EyeMark Newsletters

A list of all our EyeMark Newsletter Articles

Subcategories from this category:

January - February, March - April, May - June, July - August

WINDS OF STRANGE

WINDS OF STRANGE
I'm not sure whether August actually was "the windy month" when we were growing up, or whether it just had a reputation for being "the windy month". It could've been both. But either way, I remember the anticipation as July came to an end. It was almost as if people were nailing down their valuables and (literally) holding onto their hats. And with the wind came its side effects: dust in the eyes, sand in the eyes, and sometimes simply having wind blow wind into one's eyes. Considering the redness and irritation, this should probably be an article about how to protect your eyes from the (allegedly) windiest month of the year. But it isn't. This is something a little more symbolic, with pretensions towards becoming poetic. It's about the things that the world has blown into our eyes. The things that have caused irritation and scratchiness. The things that have made it difficult to see where we are or where we're going. We started a new decade - most of us anyway - with a clear vision of what 2020 was going to look like. And then? A gust came up that nobody expected. We didn't even have time to hold onto our hats. This gust (to stretch the metaphor to its breaking point) blew things into our eyes that made us uncomfortable. We've struggled to see what's right in front of us, and there's no chance of seeing what lies in the distance. We squinted our way through total...
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ENHANCE YOUR LOOK

ENHANCE YOUR LOOK
Wearing glasses is no reason to hide your eyes behind the lenses, when you can make the glasses work for you in more ways than one. Take advantage of the chance to enhance the natural beauty of your eyes and add to the overall look with well-applied makeup. As a wearer of glasses, applying makeup can be daunting but a few simple guidelines can make it easy and even enjoyable.     The frames you choose will impact on makeup options, with different frames creating different looks. Ensure that the frames complement the shape of your face and highlight your best features. Lighter or rimless frames allow for heavier eye makeup, while heavier darker frames lend themselves to more neutral makeup. With bigger frames, more of the eyes will show so makeup can be more daring. Different makeup rules apply for different prescriptions. The lenses for people who are shortsighted can make the eyes appear smaller, so they need to use makeup that draws attention to the eyes. Conversely, people who wear glasses for farsightedness generally find that their eyes are magnified by the lenses, taking attention from the rest of the face. In order to reduce this effect, they would need to adopt more low-key makeup.     "Putting on makeup is so time-consuming" complained one woman. "I have to take my glasses on and off all the time." Applying makeup when one is unable to see clearly without glasses can be a challenge, both time-consuming and exhausting. Luckily, there...
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EYE TWITCHING

EYE TWITCHING
Everyone experiences them at one time or another. Everyone finds them irritating. But they generally don't last long and are seldom cause for concern. Eyelid twitches or myokymia are painless repetitive involuntary contractions of the muscles of the eyelids. There are many myths and superstitions from around the world surrounding this phenomenon. These range from predicting an unexpected visitor to receiving riches. They vary depending which eye is twitching, if you are male or female and even which part of the eye is twitching. They may be believed to be a sign of good or bad luck, good or bad news, or if someone is saying good or bad things about you. Episodes of eyelid twitching are unpredictable, usually occurring every few seconds for a few minutes. They may appear on and off for a day or two and then not for weeks or months, although occasionally some people experience them all day for weeks or even months. The upper eyelid is affected more often than the lower lid, but twitching may occur in both or either. If the spasms are strong enough, they could cause the eyelids to close completely and then reopen, rather than simply twitching. They are more prevalent during the day than at night.     Typically, eye twitching disappears as spontaneously as it begins and is generally not associated with any illness or medical condition. There is a variety of lifestyle factors that can account for eyelid twitching, most of them linked to stress, fatigue or...
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UNIQUE AS A FINGERPRINT

