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Medical-LiveIamA I'm Dr. Tanya Gill licensed optometrist: AMA! …Like about why your eyeglasses are so expensive, or about any other “eye-care” conspiracies!

Aug 9th 2016 by DrTanyaGill • 18 Questions • 192 Points

Our team of EU law experts includes Michael Dougan, whose videos before and after the referendum gained millions of views. We also have a number of other experts in our team, including those specialising in more specific areas such as how Brexit might affect EU citizens and migration.

Get your questions in now. We'll be answering them between 5pm and 7pm BST(That's 12pm and 2pm Eastern time).

(Proof tweet: https://twitter.com/livuni_EULaw/status/761164264476446720)

EDIT: Thanks to everyone who got involved, we really enjoyed answering all of your questions. As a group, we aim to inform the public debate surrounding the UK and the EU. For more of this, check out our content here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EULawAtLiverpool/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwhYDFEl4zV991Ei_drGLMA

Blog: https://eulawatliverpool.wordpress.com/

Q:

Is my optometrist just screwing with me when she asks whether 2 or 3 is better, but 2 and 3 look exactly the same?

A:

I greatly admired your video about the common market. It's one of the most intelligent contributions to the Brexit debate.

What is your view on how Theresa May may avoid the negative impact of Brexit?

Is there a political dynamic driven by economic requirements that may make Brexit impossible?

As a European, I prefer the UK to Brexit rather than stay in as a half-member, which isn't satisfactory to either side.


Q:

Yes, she's messing with you.

A:

Thanks. Though these are pretty complex questions! Lots of people are working very hard to try to move the situation forward - but there are no easy answers, and there is a lot of uncertainty, before we can even begin to answer them with any degree of clarity.

What we do know is that Brexit will have certain negative impacts - indeed, it is already having certain negative impacts. They can't be avoided entirely.


Q:

Another optometrist here. Can confirm.

A:

What would the effects be on competition law?


Q:

LOL. Nice to e-meet you!! Where do you practice!?

A:

UK competition law is one of the areas of law and policy that is, in fact, least likely to be affected by Brexit. There are several legal and political reasons for this.

However, the key reason is that UK competition law is already very closely integrated with EU competition law: the basic frameworks are the same.

The decision about which framework (i.e. UK or EU) is principally determined by the domestic (UK) or cross-border (EU) effects of the alleged anti-competitive conduct. Anti-competitive conduct that has a "cross-border" effect (e.g. it affects more than just the UK market / consumers) is presently addressed using EU law (including by the UK courts / authorities as agents of the EU institutions).

How such cross-border situations will be addressed post-Brexit will need to be negotiated as part of the UK/EU exit arrangements.


Q:

And by that, I mean web pages. Text messages are no problem.

A:

Can you explain or anticipate what might happen for British and Irish passports holders? I am a French passport holder and I have worked all my life in England, would I still be entitled to my pension? Would I have to apply for a visa, I do not want a British passport? What will happen to my children who have dual nationality and could also potentially have an Irish passport as their Dad is from Northern Ireland? To widen my question, what do you think will happen to all mixed nationalities families? Will status have to be negotiated unilaterally with each country and the U.K? Should a new political party arise from this Brexit vote? Thank you for all your previous videos which were so interesting. Thank you for setting up this question session, much appreciated


Q:

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest: How much does this bother you???

A:

French and Irish passport holders will remain EU citizens and entitled to all the rights attached to that. If your children have dual nationality, British and French or British and Irish, they will have the best of both worlds: full access to the British system as British citizens and the benefits of EU citizenship as French or Irish citizens. For you, the exact arrangements are not yet clear and will ultimately depend on the exit negotiations. Looking at the rules for mixed-nationality families in the UK from outside the EU might offer some indication on the requirements that may be put in place for mixed UK/EU families after Brexit. To sponsor a spousal visa for a non-EU national, the British spouse must earn above a certain threshold (http://www.migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/reports/minimum-income-requirement-family) and the international spouse must prove a certain proficiency in the English language. However, given the increased pressure on the UK immigration system, it is likely that these rules might change. The pension is governed by highly complex social security legislation, and how that will apply will also depend on the outcome of the exit negotiations, so it is impossible to provide an answer at this point.


Q:

Have you experienced any cases where the vision disorder was mental? Is hysterical blindness really a thing?

A:

If Scotland was to be independent is there anyway to stay in the EU? Could they also stay in the EEA and go straight into the Euro without adopting a new currency?


Q:

Hi! Ummmmmmm yes. People make up stuff all the time. It's my job to figure that out. 8 year old girls are classic for lying in the exam chair. They just really, really, really, really want glasses.

A:

Legally speaking, the stronger view is that Scotland would need to apply to join the European Union should it vote to be an independent state. The procedure for joining the EU is outlined in the EU Treaties in Art 49 TEU.

The same is true should an independent Scotland wish to join the EEA - as an alternative to EU membership. Scotland would need to apply to become an EEA state in accordance with the terms of the EEA Agreement.

There's a lot of political and academic discussion about whether, in the process of becoming an independent state, Scotland could avoid the requirement to apply to join the EU as a new member state. For instance, some people have argued that Scotland could 'retain' the UK's membership post-Brexit. However, such views are high contestable.

As things stand, the Scottish Government's strongest hand will be in influencing the terms of the UK Government's negotiation position as a constituent part of the UK. Its influence is likely to be significant.


Q:

Why do 8 year old girls really want glasses? When I first got my classes, the other kids teased the shit out of me.

