who has the infection.

A retinal detachment is a lifting of part of the layer which lines the back of the eye (the retina) away from its supporting layers. If the layers are not replaced quickly, the nutrients which keep the retina healthy cannot reach it and the cells die.

Signs of retinal detachment therefore need urgent medical attention.

Retinal detachment can follow an eye injury or a blow to the head. It can also occur as the result of an underlying eye problem, i.e. very short sight (high myopia), inflammation or infection at the back of the eye, a tear in the retina, or blood vessel problems.

Retinal detachment requires urgent medical attention. The symptoms include sudden changes in vision (e.g. blurring), a hole or a cloud of small dots appearing in the field of view (floaters), or flashing lights in the vision.

A few floaters are perfectly normal and the above symptoms can have less serious causes, but if retinal detachment has happened urgent treatment is needed so you need to get a prompt expert diagnosis from an optician or GP.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness throughout the world. Its exact cause is not known. Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases that have common features including raised intraocular pressure, damage to the optic nerve, and sight loss.

There are several types of glaucoma, including primary open-angle, closed-angle, secondary, congenital, and normal tension. The most common is primary open-angle glaucoma.

In many cases if caught early, the progressive sight loss from primary open-angle glaucoma (the most common kind) can be prevented or slowed down by drug treatment or surgery.

Put simply, diabetes is an inability to metabolise the sugars and carbohydrates in the body due to a lack of the hormone insulin. There are two types: Type I (insulin dependent diabetes), usually occurs in people aged 10-20 years, and Type II (non-insulin-dependent diabetes) occurs in older people. Type II can sometimes be controlled through a careful diet.

High blood sugar levels due to a lack of insulin from diabetes can cause eye problems over time, such as making your small blood vessels and capillaries leaky. In the eye, this can mean blood and fluid entering the retina and damaging the cells which detect light.

In the long term, diabetes can lead to other eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma.

There are several types of age-related macular degeneration. The two most common are “dry” (or atrophic) macular degeneration and “wet” (or exudative) macular degeneration.

Dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD) affects the majority of those with age-related macular degeneration. Patients with dry AMD gradually lose the central vision in their affected eye as the macular degenerates. Dry AMD often occurs in one eye, but it may affect the other eye at a later date. Patients with dry AMD often do not notice the changes in their vision, particularly if their dominant eye is unaffected.

Wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) occurs when the eye develops new blood vessels which grow up from the choroid towards the macula. Because these new blood vessels tend to be fragile they will often leak fluid under the macula. This causes rapid damage to the macula and can lead to the loss of central vision in a short period of time.

Low vision is a general term used to describe the condition of someone with severely impaired vision, or a person who experiences major difficulty in carrying out visual tasks.

Total blindness is the inability to tell light from dark, or the total inability to see.

Visual impairment or low vision is a severe reduction in vision that cannot be corrected with standard glasses or contact lenses and reduces a person’s ability to function at certain or all tasks.

If your vision has deteriorated to a certain level, you may choose to register as visually impaired. You will need to see an eye specialist (ophthalmologist). Depending on the severity of your vision loss you’ll either be registered as sight impaired (previously “partially sighted”) or severely sight impaired (previously “blind”)

Your eye specialist will measure your visual acuity (ability to see detail at a distance) and your field of vision (how much you can see from the side of your eye when looking straight ahead). These measurements will help the eye specialist determine whether you’re eligible to be certified as sight impaired or severely sight impaired.

If you are, they will complete an official certificate with the results of your eye examination.

Your optometrist can advise you if you are likely to meet the criteria and refer you if appropriate.

The definition of partial sight varies from country to country. In the UK, the legal definition is “substantially and permanently handicapped by defective vision caused by a congenital defect, illness or injury”.

The optical profession has defined this further by using a value that can be measured by standard tests: a visual acuity of 3/60 to 6/60 with full visual field (breadth of vision), or 6/24 or worse, with moderate visual field, or 6/18 or better with very reduced visual field (breadth of vision).

Eye Test related questions: 

It depends on the patient, but a young, healthy person with no apparent problems should take around 20 minutes.

Someone older, perhaps with high blood pressure, diabetes, glaucoma or other ailments can take much longer.

