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Archive for May, 2015

What Is and What Causes Colour Blindness?

Monday, May 25, 2015 @ 04:05 PM
Author: Amit Mathur

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You know how when you are walking outside and you see a beautiful red rose in a garden or on a sunny day, the grass seems greener then normal? Well, not everyone can see those bright and vivid colours the same way. Some people are colour blind.

What Is Colour Blindness?

In a nutshell, colour blindness is when someone is unable to see colours properly under normal conditions and it affects as little as 8% of men and 0.5% of women.

Being colour blind doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot see anything. What it means is that you have are unable to see colours fully the same way as others. There are different types of colour blindness.

What Causes Colour Blindness?

There are different causes, but for the most part colour blindness is caused by genetics which are passed down by your parents.

Research has shown the reason men are more likely to be colour blind then women is because it is a sex-linked trait meaning it is carried on the X chromosome. This explains why colour blindness is more common in men, because they only have one X chromosome, and if that chromosome does not have the proper code they will be colour blind. Whereas a female receives two X chromosomes, so even if one of them is deficient, as long as the other one has the proper coding, the female will be able to see colours without problem.

Colour blindness can also be caused by physical or chemical damage to the eyes, the optic nerves or part of the brain. Other diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis can also cause colour blindness.

Types of Colour Blindness

  1. Total colour blindness is very rare, but can occur in some patients. This results in someone not being able to see any colour at all. It’s like living in a black and white movie; you can see different shades of black, white and grey, but no colour.
  1. Red/Green colour blindness is by far the most common and affects the way they see colours that contain red and green components. For example, some who is red/green colour blind will mix up a blue and a purple colour because they cannot differentiate the red element of the purple. So in a box of 24 colouring pencils, someone with red/green colour blindness can only identify five of the 24 colours.
  1. Blue/Yellow colour blindness means the person has a reduced sensitivity to blue light and therefore blue-yellow colours, and is rather rare. This means the person has trouble telling the difference between blue and yellow, violet and red, as well as blue and green colours. Generally speaking, everything they see seems to be red, pink, black, white, grey and turquoise.

You can also visit these websites that provide you with an online test for colour blindness.

http://colorvisiontesting.com/ishihara.htm

http://www.color-blindness.com/ishihara-38-plates-cvd-test/

To learn more about colour blindness, its causes and the different types, or to get tested professionally, speak with your eye care specialist.

Six Lifestyle Habits To Ensure Healthy Eyesight

Monday, May 18, 2015 @ 04:05 PM
Author: Amit Mathur

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They say the eyes are the gateway to your soul. They’re also the gateway to your overall physical health. Be sure to keep your eyes happy and healthy with these easy tips. Really, these are things to do regardless, but they are equally important to your vision as they are to your overall wellbeing.

  1. The Importance Of Complete Eye Exams

Visiting your optometrist on a regular basis is probably one of the most important parts of maintaining healthy vision. Complete eye exams are extremely important, regardless of your age or physical health. Your doctor will not only assess your prescription, but will also be able to determine if your vision health for things like eye disease.

  1. Don’t Smoke. Period.

First and foremost, smoking is bad. Right? Right! Well, not only is it bad for your lungs and other aspects of your general well-being, but it also affects your eyesight. Tobacco can cause things like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and will put you at an increased risk of developing cataracts, according to CNIB.

  1. Protect Your Eyes – Indoors and Out

Though wearing sunglasses is always a good thing, protect your eyes even further by wearing UV-filtered sunglasses. The same UV rays that can cause sunburns and of course, skin cancer, can also adversely affect your sight. Things like retinal damage, cataracts, and of course, skin cancer around the eyes.

Protecting your eyes also includes when you’re indoors, from safety hazards and from possible airborne materials. It’s important to wear safety glasses or protective goggles to prevent any damage while at work or at home. Sports can also cause unwanted harm – getting a puck in the eye, or a blade to the face is quite dangerous so it’s important to wear protective eyewear when playing sports.

  1. Food For Sight

Food isn’t just for the stomach. And healthy food isn’t just for weight control. Eating healthy will help you maintain healthy vision for years to come. Be sure to include vitamins, minerals, fats and other essential nutrients in your diet. Eye-healthy foods include “greens” such as spinach, kale and collards; non-meat proteins like eggs, nuts, beans; citrus fruits and juices like oranges; and of course oily fishes such as tuna and salmon.

  1. Exercise

Sure exercise is important for maintaining a healthy weight as well as decreasing health risks and diseases. But exercise also positively affects your sight. By leading an active lifestyle, you are less likely to develop health issues such as type 2 diabetes, which is one of the leading causes of blindness in adults.

  1. Take A Break From Technology

Working long-term on computers, smartphones and/or tablets can also cause unwanted harm to your eyes. Staring at screens for lengthy periods of time can cause blurry vision, headaches, eyestrain, trouble focusing, as well as other physical problems like head, neck and back pain. Be sure to look away from the screen on a regular basis, or even get up and walk around. Give your eyes, and body, a little break.