A:

What do you think of the other countries that are (or maybe) holding their own referendums (Italy, France, Hungary,etc.) & do you think they will succeed? Why or why not?

There have been concerns from some in Greece that it may actually be kicked out? Do you think that there is a chance of that? https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/06/23/these-countries-could-be-next-if-britain-leaves-the-e-u/


Q:

Yeah. Don't really know. That just seems to be the age. Usually they have a friend or sibling that wears glasses and they wanna fit it. It's totally a peer pressure thing. IMHO.

A:

If other countries want to hold a referendum on their own EU membership, that of course is entirely their own prerogative. Though they should certainly learn important lessons from the UK experience, not least about the readiness of anti-EU campaigners to exploit the public's generally limited understanding of how the EU actually works, by peddling serious misconceptions and outright dishonesty so as to win votes; as well as the limited competence of pro-EU campaigners to respond effectively to such tactics. If it happened here in the UK, it can happen elsewhere too.

As for Greece: there is simply no legal / constitutional mechanism by which an existing Member State can be expelled from the EU against its will.


Q:

My brother, when he was around this age, lied to the eye doctor because he thought he would look smarter with glasses.

A:

what will the legal status of existing CJEU rulings and interpretations be within UK law once the UK has left the EU? This is especially relevant in the case that UK law is now reliant on a CJEU interpretation.

Secondly, what is the relationship between the CJEU and the EFTA Court in terms of legal bindingness? Does the CJEU bind the EFTA Court but not vice-versa (as I would expect)?


Q:

It's the 8 years olds!! I'm telling y'all!!

A:

It will be for the UK - in particular, for Parliament - to decide the legal status (if any) of existing or indeed future CJEU rulings within the domestic legal system, after the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

The CJEU and the EFTA Court are entirely separate institutions. In respect of CJEU caselaw at the time of the EEA agreement (1992), the EFTA Court is explicitly obliged to adopt the same interpretation for corresponding provisions in the EEA. In respect of CJEU caselaw subsequent to the EEA agreement, the EFTA Court is in principle obliged to give due regard to the relevant EU caselaw but in practice the EFTA Court has decided it must again adopt the same interpretation as the CJEU. So for most purposes, relevant rulings of the CJEU also extend into the legal interpretation of the EEA by the EFTA Court.


Q:

How do you figure that out?

A:

What do you think are the actual chances that Article 50 will be triggered? Would you care to hazard a % guess?


Q:

Patient can't see "anything" with their naked eyes. Then I tell them I put in their correct prescription lenses into the phoropter (the machine that holds all the lenses and measures the glasses prescription) . . . but there's actually NO prescription in there. The patient then reads the entire chart. We call this malingering. It happens all the time. :)

A:

The Prime Minister has indicated that she firmly intends to notify the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU, even if we don't yet know the precise timescale within which she intends to do so.

Obviously, there are various factors that could interpupt that plan, e.g. The legal challenges which claim Parliament must legislate for or at least consent to any such government notification, e.g. If a domestic crisis prompts a general election before the process of notification has been initiated.

So no one can reliably predict the chances of the UK making a valid Article 50 TEU notification - though most informed commentators believe it to be a very high probability.


Q:

Do you go all-in and tell the parents to get her some 1x glasses?

My daughter went through a phase a few years ago where she wore clear 1x glasses (around age 10). I don't know why. But she grew out of it.

A:

If the British political establishment were to decide (for example because of catastrophic economic downturn) that they do not want to follow through with Brexit, what would be the most probable and politically and constitutionally sound way to do it? Another referendum? Parliament saying it does not recognise the vote? Never invoking article 50?

Also what opinion does current Constitutional law theory have on referendums (or referenda?) in general? Should there be a qualified majority? Should it be forbidden that one country (England) can simply gloss over the will of the other (Scotland)? Should referendums/referenda be in any way limited?

If such scholarly opinion does exist, were any legal experts consulted during the preparation of the vote and if yes, was any of their advice implemented?

Thank you in advance for any answers.


Q:

Depends on the case. Some kids really want glasses and they THINK that wearing the glasses will help them with homework and studying. In this case, I do prescribe glasses. Anything to help the kids study and do well in school. And yes, they usually outgrow the prescription:)

A:

It seems perfectly possible that the political establishment could reverse the referendum decision. In the UK, parliament is sovereign, and any referendum can only be advisory. I think it would be constitutionally difficult for Parliament to simply ignore the referendum result. One possibility, suggested by labour leadership candidate Owen Smith, is for a 2nd referendum on the terms of our deal to leave. This would offer the UK public the option as to whether they still wanted to leave. However, this may be politically dangerous as it would still essentially mean ignoring the first referendum result.

As for the constitutional theory on your referendum. One of your best points of contact is Stephen Tierney. He has written extensively about the Brexit Referendum, and the Scotland Independence referendum.

https://ukconstitutionallaw.org/2016/07/25/stephen-tierney-was-the-brexit-referendum-democratic/ Thanks


Q:

Hi. In the past few years, it seems I've developed a problem with how my eyes work together. Individually, they see ok, but together the images they see are shifted. I've seen two different Dr's trying to figure out why my new glasses (with several remakes tweaking the rx) give me headaches and I feel like one eye is doing most of the seeing. I'm in a 6yr old pair of glasses that are super scratched. I'm paranoid now about getting new glasses because the optometrists couldn't figure it out before. The most recent dr figured that I should get prism in my lenses. Any advice?