Your optician will determine what clinical tests are needed to provide the correct information for new spectacles or contact lenses; if necessary, they might refer the patient for a medical opinion.

This is because your optician uses modern equipment with a very powerful bulb, enabling them to see the back of your eye without your glasses being on so that they can focus at different depths within the eye.

This part of the test is called the divergence/convergence test. The alignment of the eyes is observed, and the eyes are alternately covered and uncovered while the person looks at a target.

This tests the eyes’ resting positions and their response to focusing and targeting on an object. If your eyes are misaligned it might indicate a squint, an uncorrected optical error or even a neurological problem.

We believe that everyone is entitled to the best possible eyecare service. You’ll be visited by a qualified optometrist.

All our staff are highly trained and have completed background checks as stipulated by the CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) and POVA (Protection of Vulnerable Adults) provisions.

All of our staff carry identification with them at all times.

A higher number for the axis will not mean that a prescription is stronger as it simply describes the position of the astigmatism.

Home eye tests are thorough and carried out with all the care and attention you’d expect.

All the visiting opticians are fully qualified and experienced and come equipped with the latest mobile testing kits.

Areas we cover for home eye testing:

Click below to see all the areas covered in each Local Authority.  

Acocks Green

Alcester

Alvechurch

Aston, Witton

Balsall Heath, Sparkbrook, Highgate

Bidford-on-Avon

Birmingham City Centre, Broad Street (east)

Birmingham City Centre, Corporation Street (north)

Birmingham City Centre, New Street

Birmingham City Centre, Newhall Street

Boldmere, New Oscott, Wylde Green

Bordesley Green, Bordesley

Bournville, Cotteridge, Stirchley

Bromsgrove (east)

Bromsgrove (west)

Castle Bromwich, Smith’s Wood, Bromford, Hodge Hill

Castle Vale

Chelmsley Wood, Marston Green, Kingshurst, Fordbridge

Cradley Heath, Old Hill

Digbeth, Highgate, Lee Bank

Edgbaston,

Erdington, Stockland Green, Short Heath, Perry Common

Erdington, Wylde Green, Tyburn

Feckenham

Four Oaks, Mere Green, Little Aston, Streetly

Great Barr, Hamstead

Halesowen (east), Romsley, Hunnington, Quinton (part)

Halesowen (west and town centre), Hayley Green, Hasbury

Hall Green

Handsworth

Handsworth Wood, Handsworth, Birchfield

Harborne, Edgbaston

Henley-in-Arden

Hockley Heath, Earlswood

Hollywood, Wythall

Kings Heath, Yardley Wood, Druids Heath, Highter’s Heath, Warstock

Kings Norton, West Heath

Kitts Green, Stechford

Knowle

Ladywood

Langley, Brandhall, Quinton (part of)

Lozells, Newtown, Birchfield

Moseley, Billesley

National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham International Airport, Marston Green, Bickenhill

Nechells

Northfield, Longbridge, West Heath

Oldbury, Tividale

Olton, Elmdon, Bickenhill, Hampton-in-Arden

Perry Barr, Great Barr, Hamstead

Perry Barr, Kingstanding, Great Barr

Redditch (east), Beoley

Redditch (west), Callow Hill, Webheath

Rednal, New Frankley, Rubery, Cofton Hackett, Barnt Green, Lickey, Longbridge, Northfield (part)

Rowley Regis, Blackheath

Selly Oak, Bournbrook, Selly Park, Weoley Castle, California (part of)

Shard End, Buckland End

Sheldon, Yardley

Shirley, Solihull Lodge, Majors Green, Dickens Heath, Cheswick Green

Small Heath

Smethwick (east and north), Bearwood (east)

Smethwick (west), Bearwood (west), Londonderry

Solihull

Sparkhill, Sparkbrook, Tyseley

Studley

Sutton Coldfield town centre, Maney, Wylde Green, Erdington

Sutton Trinity, Falcon Lodge, Rectory

Tamworth, Fazeley, Kingsbury, Polesworth

Tamworth, Warton

Tamworth, Wilnecote, Amington

Walmley, Minworth

Washwood Heath, Ward End, Saltley

Water Orton, Coleshill, Nether Whitacre

West Bromwich (north)

