EyeMark Newsletters

A list of all our EyeMark Newsletter Articles

ICONIC WOMEN IN EYEWEAR


A perfect way to kick off Women' Month in August is to celebrate some iconic women and their signature eyewear. It is also an opportunity to raise awareness around women and eye disease. According to research, more women than men have eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. Due to changes in the balance of hormones, women may also have vision-related issues during pregnancy, while women in the menopausal and postmenopausal age group are at higher risk for dry eye syndrome.    IRIS APFEL Renowned interior designer, Iris Apfel, believes that "if you are going to wear glasses wear glasses!" This attitude is clearly evident as the 96-year old makes a statement in the choice of all her accessories. Her love of unusual frames dates back to her childhood when she began collecting them from flea markets even before she needed to wear glasses.    BILLIE JEAN KING While many professional sports men and women prefer to wear contact lenses when playing, Billie Jean King never shied away from wearing her glasses on the tennis court. A force to be reckoned with on and off the court, the 39 Grand Slam title winner could often be seen with lightweight gold titanium frames, which were presumably comfortable to wear while playing. JACKIE KENNEDY ONASSIS Her sunglasses may have initially been a way to hide from the cameras of the paparazzi, but they quickly became a recognisable element of Jackie O's sophisticated look and an inspiration to women all over...
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733 Hits

ARE YOUR ARMS BECOMING TOO SHORT?


Have you noticed that you need to hold reading material further away? Can't read messages on your phone easily? Struggle to read the menu in a dimly lit restaurant? Colours do not appear as sharp or bright as they used to? No, it is not that print is getting smaller or of poorer quality, or that manufacture of light bulbs and cell phones has deteriorated, or that you are using the wrong washing powder! It is more likely presbyopia, a common vision disorder that is part of the natural aging process. Just as our bodies show signs of aging as we get older, our eyes decline in performance, too.    The lens inside the eye is elastic and changes its shape so that we can focus at various distances, depending on whether we are looking at something close up or further away. In the young eye the lens and tiny muscles surrounding it are flexible and the lens is able to change shape quickly in order to change focus. As we age, the lens becomes more rigid and is unable to change its shape as easily, making it more difficult to focus close up and to change focus rapidly. As well as this, the muscles lose their ability to control the size of the pupil effectively so that the eyes are less responsive to differences in lighting. Older people need more light for reading and tend to adapt less quickly to changes in light, for example when moving indoors from bright...
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  746 Hits
746 Hits

ALL EYES ON SAFETY


Statistics show that job-related eye injuries are common, and many of them can be prevented. Whether one works in an industrial setting, an office or even at home, the necessity to protect the eyes is an issue which is often overlooked. Injuries can include strikes, scrapes, penetration, burns, or digital eye strain. The effects of eye injuries can range from mild discomfort to permanent damage, sometimes requiring time off work or even a change of occupation. The best way to prevent these problems is to be aware of the hazards and what can be done to avoid them.   Types of Eye Injuries   Most eye injuries occur when small particles strike or scrape the eye, for example dust, wood chips, or slivers of metal, scratching the cornea. They are usually discharged by machinery or blown by the wind. Larger objects may strike the eye resulting in trauma to the eye or eye socket.   Sharp objects, such as nails, staples, or shards of wood, glass, or metal may penetrate the eye, and can result in permanent loss of vision.   Industrial chemicals or certain cleaning products used in the home are common causes of chemical burns to the eyes and surrounding eye tissue, while welders are at risk for injury due to flying debris as well as ultraviolet radiation and photochemical burns.   Health care workers face eye hazards from infectious contaminants which can be spread through the mucous membranes of the eyes as a result of direct exposure to...
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447 Hits

HOW TO HAVE A SIGHT TEST


Before you see your optometrist, you will have to wait in the waiting room surrounded by outdated copies of every magazine imaginable. This is where you will discover the true meaning of the word "patient".   Once you have found the chair, the optometrist will slip a pair of heavy metal glasses on you that look like they have been knocked together by the local blacksmith. Whatever your optometrist tells you, these are not the latest in high fashion.   The eye test itself starts when you are asked what the lowest line on the eye chart is. Don't waste time by saying "Printed in the UK". Rather say "What eye chart?" The optometrist will then slide a number of lenses into your special metal glasses and keep asking you whether it is better with this one or that one. This is just to wind you up - they are all exactly the same!   Remember, the phrase optometrists hate most is "they are much of a muchness". Say this once too often and they will send you home with a pair of glasses that make you see round corners, and when you complain they will tell you that all glasses are "much of a muchness"!   Optometrists also like to ask whether the circles are clearer in the red box or the green box. This is no time to tell them you are colour blind! Just make a choice and go with it.   At some stage the optometrist will...
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358 Hits

DEARLY BELOVED....


June is Youth Month, so I'm sending my best to all the millennials out there (and the millennials at heart). It's also the month with the shortest day of the year, so when it's over we can start counting down to spring. But here's something I didn't know until my pal Wikipedia told me: June is named after Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage.   When I got to thinking about it, there are some mighty interesting things that married couples do with their glasses. So this column is especially for them. And like I always say, I'm just an old pair of glasses so what do I know? But here I go anyway...   We've all been in restaurants, and we've all seen this couple. Two people, one pair of glasses. You know who I'm talking about. He puts on the glasses and reads the menu. Then she puts on the glasses and reads the menu. Then he takes the glasses again because he's changed his mind. And just when they're ready to order, the waiter arrives with the specials board and it starts all over again.   On another note, it seems a spouse poses the biggest potential threat to a pair of glasses. How many people have had their glasses lost, broken or sat on by their significant other? Spouses have this knack of inadvertently causing harm to one another's glasses. It's true... the way I see it, getting married is the single biggest danger to glasses and...
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  305 Hits
305 Hits

