EyeMark Newsletters

A list of all our EyeMark Newsletter Articles

HER EYES


With Women's Month upon us, I gotta say something. If I ever find myself on a plane travelling through dark, stormy skies, I'd want a woman to be my pilot. Why? Because women's eyes are so much better than men's. I'm talking super-advanced exceptional vision. Think about it... A man looks for something three times, but he still can't find it. It could be a missing sock or a TV remote or one of his very own children. His wife looks and finds it first time around. In fact, she told him where to find it before she even started looking. And of course she was right (which he hates to admit). A woman's eyes can find a parking space from at least one hundred metres away. No matter how crowded the parking lot is, her laser eyes would put Superman to shame in their ability to seek out the free space. Her man would rather park in the first space he sees, which is exactly... you guessed it... one hundred metres from the mall entrance. And then he has to pretend he doesn't see the parking space right next to the entrance. You know, after he's just made his wife walk a distance of one hundred metres. A woman and a man have the same number of eyes. But a woman can use those eyes to watch three kids, a boiling pot on the stove and a TV show... all at the same time. For generations, moms have warned kids...
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648 Hits

WOMEN IN EYECARE


As Women's Day approaches on 9th August, it is an opportunity to commemorate the courageous deeds of women in history, as well as to celebrate the contributions made by women in all fields. One such woman is Patricia Bath, a pioneer in ophthalmology. Born in Harlem, New York, on November 4, 1942, Patricia Bath became the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology in 1973, and to receive a medical patent in 1988. At the age of 16, Bath became one of only a few students to attend a cancer research workshop sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The program head, Dr. Robert Bernard, was so impressed with Bath's discoveries during the project that he incorporated her findings in a scientific paper he presented at a conference. The publicity surrounding her discoveries earned Bath the Mademoiselle magazine's Merit Award in 1960. While pursuing a fellowship in ophthalmology at Columbia University, her research led her to the development of a community ophthalmology system, which increased the availability of eye care to those who were unable to afford treatment. In 1976, Bath co-founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, which established that "eyesight is a basic human right." Its motto is "to protect, preserve, and restore the gift of sight". In 1981, Bath began working on her most well-known invention: the Laserphaco Probe (1986). Harnessing laser technology, the device created a less painful and more precise treatment of cataracts. She received a patent for the device in 1988, becoming...
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572 Hits

FLOATERS AND FLASHES – THE INSIDE STORY


Do you ever experience specks, threads or cobwebs in your line of vision, only to see them disappear when you try to focus on them? Or do you see flashes of light or sparks flickering across your field of vision when there is nothing there? Both of these are common occurrences for many people, and, although they may be irritating or alarming, they are usually harmless. Although they seem to be outside the eye, they are actually coming from within the eye itself. FLOATERS, FLASHES AND HALOES Floaters are a common complaint, as are flashes, but to a lesser extent. The two may occur separately or together, depending on the underlying reasons. Haloes are less common. The small specks or threads drifting in the line of vision are called floaters. They may have different shapes, which move as the eyes move, and drift slowly when the eyes are still. Floaters are actually tiny clumps of gel floating inside the vitreous humor, the fluid that fills the inside of the eye. The vitreous humor is a clear jelly-like fluid with the consistency not unlike raw egg white. It fills the rear two thirds of the eye, providing a pathway to the back of the eye for light entering through the lens. It is contained within a fine membrane attached to the lens at the front of the eye and the retina at the back. As we age, the vitreous gel starts to thicken, shrink or become stringy, forming clumps or strands that...
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1826 Hits

DON'T CRY! ITS BAD FOR YOUR EYES??