A:

I had plans to do a masters in European law, either at KCL or abroad (most likely in the Netherlands). Is there any point now? And will I have to pay non-EU student fees if I wanted to study in Holland?


Q:

Hi! When your eyes feel like they are not working together . . . what are you doing? Driving at night? Using the computer? . . . to be continued.

A:

As a group of EU law academics, we think doing a masters in European law is something everybody should consider! :-) On a more serious note, there is without doubt enormous value in UK nationals continuing to study EU law (and we're not just saying this to keep ourselves in a job!). Any sort of exit from the EU, will inevitably result in decades of complex legal negotiations. This won't just last for the two year period envisaged by Article 50 - the process of disentangling the UK's legal system from the influence of EU law is a phenomenally complex one. For any lawyer seeking to practise in the UK for the foreseeable future a high level of knowledge of EU law is, therefore, an excellent selling point in the employment market. Furthermore, most people seem to be in favour of the UK participating in the single market in some way or other post-Brexit, so there is certainly a bright future for any expert on EU trade law. The issue of student fees is a trickier one - as, like with so many answers to questions around Brexit, we won't know until further details of the legal arrangement the UK reaches with the rest of Europe is clearer. At the moment, EU citizens (that is nationals of EU Member States) are entitled to pay student fees on the same basis as nationals of the host state in which they are studying - so, under current arrangements, you would pay the same as a Dutch national (considerably less than UK tuition fees, for example). However, if EU law ceases to apply to the UK, the Dutch authorities would be under no obligation to continue to offer this favourable status to UK nationals. It is worth remembering, however, that the UK is still a member of the EU - and will likely remain so for at least a few more years (if we assume that when Art 50 is triggered the two year period that is envisaged is used in full) - so, if you are considering a Masters in Holland it might be worth doing so before the UK leaves the EU and you lose your rights as a EU citizen student.


Q:

Truthfully, I have some days where it's not noticeable and other days where it's very noticeable. I work on the computer most of the day, but the symptoms are present throughout the day. I believe it's more noticeable with closer objects. Lee's noticeable watching tv across the room, etc.

I have done my own self tests where I cover each eye in turn, and see what is different between the images. My left eye image is lower than my right eye image.

I have had dry eye issues in my left eye for ~6 years, and I've wondered if the inflammation had my eye alignment outta whack.

A:

In what areas can we expect to see a pooling of sovereignty in post brexit EU and can we expect to see countries take back sovereignty in some areas?

Also how much of an impact do you predict the next french elections to have on the future of the union?


Q:

Hmmmmm. What is your prescription? You may have an issue . . . but I need to confirm your glasses prescription first. If you don't have it exactly, an approximation will work . . . :)

A:

After the UK leaves the EU, the 27 remaining Member States can decide for themselves whether they want to pursue further cooperation requiring Treaty change and, if so, in which fields. Conversely, they can decide to lessen their degree of cooperation in certain areas.

However, all Treaty changes require the unanimous agreement of the Member States and - in the vast majority of situations - that also means domestic ratification (by their national parliament and / or a national referendum, depending on their own constitutional requirements).

One should note that the UK's withdrawal will make this process easier than would have been the case if we were to remain a Member State: the European Union Act 2011 requires the UK to hold a national referendum in order to approve any future EU treaty reform (and many other types of decision as well) which might entail an expansion of EU competence. Many people felt that that had effectively "killed off" the chances of future EU treaty reform - so the UK's departure, and the elimination of the EUA 2011 from the equation, could make future EU reform easier to implement.


Q:

I'm something like -7.25 in both eyes, with the smallest increment of astigmatism in the left eye. My prescription hasn't changed more than -0.25 over the last ~8-9 years. Btw, Thanks for your help.

A:

Hi - thanks for doing this, I really enjoyed your lecture in the run up to the referendum. I'm only sorry that it didn't persuade more people! I have a question about jurisdiction and the Brussels Regulation, which might not be what you had in mind for this discussion! Anyway, what do you think will happen to the ECJ's Owusu v Jackson decision - i.e. that English domiciled corporates shall be sued in England rather than the place where, for example, the tort took place (in that case Jamaica)? This is an important issue for business and human rights litigation and I'm interested to hear your views. I understand that some countries like Switzerland and Iceland have followed Owusu v Jackson. But might the UK revert to common law forum non conveniens?


Q:

With -7.25 in both eyes, the images do get minified. I think you may be having a classic case of computer related eyestrain. The discomfort and the dry eyes are pretty classic for this.

You may need a computer eyestrain pair of glasses for work on top of your everyday glasses. For the dryness you may need to use eyedrops like Refresh Preservative Free tears and We Love Eyes eyelid foaming cleanser.

