EyeMark Newsletters

A list of all our EyeMark Newsletter Articles

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YOUR EYES NEED A HOLIDAY TOO!


As the holiday season approaches and we prepare to head for beaches and swimming pools, most of us are aware of the danger of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation on our skins. But there is also a risk of damage to our eyes. Extended exposure to the sun's UV rays has been linked to conditions including cataracts, macular degeneration, and others. While many people refer to ultraviolet radiation as UV light, this is technically incorrect because we cannot see UV rays. There are three categories of UV rays: UVC rays are the most harmful, but fortunately the atmosphere’s ozone layer blocks virtually all of these; UVB rays in low doses stimulate the production of melanin creating a suntan, but in higher doses cause sunburn and premature aging of the skin, and are partially filtered by the ozone layer; UVA rays have the lowest energy but can pass through the cornea, reaching the lens and retina. Outdoor Risk Factors Anyone who spends time outdoors is at risk for eye problems from UV radiation, but this exposure depends on a number of factors. Geographic location. UV levels are greater in tropical areas; the further you are from the equator, the smaller your risk. Altitude. UV levels are greater at higher altitudes. Time of day. UV levels are greater when the sun is high in the sky, typically from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Setting. UV levels are greater in wide open spaces, especially when highly reflective surfaces are present, like snow and...
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COMPUTER GAMES – BLESSING OR CURSE?


We live in a computer age, and both adults and children spend a great deal of time each day in front of a computer screen. There is ongoing debate around the advantages and disadvantages of children spending endless hours playing computer games. Are they the curse many perceive them to be, or can they actually be beneficial in certain areas of development? There are two sides to this controversial coin! While the educational value of computers, and particularly the Internet, cannot be undermined, with its easy access to information, the focus of this article is the recreational aspect of computer games. One of the most important advantages of computer games is that children become familiar and comfortable with technology from a young age. Regardless of what the child is doing on the computer, he is navigating and finding his way around it, developing confidence, and eliminating the apprehension and even fear many older people feel around computers. Critics of computer games express concern regarding the sedentary unhealthy indoor lifestyle that results from children spending too much time sitting at the computer. Surely, the responsibility for this lies not with computers, but with parents or care givers who should help children balance computer time with time outdoors playing active games? The argument goes further and questions a child’s social development if he is constantly on his own interacting with a computer screen. The opposite argument is that many computer games involve interaction between children playing a particular game, albeit via their...
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WHAT A DIGITAL WORLD


We live in an age of technology which is expanding at an alarming rate, affecting every aspect of our lives. One of the biggest advancements in technology is not what we carry in our pockets, wear on our wrist, or keep in our homes; it’s what we wear every day on our faces—our glasses. Digital lens technology has redefined how people see, by introducing a new level of customisation for people who wear glasses. Digital lens processing, also known as freeform or high-definition, has resulted in many lens advancements since its introduction a few years ago. For the first time, the wearer can receive a corrective lens designed expressly to accommodate his or her prescription, rather than having to use one of the lenses available in a lens inventory. How do digital lenses work? The primary benefit of digital lenses is that they are custom made exactly to each prescription. Conventional lenses are partially premade by lens manufacturers, and when prescription lenses are produced, a laboratory selects from among the premade materials whichever is most appropriate, and then grinds the prescription as closely as possible into the material. The result is a lens which is satisfactory, but not perfect. While there is only a slight difference in ordering digital lenses as opposed to old technology lenses, there is a lot of high-tech work that goes on behind the scenes. The lens material is not necessarily different; it is the way they are processed that makes the difference. After examining your...
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THE GIFT OF SIGHT

Traditionally, the pupils at certain schools donate a gift to their school at the end of their matric year. This year, the recipient at St. John’s College was not the school itself, but rather its caretaker, who needed surgery for cataracts. The boys raised enough money for surgery for one eye, and the Netcare Foundation, hearing about this generous and thoughtful initiative, funded the surgery for the other eye. Due to associated conditions of his eyes, the man’s vision could not be fully restored but he did regain 30 – 50% of it. The ophthalmic surgeon who performed the operation described the change in the man who had needed assistance due to his poor vision and is now able to lead an independent life again. He commended the boys of St John’s College and the Netcare Foundation for not only giving the caretaker back his sight, but for giving back his life. _ _ _ _ _ _ “It’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have……One pair to see through closed doors. Another in the back of the head……..And, of course, the ones in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and reflect ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.” (Erma Bombeck)
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LESS IS MORE! EYE MAKEUP TIPS FOR GLASSES WEARERS


Wearing glasses is no reason not to wear eye make up to enhance your eyes under the lenses. Glasses can be a striking fashion accessory, and with the right make up techniques, you can show off your eyes and make them look even more alluring. Before you get out your shadows and brushes, take a few minutes to observe how your eyes look behind your lenses, as the type of vision problem being corrected plays a role. Do your lenses make your eyes look larger, or do they look smaller once you put on your glasses? Once you determine the size of your eyes behind your glasses, you can begin selecting makeup products and techniques. The first thing to think of is the use of foundation, making sure that it is wiping and water resistant. Frames often cast a shadow across the face, so use a foundation one shade lighter than your skin tone in these areas. As a general rule with eye makeup, remember that less is more! The bolder your frames, the more understated your make up should be. Use cream eye shadows rather than powders, to prevent powdery flakes from getting onto your lenses, and waterproof mascara is best so that there is no smudging on your glasses. Begin by applying a coat of the lightest shade of eye shadow from the lid up to the brow bone. The medium shade will go over the lid area, and the darkest shade varies, depending on how large or...
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READY FOR SCHOOL?


