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Volume 19       May 5, 2009

Innovation. Leadership. Passion for Perfection.

  Fun Eye Facts

Although flowers look vividly colored, they may actually look even better than they appear to us! Flowers, like daisies, have an attractive colored zone around center. This zone does not appear different from the surrounding color to us, but the butterflies can see more colors in that zone. This is a special gift to the butterflies, since they have taken up the job of pollination.

  Eye Health

What causes our eyes to age - genetics or environment? In a recent study published in a journal "Ophthalmology", the researchers at University of Melbourne in Australia followed 42 pairs of twins as they aged. They noticed that genetic factors were strong determinants of sharp visual acuity and color discrimination - functions performed by cone cells in the retina. Night vision and the ability to adapt to light level changes - functions performed by retinal rod cells - were influenced mostly by environmental factors. Modifying the environment by quitting smoking, decreasing exposure to ultraviolet light, and taking certain vitamins and supplements can help some components of our vision system function well into old age.

  What's new in vision correction procedures

If you or anyone you know needs cataract or lens replacement surgery and have been told they also have astigmatism, their astigmatism can be corrected at the same time as their cataract or lens is removed. New lens implants can correct astigmatism with excellent precision. The surgeon aligns the lens carefully inside the eye to counteract the ovalness of the cornea and to reduce and, in many cases, eliminate astigmatism. This results in good vision without the need for glasses in many patients.

  Tech Corner

A miracle of modern day drug technology can make our eyes more attractive. An unusual, but welcomed side effect was noted in patients with glaucoma who used a drug called Lumigan to lower their eye pressure and treat their glaucoma - their eyelashes became longer, thicker, and darker. The FDA has now approved this drug, a prostaglandin analogue, to improve appearance of eyelashes in patients who don't have glaucoma. When used just to make the eyelashes look better, the drug is called Latisse. The studies showed that 78% of patients who applied Latisse to the edge of their upper eyelids for 16 weeks had improvement in the appearance of their eyelashes.

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