Dr. Sylvia Hargrave Hargrave Eye Center |Ocular Health Experts

How Smartphones Can Detect Eye Disease

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The importance of smartphones is undeniable for today’s society. It would be hard to find a person without a smart device, and it easy to see why since these devices have become quite useful. For example, there is a new app that has just been developed meant to detect an eye disease.

How Does This App Work?

It may sound incredible to hear that an app can be an effective eye tester, but a Swedish study shows that the results of this app were more precise than regular vision tests.

As people age, the eyes begin to change, and some of these changes can end up hurting one’s vision. Sometimes, the changes are subtle but other times the changes are problematic enough to worry anyone who is concerned about the health of their eyes.

One thing that can begin to affect an elderly person is macular degeneration. This issue can distort vision so much that it could make everything blurry given enough time. It is this problem that Swedish scientists were trying to address when they first attempted to create the smartphone application that is going to help test a person’s eyes for this problem.

The app can test a person’s eyes for this issue, record the results, and send the findings to the appropriate eye specialist for further analysis. The app is quite interesting, and it is called MultiBit.

It asks the user to read letters out loud when they are presented. The trick is the letters start to fade for the user, and it is up to the user to figure out what the letters are as the written letter starts to lose focus.

It should be pointed out that there are more than just one of these apps being introduced to the public; for example, there is the Celego, just to name one more. People sometimes have a hard time going to their eye specialist, even though it is important. This app is going to be a great tool for preventative eye care and diagnosis, which is pretty exciting because it means that each individual has an opportunity to care for their eyes more effectively. Then, they can go to their eye specialist for further assistance.

from Hargrave Eye Center |Ocular Health Experts http://bit.ly/2YkrkLU

Causes of Red Spots on Your Eyes

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At some point, you might look into a mirror and see a red spot on one of your eyes. Although the sight appears distressing, the spot is not necessarily a serious medical problem. The spot forms when a fragile blood vessel beneath the conjunctiva ruptures and leaks blood. The condition is referred to as a subconjunctival hemorrhage.

Hemorrhage Causes

The blood vessel break or rupture commonly occurs due to increased pressure in the eye. Sometimes the spot may occur for an unknown reason. The leakage might also occur when someone’s blood pressure rises. Other contributing factors include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Eye injury
  • Infection
  • Physical straining
  • Rubbing the eye
  • Vomiting

Additional causes include:

  • Anticoagulant medications
  • Bleeding disorder
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Benign or cancerous growths categorized as actinic granulomas, conjunctival epitheliomas or keratoacanthoma. Unusual growths must be evaluated by a medical professional.
  • Conjunctival hemangioma refers to a group of abnormal blood vessels that sometimes develop on the sclera. The condition is typically benign although troubling in appearance.
  • Diabetic retinopathy refers to the condition when an ocular blood vessel ruptures secondary to high blood sugar levels. The blood often then causes floaters or dark spots in the diabetic’s visual field. The vision might also be blurred. Patients might experience a decrease in night vision. Colors might seem faded. Retinopathy is commonly the symptom that leads to diabetic’s to realize a problem exists.
  • Episcleritis involves inflammation of the episclera, which is the thin layer of tissue between the conjunctiva and the sclera. The layer contains a series of delicate blood vessels. The condition often resolves itself. However, up to one-third of the cases are due to inflammation in other body regions that require medical intervention.
  • Pinguecula refers to a growth on the sclera or a thickening of the outer layer of the sclera. The area often appears raised and yellow. When irritated by the sun, wind or debris, the area becomes reddened and swollen.
  • Sickle cell anemia is a genetic blood disorder involving abnormally shaped red blood cells. The shape, size and stiffness of the cells make it difficult to travel through fragile vessels and carry hemoglobin. Patients living with the disorder may develop what appears to be comma-shaped red lines on the sclera. These are abnormally shaped blood vessels. The eye might also develop red spots secondary to hemorrhage.

from Hargrave Eye Center |Ocular Health Experts http://bit.ly/2V6H3QQ

Nanotechnology and Night Vision

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Nanotechnology refers to work that’s done at the very smallest of scales. In nanotechnology, individual molecules and even atoms are moved and manipulated. Nanotechnology was first discussed in the late 1950s. The idea was named in the mid-1970s. By the 1980s, it was growing into a proper field.

