Stem cell operation gives child her sight

A two-year-old British girl who underwent a pioneering stem cell procedure in China is now able to see for the first time.

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Dakota Clarke was born blind and suffers from septo-optic dysplasia, meaning her optic nerve was not properly developed.

But she can now see after becoming the first Briton to have the surgery in China, which is carried out by taking stem cells from an umbilical cord and putting them into her bloodstream through her forehead.

Dakota began to develop sight after several weeks of treatment, which cost £30,000.

She is one of only a few people in the world to have had the procedure, which UK doctors have warned may not have permanent effects and is not fully proven.

Recently, a Californian art gallery put up work by blind artists.

Recordnet.com reported how Creative Vision: An Exhibition on Vision and Perception was displayed at the Horton Gallery in San Joaquin Delta College.

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We Help You Pick Your Lenses For An Active Lifestyle

Lenses for the Active Lifestyle

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Of the millions of people who wear contact lenses, a growing number are athletes–professional and amateur. From the tennis star trying to serve an “ace” – to the “weekend warrior” who likes to jog or play squash, contact lenses are winning over glasses. The reasoning is simple: contacts give athletes a competitive edge.

Visual Acuity

Contacts improve visual acuity. An athlete with clear, crisp vision is one that can see the ball fly down the fairway — and see where it lands, spot shifts in the backfield, see the line at the far side of the tennis court, see the bobbin dip below the surface of the lake, and keep a sharp eye on the sails.

Peripheral Vision

Contacts extend the athlete’s peripheral vision, or the ability to see out of the corner of the eye. With contact lenses, there are no obstructive eyeglass frames to hamper or limit peripheral vision. Good peripheral vision makes it easier for runners to maintain awareness of competitors’ positions, running backs to see when the tackle is coming, volleyball players to see what’s happening all around the court, and a student of karate to see where the blow is coming from.

U.V Protection

During a sking holiday, your eyes are exposed to as much Ultra Violet radiation as your skin. However, since they don’t tan or burn does not mean you don’t need to worry about them.

As a skier you most probably spend a lot of time outdoors, enjoying fresh air, wide, open spaces and the pleasure of being among the elements. However, regardless of whether it’s sunny or cloudy, hot or cold, summer or winter you are constantly exposed to harmful ultra violet radiation from the sun. You can protect yourself from these damaging rays by covering your face and arms with suncreams and lotions and wearing a cap, but what about your eyes?

Just like sand and water, snow reflects an average of 85% of U.V rays. These rays can damage our eyes, and, since eye tissue cannot regenerate it can lead to serious eye conditions such as cataract, loss of vision or photokeratitis ( snow blindness). That is why it is extremely important that we protect our eyes in these environments.

Contact Lenses with ultra violet protection were designed to help in these situations. Unlike sunglasses, which still allow scattered UV radiation to enter from the sides, top and bottom, contact lenses offer complete protection.

Several companies manufacture daily disposable lenses with built in UV protection which are ideal for outdoor activities e.g Crystal  1 Day or 1 Day Acuvue Moist.

Depth Perception

Contact lenses enhance depth perception. The athlete’s ability to accurately judge the distance between himself or herself and the ball, boundary lines, opponents or teammates, is based on depth perception. Golfers use depth perception on the tee and fairway to determine where and how hard to hit the ball. Tennis players rely on their depth perception to be able to judge where the ball is going to drop.

Safety

Contacts can be worn easily and are often recommended to be used with protective eye gear such as goggles, which can be cumbersome or impossible to wear with eyeglasses. In addition, contact lenses can avoid potential injury that could result from broken frames and shattered spectacle lenses.

Convenience

Today’s contact lenses have advanced well beyond those of even ten years ago — which were prone to pop out on the basketball court. They are made of special soft or silicone materials that allow them to fit better and remain in place under almost any circumstance. What an advantage over eyeglasses, which can be knocked off, broken or cracked during competition!

Contact lenses do not steam up from perspiration, do not smudge, do not get covered with water drops, and don’t steam up going from the playing field to the locker room. And once they are in, the athlete can forget about them — and concentrate on the sport at hand.

For outdoor athletes who need vision correction, contact lenses mean not having to buy prescription eyeglasses — just pop on any UV-filtering sunglasses and you’re ready to play!

