P.M. and D.J. Ball Opticians on Church Road, Bebington has recently been taken over by Oliver and Nicola Gatehouse and renamed Ball & Gatehouse Opticians. The husband and wife team bought the practice from Peter Ball who first opened the shop in 1980 with his wife Dorothy.
Since taking over the business in July 2015, Oliver and Nicola have been very keen to keep the family run feel of the practice but knew they needed a unique selling point to set themselves apart from the competition.
“This is where Optomap came in.” Nicola tells us. “As a practice we knew that our strengths were going to be our unhurried approach to eye tests (40 minutes is the length of time we give to each appointment), our customer service and our new and updated frame ranges. But we needed something really special, a USP to make us that little bit different. Optomap was perfect for that.”
Optomap is a digital retinal scanner that takes an ultra-wide, laser scan of the back of the eye. It can see over 80% of the retina in one panoramic image. It also allows the optician to see how different layers of the retina are working which can’t be seen by the more traditional methods.
“Like most opticians these days, we have a fundus camera that takes a picture of the back of the eye seeing about 15% of the retina.” Oliver tells us. “However we are very lucky to have Optomap as well that enables us to see so much more. Not only can we see significantly further out than the traditional cameras we can also look at different layers of the retina. This in turn can aid in the early detection of various eye conditions such as diabetes, age related macular degeneration and hypertension. Because of the ultra-wide view we can now also show our patients any changes to the back of the eye that were in the past not possible to image.”
Optomap is going from strength to strength in Bebington with about half of all patients opting for it. It has so far shown up lots of previously un-noted eye conditions. Indeed, on Nicola’s first scan it showed retinal holes that were previously too far out to detect. These are now being monitored quarterly on Optomap!
Optomap imaging takes place at your usual sight test appointment and costs £20 for adults and £10 for children. Ball & Gatehouse Opticians are the only optician on the Wirral to have this fantastic piece of equipment.
For more information or to make Optomap part of your routine eye examination, please call the practice on: 0151 645 3438.