My grandmother used to tell me to stop crying because it was bad for my eyes. Crying, or to be more precise tears, are not only not bad for the eyes, but serve a vital function in eye health. They provide lubrication and moisture, helping to keep the eyes more comfortable and facilitating vision. When there is an imbalance in the flow or the composition of tears, dry eye syndrome can occur. What are tears? The eyes constantly produce tears, not only when we experience emotion. Healthy eyes are covered with a tear film, which prevents the eyes from becoming dry and enables clear vision. The tear film is made up of three layers, oil, water and mucus. The top layer, oil, comes from the melbomian glands which produce fatty oils. The oil lubricates the eyes and slows down the evaporation of tears from the surface of the eyes. The middle layer, produced by the lacrimal or tear glands, consists of water, salt, proteins and antibodies. Their function is to provide moisture to the eyes, cleanse the eyes of irritants, and prevent infection. The inner layer, mucus, enables the tears to spread evenly over the eyes. What causes dry eyes? Problems in any of the layers of tear film can lead to dry eyes. Inadequate oil levels can cause the tears to evaporate too quickly, causing dry patches on the surface of the eyes. Any condition that causes blocking of the melbomian glands can cause dry eyes. If the tear glands...
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651 Hits

MADIBA'S VISION


July is Madiba Month, a 31-day commemoration that includes Tata's birthday on the 18th. Many people have found many ways to celebrate the great man and his legacy. Cape Town decided to honour the humanitarian with a giant pair of "Mandela glasses" on the Sea Point promenade, staring into the distance towards Robben Island. Thing is, some people thought it was a kinda strange choice. Of all the things Madiba stood for, is he really most famous for his eyewear? Other folks pointed out that he didn't actually wear the kind of frame that now stands on the seafront. He's probably most famous for the teardrop shape he wore on Inauguration Day. Why didn't they put up a giant version of those? Anyways, it got me thinking about other famous pairs of glasses. I mean, what would you say if I asked you to name the most famous glasses in the world? (Take a moment to think about it before you keep reading... come on... there ya go...) Would you go with music and choose Buddy Holly's heavy black frames? After all, they're as famous as his timeless tunes. Would you stick with music and choose one of Elton John's many eccentric eye pieces? Or would you say John Lennon's round glasses are the most famous of all? I mean, could you "imagine" a more famous pair? (See what I did there? Imagine... heh, heh...) Speaking of circles, what about the rimless rounds that Steve Jobs always wore? They became as...
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814 Hits

NOT THE END OF THE WORLD; A DIFFERENT VIEW OF IT


One day at school I was day dreaming out of the window. All of a sudden I heard my name. Teacher: "Brad, what colour is that on the right page?" Me (Turning to the page): "Red." Teacher (Mad): "No! What colour is it really?" Me: "Green?" (Now I knew if something wasn't red it must be green) Teacher (Furious): "Stop playing games! What colour is it?" Without red and green, I had no clue. I started spouting out colours. Me: "Orange? Yellow? I don't know. I honestly don't know." Teacher: "It is brown! It is brown!" "Brown," I thought," I would never have guessed brown!" Many everyday tasks depend on the perception of colour, and people with colour blindness, or, more accurately, colour vision deficiency are challenged by tasks as simple as reading colour-coded information such as maps or charts, selecting ripe fruit and vegetables, identifying medication that is poorly labelled, or coordinating colours when buying clothes or deciding what to wear each morning. As in the example above, it can be particularly difficult for children at school where educational material is often colour-coded, or if they are unable to read a green board when yellow chalk is used. People who are able to perceive colours are often puzzled by the way in which colour blindness affects activities such as driving and the interpretation of traffic lights, for example, but it is possible to compensate and respond to other cues, such as the position of the lights. Most people with colour...
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819 Hits

NOT SIMPLY A SUMMER ACCESSORY


We usually associate sunglasses with long hot summer days, time at the beach or pool, iced drinks, and protecting our skins from the sun's harmful rays. Before you put away your sunglasses along with your sun screen until next summer, remember that sunglasses are not simply a summer item, but play a vital role in eye care, even in winter. TV and magazines are full of fashion eyewear and facts about the danger of UV rays to the eyes in summer, but they tend to neglect the fact that the sun still shines in winter. Although the winter sun is less intense than it is in summer and the UV rays are weaker, the winter sun can still damage the eyes. Being lower in the sky and at a different angle, it often shines directly into the eyes. The tissue that makes up the human eye is some of the most sensitive and vulnerable tissue in the body. The eye has many natural defenses that protect it from the sun's rays, including pupil dilation, the squinting reflex, and the concave shape of the eye socket, shielded by the brow. However, the eyes' natural defenses are not adequate in protecting them from all harmful UV radiation. Reflexes like squinting and pupil dilation are only triggered by the sun's visible light. That means that on cloudy days, the amount of UV light reaching the unguarded eye can be dangerous. Two different types of light enter the eye, namely ultra violet (UV) light and...
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SHINGLES AND THE EYES


