EyeMark Newsletters

A list of all our EyeMark Newsletter Articles

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....
Continue reading
  796 Hits
796 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 -...
Continue reading
  610 Hits
610 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...
Continue reading
  627 Hits
627 Hits

SEEING THE WORLD THROUGH ROSE-COLOURED LENSES?


Contact lenses have a rich history that dates back to the 1500s, when Italian artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci first conceived of them. While his idea was only a sketch and was highly impractical, it was the beginning of centuries of contact lens innovation which continues to develop. Today contact lenses are a part of everyday life for millions of people around the world. With the rapid advances in technology, not only have the materials evolved for better comfort and durability, but the availability of colours and patterns has grown, making coloured contact lenses an important feature in the world of movies and a cosmetic accessory in the wardrobes of many people.   Human eye colour is determined by two factors, the pigmentation of the iris (the coloured part of the eye) and the way the iris scatters the light passing through it. The amount of melanin in the iris is genetically determined; the more melanin, the darker the eye. Sometimes eye colour appears to change depending on variations in light and the way in which this is reflected by the iris.   Coloured contact lenses fall into three basic categories, each of which serves a slightly different purpose and has a different role to play in modifying the colour of the eyes.   As their name implies, enhancer contact lenses are designed to highlight the natural beauty of the eye colour, boosting it or subtly changing its tint. They are particularly meant for people who have light coloured eyes...
Continue reading
  608 Hits
608 Hits

A TWITCH IN TIME ....


Everyone has them from time to time. Everyone finds them irritating. No-one knows exactly what causes them. But they usually don't last long and are seldom a cause for concern. Eyelid twitches or myokymia are painless repetitive involuntary spasms of the muscles of the eyelids. They usually occur in the upper eyelid but can occur in both the upper and lower lids and are more prevalent during the day than at night. Episodes of eyelid twitching are unpredictable, typically occurring every few seconds for a minute or two. They may appear on and off for a day or two and then disappear for weeks or months. While most twitches resolve on their own, in rare cases they may be early warning signs of an underlying disorder which requires medical intervention. CAUSES The specific causes of eyelid twitching are usually unknown, although certain factors may be identifiable as triggering them or making them worse. These are usually related to life style.   Stress - Stress is often a reason for eye twitching. If associated with a particular stressful situation such as exams, it usually resolves once the stressful situation comes to an end. Meditation or just sitting quietly with closed eyes for a few minutes can help reduce stress and eye twitching, if not alleviate them completely.   Caffeine or alcohol - It is thought that the stimulants in caffeine and/or the relaxant effects of alcohol can bring on a twitchy eyelid, especially when used in excess. It is often difficult to...
Continue reading
  584 Hits
584 Hits

GATEWAY TO LEARNING


School Health Week in March served as a reminder of the need to be aware, not only of general health, but of eye health and the essential role vision plays in the classroom. Learning is a complex process which requires integration and coordination between a number of modalities, including hearing, vision, language, and physical and cognitive abilities. We all have different learning styles and strengths. Some people learn most effectively by looking, others by listening, and still others by doing. The large majority of the demand in the classroom is on the visual system, increasing as children progress through school, when more study materials need to be read, print in books becomes smaller, and more time is spent studying and working on the computer. Optimal vision for learning is not simply being able to see clearly but involves visual processing skills and the ability to make sense of what is seen. Less than optimal visual skills may lead to poor academic and sporting performance, a negative attitude towards school, and emotional and social problems.   Although visual processing skills can be broken down for the sake of definition, they do not function independently of each other. They are an integrated system of processes that work together to facilitate effective learning and interpretation of information coming in through the eyes. Visual Acuity Visual acuity is a measure of the sharpness of vision or how clearly one is able to see at various distances. Problems that could impact school performance include difficulty with...
Continue reading
  345 Hits
345 Hits

SEE YOUR WHOLE WORLD, NOT JUST PART OF IT!


