Keeping your eyes healthy this holiday


Seasons greetings! As the weather gets colder everyone gets busy. Your eyes have to last you a lifetime, so taking care of them is incredibly important. Your lifestyle can cause significant strain on your eye health and can have a harmful effect on your sight, especially as you grow older. Here are some Tips to take good care of your eye health…
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100% Optical is back with a bang

100% Optical 2018, Excel, UK

Drawing in over 8,000 UK and international visitors, one of the most talked about events, 100% Optical, is again on its way to give manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers a perfect platform to launch new products and increase brand awareness within the optical market. Running on its fifth year in 2018, the show’s growing exhibitor line-up includes some of the market leaders returning to the show, plus the famed catwalk flashing the hottest frame fashion styles and latest product innovations for 2018. Read more

Götti introduces new sales rep to the Middle East

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Götti Switzerland introduces its new sales team member for the Middle East, Mr. Tarek Saoub. As sales representative for Gotti’s eyewear collections in the region, Mr. Saoub will showcase the new Götti Dimension Collection, the hyperprecise 3D printed glasses made in Switzerland. He will also launch Götti’s Perspective Collection, the reinvented, minimalist, and progressive rimless glasses. Gotti’s pure and linear design are fit for those who strive toward the style principle of reduction as its glasses embody authenticity in everyday life. Read more

Here comes the sun, keep your eyes safe

Eyezone Blog-Here comes the sun, keep your eyes safe

 

July is UV Safety Month

UV radiation can damage your eyes as well as your skin. Studies suggest that overexposure to UV radiation can cause eye cataracts, eye damage, and suppression of the immune system, in general. May they be your family, friends, or colleagues – everyone is equally at risk for eye damage due to overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.

The sun’s UV rays can burn the cornea of your eyes, which can result in cataracts that may ultimately cause blindness. Even short periods of exposure can lead to serious damage. Read more

It’s Healthy Vision Month! Make your vision last a lifetime

EYEZONE-Blog-NIH-May 2017-Healthy Vision Month-2.jpg

When it comes to our health, we often visit our doctor or nurse regularly to make sure our bodies are healthy. But what about our eyes? They’re not always top of mind, but they’re just as important.

During Healthy Vision Month, held each May, the National Eye Institute (NEI) reminds you to make your eye health a priority and encourages you to take important steps to protect your sight. Read more

Priorities for glaucoma care in Sub-Saharan Africa

Eyezone Blog-Priorities for glaucoma care in Sub-Saharan Africa
Applanation tonometry: accurate measurement of intraocular pressure is important in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma/ Photo credits: Gabriel Entekume

 

Glaucoma affects at least one in every 25 people aged 40 years and above in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It occurs as a result of the intraocular pressure (eye pressure [IOP]) being too high for the normal functioning of the optic nerve which is responsible for sight. Despite the vision loss that it causes, over half of the people with glaucoma are unaware and this is reflected in their late presentation in seeking care. A staggering 50% have already lost vision in one eye and are at high risk of losing vision in the second eye by the time they seek treatment.

There are three main modalities for treatment of glaucoma: medical, surgical or laser therapy. The choice of intervention currently depends on several factors related to the patient: stage/severity at presentation, compliance with health instruction, socio-economic status influencing ability to afford medicines and care, and residence in relation to follow-up. For example, the literate relative of a medical doctor may have medical therapy with 3-monthly follow-up; whereas for a rural non-schooled farmer, the better option may be a one-off surgical treatment (trabeculectomy) with follow-up in the local health centre.

The aim of treatment is to lower the IOP in order to prevent or slow down further vision loss, as any vision already lost cannot be restored. The prognosis when explained is often a source of anxiety to the newly diagnosed patients. Some patients do not accept their diagnosis nor comply with the treatment plan nor accept the prognosis. This leads them to seek multiple opinions in different hospitals, hopping and hoping.

Mrs CP is a 61-year old woman diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma:

“The vision impairment came in my adulthood. In fact, I did not know I had vision impairment, it came quite slowly. Now they say I have to use eye drops for the rest of my life. I cannot even find the drugs to buy and when I find they are so expensive, I cannot afford to buy. Even putting the eye drops is a problem as much of it runs down my face. And it stings.