Surely the younger a child is when he starts school the greater head-start he has for later academic achievement? Although this sounds logical, it is not necessarily true. Starting school is a significant milestone in a child’s life, and in order for him to rise to this challenge certain other important milestones need to have been met. His ability to benefit from formal educationmay in fact be compromised if they have not developed. The building blocks which need to be mastered before a child is ready for school include gross and fine motor co-ordination, communication skills, listening skills, visual processing skills and emotional maturity. These abilities are integrated and interdependent, and continue to develop through the child’s primary school years. The child needs to be ready for school on all levels so that formal education can be effective, easy and exciting. If he is ready for school he will be successful and this will facilitate further learning. People are visually oriented beings, and a large proportion of learning in the classroom takes place visually, so this article will focus on visual perception as one of the building blocks for school readiness. What is Visual Perception? Visual Perception refers to the brain's ability to make sense of what the eyes see. This is not the same as visual acuity, which refers to how clearly a person sees. A person can have 20/20 vision and still have problems with visual perceptual processing. Just as there is a difference between hearing and listening,...
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EYE CARE AWARENESS MONTH

Eye Care Awareness Month (ECAM), held annually from the 23rd September – 20th October, is a month dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of Eye Health. The theme for this year’s campaign is: “Universal Eye Health – Get your eyes tested”. International World Sight Day takes place during this month on the 9 October. Here are some tips for leading an eye-smart lifestyle: Get regular eye exams Many problems that can result in blindness have no symptoms in their early stages, so the only way to ensure your eyes are healthy is by having regular eye exams. Eat your veggies Studies show that what we eat can affect our vision. A diet rich in antioxidants helps to keep your eyes healthy. Broad-leaf greens and brightly coloured fruit and vegetables, like corn or orange peppers, are all good for your eyes. Get active Lack of exercise contributes significantly to several eye conditions. Exercise may reduce the risk of vision loss from the narrowing or hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and diabetes. Stop smoking After ageing, smoking is the biggest risk factor for developing macular degeneration. Smoking also increases your risk of developing cataracts. Be sun smart Protecting your eyes from the sun is very important and should not be underestimated. Wear sunglasses when you are outdoors and never look directly at the sun.
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HOW SUNGLASSES WORK


Besides being a fashion accessory, sunglasses provide necessary health benefits. A high-quality pair of sunglasses can provide protection from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, protect your irises from overexposure to intense light and glare, and block out certain frequencies of light. But how do these accessories manage to protect your eyes from the sun? A pair of sunglasses seems so simple – two pieces of tinted glass or plastic in some sort of frame. How much more straightforward can it be? But a variety of technologies is used to eliminate the problems we encounter with different kinds of light. Buying the right pair of good sunglasses for the conditions in which you use them gives you maximum protection and performance. There are three different categories of light that we see: direct, reflected, and ambient. Direct light is light that comes directly from the source to your eyes, for example the sun or a street light (although it is not a good idea to look directly into these!) Reflected light, typically called glare, is light that has bounced off a reflective surface, such as water or sand, and can be harsh on the eyes. Ambient light is light that has no clear source, for example the glow that surrounds a city at night. Sunglass Technology The most obvious technology to shield our eyes against harmful light is tinting .Different tints are used to achieve different results. Grey tints are all-purpose tints that reduce the overall brightness with the least amount of colour...
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UNDER PRESSURE!


GLAUCOMA Glaucoma is a disease that is usually, but not always, associated with elevated pressure within the eye, in which damage to the main nerve of the eye, the optic nerve can lead to loss of vision and even blindness. In some cases, it can occur in the presence of normal eye pressure, and is then thought to be caused by poor blood flow to the optic nerve. There are many different types of glaucoma. Most, however, can be classified as either open-angle glaucomas, which are usually chronic, or closed angle glaucomas, which can occur suddenly (acute) or over a long period of time (chronic). Glaucoma usually affects both eyes, but can progress more rapidly in one eye than in the other. Signs and Symptoms Glaucoma is often called the “sneak thief of sight” because eye pressure can build up and destroy sight with no obvious symptoms in the early stages.Peripheral vision (side vision) decreases as the disease progresses, until one is left with tunnel vision and irreversible nerve damage. The eyes appear normal to the patient and those around him. On examination, the optometrist will identify elevated intraocular pressure, optic nerve abnormalities or peripheral visual loss. On the other hand, the symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma are often dramatic, with the rapid onset of severe eye pain, headache, nausea and vomiting, and visual blurring.The eyes of patients will appear red, and the pupil of the eye may be large and nonreactive to light. The cornea may appear cloudy to...
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SPRING ALLERGIES IN DOGS

Spring allergies can affect both dogs and people, although the symptoms may differ. Spring allergies are considered seasonal allergies, and they cause symptoms during the spring months as plants begin to bloom and flea populations develop. In dogs, spring allergies can be classified into two categories: atopic allergies and flea allergies. A topic allergies are allergies that cause a skin reaction from an inhaled allergen, such as pollen or house dust. Flea allergies are caused by the dog’s body having a reaction to a protein in flea saliva, and it only takes a single flea bite to set off a reaction in a sensitive dog. Both are among the most common canine allergies. Canine spring allergy symptoms can include itching, scratching, and biting or chewing on the legs and paws. In more extreme cases, hair loss and hot spots may develop as your dog continues to scratch at his skin. Your dog may also sneeze, cough or have watery eyes, although skin symptoms are more likely to occur than these typical human allergy symptoms. A combination of skin and blood tests may be used to diagnose your dog’s spring allergies. These tests are designed to cause an allergic reaction between an allergen and a sample of your dog’s blood or his skin. When an allergic reaction is created, your veterinarian can then formulate a treatment plan for your pet because he or she will know which allergens are causing the problem.
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