The first time we see many patients is when they finally decide that their arms are too short for reading. We then have to discuss the dreaded words bifocals, reading glasses or progressives. Often, the discussion is met with resistance and depression – “I guess I’m getting old.” But what if there were a solution as easy as a once-a-day eye drop that would improve near vison? It’s a good bet patients would jump at it, and now they can. In late October, Vuity from Allergan was FDA approved as the first eye drop to improve near and intermediate vision.
It is estimated that artist Pablo Picasso created 13,500 paintings and about 100,000 prints and engravings. A creative genius, his best-known works span periods from the Blue Period to Cubism to Neoclassism and Surrealism, with others in between. His unique style is recognizable to almost anyone, but did you know that Picasso had a vision condition that is believed to have influenced his art?
From Review of Myopia Management Over the years, many risk factors have been considered for myopia and range from individual characteristics such as sex, ethnicity, parental myopia, height, and intelligence, to environmental factors, such as near work, time outdoors, sleep, diet, socioeconomic status, etc. Of the various risk factors, time outdoors and near work remain the most significant factors that appear interrelated to other factors. The protective effect of time outdoors has been consistent and gaining acceptance, whereas the link between near work and myopia has been weak.
Researchers used to think that eye color was determined by a single gene and followed a simple inheritance pattern in which brown eyes were dominant to blue eyes. However, later studies showed that this model was too simplistic. The inheritance of eye color is more complex than originally suspected because multiple genes are involved. Most of the genes associated with eye color are involved in the production, transport, or storage of the pigment melanin. Eye color is directly related to the amount and quality of melanin in the front layers of the iris. People with brown eyes have a large amount of melanin in the iris, while people with blue eyes have much less.
Scientists at Joslin Diabetes Center have shown that routine eye imaging can identify changes in the retina that may be associated with cognitive disorders in older people with type 1 diabetes. The Joslin Medalist Study, recently published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found strong associations between performance on memory tasks and structural changes in deep blood vessel networks in the retina in people living with type 1 diabetes for 50 years or longer.
Can declining vision in the elderly be associated with cognitive decline? A recent article in the New York Times reported on a study published in JAMA Open Network indicating just that. The study used data from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging for 2003 to 2019. The more than 1,200 participants in the study were aged 60 to 94 years. Visual function was evaluated for acuity, contrast sensitivity, and stereo acuity. Cognitive function was evaluated for language, memory, attention, executive function, and visuospatial ability (the ability to identify visual and spatial relationships among objects). All participants had normal cognitive function at the initiation of the study, with standard deviations (SD) in visual acuity of 0.16, and contrast sensitivity of 1.9.
Light, or visible light, is but a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that our eyes can detect. The visible light spectrum consists of wavelengths of light (from shortest to longest) violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and travels from the sun at 186,000/miles per second before it strikes an object. Depending on the object it strikes, it will either absorb, reflect, or refract the light. As an example, let's use a red apple. When sunlight, or white light, strikes the apple, the component colors are broken down and all the wavelengths of light are absorbed with the exception of the red wavelengths; they are being reflected. As our eyes process this information and fine-tune this data, our brain interprets this, and we see that all the colors except red are absorbed by the apple. The red wavelength is reflected, and therefore the apple appears red.
There has been rising concern about the impact of digital device use on children’s vision, and the year 2020 may provide a unique data pool for analysis. According to USAFacts, 65% of households with children reported the use of online learning last year. Never before have there been so many children learning via digital devices, increasing the screen time that was already raising concern. The impact on vision is as yet unknown, but there is fertile ground for study.
I live in an area that is a spawning ground for horseshoe crabs in early summer. They’re odd-looking creatures that remind me of miniature amphibious tanks storming the beach. I noticed two lateral eyes near the front of the dorsal shell that didn’t seem to be particularly useful when the crabs took circuitous routes to find their way back to the water. Curious as to how they navigated, I did some research and found some surprising information.
After a winter that may have seemed longer than usual, professional and amateur athletes alike are rushing for the great outdoors. They’re honing skills that may have become a bit rusty from lack of practice, searching for that competitive edge. They’re abandoning comfort food for good nutrition to gain strength, speed, and stamina. Do they know that nutrition can enhance one of the most critical sports skills – vision?
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