Protecting your eyes from UV radiation is as important as protecting your skin. Strong UV rays can cause
cataracts, retinal problems, and corneal and conjunctival damage called pterygium and pinguequlae which
appear as bumps on the whites of the eyes. Ideally, the sunglasses should block both UVA and UVB rays,
fit close to your face, or have wrap around frames. Polarized glasses may reduce glare but they do not
provide more UV protection than normal sunglasses. Blue-blocking plastic lenses are often promoted for
sun protection, but they also block red, amber, and blue light, making it difficult to discriminate
traffic colors. Photochromic lenses and polycarbonate lenses, on the other hand, block UV light and do
not interfere with the quality of vision. Standard glasses can be treated with material that absorbs UV
radiation while maintaining clear appearance. UV protection can be obtained for most rigid contact
lenses and many soft contact lenses, but do not protect the conjunctiva. Up to 80% of exposure may occur
before the age of 18. Good eye protection should start early.
What's new in vision correction procedures
A recent article in Wall Street Journal uncovers a possible reason for top performance in golf by the
sport's professional elite. It turns out that superior vision is a huge advantage, especially when it
comes to putting. Many of the world's best players, including Tiger Woods and seven other PGA Tour
winners this year (Vijay Singh, Fred Funk and Masters Champion Zach Johnson among them) have had Lasik
surgery to correct their eyesight to Top Gun sharpness, usually 20/15 or better. In fact, extensive
testing of pro athletes from all major sports has determined that golfers and shooters with excellent
uncorrected vision are the best at seeing and processing detail. On the greens, Tour pros tend to be
especially adept at perceiving such small details as individual blades of grass and at detecting low
contrasts, such as the difference in the shadows cast by the sun on turf that slopes at subtly
different angles. They also excel at depth perception. Laser vision correction may become a necessity
for athletes striving for a competitive edge. After all, Ted Williams credited much of his prowess in
baseball to 20/10 vision.
Femtosecond lasers revolutionized laser vision correction. They are essential to safe and accurate LASIK,
called IntraLASIK. The beam is focused precisely in the cornea to create a corneal flap with sub-micron
precision. Did you know that these ultra-fast lasers revolutionized a wide range of other industries as
well? In her book, "Femtodynamics: A Guide to Laser Settings and Procedure Techniques to Optimize Outcomes
with Femtosecond Lasers", Dr. Faktorovich describes the many applications of femtosecond technology. From
IBM manufacturing microchips to painless dentistry, from imaging the bonds between the atoms in a molecule
to analyze composition of matter to tissue engineering and gene therapy to treat cancer, femtosecond
lasers have launched an era of technology renaissance unprecedented in the history of science.
Fun Eye Facts
Optical illusion dominates the work of many artists, especially M.C. Escher. Escher wrote that this print
"gives the illusion of a town, of house blocks with the sun shining on them. But again it's a fiction, for
my paper remains flat. In a spirit of deriding my vain efforts and trying to break up the paper's flatness,
I pretend to give it a blow with my fist at the back, but once again it's no good: the paper remains flat,
and I have only created the illusion of an illusion. However, the consequence of my blow is that the balcony
in the middle is about four times enlarged in comparison with the bordering objects." Alternatively, he
could have simply put a magnifying lens over the drawing and then redrawn what he saw through it.
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