EyeMark Newsletters

A list of all our EyeMark Newsletter Articles

CONTACT LENSES ARE POLLUTING OUR WORLD


With the pollution of our planet very much in people's consciousness, we are starting to understand the impact of disposable contact lenses. Their popularity has grown rapidly over the past decades and one can understand why. However, just as usage of disposable lenses has increased over time, so has public awareness of the damage disposable goods can cause to the environment. Like most disposable goods, disposable lenses are usually made of non-biodegradable plastic, leaving them bad for both trash and compost. The blister packs in which they are distributed consist of foil and plastic, both of which create their own recycling problems.  It may seem like a small thing, but with over 45 million contact lens wearers in the United States and between 5% and 20% of the population of Europe wearing them, all that plastic adds up. We are talking about 22 metric tons of contact lenses being improperly disposed of every year in USA, unnecessarily adding to the hundreds of thousands of tons of microplastics floating in our oceans and wreaking havoc on our environment.  According to new research out of the American Chemical Society, 20 percent of people who wear contact lenses dispose of them by flushing them down the toilet or sink. As medical devices, contact lenses are specifically designed to withstand harsh environments, and therefore they don't biodegrade easily. An added concern is that their size and flexibility allow them to slip through filters meant to keep nonbiological waste out of wastewater treatment plants. The...
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20/20 Hindsight


You know what they say about looking back in hindsight, how it's always 20/20 vision (or something to that effect). So as we wind down another year, it's easy to look back on certain things and wonder why we didn't see them coming.  We shoulda known petrol would go up and up and up. And that would mean the price of everything else would go up and up and up. Or maybe we did know and there was nothing we could do about it. But let's not get hung up on that...  We shoulda known all those scientific expeditions into space would bring home some big news. And they did. In July of 2018 it was discovered that there's water on Mars. There was great excitement at the announcement that there's a 20km lake up there, even though it's so cold that most of it is frozen. And with so many people eager to be part of the Mission to Mars, it seems like swimming season might be opening soon.  We shoulda known that the headlines would be dominated by a royal wedding. That was obvious from the moment Prince Harry popped the question. But little did we know we'd have two royal weddings, all thanks to Princess Beatrice. Gotta wonder how all those relatives felt about putting on their wedding outfits all over again and sitting through a second one. But in their polite English way they didn't seem to mind.  I wish I'd known those other royals were...
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OLD WIVES' TALES OR FACT?


Old wives' tales abound about numerous topics including the eyes and vision. Some of them are clearly myths, often used by parents or grandparents to frighten or discipline children into behaving themselves. An example of this is if you cross your eyes and the wind changes, your eyes will remain crossed forever! Many other myths have some foundation in fact but are sometimes embellished with information or theories that may or may not be true.  SITTING TOO CLOSE TO THE TV IS BAD FOR THE EYES Watching too much TV or sitting too close to the screen may give you a headache or make your eyes feel tired or strained, but there is no evidence to suggest that it will harm your vision. In fact, children can generally focus up close with no eyestrain better than adults can, so they often develop the habit of sitting close to the TV without any ill-effects. Parents need to be aware, though, that needing to sit close to the TV may be an indication of shortsightedness which requires an eye examination by your optometrist. The same is true for children holding a book close to the face while reading. This may or may not be cause for concern but a visit to your optometrist will detect whether there is a problem or not.  COMPUTER USE IS HARMFUL TO THE EYES Electronic screens won't harm the eyes but staring at them for an extended period can increase dryness and eyestrain, partly because we tend...
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GLASSES FOR AIDS


With World AIDS Day on 1st December, it is fitting to acknowledge a man who we don't usually associate with HIV and AIDS, but rather with music and his signature accessory, imaginative, often quirky and always flamboyant eyewear. Elton John, one of music's biggest stars for over five decades, was shortsighted for many years before he had his vision corrected, making a personal statement with the choice and sometimes invention of his glasses. As well as unusual shapes, sizes and colours, some of his more memorable creations include glitter, ostrich feathers, windscreen wipers on the lenses, and individual lights which lit up to spell his name. In 1975, when he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, his obvious eyewear choice was star-shaped frames! With an estimated 250,000 pairs of glasses, Elton John has a walk-in closet in which to store them.  In 1985, Elton John had what he called a life-changing experience. He befriended a 13-year old boy named Ryan White, a haemophiliac who contracted HIV from a blood transfusion. As there was little research about it at that time, Ryan spoke out about the misconceptions around HIV and AIDS. Ryan tragically lost his battle with the disease at 18 years of age, but his strength in dealing with it is believed to be the reason for Elton John establishing the AIDS Foundation in honour of Ryan and his family.  The Elton John AIDS Foundation is a nonprofit organisation established in 1992 in the...
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MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE


The sun supports life on our planet, but its life-giving rays also pose hazards. With the constant publicity around the dangers of ultraviolet rays for our skins most of us apply sunscreen with hardly a second thought. What we are generally less aware of is how ultraviolet light from the sun affects our eyes. While the body needs a certain amount of UV light for the production of vitamin D, an excessive amount can be harmful to the skin and eyes. There are three types of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV-C is potentially the most dangerous, but almost all of it is blocked by the ozone layer – a situation that may change with ozone depletion, especially in countries like Australia and South Africa. However, UV-A and UV-B radiation can have long- and short-term effects on the eyes and vision. In low doses UV-B rays stimulate the production of melanin resulting in a suntan, but in higher doses they can cause sunburn and premature aging of the skin. UV-A rays have the lowest energy but can pass through the cornea, damaging the lens and the retina.  If your eyes are exposed to excessive amounts of UV radiation over a short period of time, you may experience photokeratitis. Like a "sunburn of the eye," its symptoms include red eyes, a gritty feeling in the eyes, extreme sensitivity to light and excessive tearing. Fortunately, these symptoms are usually temporary and rarely cause permanent damage to the eyes. The longer the eyes are exposed...
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