Making things easier to see

Poor lighting and small print can be a challenge, even with the best glasses prescription. This is especially true for people with vision impairment. 

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Let us share two helpful solutions. The Daylight Halo magnifier light (see above) is brilliant for fine work / craft. We have one in our workshop which is in daily use for fine repairs on glasses.  If reading is a struggle the magnifying ruler is the perfect tool. We have many other magnifiers, come in and see our selection. 

Getting used to your new progressive lenses

Here are our tips to adjust to new progressive lenses. Progressives can feel a bit different compared to single vision glasses (reading glasses, or driving glasses).

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Keep them on. You may be tempted to switch back and forth between your new and old glasses, but don’t. The more you wear your progressive lenses, the quicker you’ll get used to them. Even if you don’t usually wear any vision correction to look across the room, or your intention is not to use glasses full time, it will help to wear them as much as possible at the beginning.

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Don’t just move your eyes
Moving your eyes around the lens can cause eye strain, headaches and discomfort. Get in the habit of moving your whole head, especially when looking through your far and mid-range prescriptions. You will naturally look down when you are reading.

Position your glasses correctly
Proper alignment will make a difference. Wear your glasses up on your nose and fitting well behind your ears. This improves your field of clear vision and reduces distortion. 

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Be patient
Stick with your new glasses, and you will train your brain to see properly through the lenses, and looking through the different areas of the lens will become a habit. It may take a few weeks, but you will get it! 

Enjoy your new glasses!

Talking about the last 20 years.

Claire McDonald (L) and Sally Adams

Claire McDonald (L) and Sally Adams

Claire McDonald and Sally Adams reflect on the last twenty years practicing optometry in Warkworth.

Sally Adams (SA): When you were setting up the practice what was the main driver?

Claire McDonald (CM): There was tremendous appeal in being able to follow the entire process through. To examine someone’s vision, then provide a solution (glasses), and anticipate seeing them again in the future really interested me. I was strongly influenced by my early working experience with optometrists who had been in their practices for many years, had long term relationship with the people who came to them, and took pride in doing a good job with care.

CM: What appealed to you about optometry at the start?

SA: I started wearing glasses and eye patching therapy from 4 years old so I grew up with optics. I guess I understood first hand how optometry was a way of helping people.

CM: What do you enjoy about your role as an optometrist?

SA: Helping each person make a positive difference to their day to day life through the way they use their vision.

CM: During the last twenty years our ‘scope of practice’ has changed a lot, especially training to be therapeutic optometrists, who can treat different types of eye problems. We used to refer these cases to the Eye Clinic or GP. How did you find the study?

SA: Study was a challenge to balance with 2 young children, then aged four and seven, as well as work! But the greater depth of knowledge is invaluable in my day to day practice, and I realised an ability to take on new challenges.

CM: I agree, it was a big step to be back at University, nerves around exams had not diminished! We were suckers for punishment though, continuing beyond the required papers to complete Post Grad Diplomas!

SA: Yes that was an achievement. Then that study spread into my learning in behavioural optometry and vision therapy.

CM: I see that first hand; behavioural optometry and vision therapy has expanded and changed the way you work. Added new strings to your bow alongside our more typical caseload.

SA: Yes I guess it has been the same for your with Ortho-K* and Glaucoma.

CM: Exactly. With Ortho-K it has been exciting to add new technology to skills and experience in fitting contact lenses and realise we can make a real difference in myopia control for young people. Science and research is giving us some powerful clinical tools which are already here, not some future yet to be developed solution.

SA: How have you found working at the University of Auckland Clinic seeing Glaucoma patients?

CM: It is good to go and work in a different environment, keeps my skills up I guess. I can see now optometry fits in Glaucoma management, alongside Ophthalmology.**

SA: Twenty years is bit of a milestone here on the main street of Warkworth, it begs the question how much longer will we be here?

CM: I think there is still passion in our work, I think we’ll be here for a while yet.

*Rigid contact lenses worn overnight to correct vision

** Ophthalmologists are Doctors who are Eye Specialists

Avatude - Blue light filtering glasses

Not all blue light is bad - some exposure is good for our health. 


Sunlight is the main source of blue light but there are also man-made sources. Fluorescent and LED lighting, flat-screen televisions, computers, smartphones and other digital devices all emit significant amounts of blue light. The amount of blue light from these devices is small compared to what comes from the sun. But the amount of time that people spend, with a these devices at close range, raises concerns about possible long-term effects of blue light over-exposure on eye health.

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We are mindful of potential long term health effects of prolonged exposure to blue light, and the short term disruptive effects blue light may have on our daily circadian rhythms. Blue light exposure is implicated in eye strain symptoms, dry eyes and can interfere with sleep patterns. We experience comfort and relief when it is filtered out. This is an easy step if you are already wearing glasses, but what if you don’t need personalized prescription lenses?

 Avatude are glasses with optical grade, blue light filtering lenses. These are going to prove popular for anyone spending long hours on screens, including children. Available in a variety of frame styles, sizes, powered and non prescription lenses – there is something for everyone.