EyeMark Newsletters

A list of all our EyeMark Newsletter Articles

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OPENING EYES


OPENING EYES is one of many outreach programmes, both locally and world-wide, which screen the vision of school children who do not have access to this essential branch of health care, and offer what the children may need to facilitate learning at school. The Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes programme is a vision and eye health screening in partnership with the Lions Clubs International Foundation. Led by volunteer vision care professionals, Opening Eyes is able to offer prescription eyewear, sunglasses, and sports goggles to Special Olympics athletes. Recently, they arranged for South African Special Olympics athlete, Petrys Noeth, to have cataracts removed from both his eyes. Petrus is now able to participate in swimming and ten-pin bowling. Opening Eyes is changing lives in communities across the globe, providing free eye assessments, prescription eyewear, sunglasses and sports goggles to people with intellectual disabilities.
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768 Hits

EYE CAN LEARN!


The eyes are more than just the window to the soul, they are also an integral part of our ability to interpret, analyse and give meaning to what we see, in order to function well in the classroom, at home and in everyday life. These visual perceptual skills help us recognise and integrate visual stimuli with previously stored data to form a stable, predictable, familiar world. Visual perception allows us to understand, not just see. Good visual perception depends on good visual acuity, the brain getting accurate information from the eyes before it can be processed. It is advisable for a child to have a visual assessment before starting school. Your optometrist will assess the general functioning of the eyes, as well as the health of the eyes and the optic nerve. He or she will determine whether a child is able to see accurately both close up and at a distance (visual acuity), and whether the eyes are aligned and able to work together to focus correctly. Making sense of what we see is vital for classroom skills such as reading, writing and maths, as well as life skills such as reading signs and maps, finding objects in a busy space, and taking part in hobbies or sport. At school, visual perceptual skills are critical to learning. These skills can be broken down into separate categories, but they do not work in isolation. They need to function in an integrated combination for effective learning to take place. Visual perceptual skills...
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862 Hits

MILESTONES IN VISUAL DEVELOPMENT


Infants are born with a complete visual system, and can see from birth, but their vision is not clear, and they must learn how to see. Their vision will develop gradually throughout the first year of life. By the time they are a year old, they will see the world almost as well as we do. As your baby grows, her eyes will take in huge amounts of information about the world around her. Within her first year, her developing eyesight will help her learn to grasp, sit, roll over, crawl, and walk. Newborn At birth, your baby's vision is pretty fuzzy, although she can make out light, shapes and movement, but hasn’t yet learnt to fix her eyes on an object. She will blink in response to sudden bright lights. During your baby's first month, she can focus just far enough to clearly make out the face of the person holding her. Make eye contact with your baby as you hold and feed her. One month By the time your baby is one to two months old, she will have learned to focus her eyes on objects both close up and further away. This means she can see a toy if you move it around in front of her. Your baby can see highly contrasted colours, but she can't tell the difference between similar tones. Capture her attention with black and white or high-contrast coloured toys. Two months Colour differences are becoming clearer to your baby, and she starts to...
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773 Hits

Breathal –EYES-er?

Patent is pending on a new smartphone app, the BreathalEyes, which its developer claims can test for intoxication, and reduce drunk driving. This smartphone-based eye test measures a person's Blood Alcohol Content, using a method the developer claims is more accurate than the standard breathalyser test. The technology, which is based on scientific research, scans the eye to detect and analyse Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. These are involuntary fluctuations of the pupil as the eye looks at one position to the side of the face. There is thought to be a correlation between Nystagmus and blood alcohol content. BreathalEyes is pitching its app to drivers who want a convenient way to measure their own intoxication levels. Perhaps seeing is believing???
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1519 Hits

BE A QUITTER!


ANTI-TOBACCO MONTH We are all aware of the negative effects of smoking on general health, but less well known are its effects on the eyes. Tobacco smoke is composed of hundreds of compounds, most of which are harmful to the body, and play a significant role in the narrowing of blood vessels, depletion of nutrients to the organs, reduction of antioxidants, and the increase of free radicals in the body. These problems impact on general physical health as well as on the health of the eyes. How does smoking affect your eyes? Nearly every type of chronic eye disease is thought to be linked to cigarette smoking. Since smoking decreases circulation and oxygen flow to the eyes, it can also directly affect vision. As a result of smoking the body not only absorbs toxins, but also loses nutrients. Smoking interferes with the absorption of vital vitamins and minerals which can affect the health of the whole body as well as the eyes. Even if a person who smokes eats a diet rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, he or she may have a lower blood concentration of these important nutrients than non-smokers. Smoking may reduce the antioxidants essential for eye health, such as vitamins A, C and E, as well as zinc, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, all of which help maintain sharp, central vision and protect the eye from free radicals. Smoking can cause chronic redness and irritation of the eyes. Tobacco smoke, even passive smoke, can alter the tear film...
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857 Hits

