New technology is being created faster and faster these days. The rapid pace of development in the tech sector is changing the world around us in fantastic ways, connecting all aspects of our lives through tiny gadgets. In less than ten years we’ve seen the release of the first smart watch, the IPhone, the first smart TV and internet connected cars among many innovations. The internet of things, as it has become to be called, is only in its infancy, but tech companies are trying to find new and imaginative ways to integrate the World Wide Web into our lives. Our clothing, think of the self-drying coat and self-tying shoes from Back to the future 2, our kitchen appliances, refrigerators that tell you what food and when you need to buy it, and even our books, have become internet connected. The newest gizmo in the internet of things that is soon to be released is the smart contact lens.
Sony, Samsung, Google and a few lesser known companies have all filed patents in the last couple of years in a race to be the first to bring the lenses to the market for consumer purchase. Each company seems to have focused on a different issue. Each one encompasses a unique feature, such as taking photos, augmented reality or addressing health concerns, while other features are ubiquitous to all the manufacturers’ lenses.
Sony was recently awarded a patent in April of 2016 for a smart contact lens that will take photos and videos of what the wearer is seeing. The lens can do most of what a camera can do. Just like a camera it is capable of autofocus, exposure adjustment and zooming. The patent lays out the lenses ability to calibrate the camera with a wearers blink. Want to take a photo? Just blink three times really fast. Want to take a video? Just squint really hard for three seconds. The contact also uses an electroluminescence display screen to playback recorded content. You can do all this without ever looking at your smartphone, but just by looking straight ahead. All of the registered content can then be wirelessly transferred to your smart phone or computer for later viewing.
Samsung was also given a patent in April 2016 in South Korea for its own smart contact lens. The Samsung lens will take photos and videos just like the Sony lens, however it will also have imbedded augmented reality. With a built in display that projects images directly into the wearers’ eye, the Samsung smart contact lenses will have the ability to superimpose computer generated images onto the real world, all while being less visible when worn. If you are curious what the restaurant across the street serves simply look at the front of the building and the menu will appear across your field of vision. Look down the street to see who has the best gas prices and little speech bubbles will pop out from the curb with the amount per gallon inside. Say you’re on a blind date and want to find out more about the person sitting across from you. You can check their Facebook page without ever having to leave the table or pull out your phone. Imagine having the ability to read a foreign language without ever having taken classes, or being able to navigate a place you’ve never been to effortlessly. The applications for this are endless.
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1. Protect Against the Sun
You might have already put away your sunglasses for next summer but they should be worn all year around. Snow and ice reflects the sun’s UV rays whether you are walking around, skiing or driving. Over exposure to UV rays over a long time can put your eyes at risk from such diseases as age related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Also, glare caused by the sun on icy roads can make it harder to see, so you should also make sure you have a pair of sunglasses handy in your car and these should be prescription sunglasses if you wear prescription glasses. Make sure you have regular checks with an eye doctor or eye clinic to keep your glasses and sunglasses up to date.
During the winter months, the air is dryer and the humidity in your home can drop. This dryness can cause your eyes to become dry, or dryer if you already suffer with a dry eye disease. A good way to combat this dry air to is use a humidifier in your home.
3. Keep Hydrated
Even a slight bit of dehydration can impact on the dryness of the eyes and during the winter months the cold can change the body’s thirst cycle and central heating can dry the eyes out even more. Try to increase your fluid intake by drinking water, soup, decaffeinated teas and even eating more fruits and vegetables with a high-water content.
4. Don’t Dry Your Eyes
There are a lot of things you may do in winter that dry out your eyes and these things can be avoided. Try to reduce the high temperate of your central heating if possible, having high heat can cause your tears to evaporate more quickly. Also, if you use a blower heater, such as in the car, try to direct the airflow away from your face or try to warm up using a seat warmer for example. Having dry heat blowing directly in your eyes severely dries them out unnecessary. When you are in a dry environment that you are unable to change the temperate of, such as in an office, make sure you blink plenty to keep your eyes lubricated and use artificial tears if needed. Your ophthalmologist can advise what type of artificial tears are better for you.