West Bromwich (south, west and town centre)

Winson Green, Hockley

Woodgate, Bartley Green, Quinton, California (part of)

Yardley

Atherstone, Mancetter, Grendon, Baddesley Ensor, Baxterley, Hurley, Witherley, Wood End, Twycross, Orton On The Hill, Ridge Lane Village

Barlestone, Barton in the Beans, Bilstone, Cadeby, Carlton, Congerstone, Dadlington, Fenny Drayton, Higham on the Hill, Market Bosworth, Nailstone, Odstone, Osbaston, Shackerstone, Shenton, Stoke Golding, Sutton Cheney, Upton, Wellsborough

Bedworth (except Exhall and Ash Green), Bulkington

Coventry C (Coventry City Centre, Gosford Green, Hillfields, Spon End, Coventry University)

Coventry N (Holbrooks, Coundon, Radford, Longford, Rowley’s Green, Courthouse Green, Whitmore Park), Hawkesbury

Coventry NE (Walsgrave, Wyken, Stoke, Bell Green, Wood End, Potters Green, Aldermans Green, Clifford Park, Woodway Park)

Coventry NW (Allesley, Allesley Park, Allesley Green, Earlsdon, Eastern Green, Whoberley, Chapelfields, Mount Nod, Brownshill Green)

Coventry SE (Binley, Whitley, Willenhall, Cheylesmore, Styvechale, Finham, Fenside, Stoke Aldermoor, Green Lane, Ernesford Grange, Binley Woods)

Coventry SW (Tile Hill, Canley, Cannon Park, Lime Tree Park, Gibbet Hill, Westwood Heath, University of Warwick)

Exhall, Ash Green, Keresley, Meriden, Balsall Common, Berkswell, Corley, Arley, Ansty, Shilton, Fillongley

Harbury and surrounding villages

Kenilworth, Baginton, Bubbenhall, Burton Green, Brandon, Stoneleigh, Wolston, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Ashow

Leamington Spa (north), Cubbington, Lillington

Leamington Spa (south), Sydenham, Whitnash, Radford Semele

Nuneaton C & E (town centre, Abbey Green, St Nicolas Park, Horeston Grange, Attleborough, Whitestone, Hill Top, Chilvers Coton, Caldwell), Burton Hastings, Bramcote

Nuneaton N & W (Weddington, Stockingford, Camp Hill, Galley Common, Grove Farm, Whittleford, Chapel End, Bermuda Village), Caldecote, Fenny Drayton, Hartshill, Ansley, Astley, Oldbury, Ridge Lane

Rugby (north), Brownsover

Rugby (south), Bilton, Cawston, Dunchurch

Shipston-on-Stour and surrounding villages

Southam and surrounding villages

Stratford-upon-Avon and surrounding villages

Thurlaston, Princethorpe, Stretton-on-Dunsmore, Birdingbury, Brinklow, Long Lawford, Clifton upon Dunsmore, Stretton-under-Fosse, Monks Kirby, Kilsby

Warwick

Wellesbourne, Gaydon, Kineton and surrounding villages

Aldridge, Walsall Wood (south), Stonnall

Bescot, Tamebridge, Yew Tree

Bloxwich, Coal Pool, Pelsall

Brownhills, Walsall Wood (north)

Burntwood

Cannock, Norton Canes, Hatherton

Cheslyn Hay, Great Wyrley

Hednesford, Heath Hayes, Wimblebury, Huntington

Lichfield (north and city centre), Fradley, Streethay, Croxall, Farewell, Chorley

Lichfield (south), Shenstone, Whittington, Wall, Weeford

Pleck, Bentley, Leamore

Rugeley, Brereton, Armitage, Handsacre, Abbots Bromley, Longdon, Mavesyn Ridware, Hill Ridware, Blithbury, Colton, Cannock Wood, Gentleshaw, Hamstall Ridware, Admaston

Rushall

Walsall town centre, Caldmore

Wednesbury, Darlaston

Contact Us

Main Address:

The Pavilions Number 8, Cranmore Drive, Solihull B90 4SB

Company Number: 11571844

Telephone  and Email : 

0800 001 6499
info@homecareoptical.co.uk