A CULTURAL SPECTACLE
While most of us wouldn’t hesitate to visit an optometrist or even an ophthalmologist, many people in rural areas around the world are still pretty mistrustful of scientific practices when it comes to eye care.
Instead, they turn to traditional eye medicines (TEM) or similar therapies for treatment. This treatment is sometimes based on religious or spiritual beliefs and can actually worsen the conditions of those seeking treatment — how eye-ronic is that?
In rural Nigeria, some believe that eye disease and blindness are caused by malignant spirits or divine punishment, leading to treatment methods more akin to religious blessings rather than medical care. Similar occurrences can be found in places like rural Yemen or India.
Even this study conducted in the US showed that some Muslims will not use their prescribed medications when fasting even though they are aware that irregular use will affect their recovery.
Sometimes, it’s more about accessibility than ideology — the continued use of couching to treat cataracts in some parts of the world is one example of this phenomenon. Cataract surgery these days usually involves replacing the clouded lens of the affected eye with an artificial lens.
Unfortunately, this treatment simply isn’t accessible to many people living in rural areas. As a result, they turn to the treatments that are available to them, even though they might not be the most effective options.
5 Singaporean stories to catch up on
1️⃣ Essilor Vision Foundation has partnered with the Migrant Workers’ Centre to provide free eye care education and reading glasses to migrant workers.
2️⃣ At the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), an AI helps ophthalmologists interpret images of your eyes to look for major eye health issues.
3️⃣ Speaking of the SNEC, they’re currently offering teleconsultations to glaucoma patients.
4️⃣ The Singapore Optometric Association (SOA) has some advice on how to look out for fake news regarding the treatment of myopia.
5️⃣ Tired of buying under-eye concealer? Here are some tips from an aesthetic doctor on how to deal with the dark circles under your eyes
And 5 facts to spice up your life:
1️⃣ Seeing the light: Thirteen doctors and researchers have won the Sanford and Sue Greenberg Prize to End Blindness.
2️⃣ Turning back time: Researchers at Harvard Medical School have managed to reverse age-related blindness in mice.
3️⃣ A different kind of cure: A team of scientists in the Netherlands is working on restoring vision through brain implants.
4️⃣ A visual feast: Here’s a list of food that can boost your eye health!
5️⃣ Lighting the way: Product designer Sam March has created a pair of DIY smart glasses that can help wearers with navigation.
VISIONARY EYE CARE
Visualising the future
From magnifying glasses to contact lenses, technology in eye care has come a really long way. Some may think the industry’s gone a bit stagnant, so let’s take a look at the latest tech in eye care and eyewear.
Remember Google Glass? The tech giant’s foray into smart glasses didn’t seem to last very long, but other types of smart glasses are still very much on the market. Their features range from built-in speakers to photo-taking and even AR technology incorporated into the lenses.
Beyond that, it’s gonna be awhile before they make it onto the market, but this company in California is working on smart contact lenses that seem more like something out of a sci-fi movie.
No end in sight
Even the pandemic has been having an effect on the eye care and eyewear sector. If you wear glasses, you’ve definitely struggled with mask-wearing and the inevitable fogging up of your glasses. Various sprays and wipes have become available, as well as anti-fog coating for spectacle lenses.
And as with most other types of healthcare, teleconsulting and online prescriptions are becoming more and more prevalent. These developments may not be as futuristic as smart contact lenses, but they’re definitely still important when it comes to helping us with day-to-day eye care.
Weird & Wonderful
- The amount of dirt on your glasses is a visual representation of what could have ended up in your eye.
- Our eyes indicate when we are in power-saving mode.
- If someone tells you to change your perspective and you roll your eyes, you’re following their advice.
- No one ever wakes up with eye gunk in movies.
- If we only had one eye, we wouldn’t be able to wink.
Please, eye-bag you
With the current pandemic going on, lots of us are still working from home, which means staring at your laptop all day, everyday. To most, this may not be eye-deal but we’ve got some tips on how you can reduce eye strain while you’re hard at work!
First of all, hindsight is 20-20-20. Try to look at something 20 feet (that’s six metres) away for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes. This gives your eyes a regular break from being focused on your screen.
You’ll also want to take note of how far away your screen is and the angle from which you’re looking at it. Ideally, it should be 50 – 100cm away and the top of the screen should be a little below eye level.
Finally, keep some eye drops handy! Staring at a screen for long periods of time can make your eyes pretty dry and we tend to blink less when we’re doing so. But make sure you get the lubricating kind and not the medicinal ones!
Anyway, we know you’ve got a ton of work to do so we’ll let you get back to it. But make sure you give your eyes a break every once in a while! (Otherwise, you won’t be able to read The Pill anymore, and wouldn’t that be a shame?)
And if you’re a parent working from home, make sure you check out our upcoming webinar on childhood myopia. It’s gonna be on 11 December 2020 at 6PM, so sign up here — it’d be positively short-sighted of you not to!