Top resolutions to improve eye health

Download PDF

It’s January, so it’s time for us all to make some New Year’s resolutions. Typically, many of us will make similar clichéd resolutions; eating healthier, exercising more, quitting smoking et al. But do any of us think about our vision? We’ve taken a look at how classic resolutions can also help our eyesight.

vegetables-700042_1280

Source: Pixabay

Eating healthier

A healthy diet can contribute to healthy eyesight. Although it’s tempting during the holidays to have a poor diet, make sure you eat lots of leafy greens, colourful fruits and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids for the rest of the year to help your eye health.

Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, contain the healthy protein lutein. Recently, a study by the University of Florida found that eyes containing higher levels of lutein were up to 80% less likely to be sufferers of age-related macular degeneration.

man-641691_1280

Source: Pixabay

Exercising more

Regular exercise may reduce the risk of vision loss. High blood pressure, diabetes, or narrowing or hardening of the arteries, can all have a significant impact on your ability to see well. By exercising frequently, you can reduce the likelihood of these conditions affecting you, and the chances of them affecting your sight.

stop-634941_1280

Source: Pixabay

Quitting smoking

This is an incredibly common resolution, as we are all aware of how bad smoking is for your health. Many of us know that it can increase our chances of lung and throat cancer but it has also been revealed that smoking can directly influence two of the leading causes of vision loss: cataracts and macular degeneration.

In a study of more than 50,000 women, those who smoked had a 63% increased risk of cataracts, compared to those who didn’t smoke. This was not the only side effect of smoking, as it was also proven to increase the rate at which cataracts progress.

Your resolutions

By taking on board a clichéd New Year’s resolution, not only will you improve your overall health, you may actually improve your eyesight and take better care of it for years to come.

The science behind blue light

Download PDF

We talk a lot about blue light, or high-energy visible (HEV) light, when we discuss the benefits that our innovative Interface glasses have. But what exactly is blue light? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Blue Light?

Blue light is a high-energy light that falls between 400-500 nm in the visible spectrum. In its natural form from the sun, blue light is healthy as it allows us to differentiate between day and night and manages our circadian rhythm – i.e when we are asleep and when we are awake. Exposure to natural blue light in the daytime improves our cognitive performance and keeps us alert. As we are naturally exposed to less blue light at night, we wind down in preparation for sleep.

mirror-64366_1280

Source: Pixabay.com

However, exposure to the high levels of artificial blue light emitted by the most popular consumer electronic devices – like laptops, tablets and smartphones – through their backlit screens, is changing our circadian rhythms and causing disruption to our natural sleep patterns.

 

Blue light keeps you awake at night

In the evening, the pineal gland in the brain will normally begin to release melatonin, a hormone that reduces alertness to help induce sleep, a few hours before we drift off. Scientists have found that absorbing large quantities of blue light from digital devices in an evening will suppress the release of melatonin, leaving people more alert and awake, struggling to fall asleep and feeling tired the next day.

moon-647718_1280

Source: Pixabay.com

Blue light can damage your eyes

As well as causing problems with sleep, artificial blue light is causing concern among eye doctors. Emerging research has suggested that cumulative and constant exposure to blue light can also damage retinal cells. The retina processes light and colour and as its cells cannot be replaced, degradation could lead to long-term vision problems

The best way to combat blue light is reducing your exposure to it – either by reducing your use of screens or using specialist eyewear.

We’ve created Adlens Interface to protect eyes from blue light. Adlens Interface is a continuously adjustable pair of eyewear, with the added bonus of a yellow tinted lenses to filter out 80% of the most harmful blue light to help protect against its impacts and relieve the symptoms of digital eye strain.

The future of glasses

Download PDF

Glasses have been widely available since the 13th Century but since their advent, they haven’t changed a whole lot. Modern technology has allowed them to become more lightweight and durable, but they still remain largely the same.

However, technology in the 21st Century is changing now more than ever – so what will this new technology bring to eyewear and what is the future of glasses?

Smartglasses

Google Glass was the first real player in the world of ‘smartglasses’. They were initially launched as the future of glasses and wearable tech but it wasn’t long before they were removed from the public domain – promising to be relaunched when they were ‘perfect’.

Google_Glass_detail

Source: Azugaldia on Flickr

Although Google Glass is not currently available, Google continues to develop it – increasingly more so in corporate, military and medical settings. For example, the Gurkha Military use Google Glass to track animals and birds in the wild.

Google Glass is also used in hospitals. It was recently used to help cardiologists unblock the artery of a 49-year old man.  They loaded a three-dimensional reconstruction of his artery into a custom application, which was then displayed on the headset in order to help the cardiologists guide a catheter into the clogged area.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality (VR) is widely regarded as the next big thing, both in terms of technology and eyewear. The headwear made headlines and was brought to the attention of a lot of people when the Oculus Rift – a pioneering VR headset that launched on Kickstarter – was acquired by Facebook.

16293865630_5b7cf84bc0_z

Source: Rebke Klokke on Flickr

Another notable VR headset is the inexpensive Google Cardboard. As the name suggests, it is made from cardboard and is designed to be a mount for cellular devices.

