EyeMark Newsletters

A list of all our EyeMark Newsletter Articles

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HOW ALCOHOL AFFECTS VISION


"You had better stop drinking; you're getting blurred!" We all know that alcohol depresses brain function, slows down our ability to think quickly, inhibits our ability to react and increases response time. It also has specific effects on the functioning of the eyes, but its effect on vision has more to do with how it impacts the central nervous system and the brain, as opposed to causing an actual visual impairment in the eye. So, instead of saying your eyes are playing tricks on you when you're drunk, it's more accurate to say your brain is playing tricks on you and using your eyes to do it. Short –term visual effects include: Double or blurred vision due to the limited coordination of the eye muscles; Difficulty with depth perception as the eyes struggle to focus together on an object; Difficulty judging distance; Decreased sensitivity to contrasts between colours, particularly in low light; Decreased visual sharpness; Decreased peripheral vision, reducing the ability to detect objects outside the line of vision; Dry eyes and headaches due to the dehydrating effect of alcohol; Slower pupil reactions; Eye twitching; The eyes appear red or bloodshot. In this season of celebration and festivity, be aware and exercise moderation!
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737 Hits

MORE THAN A FASHION ACCESSORY


Ready for a summer holiday? Packed the latest beachwear? Got your branded sunglasses? Sunglasses can instantly make you look glamorous, hip, cool. Don't forget their primary function which is to protect your eyes and the delicate tissue around them from harmful ultra-violet rays from the sun! To choose sunglasses which give you optimal protection, here are a few simple tips. Look for at least 99% UVA/UVB protection. Darker lenses are not necessarily more effective, and different coloured lenses affect how well we detect contrast and differentiate colours. Grey, green or brown lenses are usually best, especially for driving. Opt for polarized lenses if you spend lots of time on water. Go for the best optical quality, check for distortion. Bigger is better! Wraparound sunglasses offer the best protection. Make sure they fit comfortably, or ask your optometrist to adjust them. Select the right lens material – make sure it is scratch-resistant. Choose the style according to the shape of your face – oval shape, the "perfect shape", can wear any style; a square face looks best with round glasses; for a round face choose square or polygonal sunglasses; large lenses and polygonal frames modify a long face; darker lenses and frames highlight the contours of a flatter face. Make sunglasses a daily habit Sunglasses are especially important for children. Discuss the most appropriate type with your optometrist.
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651 Hits

F for VISION!


I'm extremely nearsighted, so eye examinations always feel like tests I'm doomed to fail. Some people dread the drops that dilate their pupils, while others can't stand the glaucoma screenings that administer a puff of air directly onto their eyeballs. For me, it's all downhill once the optometrist places that pimple-causing batman-like contraption in front of my face for the visual acuity test. That's the part in which, one eye at a time, I'm supposed to read a chart featuring eight rows of letters displayed in descending font sizes. I can quip the first five lines in a breeze: E! H! N! D! F! and so on. From there things get a bit murky, as I start inserting a question mark after each character I sort of see. Ohh? Ehhhf? Four? T-Rex? By the second-to-last line, I spare myself further humiliation and steer the oily lens holder away from my face. It's time to level with the optometrist with some real talk. "Look, these all look like Wingdings to me... " We move forward with the appointment, while she attempts to identify the right prescription for my remedial vision. She fiddles with settings, magnifying the problem row and narrowing it so that only three letters are visible. (Damn, that was a P, not a T-Rex! I think.) "Now, which is clearer: This way or that way?" she asks as she shifts the lenses. I ask to review my options again. "This? Or that? ... Thiiiiis or that?" Half the time...
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660 Hits

WORLD AIDS DAY


Because HIV causes a breakdown of the body's immune system, all areas of the body are susceptible, including the eye. People with HIV who are otherwise in good health are not likely to experience eye problems related to a suppressed immune system. However, an estimated 70 percent of patients with advanced AIDS experience eye disorders. They should have regular eye examinations. AIDS-related eye problems can include HIV retinopathy (small haemorrhages in the retina); CMV retinitis (a serious eye infection which, left untreated, can cause severe vision loss); detached retina (the retina pulls away from the back of the eye); Kaposi's sarcoma (a noncancerous tumour that can occur on any part of the body, including the eye); and increased risk of various eye infections. World AIDS Day, a United Nations initiative, is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988. World AIDS Day reminds us that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education. A number of musicians and artists world-wide have pledged their support in raising awareness of HIV/AIDS in various ways. Bono and The Edge are listed among the performers at A Night of Music: Celebrating 10 Years of ONE...
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1512 Hits

WHY CAN PEOPLE SEE MORE CLEARLY WHEN THEY SQUINT THEIR EYES?


First of all, we need to differentiate a squint, in which the eyes do not look in the same direction, from deliberately squinting or screwing up the eyes to see more clearly. The short answer is squinting changes the shape of our eye. The long answer is the eye is a complicated organ! Squinting allows us to see better in two ways – by changing the shape of the eyes, and by letting in a limited amount of light. Light enters the eye through the pupil and travels to the lens. The lens uses muscles in the eye to change shape in order to focus the light on the retina, a sensory area at the back of the eye. People have slightly different shapes of eyes. If the eye is not perfectly round, the light coming in through the lens will be focused slightly off center causing blurry vision. When we squint we are actually changing the shape of our eyes slightly, and by doing so the light is focused correctly. Light traveling into our eyes comes from many different angles and must be focused onto a single area at the back of the eye. When we squint there is less light entering our eyes, and the light that is entering only comes from a limited number of directions since our eyelids are covering up the rest. Now only a few beams of light need to be redirected in order for us to see clearly.
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718 Hits

EYES READY FOR SCHOOL?


