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OPTICPLUS

Sep/Oct 2011 • An OpticPlus Supplement


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Can using computers damage your vision? Can you look at the sun during a solar eclipse if you squint or wear sunglasses? There are many myths that surround the eyes and how it functions. Here’s to debunking some of the more popular ones.

Busting Some Myths About The Eye

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lot has been said and written about the beauty of eyes. Needless to say when there is something of such great value, there will be a lot of old wives’ tales that will also be attached to it. Some of these superstitions are rooted in cultures of a particular geography. For instance, during the time of the Pharaohs the Egyptians believed in the ‘all-seeing eye’ or the ‘Eye of Horus’. Horus was the patron God of the Egyptians and they believed that this mystical symbol could ward off all evil. The later day Freemasons too adopted this symbol believing that it represented the eye of God, who they referred to as the supreme architect of the universe. 154

Many Middle Eastern and Asian tribes of yore also believed in the presence of an evil eye and it’s part of their folk lore. The evil eye usually was taken as a glimpse of envy or jealousy in the eyes of the beholder and many tribal practices were created to rid a person who was said to suffer from its effects. These cultural notions aside, a lot of misconceptions as well have been circulating about eye care for the longest time now. These range from how eating carrots can improve vision and how reading in the dark can damage the eyes. In recent times, as digitisation set in and people spend more time on their computers, mobiles and other handheld devices, these beliefs have only gained momentum. OPTICPLUS : Everything between you and eye

Which of these are true and which are humbug? We help you separate the myth from the reality..

Myth #1:

READING IN THE DIM LIGHT CAN DAMAGE THE EYES

Reading in dim light can cause your eyes to feel fatigued or uncomfortable. But there is no truth in the statement that it can hurt your eyes. Similarly, reading small print, reading extensively or using computers cannot cause damage to the eyes. Incidentally bad lighting puts a strain on the eye by not allowing it to focus well on the letters and due to this, one tends to blink less than normally. This in turn can lead to exhaustion, eye strain or dry eye.


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That is why it is advised that one should read only when there is sufficient light around. Besides, too much strain on the eye muscles can lead to a headache, which could be another reason why we have been told not to read in inadequate light.

Myth #2:

YOU CAN IMPROVE YOUR VISION BY DOING EYE EXERCISES.

This one is tricky. Eye exercises strengthen the eye muscles but have no effect on the vision. The American Academy of Ophthalmology task force on complementary therapy had once performed an assessment of the effectiveness on eye exercises and visual training in reducing myopia. No evidence was found that visual training has any effect on the progression of myopia or improves visual function for patients with hyperopia or astigmatism, or improves vision lost during diseases such as age-related macular degeneration,

It is never safe to look at a partial or annular eclipse, or the partial phases of a total solar eclipse, without the proper equipment and techniques. glaucoma, or diabetic retinopathy. But eye exercises do help in relaxing tired ocular muscles.

Myth #3:

IT IS NOT HARMFUL TO LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY IF YOU SQUINT OR PUT ON DARK GLASSES, DURING AN ECLIPSE. The sun’s ultra violet rays are very powerful and can get into your eyes

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even if you wear sunglasses or squint your eyes to look at it. According to NASA, while environmental exposure to UV radiation is known to contribute to the accelerated aging of the outer layers of the eye and the development of cataracts, the concern over improper viewing of the sun during an eclipse is for the development of ‘eclipse blindness’ or retinal burns. It is advised to never look at the sun directly during a solar eclipse. Experts in NASA say that the only time that the sun can be viewed safely with the naked eye during a total eclipse, is when the moon completely covers the solar disk. They reiterate that it is never safe to look at a partial or annular eclipse, or the partial phases of a total solar eclipse, without the proper equipment and techniques.

Myth #4:

EATING CARROTS CAN IMPROVE THE VISION.

Vitamin A is important for maintaining normal vision. And carrots are rich in 155


beta carotene, which is then converted into Vitamin A in the body. This is probably what gave rise to the belief that eating carrots can improve vision. But while this vegetable is definitely healthy, even eating extraordinarily large quantities of carrots can’t improve vision. So if you are nearsighted then eating a lot of carrots will not give you a perfect 20/20 vision. Instead, one should have a wellbalanced diet which includes fruits and vegetables for good vision. And your skin and hair will also benefit tremendously!

Myth #5:

WEARING GLASSES ALL THE TIME WILL MAKE CHILDREN DEPENDENT ON THEM.

No, no and a big no. Children do not get dependent on their glasses if they wear them during every waking hour. However, the refractive errors that kids have, which includes near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism keep changing as they get older. This could be due to a variety of factors like lifestyle, genetics or diet and not because they are wearing spectacles more or less often. In fact, not wearing glasses will only affect their visual acuity to a great extent, which is why most eye care practitioners insist that they wear spectacles all the time.