These 3 things: computer eyestrain glasses, tears and We Love Eyes helps lots of my patients with your similar symptoms. Great question!! :)

A:

Unfortunately, this is yet another Q to which the answer is... we will have to wait and see what the outcome of the negotiations between the EU and the UK are before we can say too much on any more technical legal questions (sorry!). At a very basic level, however, EU Regulations are directly applicable in the UK legal system by virtue of the European Communities Act 1972 and Art 288 TFEU - when the Treaties cease to apply in the UK (which they would following Brexit) we might assume that Regulations would no longer have effect. However, the idea that overnight all EU law would cease to apply is perhaps a little unrealistic... In relation to the particular issue of the Brussels Regulation, it is worth remembering that this instrument has its origins in international law and covers issues that have never been seen solely as ones for the EU - building upon the Hague Convention and ensuring the protection of arrangements under EU law provides a better mechanism for enforcing what was already going on under international law. In this sense, arguably the arrangements under the Brussels Regulation have a better chance of surviving post-Brexit than other areas of EU law. That said, there are important differences between the Hague Convention and the current Brussels Regulation that the UK may decide it doesn't want to be bound by post-Brexit. I'm afraid none of us have any great expertise on the Brussels Regulation (beyond the general constitutional question of the application of EU law post-Brexit), however the post below, written before the vote to leave, but speculating on the post-Brexit status of the Brussels Regulation, is very informative: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=e7f973d8-44bf-408f-ba07-76a430e9e8a5


Q:

I'm getting my driver's licenses in 10 months and my brother had to get glasses because he failed the vision portion of the test. Last time I went to the eye doctor(Feels like i'm pissing people off by saying eye doctor) I had 20/20 vision. But I feel like that has gone down some and my parents wont take me to the eye doctor (hehe). Should I just wait until I go to take my driver's test?

A:

Hello, I am French, living in France with my British partner and our kids (I have lived, studied and worked in the UK for 16 years). My questions are: How can the law ensure that EU leaders take into account the danger that Brexit could bring to the EU structure and the international economy? How can the law force EU leaders to decide to reform the EU and ensure that Britain can stay under new terms? Also, could the current legal battles (against Farage/Johnson and the ones pushing for the parliament to decide on Brexit, and not the current government) have a real affect on the referendum result and make it void? Last one: how can the law ensure that British people working in Europe can preserve their EU rights and the same for EU citizens living in Britain? Thank you for doing this. I have watched and shared your videos before and after Brexit. Thank you.


Q:

Hi! Congratulations on driving soon! Please show this to your parents:

Dear Parents of u/Boredomis_real,

Your child is about to drive a car. Having clear vision will drastically improve safety and keep your insurance rates down.

Please have u/Boredomis_real see an optometrist so you can sleep well at night.

Sincerely,

Dr. Tanya Gill, Optometrist

A:

Hello. Thank you for your interest. The mechanisms for ensuring that EU leaders take into account any negative repercussions of Brexit are largely political in nature, as the only legal mechanism for exit is Article 50 TEU, which is not very detailed in nature. Nevertheless, there are various accountability mechanisms written into that provision. For instance, under Article 50(2) TEU, the European Council, which comprises the Heads of State and Government, provides guidelines that the Union must follow when negotiating and concluding an agreement with the UK. It is therefore possible for political pressure to be placed on domestic Heads of State to ensure that key issues are included. Article 50(2) also requires that the withdrawal agreement takes into account the future relationship between the UK and the EU. In terms of how the final agreement is concluded, it must be voted on by the Council of Ministers, which comprises democratically elected government ministers and which is required to debate publicly under Article 16(8) TEU. They will vote by qualified majority. The agreement also requires the consent of the European Parliament. Therefore, there are opportunities for political pressure to be placed on various actors. Political pressure can also be placed on UK politicians, who will be negotiating as third country representatives for these purposes. Article 20(d) TFEU also gives Union citizens the right to address the Union institutions and petition the European Parliament.
Similarly, any pressure to reform the EU will largely be political in nature. The nature and ambit of EU activity is framed by the Union treaties, signed by the Member States, and the EU institutions must act within these. There must therefore be the political will for reform, though the use of legal mechanisms such as Article 50 TEU have clearly triggered such political debates. Given the diverse reasons people voted to leave the EU, and the interests of the other EU Member States, it seems unlikely that EU reform could be reached before UK exit, even though Article 50 TEU is not yet triggered. David Cameron’s ‘Remain’ argument was based on a reformed EU on the basis of his renegotiation but this did not convince those who voted to leave. The UK is a member of the EU as a sovereign nation and by virtue of its own Act of Parliament, the European Communities Act 1972. As a result, even before Article 50 TEU, there are no legal rules that force the UK to remain in the EU. Although there have been some arguments made for invalidating the referendum through the courts (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/30/politics-brexit-unlawful-eu-uk), it is very unlikely, for constitutional reasons, that the judicial branch would overturn such a politically-rooted decision. There is a legal challenge underway currently, which is looking to guarantee that Parliament has to play a role in triggering Article 50 and beginning our negotiations to leave the European Union.( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36834743).


Q:

I have ordered my glasses online for years and none of my eye doctors have noticed anything amiss with any of them. Do you consider ordering prescription glasses online to be reliable? I usually pay like $12-$20 a pair and I used to pay hundreds of dollars.

A:

What do you think the best option for the UK is right now i.e. I've heard a lot about the Norway option and the Swiss option?

Plus, I was hoping to exercise my free movement rights to move abroad to work when I finish my studies. That will be in 2 years or less, would that be more difficult for me now to say move to the Netherlands?


Q:

Hi! Complicated question . . . what is your prescription. Prescription size matters:)

A:

The UK Government has committed itself to embark on the process of exiting the European Union. It is not yet clear what the UK Government's negotiating aims and objectives are. We can expect these to firm up in the coming months.

Norway and Switzerland both have different relationships with the EU as non-Member States. Norway is most closely integrated with the EU (e.g. it's in the single market) as a member of the EEA (European Economic Area). Switzerland's position is more complex and based on a series of bi-lateral treaties concluded with the EU.

The mood music so far indicates that the UK Government is keen to secure its own "special deal" with the EU - i.e. one not based directly on existing models such as the EEA. Whether this will be possible remains to be seen. The UK will no get what it wants without the full agreement of the remaining 27 EU Member States, all of whom have their own individual and collective interests to protect in the Brexit process.

