Rabbits and royals

14 November 2022
Autumn 2022

The College’s Clinical Editor, Jane Veys MCOptom, on rabbits in the headlights and royally good handovers

I live at the top of a winding, narrow country lane, and at this time of year, on my drive home, I often encounter a rabbit or a deer, mesmerised in the beam of my headlights. I dip my beam to reduce the lights’ intensity and range in the hope it will move on, out of the glare and danger. 

A recent newspaper article highlighting an increase in reports of glare from headlights piqued my interest. It is well documented that the risk of traffic accidents increase at night. Of course, fading natural light can be supplemented or replaced by artificial light – but this can both help and hinder, impacting both visual comfort and function. 

Our timely cover story for this issue asks if modern car headlight beams are becoming more troublesome because of visual glare. While technological developments in headlights may have important benefits for increasing the visibility of the road ahead and potential hazards, we need to ensure the negative effects of glare for oncoming vehicles and other road users are minimised.

Technology in car design and optometry is constantly evolving – we need to keep abreast of new evolutions that impact our daily lives to inform both ourselves and our patients. 

From rabbits to royals, the world’s spotlight was on the handover from Queen to King recently. Behind the seemingly smooth transition was unimaginable preparation, planning and attention to detail.

A case study often brings a dry series of facts to life

Thankfully, in optometric practice, our handovers from optometrist to dispensing optician, optical assistant or ophthalmologist are rather less complex, although their importance should not be underestimated. Our article outlines how good communication and accurately transferring knowledge are essential to ensure patient care is not compromised, and that the patients (and receiving professional) always feel valued and informed at every stage of their journey. 

From all my years in clinical education, I learned to value the case study as an educational gem. In research terms, while near the base of the hierarchy of evidence, a case study can punch above its weight. Its value is that it tells a real-world story and often brings a series of dry facts to life. Many a healthy debate can arise between professionals through the use of patient scenarios.

Our article explains why we need case studies and how to go about writing one. So next time you see an interesting patient, don’t freeze in fear like a rabbit caught in the headlights, but consider sharing your experience with other Acuity readers. The importance of research in the career of an optometrist lies not just in reading the literature but in more actively participating in its evaluation and its creation.

Acuity is always looking for good case studies – and pays £250 for those that are published – so please do contact our editorial team at acuity@college-optometrists.co.uk and we can assist you with templates and guidance along the way.

Jane Veys MSc MCOptom FIACLE

Jane has been involved in optometry for over 30 years and is an experienced educator, facilitator and scientific writer. She has published more than 50 articles, authored a leading contact lens textbook and created industry leading digital education series.

Image credit | Sam-Kerr

Related further reading

From today, optometrists in the whole of the UK will return to the Green phase as we stand down the Amber phase COVID-19 guidance.

The College is asking for feedback from members on changes to its patient leaflets.

We have responded to the Hewitt review: call for evidence on ICSs in England, to help inform a new way of working.