14519574116_1bb8ba6f1b_z

Source: othree on Flickr

It was developed by Google employees David Coz and Damien Henry during their 20% ‘Innovation Time Off’ – a period of time given to Google employees each week to encourage the development of new ideas and holistic projects. Coz and Henry developed the headset in order to generate interest applications of VR technology.

Give thanks for your sight

Download PDF

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, so we thought it would be the perfect time to give thanks for something simple that most of us overlook every day – our sight.

When you sit down and think about it, how amazing are our eyes?! We evolved for millions of years from simple amoeba to get to the point where we are now. We started off with simple light-sensitive spots and now we have eyes so complex, we can perceive depth, motion and even color.

When originally considering how eyes evolved, the father of evolution himself – Charles Darwin – originally wrote in his book Origin of Species that the evolution of the eye seemed “absurd in the highest possible degree” as the eye is so complex. So it really is a miracle that we evolved to have this essential organ to give us sight that allows us to interact with the world in a whole new way.

Sight is often considered the most important sense. It allows us to see the setting sun, or the faces of those we love.  Our eyes let us see and learn about the world around us at a faster rate than any of the other senses.

But remember, you need to take care of your eyes. It is important to get an eye test every two years, and to avoid anything that can damage your eyesight – such as smoking or heavy drinking. Make sure you look after your eyes properly; wearing sunglasses in bright sunshine and goggles whilst swimming can help too.

So take some time this Thanskgiving to be thankful for your sight. When you look down at your plate full of turkey, or look around at your family, think about how far we’ve come to get to this point.

Then dive straight in and eat as much as possible until you burst.

Happy Thanksgiving from Adlens!

Living with sight loss

Download PDF

optometrist-91751_640

Source: Pixabay.com

Sight loss

Sight loss and blindness affects many different people around the world. In 2012 The National Health Interview Survey showed that 20.6 million American adults aged 18 and over reported experiencing loss of vision. Sight loss and blindness can affect not only the person living with the condition, but also those supporting them. However, living with sight loss today can be made easier with the assistance of support groups, and technologies.

Help with sight loss and blindness

Sight loss and blindness can be hard to adapt to and there is a variety of different tools and groups available to help. The American Foundation for the Blind can offer advice on job seekers allowance, using technology, Braille and support groups. Attending a support group is not only a good way to help with problems you may be facing, but it is also a good way to socialize with new people.

Living with sight loss

Sight loss does not mean that you have to lose your independence, or that you will not be able to do the things that you have always enjoyed doing. People who experience blindness are able to continue partaking in activities that they have always done.

Couple Maxine and Griff went on holiday to Banff and Lake Louise, where they found that a bus tour was a great way to experience the town as the audio description of the area allowed both of them to enjoy their surroundings.

Jerry Barrier spends a lot of his free time attending birding evens, where he is able to hear a bird call and identify the bird without seeing it. Jerry enjoys birding events so much, he now attempts to attend at least one each time he goes on vacation. Birding allows Jerry to interact with others who have the same interests as him.

Can diabetes cause blindness?

Download PDF

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition that causes a person’s blood glucose level to become too high. This is due to an inability to convert glucose into energy, caused by the body either not producing enough insulin or because the insulin produced does not work properly.

Can diabetes affect your sight?

High blood glucose level can affect your ability to see. Changes in blood sugar levels can cause the lens inside your eye to swell and blur your vision. This can become a serious problem if your diabetes is not under control. Diabetes can also cause a more serious eye problem called retinopathy.

optometrist-91750_1280

Source: Pixabay.com

What is retinopathy?

Retinopathy is a very serious eye condition that damages the eye’s retina. . The retina is dependent on a network of blood vessels to function and if the vessels become blocked or leak the retina can be damaged and unable to work properly. The blood vessels change with sugar levels, meaning people with diabetes are at a higher risk of retinopathy. It comes in different forms including background retinopathy, maculopathy and profilerative retinopathy.

What is background retinopathy?

Background diabetic retinopathy is the earliest stage of retinopathy. In this case the blood vessels are only mildly affected – the vessels may bulge slightly and can leak blood or fluid. As the macula is not yet affected you will have normal vision and will not be aware of the problem – however it will need to be carefully monitored and treated to prevent it getting worse. A retinal screening test will detect background retinopathy.

What is maculopathy?

Maculopathy is when the background retinopathy is either at or around the macula of the eye. The macula is the most used area of the retina – it provides the eyes central vision and is essential for clear and detailed vision. If fluid is able to leak from an enlarged blood vessel onto the macular it can cause swelling and lead to the loss of some vision.

What is proliferative diabetic retinopathy?

Proliferative retinopathy occurs as background retinopathy develops and large areas of the retina are deprived of a proper blood supply (due to blocked and damaged blood vessels.) This then stimulates the growth of new blood vessels to replace the blocked vessels.
The new growing vessels are delicate and can bleed easily, causing scar tissue that starts to shrink and pull on the retina – leading to it becoming detached and possibly causing vision loss or blindness.

lens-915782_1280

Source: Pixabay.com

How can I reduce the risk of an eye condition?

You can reduce some of the risks linked with diabetic retinopathy by controlling  your glucose levels, blood pressure and cholesterol, and keeping fit. Most importantly, people with diabetes should have regular retinal screenings as if retinopathy is detected early enough, treatment can prevent it getting worse.