Your future rights of movement within the EU as a UK citizen will depend on the outcome of the exit negotiations - when these begin formally. The UK is very keen to restrict the right of EU nationals to enter the UK. It's possible that, in response, EU member states may impose similar restrictions on UK nationals who wish to work and reside in the EU.


Q:

ODSPH -3.25

ODCYL -0.25

ODAXIS 180

OSSPH -3.25

OSCYL -0.25

OSAXIS 163

A:

I heard from a Tory member that if Gove had won the leadership race, he would have delayed invoking article 50 until the summer next year when (apparently) changes to the Lisbon Treaty meant that the UK would have required the vote of all EU member states to leave. Is this the case?


Q:

Thanks for the Rx! You have a very easy, basic prescription . . . so ordering online - yep, they really can't screw it up for $20!! But you do get what you pay for. If you want a good quality frame with lenses that are clear and easy to use, getting fitted by an experienced optician is key. Go back to your optometrist!!

And no, I did not say you're easy nor basic:)

A:

We have no idea what this might be about - certainly, it bears no relationship to what EU law actually says or does!

As you may have gathered, a lot of people are saying a lot of things, but much of it is completely misleading if not altogether untrue. It sounds like this belongs in the same category...


Q:

I may have to come see you. I just moved to the area and have not found a new eye doctor :)

A:

What does Article 50 state? Any interesting things that might surprise us?


Q:

Yes!! Do you wear contact lenses?

A:

Article 50

  1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

  2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

  3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

  4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it. A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

  5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

There are more answers on this page discussing Article 50 in greater detail.


Q:

Easy or basic. Definitely one of the two.

A:

Is the Queen not entitled to give her direction when politics and economy are in turmoil, in a major crisis? In this context, she could be the saviour of this economic downfall and political farce, the protector of British, Europe and international economy. It seems strange that in a crisis she says nothing. Thank you for your support in this crisis.


Q:

Yes. u/Chtorrr has a easy prescription. Very easy.

A:

The Queen’s role in political affairs is marginal. There is a convention, a common sense agreement amongst the political establishment, that the Queen will not exercise any genuine political power.

On the other hand, there are many who believe that Parliament should be able to play the “saviour” role that you are looking for. While it is not something agreed on by all, Parliament may be able to refuse to implement the results of the referendum if they believe it is in Britain’s best interests. There is a legal challenge underway currently, which is looking to guarantee that Parliament has to play a role in triggering Article 50 and beginning our negotiations to leave the European Union.( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36834743). Thanks.


Q:

only is the only way to order them...Its impossible to justify paying 600$ for glasses...even if insurance does cover them, its usually only 400 approx anyways..soooo....gimmie the 30$ glasses :/

only extreme cases would be a big no no probably for online ordering. and the oops...these feel like shit :/ but you can just order another pair and still be cheaper than any optometrist office

edit: be careful about what she says too...she likes Brussels sprouts...dunno if I could trust her, lol j/k

A:

With the number of lies and falsehoods that have perpetrated the recent EU referendum. These actions have damaged the UK Parliament reputation around the globe, once a bastion for democracy, sadly this is no longer the case. More importantly, at this time, it has been unwilling to reprimand and punish those responsible. Therefore, these lies and falsehoods have been pointed erroneously at the EU and intentionally have damaged the EU reputation. Would it be appropriate for the EU to place sanctions on the UK to pay for damages caused?


Q:

OMG. Brussel sprouts are the best!!!!!

Glasses and furniture are very similar. IKEA or DWR. You do get what you pay for!

A:

There is no legal regime under which the EU has any competence to sue the UK for damages in this way. While the UK can be brought before the EU’s Court of Justice, the Union do not have competence over claims of defamation based on damage to reputation. The UK does have a duty to act in a cooperative manner with the Union, but it seems very unlikely it could be stretched to these circumstances.


Q:

If I had a complicated prescription that was likely to be an issue I'd go back to getting glasses in the store probably. But I would still try the online glasses to see what I'd get just to be sure.

A:

A direct question for Michael Dougan on his follow up video on the EU ref.

In the video you state:

My entire salary is paid by the the University of Liverpool and The University of Liverpool does not receive a penny of external funding in order to pay that salary

I would like to clarify is this you stating that the University of Liverpool itself never receives funding of any kind from the EU? Or are you clarifying that the University of Liverpool does not receive any money to pay towards your salary?

As a secondary question I would like to put this line of question to bed as obviously it is quite insulting to be cast as simply as some kind of paid puppet for the EU for your professional work. In the original article posted online by the University of Liverpool around the talk given on Brexit could you or your department further explain what the award money the University received in 2006 was spent on especially in light of the following excerpt from the article.

In 2006, the University of Liverpool was awarded a Jean Monnet Chair – a form of EU grant – consisting of €36,000. Under the terms of the grant, part of the money was spent on a major academic conference, the outputs from which were published by the usual process of international peer review. The remaining funds were spent on general teaching costs.

I would mainly like to know what the remaining funds would have paid for in relation to the term teaching costs?


