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Archive for September, 2015

The Importance Of Depth Perception

Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 10:09 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

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How far away is a table? When should you stop your car so you won’t hit the car in front of you? These are all questions we somehow know the answer to without knowing exactly how. The reason is depth perception and most of us have it.

What Is Depth Perception?

Let’s start at the basics first. Before we get into its importance, let’s understand what it is exactly. So what is depth perception? Depth perception is the ability to see something in your visual field (your line of sight) and know approximately how far away it is.

Most of us are able to do this because both our eyes work together to be able to see an object in three dimensions and determine its size, length, width, height and distance. Our eyes see things from a slightly different angle — try closing one eye and looking at an object, then reversing it. The image is then processed by the brain to form a single image which provides us with the information needed.

Our brain uses the information we’ve gathered over the years to help hasten the process of computing objects in our sight. This happens millions of times a day which means we are constantly using our depth perception without even realizing it. Which is a great segue into the reason it’s important.

Why Do We Need Depth Perception?

Well for starters, knowing when to get out of the way of a moving car is a good reason why depth perception comes in handy. But we also use it for small things hundreds of times throughout the day. When you walk into a new place, you see the desk in front of you so you don’t walk into it; you see there is a wall with a door so you avoid it; you see someone running towards you so you can move out of their way.

Aside from determining the size of an object and how far away it is from you, your depth perception also provides your brain information about how quickly something is moving. Whether it’s a car, a person or a ball, this is much needed information to ensure you don’t get hurt or collide with someone or something.

What If My Depth Perception Isn’t Great?

Some of us sometimes have trouble assessing information like speed, size, or distance from an object. In this instance, it’s advisable you visit your optician or optometrist to test your depth perception. This test will try to determine the root cause of the problem and they will try to resolve the issue.

There are eye exercises you can try as well to help practice your depth perception and try to improve it naturally. Of course, sometimes there isn’t anything eye exercises can do and seeing your doctor will help you determine the best course of treatment. Aside from exercises, there are plenty of foods that will naturally enhance your vision such as zinc, antioxidants as well as vitamins A, C and E. Again, your eye care professional is the best person to recommend eye-healthy foods as well as potential exercises that might help.

3 Most Common Vision Loss Problems In Women

Monday, September 21, 2015 @ 10:09 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

 

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Believe it or not, women are more likely to develop eye diseases and vision loss then men. On average, women make up two-thirds of North Americans who are visually impaired or blind.

The reason? There are many reasons, the most common of which is lack of care. Women tend to put their family’s health before their own, which means they often overlook their own annual eye exams. Another main factor is of course genetics play a major part in vision and vision loss, and women unfortunately are often more predisposed to such conditions. Lastly, the cyclical change of women’s hormones affects the body as a whole, including their eyes.

So what are the three most common vision loss problems in women? We examine vision change or loss caused by pregnancy, dry eye and autoimmune diseases in women.

  1. Change or loss of vision during pregnancy

When a women becomes pregnant, it’s no surprise that her body changes over the course of gestation thanks to an influx of hormones. Things like cravings, swollen ankles, gestational diabetes and so forth, are all common and oftentimes only last for the duration of the pregnancy. Change in a woman’s vision is also possible to happen. It’s important that once a woman realizes she is experiencing changes, regardless of what it is, she should speak with her doctor immediately to ensure it is diagnosed and properly managed during her pregnancy.

The most common pregnancy-related vision problems include changes in the eye’s moisture. This can mean excessive dry eyes or excessive wet eyes as well. There is also the likelihood that a woman with diabetes during pregnancy (whether it’s gestational or not) can develop diabetic retinopathy. This is when changes in blood pressure and blood sugar levels weaken the blood vessels in the retina, which can potentially rupture or develop what are called “abnormal branches.” It is important to see your doctor regularly and have regular eye exams if you have any concerns.

  1. Developing Dry Eyes During or After Menopause

Dry eyes are quite common within the general population worldwide. However, women who are either going through menopause or are post-menopausal are twice as likely to develop dry eyes. Once again, the continuous change of hormones happening in a woman’s body is the reason this occurs more frequently. The drop in estrogen during this time correlates with the decreased production of tears. These tears are needed to keep the eyes moist and lubricated as well as to protect from debris, dust and other small particles that can affect the eyes. Without the regular tear production, eyes are likely to become dry, itchy and problematic.

  1. Women Are More Likely To Develop Autoimmune Diseases

Normally, your immune system is your main line of defense against foreign bodies and diseases, however autoimmune diseases is when the immune system fights against itself or other parts of your body. There are many different types of autoimmune diseases which affect different parts of the body. The most common types which are more likely to affect the eyes. Lupus is when immune cells can attack different organs, like the eyes, and if this happens the eyes will swell, become light sensitive (photophobia) and dry. Hyperthyroiditis, an infection within the thyroid gland, can lead to Graves’ disease, which can cause the eyes to swell and appear to bulge out of the eye socket. This can be very serious, leading to optic nerve damage and corneal hernias. Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease that directly affects the eyes. White blood cells attack the glands that produce tears. This leads to dry eyes and requires exhaustive therapy to keep the eyes properly lubricated.