Minimize Sore Eyes In 5 Easy Steps

Monday, May 11, 2015 @ 04:05 PM
Author: Amit Mathur

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In this tech-driven world of ours, we often spend hours-on-end staring at computer screens and screens get smaller and smaller as we get into reading on Kindles, tablets and smart phones. And staring at the screens all day causes most of us some serious eyestrain, sometimes leading to headaches and other problems. Here, we take a look at five simple things to do when you’ve been staring at a screen a little too long to reduce and possibly avoid any signs of eyestrain at home or at the office.

Break Often

Not only is this a good overall suggestion for those of us who sit at a desk all day, but it particularly benefits your eyes. Taking as little as a 5-to-10 minute break every hour to stretch your legs, grab a glass of water and remove your eyes from your computer screen will help you decrease eye strain and give your mind a little refresher.

Eye Exercises

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This might sound strange but simple looking away from the screen every 15 minutes or so and focusing on an object that’s far away will help your eyes tremendously. This exercise will also encourage blinking which gets your eyes wet and prevents dry eyes and particles from sitting on the eyes for too long.

 

Ergonomics For The Eyes

Believe it or not, ensuring your chair is at proper height with your desk is just as important to your eyes as it is for your back and arms. Purchase an antiglare screen for your computer as well which will help reduce the reflections on your computer screen. Making sure everything is adjusted according to your requirements goes a long way in improving eye strains.

Artificial Tears

Most people blind about 20 percent as often when they are staring at computer screens for extended periods of time. As a result, your eyes are drying out faster and this may lead to soreness and other problems. If you find that’s the case, purchasing over-the-counter artificial tears to help keep your eyes properly lubricated.

Eye Exams

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One of the most, if not the most, important things you can do to treat eye strain is to visit your eyecare specialist and have your eyes examined on a regular basis. Having regular checkups will help to ensure your eyes are carefully being looked after, that no diseases are progressing too rapidly and that any issues are being addressed in a timely fashion. These are all important steps in ensuring healthy vision for years to come.

 

What Are Floaters In The Eye?

Monday, May 4, 2015 @ 03:05 PM
Author: Amit Mathur

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If you’ve ever felt like you’re seeing something in front of your eye, but there was nothing there, it is likely just a floater. Nothing to be alarmed about, floaters are not dangerous and are simply small pieces of tissue inside the eye. These small pieces of tissue are actually on the back of your eye, or inside, and when light hits shadows are created on the retina which result in you seeing something in front of you that isn’t there.

Floaters are a common occurrence as we get older. Typically, by the time you reach your 50s or 60s, you’ll have a few floaters of your own.

What Are Floaters?

Your eyeball contains what is called the vitreous humour (Latin meaning liquid) — a jello-like substance that holds your eye together. The older you get, the less solid this substance becomes, and sometimes, while still maintaining the eye together, it easily splits apart into clumps. And when the lighting conditions are just right, and you’re looking in the right direction, you might just be able to see some of these clumps that are happening behind-the-scenes so to speak.

Should I Worry?

Typically, no you shouldn’t worry if you see floaters. Having said that, once you start to see floaters, or if you notice the amount of floaters is increasing, it’s always a good idea to see your eye doctor. As a precaution, seeing your doctor will help to ensure you’re floaters aren’t causing any more serious damage and aren’t the result of any underlying issues as well, such as a tear in your retina.

Why Am I Seeing Floaters?

Though it’s generally a problem that occurs with aging, there are many reasons why people, young and old, might see floaters.

  • If you have migraines
  • If you are nearsighted
  • If you had cataract surgery or other eye surgeries
  • If you experience inflammation of the eyes
  • If you are pregnant
  • If you have had head and/or neck injuries,
  • If you have a history of diabetes or other circulatory problems

How Do I Treat Floaters?

Floaters are not painful, and unless you see them, you won’t really know they are present. Sadly, there is no treatment, no medicine and no surgery to treat for floaters. Depending on the floaters you have, they do sometimes float to the bottom of the vitreous fluid at the bottom of the eye, making it harder for you to see them on a regular basis. If you find the floaters to be really bothersome, try moving your eyes quickly in all directions to try to move the floaters away from where you’ll see them. Remember that the vitreous fluid is a jello-like substance so by moving your eyes, you might move the floaters in another part of the vitreous and won’t be bothered again.

When Should I See My Eye Doctor?

You should see your eye doctor if you find you are seeing an increased number of floaters to make sure these additional floaters are not caused by a detached retina. By understand your vision health and the signs to look for, you’ll know when it’s time to contact your eyecare professional for an exam. But always feel comfortable to call your doctor if you’re unsure. They will gladly answer any questions you might have. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.