Eye Health

Taking care of your eye health

Your eye sight will change as you age, whilst individuals of all ages may be at risk of various eye conditions.

Here at Bater & Stout, we work with our patients one-to-one to advise on the best care for their eyes. Our eye tests are available to patients based in Swansea, Neath, Morriston, Swansea Valley, Pontardawe and Gower, and our qualified optometrists can identify eye conditions and advise on your eye health to ensure optimum vision for years to come.

Cataracts

Cataracts occur when the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy, most commonly with increasing age. This is not a disease, and can be present for many years before treatment (usually an operation under local anaesthetic) may be needed.

Common symptoms include poorer vision, increased glare from the sun or dazzle from headlamps. This is easily identified during an eye examination at Bater & Stout Opticians. If we cannot improve your vision with different spectacles, then with your agreement, we would refer you to the hospital eye clinic to consider surgery.

Glaucoma

This condition is sometimes hereditary; progressive optic nerve damage occurs (when undiagnosed and untreated) gradually constricting the peripheral vision until the central vision also becomes affected. Left untreated this can lead to blindness. A regular eye test at Bater & Stout Opticians is the best way to detect glaucoma early.

There are usually no symptoms of glaucoma until it has become very advanced! Most cases of glaucoma can be treated with special eye drops and lifelong monitoring. Many people are still able to drive with glaucoma.

There are different types of glaucoma, and it is detected during our eye tests by signs of high eye pressure, optic nerve weakness or change with time. A visual field test can examine the peripheral vision for signs of change due to glaucoma.

At Bater & Stout Opticians we check your eye pressure if you are over 40, and always check the condition of the optic nerve for signs of glaucoma. We also photograph the optic nerve and compare with previous photos to check for signs of change.

Diabetes

Diabetes is sometimes discovered first during an eye examination as it can cause rapid and/or unexpected changes in your vision, and sometimes changes to the small blood vessels in the eyes. Cataracts can appear at a younger age in diabetics.

If we have any suspicion that diabetes may be present and undiagnosed, then we refer you to your doctor for blood sugar tests. If we are concerned about the blood vessels, we arrange assessment at the hospital eye clinic.

Detached retina or torn retina

This is where the sensitive layer at the back of the eye becomes disrupted or torn and, although more common in highly short-sighted eyes, can affect anyone. Symptoms may include suddenly reduced vision, flashing lights, a sudden shower of 'floaters, flies or tadpoles' in the vision, or a shadow in your vision.

Don't take any chances! Always come and get your eyes checked at Bater & Stout Opticians, as retinal problems are often treatable if prompt advice is sought. Note - you can get these symptoms without damage to the retina and we will be happy to reassure you if the retina is healthy.

Macular degeneration

For those with, or at risk of macular degeneration, we offer advanced monitoring tests with the MPOD unit, a clever machine that measures the important pigment layer of the macula. This device allows us to track deterioration, stability and sometimes improvements in the condition (in those taking special supplements or diet).

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the macula?

    The macula is the area at the back of the eye that is responsible for our detailed, colour and daylight vision. It contains millions of cells and requires a large amount of nutrients to function, plus a system to break up and dispose of the waste products.

  • What is macular degeneration?

    When these cells cease to function, and/or the waste products they produce aren’t properly removed (due to the underlying pigment layer becoming depleted), then slowly but surely we lose our detailed vision. It has a variety of causes but when associated with age it is referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

    Types of macular degeneration include:

    • Dry – the most common type, caused by gradual onset and usually due to 'wear and tear'
    • Wet – new vessels grow behind the retina causing swelling, bleeding and scar tissue, this type of deterioration develops quickly and accounts for 10% of all AMD

    Wet macular degeneration usually involves both eyes but not equally, so often people will have one good eye. Using the eyes will not increase the risk of damage so if you enjoy hobbies such as reading or knitting etc. – carry on! It doesn’t cause total blindness but it is the greatest cause of poor sight in the over 60s.

    Symptoms include blurred vision, distortion, straight lines appear wavy, patterns or shapes are sometimes seen that are not really there, and reading becomes more difficult.