Fruits that are good for your eyes

Monday, September 14, 2015 @ 10:09 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

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What you eat has a huge impact on how healthy you are. Getting the right food into your body will make every part of it including your eyes healthier. Some fruits are rich in antioxidants and other nutrients that help eye health.

Antioxidants are essential for eye health. Cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma can be prevented or slowed by a healthy diet rich in antioxidants. To reduce the risk of age related eye problems you should make sure to get enough antioxidants in your diet. Antioxidants help to combat natural oxidative processes within the body that can cause health issues.Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid is great for your eyes. Eye tissue and the cornea in particular need vitamin C to do their jobs.

Here is a list of fruits to eat to keep your eyes healthy.

Dragon fruit

Dragon fruit is a bright fruit that is rich in vitamin C. People who like kiwis and different varieties of melon will like dragon fruit. While less common than apples and oranges dragon fruit is available at many supermarkets and grocery stores. The fruit is high in fibre. Vitamin C, phytoalbumin and minerals in dragon fruit act as antioxidants. Dragon fruit helps keep cholesterol down, which also benefits the eyes.

Mangosteen

This juicy tropical fruit is rich in B vitamins that help reduce the risk of macular degeneration. High amounts of vitamin A help reduce the risk of cataracts and other eye conditions.

Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries

Berries are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. The berries are high in fibre, ellagic acid and phytonutrients. Blueberries in particular pack a high antioxidant load and have relatively few calories in them.

Kiwi

This small fruit is brown and fuzzy on the outside and green on the inside. Kiwis help to prevent macular degeneration because they contain lutein. Lutein is important for the retina. On the antioxidant front kiwis contain carotenoids, flavonoids, anthocyanins, vitamin C and vitamin D. They have many weapons to fight free radicals with.

Guava

Despite their hard shell and the presence of seeds guava is well worth the work. The fruit has a green shell and pink inside similar in appearance to a watermelon. Guava is high in vitamin A, which helps prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. It also contains crucial vitamin C. The fruit may help patients experiencing vision loss to improve their eyes.

Grapefruit

This hybrid fruit was created as a cross between an orange and a pomelo. The slightly bitter pink fruit is great for your eyes. Rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin it is the perfect fruit to help lower the risk of macular degeneration and other eye conditions.

Orange

Oranges should be a staple of any healthy diet. They are easy to buy and come in lots of different varieties. You can also get orange juice if you aren’t interested in having to eat the sometimes messy fruit. Oranges have vitamin C, vitamin A beta carotene and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Types of corrective eye surgery

Monday, September 7, 2015 @ 10:09 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

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People get or require eye surgery for a variety of reasons. There are a number of different types of eye surgery. Depending on what eye condition a patient has eye surgery may be necessary and unavoidable or it may be something the patient selects as an alternative to wearing glasses or contacts.

When a patient is considering corrective eye surgery as an alternative to wearing glasses or contacts for the rest of their life there are three main types of corrective eye surgery to chose from. All of them use a laser to reshape the cornea. They can be used to treat far-sightedness, near-sightedness and astigmatism all of which result from the shape of the eye. In the case of far-sightedness and near-sightedness light hits the cornea at the wrong angle making it difficult to see either far away or nearby. With astigmatism the shape of the eye cause difficulty focusing on objects and blurred vision. A laser can reshape the eyes to correct these problems.

Most corrective surgeries result in permanent correction making it so that patients no longer have to wear contacts or glasses. The decision to get surgery is often based on cost savings in the long term through not having to purchase vision correction. It also assumes that the risks of complications associated with surgery are far outweighed by the potential benefits of having excellent vision after the surgery.

LASIK

There are three types of corrective surgery. The first is laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis known as LASIK. During the surgery a laser is used to reshape the cornea.

PRK

Photorefractive keratectomy known as PRK and laser-assisted sub-epithelial keratectomy known as LASEK are the other two. PRK and LASEK are very similar. PRK uses a laser to vaporise part of the tissue in the outer cornea. Recovery times are often longer for PRK than LASIK. The main advantage of PRK is that no corneal flap is created unlike with LASIK surgery. The flaps can cause problems with night vision and a number of other complications.

LASEK

LASEK surgery uses a very similar technique to PRK. Instead of removing the epithelium a solution is used to weaken it so it can be moved to the side while the cornea is reshaped. It is put back in place after laser work on the cornea is finished.

Risks

The type of risks depend in part on the type of laser eye surgery chosen. LASIK has a larger risk of dry eyes and vision distortions resulting from the flap created by the surgery. PRK and LASEK have longer recovery times.

Dry eyes are a potential complication of all three types. It is possible for long-term vision problems to develop as a result of surgery.

With any surgery there is always the risk of infection, which in the eyes can lead to vision loss. Infection risks for laser eye surgery are lower than they are for contact usage.

Starbusts and halos may develop in the patient’s vision during the healing process and as a permanent problem. These problems are most common at night.