First Aid for Your Eyes

First Aid for Your Eyes

Many first aid courses focus on teaching how to treat cuts and lacerations and perform CPR, but they can overlook eye-related emergency care. Since nearly two million emergency room visits stem from eye injuries or conditions each year, the lack of emphasis on eye care represents a critical gap in first aid trainees’ knowledge—both for themselves and for others. If you want to learn more so that you can be ready to help provide emergency care for someone afflicted by an eye injury, take a look at these tips on eye-related first aid! Of course, first aid treatments for the eyes vary widely depending on the nature of the injury, but there are several universal principles to follow. The first step of any first aid procedure is to call 911 immediately so the victim can receive professional medical attention. If you need to provide treatment while the ambulance is on its way, however, wash your hands—ideally with soap and water—to prevent further contamination or infection. Additionally, never perform first aid without making sure that the area is safe, since you’ll be of no use to the victim if you get hurt, too. Bleeding or Lacerations To treat someone who’s eye is bleeding, perhaps as the result of a puncture wound or direct trauma, cover the eye with a clean cloth or an eye shield and head to the hospital as soon as possible. Be careful not to apply pressure to the eyeball, and if there is an object embedded in the eye, don’t try to remove it. Chemical Exposure Without protective eyewear, it can be surprisingly easy for workplace...

Retinal and Iris Scanning: How Does It Work?

Today, technologies that once lived only in the minds of science fiction writers are becoming commonplace in every area of our lives. For example, biometrics—or methods of measuring biological features for purposes of identification—are now widespread in all areas of our lives, whether we recognize them or not. Biometrics explain why it’s second-nature for many of us to activate our phones with a fingerprint scan or why certain devices only respond to the sound of our unique voices. One of the most futuristic forms of biometrics involves iris or retinal scanning. You might be familiar with these technologies from movies or TV shows, but how does they work in the real world? Retinal Scanning The retina is a complex web of tissue and neurons that line the back of the eye, and it plays an essential role in vision by transmitting light into neural signals that our brains process as images. Retinas are so complex, in fact, that no two individuals—not even identical twins—share similar patterns. Combined with the fact that retinas do not change throughout our entire lives (with few exceptions), the uniqueness of retinas makes them a perfect biometric marker. Retinal scans operate by shining a beam of low-energy infrared light into an individual’s eye as they look into a scanner. This beam of light “draws” a path onto the retina. During this process, the amount of light reflected will vary depending on the individual’s unique retinal pattern, and the scanner converts this pattern into a string of computer code and records it in a database. In the future, when individuals return to the retinal scanner, it...
Vision and Virtual Reality

Vision and Virtual Reality

In recent years, virtual reality (VR) technology has taken the world by storm. All it takes is a headset, and suddenly, you might find yourself at the bottom of the ocean, the farthest reaches of space, or travelling the globe as if you were actually there. While VR’s success has been the result of a series of impressive technological innovations, it also depends on how effectively our eyes can process virtual images and convince our brains we’re having a real experience. This is no small task, and in fact, VR incorporates several visual concepts in order to create compelling virtual worlds in front of us. The principle that underlies VR is that of stereoscopic vision, which allows humans to perceive depth and distance. Thanks to stereoscopic vision, each of our eyes sees similar but different images than our other eye—this phenomenon is known as retinal disparity—and the brain processes these images by matching the images while accounting for the slight differences, which creates visual depth. VR headsets replicate stereoscopic vision by displaying two sets of images at different angles, which causes the brain to interpret the images as an open world and not a flat screen. VR further creates the illusion of depth (and thus visual authenticity) through the use of parallax effects, which cause objects that are farther from you to appear smaller and move slower, image shading, and other techniques. Effective VR headsets and software must also consider field of view (FOV). Humans have an FOV of about 180 degrees while looking straight ahead and about 270 degrees when the eyes move, so headsets must come close...
Caring for Your Baby’s Eyes

