EyeMark Newsletters

A list of all our EyeMark Newsletter Articles

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Happy Holidays!


Like I always say, I'm just an old pair of glasses. Who am I to be giving advice? But every year, my friends - a collection of sunglasses, contact lenses and spectacles like me - ask me to give their owners some tips for the Silly Season. I get really tired of repeating myself. So this year, I'm going to write it all down... so I only have to say it once. And so, without further ado, here's my two cents on taking care of your eyes and eyewear this holiday season: 1. Rest your eyes if you're driving. You spend a lot of time squinting into the sun and focusing on the road, right? Your eyes are getting worn out, and maybe you don't even realise it. Just like you need to stretch your legs regularly, take a break from the driving and rest your eyes. (Also, it'll give you a chance to stop and eat one of those petrol station burgers you know you shouldn't, but you know you will.) 2. Protect your glasses if you're flying. This sounds like it isn't even worth saying, but you won't believe how many casualties I've heard about in my time. Glasses get bent, dropped, sat on, squashed... all on an airplane ride. And don't leave your glasses behind when you get off the plane. You won't believe how many friends I've lost that way. 3. Speaking of flying, take care of your contact lenses. If a flight makes you feel...
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778 Hits

CHOOSING THE PERFECT FRAME


In an ideal world, you would have dozens of pairs of glasses in different colours, shapes and styles to suit your every mood and look, but in reality, glasses can be expensive and you are limited to just one or two pairs. It can be overwhelming being confronted by many different frames and trying to find the perfect one, but there are certain guidelines that can be followed to help narrow down your options. Apart from the obvious considerations such as the shape of your face, your personal style and colour preferences, take into account your lifestyle, personality, and the impression you want to make. FACE SHAPE While the choice of frames is determined to a large extent by face shape, "rules" can be broken or at least bent to accommodate personal taste. In general, a frame should balance and contrast the features of the face, and be in proportion to the rest of the face, while also complementing your personal style. Round Face - Frames that are square or rectangular tend to be wider than a round face, elongating it and creating the appearance of a slimmer face. While round frames are not recommended, if you do prefer that shape, avoid small round frames, choosing larger frames that do not get lost in the face. Generally, whatever the shape, large frames work best on round faces. Plain coloured thick rimmed frames are a better choice than rimless ones. Oval Face - If you have an oval face, almost any...
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924 Hits

ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE


The first question is how do we know that? How do we see different colours? The second question is why should we care? Apart from brightening the world, does colour really matter in our daily lives? How Do We See Colour? We are able to perceive and differentiate colour because of rods and cones, specialised cells in the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye. There are about 120 million rods and about 6 to 7 million cones in the human eye. The rods perceive images in black, white and shades of grey, while the cones are sensitive to colour. Not all the cones are alike, and they respond differently to different wave lengths of colour. When light from an object enters the eye and reaches the retina, combinations of the cones are stimulated depending on the wave length of the light. A signal is sent along the optic nerve to the visual centre of the brain where the information is processed and the colour perceived. Why Colour Matters The process does not end there! The interpretation of colour is dependent on, among other things, personal experience, emotions, cultural and religious factors. It informs choices we make, how we feel, how we decorate our homes, and how we react to certain situations. It even plays a role in our language and how we express ourselves, for example we feel blue, see red in anger, are green with envy. Colour plays a pivotal role in our daily visual experiences, from...
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824 Hits

ARE YOUR EYES ROADWORTHY?


The end of the year is here at last! As you begin to prepare for a well-deserved holiday, you ensure that your shopping has been done, arrangements have been made for the care of your home and pets while you are away, and your car has been serviced. Have you visited your optometrist to check that all is well with your eyes? When it comes to driving, you rely on your eyes more than any other sense. Your eyes are constantly in motion, focusing and refocusing as objects approach, and having to adjust to distractions, such as oncoming headlights or the glare of the setting sun. This can cause them to become strained, and impact on safe driving. As well as examining your eyes, your optometrist will advise you on how to minimise eye strain while driving. Having a complete eye examination can rule out cataracts or other problems that may interfere with your vision while driving. If a problem is detected early, it can be managed more effectively. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, have your prescription checked in case there have been changes since your last eye examination. Always wear the prescribed eyewear while driving. Make sure that your glasses are clean, that there are no smudges that could interfere with vision. The same applies to the windscreen of the car, both inside and out. Particles of dust and dirt cause light waves to scatter, causing a halo effect, which can be particularly troublesome at night. Glare...
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1165 Hits

Burnout!


My friend Charlene loves this time of year. It's the countdown to beach season, and every good pair of sunglasses knows that it's almost time to... well, shine. Charlene is no different. She can't wait to hit the beach and debut her sparkling, designer, polarized self. For the rest of us, beach season is a long way away. It's nothing but long hours, extra work, and staring at a computer screen for days on end. Everybody complains that their bodies are burning out. But nobody realises that their eyes are burning out too. We glasses don't get to give advice. We just get to sit there and suffer through it. We get tired too, but the wear and tear on us is nothing compared to the wear and tear on an eyeball. What an eye needs is a good night's sleep, regular breaks from work, a nice walk in the fresh air... you know, all the things you don't do when it's crunch time at work. Instead, eyes strain in front of computers and read piles of documents. I know because I've been there. I see it every day. And remember that rule about looking away from the screen every twenty minutes? Well, the guy I work for hasn't done that all day. He never does! It's the same thing with most people I know. By November they're walking around with fiery red eyes. Or they're so glazed over, they look like they're part of the zombie apocalypse. One pair...
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758 Hits

