EyeMark Newsletters

A list of all our EyeMark Newsletter Articles

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DRY EYE SYNDROME


The old wives’ tells us that “crying is bad for your eyes”. On the contrary, crying, or more accurately tears, is not only good for the eyes but serves a vital function in keeping the eyes healthy. The eye depends on the flow of tears to provide moisture and lubrication to maintain comfort and vision. Tears are complex, and consist of three essential components, each performing a different function, and each produced by different glands within the eyes. The outer oily layer prevents evaporation and increases lubrication, the middle layer is the watery component, and the innermost mucus component helps the even spreading of tears. As well as these, there are antibodies and special proteins, for resistance to infection. A problem with any of these can result in dry eye syndrome, a chronic lack of sufficient moisture and lubrication on the surface of the eyes. The problem may be due to decreased quantity or quality of the tears. Dry Eye Symptoms Persistent dryness, itching, red eyes and a burning sensation are the most common symptoms of dry eyes. Another symptom is the sensation of something in the eye. There may also be blurring of vision and increased sensitivity to light. A confusing symptom of dry eyes is watery eyes; this is because dryness on the surface of the eyes sometimes over-stimulates production of the watery layer of the tears, as a mechanism to protect the eyes. Some recent research suggests that dry eyes can slow down reading speed. Causes of Dry...
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632 Hits

IRIDOLOGY – FACT OR FICTION?


Iridology is an alternative health technique used to analyse an individual’s state of physical health through studying signs and changes in the iris (the coloured part) of the eye, which correspond to specific parts of the body. Although it is called a diagnostic technique, iridologists do not diagnose disease or pathology, but rather analyse or assess the general medical condition and history of the patient, as well as the predisposition to disease patterns. Critics of iridology claim that it is a field not supported by clinical data. They add that the iris is stable, and does not undergo changes that would reflect changes in general health. A further criticism is that while it may provide a framework of the patient’s state of health, more in-depth tests and assessments often need to be conducted by conventional medical practitioners, making it cumbersome and time-consuming. If the eyes are the window of the soul, are they also the window of physical health?
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1282 Hits

DRUGS CAN AFFECT VISION AND YOUR EYES


MEDICATIONS THAT CAN AFFECT THE EYE The human body consists of various tissues and organs which are closely interconnected and mutually dependent. Overall health or lack of health can play a significant role in the health of the eyes. Similarly, medication prescribed for certain health conditions can affect the eyes. Well targeted medications can be life-saving, and most of them are safe and do not have a major effect on the eyes, but some can have a negative effect on one's vision or eye health over time. It is important to inform your optometrist if you are taking medication for chronic medical conditions, as well as to be aware of the side effects these may have on the eyes. Catching these problems early can prevent permanent harmful effects. Here is a list of common health issues which require medication which may cause problems with the eyes. ACNE Certain drugs used to treat severe acne can lead to sensations of grit in the eye, red or burning eyes, temporary distortion of vision, dry eye syndrome and night blindness. Others can make you more vulnerable to cataracts or macular degeneration. ANTIBIOTICS Some antibiotics can cause mild redness and itching of the eyes, and can lead to allergic conjunctivitis. Some increase sensitivity to light, and contribute to dry eye syndrome and risk of glaucoma, as well as cataracts and macular degeneration. Many people are allergic to “sulfa drugs”, and the manifestation in the eye could be blurred vision, light sensitivity and sometimes haemorrhages in...
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569 Hits

SUNGLASSES IN WINTER??? HERE’S WHY!!


As the days get cooler, its time to unpack your winter woollies and pack away your bright summer clothes. But, don’t put away those sunglasses, and here’s a list of reasons why those fun summer accessories are an essential part of your winter wear, too. Sunglasses reduce glare Our eyes require just the right amount of light for effective vision, not too little and not too much. While the summer sun is brighter than the winter sun, the reflected glare caused by the sun in winter can be uncomfortable. Attempting to reduce bright glare can lead to eye strain and headaches. This is particularly difficult while driving. Sunglasses make for better and safer vision. Sunglasses protect the eyes from UV rays Exposure to ultra-violet (UV) rays is associated with the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, and is harmful throughout the year. Damage from the sun occurs just as easily in winter as it does in summer. The winter sun feels less intense than the summer sun, it is lower in the sky and at a different angle, and exposure to it can be dangerous. Sunglasses help with dry eyes Winter is often the time of year for red, dry, irritated eyes, due to the drier air outdoors as well as heating indoors. Sunglasses will help to protect the eyes outdoors, reducing the evaporation of natural moisture from the eyes. Using a humidifier in the home or work environment will help moisturise the eyes indoors. Sunglasses protect eyes from wind...
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619 Hits

Celebrities who wear coloured contact lenses


Most celebrities who wear colour contact lenses have brown eyes and change their eye colour to green or blue. Tom Cruise, however, wears brown lenses to enhance his natural brown eyes. Paris Hilton has brown eyes and wears blue lenses. Others who do the same are Orlando Bloom, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, and Jennifer Aniston. Naomi Campbell and Britney Spears wear either green or blue contact lenses to change the colour of their naturally brown eyes. Lindsay Lohan changes her eye colour from green to blue. Angelina Jolie wears green contact lenses. Lady Gaga uses novelty colour contact lenses to match her unusual stage outfits!
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638 Hits

ASTIGMATISM – CURVES IN THE WRONG PLACES!


