EyeMark Newsletters

A list of all our EyeMark Newsletter Articles

Subcategories from this category:

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

I Only Have Eyes For You

newsletter January 2017
When you’re an old pair of glasses, it’s easy to become a hardened cynic. I’ve seen a lot of crazy things in my time, but nothing compares to the frenzy that is the build-up to February 14th. People have a whole year to express their love. You’d think they wouldn’t be fooled by a “holiday” that makes them rush out and buy roses at three times their normal price. But hey, who wants to be the cynic in the room? Well, usually I am the cynic in the room. But this time I’m gonna try to get into the Valentine’s spirit. And so, I give you my tips for a wonderful, romantic Valentine’s Day. A lotta people talk about love at first sight. Now I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade… but if you meet a new person and you only see hearts and flowers, I’d recommend an immediate trip to the optometrist. I’m not saying it’s astigmatism or anything… but it’s a possible case of myopia at the very least. Then there’s the theory that love is blind, which is the exact opposite if you think about it. This time you don’t see love and roses. You simply don’t see anything at all! If you truly can’t see anything in the presence of your beloved, take my advice and get an eye exam. There’s no need to panic, but cataracts certainly can’t be ruled out. When starting to get to know your mate, they say eyes are the windows...
Continue reading
  864 Hits
864 Hits

FALSE ECONOMY?

Feb 2017 5
While travelling on the Gautrain recently, an optometrist overheard a conversation between two other passengers. “I have just collected my new glasses from my optometrist,” said one of the men. “I can see clearly with them, but I find that glare really bothers me.” “Didn’t you discuss that with your optometrist, and couldn’t he recommend something to deal with your problem?” asked his companion. “He made a number of good suggestions to improve my experience with my new glasses, but none of them are covered by my medical aid, so I decided against them.” Making a decision based primarily on what is covered by medical aid may be false economy. Glasses are often an expensive item, but making a co-payment that will not be too taxing on the pocket may be worthwhile in the long run. Lens coatings can improve the performance, longevity, durability and appearance of your lenses, as well as provide necessary protection for both your lenses and your eyes. At the very least one should consider a hard coating, which will protect the lenses from excessive scratching, and thus help to maintain clear effective vision until new glasses are due to be covered by medical aid a year or two down the line. Apart from being irritating, scratched lenses interfere with vision, often leading to eye strain or headaches. While no lenses are completely scratch-proof, treating them with a hard coating front and back will make them more scratch resistant. It is advisable, particularly with certain prescriptions, to...
Continue reading
  1183 Hits
1183 Hits

THE BLIND SPOT

Feb 2017 3
On the whole, the human eye is an efficient and complex organ which provides us with an accurate picture of the world around us. Light enters the eye by passing through the pupil, ultimately reaching the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye. The information is then sent via the optic nerve to the brain where it is interpreted. However, there are limitations. Each human eye has a blind spot, an area on the retina without receptors to respond to light, resulting in a “dark spot” where no image is detected. The optic nerve is a cable made up of many nerve fibres between the eye and the brain. It enters the back of the eye and spreads nerve fibres onto the back of the eye to make up the light detecting cell layer, the retina. The small round spot where this cable enters the back of the eye is called the optic disc. Because there are no light-detecting cells on this disc, there is a very small gap in the visual field of each eye. Most of the time, the visual fields overlap, so that the eyes are able to compensate for each other’s blind spot, and we don’t even notice it. The brain is thought to simply ignore the blind spots, or efficiently fill in the missing information, by drawing on other spatial information as well as memory. The following simple activity will demonstrate the existence of the naturally occurring blind spot in each eye:   On a piece...
Continue reading
  933 Hits
933 Hits

OPEN YOUR EYES TO HEALTHY LIVING

Open your eyes to healthy living
Is it a coincidence that Healthy Lifestyle Awareness Month comes in February, a month after we have made, and probably forgotten, our resolutions and good intentions to be proactive about living healthier? It is not a coincidence that general good health and well-being impacts directly on eye health. The eyes are not only the windows to the soul, but are often the windows to general physical health. Eye health is directly linked to serious chronic conditions, including diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension. Comprehensive eye exams can detect these, and can help prevent permanent vision loss. Look at these simple “true/false” statements to find out about overall health and eye health. Good eye health starts with the food on your plate. True or false? TRUE – a well-balanced diet rich in certain nutrients helps to protect against cataracts and macular degeneration, while maintaining a healthy weight lowers the chances of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, which is a leading cause of retinal disease. Balance is key to a healthy diet, which entails eating a wide variety of foods from the five food groups in the right proportions. An unhealthy diet can cause you to wear glasses. True or false? FALSE – the need for glasses has nothing to do with the health of your eyes, nor will a change in diet make a difference to your vision. It is a function of the structure of your eyes, a variation in the size, length or shape of the eye or cornea. Some changes...
Continue reading
  772 Hits
772 Hits

