Valarie Jerome Optometrists recently opened on Northbrook Street in Newbury, it is an independent optometrist that is passionate about offering high quality eye care. Originally from the USA, Dr Valarie Jerome has lived in Newbury for many years and here she tells us why she decided to open her own practice and what makes it different to other opticians in the area.

“I decided to open my own practice after working in the Newbury area for many years, both as a locum and a resident optometrist. I became frustrated that the amount of time I was given for each patient was getting shorter and shorter. I felt that I was unable to offer personalised solutions for eye health and vision needs due to the limited products offered by many opticians. Having had my own business in the US many years ago, I longed to be my own boss and to be able to provide eyecare in the best way possible without the restrictions imposed by many corporate bodies. I wanted to work in a comfortable, relaxed setting and be able to offer the same experience to my patients. Being a mum of a toddler, step mum to two teenagers, a wife and dog mum, I wanted to be able to set my own hours and have the ability to adjust them at the last minute if needed. Not only did I want to create a better work/family life balance, I also wanted to be able to provide for my family and build a business to one day pass down to the next generation.

I have been practising as an optometrist since 2003. In the USA I worked treating various eye conditions and in a low vision clinic offering custom vision plans for the partially sighted; I also worked directly with an eye consultant offering pre-operative and post-operative care of cataract surgery patients. I was recently short-listed for the Association of Optometrists Locum of the Year 2019; this is something I am extremely proud of. I am currently training with Ulster University to earn an independent prescribing degree in order to prescribe and treat many eye conditions that are normally only treated at hospital eye clinics. I look forward to being able to offer this service to my patients in Newbury. With nearly 17 years’ experience of working as an optometrist in both the USA and UK, not only am I passionate about my own patient care but also care within the profession itself. I am actively helping to shape the profession by working with the Association of Optometrists. At Valarie Jerome Optometrists I offer a unique boutique optical experience with superior patient care in a relaxed, professional, non-rushed environment.

While the practice does not offer the fully funded NHS Sight Tests for children, there are specialist services offered for children’s vision needs. One of these is myopia management. Myopia management treatment aims to help slow down the progression of myopia (short-sightedness) in children. Controlling the progression of myopia will not only help to keep the need for a glasses prescription down, it will greatly reduce the risk of sight threatening conditions that are associated with high amounts of myopia, such as retinal detachments. Soon we will also be offering colourimetry assessments. Colourimetry aims to improve the efficiency and comfort of reading for children and adults who suffer with dyslexia, visual stress or migraine headaches. This can be accomplished with the use of coloured overlays and/or specialty tinted lenses.”

You can find out more about Valarie Jerome Optometrists by visiting the website, you can also email or call 01635 528844.

49 Northbrook Street, Newbury, RG14 1DT.

Open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday (also open on occasional Saturdays).