Astigmatism is a common eye condition characterised by irregular curvature of the cornea. The human eye is naturally spherical in shape, so that when light enters the eye, it refracts evenly, resulting in a clear view of the object. With astigmatism, the eye is shaped more like a rugby ball or a teaspoon, so that light entering the eye is not refracted evenly, and only part of the object is in focus. Astigmatism is present in most people to a certain degree, but if the curvature is significant and interferes with clear vision, it needs to be corrected. Astigmatism can be hereditary and is often present at birth. It can also result from previous eye surgery, trauma to the eye and certain congenital conditions. The most common symptom of astigmatism is blurred vision at any distance, either for near or far. This may be accompanied by headaches, tired eyes, or sensitivity to light. Because vision is subjective, children with vision problems may be unaware that their vision is blurred and their visual world is not in focus as it is for others. For this reason, it is advisable for children to have regular eye tests. One or more tests may be used to diagnose astigmatism. These include a visual acuity test, refraction, keratometry, and corneal topography. The test with which most of us are familiar is a visual acuity test, in which patients are required to read letters from a chart. With refraction, the optometrist presents a variety of different lenses...
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1297 Hits

GLASSES ARE NOT ALWAYS ENOUGH! Vision Therapy


What Vision Therapy is and What Vision Therapy isn’t. Vision therapy is an individualised programme of exercises designed by a specialised optometrist to correct certain visual problems that cannot be corrected simply by wearing glasses or contact lenses. Sometimes it is combined with the prescription of glasses, but it does not replace glasses. There are many advertisements, particularly on the Internet which offer “eye exercises” and promise that after doing these you can “throw away your glasses”. This is not vision therapy, nor is it possible. Vision Therapy versus Glasses. Vision enables us to understand the world around us and to guide our actions. It comprises three areas of function, namely the visual pathway which includes eye health and visual acuity, visual skills which involve the muscles of the eyes, and visual processing which takes place in the brain and helps us to integrate and make sense of what we are seeing. Glasses or contact lenses are prescribed for conditions involving the visual pathway, such as short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism, which are the result of problems in the eye itself. Certain lenses, such as prisms, may be used to correct difficulties with the eye muscles. Problems with eye movement, visual perception and processing fall within the realm of vision therapy. Vision therapy, which has been likened to physical therapy of the visual system, improves the functioning of the brain through specific exercises. Vision Therapy and Learning Disabilities Learning to read and reading for information require efficient visual abilities. The eyes must...
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607 Hits

THE EYES IN LANGUAGE


A blue-eyed boy Green-eyed monster Rose-coloured spectacles A sight for sore eyes The apple of my eye A birds’ eye view He didn’t bat an eye Feast your eyes In the blink of an eye In your mind’s eye Keep your eyes peeled More than meets the eye See eye to eye Turn a blind eye Here’s mud in your eye
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618 Hits

BEAUTIFUL BROWN EYES! OR IS IT BLUE?


The words of the old song “Beautiful Brown Eyes” take on a different meaning when one wonders if those beautiful eyes are really brown, or if the colour is the result of coloured contact lenses, which allow us to change our eye colour, creating a look that's subtle, bold or anywhere in between. To trace the history of coloured contact lenses, one needs to look at the history of contact lenses in general. Though contact lenses are thought to be a fairly recent phenomenon, the earliest sketches of the concept of contact lenses were made by Leonardo Da Vinci in the 16th century. It was only years later, in 1887, that a German glassblower developed an eye covering that could be worn bearably. Around the same time, a lens was developed that was wearable, but it was large and unwieldy and could not be worn for long periods. During the second half of the 20th century, various contact lenses were developed in different countries. Although being worn by patients, there were disadvantages such as the size and weight of the lenses, discomfort when worn for long periods, and the problem that they did not allow oxygen to get through to the cornea. As technology advanced, the most important development was that of hydrogel soft contact lenses, and perhaps one of the most exciting was the advent of coloured contact lenses. Today, a wide variety of coloured contact lenses is available, in either prescription forms which correct visual problems, or plano (no...
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642 Hits

NEW GLASSES, INSTANT VISION?


Visual development in children You have seen your optometrist, had a thorough eye examination, and collected your new glasses. Putting your new glasses on for the first time, you expect to be able to see perfectly clearly, but you may be disappointed. Your vision may be a little blurred or seem too sharp, your eyes may feel tired, and you may experience headaches. While some people may be able to see well and feel comfortable immediately, for many people there is a period of adjustment.Because we see with our brains, it often takes a while for the eyes and the brain to coordinate getting used to a new prescription. The length of time for adjusting to your new glasses depends on whether you are wearing glasses for the first time, the strength of your prescription, or whether there has been a significant change in the prescription. You may have changed from a small frame to a larger frame, or vice versa, or even from contact lenses to glasses. All these factors can affect how quickly and easily you get used to your glasses. Adjusting to bifocals or progressive lenses may take a little more time, particularly if you are wearing them for the first time. Bifocals will demand adjustment to the line in the lenses. Progressive lenses may alter your peripheral vision slightly, requiring some changes in your head and eye movements. In time you will become accustomed to these changes and they will feel more natural as you adjust to...
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583 Hits