Protecting eye health from blue lights

Lasting Protection For Eye Health

Light plays an essential role in everyday life

Light is fundamental for vision. It is needed for perception of the surrounding world: shapes, details and colours.
Good Blue light (blue-turquoise part) is essential for overall well-being. It is neccesary for regulation of the sleep/wake cycles, mood and cognitive performances.

But light can also be the cause of premature eye ageing.

UV Rays

Blue-Violet Light

UV rays are as dangerous to our eyes as they are to our skin. The resulting damage accumulates over a lifetime, accelerating eye ageing and the development of cataracts.Harmful blue-violet light was recently identified as being harmful to retinal cells. Causing long-term damage to our eyes, it can accelerate the onset of age related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
Blue-violet light increases the risk of retinal damage.
Cumulative exposure to blue-violet light has a double effect:
  • It increases the production of lipofuscin, a metabolic waste material that accumulates in retinal cells with age. It is commonly known as an “age marker” that may be found in other organs.
  • It activates lipufuscin phototoxic components, causing retinal cell death. The accumulation of lipofuscin in retinal cells can contribute to the deposition of drusens in AMD.

UV and Blue-Violet light is present everywhere

Outdoors: Whatever the weather UV and blue-violet light is present (sunny, cloudy, rainy, etc.)
Indoors: Wherever the place blue-violet light is transmitted by low energy light bulbs and most modern digital devices, including tablets, smartphones and computers.

Crizal’s latest innovation selectively filters light

Prevents premature eye ageing by selectively filtering out harmful light: 
  • Reduces retinal cell death by 25% by filtering out harmful blue-violet light.
  • Protects from UV rays 25 times more than without lenses.
Preserves your overall well-being:
  • By letting in essential visible light pass through including blue-turquoise.
Provides optimal vision and durable transparency:
  • By offering the best protection against reflections, scratches, smudges, dust and water.

Crizal Prevencia

The most effective clear lens at selective light filtering
  • Blocks the harmful light: UV and harmful blue-violet light.
  • Lets the good light through: Including essential blue-turquoise light.
Helps prevent premature eye ageing:
  • Reduces the risk of cataracts and AMD.
Offers the best lens protection:
  • Against reflections, scratches, smudges, dust and water
Prevention against blue-violet light is recommended for everyone.

Eyes can absorb antioxidants from green tea

Researchers say the compounds responsible for many of the health benefits of green tea are capable of penetrating the tissues of the eyes and have antioxidant activity there.

Green tea has been touted for a number of health benefits, such as fighting heart disease and cancer, thanks to its high concentration of disease-fighting antioxidants called catechins.

Researchers say catechins are among a number of antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin, thought to help protect the delicate tissues of the eye from glaucoma and other eye diseases. But until now it wasn’t known if the catechins in green tea were capable of being absorbed into the tissues of the eye.

In the study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers fed laboratory rats green tea extract and then analyzed their eye tissues.

The results showed that different parts of the eye absorbed varying amounts of catechins. The area with the highest concentration of catechins was the retina, which is the light-sensing tissue that lines the back of the eye. The area with the least absorption of catechins was the cornea, which is the clear, outer layer of the eye.

The study also showed that a measure of antioxidant activity lasted for up to 20 hours after the drinking green tea extract.

Researcher Kai On Chu of the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and colleagues say that their findings suggest that drinking green tea could be protective of the eyes. Further studies, however, will be needed to confirm a protective effect in humans.

Ageing parents? Watch out for these warning signs

Eyes aren’t exempt from the wear and tear of ageing. And some age-related changes, like trouble focusing on close objects or thinning eyelashes, are annoying but not serious. Whether you’re the primary caregiver for an aging parent, frequently check up on their health care needs or watch from afar, knowing how to care for your parent’s eyes will help you all see clear to better health. In addition to reminding mom or dad (or accompanying them) to go to the eye doctor, here are some issues and warning signs you should be on the lookout for:

