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Shaylers Vision Centre
Rt Hon Annette Brooke MP OBE enjoys "fact finding" visit to Shaylers Vision Centre
Annette Brooke (Lib Dem MP for Mid Dorset & North Poole) visited Internationally renowned Shaylers Vision Centre in Wareham
Annette Brooke MP, OBE, joined Loraine and Geoff Shayler this week to talk about the extensive research they have carried out over the past 17 years at Shaylers Vision Centre in Wareham.
Following her visit, Annette Brooke stated “that I found my visit extremely interesting and I shall be discussing Geoff's work with a whole range of organisations that I meet regularly with in Parliament. There are so many possible applications covering different age groups but I shall make a start in my capacity of vice chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Eye Health and Visual impairment”
Geoff was able to explain to Mrs Annette Brooke, a former teacher, the many visual problems that children with learning difficulties experience. Geoff explained to her the limitations imposed on optometrists within the NHS tor help many of these patients, for example optometrists are unable to provided coloured lenses for dyslexia, some types of bifocals that can help a child read or vision therapy funded by the NHS.
Vision therapist Michelle told Annette Brooke of the difficulties her son Alex had experienced. he had been tested at another opticians and then the hospital, neither of which could help him. When he came to Shaylers Vision Centre, Geoff identified that he had very limited awareness of his peripheral vision, poor eye movements, a very limited reading range and he could only see the top 4 lines on the letter chart. This was below the legal limit for driving! Following just two and a half weeks vision therapy his vision totally normalised and his education and reading fluency is now showing substantial improvement. As a result of this experience, Michelle has undergone training in vision therapy and joined the team at Shaylers.
Geoff added “we see patients from all over the UK and have even seen children from as far as Florida, Bangkok and South Africa for the vision assessment or therapy"
Annette Brooke's interests in reducing the growing incidence of sight loss within the UK and falls risk was met by Geoff's demonstrations showed how reducing vision in the elderly, especially those with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's diseases increases falls risk as well as affecting their quality of life. Geoff's research in this area was Internationally recognised last year when he was presented with a top research award at the 81st Light and Vision conference in Florida last year. They also discussed the visual problems affected by patients following stroke or brain injury
If people of all ages had more regular eye exams, took more responsibility to reduce health risks, such as the relationship between obesity and diabetes and stopping smoking, they would reduce risking their eye health and falls risk in later life
Geoff explained to Annette Brooke that NHS and educational costs could be reduced if the knowledge and expertise of Optometrists was better used by both medical and educational professionals
Geoff commented “I feel this meeting was extremely useful for both of us to share our extensive knowledge in these important areas of health and well being”