With contact lenses, swimmers, surfers, windsurfers, sailors and other water athletes can wear contacts with confidence. They don’t have to worry about glasses fogging up, getting splashed with water, or falling off. To help protect your eyes and your lenses, goggles should be worn when you swim.

Contact Lenses to Fit Every Lifestyle

With outstanding fit and comfort, and a variety of lens styles to choose from, today’s contacts are designed to fit virtually every lifestyle. They are ideal for aerobics, basketball, football, running, bicycling, tennis, hockey — for whatever sport or activity you choose to be in.

Still, only an eye care professional can tell you whether contacts are for you. For more information, see your eye care professional for a complete eye examination and to find out which contact lens is right for your eyes and vision condition. They can often have you seeing well, performing well and looking great in no time with contact lenses!

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Air Travel and Contact lenses

Air Travel and Contact lenses

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When you are busy packing for your holiday, it is worth giving some thought to your contact lenses.

Have you got enough lenses?

If you are wearing daily or monthly lenses, have you got enough for your entire stay, plus a few more for ’emergencies’ like losing one in a swimming pool! Remember to order your supply well in advance of your departure date.

Should you take some coloured ones…?

It might be a good opportunity, even if you don’t normally wear coloured lenses, to try a few out on holiday. Freshlook Colorblends are a good choice, and can even be ordered in daily disposables.

How about UV protection?

Check to see if your soft contact lenses come with UV protection built in. Example that have UV protection are Crystal 1 Day and 1 Day Acuvue Moist. These give you added protection to UV radiation – but are not a substitute for a good pair of sunglasses. 

Have you thought about solutions?

You may not be able to get your normal contact lens solutions where you are going, so stock up before you depart. Also, airlines normally do not allow solutions as carry on luggage on the plane, but you can now get solution travel packs that overcome this problem.

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What are contact lenses made of?

The chemistry behind contact lenses

You might place theses tiny and very complex items in your eye everyday, But what are they made of ?

The chemical composition of contact lenses is a very complex subject and for more detailled technical information it is worth reading a text on polymer technology.

Contact lenses are “giant molecule” polymers, that is, cross-linked chains of molecules. They are generally categorized as soft or hard, and often use silicone and/or various types of acrylic. At one time even a plastic derived from wood was used (CAB).

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The Difference Between a Contact Lens & Glasses Prescription’s

The Difference Between a Contact Lens & Spectacle Prescription

Glasses Prescription explained

A prescription is normally written out by an optometrist like this:

R. -1.00/ -1.25 * 175

The first figure that you will see on an optometrists prescription is the SPHERE (abbreviated Sph). This is the main power of the prescription and represents myopia (shortsighted) when prefixed with a minus sign i.e -1.00, and hypermetropia (longsighted) when prefixed with a plus sign i.e +1.00. Often the Sphere power has a DS after it like this: +3.00DS. The “DS” signifies Dioptres Sphere, which is the unit of measurement for spectacle power. 

The next figure you see is the CYLINDER power (abbreviated cyl). This represents the astigmatism in your prescription. Often this figure is shown like this -1.25cyl. Astigmatism is always along a certain angle (axis) from 0 to 180 degrees. i.e -1.00 * 175. Finally the sphere and cylinder power are usually separated by a slash
 ie sphere/cylinder * axis The R. signifies the right eye. (L. for the left)

A prescription for glasses forms the basis for a contact lens fitting. If you look at your prescription it will be in a format similar to one of these;

R. -3.00DS
L.  -3.50DS
This indicates that you are myopia (shortsighted) of moderate degree. Powers can
range from -0.25DS to well in excess of -20.00DS. An average power for the myopic 
population would be about -3.00DS.

R. +3.00DS
L. +3.50DS
This indicates that you are hypermetropia (longsighted) of moderate degree. Powers can range from +0.25DS to well in excess of +20.00DS. An average power for the 
hypermetropic population would be about +3.00DS.

R -2.00/-1.00 * 35
L. -1.25/ -1.50 * 90
This prescription indicates that you are myopic, plus have a small amount of astigmatism
Astigmatism is best described as an irregularity in the shape of the cornea. The cornea
is the clear covering on the front surface of the eye that helps the eye focus. An
astigmatic cornea is often said to be shaped like a football. A normal cornea is round like a basketball. 
The different curvatures on the surface of the cornea cause  the light entering
the eye to focus at different points causing distorted vision. Astigmatism can affect one 
or both eyes, and is sometimes coupled with other visual impairments such as 
nearsightedness and farsightedness (see example below). This example shows a 
prescription that is shortsighted (the -2.00 part in the right eye), with 
astigmatism (the -1.00 part). In addition the final figure (35 in the case of the right eye)
indicates the axis (angle) of the astigmatism. The axis (angle) can lie between 0 and 180 
degrees and indicates the angle of the ovalness of the astigmatism. Low astigmatism 
would be below 1.00, moderate 1 to 3, and high above 3.