Q:

Hi again! Yep. If you got online glasses and compared them to glasses you got from me . . . you would definitely be able to tell a quality difference. We get our lenses straight from Zeiss, the same company known for making camera lenses and medical devices. Most patients get a "good" pair and then get an online "back-up" pair. xo

A:

Prof Dougan may well add a few comments of his own on this particular issue. In the meantime, in response to your specific questions:

1) Of course the University of Liverpool - like virtually every university in the UK, as well as vast numbers of individuals, together with whole cities, regions and indeed countries - receives various forms of funding from the EU (just as they receive funding from other public and private sources). It is a frankly bizarre argument to suggest that, because universities receive some of their funding from the EU, academic work at those institutions has somehow been rendered biased. That would seek to discredit the work of our entire higher education sector - a preposterous argument. Though in fact, many academics see this sort of argument as just another part of the disturbing attack launched, particularly by leading Leave campaigners, on the basic values of scientific expertise and intellectual integrity that form the bedrock of a civilised society.

2) If we have understood your question correctly, you want to know, specifically, what c. £15,000 of EU income was spent on by the University of Liverpool, over 10 years ago? Well, given that we have an annual turnover approaching £400,000,000, we can guarantee it didn't pay for very much. But you can assume "teaching costs" will have covered things like paying for part-time staff to give additional tutorials which could not be covered by full time staff or for PhD students to give lectures as part of their professional training to join the academic profession.


Q:

Hi, +4.5 in both. If I don't wear glasses for a while my eyesight improves significantly. Can I train my pissy, weak little eye muscles to work better?

A:

Hi!!! +4.50 is significant. I'll need to know your age to give you the best answer! Reply back!


Q:

What can i do to reduce the floters in my eyes? Its not annoying but everytime i see one i think oooh shit... Ima die:)

Thankyou:)

A:

Awwwww. This question always breaks my heart. Floaters totally suck especially when they are in the center of your vision. Since they usually happen in a brighter room . . . sunglasses do help. Also if you look away to the side real fast and look straight again . . . the floater will move and may move out of your line of sight. Great question!!


Q:

What is your favourite type of cheese?

A:

I'm a lactard. NEXT!!!


Q:

Is there any advantage 1-eyed people have over 2-eyed people?

A:

Hmmmmm. Good question. The answer is simply: NO. So sorry to all you 1-eyes peeps!!

With 2 eyes . . . you have binocular vision to help with: 1) 3-D movies 2) amusement park games are easier 3) depth perception and it's cues 4) computer eyestrain (2 eyes are better than 1) 5) dynamic vision which is important for sports

Well, 1 eyed peeps . . . you would kick ass using a telescope, rifle, kaleidoscope and be a kick ass pirate. :)


Q:

What are your thoughts on laser eye surgery?

A:

Hi! It's kind of a simple math formula:

Person with a cool disposition + stable prescription + adequate corneal thickness + adequate tear production = great lasik outcome!!

Is this you?


Q:

Costs are ridiculous because Luxottica owns the entire glasses market.

How long do "daily" contact lenses really last? Is there actually any difference between the daily, weekly, monthly versions?

A:

Hi! My practice, Oakland Vision Center has worked super hard in cutting Luxottica products out of our office . . . because the quality has gone downhill and the hinges are no so good (meaning they break often and patients complain more and more) and you're basically paying for branding . . . SO YES!!!


Q:

My prescription is -4.25/-4.75 and I have worn glasses (now 1.5 bifocals) for most of my life. I have to have high index stuff, so it's never cheap. Things seem to be deteriorating at about 0.25 per year, on both sides.

The one and only time I tried contacts, I did soft lenses that I essentially couldn't use. They felt thick and my eyes didn't completely close when I blinked, so my eyes dried out and I wound up spending tons of money on saline (at something like $350 a gallon).

For someone like me, is there a point to contacts? Is there an approach I can ask my optometrist about? Or should I just empty the mason jar for surgery eventually?

A:

OMG. I'm about to change your life. A brand new lens just came out. Imagine a drop of water that corrects your vision . . . how would that feel? The lenses are Dailies Total 1 Multi-focals. This would be your prescription. Now ask your eye doctor for these trial lenses!!!!!

Right Eye: -3.75 low add Left Eye: -4.25 low add

And yes there's a point to contacts! Freedom of glasses. No heavy hardware on your face for a change. Plus, why not!?!?


Q:

are the lenses made by robots or humans by hands ? or is it a human operating something similar to the thingys they cut patterns to wood ?

A:

Hi! Lenses for glasses are made either by a knife/stone process OR by a digital process. A human does have to set up the equipment or computer. And yep. There are plastic patterns to trace the lenses. My preference are digital lenses. The clarity is amaze-balls compared to traditional lenses made by a knife/stone process:)


Q:

Could you explain why I am blind in one eye and not the other? When I get glasses they usually put a lens with no prescription on one side and the prescription lens on the other. I understand that I have an astigmatism in the right eye I just don't understand how it effects one and not the other?

A:

Hi! Ummmm. I really can't explain that . . . well, unless you give me more info or your mom's number so I can call her and ask. Yes, that lens is called a "balanced lens" so the lens thickness looks the same when your glasses are made. Astigmatism can be a bitch, but I'm guessing you're talking about the good eye. If you're blind in the other . . . the astigmatism is probably there, but you just cant see it. Pun intended:) Thank you! Awesome questions!!


Q:

A couple questions. I have astigmatism, and when I got my glasses, I was told that I wouldn't want to wear them while using a computer. I found, however, that they work wonders with the computer! I never take them off! Why would my experience be so different than I was told?

Second, I have been fitted for contact lenses twice now, by different doctors. Both times, I felt like the lenses just didn't help much. I understand that contact lenses for astigmatism are kinda an iffy proposition, but if the prescription was correct, why wouldn't they help?

