Celebrating John Anderson

Our optometrist John Anderson has been with us for 20 years, and here’s a video of a sand art tribute to John and his contribution to the practice.

Thank you John!

Can blue light glasses help to alleviate digital eye strain?

In our ever-increasing digital world, digital eye strain is a growing problem, affecting both parents and children alike. It refers to the uncomfortable symptoms that result from looking at screens for prolonged periods. Since the pandemic, one in 3 people in the UK has noticed deteriorated vision because of increased screen time. 

Read on to discover the effects of digital eye strain, how it is caused and how blue light glasses can help alleviate symptoms.

Digital eye strain causes

Digital eye strain results when the eyes are intensely focused on a task for a long period. For example, children studying for exams or adults who frequently use digital screens are susceptible to developing this condition. 

In addition, some of the main causes of digital eye strain include reading without resting your eyes, exposure to bright lights, driving for extended periods, fatigue, stress and straining to see in dim lighting.

Symptoms of digital eye strain

Symptoms of digital eye strain

While digital eye strain isn’t sight-threatening, it can cause prolonged discomfort that can make it difficult to get through the day. Some symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Headaches
  • Eye discomfort
  • Trouble focusing
  • Red or watery eyes
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Twitching eyelids
  • Sensitivity to light

The best eye strain treatment 

The good news is, you don’t have to silently suffer from digital eye strain. Blue light glasses are specifically designed to protect your eyes from blue light exposure. Thanks to a special anti-reflection coating, they’re able to filter blue light rays to stop them from entering your eye and causing potential damage. This reduces glare, provides enhanced clarity, and reduces visual discomfort – all of which contribute to soothing digital eye strain. 

Wearing blue light glasses will allow you to have the best concentration possible for when you are working and studying as they help relax your eyes which will improve your sleep and allow your body to function properly.

eye strain symptoms

Get in touch

If you are suffering from any of the digital eye strain symptoms mentioned above, book an eye exam to get a pair of blue light lenses of your own. 

How to relieve hay fever and allergy eye symptoms

Hay fever season is now upon us, causing uncomfortable symptoms for a significant portion of the population. In fact, a study done in 2020 found that hay fever can affect nearly 50% of the UK population, and around 37% reported symptoms for the first time since 2015. Read on for a helpful rundown on common symptoms, and our top tips for hay fever relief.

Do you have hay fever?

Hay fever symptoms

There are several symptoms of hay fever you may experience:

● sneezing or coughing
● headache and tiredness
● sore, red, itchy eyes
● an itchy throat, nose, or ears (possibly an earache)
● nasal congestion or a runny nose

What exactly is hay fever?

Hay fever is when your body reacts to the pollen in the air. Pollen is a powder produced by plants and is a part of their reproduction process. As such, the ‘pollen count’, i.e., how much pollen there is in the air, is typically highest from spring to the beginning of September. When your body reacts to pollen, it produces histamine, causing inflammation.

Reactions range from mild to severe and can cause loss of sleep, concentration issues and increased risk of asthma.

Hay fever treatment

Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for hay fever – only relief. You can try and avoid being outside during high pollen count days by checking your weather forecast, which usually has an indicator for this, or by investing in air filters. However, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to avoid it completely, so we’ve compiled our top 5 tips on how best to manage your symptoms day to day.

Treating hay fever

  1. Wash your hands before you touch your face. This can reduce the transfer of pollen to your eyes, minimising irritation.
  2. Use eye drops as recommended by our optometrists to help relieve itchy, red, and sore eyes.
  3. Placing a cold, wet flannel over your eyes for 10-15 minutes every day can also provide some respite.
  4. Sunglasses can help, especially wraparound styles which give optimal coverage to block pollen, dust, and other irritants from reaching your eyes.
  5. Use over the counter antihistamines if you find them to be effective.
  6. Putting your clothes straight into the wash after a day out when pollen is rife will help to stop it from transferring to your eyes.
  7. Closing your windows when the pollen count is at its highest if indoors will reduce the chances of it making contact with your eyes. In extreme cases, your doctor may be able to offer immunotherapy, which slowly exposes the body to pollen, allowing you to build up tolerance prior to spring.