R. +2.50/ -1.00 * 180
L. +3.25 / -1.25 * 10
This prescription indicates that you are hypermetropic (longsighted), plus have a small 
amount of astigmatism 

R +2.00/ -1.50 * 170
L. +2.50/ -175 * 180 
Add +2.00
Sometimes the prescription will have an ADD power written after it, in particular if you 
are aged 45 or over. This indicates that you are presbyopic and need a additional 
power to help you read. You can have presbyopia in addition to any of the 
prescription above, or you may have only presbyopia and perfect vision otherwise.

Interchangeable?  

A prescription for glasses is different than a prescription for contact lenses although they can be similar. A contact lens comes in direct contact with the cornea, which is the clear covering over the front surface of the eye. For this reason, there are additional measurements needed for fitting a contact lens and these need to be included in the prescription.

– the curvature of the cornea
– the diameter of the cornea

Base Curve (BC)
The curvature of the cornea is measured to determine the exact curvature (base curve) of the inside surface of the contact lens. This ensures the lens fits the shape of the eye providing optimum vision and comfort.

Diameter (D)
The diameter of the cornea is measured and also necessary to find the optimal contact lens diameter. This measurement is fairly straight forward. A contact lens is usually 2 – 4mm larger than the diameter of the cornea.

The Same Only Different

A contact lens prescription can be the same as a prescription for glasses when:

– the prescription is a lower power, ie: -4.00 to +4.00 and

– there is absolutely no astigmatism present.

If you have any astigmatism or require a lens power greater than +/-4.00, the parameters of the contact lens can change.

– if you have astigmatism under 0.50, a spherical lens should be prescribed.
– astigmatism of 0.50 to 0.75 can be effectively corrected with an aspheric lens.
– astigmatism greater than 1.00 should be managed with a toric lens.

If your prescription power for glasses is greater than +/-4.00, you should see a difference in the power of your contact lens prescription. Generally, every time your glasses prescription increases or decreases by a power of 2, your contact lens prescription will increase by an additional power of +0.25. For every power change of 2 in a glasses prescription, the difference of +0.25 power is needed to compensate for the location of the contact lens. Your glasses are much further from the front surface of the cornea than contact lenses.

It is beyond the scope of this website to discuss all the factors involved in creating a contact lens prescription. It is important, however, that you realize a contact lens is classified as a medical device and caution needs to be taken when ordering and wearing them. Only your eye care provider can determine the success of your contact lens experience and we hope that the information we offer here can help you make informed decisions and ask informed questions.

 

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How to Apply Eye Makeup With Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are a nice alternative to glasses or eye surgery: there’s nothing permanent about them, and they don’t impair sports or everyday activities. In the case of applying eye makeup, however, contact lenses may get in the way or delay the process. Here is how to speed up this routine without damaging your eyes or your appearance.

 

1. Put in your contacts first. This is the key, because you don’t want to damage or dot your contact lenses by putting them in once your face is caked with makeup. Wash your hands and dry them completely, and insert your contacts like you normally would.

 

2.Gently close one eye and hold your eyelashes down with your finger. Don’t let your eyelashes get in the way of your contacts or your makeup; lay a finger over them and get to work applying the eyeshadow with your other hand.

 

3. Apply Eye Makeup With Contact Lenses Step 3.jpg2Swipe on the eyeshadow. Do it softly so you don’t tear or wrinkle your contact lens underneath. Continue to hold your eyelashes firmly in place.

 

4.Repeat with the other eye.Remember to blink every so often as to not dry out your contacts.

 

5.Open both eyes widely. Blink repeatedly before you do this.

 

6.Apply the mascara slowly. Go from the middle of your eyelashes and move the wand up from there. If you apply any farther down than there, you may risk dotting your contacts.

7.Blink to wet your contacts, and repeat with the other eye.

 

8.Prop your arm/elbow up on a flat, steady surface. Eyeliner is the trickiest to apply even without contacts. There’s a sharp pencil very near your eyeball, which evidently spells trouble if you’re not careful.