SEEING RED


We have all experienced red or bloodshot eyes at one time or another. Eye redness occurs when the small blood vessels in the eye become dilated, inflamed and congested with blood. There are a number of causes of eye redness, most of which are not serious and do not require medical treatment, unless they persist or are accompanied by symptoms such as pain or changes in vision. The degree of redness is not usually related to the severity of the problem; red eyes sometimes look worse than they are! Common Causes of Eye Redness These range from lack of sleep to allergies, from irritants in the air to infections, from trauma to the eye to chronic health conditions.   Deficiencies in certain vitamins and amino acids, sensitivity to some foods and excessive alcohol consumption are often reflected in red eyes. Allergies to cosmetic products or not removing make up before going to sleep can cause red eyes. General allergic reactions, for example to pollen or pets, are often accompanied by red, watery, irritated eyes, and the common cold often manifests with red watery eyes as well as a runny nose.   Environmental factors include dust, lengthy exposure to the sun, dry air and chemical fumes. Eye redness may occur only the day after exposure to these irritants. Prolonged hours in front of the computer can lead to eye fatigue and red eyes.   Contact lenses can prevent sufficient oxygen from reaching the cornea. If the lenses are worn for too long...
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520 Hits

CLEAR-EYED REASONS TO QUIT SMOKING


Every year, on 31 May, the World Health Organisation and partners mark World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health and other risks associated with tobacco use, and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. As well as having a direct impact on eye health and quality of vision, tobacco use is one of the major risk factors for the development of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease, all of which can affect the eyes.   The good news is that smoking is the most preventable cause of vision loss. Even someone with a long history of smoking can significantly reduce the risk of health complications by quitting. For example, giving up smoking reduces the risk of macular degeneration by six percent after just one year, and it also reduces the risk of developing cataracts.   The harmful effects of smoking on the eyes include: biological changes in the eyes that can lead to vision loss; damage to the delicate blood vessels in the eyes caused by tobacco chemicals; interference with the production of tears; decreased amount of oxygen and nutrients reaching the macula due to compromised blood flow; increase in the risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of irreversible vision loss; development of AMD up to 5 years earlier than non-smokers; increased risk of cataracts; increased risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, damage to the blood vessels of the eye; risk of faster progression of diabetic retinopathy; increased risk of dry eye syndrome, a cause of...
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438 Hits

TWO EYES ONE IMAGE


The human visual system is a complex network including the eyes, the ocular nerves, and specific areas in the brain that process visual information. Because the eyes are side by side on the face, they see slightly different images of the same object, or the same object from slightly different perspectives, although the images overlap to some extent. These are transmitted via the optic nerve to the brain which synthesises them to create a single visual image. This ability to converge information from both eyes is called binocular vision and is essential for three-dimensional (3D) or stereoscopic vision. It allows us to perceive depth and judge distances and relationships between objects. Without it the world around us would appear flat like a two-dimensional picture.   So many of the day to day activities we take for granted and perform without a second thought depend on stereoscopic vision. Pouring a glass of water, parking a car, threading a needle, walking up or down stairs, catching or hitting a ball, even reaching out to shake someone's hand would be more difficult and less accurate without our ability to judge depth. It would be impossible to pursue certain professions and challenging to play certain sports.   The eyes and the brain need to work together in order for us to experience the world in three dimensions. The eyes are responsible for receiving a clear focused image which the brain is required to process and interpret, helping us to make sense of what we see....
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756 Hits

SEEING IN COLOUR


  April is that time of year when the mornings are chillier, the evenings are darker, and the leaves on the trees turn spectacular shades of... I don't know. Orange and red. I know I was about to get poetic there, but then I remembered I'm no poet. I'm just an old pair of glasses going on about the way I see the world.   But yeah... colours of leaves. Green turns to red. That's what April is all about in its autumn glory and all. But if you think about it, April is a time for other colours too.   On April 27 we'll remember how a major change swept across our country, and we found ourselves living in what became known as the very colourful Rainbow Nation.   Now, my friend Rose is a... well, no surprises here... a pair of rose-tinted glasses. And she says everything's been perfect since 1994. Me? I'm a little less rose-tinted myself, and I gotta say we have a lot of work to do. But even I can admit that we've come a long way. And this is the month where we stop and remember that.   Plus, our new democracy also gave us a new flag. Talk about colours... it probably contains more colours than any other flag in the world. Sure, there were people at the time who said it looked like a beach towel. Others said they'd never get used to it. But - as the millennials would say -...
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555 Hits

LOOK ME IN THE EYE


Eye contact has been compared to the fairy tale of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" - too much may be interpreted as rude, too little may make a person appear uneasy or disinterested, while just the right amount produces feelings of mutual trust and interest. Eye contact is an integral and powerful part of non-verbal communication, is often linked to facial expression and sends out messages that are not always picked up with words alone. However, it is not as simple as the Goldilocks theory would suggest. There are different types of eye contact, and the interpretation of acceptable eye contact differs from culture to culture, situation to situation, personality to personality, gender to gender and even extends to the eyes in photographs and paintings. Making and Breaking Eye Contact Making eye contact with someone acknowledges that person and shows that you are interested in them. In some cultures, however, it is interpreted as rude to make eye contact with people in authority or of the opposite sex. Breaking eye contact can indicate that the person has lost interest, disagrees with what has been said or feels threatened. During conversation we frequently look away and back again, to prevent the discomfort of prolonged eye contact. When a person is feeling uncomfortable, he may rub one eye or pretend to have something in his eye, giving him an opportunity to break eye contact by turning his head away. Avoiding Eye contact We tend to avoid eye contact when we feel that our...
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581 Hits