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News and Blog and Stories from Earlam and Christopher Opticians

Eye Dream Video’s

Meet Charlie Emmett – Charlie is an elite water ski champion. To help him stay focused, Charlie wears EyeDream, a contact lens that corrects his vision while he sleeps leaving him with perfect, unaided vision throughout the day.

Show me more videos about EyeDream

Spotlight on Sarah Farrant

Find out more about Sarah Farrant (BSc MCOptom Dip TP IP)Sarah - meet the team

Sarah Farrant graduated from Cardiff University UK, in 2002. She owns and works in Earlam and Christopher, an independent practice, alongside her husband Edward, and in a general medicine surgery practice managing eye disease in Somerset. She has a particular interest in dry eye disease and therapeutics, she lectures widely in these subjects, and has run dedicated clinics for many years.

Sarah is a consultant to a number of contact lens and ophthalmic companies, and she is chair of the Somerset Local Optical Committee and was the lead optometrist in setting up an acute eye service in Somerset. She also previously spent a number of years working in the teaching clinics at Cardiff University, and sits on the College of Optometrists Council. Sarah has also recently been appointed as an Ambassador for the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society in the UK.

She and Edward have two young daughters and Sarah loves playing tennis and water-skiing.

Key note speaker at BCLA UK Conference and Exhibition

Sarah Farrant from Taunton and Langport based Earlam and Christopher Optometrists will be one of the key note speakers at this year’s BCLA UK (British Contact Lens Association) Conference and exhibition and will be presenting a lecture to delegates (optometrists) about successful dry eye management.

The educational event is intended to help improve confidence in contact lenses and in managing Dry Eye Disease and Ocular Surface Health, allowing eye care professionals to deliver the best possible care for their patients in this area.

Sarah is a highly acclaimed national and international specialist in this field and is also the UKs Ambassador for the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS). The TFOS is a non-profit organisation facilitating forward momentum in ophthalmological research.  The Society’s Global Ambassador and membership programs foster collaboration among scientists, clinicians and industry professionals to help the world see better.

At her specialist dry eye clinics Sarah diagnoses and treats this uncomfortable and debilitating condition which causes symptoms such as light sensitivity, fluctuations in vision, inflamed eyelids, burning or gritty eyes and dandruff around the eye lids.

This year’s event will be held from the 4th-10th June at Aston University in Birmingham.

When hay fever starts appearing

It’s coming on to that time of the year when hay fever starts appearing, late this year due to the inclement weather, it is forecast that there will be a massive rise in sufferers this month.

So, if you are one of the unlucky people who suffer from the ‘not to be underestimated’ symptoms of this allergic reaction what can you do about it?

Hay fever can present itself in many ways. It can range from a little sniffle to a facial pain and a loss of your sense of smell. For our patients, it is the annual battle of how it affects their vision so this year, we thought we would try and get ahead of the game and give you some well tested solutions to the itchy and runny eye problem and give you some ideas of how you can control it.

Handy tips to control hay fever

  • Protect your eyes from exposure

It’s true that wearing sunglasses really is a great way to prevent your eyes from really kicking off at the first sign of a plant in full bloom! Wraparound sunglasses can act as a barrier to prevent the sticky pollen or spores from entering your eyes.  Of course this won’t save you from the lovely bunch of flowers your kind friend sent you to say thank you!

  • Time it right to go outside

Pollen is generally released at the beginning of the day between 8–10 am and early evening between 5-7 pm. This is because that is when the air is warming up and cooling down

  • Pick your holiday destination wisely

If you suffer from hay fever you may want to think carefully about your holiday destination. It is usually best to avoid damp humid tropical climates as they are a haven for mites, mould and pollen. A trip to the seaside often offers suffers the best reprieve, being located around bays and having mild temperatures mean they are low on allergens and pollen.

  • Wash your hair!

If you usually wash your hair in the morning you could try changing the routine so that you wash it at night. Pollen is sticky and loves to attach itself to your hair. When you lie down and rest your head on the pillow you are also allowing pollen to rub off and into your eyes as you sleep at night. Many of us wake up with sore itcky eyes in the morning and this is one reason why. Worse than that – next day you go and put your head on the same pillow and repeat the exercise until it is bed linen washing day; so much easier to wash your hair than the bed every day!

  • Be pet aware!

Your furry friends love nothing better than to be outside enduring a good walk on the grass, weaving in and out of flower beds and then rolling on your carpet,  jumping on your laps or begging for a stroke. They are the perfect carriers of pollen into your home and whilst you love them, you do have to think about what you can do to minimise the risk of increasing your allergic reactions. So, consider a HPEA high–efficiency particulate air filter to trap the allergens before they reach your eyes. Some vacuum cleaners also have these filters fitted.

  • Leave the shoes in the hall.

Imagine just how much sticky pollen love shoes! Give them a good wipe and keep them on a matt out of your main living room to keep problems at bay.

Products that can help control your hay fever symptoms

There are quite a few products available to help you control the symptoms if you start feeling the effects.

