Learn more about eye health and eyewear from local and national experts in the field.
Color for the Color Blind
The human eye can detect an estimated 10 million colors, hues and shades and is capable of noticing the subtle differences between similar colors like maroon and burgundy. For some people, however, color blindness can prevent their eyes from seeing certain colors and shades.
EnChroma, a company specializing in producing eyewear for color blindness, has created a set of glasses that may help alleviate some of the effects of red-green color blindness. The product was created on accident by EnChroma co-founder and Chief Scientist Don McPherson, Ph.D. He invented glasses for doctors for laser surgery eye protection. He discovered that the glasses, which contain a special filter that removes select bands of wavelengths of light, help color-blind people see colors more vibrantly and discriminate certain colors better. After completing research and trials, McPherson connected with Andrew Schmeder, CEO, to launch EnChroma. The first version of the glasses was put on the market in 2012.
Roughly one in 12 men and one in 200 women are color blind worldwide, according to EnChroma. The degree of color blindness varies from person to person, but red-green color blindness is most common (about 99 percent) followed by blue-yellow color blindness. Total color blindness is rare but possible.
Ray Pittman recently tested a pair of EnChroma glasses. He says, “These glasses are definitely worth the money. Colors are brighter. I can see things that used to blend in. I didn’t know the bricks on my house were different colors, and the grass looks brighter, not as brown as usual.”
EnChroma does not claim that the glasses are a cure to color blindness. According to representatives, the glasses work for about four out of five people with red-green color blindness. The glasses can enhance the vibrancy and saturation of colors to improve depth and detail perception, but cannot completely cure color blindness.
Eyes with Wisdom
As you age, your eyes will go through many changes. This is why it’s important to keep up with your regular eye exams, especially if you are at risk for developing diseases of the eye related to age. Dr. Ryan Schott of Maitland Vision Center explains the differences between cataracts and glaucoma and how you can reduce your risks.
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens while glaucoma is a slowly progressing deterioration of the optic nerve that is typically due to higher intraocular pressure. Both can lead to blindness if left untreated. “While damage from glaucoma is irreversible at this time, cataracts can be removed surgically, which will instantly improve vision,” Dr. Schott says.
Who is at risk for developing cataracts and glaucoma? Dr. Schott says nearly everyone will develop cataracts at some point in their lives if they live long enough, but glaucoma is related to family history, age, race and other factors.
While you can’t stop getting older, Dr. Schott recommends maintaining a healthy body weight, avoiding smoking and regularly exercising to help reduce your risks for cataracts and glaucoma. He also says that a diet full of leafy green vegetables can combat glaucoma too. He notes a long-term landmark NURSES’ Health Study that suggests consuming a hefty amount of leafy greens can decrease primary open angle glaucoma by 20 to 30 percent, and can produce a drop of 40 to 50 percent for patients with paracentral vision field loss at the time of diagnosis.
LASIK vs. PRK
Wearing glasses and contact lenses for an extended period of time can get old. While contacts have come a long way in recent years, with the trend moving toward daily disposable lenses for comfort in patients with and without astigmatism, there are several options for vision correction for those who are unable to tolerate contacts or glasses. Dr. Schott is familiar with both.
The most common and well-known form of vision correction treatment is LASIK. For this procedure, a flap is created on the epithelium, or the surface of the cornea, and it is peeled back to allow the laser to gently resurface the stroma of the cornea to correct the prescription. The flap is then gently replaced to allow for rapid healing and instant vision correction.
The only difference with the PRK procedure is that the epithelium is completely removed prior to the laser correction. Dr. Schott points out that since there is not a flap to cover the stroma of the cornea, the post-operative healing time and the visual recovery for patients is slower. “The advantage of PRK is that the lesser side effects of manipulating the epithelial flap in LASIK are non-existent because the epithelium regrows naturally over the course of one to two weeks,” Dr. Schott says. “However, there is typically some mild discomfort during the regrowth period in PRK that is absent in LASIK.”
Typically, patients who are in their 20s or 30s with a mild to moderate amount of nearsightedness are ideal candidates for LASIK. PRK is usually recommended for patients with thinner corneas. An experienced ophthalmologist can help you determine which procedure is right for you.
Manufacturers of sunglasses have developed technology that benefits athletes in a variety of sports. Depending on the type of lens, fishermen can see their target at varying depths, golfers can gauge distances to help with their shot and a variety of athletes can avoid glare on the field.
Oakley carries two types of lenses specifically for fishermen so they can see what they need to see and where they need to see it. The Prizm Shallow Water Polarized lens blocks 99 percent of reflected glare, keeps whites bright to easily follow fish and flies on the surface of the water, and boosts the precise green and copper hues so anglers can see hiding spots. The Prizm Deep Water Polarized lens is darker than the shallow-water version and improves color contrast while enhancing views underwater with glare-stopping polarization.
Revo, which was launched in 1985, also offers a variety of lenses based on activities. While each option provides polarized protection, each lens is optimized for specific conditions. Revo Blue Water lenses cut glare when it is bright on the water while the Revo Green Water lenses add a pop of color and help cut through the water’s surface. Revo Terra lenses are perfect for golfing, cycling, hunting and tennis because it filters the light spectrum to provide clear vision in a variety of situations. Revo Open Road lenses will work for those sports as well because it improves light adaption in bright and low light situations, allowing for greater sharpness and contrast.
Healthy Eyes From the Inside Out
Promote a healthy body from the inside by juicing. The Vineyard in Windermere features a menu of juices and elixirs by day as well as small plates and wine by night. The eatery’s expert mixologists have created a special elixir recipe containing celery (vitamin K, folate, vitamin A, potassium and vitamin C) and Granny Smith apples, which are packed with antioxidants. On top of reviving the eyes, this elixir can also keep you hydrated, flush out toxins, aid in weight loss and more.
-2 stalks of celery
-1/2 Granny Smith apple
Juice all ingredients together and serve.