My vision has worsened. I am tired. I have gone around so many eye clinics without any improvement. In fact, the teaching hospital is worst. I can hardly see and I was asked to go to so many points, pay so many times, wait for so long before I could see the specialist. And to think I have to do this for the rest of my life…Ah!!

I was already blind in one eye and the other eye is also going. Now they said I should have operation in my better eye… God forbid bad thing!! Let me just manage, when I have the money, I will buy the eye drops from the chemist.”

It is, therefore, imperative that we set our current priorities to:

1. Optimising treatment and patients’ care – i.e. doing the best for those who seek care.

2. Responding to patients’ perspectives with patients’ participation.

Strengthening clinical services would include training in surgical skills, laser procedures and building teams for optimal glaucoma care, for better treatment outcomes. Ensuring that effective medicines are available within well-equipped centres would also expand the treatment choices. Additionally, national guidelines and protocols would be helpful in optimising the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Population-based surveys in SSA indicate that only about 10% of glaucoma patients seek hospital treatment. Additionally, there is a challenge in keeping patients within the health care system. To engage the patient, there should be counselling to enhance their understanding of the disease and encourage participation of the patient in their choice of therapy and compliance with treatment. The ease of financing mechanisms for their treatment is also important. Additional efforts should be geared towards providing a pleasant hospital experience so that a follow-up visit would entail a one-stop shop.

Eye care providers working together with patients with glaucoma will enhance better treatment outcomes in SSA and together they can be BIG; Beat Invisible Glaucoma.

 

The article above was written by Fatima Kyari, Consultant Ophthalmologist, IAPB West Africa Chair.

Source: IAPB

Prominent retinal specialist to feature at Optrafair

Eyezone Blog-Prominent retinal specialist to feature at Optrafair
Professor Usha Chakravarthy, Queen’s University, Belfast

HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, 6 March 2017 — Eminent ophthalmologist, Professor Usha Chakravarthy, Queen’s University, Belfast, will feature on the main stage at Optrafair on Sunday, 2nd April at 11:45 am. Professor Chakravarthy is at the forefront of pioneering research including the NICOLA study, a long-term study looking at the effects of aging on the eyes which will help shape major government healthcare policies in the future.

“My lecture will explore how multimodal imaging can increase the optometrist’s diagnostic confidence and improve patient care through early disease identification” explains Professor Chakravarthy. “I will discuss the interpretation of retinal pathology using the latest fundus and OCT imaging techniques and how patients can be managed post-treatment in the community care setting.”

UK sight charity helps over 1 million people in Rwanda

Eyezone Blog-IAPB-UK Charity-UK Sight Charity Helps Over 1 Million People in Rwanda1 March 2017 – Vision for a Nation (VFAN) has now helped over one million people to access eye care services across Rwanda. The award-winning UK charity has supported Rwanda’s Ministry of Health to successfully build an affordable nationwide eye care service that is locally available to all the nation’s 10.5 million people and is fully integrated into the public health system.

The service is provided at all of Rwanda’s 502 local health centres by certified nurses trained by VFAN to provide eye care since 2013. A nationwide outreach programme launched in 2015 is extending the service to 100% of Rwanda’s 15,000 villages to maximise awareness and address the huge backlog of need. Over 1.2m eye screenings, 560,000 medication prescriptions, 144,000 referrals for specialist treatment and 109,000 pairs of glasses have been provided to date.

Theophile – a textile worker reliant on her sight – is one of the 1+ million people helped by VFAN. She says: “Now that I have these glasses, I am not worried for my job anymore. The glasses help me in my job, and that way I am able to continue to provide for my family.”

Tom Rosewall, CEO of VFAN, comments: “Rwanda is the first emerging country in the world to provide all of its people with local access to affordable eye care. In only four years the service that we have helped build throughout the nation has served more than one million people – 10% of the population. With complete integration within Rwanda’s public health system, it will continue to help people long into the future. We are now working to take our ground-breaking approach to other countries around the world”.