In the past 30-odd years, nanotechnology has grown by leaps and bounds. Today, real interventions are starting to become possible. In labs across the globe, people are finding ways to integrate nanotechnology with biology. One of the most recent developments in this arena has seen mice develop night vision after injections.

Teams in China and Boston, Massachusetts have been hard at work on this project. Researchers there used subretinal injections to bind nanoparticles to retinal photoreceptors. The nanoantennae made it possible for the mice to convert near infrared light into visible green light.

The potential for this technology is intriguing. Scientists in China, who conducted this research, say the mice suffered few side effects. The injections left the mice with infrared vision, which no mammals have naturally. If this treatment can be adapted for the human body, it could have valuable applications.

Currently, to see in the dark, humans rely on equipment. Infrared cameras are used in research and for security purposes. Night vision goggles are effective, but they can also break or get lost at an inopportune moment. Injections making it possible for humans to see in the dark could revolutionize military maneuvers and some types of research. It could also make search and rescue operations much more efficient.

Of course, there are some caveats with this research. Mice are much simpler animals than humans are. The effects of the injections were temporary. The mice were able to distinguish things in the NIR conditions for about two weeks. Although not many side effects were observed, they were mild and temporary. Issues like cloudy retinas cleared up after about one week.

Scientists are eager to see what nanotechnology can do in the human body. This technology has the potential to change the way diseases are treated. In the future, it may be possible to target specific cells to prevent or repair damage. Nanotechnology could also possibly be used to specifically target troublesome cells in cancers. For now, these early experiments are offering very promising results.

from Hargrave Eye Center |Ocular Health Experts https://ift.tt/2HYgs1f

Using Virtual Reality To Train Eye Doctors

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New technological advances such as virtual reality (VR) have been used to help eye care patients in recent years. Now, some companies are utilizing the incredibly useful VR technology for training doctors for real life situations. This article will briefly talk about how VR is being used to train doctors and the positive outcomes of VR and other developing technologies.


Normally, eye doctors would receive training on on surgical procedures from observation and on patients. This can be a risky way of training surgeons and VR is helping to eliminate the risk entirely. A biotech company called Genentech has developed a high-grade version of VR that eye surgeons can use to simulate performing surgery on patients.


In recent years, the VR headsets had only been used for gaming purposes. The headsets tended to have a delay making the technology at the time unusable for medical testing and procedures. Now, with costs lowered for the VR headsets and the improvement of the tech, VR can be used more seriously in medical practice. Putting on the VR headset, the surgeon is immersed into a world where the smallest movements and gestures affect what they see and hear. Surgeons can now simulate performing common procedures such as cataract surgery with real tools laid out for them. Everything about the VR procedure is as real as it can be but, biotech companies like Genentech are still looking to improve the VR tech to the most optimal level.=

Other Uses

Many biotech companies are investing in VR and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies to improve many medical procedures. The popularity of VR and AR technologies continues to rise every year and seeps into many other industries. Companies such as Walmart and the United Parcel Service (UPS) are using VR and AR to simulate driving situations. Before their drivers hit the road, they are having them go through an immersive training using VR tech that very closely resembles life-like driving situations. This way drivers are much more prepared to deal with stressful situations on the road. VR tech continues to grow and has a massive amount of potential for all industries.

from Hargrave Eye Center |Ocular Health Experts https://ift.tt/2EcFtlN

Eyewear Trends in 2019

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Whether one has a prescription for them or just likes wearing them to make a fashion statement, eyewear is one of the hottest style accessories going. The right pair or pairs can transform an ensemble, attitude and turn heads. Every season, new eyewear trends emerge, and for 2019, both the runway and social media are showing off all kinds of bold and beautiful frames. TV icons like Oprah Winfrey are obsessed with striking eyewear and don’t leave home without a snazzy pair on. There are plenty of cool options just waiting to enhance every unique face shape and set of features out there.

New York-based eyewear company Vint & York is always at the forefront of fashionable eyewear and sees 2019 as an opportunity to treat one’s peepers to some vibrancy in color, revamped classics or a pair adorned with extraordinary details.

For instance, the popular eyewear designers are forecasting strong red frames as one choice that also leads to pink and purple frames. These flirty girly shades give a woman a playful vibe and are especially appealing to college-age students.

Classic gold metal eyeglasses are a sophisticated option for both men and women, and in 2019, round frames in gold are perfect for the work environment. This style is refined and simple and never goes out of fashion.

