EyeMark Newsletters

A list of all our EyeMark Newsletter Articles

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KNOW YOUR NUMBERS


For the five-year period 2013-2018, "KNOW YOUR NUMBERS" is the theme of World Hypertension Day, which aims to raise awareness of the dangers of high blood pressure in all populations throughout the world. WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a risk factor for a number of diseases, and can quietly damage your body for years before symptoms develop. Fortunately, with treatment and lifestyle changes, hypertension can be controlled and the risk of complications reduced. The first step is to have your blood pressure checked, so that any problems can be detected and managed early. WHAT IS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE? When your heart beats, it pumps blood round your body, supplying it with the nutrients and oxygen it needs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on all the blood vessels in your body, including the delicate blood vessels inside your eyes. HOW DOES IT HAPPEN? In the short term, blood vessels will try to control the blood flow by clamping down. Long term increase in blood pressure weakens and damages the blood vessels. High stress on vessel walls stretches out the smooth muscle layer. Eventually, the inner layer of the blood vessel breaks, and blood products leak into the vessel wall. Blood vessels react by forming abnormal scar products, causing thickening and sometimes blocking of the vessel wall and narrowing of the...
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I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW!


Multifocal Contact Lenses As you age, your eyesight changes. Even if you've had very good vision in your youth, you will eventually develop presbyopia, a condition in which near vision gets weaker, and it becomes difficult to read, or focus on close objects. In general, people begin to develop presbyopia around age 40. The most obvious sign of presbyopia is the need to hold reading material further away from your face in order to focus. You may also experience headaches or feel that your eyes feel strained or fatigued. CORRECTION OF PRESBYOPIA There is no best method for correcting presbyopia. Every situation is unique, and the most appropriate correction for you depends on many factors, including your vision, your age, your general health and your lifestyle. Your optometrist will help you weigh up the options to decide which approach may be most effective for you. Reading glasses are a common and easy way to correct presbyopia symptoms, and are typically worn just during close work such as reading or sewing. If you wear contact lenses for distance vision, your optometrist can prescribe reading glasses that can be worn with your regular contact lenses to help you manage detailed, close-up work comfortably. Glasses with bifocal or progressive lenses are another common method of correcting presbyopia. Bifocal lenses have two different points of focus. The upper part of the lens is set for distance vision, while the lower portion of the lens has a prescription set for close work. Progressive lenses are similar...
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A FISHY STORY?


While it may sound “fishy”, regular consumption of fish oils, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, can be beneficial for the eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in every cell of the body, and play an important role in maintaining overall health, including eye health. The foods richest in omega-3 fatty acids are cold water oil-rich fish, such as sardines, herring, salmon and tuna. Other foods containing this essential nutrient include linseed oil, flaxseeds, walnuts, dark green leafy vegetables, and fortified foods like eggs, bread and fruit juice. Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be produced naturally by the body, and must be obtained from food or supplements. They are used by the body to produce new cells and to help regulate biological functions, including those of the cardiovascular, reproductive, nervous and immune systems. In the eyes, they have been found to promote healthy retinal function, to protect the eyes from age-related macular degeneration, and to help reduce the symptoms of dry eye syndrome. However, the positive effects of Omega 3's are often not seen in the short term as much as they are over extended periods of time. Omega 6 fatty acids, sometimes referred to as gamma linoleic acid or GLA, also help promote immune function and maintain energy levels. They are plentiful in foods such as cereals, whole grains, poultry and egg products, and in most vegetable oils. While it is important to include omega-6 fatty acids in the daily diet, they should be limited so as not to interfere with the...
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1496 Hits

DO I NEED ANTI-REFLECTIVE COATING ON MY GLASSES?


Perhaps the first question we need to ask is: what does antireflex (anti-reflective) coating do? The coating does just what the name implies, that is, it significantly reduces the reflections of light off lenses. By decreasing the amount of reflected light, more light is allowed to pass through the lenses. By eliminating disturbing lights and shadows, clarity and comfort of vision are increased. Initially only available on glass lenses, the anti-reflective layers are now available on plastic lenses, too, and can be applied to any type of lens. Antireflex is made of many layers of metal oxides and is applied to both sides of the lens surface. Because antireflex contains many layers on top of each other, it has a specific shade of green, purple or gold, depending on the type of oxide used. So, what are the advantages of antireflex coatings and are they really worth the extra expense? Often, when driving at night, people who wear glasses experience a halo effect around street lights and headlights of oncoming cars. The coating eliminates this effect, making night driving less of a strain. Working on a computer for an extended period of time often leads to eye fatigue. An antireflex coating on glasses reduces the reflection and the resultant eye strain. The combination of antireflex and computer lenses further enhances comfort and reduces eye fatigue. Glasses made for moderate to high shortsighted patients often have distracting circle reflections near the lens edges. Adding an antireflex coating virtually eliminates them. Having photographs...
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1166 Hits