Source: IAPB

90 Percent of Work-Related Eye Injuries Can be Avoided experts say

Eyezone Magazine: March 2017 Monthly ObservancesSAN FRANCISCO – On-the-job safety goes well beyond avoiding slips, falls, and heavy lifting. Caring for your eyes should be a high priority and part of an overall workplace wellness routine. This is important because, each day, about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. However, 90 percent of these accidents can be avoided by wearing eye protection. As part of an ongoing effort to stress the importance of workplace eye wellness, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, during the month of March, is encouraging the public to do right by their eyes and wear appropriate eye protection.

Workplace eye injuries cost more than $300 million a year in lost productivity, treatment, and compensation. These injuries range from simple eye strain to trauma, which may lead to permanent damage, vision loss, and blindness. This is particularly true for workers in construction, manufacturing, and mining. Approximately, 40 percent of eye injuries in the workplace happen in these three industries.

If an eye injury does occur, an individual should seek care from an ophthalmologist — a physician who specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions — or go to an emergency room for immediate care.

Caring for your eyes on the job should not be limited to those who do physical labor, however. People who spend long hours working on a computer can experience eye discomfort. Focusing on small font type for hours on end can cause eye strain, fatigue, and headaches. Staring at screens for long periods can also leave eyes parched and red, causing eyes to become dry from lack of blinking. This happens frequently as computer screens or other digital displays reduce a person’s blink rate by as much as 50 percent.

The Academy provides tips to help avoid workplace eye injury or strain:

Wear protective eyewear: Ensure that your eye protection is appropriate for the type of hazard that may be present in your workplace, such flying debris, falling objects, chemicals, intense light, and heat. Your eyewear must be American National Standards Institute ANSI-approved and OSHA compliant. You must use special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shield or helmet if you are near hazardous radiation welding, chemicals, lasers or fiber optics.

Position your computer 25 inches away: If you are working on a desktop computer, try placing the monitor at an arm’s length away from your face. You may need to adjust the font size to appear larger at that distance.

Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Eye strain and dry eye occur after long, continuous periods of viewing digital screens up close. To help alleviate this, take a break every 20 minutes by looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Looking at a distance allows your eyes to relax and return to a regular rate of blinking again. Normally, people blink about 14 times a minute and with every blink, your eyes are lubricated with fluid that contains moisturizing elements, including oil.

Reduce glare on your smartphone and digital screen: While many new phones and digital devices have glass screens with excellent picture quality, they also produce a strong glare that can aggravate the eyes. If you use a glass screen device, adjust the low light filter setting to lower screen brightness or use a matte filter to reduce eye strain.

Adjust environmental lighting at your work: If your computer screen is brighter than your office surroundings, your eyes need to work harder to see. You can reduce eye strain by adjusting the lighting in your surroundings.
“It takes only a few seconds to protect yourself from eye related issues that can cause vision problems,” said Brenda Pagán-Durán, M.D., a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “I can’t stress enough the importance of incorporating eye wellness into your daily routine; whether it’s simply adjusting the setting on your computer monitor, or wearing appropriate protection to avoid serious eye injury. This is truly an ounce of prevention that can safeguard your vision.”

For more eye safety tips, visit eye injury prevention at work. Visit the Academy’s EyeSmart® website for more information on computers and eye strain in the workplace.

Source: AAO

New optical business directory hits the web

Eyezone Blog-Optiguide launchKuwait: EYEZONE Magazine, the first optical magazine in the Middle East, has launched a comprehensive online directory called Eyezone Optiguide. It covers a whole gamut of data relevant in building optical business transactions such as a company’s basic info plus its overview, contact details, route maps, brand and product features, images, and videos, in addition to a plethora of upcoming optical shows and latest industry news. The directory has gone live on January 26, 2017 and can be accessed at www.optiguide.eyezonemag.com.

Aside from housing company basic portfolios and brand presentations, Eyezone Optiguide also publishes a chunkful of recent happenings within the optical market and are available in a straightforward, easy to use platform and search capabilities. The site serves as a helpful resource for companies in search for their ideal clients.

The listing is categorized as follows: frames and sunglasses, kids’ eyewear, ophthalmic lenses, clear and colored contact lenses, equipment, accessories, and decor. Moreover, the site offers an All In One Map for quick location-based lookup and a Help Center detailing the how-tos of the site. Eyezone Optiguide is also accessible on mobile devices and is surely promising to become a gold mine of optical business essentials worldwide.