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Featured in the July 2015 issue

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It was in 1985 that David Burghardt established his vision care practice in Lincoln. Today, this multiple-award winning practice based in Nettleham is recognised for the quality of its eye care expertise and advice.

David Burghardt BSc (Hons) MCOptom DipCLP DipTP (AS) DipTP (IP) FBCLA began his ophthalmic career in London before opening a practice based on Lincoln’s Beaumont Fee. He then moved to a partnership in Louth but it was not long before David found the premises on Church Street Nettleham ideally suited for his independent business.

“I was looking for a village location, with easy access and parking,” explained David. “Nettleham is a fantastic, thriving community close to the city and has good communication with neighbouring villages. With the increasing number of referrals we receive, this has been a most adaptable choice of building and location. We feel very close to the village community and over the years have been delighted to support many neighbourhood initiatives and charity events.”

David understands that when people start to worry about their eyesight they want the reassurance of an expert and thoroughness in answering their concerns.

“Sometimes people only realise how precious their eyesight is when it is under threat,” he added. “We utilise the very latest state-of-the-art technologies combined with a very friendly and qualified team who take the time to find the best treatments and solutions to manage people’s vision difficulties.”

David is one of the small number of optometrists in the UK who are licensed to prescribe medical treatments for eye conditions.

David is not the only experienced specialist practitioner at the practice. Penny Shaw BSc (Hons) FCOptom MSc Clin Optom joined the team in 2010 and shares the workload of client consultations. Penny was previously senior optometrist at RAF Cranwell and has participated in international vision aid programmes in Zambia and Sierra Leone.

“A client’s first contact with the practice might be by medical referral or because they are experiencing some vision difficulties,” said Penny. “Our friendly optometric assistants, Vikki Dobson, Lucy Hardy or Sally Bingley will guide them through a preliminary assessment which will usually include their first eye scans at the start of the consultation. The practice is the only one in Lincolnshire which has an Optomap ultra-wide digital retinal imaging scanner, which gives us a unique insight into the health of the retina and the overall wellbeing of the person themselves.

“Beyond that, as part of an examination, I may use 3D Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) to scan each different layer of the eye. 3D OCT can diagnose glaucoma, diabetes, age-related macular degeneration, macular holes and vitreous detachments. Early identification helps to advise treatment and management of these conditions.”

Once David or Penny have completed their examination they can proceed to give a prescription for spectacles or contact lenses, advise on treatment or maybe refer someone for a specialist medical opinion if they have identified a health issue.

For most people without complex sight issues a two year check-up is recommended but for others more frequent reviews may be required and David Burghardt Vision Care specialises in conditions such as dry eye, myopia control and ocular hypertension.

Contact lenses are an important part of the practice’s work. As well as the latest water gradient technology lenses, and the new daily disposable multifocals for reading difficulties, David Burghardt specialises in fitting children and teenagers.

“Short-sightedness (myopia) is epidemic in the world today and can lead to eye problems later in life,” said David. “It is exciting that we can now offer young people treatments which may arrest increasing myopia.”

For those customers requiring spectacles, the dispensing team are always on hand to ensure the proper fitting of their spectacles and a first-class aftercare service means many pop back from time to time for a glasses service, adjustment or to tighten a loose screw.

David concluded by saying: “Over the last ten years the technology for vision care has progressed so rapidly and in turn so has demand. I couldn’t have guessed when I opened the practice thirty years ago that today we would offer the range of skills and equipment that we have. My practice manager Richard Spencer BSc (Hons) and optical technician, Tanith Sharp SMC Tech complete what is a very talented and friendly team. I have them all to thank for our success and I look forward to welcoming clients, old and new, for many more decades to come.”

HANNAH ANDERSON-SMITH
The longest serving member of the David Burghardt team is senior dispensing advisor, Hannah Anderson-Smith.

Hannah has been with the practice for twenty-five years and has seen the practice grow from just David and herself to the dynamic team of today.

She said: “I really enjoy the rapport I have built with customers. Some travel from overseas to come back for their eye examinations and I not only see the children of some of my first customers but now it is their children too. Once the clinical examination is complete and a prescription issued, Hannah’s work really begins.

“I look into the lifestyle of the client before I go any further because having an active lifestyle, particular occupation or hobby, all make a difference to the type of lenses, frames or styles which would be suitable. Being an independent practice we are not restricted to the products we can recommend, which means the best spectacles for each individual.”

Hannah knows that for customers using frames the choice of style can be a difficult one: “Clients can use the virtual frames on our website to get an initial feel for what might suit their face shape and colouring. Once they are in front of me I can use the frame mirror to illustrate how different brands and lenses will look. We have quality brands to suit all tastes including Silhouette, Tiffany, Bulgari, Oakley, Ray Ban, Joules, Barbour, Ted Baker, Versace, Mercedes, Porsche and Hackett.

“I get to know my customers very well and sometimes we do have a really good chat and fun while making the selection. It helps to put the clients at ease and I always have a sympathetic ear about more subjects than their choice of eyewear.

“I know when we have found the right solution, when people look in the mirror and a big smile comes across their face. That is my sign that I have done a great job.”

PART OF THE VILLAGE COMMUNITY
As well as supporting international charities such as Vision Aid Overseas and Optometry Giving Sight, the team at David Burghardt hold regular charity events to which they invite clients and friends alike.

Guide Dogs for the Blind is one of the charities which recently benefitted from funds raised at a Vintage Tea Party held in May.

“We have room in our car park for a marquee,” explained Vikki Dobson, “and it makes a great location for this type of afternoon. Local trainers brought along their trainee guide dog puppies, while we made lots of cakes, sold raffle tickets and served tea to a background of 1940s music and vintage decorations. It was really good fun as well as people being very generous.”

Other charity events include the Macmillan Big Coffee Morning which this year will be held on 25th September. The practice also supports other community activities such as the annual Nettleham Carnival and sports clubs, as well as sponsoring other local initiatives.

To celebrate the 30th Anniversary the practice will be offering 30% off all sunglasses purchased during the month of July.

Appointments can be booked online at www.davidburghardt.co.uk or by calling the practice.

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