Some of the biggest names in movies, music and sport are people who struggled at school with learning and attention issues. Many of them found their passion and overcame their challenges through determination, hard work and courage. How differently would their lives have unfolded if their problems had been detected at an earlier age? WHOOPI GOLDBERG Before Whoopi Goldberg was diagnosed with dyslexia and before she knew how common this learning issue is, kids in school called her "dumb." But her mother told her she could be anything she wanted to be. Goldberg believed her and grew up to become a comedian and talk-show host—and one of only about a dozen people to have won a Grammy, an Academy Award, an Emmy and a Tony Award. STEVEN SPIELBERG Legendary film director Steven Spielberg, famous for the movies "ET", "Jurassic Park" and others, wasn't diagnosed with dyslexia until he was in his 60s. His teachers thought he was lazy and he was bullied by classmates. KEIRA KNIGHTLEY After Keira Knightley was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 6, she used her love of acting to help motivate her to read. Knightley struck a deal with her parents that if she worked on her reading every day, they would agree to hire her an agent. She went on to become one of Hollywood's highest-earning actresses. CHER Cher is an Academy Award-winning actress and Grammy-winning singer. But she struggled at school with undiagnosed learning difficulties. "I couldn't read quickly enough to get all my...
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691 Hits

DIABETIC EYE DISEASE


An optometrist reported how a routine eye examination on a 49-year old patient revealed the first clue that the patient may have diabetes. "As soon as I noticed blood and leaking fluids seeping out of fragile vessels in the retinas, I suspected they may be symptoms of diabetes." Sure enough, a medical examination confirmed that the patient did indeed have diabetes. With control of the diabetes in its early stages, the retinal bleeding stopped and the patient's vision began to improve. This is not an uncommon scenario as the first signs of diabetes are very often detected in the eyes. Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in South Africa, and yet of the 3.5 million South Africans who have it, 1.5 million are unaware of it. Thousands of diabetics eventually lose their sight to diabetic retinopathy. Don't be a statistic! Early detection leads to timely management and often to reversing or at least slowing down the progression of diabetic eye disease. November 14th is World Diabetic Day. Protect your health and your vision - take advantage of the numerous screenings and awareness campaigns running in November. THE LINK BETWEEN EYE DISEASE AND DIABETES Diabetes is a chronic group of metabolic diseases in which the body cannot control the sugar levels in the blood, due to insufficient or ineffective insulin. High blood sugar levels cause tiny leaks in the blood vessels of the retina. Blood and fluid seep into the retina, which then becomes wet and swollen, affecting vision....
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  664 Hits
664 Hits

EYE CARE FOR ALL


The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) challenges amateur and professional photographers around the world to join us in highlighting the impact of eye health in people's lives, by taking part in an International Photography Competition with theme, 'Eye care for all'. Send us your pictures - professional shoots, amateur compositions, instagrams or flickr - with the hashtag, #Eyecareforall by 8 October 2015 - World Sight Day. (Read about it here - or visit the microsite).
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702 Hits

WORLD SIGHT DAY


A Cure is in Sight for Retinal Blindness - trust science! World Sight Day (WSD) is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. This year World Sight Day 2015 is on 8 October. The rolling theme of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is Universal Eye Health. This year, the 'Call to Action' for World Sight Day is: Eye care for all On World Sight Day, IAPB members work together to: Raise public awareness of blindness & vision impairment as major international public health issues. Influence Governments/Ministers of Health to participate in and designate funds for national blindness prevention programmes. Educate target audiences about blindness prevention. International Key Messages: Approximately 285 million people worldwide live with low vision and blindness Of these, 39 million people are blind and 246 million have moderate or severe visual impairment 90% of blind people live in low-income countries Yet 80% of visual impairment is avoidable - i.e. readily treatable and/or preventable Restorations of sight, and blindness prevention strategies are among the most cost-effective interventions in health care The number of people blind from infectious causes has greatly reduced in the past 20 years An estimated 19 million children are visually impaired About 65% of all people who are visually impaired are aged 50 and older, while this age group comprises only 20% of the world's population Increasing elderly populations in many countries...
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658 Hits

DRUGS AND YOUR EYES


The top 10 drugs that affect your eyes Some medications, although necessary to alleviate certain medical conditions, are known to have side effects, which may include nausea, fatigue, dizziness and headaches. What is often overlooked is that the eyes are vulnerable to the side effects of a variety of drugs. Some of these may be temporary and simply annoying, while others can result in consequences for the eyes and vision ranging from mild to quite serious, and even irreversible. ANTIBIOTICS Penicillin and Tetracycline can cause red, itchy and dry eyes, as well as blurred vision and increased light sensitivity. Sulfonamide effects include watery eyes that are highly sensitive to light. Antibiotic eye drops, commonly used to treat many eye conditions, can cause visual side effects such as redness, stinging, blurred vision, light sensitivity and a narrowing of the pupils. Some eye drops can also cause headaches or even systemic side effects, such as stomach cramps, diarrhea and sweating. The effects caused by eye drops are usually mild and temporary, and can usually be resolved immediately the drops are discontinued. ANTIDEPRESSANTS Any medication that affects nerve functions may also affect the eyes, resulting in blurred vision, difficulty focusing, dilated pupils and double vision. Because the body’s natural secretions are reduced, persistent dry eyes may be experienced. Artificial tears, preferably without preservatives, as well as adequate hydration of the body helps to relieve the dry eye symptoms. Increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids, e.g. in salmon and sardines, may be helpful, too....
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664 Hits