This Just In

New Layer In Human Eye Discovered

I just read an article dated June 16, 2013 about a new layer of the Human eye being discovered.  This is great news for those people who need to have corneal graft or transplant.

The new layer, located in the front layer of the eye, is being called the “Dua Layer”, so named after the researcher (Professor Harminder Dua) who led the study in which the discovery was made. Dua explained the significance of the discovery in this way:

Having identified this new and distinct layer deep in the tissue of the cornea, we can now exploit its presence to make operations much safer and simpler for patients.”

He went on to add:

“From a clinical perspective, there are many diseases that affect the back of the cornea, which clinicians across the world are already beginning to relate to the presence, absence, or tear in this layer.”

With over 65,000 penetrating corneal graft procedures being carried out worldwide each year, surgeons will benefit considerably by understanding more about the new Dua’s layer, which will improve outcomes for patients undergoing corneal grafts and transplants.

This discovery will alter the way these surgeries are preformed and therefore chances of tearing during surgery will be significantly reduced.

On a side note, this discovery means that ophthalmology and anatomy textbooks will literally have to be re-written. Not a bad price to pay for the advancements this discovery will yield.

Click here to read the original article: New Layer in the Human Eye Discovered

Here Comes the Sun

Summer is upon us! We protect our skin with sunscreen, but do we need to protect our eyes too? Most people are aware of the dangerous effects ultraviolet (UV) rays have on our skin, but most don’t realize the danger to our eyes. UV radiation can burn the front surface of the eye, similar to a sunburn on the skin. It can also damage the eye’s surface tissues, the cornea and lens.

UV radiation is the invisible rays from the sun. There are three types of UV radiation: UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC rays are absorbed by the ozone layer, and therefore pose no threat to us. However, exposure to UVA and UVB rays can have adverse effects on your eyes and vision. Short- and long-term exposure to these dangerous rays can cause significant damage. The sun is not the only source of UV radiation; artificial sources like welding machines, tanning beds and lasers also emit UV radiation.

Unprotected exposure to excessive amounts of UV radiation over a short period of time, can result in photokeratitis. Photokeratitis is an inflammation of the cornea caused by a brief exposure to UV radiation, usually when combined with cold wind and snow. This “sunburn of the eye”, it may be painful and exhibit symptoms including red eyes, a foreign body sensation or gritty feeling in the eyes, extreme sensitivity to light and excessive tearing. The good news is this is usually temporary condition and rarely causes permanent damage to the eyes.

Scientific studies and research growing out of the U.S. space program have shown that exposure to small amounts of UV radiation over a prolonged period of time (years) may increase the chance of developing a cataract and may cause damage to the retina. This damage is usually not reversible. Cumulative damage of repeated exposure may contribute to chronic eye disease, and increase the risk of developing skin cancer around the eyelids. Long-term exposure to UV light is also a risk factor in the development of pterygium (a growth that invades the corner of the eyes) and pinguecula (a yellowish, slightly raised lesion that forms on the surface tissue of the white part of your eye.)

Although we know that exposure (both short and long-term) may damage the eyes,Ii is not yet known how much exposure will cause how much damage. A good rule of thumb is to wear quality sunglasses that offer good protection and a wide-brimmed hat when doing anything in the sun.

When choosing sunglasses, use these guidelines:

  • block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation
  • screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light
  • be perfectly matched in color and free of distortion and imperfection

When it comes to the color of the sunglass lens its really personal preference… Gray and Green are less color distortion, but brown is fine too, some people prefer it for glare. I’ve worn all kinds, brown gray, green, polarized or non-polarized and as long as the frame is a comfortable fit and the lenses have all the qualifications for protection that is fine.

Wrap-around frames can provide additional protection from harmful UV radiation by keeping UV rays from reaching the eyes. Don’t forget to the UV eye protection for children and teenagers. They typically spend more time in the sun than adults. Finally, even if you are wearing contact lenses that have UV protection, you still need to wear sunglasses. UV rays can affect the eye tissue that is not covered by the contacts.

So when you grab the sunscreen, grab a good pair of sunglasses too!

What to Do Guide for the Four Most Common Eye Injuries

Everyone has experienced the stinging, burning, watering reaction to something getting in your eye. We aren’t sure what to do so we try all sorts of things to try to get the offending object out. I’ve put together a “What to do Guide for the Four Most Common Eye Injuries”.

Preventing an eye injury is the best thing you can do to maintain your eye health. Wearing eye protection is the most effective way to prevent eye cuts, objects in the eye, blows to the eye and other dangerous mishaps.

With summer quickly approaching we may find ourselves confronted with an eye injury that we didn’t see coming. In the event that you are unable to protect yourself from eye injuries, here are some tips to help you navigate an eye injury.

How to Safely Remove Foreign Objects From the Eye

Whether it’s a grain of sand, paint chip, insect or some other particle, here are suggestions on what to do, and equally important, what not to do when an object gets in your eye:

  • Do not rub your eye to get the object out, you may end up scratching your cornea by applying pressure and moving the foreign object around.
  • Do not try to remove an object that is penetrating or embedded in the eye. You must see your eye doctor immediately if you have an embedded object in your eye.
  • Use a dampened cotton swab to gently remove an object that is not embedded.
  • Watering eyes are your body’s way of trying to flush the object out of your eye.
  • Try rinsing your eye with eye wash or water to flush out the particle.
  • If you are not certain that you got the particle out, see your eye doctor.

How to Safely Clean Chemicals out of the Eye

Household cleaners and other chemicals that can splash into the eye can cause serious damage, and requires immediate first aid to prevent eye injury:

  • Immediately use tepid warm water to flush/rinse out the eye right away.
  • Do not cover or put anything over the eye.
  • Stand underneath a showerhead or place your head beneath a running faucet of tepid water. You may need to use both hands to keep the injured eye open while flushing it.
  • Flush the eye for at least 15 minutes, keeping the eye wide open and allowing the water to run over and cleanse it.
  • After following these steps, go to an emergency room immediately.

How to Treat a Blow to the Eye

If you get with a ball or some other object with force; or run into something and sustain an injury in or near your eye, here is what you should do to treat it:

  • Gently hold a cold compress or ice pack against the eye, but do not put pressure against it.
  • Keep your head elevated to minimize swelling.
  • Go to your eye doctor’s office or the emergency room if you experience extended pain or if your vision is affected.

What To Do if you Sustain an Eye Cut or Puncture Wound

This type of eye injury requires the immediate attention of an eye doctor. If your eye or eyelid has been cut or punctured in any way, do not attempt to wash the eye or remove anything stuck in the eye. Here are some immediate first aid tips for cuts or punctures in and around the eye (These are not a replacement for seeing your eye doctor just measures to take before you see your eye doctor):

  • Avoid rubbing the eye or surrounding skin.
  • Protect the eye from inadvertent rubbing by covering the eye with a rigid, circular object (cutting out the bottom of a paper cup will work in a pinch).
  • Do not put pressure on the eye while holding up the protective covering, in case there is a foreign body inside the cut.
  • Affix the protective covering over the eye using a piece of tape.
  • Go to an eye doctor or emergency room right away.

My hope is that no one will have reason to use any of these tips, but if you do have an eye emergency, now you know just what to do. In the event you do sustain an injury it’s always a good idea to see an eye doctor to get your eye checked out. Remember to safeguard your eyes as much as possible with protective eyewear so that you don’t need to use eye first aid.