1. Antihistamine

This is the product that many reach for when their symptoms arrive and they effectively block the action of the chemical histamine which causes the irritation. It can also be taken as a preventative but as with every drug they do have side effects and you should check the package instructions carefully. The main side effect is often drowsiness and you can find more information about  these drugs here:


2.  Nasal decongestants

These can be useful if you get a blacked nose due to inflammations- they help reduce the swelling of blood vessels in the nose.

3. Lubricating eye drops.

As we have mentioned previously, pollen is sticky and when it is swept into our eyes we create tears to flush them out. Ironically this action also reduces the quality of our tears meaning that they still feel dry and sore; it’s a vicious circle.

Ocular lubricants such as Hyabak preservative free drops ; its formulation reduces redness and provides natural relief for a mild eye irritation and can also be used by contact lens wearers who suffer from hay fever.

4. Protect your nose

Smearing allergy gels or balms inside your nostrils can help as a barrier. Apply it before leaving home and regularly during the day if you blow your nose or sneeze.

5. Gentle cosmetics

Make up has a habit of dissolving and making you look a lot worse as it adds to the irritation of itchy eyes. Using hypo-allergenic cosmetics can help to reduce extra irritation and the panda eye look!

It’s worth mentioning that if eyes are particularly bad we specialise in prescribing anti- allergy eye drops which can work wonders to relieve symptoms.

Hay fever is a tough challenge for many and we hope these tips will help you cope with the sudden expected onslaught; I can feel my eyes itching just thinking about this!

Sarah Farrant








Lens Cleaner

Glasklar Lens Cleaner

We have a new system here at Earlam & Christopher called Glaskar! When you get your new glasses, you get a bottle of lens cleaner FREE!

We also have an optic dispenser full of specs cleaning fluid that you can re-fill whenever you need to!

Due an eye test? Contact us to make an appointment.

Lense cleaner bottle Glaskar

Mr Griffith’s retirement

Mr Griffith has now taken the decision to retire from the practice after many years of being a partner in the practice and a great optometrist. He has succeeded in helping over his many years to develop the practice and build the fantastic reputation Earlam and Christopher have today in providing exceptional eye care. We wish him all the very best in his retirement, which will no doubt consist of lots of skiing and squash playing!

Eye Health Conference

Eye health conference

Sunday 4th February 2018
The Principal Hotel, Manchester

Brought to you by:
Sarah will be delivering a a joint workshop on blepharitis and MGD including stains, alongside Francesca Marchetti.

Dry Eye Disease (TFOS DEWS II Report)

Dry eye disease (DED) affects hundreds of millions of people throughout the world and is one of the most frequent causes of patient visits to eye care practitioners. It is a symptomatic disease, characterized by a vicious cycle which leads to increased inflammation, damage and neurosensory abnormalities. Moderate to severe DED is associated with significant pain, limitations in performing daily activities, reduced vitality, poor general health, and often depression.

Sarah Farrant presenting at DEWS IIThe Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) have recently published a report (called DEWS II) of the results of the efforts of 150 clinical and basic science research experts from around the world at an event in London. The clinicians utilised an evidence-based approach and a process of open communication, dialogue and transparency to increase our understanding of DED. This process required more than 2 years to complete.

Earlam and Christophers own Sarah Farrant, the UK’s Ambassador for TFOS, and acknowledged Dry Eye Disease specialist, presented the report findings to 70 attendees at the first of a series of roadshows at the London event.

Sarah spoke on ‘What does DEWS II mean for me in my practice?’ helping other practitioners to understand:

  • which features of the tear film and ocular surface should be assessed in modern dry eye disease diagnosis and management (in line with TFOS DEWS II),
  • a step-wise approach to a management plan for patients with dry eye, based on the recommendations from DEWS II,
  • how to help patients with self-care
  • how to communicate about how the chronic condition of dry eye can be managed.

For more information on the TFOS DEWS 11 report visit: http://www.tfosdewsreport.org/

It is National Eye Week!

Did You Know…

  • 2 million people in the UK are living with sight loss, that is severe enough to have a significant impact on their daily lives. Half of this sight loss is avoidable.*
  • A sight test can detect early signs of conditions like glaucoma, which can be treated if found soon enough
  • During a sight test, other health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure may be detected.
  • For healthy eyes, eat well, don’t smoke and wear eye protection in bright sunlight.

*source: http://www.visionmatters.org.uk

Channel 4 have joined forces with RNIB and some advertisers to create adverts showing the affects of some eye diseases/conditions.


This unique campaign was broadcast during Channel 4’s The Undateables on Monday 18th September 2017, to coincide with National Eye Health Week.

Discover more about caring for ageing eyes

With this PDF leaflet produced by visionmatters.org.uk vision matters


Tear Clinic

Earlam and Christopher launches Tear Clinic!Tear Clinic

Do you have Dry, Scratchy, Red or Irritated eyes?

We are holding an Open Day on 6th June from 3-7 pm where you can come and meet with our experts, receive a free mini Tear Clinic consultation, a goodie bag which includes free samples and enjoy a canape and a glass of bubbles!

We hope to see you there!

The team at Earlam and Christopher