 

9.Keep your eyes calm. For eyeliner, you don’t have to shut them or open widely, but you may choose to do either one. It’s generally best, however, to simply keep your eyes open and try not to blink.

 

10.Make sure your hand is steady and even. Apply the eyeliner slowly and carefully.

 

11.Look up. Gaze at the mirror, or find a high object to focus on. If you look downward, you may end up poking yourself and severely damaging your contact lenses- and your eyes.

 

12. Finish

 

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Are Contact Lenses The New Night Vision Goggles?

Are you ready for the future ? Scientists have developed a new sensor that will allow for creation of contact lenses that act like night vision goggles. The new lenses, created by researchers in the United States, allow the person wearing them to see infrared radiation.

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Researchers from the University of Michigan have built a super-thin light detector out of graphene, an atom-thin material made from carbon. The prototype sensor is thin, and smaller than a fingernail.

University of Michigan Assistant Professor of electrical and computer engineering Zhaohui Zhong led the team that created this novel new lens technology.

The sensor, if it were integrated into a contact lenses would allow the wearer to see ultraviolet radiation as well as infrared and visible light. While those contact lenses are still a dream, this new, graphene-based sensor does make such an invention just a little more realistic.

Existing night-vision technology used by the military, law enforcement, and some hunters requires cooling equipment, so the sensors don’t get fooled by their own waste heat. Graphene models can cool themselves by using a few layers of the material, which is only one atom thick.

One advantage of using grapheme is the material’s extreme thinness. The lens like the one made by Zhong’s team could be layered on top of a conventional contact lens or integrated into a cell phone.

Graphene reacts strongly when struck by light. Zhong’s team used this property to build a three-layer light detector thin enough to place on a contact lens. The sensor uses two graphene layers with a funneling layer in between.

One layer of graphene is a million times thinner than a sheet of paper. Graphene is also the world’s strongest material.

Night vision scopes and goggles work by capturing light from the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Infrared radiation is heat energy emitted by objects, rather than reflected light. This new sensor could one day lead to contact lenses that act like bulky old night vision goggles.

Zhong characterized the device as an “ultra-broadband photo-detector” built using layers of graphene. Their test device detected light from near-infrared through visible light.

The thin sensors could easily be used to create contact lenses with IR-vision, as a replacement for the bulky and expensive night vision goggles that represent the current state-of-the-art.

The technology has other potential uses. Doctors could use the ultra-thin IR sensors to monitor a patient’s blood. Art historians might use the technology to scan a painting, to get a look at the paint below the surface.

The low efficiency of graphene did pose a problem. A single layer of graphene absorbs roughly 2.3 percent of the light that hits it. Researchers managed to increase the light-gathering ability of graphene to amplify that low efficiency to a point where the light energy could generate an electrical signal.

The study that produced this new light sensor appeared in Nature Nanotechnology.

According to Zhong, current graphene-based sensors are a “hundred to a thousand times less” sensitive than necessary for a commercially-viable device. While there is still no such thing as night vision contact lenses, Zhong’s research could lead produce new sensors that act like night vision goggles.

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Removing soft Contact lenses

Removing Soft Lenses

Removing contact lenses can be a daunting prospect for first-time wearers.

Even long-time wearers can find adapting to something new a bit pesky. What can you do?

Relax! Everything gets easier once you’ve had some practice at it—and that includes removing contacts. Don’t fret if you’re having a little trouble at first. That’s entirely normal.

To help out, here are some tips for removing your contact lenses that will make the process  go a little smoother.

Make sure the lens is centered on your eye before trying to remove it. Cover the other eye; if your vision is blurred, the lens is either off center or not on the eye at all. Locate the lens with a mirror and re-center it.

Pull Down Lower Eyelid:

Look upward, keeping your head level. Pull down the lower lid of your eye with your middle finger.

Slide Lens Down:

While looking up, place the tip of your index finger on the lower edge of the lens and slide it down onto the lower white part of your eye.

Pull Lens Off Eye:

Still looking up, squeeze the lens gently between your thumb and index finger. Gently remove the lens from the eye.

