Half the world will need glasses by 2050 because of screens

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New research has shown that by 2050, half the world’s total population could be short-sighted and require corrective glasses.

Currently, thirty-four percent of the world’s population have difficulties with their vision.

New research about digital eye strain

According to the research, published by in the Opthalmology journal, the reason behind this increase in vision problems is a result of too much time spent looking at screens on devices and not enough time spent outside.

The journal stated that the changes “are widely considered to be driven by environmental factors, principally lifestyle changes resulting from a combination of decreased time outdoors and increased near-work activities,” which is a term that is used for time spent looking at screens.

The research also showed that those who are more likely to be short-sighted come from countries with high incomes, e.g. North America, Europe and specific parts of Asia, as these are countries that are likely to have high amounts of time spent looking at screens.

Digital eye strain

Digital eye strain is an increasingly common problem in modern life. More and more of us are spending longer and longer staring at screens and this is having a negative impact on our lives.

The symptoms of digital eye strain can be varied, but they are typically reminiscent of eye fatigue. You can get either extremely dry or watery eyes, and can become sensitive to light after a couple of hours in front of a screen.

Protect yourself from digital eye strain

In modern life there are often few ways that you can reduce your exposure to screens. Many of us require them for work, and many day to day tasks now would be next to impossible to complete without the aid of a computer or phone.

However, there are a few ways that you can reduce the effects of digital eye strain.

You can implement the 20-20-20 rule. This involves spending 20 seconds looking at an object 20 feet away for every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen. Simple and effective, but this can take time to develop into a habit.

Another alternative is to invest in glasses that block harmful blue light from  screens, and effectively reduce the effects of digital eye strain.

The dangers of fake sunglasses

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As summer approaches, we’re often on the lookout for a pair of new sunglasses. As with anything, many of us will be looking to save a buck or two when we buy them.

But according to ophthalmologists, scrimping on your sunglasses could ultimately damage your eyesight in the long run cost your eyesight dearly.

What happens when we’re in sunlight?

When we’re outside in the brilliant sunshine we squint, and our pupils constrict to tiny dots in order to restrict the amount of light getting in.

However when you put on sunglasses, it mimics the effect of being in a darkened room, so the pupils dilate to allow more light in – so you can see better.

How does sunlight damage our eyes?

Sunlight emits two of the most harmful types of UV light – UVA and UVB. These can be incredibly damaging to our eyes, but we not naturally exposed to it as our pupils constrict to reduce the light and limit the exposure to UV rays.

Most cheap sunglasses won’t have UVA/UVB protection, but do offer some relief from visible light. Your pupils will naturally dilate when wearing them, making it feel like your eyes are being protected.

However, despite filtering out the visible light, these cheap sunglasses still allow UVA and UVB light through. Additionally, the UV rays will enter your dilated pupils at a much higher rate than if you weren’t wearing any sunglasses.

This harmful UVA and UVB light has been linked to cataract formation, macular degeneration and even the development of ocular melanoma – a very rare type of cancer.

How can you combat this?

You don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money on a pair of glasses to ensure that they will protect you from the harmful UVA and UVB rays.

We would all expect that $100 polarized and polycarbonate lenses will come with the full range of protection, but there are lots of more affordable glasses that block UVA and UVB rays available.

Our continuously adjustable Adlens Sundials offer UVA and UVB protection and are reasonably priced. So make sure you’re fully protected from damaging sunlight this summer.

Smart glasses in 2016

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We’re only a couple of months into 2016, but we’ve already seen lots of different smart glasses being premiered at global tech expos. So we thought we’d round up what we’ve seen so far.

Snapchat’s AR glasses

It has been reported that Snapchat are looking into augmented reality using a specially designed pair glasses.

Their vision for AR glasses would allow the user to take a snap with the blink of an eye – similarly to how photos worked on the now infamous Google Glass.

It seems that Snapchat have been stealthily acquiring wearable tech experts for a little while, and back in 2014, Snapchat also bought out a company that creates eyewear that allows the wearer to record what they see, similarly to Google Glass.

Oculus Rift

We’ve seen quite a few virtual reality headsets being launched this year, with everyone from Microsoft, HTC, and Sony Playstation , but by far the biggest name is the industry leader, Oculus Rift.

Facebook is notorious for snapping up smaller companies that could help it continue on its juggernaut path, and back in 2014 they acquired the virtual reality headwear company Oculus VR for a staggering $2bn.

When he announced the purchase of Oculus VR, Mark Zuckerberg, the founding father of Facebook, said:

“Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.”

These innovative wearable glasses could truly transform our lives, with VR promising to be the next big thing for everything, from gaming to a new form of social network.

 

5 reasons you need glasses

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Considering getting glasses can be somewhat of an emotional struggle, and it can be hard to find enough reasons to make you summon up the courage to go to the optometrist. But we’ve got 5 good reasons you need to pluck up the courage and make an appointment.

#1 It’s all a bit blurry

Maybe you’re suddenly noticing that your vision is blurry at times, or maybe you are beginning to have trouble focusing on things. Have you never been able to focus, or is it a recent thing?

