10 FACTS from World Health Organisation Regarding Blindness

Fact 1

Worldwide, 285 million people are visually impaired due to various cases; 39 million of them are blind.

Fact 2

121 million are visually impaired because of uncorrected refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism). Almost all of them could have normal vision restored with eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.

Fact 3

90% of visually impaired people live in low- and middle-income countries.

Fact 4

51% of all blindness is due to age-related cataract, the leading cause of blindness.

Fact 5

Cataract surgery and correction of refractive errors are among the most cost-effective health interventions.

Fact 6

Age-related causes of visual impairment and blindness are increasing, as is blindness due to uncontrolled diabetes.

Fact 7

Up to 80% of all blindness in adults is preventable or treatable. Among children, the major causes of avoidable blindness include cataract, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), and Vitamin A deficiency.

Fact 8

Blindness caused by infectious diseases is decreasing globally due to public health action. Blinding trachoma affects 40 million people today, compared to 360 million in 1985.

Fact 9

Around 1.4 million children under age 15 are blind. Yet approximately half of all childhood blindness can be avoided by treating diseases early and by correcting abnormalities at birth such as cataract and glaucoma.

Fact 10

For decades, WHO has been working with global partners to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness, strengthening country-level efforts by providing technical assistance, monitoring and coordination.

First Mozambican optometrists

The first class of degree-qualified optometrists have graduated from Universidade Lúrio in Nampula this month, becoming the very first optometrists in Mozambique. Nine optometry students graduated alongside peers from other health sciences disciplines, in front of the first lady, Maria da Luz Guebuza, at what was only the second graduation ceremony in the university’s history. In a promising step for long term eye health in Mozambique, four of the graduates have been employed at the university as members of the teaching faculty and in doing so, will become the first local members of staff.
 
One of those students is Joel de Melo Bambamba, who graduated top of the class. Joel, who is the eldest of five brothers, decided to study optometry because his grandfather was blind and his brother has serious vision impairment. Growing up, there was very limited access to eye care services. Although the course was challenging, Joel said he was very excited to graduate. “I am very happy to have finished,” he said. “To have reached a dream of mine, and my parents.”
 
Joel was awarded the Jill and George Mertz Fellowship by the American Optometric Foundation and is currently studying for his Masters. He will return to Nampula next year to begin his faculty position. James Loughman, who is a Professor of optometry at Dublin Institute of Technology and one of the project leaders of the Mozambique Eye-care Project, said the graduation is a source of great pride and joy. “To see these first optometrists emerge in a country with little in terms of eye health resources means that the combined efforts of so many people over the past five years have come into fruition,” he said.
 
“The first graduates will pave the way for the development and integration of a profession into the public health system in Mozambique. They are the future educators and leaders of eye health, not just in Mozambique, but potentially for Lusophone (Portugese-speaking) Africa.” Prof Loughman, who is the Chair of Optometry Giving Sight’s National Committee in Ireland, also highlighted that research in Mozambique has revealed that spectacle coverage for uncorrected refractive error (URE) and presbyopia is virtually non-existent. “As URE accounts for two thirds of the observed cases of visual impairment, the capacity of optometrists to fill this void is tremendous, and represents a real opportunity to transform the lives of those in need of eye health services,” he said.
 
Optometry Giving Sight is funding partner of the Mozambique Eye Project, which is a project of the Dublin Institute of Technology, the Brian Holden Vision Institute, University Lúrio, Irish Aid & Higher Education Authority in Ireland,  and the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland.
Source – www.givingsight.org

PRESS RELEASE: ZEAL Optics Introduces E-llume

March 15, 2013 – Boulder, CO – ZEAL Optics introduced the world’s first and only plant-based lens, which upholds to the highest of optical standards for quality and clarity while minimizing the impact on the environment.

Unveiled globally today at the International Vision Expo in New York City, ZEAL Optics, debuted to the market the world’s first lens using a plant-based bonding agent, thus replacing the petroleum-based bonder.“We are so excited to present our new e-llume lens,” said ZEAL President John Sanchez. “ZEAL has created a lens that will become the new industry benchmark for optical clarity with an environmental purpose.”

Designed and crafted in Boulder, Colo., this lens is proof that environmental initiatives are not a deterrent to an incredible optical experience. ZEAL’s engineering team has found a way to not only reformulate the bonding agent to eliminate crude oil, but to maintain a 38 Abbe value clarity in an active lens.

At ZEAL the brand principles of environmental and social responsibility, along with creating memorable life experiences, are driven by these type of innovative discoveries that push the boundaries of both the green movement and current optical stands. This is the first lens of its kind that can truly provide an ecological alternative to crude oil based lenses.

Currently ZEAL produces all their sunglass frames with Z-resin, a plant-based material that uses castor oil, eliminating harmful crude oil from the manufacturing process.  With the new e-llume lenses, ZEAL will become the first company in the world to lead the way towards completely removing crude oil from sunglass production.