SEEING STARS


OUCH! You bump your head and "see stars". You stand up too quickly, feel light-headed and "see stars". You rub your eyes too hard when you wake up in the morning, and "see stars". Cartoon characters "see stars" circling their heads in all sorts of painful situations. While cartoon characters see star-shaped figures, what we see in the real world is specks of light that resemble stars. In effect what happens when we see stars is that we are tricking our brains into seeing something that is not actually there. The human brain is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid, which acts as a cushion, protecting this important organ from injury. Because there is some space around the brain, it is able to move within the skull. When we turn our heads suddenly or bump them, our brains move with the impact, but are protected from banging against the bony skull too hard. The visual cortex is located at the back of the brain in the occipital lobe. This is where we receive, interpret and make sense of information received by the eye. If we hit our heads with more force, this rapid movement of the skull causes the nerve cells at the back of the head to discharge a "waterfall" of electrical impulses. The electric discharge is interpreted as light in a twinkling disorganised pattern that can be likened to the pattern stars make in a dark sky. If you stand up too quickly, the process is different but the effect...
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837 Hits

NOT SIMPLY CHILD'S PLAY


The visual system is the most complex sensory system in the human body, and yet it is the least mature system at birth. Though they have the anatomical structures needed for sight, infants have not learned to use them yet, and much of their first weeks and months is spent learning to see. Normal visual development is the change from just responding to brightness or contrast, towards the ability to apply meaning to what is seen. As children grow, more complex visual perception skills develop. The child's progress from the blurry world of light and dark to the sophisticated ability to handle complex visual tasks is enhanced through play, which is the means by which he learns to master his world. By thoughtful selection of toys and activities, parents can stimulate this process of visual development without sacrificing the fun and enjoyment of play. CONSIDERATIONS WHEN BUYING TOYS Inexpensive toys and simple childhood games can be just as effective as costly toys in helping children develop and improve their vision skills. Select toys that are well-made and appropriate to the child's age and level of maturity. Manufacturers often give suggested ages for a toy, but keep the individual child in mind because children develop at different rates and have different interests. Choose toys that can be used in a variety of ways, sparking the child's imagination and problem-solving skills. Look for toys that will grow with the child and be enjoyed in different ways at different developmental stages. Select toys...
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804 Hits

EYES ON DIABETES


On 20 December 2006, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed a landmark Resolution recognising diabetes as a chronic, debilitating and costly disease. The Resolution designates World Diabetes Day as a United Nations Day to be observed every year. The theme of World Diabetes Day 2016, on 14th November, is Eyes on Diabetes. Activities and materials will focus on promoting the importance of screening to ensure early diagnosis and treatment of type 2 diabetes, to reduce the risk of serious complications. Diabetes is one of the fastest growing chronic diseases world-wide, and yet millions of people who have diabetes are unaware of it. While diabetes has the potential to cause severe vision problems, even people who may be aware of their diabetes do not always have an eye examination until they notice changes in their vision.By then it may be late, as some people already have undetected diabetic eye damage when their diabetes is diagnosed. Early detection leads to timely management of diabetic eye conditions, and may slow down the progress or even reverse the condition. WHAT IS DIABETIC EYE DISEASE? Diabetes is a chronic group of metabolic diseases in which the body cannot control the sugar levels in the blood. One of the effects of high blood sugar levels is a problem with the blood vessels, including the blood vessels in the eyes. Diabetic eye disease can affect the retina, macula, lens and the optic nerve. Damage to the retina is usually more serious than damage to the...
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701 Hits

LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD

Eyemark September 12
October. That festive feeling is so close but so far. Christmas ads are playing on TV, but we’ve got almost three months of work before any festivities can even start. Before we know it, it’s New Year and that means resolution time. So right now, people are starting to panic. Because October is the time when people quickly check their New Year’s resolutions from last year. You know, to see which ones they’ve actually done. And guess what? Not many. In some cases it’s zero, zip, absolutely nothing… and that’s where the cramming starts. Suddenly they have a whole year’s worth of resolutions to get through in just a few months. They have to learn a new language. Or sign up for power yoga. Or be nice to certain relatives. You know how it is. The year has almost come and gone, and nothing has been crossed off the list yet. And why do I care about this? Well, you know me… I’m always looking out for people. (See what I did there? I’m a pair of glasses looking out for people. Get it? Forget it.) A lot of resolutions have people saying they’re gonna take better care of themselves. People saying they must get their eyes tested… must get new frames… must go back to the optometrist for a follow-up. Like most other resolutions it’s a case of must, must, must… And most times, it just doesn’t happen. Well, here are two more reasons why October is the perfect...
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775 Hits

“IF YOU PEE IN THE STREET, YOU’LL GET A STYE IN YOUR EYE” … Old wives tale

October009
WHAT ARE STYES AND CHALAZIA? A stye is a bacterial infection that causes a tender red lump on the upper or lower eyelid, usually along the edge of the eyelid. Although they can be irritating and sometimes painful, styes are rarely a serious medical issue, and will go away on their own within one to two weeks once the body fights off the infection. Styes are often confused with chalazia, which also appear as bumps on the eyelid. The two types of bumps are similar, but chalazia develop under the skin and never appear with a head, while styes look like a pimple on the eyelid. Chalazia are usually not accompanied by redness or tenderness. WHAT CAUSES A STYE OR CHALAZION? Styes are caused by a bacterial infection, usually in the root or follicle of an eyelash. Certain risk factors can increase the chances of developing styes. These include chronic skin problems, blepharitis, or previous styes. A chalazion forms when an oil gland in the eyelid becomes blocked. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS? A stye usually starts as a red bump that looks like a pimple along the edge of the eyelid. As the stye grows, the eyelid becomes swollen and painful, and the eye may water. There may be a gritty feeling in the eye, discomfort when blinking, and increased sensitivity to light. Most styes swell for about 3 days before they break open and drain, and they usually heal completely in about a week. A chalazion starts as a...
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1768 Hits