Need further info?

More information on hayfever

While over the counter eye drops may be helpful to some extent, it’s important to remember that everyone’s eyes are different, and that some eye drops contain ingredients which may not be suitable for your eyes, especially if you are a contact lens wearer.

We offer a variety of options to accommodate your specific needs, and have optometrists with Independent Prescribing qualifications, who can prescribe medicated eye drops, or ointments after assessing you if they
feel it would benefit you.

Don’t suffer in silence! Get in touch with our opticians in Whitley Bay if you need any further advice or visit us in person.

How to take care of your eyes in 2023

We use our eyes to see and experience the world around us, but what if that wasn’t possible anymore? We often forget how important our eyes are, so if there’s one message we want you to remember as the new year is underway, it’s not to take your vision for granted! 

We want to help you maintain great eye health and vision for as long as possible, so here are some of our top tips on how to take care of your eyes in 2023 to improve your vision. 

Eat well and eat right

Healthy eyes in 2023 - eat well, eat right

Have you ever been told to eat vegetables and fruits for good eyesight? This is because a well-balanced meal and proper diet can give you the necessary nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, and a variety of vitamins to promote good vision and eye health. 

Why not incorporate citrus fruits like oranges as a healthy snack at the office, add green, leafy vegetables like kale or spinach, or proteins like eggs or nuts to your salads, and oily fish like salmon to your dinner? Your eyes will thank you as this may even lower your odds of developing certain eye conditions and help to prevent type 2 diabetes, which can also affect your vision.

Wear sunglasses

How to look after your eyes in 2023 - wear sunglasses

Whether it’s summer or winter, it is important to wear sunglasses all year round. Without this protective eyewear, cumulative UV exposure to your eyes over the years can increase your chances of getting age-related diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. 

Wearing high quality sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection can block their harmful rays from penetrating your eyes and provide more visual comfort in the face of bright sunlight. We recommend wraparound styles for maximum coverage. Not only will you be helping your eyes, but we think sunglasses are always a great addition to any outfit while out and about!

Take screen breaks

How to look after your eyes in 2023 - take regular screen breaks

We are inevitably spending more and more time continuously staring at computers, phones and tablets, day and night. Too much screen time can cause:

  • Blurry vision
  • Chronic neck problems 
  • Dry eyes 
  • Headaches
  • Irregular sleeping patterns

This is commonly known as digital eye strain. You can help alleviate this at home by trying out the 20/20/20 method – every 20 minutes, look away from your screen at anything 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Kids in particular can benefit from this, but if their screen time is causing persistent problems, we do also recommend investing in kid’s blue light glasses with our popular HOYA Blue Control glasses lenses. Also great for adults, these help to relax the eyes and protect them from the effects of blue light while using screens.

Regular eye exams 

How to look after your eyes in 2023 - take regular eye exams

We saved the best for last! It’ll come as no surprise to you that keeping up with your regular eye exams are a must for 2023! These enable our optometrists to monitor your prescription and eye health, and thanks to state of the art diagnostic technology, can often reveal early signs of potential problems that you may not have noticed yourself. This means they can take action to protect your vision and provide you with that extra peace of mind.

Contact our opticians – Whitley Bay

Have questions about your eye health or need further advice? Feel free to speak to our friendly staff or contact us to book one of the most comprehensive eye tests Whitley Bay has to offer at our practice!

Our Reflections of 2022

We’ve had a great year at the practice, and in case you missed any of our favourite moments from the practice, here’s a round-up!