  • Risk Factors

    • Age - Those of us over 50 are more at risk
    • Gender – Women are more at risk, probably because they live longer!
    • Family history - If it is in the family, there is a 50% chance of developing it as opposed to 12% if there is no family history
    • Smoking – Doubles your chance of developing AMD
    • Sunlight - UV significantly increases the risk so wear sunglasses
    • Nutrition – evidence suggests that a well-balanced diet or taking supplements can help delay the onset of AMD
  • Treatments

    Dry AMD

    With our new MPod machine, we can now measure the macula pigment. Evidence suggests that by taking Macushield supplements, the macula pigment layer can increase in density and may help slow down or stabilise the effects of AMD. We usually recommend taking supplements for six months and repeating the MPod measurement to determine whether there is an increase in pigment.

    Diet can help improve the essential intake of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and minerals, zinc and selenium, plus enzymes lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin. Oily fish, dark green veg (especially kale), red and yellow peppers, and apricots will make great additions to your diet. Also, if you smoke, you should stop!

    Wet AMD

    Treatment involves a referral to your local eye casualty for flourescein angiography tests, which use special photographs to give a better assessment of the condition. Treatment (if possible) involves injections into the eye to seal the leaking vessels and hopefully stabilise or improve the condition.

  • What to do if concerned

    Contact us immediately if you have any of the symptoms listed above and we will check your vision, and if necessary dilate the pupils and examine the macula. Depending on the findings, we will either refer you to the eye casualty if it is wet AMD and if it is treatable; or if is it dry AMD, then we will try to improve the vision through spectacles, measure your macular pigment and give advice on diet and supplements.

If you are concerned about your eye health or any of the conditions mentioned above, contact our team today and book in for an eye examination.

What our customers said about us

Always feel at ease and have total faith and confidence in their care which is always of highest quality and standard of service.

L Fisher (69) (07/04/2015)

Called for an emergency eye sight test on my son, was seen very quickly and the service could not be faulted. Thank you

L Branningan (13) (01/04/2015)

Seen without a long wait, no sales pressure

E Edmundson (66) (15/04/2015)

 The person i saw was very friendly and very professional. It was a pleasant visit.

K Blanchard (18) (01/05/2015)

 I have always been happy with the service that i have recieved from all members of staff.  

H M Evans (80) (13/05/2015)

My Mother in Law and I recieved a friendly warm welcome.  Her eye problems were outlined and the service given was excellent, Thank you. 

B Harwood (88) (29/05/2015)

Very friendly and helpful, as I was handicapped at the time.   

M E Phillips (65) (01/06/2015)

Extremely professional, they ask you questions and you also have an input as well.

Mr J R Brandrick (58) (02/06/2015)

 Brilliant, Really efficient and gave that personal touch by phoning home to check on my progress.

R Hutin (19) (09/06/2015)

 The first impressions are the friendly greetings by staff who were very helpful, The eye test itself was done in a very friendly and profesional manner.

P Derges (70) (09/06/2015)

The service was very efficient and friendly.   

S Ostad (32) (18/06/2015)

 Very friendly and professional always willng to help

N Poole (55) (20/06/2015)

 My first visit to Bater and Stout was with my grandfather as he comes here and the staff are very friendly and suggested an eye test after expaining my difficulties.

A Albrighton (18) (02/07/2015)

 I arrived at 12:45 on a saturday!!  I wasnt turned away and i was checked thoroughly even though they were closing.  I was reassured at all times and a follow up appointment was made within a week.  

T Thomas (50) (11/07/2015)

 Receptionists - Good telephone manners, helpful and polite.  Opticians - thorough, professional and polite.  would not think of changing opticians.

M Beynon (65) (21/07/2015)

 Always feel cared for and very welcome

D Roberts (45) (20/07/2015)

 My late husband and i have always liked the professionalism and friendliness of all the visits and service we have recieved at our morriston Branch.  I like the welcome and friendly service i always recieve.  