Change in iris color
Crossed eyes
Dark spot in the center of your field of vision
Difficulty focusing on near or distant objects
Double vision
Dry eyes with itching or burning
Episodes of cloudy vision
Excess discharge or tearing
Eye pain
Floaters or flashers
Growing bump on the eyelid
Halos (colored circles around lights) or glare
Hazy or blurred vision
Inability to close an eyelid
Loss of peripheral vision
Redness around the eye
Spots in your field of vision
Sudden loss of vision
Trouble adjusting to dark rooms
Unusual sensitivity to light or glare
Veil obstructing vision
Wavy or crooked appearance to straight lines

A routine vision test is critical to maintaining eye health—but that might not be enough. “Everyone with hypertension, diabetes, or over age 65 should have a yearly comprehensive eye exam,” says ophthalmologist Christopher Zieker, MD, in Saratoga Springs, NY.

“If there is any family history of macular degeneration or glaucoma, a yearly dilated exam should be performed despite how good you or they may think their vision is. Many eye diseases do not affect vision until the late stages of the condition,” says Zieker.

A balanced diet, optimum health with regular medical exams, and good UV protection (sunglasses) are all also important to help maintain eye health, says Zieker.

Dry eye syndrome
It’s estimated that up to four million people in the United States live with dry eye syndrome, a condition that results from a lack of naturally produced tears. This leaves eyes feeling irritated, sticky, dry, or gritty and the lens of the eye can become less elastic.

First line treatment involves lubricating drops, but much more can be done once the cause is diagnosed, says Barry M. Kay, O.D., an optometrist in Hollywood, Florida. “Talk to your parent’s doctor about omega-3 supplements, as they seem to help many patients with dry eyes.”

“Older adults develop cataracts, which is the natural lens in the eye becoming cloudy,” says Dr. Kay.

Dr. Kay says early cataracts typically causes increased glare and may cause complaints like “I can’t seem to get my glasses clean enough.” Changing the eyeglass prescription improves the vision in the beginning, eventually the cloudy internal lens of the eye needs to be replaced surgically.

Most people acclimate, making small adjustments in their daily lives, until they become too frustrated with their vision, and finally seek help. “But if you spot ‘small’ things like your parents changing their glasses or experiencing sensitivity to light, suggest they have an eye exam,” says Dr. Kay.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (or AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in people 60 and up. The disease destroys the sharp, central vision and prohibits daily activities like driving and reading, says Dr. Kay.

Early warning signs are blurry or ‘distorted’ vision or words appearing slightly doubled when trying to read. “Most forms have a mild to moderate effect on our ability to see details and are best managed with good nutrition and special supplements,” says Dr. Kay. The more severe form (called wet AMD) can be managed with special injections by a retinal specialist.

This disease damage’s the eye’s optic nerve and has been called the silent thief of sight as there typically are no symptoms. Vision loss typically starts peripherally and destroys most of the usable vision in an eye before the affected individual becomes aware, says Dr. Kay. Fortunately, most cases are easily managed with special eye drops when caught early.

Google’s brand new smart contact lenses

GoogleX developers are not only making computers wearable and cars driverless—they’re also using their expertise to help diabetics keep a watchful eye on their health. project co-founders Brian Otis and Babak Parviz detailed their new invention just over a week ago. The contact lens uses processing chips and a glucose sensor that have been specially miniaturized for the task, so small that they look like flakes of glitter. Next to them lies an antenna thinner than a human hair. The sensor detects glucose levels in the wearer’s tears, taking readings once per second, and the antenna transmits its findings to an external device.

This bionic sensor could make a real difference in quality-of-life for diabetics, who have to monitor their blood sugar levels throughout the day.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, more than 1 in 20 people have diabetes today, and that number is expected to rise to nearly 1 in 10 by 2035. Diabetes leaves people unable to regulate their own blood sugar, so they have to check their levels many times a day and take the sugar-regulating hormone insulin as needed. For most people, this test consists of pricking a fingertip to draw blood, then putting a drop of blood into a testing device. It’s painful and time-consuming, so many diabetics don’t check their blood sugar as often as they should. Without regular checks, blood sugar levels can rise or fall to extremes, putting patients at elevated risk for gangrene, kidney failure, blindness, and premature death. Cutting-edge bionic implants can now measure blood sugar continuously, but getting an implant is invasive. Implants are also expensive and can be difficult to remove.