Anth’s marathon run for Heart UK

We’d like to thank everyone who recently supported our Dispensing Manager Anth in running the London Marathon for the charity Heart UK. In 2018 he suffered a very unexpected heart attack caused by a genetic condition that he didn’t know about. The condition can cause very high levels of cholesterol, even in fit people who live a healthy lifestyle. Heart UK’s advice and support were invaluable during his recovery, so this was his way of giving something back to them. He more than managed to achieve this, raising an amazing £2026!


Anth is a valued member of our team, a real people person who always ensures our customers leave the practice delighted with our service, so we’re proud to support him in all his endeavours, especially this one as it was quite literally so close to his heart and are over the moon at how many of you donated money and left words of encouragement too – thank you!

Daisy’s wedding and latest qualification

Daisy not only graduated as a fully qualified dispensing optician in April but also tied the knot this year with her wonderful husband in a beautiful ceremony.

Daisy’s wedding and latest qualification

Daisy is one of the core members of our team and always ensures our customers get the best service possible when they come to the practice. A huge congratulations again to Daisy for her qualification and to the lovely couple!

Daisy’s wedding and latest qualification - 2

New diagnostic equipment

We’re passionate about investing in the latest technology to help look after your eyes and were excited to introduce two of the latest state of the art devices back in May!

The Henson 9000 is a visual fields screening machine

The Henson 9000 is a visual fields screening machine that helps us with the early detection of glaucoma and the ongoing management of established vision loss, while our autorefractor is designed to automatically detect your prescription during an eye exam for even more accuracy.

The Henson 9000 is a visual fields screening machine - 2

A warm welcome back for Robyn

During the year, we also welcomed back our Dispensing Optician and Assistant Manager, Robyn from her maternity leave.
She was truly missed, and we’re over the moon to have her back as she’s always been a fundamental part of the practice team. If stylish and flattering eyewear is what you’re looking for, Robyn is the lady to see!

A warm welcome back for Robyn

Exclusive Tom Davies raffle

Lastly, we held a Tom Davies raffle to support Anth’s London Marathon charity run, giving the chance to win a Tom Davies bespoke frame consultation in practice (worth £500) and get a customised frame (also worth £500) handcrafted by Tom Davies himself!

Exclusive Tom Davies raffle

Our patient Dianne was the lucky winner and had her style consultation with the lovely Tristan from Tom Davies who helped
her with choosing beautiful frames from the latest collections. She then had a consultation with Tom Davies himself and went home with a beautiful, personalised pair of sunglasses worth £500!

Thank you for a great 2022!

And that’s a wrap on 2022! A heartfelt thank you to each and every one of our loyal patients for your continued support and custom – we wouldn’t be able to achieve milestones like this without you and look forward to sharing another great year with you at our opticians in Whitley Bay. Happy new year from everyone at Robinson Optometrists!

How to avoid Digital Eye Strain

How to avoid digital eye strain when using a laptop

How to prevent digital eye strain

Many of us spend hours staring at digital screens every day, and it takes a toll on our eyes. In fact, previous research shows that many people spend an average of 8-10 hours a day looking at digital screens or on close up tasks, a lot of these being children, teenagers, and young adults.

If you find yourself experiencing any of the following symptoms after spending time looking at a digital device, you may be suffering from digital eye strain:

  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Eye fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Dry eyes
  • Irritated eyes
Are you experiencing digital eye strain?

If you think you might be experiencing this, there are a few things you can do to help prevent eye strain. First, make sure that your computer screen is positioned at eye level. Secondly, take frequent breaks away from the screen to give your eyes a chance to rest – we find the 20-20-20 rule works well – look away every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds at something 20 feet away. Finally, try to limit your screen time in general, curbing your use right before bed, and whenever possible during the day in your lunch breaks, or in the evening.

By taking these simple steps, you can help reduce the symptoms of digital eye strain and protect your eyes.

What if my digital eye strain symptoms persist?

If you continue to experience discomfort while using digital screen, it may be worth considering investing in specialised computer glasses for the computer, smart phones, and tablets that are designed to help reduce eye strain and fatigue.