A:

Hi! Please post both your glasses prescription & contact lens prescription and we will start there. xo


Q:

Hey! I loved my glasses I got from you! Thanks for being such a great eye doctor! My eyes a doing better now that I have the daily contact lenses. EDIT: looks like my question was already answered so I'll ask a new one.

What's your favorite part about working in Oakland?

A:

Hi!! So good to get some love from my real life patient, yay!! I love Oakland. I own a home in Oakland. I own a business in Oakland. My husband is an Oakland Police Officer. We are heavily invested in our city.

A couple years ago, I re-invented Oakland Vision Center. We got our tag line: WE LOVE EYES and just went with it. We made it hipster friendly by dropping licensed frame brands and really got into social media which separated us from all the other practices in our area.

But my favorite part about working in Oakland are the people. Like yourself, they are dedicated to the cause. Shop local is a huge part of it. Oaklanders support Oakland biz. I love it. xo


Q:

How often should you get your eyes checked if you have no problems with your eyes whatsoever? I've been staring at computers since I was 8-9 years old (now 30), but have almost no problems with my eyes. Last time (~5 years?) they were checked they were 0 / 0.25 diopter.

A:

H! Your eye pressure, is considered a vital measurement like your blood pressure. This should be checked at least every 2 years just to make sure you're not 21 or higher . . . as it can be a risk factor for glaucoma. That thing that makes people go blind. You're overdue!!


Q:

Dr. Gill,

Which one looks better? Number one or number two? Here we go again, take your time. Number one or number two?

A:

I go so far as to what's better, 9 or 10 to spice things up!!! lol.


Q:

Are there any upcoming advancements as far as corrective eye surgery goes?

A:

Yes, there's a procedure for the 40+ crowd. How old are you? Not sure if this would affect you . . .


Q:

How am I supposed to not blink when they blow that air into my eyes? I know it is coming, and it takes everything in my power to not just close my eyes until it is over.

A:

Hi!! LOL. I appreciate your determination and grit. You will always be a welcomed patient at my practice!!


Q:

What is the most unusual eye injury you have seen?

When I was in 2nd grade (am 44 now) I had a "spear" thrown at me and as a result now have a small scratch on the back of eye. The throw was perfect in that it missed my eye lid and taking out my eye. The "spear" was from a flag pole that you would see on the backs of kids bikes. My older brother sharpened it and I get hit while we were hunting....

A:

Hi! A few years back, 23 year old female walked in with a broken shot glass in her eye. They were fighting over a boy. Who let's 2 girls fight over him?


Q:

Hello Doctor; I have a question. Online, many sources (some reliable, some not) say that using the computer for extended periods, or reading in a dim light just temporarily strains the eye and doesn't really affect eyesight. However, i just got back from my optometrist and I now need glasses, and the doctor says I should take frequent breaks from eye-straining activities so I don't further affect my vision. What's the truth?

A:

Hi! Let's be real here. I'm in downtown Oakland where there are so many computer users with computer eyestrain. Asking them to take frequent breaks certainly helps, but is really not realistic. Most jobs around here are high-intensity and before you know it, morning turns into the lunch hour (so 4 hours have gone by) . . .

Here are 2 very simple hacks to help you:

1) Move your computer monitor back 5 inches. This will help with fatigue and eyestrain.

2) Make sure the top of your computer level is at eye level. This way, when you're looking at the computer, you're looking in the down gaze position. Your eyelid will cover more of your eyeball and you will have less dryness (a computer eyestrain symptom).

Ohhhhh. Lemme throw in a 3rd hack: computer eyestrain progressive lenses to use as needed when you feel tired at the computer. They work awesome!!


Q:

Any idea why 1.74 high-index plastic lenses are harder to buy in Canada (Costco Canada stopped selling them a few years ago and only provide 1.67)? I have -8.0 correction with no astigmatism and am willing to pay for the best lenses. Why would a lab just stop providing that quality lens? Is it harder to work with? Require specialized machinery? etc?

A:

Hi! Conspiracy theory says that Costco can't get the 1.74 cheap enough!! It's all about the markup when it comes to Costco!! Nothing to do with harder to work with or specialized machinery.

If you are willing to pay for the best lenses, you should stop going to Costco. They buy the cheapest quality lenses for like $2-10. For my patients with your Rx, we do a fair amount of digital lens product. The clarity can't be matched. Hope that helps ya!!


Q:

[deleted]

A:

OMG. NO!!! I would never this!! No. No. And I repeat No!!!!


Q:

Is there an age range (or set of ordinary circumstances) where your vision can change dramatically? I've always been told that I need an eye exam every year, but the past 5-6 times I've gone, my prescription hasn't changed (or very, very slightly, such as needing a "stronger" prescription in my right eye one year, and the next year returning to the prescription from the previous year).

A:

Hi! Vision changes usually taper off at around age 18-20. At age 40+ vision for up close stuff starts to change and continue to change until age 62-65.

Some of my patients are like you, stable prescription year after year with some fluctuations . . . Getting your eye pressure checked at least once every 2 years (once a year if you have history of glaucoma) is still something that should be done. Make sure you score under 22!!! Because, blindness sucks!


Q:

Hi! I am someone who's eyes have recently been tested, and are quite good. However, at night, when looking at a computer screen or reading a book, they get quite tired and sore (probably very common). Can/should glasses fix that?

