EyeMark Newsletters

A list of all our EyeMark Newsletter Articles

Subcategories from this category:

January - February, March - April

THROUGH DIFFERENT EYES


Talk about seeing the world through new eyes. Not long ago, we celebrated the beginning of a new decade. To many, it felt like the dawning of a new era. And suddenly, here we are. Sitting inside our homes for 21 days.   I'm not about to ignore the seriousness of the situation, or put a happy face on a major international crisis. But since we're in this anyway, what if we could grasp the opportunity to put on new glasses (or new eyes), and see things from a fresh perspective?   I mean, this is the perfect chance to see your partner/family/housemate through different eyes... hopefully good ones. Hopefully we'll find new things to love about each other. Hopefully it won't matter that they leave dishes in the sink and half-empty coffee cups all over the place. Hopefully we won't mind that they breathe weirdly while they work. Hopefully we won't reach a stage where we're drawing lines on the floor to mark out Your Side and My Side.   See, we all have those meaningless little habits that would be annoying to the people living with us. Only they're not really, because we only enact them for a few hours every day. The rest of the time, we're inflicting those habits on our co-workers as they inflict theirs on us. Now? It's all day, every day.   But let's stay on track and keep things positive. (Fresh optimistic eyes, remember?) Staring at your four walls could help you see...
Continue reading
  334 Hits
334 Hits

CHANGE THE WAY YOU SEE THE WORLD


A contact lens is a thin lens placed directly on the surface of the eye and is a comfortable convenient alternative or addition to wearing glasses. Leonardo Da Vinci is frequently credited with introducing the idea of contact lenses in 1508, although his methods were not practical. Modern contact lenses have been in use for decades, and the technology is constantly changing and developing as manufacturers realise the need to improve the comfort, safety and vision needs of contact lens wearers. With these significant developments comes the assurance that there is a contact lens solution for each of the 150 million contact lens wearers worldwide.   Contact lenses are very versatile and are a good choice of vision correction for people who enjoy an active lifestyle, who want to look and feel more natural or who want a full field of vision wherever they look. There are a number of different options available for different vision conditions.   CONTACT LENSES FOR REFRACTIVE ERRORS   A refractive error occurs when the eye cannot accurately focus the light entering the eye, resulting in blurred vision. The most common refractive errors are myopia (shortsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia, which is generally associated with aging.   For people who are shortsighted or farsighted there are numerous options, including hard or soft contact lenses. Most people choose to wear  soft contact lenses  which are generally more comfortable. There are a number of soft contact lenses to choose from. Daily wear contact lenses are worn on...
Continue reading
  340 Hits
340 Hits

WHAT COLOUR IS THAT?


Colour blindness is a condition that is often misunderstood. The name implies that colour blind people are unable to see colour and can see only black and white, but this is not true. A more accurate term would be "colour vision deficiency" because people are able to see colour but they see a much narrower range of colour. It is estimated that with normal colour vision, people can see up to one million shades of colour, while people with colour vision deficiency may see only about ten thousand shades. To the normally sighted person, a rainbow features all seven colours. For many colour blind people, however, a rainbow only appears to have two or three colours.   HOW WE SEE COLOUR   The retina has two different types of cells, called photoreceptors, that detect and respond to light. These are the rods and cones. On average, we have about 110 million rods, which are activated in low or dim light, and 6 million cones, which are stimulated in brighter environments. Cones contain photo pigments, or colour-detecting molecules. Colour is not inherent in objects; rather, the surface of the object absorbs some colours and reflects others. The reflected colours enter the eye, are picked up by the photoreceptors on the retina, and sent via the optic nerve to the brain which processes them and interprets them as the sensation of colour. Cones are sensitive to red, green and blue light. If only the rods are activated, we see only shades of grey....
Continue reading
  288 Hits
288 Hits