“There are a bunch of sensors out now, which go under the skin and connect with insulin devices such as insulin pumps,” said Robert Rapaport, M.D., Director of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital, in an interview with Healthline. “Any advance on this would be quite welcomed.”

Google’s new contact lens, which is painless and easily removable, could change everything.

Otis, an expert in miniaturized electronic systems, has long been fascinated by the challenge of making chips and sensors as small as possible.

To develop the contact lens, he and his team stripped glucose detection hardware down to its bare essentials: two chips, a glucose sensor, and an antenna. In some cases, they had to design new chip-manufacturing tools just to build the components small enough.

Rather than mounting the chips on a traditional fiberglass board, Otis embedded them in an ultrathin plastic-like film. The film was then sandwiched between two layers of soft contact lens material, with a small pore over the glucose sensor.

The eye naturally generates tears over the course of the day to keep the eye moist and healthy. These tears leak into the pore in the lens, allowing the sensor to read their glucose content. From there, the antenna can transmit a signal to a smartphone to tell the lens wearer his or her glucose reading.

5 good reasons to have regular eye tests

Your prescription needs to be checked on a regular basis to make sure your vision is the best it can be. Annoying headaches are often caused by slight over or under corrections of your prescription.

Computer screen use
If you spend more than 2 hours on a computer each day, you may develop a condition known as computer vision syndrome.  Symptoms include headaches, blurry vision, burning/tired/dry eyes. (If you are a regular VDU user your employer is obliged to pay for your annual sight tests)

Eye disease
Many serious eye diseases often have no symptoms. Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes vision loss. Conditions such as macular degeneration or cataracts develop so gradually that you may not even realize your vision has decreased. Diabetic patients need to have their retina checked annually for diabetic retinopathy.  Eye cancers need to be detected early and this can save your sight and in some cases your life.

Developmental problems
Uncorrected vision problems in children often cause learning and reading difficulties or contribute to other medical problems such as dyslexia.

Eye fashion trends
The primary reason should of course be your eye health – but have you considered contact lenses or even updating your look with a new pair of spectacles or sunglasses?  At Hatch End Eyecare we stock the latest catwalk trends!

Fancy dress contact lenses now available

Finally the time has come where funky and fancy dress contact lenses are available in your prescription! * (upto -4.00DS)Whether its coloured contact lenses, or the scary dracula look, or maybe the Terminator look! or maybe its the flag of the country you’re cheering on at the next world cup or cricket match. We will provide the lens in your prescription so you can look the part and see great too!

All our branded ranges use officially licensed designs.

Researchers discover compound that could potentially treat migraines

Researchers have discovered a new compound that could potentially treat migraines by blocking light sensors in the eyes, according to a study published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.

Researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have found that a series of compounds called opsinamides can block a receptor in the eye called melanopsin – a receptor found in neurons connecting the eyes and the brain.

The researchers discovered 10 years ago that melanopsin is responsible for sensing light on its own, away from normal vision. Continued research found that this receptor is responsible for maintaining sleep cycles and various other sensitivity functions in those with healthy vision.

The receptor was also found to be responsible for constricting the pupil within the eye when it is exposed to bright light, triggering the light-sensitivity that is commonly linked to migraines. The receptor also picks up on light-sensitivity as we sleep, explaining why sleep patterns can be disrupted if exposed to artificial light during the night.

From this discovery, the researchers believed that if they could find a way to block melanopsin, treatments could be created to prevent and treat migraines. However, there are other receptors that are closely related to melanopsin – rhodopsin and cone opsins – which are responsible for processing visual information to the brain. Therefore, the researchers needed to create a drug that blocked melanopsin but did not interfere with the other receptors.

When the eyes of the mice were exposed to bright light after being treated with one of the compounds, the pupil of the eye did not shrink in size as normally expected, indicating that the compound was blocking the melanopsin receptor. Additionally, when the compounds were tested on newborn mice, they did not avoid bright light – something newborn mice are known for doing before they have even opened their eyes. Once these compounds are further examined and developed, they could be useful to many people in different clinical settings, particularly shift-workers who have disrupted sleep patterns and exposure to sunlight when trying to sleep during the day.