Myth #6:

SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME ON COMPUTERS AND PLAYING DIGITAL GAMES CAN DAMAGE THE EYE.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, constant use of a computer or playing video games won't harm the eyes. It can however lead to eye fatigue. This is because when a person is using a computer or any digital device for long periods of time, they tend to blink less often than usual. This makes the eyes dry, which may lead to a feeling of eyestrain. Eye care practitioners therefore encourage that people should blink regularly and look into the distance often while using these devices.

Myth #7:

IF YOU CROSS YOUR EYES, THEY'LL STAY THAT WAY. This is a threat many parents often 156

use for children who cross their eyes to make funny faces. And it usually has the desired effect of frightening kids into not making grotesque expressions! But in reality this is nothing but a nice ploy to scare children. Contrary to the notion, your eyes will not stay that way if you cross them. If, however, a child is often crossing one eye, then it could be a sign of the lazy eye and needs medical attention immediately.

Myth #8:

SIT TOO CLOSE TO THE TV AND SPOIL YOUR EYES.

Since the time TVs made their entry into living rooms the world over, parents have been telling their children to maintain a safe distance while viewing it. While this is sound advice, in reality there is no proof that sitting very close to the TV and watching your favourite sitcoms can damage your eyes. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, kids can actually focus up close without eyestrain better than adults. This probably explains

in the night to night blindness, which is also known as nyctalopia. But this is hardly true. A good number of people have trouble seeing at night and a simple explanation for this is that it’s harder to see when there is less light. Night blindness, on the other hand, is not a prevalent condition and more often than not is an indication of some other ocular ailment like myopia, the presence of cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa or even a deficiency of Vitamin A. And the good news is that it is curable, so people suffering from it do not necessarily have to keep bumping into things in the dark.

Myth #10:

YOU TOO CAN GET INFECTED IF YOU LOOK AT A PERSON WHO HAS CONJUNCTIVITIS?

Of course, conjunctivitis is very contagious, but there is no way you will get it just by looking at the red eyes of someone infected with the bacteria. The virus causing this ailment spreads very easily. It is usually transmitted

Not wearing glasses affects their visual acuity to a great extent, which is why most eye care practitioners insist that children wear spectacles all the time.

why they develop the habit of sitting right in front of the television or holding reading material close to their eyes. However, if a child always prefers to sit close to a TV then it could be a sign of nearsightedness, which can be determined during a routine check by an eye care practitioner.

Myth#9:

IF YOU CAN’T SEE WELL IN THE DARK, YOU HAVE NIGHT BLINDNESS.

This is akin to saying that if you can’t sleep well at night, then you suffer from insomnia! A layperson often ends up confusing difficulty to see OPTICPLUS : Everything between you and eye


OPTICPLUS if the infected person touches the discharge from the eye and then touches any object thereby transferring the virus. When a healthy person touches that object, they are likely to get infected as well. This is why it is important to wash hands frequently if you suffer from conjunctivitis. These are but some of the myths that abound about eye care. And for good reason too. Like all other beliefs, old wives tales about the eye thrive largely because of ignorance. The best thing one can do when in doubt would be to head to an eye care practitioner and get their doubts clarified. It is always best to separate the fact from fiction when it comes to something as vital as our eyes. Because when it comes to the eye, one can never be too careful! __________________________________ – Vinita Bhatia with inputs from Dr. Jugal Shah, Eye surgeon and HOD of Bhaktivedanta Hospital.

................................................................................ Email us at response@opticplus.in

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BRAND WAGON The season of lights is just around the corner and it’s the time to hit the festive notes with eyewear that spells glamour and spells it loud! One has all the reasons now to don their best 'bling'. And the designer Gods have made sure that one has the right choices waiting for them, from over-the-top blingy sunglasses to the nerdy, Woody Allen spectacles!

BVLGARI 8075 Luxottica

This is Bvlgari at its best with sunglasses that will up the style quotient of any attire!

There’s a range of oversized sunglasses which will complement any festive outfit and instantly add that much-needed oomph to one's persona. Those who prefer a dapper look can opt for the rimless and half-rimmed spectacles that are simple yet elegant and charming. There are also the hipster/nerdy glasses that will immediately give one the intellectual appeal. Whatever one opts for, it is essential to keep in mind that festivals are meant to be celebrated and one should do it in style!

ELLE 18942 Charmant Inc.

Chic silver detail on black makes this one a winner!

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TOMMY HILFIGER 7792

Tommy Hilfiger nails the oversized sunglasses with ornate details on the sides.

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ESCADA SES189 De Rigo Escada does it again with these 端ber classy brown frames.