UNIQUE AS A FINGERPRINT
No one else in the world has the same eye colour as you. Contrary to popular belief, eye colour is not simply the result of a combination between the colours of your parents' eyes; rather, it is dependent on the interaction of multiple genes. Eye colour depends on the amount and distribution of a pigment in the iris called melanin. The iris is made up of two layers. Most eye colours have a lot of melanin on the back layer and the differences in eye colour come from the amount of melanin on the front layer. The more melanin, the darker the eyes will be. Besides giving the eyes colour, melanin helps to protect them from the sun. While you may share a similar eye colour with someone, how much melanin is in the iris and how it is distributed is unique to each person, as unique as a fingerprint! Brown Eyes An estimated 70% to 90% of people worldwide have brown eyes. However, the shades of brown vary greatly depending on the region where someone is born. Brown-eyed people in Europe tend to have lighter hues while people born in Asia and Africa with brown eyes tend to have darker eyes. Due to the amount of melanin, brown eyes are naturally more protected from the sun than lighter eyes. Blue Eyes Between 8% and 10% of people in the world have blue eyes, most commonly in Europe. People with blue eyes tend to have greater light sensitivity and better night...
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AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION

AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION
Many people accept vision decline as a normal part of the human aging process. While this is largely true, certain changes which lead to serious diseases of the eyes can be prevented from progressing into the loss of visual function if caught in time. Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is one such condition. The leading cause of vision loss among people over the age of 50, AMD is a gradual deterioration of the macula, the central part of the retina at the back of the eye which is responsible for sharp central vision. Because the vision loss is gradual, many people with AMD are unaware of it in the early stages, but signs of it can be detected by your optometrist before you experience problems, which is why it is important to have regular eye examinations. Wet and Dry Macular Degeneration     There are two main types of age-related macular degeneration, wet and dry. The vision loss from dry AMD happens slowly and is usually not as severe as that from wet AMD. In a small percentage of cases, dry AMD can lead to the wet form. Most people with AMD have the dry form, which is linked to deposits on the macula called drusen. These consist of cellular products, which are thought to be waste products from the retina. A few small drusen are unlikely to cause vision problems, but as they become bigger and more numerous and the macula becomes thinner, vision may become distorted and a blurred...
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A LOOK BEHIND SLEEPING EYES

A LOOK BEHIND SLEEPING EYES
A good night's sleep is one of the pillars of physical and mental health and well-being. As well as being vital for maintaining critical body functions and protecting the body against certain chronic diseases, sleep is necessary to restore energy, repair muscle tissue and allow the brain to process new information. We are all familiar with how we feel and look when we are sleep deprived, but not only does lack of sleep affect the appearance of the eyes, it can interfere with eye health, too. Once the eyes are closed after a day of visual processing and stimulation, they continue to function in a limited way by sensing light, for example the rising sun or a bright light being switched on. They do not actively process visual imagery, essentially taking a break and recharging in preparation for the next day's visual demands. The eyelids serve as a shield protecting the closed eyes from light and helping to preserve moisture and prevent the eyes from drying out.     Throughout the night we constantly pass through five stages of sleep. During stage one, the eyes roll slowly and open and close slightly, but they remain still during the deeper sleep stages two, three and four. The fifth stage is REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, in which we spend about 20% of our total sleep time. During REM sleep, when the muscles of the body are relaxed, the eyes move around rapidly in a range of directions, but don't send any visual...
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SEEING THINGS DIFFERENTLY


The world isn't the same as it was. A lot of things seem unclear and sometimes we can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, or the wood for the trees. It's hard to find clarity, just like when you put on your mask and your glasses get steamed up. (Now there's a new expression for the times we're living in...)   It's true that the past days (weeks, months...) have made us see things a little differently. And not only in negative ways. Spending so much time in your house can be annoying, because you're noticing things you never noticed before. But maybe it's a new and positive experience, because you're... well, you're noticing things you never noticed before. Maybe you're finding new cracks in the walls, but maybe you're also finding new plants in the garden and actually watching them grow. Talk about seeing things through new eyes (and talk about glass half full).   Maybe we're seeing ourselves - and each other - a little differently too. A recent survey revealed that most South Africans miss fried chicken more than just about anything else. Did we know that about ourselves and each other?   True, these days of lockdown can be hard on the eyes. Our moms told us that staring at screens would make our eyes go square. And here we are, sitting through Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting (and yes, Zoom fatigue is a thing). But what if Zoom is helping us to develop...
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WHEN SHOULD CHILDREN GET GLASSES?