LOOKING AHEAD

newsletter January 2017
A new year begins. There’s always a sense of opportunity and good things to come, even for a grumpy old pair of glasses like me. So instead of looking for things to complain about, I’m going to focus on the good things this year will bring. So here’s a couple of events to “look” forward to in 2017. (See what I did there?) First up, there’s a total eclipse happening on August 21. Now we’ve talked about these before, so I’ve already been through the do’s and don’ts. (Don’t worry – I’ll go through them again in August, because you know I can’t resist a good old lecture.) For the United States, it’s the first total eclipse of the 21st Century, and it’ll last for 2 minutes and 40.2 seconds. Yup, strange and interesting times continue for the US. But let’s not get into that – I’m not one to discuss politics. Another big event will happen in October, when the official JFK assassination records go public for the first time. What’s that got to do with eyes? Nothing. I’m just saying. But hey, we’ve talked a lot about good reading habits. And it seems there will be lots of interesting reading to do. On a different note, no big sporting events this year. No Olympics, no FIFA World Cup, no Rugby World Cup. But this is South Africa. There’s no doubt we’ll find loads of other sports to watch on TV. What else will happen this year? I’m not one...
Continue reading
  833 Hits
833 Hits

THE ULTIMATE BEST FRIENDS!

EyeMark Jan 2017 6
A dog is man’s best friend, right? Well, he can be a dog’s best friend, too, as illustrated in the heart-warming story of Tanner and Blair. Blind since birth and suffering from severe and frequent epileptic seizures, Golden Retriever Tanner was left without a home when his beloved owner passed away. Unfortunately, because of the difficulty in managing his seizures and the need for round-the-clock care, a new home could not be found for him. He was placed in the care of an experienced vet at an animal hospital. At the same hospital, a black Labrador, Blair, was recovering from a gunshot. Although she had healed well physically, emotionally she was in a constant state of fear and anxiety. One day, as both dogs were out in the play yard together, Blair seemed to sense that Tanner needed help. She took Tanner’s leash in her mouth and led him around the yard, and this was the start of a strong healing bond for both dogs. The friendship has changed both Blair’s and Tanner’s lives for the better, each providing a sense of comfort for the other. Once without home or hope, the pair is now inseparable. Blair, once a nervous and timid victim of post-traumatic stress disorder, is now calmer and less apprehensive around others. And Tanner, once so incapacitated by seizures that left him completely panic-stricken, has improved by leaps and bounds as his seizures have reduced in frequency and severity. “We’ve worked with a lot of different service dogs...
Continue reading
  1664 Hits
1664 Hits

A TWINKLE IN THE EYE?

EyeMark Jan 2017 1
A beautiful eye colour can be a striking feature, but what about two beautiful eye colours?? Six out of every thousand people in the world have eyes that are different colours from each other, although in most of these cases the difference is so subtle, its hardly noticeable. This striking phenomenon is called Heterochromia Iridum, which literally means different coloured irises (the coloured area of the eye), and presents in various ways. With some people and animals only a segment of the iris is a different colour, or there may be a different coloured ring around the pupil, while others may have two completely different coloured eyes. Heterochromia is more common in dogs than in humans, and is commonly observed in sheep dogs, dalmations and huskies. Horses and certain breeds of cats have been found to have it, too. What makes a blue eye different than a brown eye, or a green eye different than a blue eye? It all comes down to pigment. Eye colour is determined by your genes and the combination of alleles you inherit from your parents. Alleles are segments within a gene, which are received from both parents. These alleles code for different levels of a pigment called melanin to be produced in the iris. Since each person receives genetic information from both parents, a child can have a completely different eye colour than both of the parents. Melanin is a pigment that is found in the skin and also the eyes. More melanin means darker...
Continue reading
  843 Hits
843 Hits

MYOPIA (NEARSIGHTEDNESS)

mytopia 1 jan 2017
The new school year is about to begin! Coupled with excitement and anticipation, comes anxiety about coping with the demands of the academic curriculum. Most learning in the classroom occurs through the eyes and the visual system. Are your child’s eyes up to these tasks? Sometimes, in the classroom situation a child manages to easily master tasks when working from a book, but may have difficulty doing the same activities if he needs to read work off the blackboard. At home, he may need to sit closer than normal to the TV, but may be able to enjoy the same movie comfortably on his i-pad. If this description fits your child, chances are he is shortsighted. Shortsightedness, or myopia, is a vision condition in which people can see close objects clearly , but objects farther away appear blurred . It is the most common refractive condition of the eye, and seems to be on the increase throughout the world. What is a refractive error? The cornea is the clear membrane in front of the eye. Together with the lens, the structure inside the eye that changes shape to help focus images, it bends or refracts incoming light to focus the image on the retina at the back of the eye. The point of focus must be precisely on the retina. The accuracy of refraction depends on the curvature of the cornea and the lens, as well as the length of the eye. If the cornea or lens isn't evenly and smoothly...
Continue reading
  875 Hits
875 Hits