EMILIO PUCCI EP668 Marchon

Strictly for those who desire edge and posses the panache to pull it off.

PAL ZILERI PZ 700009 101 Studio Work and play, these swanky frames go with everything!

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OPTICPLUS VERSACE 4214 Luxottica

This exquisite Versace offering is for those who are fashionably elegant.

PORSCHE DESIGN P8503 Rodenstock GmbH

Sporty meets style! Porsche Design effortlessly lending itself to the men at play.

IC! BERLIN RAF S

A military twist on the classic aviator. For a man who likes to make a statement.

JAGUAR 33047 Ferdinand Menrad GmbH

These trendy half-rimmed spectacles will definitely work their charm in the boardroom. OPTICPLUS : Everything between you and eye

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PIQUE

Born from the Petite Pique Polo shirt that Rene Lacoste created, this is a pure Lacoste design. It was originally designed to allow movement without compromising elegance to those who wore it. It is synonymous of a cheerful relaxed style and is suitable for any occasion, from the tennis court to the city. The exclusive cotton petit piquĂŠ, with its breathability and timeless design, provides the polo shirt with unfaltering comfort and quality.

MAGNET

Form meets function. This fashionable front is combined with thin temples that when fully extended, reveal a hidden sports feature: magnetic temple tips that fasten together allowing the assertive wearer the versatility he seeks day by day.


COLOR RANGE

In keeping with the tradition of the polo shirt color range this selection of frames offers an extensive range of vivid colors. Each style features a multitude of color front and temple combinations, pairing richly colored frame fronts of black, white, brown, and blue with an array of temple colors.

STRIPES & PIPING

Tracing its roots to the heritage of Lacoste. Stripes & Piping have been used throughout Lacoste’s history on such items as tennis rackets, handbags, and sweaters, makes this product truly authentic. Each frame that represents this inspiration can easily be identified by either a single wide solid strip of color (Stripes) OR a grouping of multiple thin lines (Piping).

METAL CROC

Inspired by the inventive spirit of Rene Lacoste this inspiration takes root from the metal tennis racket he introduced to the tennis world. Refined yet sporty, each style features a metal croc logo set on the left lens and right temple tip. A final detail not to be overlooked is how the end of the racket handle has been replicated in shape on the end of the temple tips.


TODS 5042 Marcolin Spa

These refined frames by TODS goes with office as well as casual wear!

JOHN GALLIANO JG0015 Marcolin Spa

Cool gradients complemented by the calligraphic logo on the sides spells classy!

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DUNHILL D1009 Rodenstock GmbH

Dunhill doesn't compromise on class, technique and style, and this is the perfect example!

CALVIN KLEIN CK 3126 Marchon

Sunglasses in pure white with a touch of silver. Perfect for a brunch party!

SWAROVSKI SK0006 Marcolin Spa

Swarovski dials it down on the bling, but ups the style with these suave aviators!

BENTLEY B-001 RG Estede Austria

For men who like to be indulged in their opulent ways.

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CHROME HEARTS FERRANAL Chrome Hearts

Office eyewear made interesting with silver detailing on the sides. Simplicity personified.

FENDI FS 5178 Marchon

Gold and grand go hand in hand and make for ultraluxurious sunglasses!

SILHOUETTE 7570 Silhouette International A Sillhouette creation that promises to go perfectly with pinstripe and trousers. 166

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CHOPARD SCH077S-3 De Rigo

Chopard's white-rimmed sunglasses with ornamental gold details. Le magnifique!

RODENSTOCK 4829 Rodenstock GmbH

Rodenstock brings us the best of both. Black and white- the evergreen colours (pun intended!)

BALDESSARINI 3107 Rodenstock GmbH

Brilliant silver details around the temples blend perfectly well with the blue-toned rim. A must-have!

CHARMANT ZT 11250 Charmant Inc.

Charmant plays it glamorous with these gorgeous gradients and the irresistable combination of black and gold!

Photography: Alim Bolar Modelling Agency: Diva Dubai (www.divadubai.com) Model: Davor Zoljan, Ingrid Aureada, Suzan Nesrin Hakmi

................................................................................ Email us at response@opticplus.in OPTICPLUS : Everything between you and eye

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LEISURE

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STAR

FORECAST

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here are those who need an introduction and then there’s Salman Khan. Full of attitude, he is easily one of the most stylish people in the industry. And he makes sure to flaunt it through fashionable eyewear in his latest movie Bodyguard, which has taken the theatres by a storm. In the movie, he is seen flaunting modernistic eyewear by Roberto Cavalli and his home brand Being Human, amongst others. From classic aviators to warm gradients, Bodyguard has it all! ________________________________

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High glare vision through ordinary sunglasses

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