EyeMark Newsletters

A list of all our EyeMark Newsletter Articles

MAY THE WHAT?!

newsletter 2017 may 13
I’m not big on holidays. It’s enough that there are certain days in the year when we need to buy gifts and be nice to our families. So why are there people who always want to add more holidays to our calendar? And such bizarre ones? May the fourth, someone has decided, is Star Wars Day. You know: “May the fourth be with you.” (As in: “May the force be…”) Now, I for one won’t be celebrating this holiday, however it is that one is supposed to celebrate. But it did get me thinking about how many fantasy characters and superheroes have powers connected to their eyes. Just look at the guy from X-Men who wears sunglasses all the time because he deep-fries people if he looks directly at them. Sounds like a useful skill to have in the kitchen. (Who needs a microwave?) But if you’re an eyecare professional, it’s more like a case of super-severe conjunctivitis. I wouldn’t even know where to start treating that. Now Superman has X-ray vision and he can shoot lasers from his eyes. Those are two very different superpowers – or liabilities, depending on how you choose to look at it. I know that schoolboys the world over wish they were Superman, just so they can use X-ray vision to see girls’ underwear. I mean, Superman has the advantage of being able to give a free MRI to everyone he knows. The problem is he can’t turn off his X-ray vision. So he sees...
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WHEN CHOLESTEROL CLOUDS YOUR VISION

newsletter 2017 may 11
Poets may describe the eyes as the window to the soul, but to optometrists the eyes are often the window into the state of the patient’s general physical health, in particular the health of the blood vessels. High cholesterol, which leads to a range of cardiovascular problems, is sometimes free of symptoms, the person feels healthy, is unaware of any health risks, and elevated cholesterol levels can only be confirmed by a blood test. However, in a routine eye examination an optometrist may be alerted to signs of high cholesterol in the blood even before a blood test is conducted. Signs of Cholesterol Problems Seen in the Eyes One symptom that the optometrist may see is Xanthelasma , the formation of a painless yellow lumps of fatty material accumulated under the skin along the eyelids. Although the appearance of Xanthelasma isn’t normal, they are generally harmless and will not affect vision or the function of the eyelids in any way. They can gradually become larger over time, and if they cause discomfort, can be removed, but can regrow if the cholesterol level in the blood is not controlled. As a person ages, a circumferential arcus (arcus senilis) may develop in the eyes. This is characterised by a thin white or light gray arc or ring around the edge of the cornea, and is caused by a deposit of fat and cholesterol in the eye. Arcus senilis is not related to high cholesterol, does not affect vision, and does not require treatment....
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SMALL SCREENS BIG VISION PROBLEMS

newsletter 2017 may 05
Life without smart phones in unimaginable. We depend on our mobile devices for viewing and responding to emails, checking the weather, reading headline news, posting status updates on Facebook and a host of other daily activities. Recent research and reports by optometrists reveal that staring at those tiny screens can bring on a number of eye problems, including blurred vision, sore eyes, headaches, muscle strain and dry eye. It has also emerged that smart phones can affect balance, and that icons zooming in and out can lead to dizziness. Reading on a smart phone in bed can interfere with sleep patterns due to the blue light emitted from the screen. Our eyes were not designed to stare at small screens for lengthy periods of time. Most adults will admit that they spend too much time looking at their phones, and now there is a growing concern around the extended time spent looking at smart phones by teenagers and even young children. Dry eye disease, typically found in older patients, is now being seen more frequently in children, due to prolonged staring at the screen without blinking. Normally, we blink about 15 times per minute, but this rate decreases by half when we are staring at our smartphones, causing the eyes to become red, irritated and swollen. As we squint to read these miniature screens, our facial, neck and shoulder muscles tighten, eyes become fatigued, vision can be blurred, and we may experience headaches. These symptoms, all related to digital eye strain,...
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KICK BUTTS!

newsletter 2017 may 01
ITS NEVER TOO LATE TO QUIT! As the well-known song says: “Smoke gets in your eyes”. True! It makes your eyes red, watery, burn and feel gritty. While these effects last only as long as we are exposed to smoke, there are far more serious long-term consequences that impact on general health, and have been linked to a number of eye diseases. Almost every chronic eye disease appears to have a connection to cigarette smoking, and since smoking decreases circulation and oxygen flow to the body and the eyes, it can also directly affect vision. Smoking can cause an existing vision problem to get worse, and can cause vision problems of its own. CATARACTS Research has found that compared to non-smokers, cigarette smokers have an increased risk for developing cataracts; in fact, the more you smoke, the higher the risk. Cataracts are an age-related condition which occurs when the eye’s naturally clear lens gradually becomes cloudy and less flexible over time, leading to blurred vision, faded colours, poor night vision and increased sensitivity to light. Some people have likened having cataracts to trying to see through a waterfall. It is believed that smoking contributes to cataracts by altering the lens through oxidation. Tobacco smoke reacts with substances in the body to produce free radicals, substances that can damage the cells of the body, including the lenses of the eyes. The good news is that quitting smoking can bring the cataract risk back down almost to the same risk level as people...
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