We offer Sync III glasses lenses from Hoya, which are specifically designed for 13-45 year olds who wear glasses for distance vision and spend more than 2 hours a day looking at digital screens or on close up tasks and are experiencing eye strain.

They are essentially an enhanced distance vision lenses which also have a ‘boost zone’ at the bottom of the lens which is slightly stronger and helps your eye muscles to relax and therefore focus more easily for increased comfort and less eye strain. They also come in 3 different strengths, depending on age and the severity of your eye strain symptoms.

Recent studies have found that the severity of digital eye strain symptoms reduced in 84% of the reported cases after wearing Hoya Sync III lenses.

Recent studies have found that the severity of eye strain symptoms reduced in 84% of the reported cases after wearing Hoya Sync III lenses.

Contact our opticians in Whitley Bay

Don’t suffer in silence if you have digital eye strain symptoms that won’t go away – our opticians in Whitley Bay are just one phone call or visit away and are always happy to help – speak to one of our friendly team to get advice on your symptoms, find out more about Hoya Sync III lenses, or arrange a

time to visit us and get them fitted into your glasses.

Everything you need to know about short sightedness in children

Short-sightedness, or myopia, is a common eye condition which typically becomes apparent in children aged around 8 to 12. Myopia is characterised by distant objects being blurred while close-up objects are clear. This is due to the shape of the eyeball becoming more elongated than it should be, causing light to bend incorrectly in front of your retina at the back of your eye, rather than on it.

Roughly a third of the UK’s population has myopia. This figure is expected to rise to 50% by 2050. 

Risk factors

Risk factors of short sightedness in children

While myopia is still not fully understood, studies have shown that children with one or more myopic parents are more likely to develop the condition. 

Screen use may also be a factor. Using a digital screen for extended periods of time forces the eyes to focus predominantly on a close object, which over long periods of time is detrimental to eye health and may increase the risk of developing myopia. With the recent increase in screen use due to Covid-19, particularly among children, this is a pertinent issue.

Stronger prescriptions may be required for glasses when considering short sightedness

Standard prescription glasses can provide clearer vision, but over time, stronger and stronger prescriptions may be required as the condition worsens.

The best solution is myopia management and it’s important to act at an early age to prevent complications related to high myopic prescriptions in adulthood, like glaucoma, or retinal detachments.

Management technology

A lot of research has been conducted into how best to treat myopia in children, and there are options to slow down the condition and help protect future vision.

MiYOSMART spectacle lenses have been clinically proven to slow down the progression of myopia by up to 60% in children. They don’t look any different from other glasses, and are worn just like them, but their design incorporates a myopic defocus effect, which is what helps to control myopia. 

MiYOSMART spectacle lenses have been clinically proven to slow down the progression of myopia

These glasses lenses are award winning, and full UV protection, water repellency and impact resistance add to their credentials as the perfect children’s glasses for myopia.

Not just glasses

Children’s contact lenses are also available which have the same non-invasive techniques and outcomes. We offer MiSight 1 day soft contact lenses, again clinically proven to slow down myopia in children, and ideal for active children who don’t want to be restricted by glasses. As 1-day lenses they are hygienic, soft and comfortable to wear, with children as young as 8 able to adapt to them with no problem.

MiSight 1 day soft contact lenses are clinically proven to slow down myopia in children

Contact our opticians in Whitley Bay

If you think your child could benefit from myopia management, come and see us in person. We have expert optometrists who are accredited to fit MiYOSMART and MiSight lenses and would be more than happy to help you find the best way to protect your child’s future vision.

What are the benefits of wearing contact lenses?

Since their invention in 1887 contact lenses have come a long way, and now, more and more people are wearing them.

According to the Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers (ACLM) there are approximately 4.2 million contact lens wearers in the UK. Out of this group, 1.8 million regularly use prescription contact lenses, and 1.2 million use daily disposable contact lenses. Whether you need lenses for distance or near vision, or multifocal contact lenses, advances in technology mean that nowadays most prescriptions can be accommodated.