“There are many people who would like to work when they have migraine pain exacerbated by light,” adds Panda. “If these drugs could stop the light-sensitivity associated with the headaches, it would enable them to be much more productive.”

Omega 3 rich oils improve fluidity in retina cells

Scientists working at the Research Center on Aging at the Health and Social Services Centre – University Institute of Geriatrics of Sherbrooke (CSSS-IUGS) have been studying strategies for protecting retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. Dysfunction of the RPE is found in retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness of elderly people in developed countries.

Findings published in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology suggest that incubating retinal cells with vegetable oils induces biochemical and biophysical changes in the cell membrane, which may have a beneficial effect in preventing or slowing the development of retinopathy.

“Membrane fluidity, which refers to the viscosity of the lipid bi-layer of a cell membrane, is a marker of the cell function,” explained Prof. A. Khalil, professor at the Université de Sherbrooke and principal investigator of the study. “A decrease of membrane fluidity can affect the rotation and diffusion of proteins and other bio-molecules within the membrane, thereby affecting the functions of these molecules. Whereas, an increase in membrane fluidity makes for a more flexible membrane and facilitates the transmission of light through the eye.”

The researchers discovered that vegetable oil fatty acids incorporate in retina cells and increase the plasma membrane fluidity. They concluded that a diet low in trans-unsaturated fats and rich in omega-3 fatty acids and olive oil may reduce the risk of retinopathy. In addition, the research suggests that replacing the neutral oil used in eye drops with oil that possesses valuable biological properties for the eye could also contribute to the prevention of retina diseases.

Eye experts urge you to take contacts on holiday

A leading eye expert based at Southampton’s university hospitals is urging people to take a break from contact lenses while on holiday to cut the risk of developing sight-threatening infections.

Parwez Hossain, a consultant ophthalmologist at Southampton General Hospital, said attendances at his eye unit’s casualty department “almost always” rose in the first week of August through to mid-September as a result of poor lens hygiene and accidents during the summer holidays.

“Although we are making progress in terms of general understanding of the importance of contact lens care, we almost always see an increase in infections when people return from holiday, particularly if they have been to very hot countries,” he explained.

There are around 1,200 new cases of contact lens-related infection microbial keratitis each year in the UK’s three million wearers – and the number of cases diagnosed at Southampton General tends to increase by around 15% during August and September.

The majority of incidents relate to people over-wearing their lenses or poor lens hygiene. Often, lens wearers have washed their contact lens cases with tap water or have swum or showered in lenses. This exposes them to micro-organisms which enjoy moist environments, such as pseudomonas or acanthamoeba, which infect the front surface of the eye.

Eye casualty staff also see patients who have left solution in direct sunlight or placed lenses in solution they poured out earlier in the day, both of which weaken its power to disinfect lenses. Other patients have developed ulcers as a result of grains of sand becoming trapped between a lens and the eye following a trip to a sandy or dusty country.

“People need to be aware that washing lens cases with water is a danger at any time, but it multiplies in very hot environments when bugs spread more quickly,” said Mr Hossain. “Swimming pool water also carries a risk, while pouring solution out and leaving it for long periods will almost void its ability to adequately clean lenses.”

“Meanwhile, although this is slightly more unfortunate, not enough people are aware of the vulnerability of lenses on the beach when sand can creep in between the cornea and the lens and begin to wear down the surface of the eye.

“If people aren’t able to adhere to the strict safety standards required when wearing lenses, or don’t want to be concerned about their eye health when relaxing on holiday, their best and safest option is to take a break and stick to prescription glasses and sunglasses.”

Mr Hossain, who is also a senior lecturer at the University of Southampton and a member of the scientific committee of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, added that those who do develop an infection while abroad should take extensive notes about the tests and treatment they receive to prevent complications when they return.

“For those who do wear their lenses and seek medical treatment for a suspected infection, it is imperative they take details about their care, mainly the medications they have taken, because it is extremely hard for us to track down medical notes from different countries.

“As a result, there are occasions when we’re unable to find out if the treatment we start counteracts with what they’ve taken or, in the worst cases, exacerbates their condition before it makes it better.”

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