Parents are often uncertain and confused about when children should have their eyes tested and whether they should wear glasses or not. There are a number of myths around this topic, including if young children wear glasses they will become too dependent on them, or if children wear glasses when they are young they won't need them later, or even children will outgrow their visual problems so they don't need glasses. The truth is that optimal vision is essential for development, and undetected and untreated vision problems can negatively impact numerous areas of the child's functioning. The earlier problems are detected and managed, the better the long-term prognosis.   WHY WOULD CHILDREN NEED TO WEAR GLASSES?   Children need glasses for various reasons, some of which are different than for adults. The visual system is growing and developing during the first 5 – 6 years of life, and in some cases, glasses may be necessary to ensure normal visual development. The eyes may be crossed or misaligned, or one eye may be significantly weaker than the other. Glasses improve the alignment of the eyes, help to strengthen the vision of the weaker eye, or to protect the stronger eye. They provide better vision so that the child may function more effectively in the environment.   There are four basic refractive errors that can affect children. Myopia (shortsightedness) is a condition in which the distance vision is blurred, but a child can usually see well for reading or other near tasks. This...
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THE VIEW THAT CHANGED A GAME RANGER'S LIFE


Shaun D'Araujo, a game ranger at Londolozi shared his experience of guiding a blind woman during game drives and how her view changed his life! Going to a private game reserve is a luxury for many. Even self-driving through the Kruger National Park and other reserves scattered around South Africa is a memorable experience. The great privilege is doing these things and being able to see them.   Shaun D'Araujo, a game ranger at Londolozi, was assigned to guide a guest who had lost her eyesight. He was unsure how he would guide her during their drives as he had spent his 15-year career pointing things out to his guests. His stresses were quickly put aside when he learned that the woman didn't need him to talk her through the sightings. She sat and listened to everything and taught Shaun a valuable life lesson.   On their first game drive, he sat there and closed his eyes. He and his guest listened to the animals, the sounds of the birds, the rumble of distant elephants and the boisterous zebra. They listened to the hippos fighting and the fish eagles flying overhead.   Using his eyes, he explained a passing lion's appearance in detail. Shaun described her scars and her missing tail, the colour of her eyes and the detail of her tongue. It was at that moment that Shaun realised how much of nature he was missing using only his eyes. He realised that even using his eyes, he had seen...
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DIGITAL EYE STRAIN DURING LOCK DOWN


As well as being a potentially fatal disease, COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on numerous aspects of our lives, both global and personal. One of the personal effects of lock down has been on our eyes. While during "normal” circumstances many people spend hours staring at small screens, this has increased dramatically during lockdown, placing strain on the eyes of both adults and children who are spending extended periods of time watching TV, working or engaging in activities on computers and i-pads, and communicating with others via various forms of social media. Limited time is spent outdoors away from screens and artificial light. This may lead to Digital Eye Strain, sometimes referred to as Computer Vision Syndrome. Digital Eye Strain describes a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged use of computers, tablets, e-readers and cell phones. Rather than being one specific problem, it includes a range of eye strain and discomfort, which seems to increase with the amount of digital screen exposure.   For many reasons, reading text on a digital device is often more demanding for the eyes than reading printed text, which is why reading a book may not cause the same eye problems as staring at a screen. Several factors may contribute to this. These include glare, flicker and contrast from the screen, constantly moving images, poor lighting, poor posture, the incorrect distance or angle of the screen, or a combination of these. The eyes have to focus and refocus from the screen...
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