Why wear contact lenses this summer?

Why wear contact lenses this summer?

Summer is the perfect time to switch to contact lenses or try them for the first time. Let’s look at why:

  • They give you a panoramic field of vision, unlike frames which can sometimes obstruct your peripheral view. This is great for driving and can really help when playing sports too
  • Contact lenses offer a more natural look that goes with any outfit
  • They are weightless to wear, breathable, and comfortable when cared for properly
  • Contact lenses don’t smudge or steam up like glasses lenses can do in certain environments
  • They give you the freedom to wear non-prescription sunglasses, so you don’t have to keep swapping them with your regular specs to see clearly
  • They do provide UV protection to an extent, helping to protect your eyes in summer
  • They can be worn full time, or simply for special occasions

Get contact lenses at our opticians in Whitley Bay

Get contact lenses at our opticians in Whitley Bay

Here at Robinson Optometrists, we offer a range of options if you’re interested in trying out contact lenses.

As well as daily disposable contact lenses and multifocal contact lenses we have the latest super oxygen permeable silicone hydrogel lenses. They allow 5 times more oxygen to reach your eye than a standard lens, which means you can wear them for an extended period of time.

Whichever contact lenses you choose, you’ll be well looked after by our team at your contact lens consultation. Our practitioners have years of experience and will always carry out a thorough assessment, working with you to align with your vision and lifestyle needs before recommending lenses to you.

Contact lenses eyecare plans in Whitley Bay

You’ll be taught how to insert and remove your lenses, and our team will be on hand to help until you feel confident enough to do it yourself at home. You’ll then be able to take them away for a free tolerance trial for a week before you make your final decision. 

If you opt to wear lenses, you can benefit from our Lens Eyecare Programme, which means all your appointments will be covered by a £7 monthly fee, including eye health assessments.If you’re interested in trying out contact lenses this summer, contact our opticians in Whitley Bay to find out more or book your appointment!

2021 – COVID update Whitley Bay Opticians. We are available for all of your eye-care needs.

Happy New Year!

As an essential service, we remain open for the provision of all eye-care services, including:

Emergency eye-care

Eye examinations

Contact lens examinations

Glasses purchase and collections

Glasses repairs.

We continue to operate on an appointment only basis and would like to assure you that we operate under strict COVID compliance, with full PPE and disinfection procedures in place. We also restrict the number of patients in the practice at any one time, which is why we work on an appointment only basis.

Should you fine it difficult to be able to collect your contact lenses, please let us know so that we can try and organise a home delivery.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

All The Team.

Whitley Bay Opticians are proud to sponsor a Local Hero

Did you know that the Disabled British Golf Open Champion is from Whitley Bay?

Jonathan Jones won the title in 2019 but was unable to defend his title this year due to COVID restrictions. He’s now been selected to play in the Phoenix Cup, the disability equivalent of the Ryder Cup. The tournament takes place over 6 courses including Carnoustie, Glenaeagles and Trump International. Originally against the USA, the competition will now between Britain and Ireland.

Jonny was born with a rare medical condition called arthrogryposis. Arthrogryposis affects muscle development in arms and wrists, causing wrist bones to fuse. With wonderful medical care from a team led by paediatric neurologist Professor David Gardner-Medwin, Jonny underwent a series of operations on his hands and feet to help his mobility.

When he took a keen interest in golf, his condition was never going to deter him from what he wanted to do – compete at the highest level.

The support of a loving family directed him to coaching by the late Ken Philips of Wallsend, and then to the expert guidance of Tynemouth’s John Mckenna.

A very unassuming young man, Jonny is someone our whole region can be proud of. This is why it is an honour for us to be able to help in the sponsorship programme.

We all wish you the very best of luck Jonny. Watch this space for how he gets on.