M M Evans (81) (20/08/2015)

 Always greeted with a smile and everyone helpful, Everyone has time to listen to any problems you may have, however trivial.  thank you.

L Thomas (74) (01/09/2015)

 Was put at ease about probelm, Everything was explained clearly, was not put off by resistance by hospital staff on phone about need to have further investigations at hospital that evening.  

L Locker (58) (05/09/2015)

 I was very impressed with the professionalism and how much help all the staff gave me.  thank you so much for the help.

M J Davies (39) (07/09/2015)

Just a quick Thank you for the diagnosis report as requested by the Disability Support dept of the Open University.  It describes perfectly my condition and will assist in the programme of support available to me. 

 

Also thank you for my wonderful little Visum  magnifier which rarely leaves my side now unless it's on charge!  You've no idea of the difference it has made to everyday tasks.

 

Finally thank you for your continuous excellent ,professional service. From the moment we arrive at Reception right through to the eye examination and after. 

I can't recommend you highly enough.  

H Russell (01/09/2015)

 Fab service, friendly people, will not have any issues bringing my nervous child again.

T Deem (5) (01/10/2015)

 really friendly at the desk and on the phone.  Optician was really understanding and explained everthing clearly.  Had great support to choose my glasses and was surprised they were ready the same day.  

R Evans (28) (12/10/2015)

 Friendly staff at desk - helpful and accomodating.  Tony the optician was very thorough and patient.  The examination room was rather small for the wheelchair but we managed.

R Morgan (94) (21/10/2015)

 Very nice, Funny and friendly.  My daughter was happy with the test and happy with the glasses she wanted.

M Richards (28/10/2015)

 My Husband and all three children visit your opticians, We always feel welcome and there is a friendly atmosphere.  The eye tests are very thorough. I will highly recommend Bater and Stout Opticians.

H Way (38) (05/11/2015)

 I feel that Tony stout and i have a good rapport we seem to share some common interests and possibly similiar interests in our pasts.  And we have a similiar sense of humour.

S Cound (65) (05/11/2015)

 Everyone i encountered on my arrival has been so warm, friendly and welcoming.  Truely lovely experience.

J Evason (27) (14/12/2015)

 The First visit was friendly, welcoming and made "f" feel at ease.  The optician was caring giving out his personal mobile number to contact him if any further problems over the christmas period.

F Mansell (5) (06/01/2016)

 I was very worried baout floaters in my left eye, i was reassured and had various tests. all staff are very helpful.

C John (62) (26/01/2016)

 was nervous but put at ease by receptionit, and very happy with the test. Optician was friendly and professional.

R Watts (53) (26/01/2016)

 Very plesant, cheerful and always helpful. Mr Bater always puts you at ease and i trust him 100% with my vision. Most helpful

E Pylypiw (60) (26/01/2016)

 Really pleasant and helpful staff, and coudnt ask for a better service.

M ford (65) (25/02/2016)

Young girl friendly and helpful on the desk - Lindsay friendly and experienced, picked up smallest problem and allowed me to decide what i wish to do about purchasing glasses when i am ready.   

S Lees (63) (22/03/2016)

 I was seen straight away without an ppointment because i was in pain.  The staff were very kind and Mr Stout heped me with the pain and spoke to the hospital for me.  

E Jones (15) (22/03/2016)

I am glad i have seen Mr Stout, He saved my eye sight. 

P A Buxton (65) (22/03/2016)

From the moment you enter the door, everyone is caring, helpful and friendly.  But most of all the optician makes you fell comfotable and welcome.  Plus the examination is not rushed and there is continuous and clear communication and explination throughout.   

J Kays (11) (05/04/2016)

My visit was very pleasant and the staff polite and very welcoming. Mr stout was courteous and very thorough in his examination.   

A Bailey (72) (27/04/2016)

 Very good service, professional, given correct diagnosis as far as i am aware. Hoping for a good outcome.

Mr K D Prosser (02/08/2016)

 Pleasant, friendly, no delay A+

B McGaughey (83) (23/09/2016)