EYE HEALTH IN THE WORK PLACE


With Workers’ Day on the 1st May, this is a good time to be aware of eye health at work. Statistics show that job-related eye injuries are common, and many of them can be avoided. What are the potential risks to eye health? How can these be avoided? What should be done in case of an eye emergency? POTENTIAL EYE HAZARDS Potential eye hazards can be found in almost every work situation. While injuries are most common in manufacturing and construction jobs, they can also occur in offices, health care facilities, and other types of workplaces. Some working conditions have multiple dangers. Common eye injuries occurring at work can result from foreign objects in the eye, such as dust particles, flying wood or metal chips, or splashes from hot grease. Other causes of injuries include chemical fumes, burns from steam, ultraviolet or infrared radiation exposure. Health care workers, laboratory and janitorial staff may be at risk of acquiring infectious diseases from eye exposure. Some infectious diseases can be transmitted through the mucous membranes of the eye as a result of direct exposure to blood splashes, respiratory droplets generated during coughing, or from touching the eyes with contaminated fingers or other objects. Technology has changed the world and the way it functions in every sphere of life. In the office environment, staring at computer screens for long periods of time has adverse effects on the eyes. Our everyday lives are dominated by smart phones, i-pads and related gadgets causing eye fatigue and...
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881 Hits

ARE SMART PHONES GIVING US THE BLUES?

Advances in technology have dramatically increased our exposure to blue light, which has been linked to various physical and mental problems. Blue light is part of the full light spectrum, which means we’re exposed to it by the sun every day. We are also bombarded by high levels of blue light via smart phones, tablets and other LED screens, and even energy saving light bulbs. Although further investigation is needed, it is thought that the cumulative effect of direct exposure to blue light can cause damage to the retina and early formation of cataracts. As well as affecting vision, blue light suppresses the production of the hormone melatonin, which is responsible for the body’s sleep cycle. It is thought that the disruption of sleep patterns leads to an increased risk of a wide range of ailments. In addition to regulating sleep, melatonin functions as an antioxidant, which protects the body against certain diseases. Research also shows that people whose melatonin levels are suppressed and whose body clocks are thrown off by light exposure are more prone to depression. This doesn’t mean that blue light is all bad all the time. At times, it is beneficial to your health. Light tells us when to wake and when to sleep. When bright blue light sends a signal to the brain to stop producing melatonin, it also primes your brain to start production of the hormone again later, when it’s time for bed. Experts say that getting an hour of sunlight in the morning...
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747 Hits

RED RAG TO A BULL!


What does the world look like to a cat, a bee, or a fish? Is animal or insect vision very different from human vision? Do they perceive colours differently? Not all animals see the world as humans do. For many animals, the world is seen in fuzzy shades of grey, or very washed out and pale colours. Some animals can see in total darkness, or even see colours beyond the visual spectrum, that humans have never seen. Still others can use binocular vision to spot prey from thousands of feet away. Scientists say that good colour vision helps animals find food on the land or in the water. For land animals, good colour vision helps them to tell the difference between ripe red fruit and unripe green fruit. Colours can also make animals more attractive to each other during the mating season. The ability to see colours helps animals identify predators. It is a myth that dogs and cats are colour blind, and are unable to distinguish colour at all. They see very pale shades of colour. However, they do have better peripheral and night vision than humans do, with eyes that are much more sensitive to movement. This is what makes dogs excellent search and rescue animals, and such invaluable companions to the blind. Some animals do have good colour vision. Monkeys, squirrels, birds, insects, and many fish can see a fairly good range of colour. In some cases it's not as good as what humans see, but it's much...
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819 Hits

SPOTS BEFORE YOUR EYES


Have you ever spotted a small speck floating in the air, only to have it disappear when you tried to look at it directly? Have you noticed streaks of light that you knew weren't really there? If so, you are one of many people who have experienced the common vision phenomenon known as eye floaters and flashes. The majority of people will experience eye floaters and flashes at some point in their lives. They are a part of the aging process and are generally not of concern. However, in some cases floaters and flashes may be a sign of a more serious condition, which requires medical attention. Eye Floaters Eye floaters are small moving spots that appear in your field of vision. They may be especially noticeable when you look at something bright. They can be irritating, but they generally don't interfere with sight. Eye floaters can appear in many different shapes, such as black or gray dots, squiggly lines, threadlike strands, cobwebs or circles. Occasionally a particularly large eye floater may cast a subtle shadow over your vision, but this tends to occur only in certain types of light Causes of Eye Floaters Our eyes are filled with a clear substance known as vitreous gel that helps the eyeball keep its shape while allowing light to pass through to the retina at the back of the eye. Eye floaters occur when the vitreous gel thickens or shrinks as we get older, causing particles or clumps to form. These particles float...
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791 Hits

JOHNSON & JOHNSON


An announcement was made a few weeks ago that Johnson and Johnson Vision Care will be closing their division in South Africa shortly, which means that Johnson and Johnson contact lenses will no longer be available. This is disappointing for eye care professionals as well as their patients who wear contact lenses, and every effort is being made to avoid too much disruption to all concerned. If you wear Johnson and Johnson contact lenses, discuss the options with your optometrist, who will either supply you with extra boxes of lenses, or offer to fit you with contact lenses from one of the many other excellent brands available.
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764 Hits