The Positive and Negative Effects of Video Games


Video games have been a controversial issue for decades, with experts still unable to agree on whether they are a blessing or a curse. They have been blamed for problems ranging from obesity to aggressive behaviour, but recent research has highlighted their positive influence on the brain and cognitive activity in children and adults alike. One of the strongest arguments for video games is that they introduce children to computer technology and the online high-tech world in which we live. Regardless of what they are doing on the computer, navigating their way around it helps them develop a level of comfort, confidence and familiarity. A strong argument against computer games, and one which has received a great deal of negative press, is that they are largely responsible for the alarming increase of obesity in children. Viewed within a broader context, it is not the computer games per se, but the sedentary indoor lifestyle which is to blame. This can, and should, be monitored by parents and care givers, who can help children balance quiet indoor time with active outdoor time. Does playing violent video games lead to aggressive, anti-social behaviour? Evidence on this is contradictory. Violent games don’t make people violent, but some people believe that exposure to various forms of aggression in the virtual world influences a person’s reaction in the real world, or makes one immune or insensitive to violence in the real world. On the other hand, it is thought that violent behaviour in a video game provides...
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DAZZLING AND DANGEROUS


"A Virgin Atlantic flight was forced to return to Heathrow after its first officer reported being dazzled by a laser outside London." This recent newspaper report revealed the dangers of lasers, and highlighted the fact that advances in technology which have valuable applications in many fields, are open to misuse and abuse by the public. In sport, there have been cases of lasers being aimed at players in an attempt to disrupt the play. There are many danger factors. In general, the more powerful the laser, the closer a person is to the beam, and the longer the laser stays in the same area of the eye, the greater the possibility of eye damage. While eye injuries from lasers are not common, all laser beams should be treated as potentially dangerous. In spite of this, lasers are increasingly available on the internet and in stores, including toy stores. Fortunately, people have a natural protective mechanism, the blink reflex, so that bright light causes blinking or an attempt to move away from the light, limiting exposure time.However, this is less effective with more powerful lasers.Blue- and violet-light lasers can be especially dangerous. The human eye is less sensitive to blue and violet. So, while a person would react quickly to a red or green laser, that person may not blink or turn away as fast from an equally powerful blue or violet light, creating a greater likelihood of eye injury. Keeping safe and not misusing lasers is largely common sense. They should...
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892 Hits

THE PORTAL TO LEARNING


It has been estimated that as much as 80% of the learning a child does occurs through the eyes. A child's eyes are constantly in use in the classroom and at play. As children progress through school, increasing demands are placed on visual abilities – the size of print in books becomes smaller, and the amount of time spent reading and studying, both in the classroom and at home, increases significantly. When vision is not functioning effectively, education and participation in sports can suffer, and negative attitudes develop towards school and learning.   SCHOOL HEALTH WEEK, 4th – 8th MARCH IS A PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO BE AWARE OF THIS ESSENTIAL AREA OF YOUR CHILD'S EDUCATIONAL HEALTH. Visual Skills Needed for School Success Although good visual acuity, the ability to see clearly, is essential, vision is a complex process which goes beyond just this ability. It is also the ability to understand and respond to what is seen. For effective learning, the child needs: to be able to see clearly for distance (board), intermediate (computer) and close (reading), to be able to focus the eyes accurately and change focus quickly, for example looking from the board to the book, to be able to keep the eyes on target when moving along a page or following a moving object like a ball (tracking), to be able to co-ordinate and use both eyes together for close work and distance vision (teaming), to be able to use visual information to monitor and direct hand movements...
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830 Hits

THE SILENT THIEF OF VISION


"I had not noticed any problems with my vision, so I wasn't worried when my optometrist suspected glaucoma. My optometrist commented that this is a common misconception, and I was shocked when glaucoma was detected." "People have to realize that they really need to be tested for glaucoma. Waiting may result in vision loss and then it's too late." "I think the main thing is to try to encourage the person who has glaucoma that it is a disease that can be maintained so that it won't get worse." "I was fortunate in that within just a couple weeks using the eye drops, the pressure in my eyes decreased significantly." These personal statements by people with glaucoma give some insight into the experiences and feelings, hopes and fears around this condition, often called ‘the silent thief of vision', because it usually develops slowly and without warning or obvious symptoms. According to the South African Glaucoma Society, 4 in 50 South Africans over the age of 40 suffer from glaucoma, the third leading cause of blindness globally. Unfortunately, about 50% of people don't even know they have the disease. What Is Glaucoma? In the healthy eye, a clear fluid called aqueous humor circulates inside the front portion of the eye. To maintain a constant healthy eye pressure, the eye continually produces a small amount of aqueous humor while an equal amount of this fluid flows out of the eye. With glaucoma, the aqueous humor does not flow out of the eye adequately,...
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946 Hits

THE EYE OF THE TIGER


The Tiger’s Eye Stone is a crystal with bands of golden brown colour running through it, resembling the eye of a tiger or cat. Traditionally it was carried as an amulet against curses, and is believed by some people to help release fear, giving courage, confidence and strength to the person who wears or carries it. The largest numbers of Tiger Eye Stones are found in South Africa, but it also comes from Brazil, India, Burma, Western Australia and USA.
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722 Hits

A FEAST FOR THE EYES


 The festive season has come and gone, kids are back at school, and the rest of us are back into the routines of daily life. Healthy Lifestyle Awareness Month is perfectly timed, as we let go of the indulgence of the holidays, and return to healthier habits. Perhaps this recipe book will help? The book is a complete recipe, food, and nutritional guide designed to support the health and well-being of ocular tissue. Visionary Kitchen is based on the nutritional principles of long-term studies such as AREDS and AREDS2. Learn about ocular nutrition, and then enjoy ogling these beautifully photographed dishes. All recipes are labeled for special dietary requirements, making this an excellent choice for everyone.
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661 Hits