EyeMark Newsletters

A list of all our EyeMark Newsletter Articles

IMAGINE...


It's World Blindness Awareness Month. And it got me thinking about all the things I see that really annoy me.  For instance, someone cuts in front of you in traffic. You know, one of those people driving an off-roader 4x4 even though you know he won't be going anywhere more adventurous than to work and back home to his gated community. He doesn't even thank you but just pushes in front of you. And all the way to work you have to sit behind him and stare at his arrogantly personalised number plate.  But imagine a world where you couldn't see that number plate… or anything at all. Then again, you wouldn't be driving in the first place. You'd probably be calling an Uber – except you'd need your sight to do that too.  What about those annoying ads that come up before a YouTube video? The ones where you have to wait five seconds before you can skip them? What if the alternative to waiting five whole seconds is not seeing those videos at all? You wouldn't feel impatient to watch the video you want to see, because you wouldn't be able to see that either.  In fact, it's likely you wouldn't be sitting in front of a computer, unless it was specially enabled.  If you couldn't see anything at all, you'd be spared the sight of those gym bunnies who work out in front of the mirror. But you possibly wouldn't be in the gym to begin with....
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DON'T BE BLINDSIDED BY GLAUCOMA


There is a reason that glaucoma is known as "the silent thief of vision". According to the South African Glaucoma Society, 4 in 50 South Africans over the age of 40 suffer from glaucoma but approximately 50% of these don't know they have it! Glaucoma usually develops slowly with no obvious warning signs or symptoms at first and when these are noticed the disease may be fairly advanced. While glaucoma cannot be cured or the lost vision restored, the good news is that if it is detected and treated early, its progression can be delayed or even prevented. By means of a simple test your optometrist can pick up the signs of glaucoma and refer if necessary.    The healthy eye constantly produces a clear fluid called aqueous humor which circulates in the front part of the eye. As new aqueous flows into the eye, the same amount should drain out, maintaining a constant stable eye pressure, the intraocular pressure (IOC). The fluid drains out through an area called the drainage angle.    If the drainage angle is not functioning properly, fluid builds up and pressure inside the eye rises, gradually damaging the optic nerve. The optic nerve is a bundle of tiny nerve fibres which supplies visual information from the retina at the back of the eye to the brain where it is processed and interpreted. Over time, damage to the optic nerve results in irreversible vision loss.    TYPES OF GLAUCOMA There are five major types of glaucoma....
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318 Hits

MISTER SANDMAN BRING ME A DREAM


The magical character who sprinkles fine grains of sand into our eyes to induce sleep first appeared in a story by Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen. The Sandman occurs repeatedly in folklore across the world, interpreted differently from stories to word of mouth, literature to film, and even to popular songs. While Andersen's Sandman was kind and told beautiful stories to children as they slept, some other versions of him are more sinister. In 1993 Paul Berry's short film "The Sandman" was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. In USA, the Sandman was used in a TV advert to "hypnotise" people into buying mattresses. Legend has it that the sand prevents the eyes from opening until morning so that children will have a good night's sleep. Upon waking, many people need to wipe away the grit that is often left in the corners of the eyes, "proof" of the Sandman's night-time visit.  What is the substance that remains in the corners of the eyes and why is it there? It is called rheum, a thin mucous naturally discharged from the eyes, nose or mouth during sleep, and gathering as a crust in the corners of the eyes and mouth, and along the eyelids. Just like the mouth and inner nose, the outer layer of the eyes functions best when wet. The eyes are kept moist by a thin layer of tear film made up of water, mucous and oil produced by the meibomian glands in the eyelids....
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EVERYTHING LOOKS FUZZY!


Do you often find yourself squinting, blinking or rubbing your eyes to clear your vision because everything looks blurred or fuzzy? Blurred, unclear vision is a very common problem, with the causes ranging from the need for new glasses to a more serious health condition. It may be temporary or permanent and may worsen over time. Blurred vision is usually not of major concern and, depending on the cause, can be treated relatively easily. However, sudden changes in vision especially if they are accompanied by other symptoms may signal something more serious and should be dealt with immediately. It is always advisable to investigate blurred vision so that the cause, whether serious or not, can be addressed and dealt with.    REFRACTIVE ERRORS Refractive errors are the result of the eyes being unable to focus effectively and are the most common causes of blurred vision. Shortsightedness (myopia) is a condition in which one is able to see close objects clearly but objects further away appear unclear. With farsightedness (hyperopia) close objects are blurred while objects further away are seen clearly. Astigmatism is usually caused by an irregularly shaped cornea which does not allow light coming into the eye to focus in a single point on the retina, leading to blurred vision at various distances. Refractive errors are easily corrected by corrective lenses in glasses or contact lenses. As a more permanent solution refractive eye surgery is an option. Discuss the most suitable option with your optometrist.  Presbyopia is a naturally...
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AN APPLE OR AN ORANGE A DAY?


The well-known adage that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" may have to share its place in the sun as new research indicates that oranges may have a role to play in reducing the risk of macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is a group of retinal eye diseases characterised by progressive loss of central vision eventually leading to blindness if not detected and treated early. It is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. Researchers at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Australia analysed the relationship between diet and age-related vision impairment and found that regular consumption of oranges stood out as significantly helping to reduce the risk of macular degeneration. People who ate one to two servings of oranges a day had a 60% reduced risk of macular degeneration. While the research is still in its preliminary stages and needs to continue, these early findings are exciting.    Surprisingly, the researchers believe that it was not the vitamin C in the oranges that produced these results, but rather the flavonoids. Flavonoids are a diverse group of plant chemicals found in almost all fruits and vegetables as well as in other foods and beverages. They are powerful antioxidants which have been linked to anti-inflammatory boosts for the immune system and work to protect the eyes in the same way as they protect other areas of the body. Flavonoids are thought to fight the harmful free radicals which can damage a cell's DNA and may trigger a variety of diseases....
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