5. Watering Eyes?
Many people in the winter months suffer from watering eyes, this can be due to the cold and windy environment. If you go outside and it is very cold and/or windy wear some protective glasses to help and if it is sunny too your sunglasses will help with the cold and wind. For some people over watering eyes can be a symptom of an infection or blocked tear duct, so if you do have any concerns get an appointment at your local eye clinic.
6. Feeling Tired?
In the winter months, there is less natural light which can make certain activities harder, such as reading and writing. This can cause eyestrain which in turn can make your eyes feel tired quicker than normal. If you do find your eyes struggling in low light conditions you could get a lamp and put it close to you while you are carrying out those activities, and always wear glasses if you have been advised to do so by your eye doctor or clinic
Those colored contact lenses you bought from your hairdresser might just cost you your eye sight. With San Diego Comic-Con having just passed and Halloween right around the corner, the sale of cosmetic, eye altering contact lenses is at a high. Cosmetic, fashion, costume or colored, the lenses go by many names. While it may seem cool to have zombie eyes, cat’s eyes or simply change your eye color to a different one, most people who consider purchasing these lenses don’t realize that lasting damage caused by poorly fitted lenses cause irreversible and lasting damage to the wearers eyes.
Cosmetic contact lenses, just like their uncolored counterparts, are medical devices that require a prescription by a licensed eye doctor and are regulated by the FDA. You might say to yourself, �I have perfect vision, so I don’t need an eye doctor to check my eyes�. Although you may have excellent vision, and may not need glasses or corrective eye wear, but you do not have the same size eyes as everyone else. Just like everyone has different shoe sizes and pant sizes, people have different size eyes too, and your lenses need to be fitted to match your eye type. A 2010 study published in pediatrics indicated that roughly 13,500 emergency room cases each year are due to the wear of unregulated costume lenses in children and teens. Injuries can range from scratches and tears on your cornea (the soft skin layer over the iris, the part of the eye that gives it color), pink eye, decreased vision or even blindness. One study found that wearing unprescribed colored lenses increased the risk of keratitis (a potentially blinding infection that causes ulcers to form on your eyes), by more than 16 times when compared to people who wear regular fitted corrective lenses.
So why are shops that sell unprescribed cosmetic lenses still allowed to do so? These places are selling the contacts illegally and can face fines as high as $16,000 per violation. You may see these cosmetic lenses being sold all over by street vendors, beauty salons, flea markets, Halloween stores and gas stations. These places do not fit the contacts to your particular eye shape, nor do they provide you with proper instructions for the caring and cleaning of your lenses. The only places you should be buying your lenses from are licensed online retailers and licensed eye doctors. Purchasing them anywhere else without a prescription will only put you and your eyes at risk.
The correct way to go about purchasing colored contacts is to first visit your eye doctor. Get into the habit of seeing your eye doctor on a yearly basis. Tell them that you want to be fitted for contact lenses. They will measure your eyes and assess how they respond to contact lens wear. Once this is done your doctor will give you a valid prescription that is specific to your eyes. You can use that prescription to purchase the cosmetic lenses from your eye doctor or from an authorized online retailer; which generally tend to be a lot less expensive. Make sure the online retailer requires you to have a valid prescription; otherwise you’ll be back in the same boat as you were buying them from the street vendor or gas station. Lastly follow your doctors handling instructions for cleaning, handling and wearing the lenses. Don’t leave the lenses in longer than prescribed and don’t forget to clean them regularly as this can result in eye infections and eye ailments as well. Be sure to schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor to ensure that the lenses are fitting properly. If you start to experience any discomfort, redness, soreness or vision loss contact your eye doctor immediately.
In addition to the above suggestions, here are some contact lenses for dry eyes that may go a long way in helping prevention. However, if you are still experiencing discomfort or your eyes do not appear healthy, please remove your contacts and consult your optician immediately.