Shingles is a medical condition that causes a painful blistering rash to form on the body and sometimes the face. It is related to the chickenpox virus, varicella zoster. If one has had chicken pox as a child, the virus remains dormant in the system, but can multiply in the nerve cells and re-emerge decades later. SYMPTOMS OF SHINGLES There are progressive stages to shingles. The first sign is a tingling or burning pain, often on one side of the body, usually in the area of the waist, back, chest or ribcage. Other symptoms may include a headache, low fever, fatigue or flu-like symptoms. Within two to three days, a rash will break out, with painful blisters appearing a few days later. The shingles virus travels along a nerve path, so the rash will often form a line along the body or face, typically localised to only one side. Eventually, the blisters will open, crust over, and heal. This can take anything from two to six weeks. The shingles rash will fade after a few weeks, but the pain can continue for weeks or months, as a result of nerve damage. This is more common in older adults, and in most people, the nerve pain will improve over time. SHINGLES IN THE EYE About 10 to 20 percent of people with shingles develop shingles in and around the eye. This type of shingles is called ophthalmic herpes zoster, or herpes zoster ophthalmicus. The symptoms tend to follow a similar course to...
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646 Hits

MILLENNIALS: A GUEST ARTICLE BY A FUNKY YOUNG PAIR OF GLASSES


The Youth. Those Millennials. What Is The World Coming To? Sound familiar? It should... I mean, you guys just don't stop complaining about us. It's always young people this and young people that. For reals, it never ends. Well, you know what? It's Youth Month and I've got some stuff to say. Yip, this is a real Millennial talking. Let's start with the complaint that we can't focus on one task. That's what we call multitasking. (Hello, like obviously...) As we speak I'm polishing my lenses and checking my messages while I'm writing this article. Then people say we don't do anything thoroughly. Well how thoroughly do you want me to check my Facebook status? Thoroughly, really? Whatevs. Then there are those peeps who say we only care about ourselves. Seriously? Look at all the protests around the world. You know, the ones in favour of human rights and the ones against a certain orange president. Who was doing most of the protesting? As a young funky pair of sunglasses, I've been worn to many places where young voices demanded to be heard. So you see? We do care about the world around us. One time I got left behind which was totes awks (meaning totally awkward, in case you don't speak our lingo). Ah yes, our lingo... So. People say we're obsessed with FOMO, which by the way means Fear of Missing Out. Sure, we want to do stuff and experience life. But sometimes there's JOMO (which is Joy of...
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941 Hits

A DIFFERENT WAY OF LOOKING AT LIFE


"Whatever hand life deals you, you don't have to give in to it. You just need to find a different way of... looking at it!" These wise words sum up the attitude of a man who is used to falling down, picking himself up again, and carrying on, a man used to "looking" at life differently! Richard Monisi was born blind, regaining 5% of his sight after an operation at the age of 12. Forced to drop out of school early, he moved from his rural village to Johannesburg where he discovered long distance running. It was difficult to find time to train, so Richard chose to train in the quiet early hours of the morning, so that he could concentrate on his senses other than sight to guide him through the streets, before the confusing noise of the day began. He has since finished 11 Two Oceans marathons, and is preparing to run his 12th Comrades Marathon on 4th June 2017. During one of his races, he fell four times, picking himself up each time and continuing towards the finish line. As he entered the stadium, he was disoriented by the music and cheering crowds. He lost his balance and fell, but was lifted to his feet by nearby runners, who urged him not to give up, to keep going to the end, something he has been doing throughout his life. In 2013, his guide collapsed due to dehydration, but Richard would not give up - he made sure that...
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969 Hits