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.
While the late-Summer-early-Fall trip to the optometrist is a yearly tradition for families with children who wear glasses, this year, of course, is going to be a bit different: due to COVID restrictions, not only will the appointment itself be different, but so will the way patients use those glasses in the classroom. As patients roll into your practice either in preparation for a return to the classroom, or as they come in realizing from their experience at school that their Rx has changed, or some come in newly realizing they need an Rx, here are a few things to keep in mind to help make patients’ return to the classroom as safe and comfortable as possible.
It seems to happen all too often. Pick up the phone in the office, and it’s a contact lens prescription verification request that may need to be replayed more than once to be understood. The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety notes, “Confirming the accuracy of contact lens prescriptions, which includes several specifications, is far too complicated for an automated phone system or robocall. Information relayed in these robocalls is oftentimes garbled or does not align with a patient’s medical record—making it difficult, or even impossible, for a doctor to correctly identify the patient and proper prescription within the eight-hour passive verification window.” This message from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care sends a glimmer of hope to eliminate this problem, but only if we all take action.
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.
The content contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Reliance on any information provided in this article is solely at your own risk.