Proclear Lenses from Coopervision: These belong to a family of lenses that carry an
FDA approved claim that they may provide improved comfort for contact lens wearers who experience mild discomfort or symptoms relating to dryness during lens wear. The science that led to CooperVision’s PC Technology�” enables Proclear contact lenses to provide exceptional all-day comfort. PC molecules, found naturally in human cells, create a biocompatible lens material that feels moist and comfortable all day long. The lens is designed to be worn as a monthly daily wear lens, which means you take the lenses out each night and replace with fresh lenses on a monthly basis. Be sure to follow your eye doctor’s recommended replacement schedule.
Silicone Hydrogel Lenses: The material of these lenses is designed to deliver high oxygen absorption, easier handling, resistance to deposits, and flexibility of continuous wear. (Some may be worn for up to 30 days with the recommendation of an eye doctor.) All combined, these benefits helped make these lenses the first choice of eye doctors and wearers alike.
Daily Disposable Lenses: Theses lenses are great for both dry eye and allergy sufferers, as they are designed to be worn for one day, discarded at bedtime and then replaced with a fresh pair the next morning. Not only do these lenses provide convenience, they require no soaking solution or lens cases. They also safeguard against deposit buildup on your lens as can occur with monthly and weekly lenses. Compliance with your eye doctors wearing regimen is usually very high in comparison to other lens categories. Eye doctors have used these lenses to fit younger wearers who may be less attentive to lens care issues.
Air Optix Aqua: While it may sound weird and contradictory, sometimes a lens with less water content can stave off dry eye, as they may be less inclined to dehydrate in dry conditions. Air Optix Aqua contact lenses, manufactured by Alcon, transmit up to five times more oxygen than traditional soft contact lenses. The lenses stay comfortable throughout the day thanks to the unique Aqua Moisture System. The patented lens material helps to maintain moisture and a smooth lens surface helps to prevent deposits and optimize comfort.
There are a number of eye conditions that people suffer from across the world and while some of them are easy to diagnose and treat, the others are tougher. Keratoconus is one such condition which is tough to identify without a proper examination and this is one of the main reasons why regular eye checkups are essential. Timely identification of keratoconus helps in effective keratoconus treatment.
There are tiny protein fibers in the eyes that are called collagen. The collagen helps keep the cornea in place and prevents it from bulging. In the event of the fibers weakening, the cornea cannot hold its shape anymore and starts becoming cone shaped. Keratoconus is caused by the constant decrease of the protective antioxidants that are present in the cornea.
This causes the cornea cells to produce damaging by products. In a normal situation, the antioxidants help get rid of them thereby protecting the collagen fibers. If the level of antioxidants decreases, the collagen becomes weak and the cornea starts bulging out. Keratoconus is known to run in families. If there is a history of Keratoconus in the family, it is advisable to test the children in the family at an early age and start Keratoconus treatment as early as possible. The condition of Keratoconus progresses rapidly if certain medical problems such as allergies are present in a person. Keratoconus can begin in children or in people that have reached the age of 30. Although it is not common for people above the age of 40 to be diagnosed with Keratoconus, there have been a few instances of it.
The changes in the cornea caused by Keratoconus can either happen quickly or gradually. As the shape of the cornea changes, patients will notice a change in vision. They will also start noticing halos, glare or streaking of lights. There is no pattern for Keratoconus and it can keep affecting the cornea for decades as well.
It is impossible to focus without proper treatment when someone suffers from keratoconus. There is still no cure to the condition; however there are various treatment methods that help to control the condition from worsening. People who suffer from keratoconus might need to wear glasses or contact lenses in order for them to focus correctly. In severe cases, keratoconus treatment might involve surgery. While there are laser corrective surgeries that you can opt in for in the early stages of keratoconus, when the condition worsens one might need to opt in for a corneal transplant. This is a major surgery that is conducted only in severe cases of keratoconus.
Keratoconus can cause a number of vision problems which include irregular astigmatism or nearsighted. Only an eye doctor will manage to identify the condition in its early stages and suggest the right treatment method which is why it is essential to get an eye examination on a regular basis to avoid any problems with the eyes. In order to keep your eyes healthy, always make sure you visit your eye doctor regularly.