Caring for Your Baby’s Eyes

Newborn babies require a lot of care and attention to keep them safe from germs that could compromise their tiny systems. In addition to ensuring they have proper vaccines and fresh diapers, parents and caretakers need to protect their babies’ eyes from damage and infection. In utero, a baby’s eyes start to develop around the 17th day of gestation, and by day 50, the iris is fully developed. By the time they emerge from the womb, a newborn’s eyes are about two thirds of their full potential, so it’s important for caregivers to make sure that nothing interrupts the continuing development of lenses, corneas, and pigmentation. There are three main areas to keep an eye on for the first year of a baby’s life. Ophthalmia Neonatorum Known more commonly as infant eye infection to laypeople, ophthalmia neonatorum is a condition that develops in newborns’ eyes as a result of gonorrhea or chlamydia. If the mother is infected with one of these STIs and delivers vaginally, the baby is at risk for picking up the infections and suffering from partial or total vision loss. Today, doctors will instill a newborn’s eyes with erythromycin ointment, which is comfortable for the baby and reduces the likelihood of infections caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia. If a doctor knows that the mother has these infections, the doctor can recommend a C-section, which will totally avoid passing on the infection, but often these STIs present no symptoms and mothers are unaware they’re infected. Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction Once babies start to produce tears around the three-week mark, parents need to keep an eye out for nasolacrimal...
How to Clean Your Glasses

How to Clean Your Glasses

As anyone who wears glasses can tell you, it’s incredibly annoying to see the world through specs, smudges, and fingerprint-smeared lenses. Glasses are generally designed to help deflect as many blemishes as possible, but sometimes, it becomes too much, and you need to deep clean your glasses. While wiping the lenses on your shirt isn’t the worst thing, sometimes, your specs need a full-scale bath. After washing your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap, give your glasses a warm rinse to flush the major debris, like hair or fur, from the frames. Then, use a tiny dot of non-moisturizing dish soap and lather up the lenses themselves as well as the frames to disinfect everything and wash away skin oils, makeup, and the “finer” dirt. After about 10 seconds, rinse the glasses very thoroughly, as soap residue will make the glasses foggy. Shake the glasses once or twice to get off most of the water, and gently pat them with a lint-free towel to remove the rest. Ideally, you’ll have access to running warm water to clean your glasses, but in a pinch, you can pick up some inexpensive glasses-cleaning solution from a corner store or a pharmacy. Apply the solution liberally to ensure a thorough cleaning. If you’re using cleaning wipes, make sure that they won’t interfere with any coating you may have on your frames to deter UV or blue light. Wipes for specially coated glasses are usually well-labeled. Dry microfiber cloth is also a great on-the-go tool to keep your vision clear. Because they’re so effective at trapping dirt and oils, it’s important to wash...

The Health Benefits of Sunglasses

A stylish accessory can go along way for your health. Wearing sunglasses is more than just keeping the sun out of your eyes and looking cool. Aesthetics aside, there are many health benefits to wearing sunglasses. Save yourself the squint and grab a pair today! SPF for Your Eyes UV exposure is not only dangerous for your skin, but it causes damage to your eyes as well. You take time lathering your body with SPF to protect it from the sun so you don’t get sunburn, or even worse, skin cancer. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer, but can also occur on your eyelids. The most common type of skin cancer on the eyelid is basal cell carcinoma. Sunglasses with 100% UV protection are a great preventative of skin cancer on the eyelids. Reduced Risk of Cataracts The UV rays from the sun don’t just cause skin cancer, they cause cataracts, too. Cataracts are a cloudy coating over your eye and the most common cause of vision loss. The good news is that by wearing sunglasses, you reduce your exposure to the sun and it’s UV rays. Sunglasses are the proper way to protect your eyes from possible vision loss due to developing cataracts. Decrease Dry Eye Issues Dry eye is an eye condition lacking the amount of tears used to lubricate the eye. It can cause itchiness, dryness, discomfort and vision impairment in your eyes. Because people who suffer from dry eye can’t produce the right amount of tears, artificial tears can be created. Doctors recommend sunglasses to those who suffer from dry eye, but also to...