HUNGRY EYES


For "2020: The Year of the Eye," the American Academy of Ophthalmology intended to list 20 vision-healthy foods. Instead, they came up with 36! It is widely believed that failing eyesight is an inevitable aspect of aging, but it has been found that a healthy lifestyle, which includes a healthy diet, can significantly reduce the risk of problems with the eyes. In fact, the same diet that enhances heart health and general well-being will help the eyes. Just as the heart relies on larger blood vessels, the eyes rely on tiny arteries for oxygen and nutrients.   Many studies on age-related eye disease agree that certain specific nutrients are vital for eye health. These include zinc, copper, vitamins A, C and E, beta carotene, omega 3 fatty acids, lutein and zeaxanthin. While some nutrients keep the eyes healthy, some have been found to reduce the risk of developing eye diseases.   LEAFY GREEN VEGETABLES   Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants found in high concentrations in the macula, the centre of the retina which is responsible for central vision. They are believed to protect eye tissues from sunlight damage and reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. The body does not naturally produce enough of these nutrients that it needs so it is important to include them in the diet. Leafy green vegetables that are rich in these antioxidants include spinach, kale, broccoli and peas. The body needs fat to absorb lutein and zeaxanthin, so it is best to eat them...
Continue reading
  407 Hits
407 Hits

EYE-QUIT! A CLEAR-EYED REASON TO STOP SMOKING


The harmful effects of smoking on the health of the body are well-known. It comes as no surprise that smoking has been linked to eye disease, too. When we take a puff of a cigarette or exhale smoke, the smoke wafts upwards towards the eyes, making them water, burn, look red and feel gritty. While these effects are temporary and last only as long as the smoke exposure does, it is the toxic chemicals that are inhaled that cause lasting damage, travelling from the lungs to other parts of the body through the blood stream, and leading to biological changes in the body and the eyes. A number of chronic eye conditions are linked to smoking.   DRY EYE   Dry eye is characterised by itchy, watery eyes, intermittent blurring of vision and a burning sensation in the eyes caused by insufficient tear production and/or poor tear quality. While it does not typically cause permanent vision damage, it is consistently irritating and uncomfortable. Exposure to smoke exacerbates the discomfort, but, more seriously, the tobacco chemicals interfere with the production of tears.   CATARACTS   It has been found that there is a direct link between smoking and the development of cataracts, the clouding of the eye's naturally clear lens. Symptoms of cataracts include blurry vision, difficulty seeing at night or in low light, and the appearance of colours as faded or dull. Smokers have been shown to have twice the risk of developing cataracts as non-smokers.   AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION (AMD)...
Continue reading
  87 Hits
87 Hits

COVID-19 AND YOUR EYES


Understandably, the global COVID-19 pandemic is the major topic on TV, in newspapers, on people's minds and in our daily conversations. As we try to make sense of it, countless questions are being asked and the answers come from a variety of sources and are often conflicting. Some of these questions relate to the eyes. Will COVID-19 affect my eyes? Will wearing glasses protect me from contracting the virus? Should I stop wearing contact lenses?   WILL COVID-19 AFFECT MY EYES?   Conjunctivitis ("pink eye") has been found to occur in 1-3% of people with COVID-19. Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the transparent membrane covering the eye. It is characterised by red itchy eyes, accompanied by a watery or yellow discharge. It is contagious but is generally self-limiting with no long-term consequences for the eyes or vision. If you do have the symptoms of conjunctivitis contact your optometrist.   WEARING GLASSES   There is no evidence to suggest that wearing glasses or sunglasses offers protection in areas where there may be exposure to the coronavirus. To some extent they could decrease the number of times we touch our eyes, one of the suggestions to limit the spread of the virus.   Just like washing our hands regularly with soap and water, it is essential to clean our glasses thoroughly and dry them with a clean cloth. Make sure that your glasses case is clean and even sanitised. If using an antibacterial sanitiser to wash your hands, it can be used on...
Continue reading
  422 Hits
422 Hits

