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Volume 20       July 13, 2009

Innovation. Leadership. Passion for Perfection.

  Fun Eye Facts

Many works by Vincent van Gogh have a definite yellow cast. The Sunflowers, the Night Cafe, the Starry Night, and all the later self-portraits all have prominent yellow hues. An interesting hypothesis to explain this is van Gogh?s chronic ingestion of digitalis - an extract from foxglove plant prescribed to him for many years to treat his mania and epilepsy. One of the side effects of digitalis is a disturbance in yellow-blue vision as well as glare and colored haloes. It is possible that van Gogh perceived the world through a yellow filter and it was reflected in his paintings.

  Eye Health

Dry eyes may be caused by abnormal secretions from oil glands that line the lid margins. The name for this condition is meibomian gland dysfunction or blepharitis. Many treatments exist to improve the health of the oil glands, including warm compresses, lid scrubs with baby shampoo, and ointments. There is now a new way to treat this condition ? Intense Pulsed Light (IPL). IPL is most commonly used in skin care clinics to rejuvenate the skin and to remove unwanted hair as well as shrink skin capillaries. Ophthalmologists have now been using IPL on lid margins to reduce the redness of the lid margins and improve the function of the oil glands which, in turn, improves the quality of the tear film and reduces symptoms of dry eyes.

  What's new in vision correction procedures

A study published earlier this year in American Journal of Ophthalmology found that even people with extremely thin corneas can benefit from laser vision correction. In most people, corneal thickness is at least 500 microns, with the average thickness being 521 /- 0.32 microns. Some, however, have corneas much thinner than 500 microns. A 10-year follow up study found that laser vision correction is safe and effective in these patients. Most patients achieved and maintained their target vision.

  Tech Corner

Anyone who needs to keep taking medicine on regular basis knows it's a hassle. That's why "sustained release" is the way to go for many medicines these days. Be it NuvaRing or Nicorette patch, the medicines are turning high tech and hassle free. There is now a sustained release version of artificial tears for patients with dry eyes. Lacrisert is a tiny pellet of hydroxypropyl cellulose that can be placed into the space between the lower eyelid and the eye where it slowly dissolves over the course of a day and acts to thicken the tear film. It can even be placed before bedtime. It will dissolve overnight and prepare the tear film for the day ahead. Patients using Lacrisert often find that their need for frequent use of artificial tears decreases while their symptoms of dry eyes improve.

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