Vint & York also fancy eyeglass frames in modern prints to dazzle the eyes. Marble-toned frames are a great take on the classic tortoiseshell look and give the wearer’s ensemble that extra touch of hipness. In addition, vintage nude frames are hot in shades like caramel, light brown and beige. Trying on a pair in an oval frame is the ultimate since the oval silhouette is one of the chicest of the moment.

When it comes to sunglasses, 2019 is also eyeing bigger and bolder trends in every sense of the word. For instance, patterns aren’t shy in the least, especially animal prints like the zebra or black and white checkered designs. These frames say “Look at me” and well, everyone does.

A pair of sunnies bedazzled in crystals are ideal and bring out the bling, and Stella McCartney has rolled out some sexy, tinted futuristic shades.

Eyewear trends for 2019 are anything but demure or plain.

from Hargrave Eye Center |Ocular Health Experts http://bit.ly/2V2kmtx

Blue Light and Your Eyes

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Many electronic devices like the smartphone, tablet and computer screens all contain it, and even natural sunlight has a ton of it. It’s just about everywhere one looks. It’s called blue light, and these short-wavelength, high-energy light rays can cause more harm than good when too much of them are exposed to the eyes.

Science shows that blue light is a good thing during the daylight hours as it enhances mood and attention span, but once nighttime falls, blue light takes a naughty turn by messing up the body’s natural circadian rhythm and forcing one to stay alert or to wake up.

Macular Degeneration

One of the most serious conditions too much blue light can cause is the development of age-related macular degeneration. The light damages the retinal molecules and kills off the essential photoreceptor cells. When photoreceptor cells are destroyed, that is it. The cells cannot be regenerated. Macular degeneration results in significant vision loss, and sadly, it’s an incurable disease. Scientists are hoping to someday introduce a special eye drop that will protect the sensitive retinal photoreceptor cells.

The disease is growing in number yearly, especially in the United States where more than two million new cases of age-related macular degeneration are reported.


Children are growing up in a high-tech world obsessed with their electronic devices and mostly unaware of the damage blue light is quietly doing. Researchers recommend that people of all ages stop looking at their smartphones or laptops in the dark and to put on sunglasses that can filter both UV rays and blue light outside.

Digital eye strain is another issue that can develop from the over-use of looking at digital screens. The eyes get tired, start to itch or burn. It’s also difficult to keep the eyes open and to concentrate, etc. Headaches, neck strain and double vision are also common from blue light exposure emitted from a plethora of electronic devices.

One recent study found that up to 65-percent of Americans have all experienced digital eye strain symptoms. Eye care experts say the problem can be helped by wearing special computer glasses that filter blue-violet light. Eyezen, the company that manufactures the eyewear, claims their glasses can block at least 20-percent of harmful blue light.

from Hargrave Eye Center |Ocular Health Experts http://bit.ly/2EaHZu7

Prism Correction

The Hargrave Eye Center’s latest post:

A majority of the world’s population suffers from some sort of vision impairment that needs correcting. If you have ever received a glasses prescription you may have been recommended prism lenses to help correct your vision. Although prisms are not used in every prescription for glasses they are used in certain types of vision correction. This blog will help explain the purpose of prism correction and how it works.

Double Vision

Prism correction is mainly used to help people who experience double vision. When someone experiences double vision, they see two images of a single object at the same time. These symptoms can be mild, as some people only see small fragments of a second image making what they are looking at seem fuzzy. This kind of vision impairment is called diplopia and is mostly treated through prism correction.

Another reason for using prism correction is to help patients adjust their eyes to a proper formation. Patients may have difficulty moving their eyes inward or outward together and prism correction can help them make that adjustment.

Prism Lenses

Prism lenses are different from optical lenses and therefore are used for different purposes. Optical lenses help people who suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Optical lenses will bend light for us to be able to view objects better. Prism lenses work in a similar way by bending and refracting light so that you are now able to see an object as a single image instead of two. The lenses will trick your brain into interpreting what you are seeing so that your double vision is corrected.

As with other types of prescribed glasses, prism glasses are not the fix-all answer to your double vision. Prism glasses will need to be maintained just as and other glasses would. Prism glasses should be tested and updated frequently to ensure that you have the correct prescription. If images begin to become fuzzy or your double vision is getting worse, see your doctor to have a new prescription for your glasses. Use all of the same cleaning and maintaining techniques that you would use with any other pair of glasses and they will last you for as long as you need them.

from Hargrave Eye Center |Ocular Health Experts http://bit.ly/2BkbEzk