TAKE A LEAP


So, the shortest month of the year will be 24 hours longer. That's all it means... right?   Leap years get us all superstitious. We attach strange meanings to things. We think an extra day makes the year magical. But actually, it all comes down to science.   Yip, it's all thanks to the solar year being 365.2422 days. Not 365. It takes 365.2422 days for the earth to revolve around the sun. That 0.2422 doesn't sound like much, but it adds up if no one does something about it. Over centuries, the seasons will eventually get messed up and everything will move out of alignment. Basically, the world will get even more crazy-mixed-up than it already is.   So, adding an extra day every four years keeps everything in perfect balance. Well, it sorts out the earth's problem of 0.2422. Everything that happens on earth is still crazy-mixed-up – load-shedding, SAA, global politics - but the cosmos can only do so much.   And... end science lesson. Begin history lesson.   The Ancient Greeks decided to have their Olympics on the first day of spring. And because they were jumping events, this day was called Leap Day. And because they were from Athens, legend has it they were called athletes. And because this information comes from the Internet, it must be true?!   Then they decided the Olympics should only happen every four years. Some history books say it's because people needed time to travel to Athens to participate. (Four...
Continue reading
  522 Hits
522 Hits

STARS IN OUR EYES!


Not unlike cartoon characters who have stars circling their heads when they are hurt, we "see stars" when we bump our heads, stand up too quickly or rub our eyes too vigorously. What causes this to happen? The retina at the back of the eye converts light entering the eye into electrical signals which are transmitted to the visual area of the brain where they are perceived as images. Normally the cells in the retina respond to light but sometimes an electrical impulse is triggered in the brain in other ways, and the brain interprets this as specks of light. In effect, the brain is tricked into seeing light that is not present. The phenomenon of experiencing light without light actually entering the eye is known as a phosphene and may come from a variety of sources.   Why does it happen when we bump our heads? The human brain is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid. Because there is some space around the brain, it is able to move within the skull but is cushioned and protected from injury by this fluid. If, however, we bump our heads with force, the brain may hit the area of the skull where the visual cortex, which processes visual information, is situated. This irritation triggers the nerve cells to discharge electrical impulses which are perceived as spots of light or "stars".   Seeing stars when standing up too quickly is a response which occurs from inside the eye itself rather than from an external source,...
Continue reading
  179 Hits
179 Hits

HOW DOES ARTHRITIS AFFECT THE EYES?


Arthritis is most commonly thought of as inflammation causing swelling and pain in the joints. But the condition can cause problems in other, more unexpected areas of the body, including the eyes. Arthritis is a chronic disease which can affect people of any age, race or gender. Women experience more arthritis-related eye problems than men do. TYPES OF ARTHRITIS There are about 100 different forms of arthritis and related diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia and gout. The most common types linked with eye problems are rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease which attacks the connective tissue lining the joints. This connective tissue is made up mostly of collagen, which is the primary substance of the sclera and cornea of the eye. Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory condition which can affect connective tissue.   Juvenile or childhood arthritis, as the name suggests, is an umbrella term to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that can occur in children aged 16 or younger. The exact cause is unknown, but it is believed to be related to genetics, certain infections and environmental factors. Although the various types of juvenile arthritis share common characteristics, each type is distinct and has its own special concerns and symptoms. Juvenile arthritis, also called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or childhood arthritis, can affect many parts of the body, including the eyes. The problems may be caused by the disease itself or by medications the child takes to manage the disease. Children with...
Continue reading
  842 Hits
842 Hits

EYE OPENER


Not only are the eyes the windows to the soul, they also offer a glimpse into the mind and the internal state of the body. The pupils, the black circles in the centre of the eyes, respond to light entering the eyes. In low light they dilate or widen to collect more light, while in bright light they constrict or become smaller. Pupil size is also modulated for reasons other than light, for example thoughts, emotions or mental effort.   Certain prescription medications can cause the pupils to become dilated by interfering with the chemicals that transmit messages from the brain to the eyes, and recreational drugs, such as hallucinogens and stimulants have a similar effect. Neurological conditions of the nerves which go to the eye can interfere with constriction and dilation of the pupils and are often accompanied by other vision symptoms. Injury to the eye may damage the nerves controlling the pupils or the iris, disrupting normal pupillary response. Brain injury as a result of trauma, a stroke or a tumour can cause increased intracranial pressure which can affect the eyes and the reaction of the pupils. Whether it's caused by external or internal factors, pupil dilation is an involuntary nervous system response. In other words, we can't control it.   The visual cortex processes and interprets the images transmitted by the eyes to the brain. A different part of the nervous system, the autonomic nervous system, controls the involuntary functioning of the body, functions over which we have...
Continue reading
  1187 Hits
1187 Hits