The annual World Glaucoma Week in March may have come and gone but unfortunately glaucoma is here to stay! Glaucoma is an irreversible progressive condition of the eyes caused by damage to the optic nerve at the back of the eye. After diabetic eye disease, it is the most common cause of blindness in the Western world if left untreated. The 2018 theme for World Glaucoma Week was B-I-G, Beat Invisible Glaucoma. This is an excellent incentive to visit your optometrist for a glaucoma screening, which is a quick and painless measurement of the pressure inside the eyes. Most cases of glaucoma are due to a build-up of pressure within the eye, gradually causing damage to the optic nerve which connects the eyes to the brain. However, some people who have optic nerve damage have relatively normal intra-ocular pressure but may have poor or compromised blood supply to the optic nerve and the retina at the back of the eye. For this reason, it is important to have a regular comprehensive eye examination of the internal structures of the eyes as well. Glaucoma is most prevalent in people over the age of 60 but can occur in younger people. Some experts recommend glaucoma screening every 5 years from the age of 40, or earlier and more frequently if there are risk factors for the development of the condition. Risk factors include a family history of glaucoma, a high degree of shortsightedness or farsightedness, diabetes, trauma to the eye (even many years...
Continue reading
  633 Hits
633 Hits

FEBU-REALLY?!


  So we come out of the year's longest month. And yes, you know it's the year's longest month if you've ever tried to stretch a paycheck from December 20th until January 25th. I mean, they don't call it Januworry for nothing.   Anyway... we come out of the longest month and jump straight into the shortest month. Feels like it doesn't make much sense. What's more, it's never made sense why February only has 28 days. I always knew it had something to do with the Romans, but I figured it was a way of saying nobody knew. You know... when you need an explanation for anything, just say it dates back to Roman times.   Thing is, this story actually does date back to Roman times. It really was the Romans who gave February 28 days. My trusty search engine tells me that the first king of Rome made up a calendar with just ten months. Word is he didn't put anything between December and March because winter wasn't a big time for the harvest.   Then the second king of Rome took power and wanted to make some changes. (Trust a politician to change the very calendar itself, just to show everyone that he's the boss man now.) He wanted the calendar to line up to the lunar calendar which has 354 days. And that meant he needed to add two extra months.   And now things get super sketchy in the history books. I'm totally confused, but...
Continue reading
  510 Hits
510 Hits

RIDE FOR SIGHT 2018


The Dis-Chem Ride for Sight takes place in Ekurhuleni in Gauteng in February annually. This popular race is among the top five road cycling events in South Africa, and is a seeding event for both the Cape Town Cycle Tour and the Momentum 94.7 Challenge. It has been staged since 1987 and has contributed more than R4 Million to 'A Cure in Sight for Blindness' research projects. The ride attracts more than 5000 keen and enthusiastic cyclists every year and is now an official City of Ekurhuleni event.   The 30th edition of the Ride for Sight will be held in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni on Sunday 18th February 2018. We have a special 30th Anniversary logo and there are exciting prizes and special offers for the participants. Once again a cash prize is being offered to the first blind Tandem pair on the 63 km event.   This is a fast, moderately undulating route. The race begins with a quick downhill ride. You will find the going to the halfway mark a combination of both fast and flat sections. Keep something in reserve for the second half, which is demanding and hilly. There is a slight uphill and steady climb to the finish.   ENJOY THE RIDE!! RETINA SOUTH AFRICA – "A CURE IN SIGHT FOR BLINDNESS" Retina South Africa was established in 1980 as the South African Retinitis Pigmentosa Society. It is a patient-driven action group that has branches in all the major centres in South Africa.   Our major focus...
Continue reading
  461 Hits
461 Hits

EAT A RAINBOW


Don't want to wear glasses? Eat your carrots! Carrots have long been touted for their efficacy in improving eyesight, and generations of kids have been admonished not to leave them on their plates lest they end up needing glasses. Where did this belief begin? The purported link between carrots and markedly acute vision is a matter of lore, not of science. The story goes back to World War II, and was deliberately manufactured by Britain's Air Ministry.   During World War II, the Allies had perfected Airborne Interception Radar which helped with both night raids into enemy territory and the detection of bombers attacking at night. Not wanting the enemy to find out about this new technology, the rumour was circulated that eating carrots had dramatically improved the night vision of British fighter pilots. The British public were encouraged to grow and eat more carrots, and the disinformation was so persuasive that people believed that eating carrots helped them to find their way during blackouts. One report suggests that some people ate so many carrots that their skin began to look orange. Another woman comments that her mother made her eat so many carrots that this is probably the reason she doesn't eat them now! Beta-carotene While not the total picture, there is some truth to the claims that eating carrots contributes to eye health. Research indicates that beta-carotene, which is found in carrots, may help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration as well as helping those who suffer...
Continue reading
  475 Hits
475 Hits