A:

Hi! Welcome to the world of fatigue and eyestrain!! I'm guessing you may be mildly far-sighted? Yep, a good old pair of glasses for computer eyestrain will likely help for the computer screen and reading a book. Call up your optometrist . . . they can prescribe something for you based on your eye exam. Good luck!!


Q:

Hello, thanks for staying on so long.

What lens coating do you recommend? If it's super expensive, could you suggest an affordable option?

A:

HOLY MOLEY!! THANK YOU! I've been here all day being the good optometrist!! :P

I'm currently obsessed with the Zeiss DuraVision Platinum. I love it because my patients are happy with it. I believe it's like $150. Super pricey, but effective.

I'm about to break it to you though . . . the cheaper stuff at $40-80 is tends to get scratched and peel off easily. Best to avoid the hassle and headache. xo


Q:

I have a friend who insists that wearing glasses is actually bad for you in the long run. I'm not sure what his reasoning is, but are there any instances where this is true?

A:

Hi! I love it when friends play eye doctor. What is your prescription? Let's start there . . . To be cont'd.


Q:

but I'm sure it's about the money, money, money.

And speaking of Luxottica...

If and when I go to a Pearle/Sears/Target/Penney/Lenscrafters, how do I know for sure that they match up to the level of care that an independent practice like yours would give me? And what's the appeal/incentive for a doctor to hook up with a chain rather than going independent?

PS: my Lenscrafters glasses were never ready "in about an hour."

A:

I used to work for a couple commercial chains before I bought my practice. Read: student loans. It was rough because I was booked patients every 12 minutes. It wasn't the best fit for me.

But having said that, many of my friends work in corporate chains and do make the time, have work flexibility and extremely great work/life balance.


Q:

what about the bad stuff, like getting hit in the balls?

A:

I went mountain biking recently, fell over the handle bars and got the wind knocked out of me. My husband said that's what getting punched in the balls is like. So been there done that?


Q:

I had corrective surgery a few years ago, and there are some mornings when it seems to take a little time for my focus to "kick in". I can't read immediately after waking, for instance. Things are a bit blurry. Five or ten minutes later, I'm good to go. Any idea if this is normal, or why it might be happening?

A:

Hi! Hmmmmm could be normal. But first, what is your age. That will help me. #TIA


Q:

I'm 36. My prescription was quite severe, -8 in one eye and -10 in the other.

A:

Hmmmmmm. Do you know your prescription right now? You may be a little far-sighted (normal post-lasik) . . . to be cont'd.


Q:

6 months after surgery, I was at 20/20 and 20/15. My -10 eye was slightly overcorrected. I haven't had them checked again recently!

A:

I'm guessing you're mildly far-sighted so your symptom in the morning is totally normal. Your eye muscles are at full rest when you wake up and will take a few minutes to work/adjust into focus. All good!!


Q:

How often should eye tests be? I'm 18 and am recommended to have them every 18 months but I often find my vision is blurry or weak when reading so generally ask for every 6 months but they don't usually find a change in prescription? What could this be and should I get appointments less often? Thanks

A:

Hi! You could be experiencing computer eyestrain. Please ask your optometrist. They can also let ya know how often to return:)


Q:

Sorry if this is a stupid question, I'm just curious. I'm 29 and only recently started needing glasses for distance. Before my eyes were perfect and I was the only one in my family without glasses. I've been wondering if this is just because I messed my eyes up with computer/phone or if they would have always gone bad considering everyone else in my family has shifty eyes. Thoughts? Oh also, why do my eyes water over a slight breeze or sunlight? Can I toughen them up by not wearing sunglasses?

A:

Hi! At age 29, your prescription should stop changing. It's highly likely computer related eyestrain that's doing this to you.

In cases like this I Rx computer eyestrain glasses quite a bit. They help you feel better (less fatigue) and also help to prevent your prescription from creeping up. So yes, there is something you can do about this!!!

Watery eyes with a breeze or sunlight is common. Never toughen them up by NOT wearing sunglasses. You need the sunglasses for UV Radiation / Blue Light protection. Plus, you'll get cataracts earlier in life if you do not wear sunglasses.

You could also be having mild allergies . . . Would you like a recommendation for a great OTC allergy eye drop?


Q:

Hi, I've had really bad eyesight for my whole life (started out at -5.25 all the way to -7.00). I've been wearing glasses since I was 8. I was wondering if there was anything I could've done when I was younger to have such bad eyesight? Is it genetic or did was it my fault?

A:

Great question! How old are you now and what is your daily computer use? Instead of blaming your parents, let me try to help you now so you don't hit -800 or -900 or the milestone of -1000. Lemme know.


Q:

Hiya! I'm 20yo, -3,50/-3,25. I've been using contact lenses for 7 years now but I'm impatient to get lasik surgery. Problem is, my eyesight is still getting worse. When does it usually stabilize? Hopefully it will soon! Is it worth doing it young? And also, how can we avoid hurting our eyes when we have to use the computer a lot?

A:

Hi! For cases like yourself . . . I prescribe computer eyestrain glasses right away. Lemme know . . . do you mostly wear contact lenses?


Q:

So i'm paying about £40 additional for thinning per pair of glasses i get ( so once every 2 years or thereabouts).

Is this worth it? I'm a person who values their appearance over anything, and it said it would make my eyes look bigger than without thinning and make the glasses look better.

Additionally, i hate contacts and really want laser eye surgery, but i'm afraid of the risks and the cost, is it really as "amazing" as it is made out to be?

A:

Hi! What is your prescription and age? Lemme know!!