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6 foods for healthy eyes

Carrots aren’t the only food that will keep your eyesight strong as you age. Here are six foods to eat for healthy eyes

 

Healthy eyes at every age

When it comes to staying healthy as we age, we may tend to focus on our heart, brain and bones, first. But healthy aging also involves seeing well into the future. Keeping our eyes healthy is an important way to help prevent age-related eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, vision loss, dry eyes, cataracts, and problems with night vision. While an overall healthy, active lifestyle is the key to bright eyes, adding more of these six healthy foods to your diet will help keep them sparkling and strong.

 

1. Dark green, leafy vegetables

To prevent eye diseases such as macular degeneration—a condition which causes progressive damage to the retina, resulting in a gradual loss of vision—dark green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, collard greens and dark green lettuce (think Romaine), should definitely be on the menu. That’s because they containlutein and zeaxanthin, two important nutrients that have antioxidant functions in the body and help to prevent cell damage. “We have lutein and zeaxanthin as pigments in the back part of the eye,” says Dr. Guillermo Rocha, an ophthalmologist and Medical Director of GRMC Vision Centre in Brandon, Manitoba. “Keeping that part well nourished helps maintain normal physiology at the back of the eye.” Rocha explains that lutein acts like sunglasses, helping to protect the retina from damage.

 

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2. Sweet potatoes and yams

Bright orange fruits and vegetables get their colour from beta carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, that helps promote healthy vision. “It also helps the eyes to adjust to low levels of light at night,” explains Sarah Coulson, a registered dietitian with Pivot Sport Medicine and Orthopaedics in Toronto. She also recommends noshing on squash, carrots, apricots andpumpkin.

 

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3. Fatty fish

The omega-3 fatty acids that are found in oily fish, such as salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel, have all sorts of health benefits—including your eyes. In fact, a 2009 study by the National Eye Institute in the United States found that omega-3 fatty acids helped to protect adults from both age-related macular degeneration and dry-eye syndrome. Rocha says that’s because omega-3 helps modulate the inflammation that can lead to dry eyes. He warns, however, that some omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids can actually cause inflammation in the eyes and suggests those supplements be avoided if dry eyes are a problem.

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4. Broccoli

While this hearty cruciferous vegetable has long been touted for keeping cancer and heart disease at bay, it’s important for eye health, too. In addition to containing lutein and zeaxanthin, broccoli is also high in vitamin C. “It’s the synergy of nutrients,” says Coulson. “That particular food and that particular combination of nutrients can actually reduce the progress of age-related macular degeneration and vision loss.”

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5. Wheat germ

Wheat germ is great source of vitamin E, another important antioxidant. “What vitamin E does is protect the eyes from free-radical damage,” says Coulson, meaning that it protects cells in the body from oxidation, which can cause deterioration and disease. Vitamin E may also decrease the progression of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. While wheat germ is an easy addition when you’re baking, it can also be sprinkled on oatmeal, yogurt and salads, and mixed with smoothies. “You can even add it to stews,” says Coulson. Almonds, sunflower seeds and hazelnuts are also good sources of vitamin E.

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6. Beans

From chickpeas and kidney beans, to mungbeans and lentils, eating beans and other legumes is an easy way to add zinc to your diet. Zinc helps release vitamin A from the liver so that it can be used in eye tissues, while a zinc deficiency can cause deterioration of the macula, at the centre of the retina. Serve up beans in stews and casseroles, or add them to salads. Zinc is also found in oysters, beef, poultry and pumpkin seeds.

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“Don”t rub your eyes” is correct, say expert opticians

“Don”t rub your eyes” is correct, say expert opticians 

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You always here that you should not rub your eyes and now this has been confirmed as good advice,also people who wear contact lenses might inadvertently dislodge them by rubbing too hard according to the Cornea Research Foundation of America (CRFA).

Discussing the condition keratoconus, a degenerative disorder of the cornea, the organisation started out by saying a mother – or indeed any parent – could be right to stop their child getting into the eye-rubbing habit.

The CRFA is currently involved in a clinical trial for a new treatment – called corneal collagen cross-linking – for keratoconus along with several other institutions in America.

Keratoconus is presently treated with glasses or hard contact lenses, though patients also have the option of trying a new procedure that inserts plastic rings into the mid-layer of the cornea to modify its shape.

However, it noted that in “15 per cent to 20 per cent of the cases, cornea transplant surgery is necessary”.

Beauty experts have long-advised not rubbing eyes, as the delicate surrounding skin may be stretched and develop lines or bags.

Just another useful hint to your wellbeing here at Contactlenses.co.uk

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