“Castor represents a renewable resource,” stated Dick Auld expert in plant and soil science from Texas Tech University. “We commend ZEAL for taking the initiative to use a product that not only increases their sustainability, but also maintains the high quality of their product.”

ZEAL Optics’ patent-pending bio-based lenses offer unparalleled protection and prevention from UVA, B, and C as well as being able to identify and block a negative light range called High Energy Visible (HEV) light. This was recently cited as a possible cause of cataracts and macular degeneration. The ZEAL e-llume lens not only identifies this spectrum of light but helps to block it out.  The e-llume lenses contain a special hard coating for scratch resistance, along with an exclusive high transmission polarized film for increased eye protection from harmful rays.

Source: http://www.zealoptics.com/blog/2013/03/15/press-release-zeal-optics-introduces-e-llume-the-world%E2%80%99s-first-bio-based-lens/#sthash.kH6tUaEy.dpuf

Zeal Director of Marketing Joe Prebich shows us e-llume, the world’s first plant-based sunglasses lens  http://business.transworld.net/130314/features/60-second-sell-joe-prebich-on-zeal-optics-e-llume-biodegradable-lenses/

Maui Jim Readers

This August, Maui Jim have expanded their MauiReaders Collection! 

MauiReaders are have a unique, hidden bifocal on the back side of the lens makes the reader visible only to the wearer. The flat top bifocal is positioned low on the lens so MauiReaders function perfectly as a normal sunglasses for distance viewing, but have the reader option when needed for up close work. This is perfect for any situation where you find you have to constantly change from your reading glasses to your sunglasses. 

If you are interested in a MauiReader you now have an incredible range to choose from.

Here are the options available to you:

  • Reading Add powers available:  +1.50, +2.00, and +2.50. 

  • 43 different models to choose from, each model is available in several colours.

  • Lens Colours available: Grey, Bronze, Rose, HT (Light Green).

The great thing about Maui sunglasses is that all their sunglasses are warranted to the original purchaser for two years from the date of purchase against any defect in materials and workmanship. Broken or damaged nose pads and temples are replaced free of charge for as long as parts are available. 

Come and try on a new MauiReader today at Eyes@Narangba or contact us on 3886 6061 for more information.

Finding the balance in blue light

From the day we are born, our eyes are subjected to the  harmful effects of ultra-violet light, and now there is growing research into the harmful effects of over-exposure to visible blue-violet rays ( wavelengths 415 and 455 nm)  that make up the spectrum of natural light.

All most all everyone uses screen based technology. Whether it is your smart device, the computer at work, school or home, screens are all around us and they all emit blue light. In addition, we subject our eyes to artificial blue light emitted from solid state lighting (SSL) and light emitting diodes (LEDs), which are rapidly replacing the old incandescent and compact fluorescent lamps.

There is growing medical evidence that prolonged exposure to blue light may permanently damage the eyes by increasing oxidative stress, which means the nutritional needs to provide continual protection and repair (such as anti-oxidants)  to the eye cells cannot keep up with cell activity/stimulation.

This process of oxidative damage is thought to contribute to the formation of cataracts and to the destruction of cells in the centre of the retina leading to conditions such as macular degeneration. The exact amount of damage depends on the accumulated dose to which the person has been exposed, which can be the result of a high intensity short exposure but can also appear after low intensity exposure repeated over long periods.

 It is a concern that children are increasingly more vulnerable to the effects of blue light due to increasing use of tablets, computers and other devices for education use, social media and gaming, combined with their eyes’ immature crystalline (focussing) lens that is less able to block blue light.

Not only can our blue light exposure affect our long term ocular health, it can also affect our sleep patterns set by our body’s natural circadian rhythms. While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, according to a study conducted by Harvard researchers, blue light does so more powerfully.

 In recognition of the growing concern about the harmful effects of blue light, many of the international lens laboratories have already introduced blue light blocking lenses. that offer selective protection against harmful blue light and UV.

 Below are some recommendations for decreasing you and your children’s risk of accumulated blue light exposure and oxidative damage:

 

  1. Talk to your Optometrist/optician about blue-light blocking lenses in your glasses.
  2. Enjoy a diet rich in eye health foods or use supplements to protect macular health.
  3. When in front of a computer, tablet, smartphone or television turn the brightness to the lowest comfortable setting, instead using the contrast adjustment to enhance vision. Try to avoid using blue coloured backgrounds and put some distance between the eyes and the light source.
  4. Replace blue light headlights with regular headlights – reflections from these lights that bounce off bonnets, buildings etc can be harmful to drivers and passengers.
  5. Attach a blue light neutralising screen over electronic display devices, particularly before bedtime, there are also computer programs that can be downloaded that vary blue light emission and screen brightness across the day.

Melanie Kell | 27 January 2014  https://www.mivision.com.au/finding-the-balance-in-blue-light-8/