Test Your Vision IQ!

Sunday, May 09, 2010 | 0 comments »

By Monica Gomez

May is National Healthy Vision Month. The goal of Healthy Vision Month 2009 is to promote the importance of getting eye exams. Have you gotten yours? What do you know about those baby blues, or browns, or greens?
  1. Farsightedness is known as myopia. Farsightedness or hyperopia (not myopia, which is nearsightedness) is a condition in which distant objects are seen clearly but close ones are blurred. Hyperopia occurs when the cornea is too flat or the distance from the cornea to the retina is too short. Both hyperopia and myopia are genetic traits. The usual treatment for farsightedness is prescription glasses with convex lenses that curve outward or contact lenses that counteract the distortion created by corneas that are too flat. A convex lens moves the image of a distant object forward onto the retina, thus bringing it into proper focus. And the way to get diagnosed and treated is, you guessed it, by getting an eye exam. We just might meet the Healthy Vision Month goal!
  2. Conjunctivitis is not contagious. If you thought the answer was "true," please don't stand too close to anyone when your eyes are red, itchy, gritty feeling, tearing, or discharging (which forms a crust overnight that can make your eyes feel like they're pasted shut when you wake up, or try to wake up, in the morning). Conjunctivitis, popularly known as pink eye, is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva) that lines your eyelid and part of your eyeball. The inflammation causes small blood vessels in the conjunctiva to become prominent. Causes include viruses, bacteria, allergies, chemical splashes in the eye, and foreign objects in the eye. Pink eye can be highly contagious for as long as 2 weeks! While pink eye can get better without treatment, it can be accompanied by an inflammation of the cornea, which can affect your vision. So it important to get those eye exams!
  3. Red-green color blindness is the most common color vision defect. People affected by red-green color blindness perceive red and green as identical colors. It is the most common type of color blindness and affects men more than women. Approximately 7 percent of the U.S. male population (or about 10 million American men) suffer from red-green color blindness compared to only 0.4 percent of women. Like hemophilia, red-green color blindness is carried on the X chromosome, which helps explain why it's more prevalent among men. Blue-yellow color blindness and total color blindness are other color vision defects, but they are less common. Here's an interesting (all right, maybe even useless) fact: during World War II, color-blind soldiers were sent on special missions because their decreased ability to see green led to an increased ability to see through or detect camouflage.
  4. The British air ministry spread the myth that eating carrots results in improved vision. During World War II, the British air ministry spread the myth that a carrot-rich diet helped pilots see Nazi bombers attacking at night. The secret behind the Royal Air Force's successes was not carrots. It was AI, Airborne Interception Radar. The myth was so persuasive that the English starting consuming carrots to help guide them during blackouts. Carrots are excellent sources of beta-carotene. But beware! Consuming too much beta-carotene can result in carotenemia, an excess of beta-carotene in the blood that can result in the skin having a yellow or orange coloring. While usually harmless, it can be misdiagnosed as jaundice, which also causes yellow or orange skin. You have been warned, carrot lovers. If you find yourself turning a yellow or an orange hue, you might want to cut back just a bit.
  5. Darker sunglasses offer more protection from UV radiation than lighter sunglasses. Actually, the key is not the tint of the lens. The key is how much UV radiation the sunglasses filter out. Dark sunglasses without adequate UV protection cause your pupils to become dilated, which exposes your eyes to more harmful UV light. Clear sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection will suffice. To accompany your World War II "interesting" fact, you can share this with your eye doctor when you go for your exam. The most expensive pair of sunglasses sold on eBay® was Elvis Presley's personal Madison Square Garden sunglasses, which sold for $250,000.