Either way, you could be stuck in a cycle of internal conflict about whether or not to visit your local optometrist. We suggest that you do, as eye examinations can also detect health problems that have no signs or symptoms.

#2 Splitting headaches

If you’re experiencing frequent headaches for no real reason, it could be a sign of vision problems. Constantly trying to focus strains your eyes and can be a cause headaches.

#3 You’re squinting a lot

Squinting can be one of the main signs that you might need glasses. If you find yourself squinting to read road signs, or to look at your laptop or device screen, you should get your eyes tested.

#4 You can see halos

We’re not talking about the circle of light shown above the head of a saint or angel. Put simply, the light isn’t focusing properly onto your retina. This causes the light to become scattered, resulting in bright circles surrounding different kinds of light – e.g. lightbulbs, lamps, car headlights or the sun.

#5 It’s harder than usual to see in the dark

If you find that your eyes are taking a little while to adjust to the darkness, particularly if you’ve just stepped into darkness from a bright place (e.g. just turned your light off before bed), this can be a sign that you need glasses to give your vision that extra little bit of help.

Lifestyle, nutrition and eye conditions

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Obviously a healthy and balanced diet is good for overall health, but we explore the studies that have shown a direct connection between what we eat and the health of our eyes.

Leafy greens and glaucoma

Research has showed that there is a connection between what we eat and developing glaucoma. Glaucoma develops when the fluid around our eyes (aqueous fluid) can’t drain properly, causing pressure which can damage the optic nerve and the fibres of the retina.

Of the 100,000 40+ year olds that took part in the study, they looked at the differences in diet between the 1,483 people that did develop Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) and the people that didn’t. Resulting in noting that those who hadn’t developed the disease, regularly ate more leafy greens.

Leafy greens contain a high level of dietary nitrate that helps regulate the blood flow to the optic nerve, therefore making the connection between eating your greens (about 1.5 servings a day) and glaucoma.

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Nutrition and cataracts

Diets which are high in antioxidants have shown a reduced risk in the development of cataracts whereas those high in carbohydrates have an increased risk.

Cataracts, an eye condition that develops over many years occurs when the lens of the eye becomes less clear, resulting in cloudy vision.

Commonly known as age-related cataracts, they are one of the leading causes of sight loss today.

Research on 30,000 49-year-old women showed that those who ate a lot of foods high in antioxidants were less likely to develop cataracts, compared to those who didn’t. Brightly coloured fruit and dark green vegetables contain the highest number of antioxidants, as well as whole grains.

Additional research also showed that those who ate a diet high in carbohydrates had an increased risk of developing cataracts.

What should be in your diet?

Consuming your five a day and making fruit and veg a part of your diet will help towards sustaining a balanced diet as well as keeping your eyes healthy.

Avoiding take-outs, fast food, processed food, sugary foods, salty foods and foods high in saturated fat are all ways of preventing cataracts.

With a healthy body will come healthy eyes.

Diabetes and how it affects your eyes

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With one in 25 people in the UK affected by diabetes, we explore the complications of the condition and how it can affect your vision.

There are two kinds of diabetes, type 1 and type 2:

Type 1 diabetes – Usually, people under 30 are much more likely to suffer with this type of diabetes. If your body is producing little to no insulin, then insulin injections are required to keep a balance within the body.

Type 2 diabetes – Type 2 diabetes affects those at the age of 40 and onward, and is diagnosed when your body starts producing little or limited insulin, preventing your body to use what is being produced. Changes in your diet, medication and exercise will help control the insulin levels in the body.

How can diabetes affect eyesight?

Diabetes affecting the retina

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease linked with diabetes where damage has been done to the retina; the layer at the back of the eye, resulting in vision problems.

Retinopathy can be mild or it can be severe, depending how long you leave it until you get your eyes seen to/or leave your diabetes uncontrolled.

Diabetic retinopathy can worsen as your diabetes develops. Blood vessels that are connected to your eye will either block or begin to leak, inevitably affecting your vision.

  • 40% of people with type 1 diabetes will find themselves with a form of diabetic retinopathy.
  • 20% of people with type 2 diabetes will also find themselves with the condition.

Diabetes affecting the macula

The yellow oval shape, which surrounds the retina, is called a macula. Symptoms like blurry vision; difficulty in recognizing faces and reading could be a sign of maculopathy.

In other cases, a condition called Diabetic Macular Oedema (DMO) can also be a worry as fluid will begin to gather in the macula.

Laser treatments are available for macula based conditions and could help restore or prevent sight loss.

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How to reduce your risk of sight loss

The more controlled your diabetes is, the safer your eyes will be. However, there are still ways of preventing vision issues:

  • Making sure your blood levels are controlled
  • Checking and controlling your cholesterol
  • Exercising and keeping fit
  • Maintaining a balanced diet
  • Cutting down on the smoking or quitting altogether
  • Making sure your eyes get screened regularly

If you’ve had diabetes for a long time, then there is a bigger chance of developing eye conditions, which can then lead to sight loss. So making sure you have regular screenings is vital. The quicker they are diagnosed, the easier it will be of detecting any disease.