Usher Syndrome is a genetic condition that leads to loss of hearing, balance and vision. It is the most common cause of deaf-blindness and accounts for 2-6% of the deaf population. The vision loss from Usher Syndrome is retinitis pigmentosa (degenerating retinal cells).
This condition was described in 1914 by Charles Usher, an English eye doctor. It is autosomal recessive, meaning both parents must carry the gene for the condition to Continue reading
BPA, or Bisphenol-A, has practically become a household word in America as a dangerous chemical found in certain types of plastic, particularly plastic #7. This polycarbonate is a non-recyclable plastic commonly used for the following products:
- the lining of food and beverage cans
- plastic water bottles
- kitchen plastics such as measuring cups, Continue reading
Vision is the sense most heavily relied on by modern, technological society. Hearing may come in as a close second, but even without a sense of hearing, we could still navigate most electronics. Without our eyes, that becomes a laborious task. But what, exactly, are the screens we look at so much, doing to our eyes?
Those glowing flat panes, held mere inches from our face, emit a powerful light that can, opticians say, lead to permanent eye damage. Much of the light that comes out of a screen is blue-violet. Studies show that, over time, too much exposure to blue-violet light can injure the retina. Retina damage can lead to macular degeneration, Continue reading
An traditional herb has been getting a lot of attention from researchers lately. Ginseng! It came from the Appalachians and Ozarks. where it was used by American Indians as a medicinal herb. In the 1700′s, it was sold extensively to Asian traders who promoted its cultivation in China and Korea. It is now cultivated commercially in the Eastern US and upper Midwest.
Adaptogenic not Ergogentic
Ginseng is mostly adaptogenic, rather than ergogenic. Two fancy words for two simple concepts. Adaptogenic means better tolerance for physical and mental stress; ergogentic means performance enhancing. Continue reading
A retinal tear is an eye problem with potentially serious complications that almost always ensue if not treated promptly. The retina feels no pain. Retinal tears can develop suddenly with little to no warning, and because of the lack of pain, people can easily fail to understand that something serious has occurred. Anyone who has symptoms of a retinal tear, or a more serious retinal detachment, should consult an eye doctor immediately.
In order to grasp what a retinal tear is, it is necessary to Continue reading
1. Your Eyes Hold Facts About Your Health
Image via Flickr by Mikleman
When ophthalmologists look at your eyes, they can see more than you’d anticipate. Not only are they able to see the health of your eyes, but they can see if you have other health issues including high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and even multiple sclerosis and lupus. A thin white or grey ring around the eye, called a corneal arcus, is one indicator of high cholesterol? in younger patients.
2. Your Eyes Heal Quickly
Eyes are such an important part of the human body that they actually can heal better than most of the rest of your body. They are the second most active part of our body next to the brain and therefore especially require healthy circulation for oxygen and nutrition and the ability to eliminate waste. It is the eyes’ ability to draw what is needed from other parts of the body that supports rapid healing. For example, a scratch on the cornea can heal in just two or three days, whereas a scratch on your skin is going to take much longer to fully heal.
Optic neuritis is an inflammation of the optic nerve that most often strikes young people aged 18-45. It is often accompanied by demylenation of the optic nerve. Demylenation is a loss of some of the fatty covering, called the myelin sheath, that protects the nerve and helps it conduct signals. While most people who develop optic neuritis recover their vision without treatment, a doctor must be consulted. This condition can lead to permanent damage of the optic nerve, creating partial or total blindness or holes in the visual field.
Symptoms typically include pain (in 92% Continue reading
We came across a perfectly fascinating article about the fact that whether a baby is a boy or girl may be related to the mother’s diet at the time of conception … which is also true in nature.
“A joint study conducted by researchers at the Universities of Oxford and Exeter has turned up the tantalizing evidence that a child’s gender might be determined by mother’s diet around the time of conception.
If this is true, it goes a long way in solving the mystery of why there is a decreasing number of male babies born each year in the industrialized nations of the world, including the United States, Canada, and the UK.” (from Medweb)
Researchers in Ireland have shown that it is possible to grow three highly nutritious kinds of seaweed through sustainable industrial-scale cultivation. They have grown Laminaria digitata (a brown seaweed “kelp”) grown “very successfully” on longlines in Roaring Water Bay, in southwestern Ireland.
A three-year Irish project to grow three valuable species of seaweed with valuable nutritional properties in an aquaculture environment has shown that sustainable industrial-scale cultivation is viable, say researchers.
Seaweed is purported to lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, fight obesity, promote healthy digestion, and tackle free radicals.
Seaweed also contains nutrients that are vital to eye health and maintaining good vision, including vitamin A and vitamin C. Learn more about food sources for other nutrients that benefit the eyes at our website.
Study could lead to new therapies to help improve sight following trauma or stroke
University of Texas neuroscientists having been looking at how nerve cells in the visual cortex of the brain handle and adapt to images as they change.
Researchers evaluated the results of stimulating the visual cortex upon optic neurons whose electrical activity was measured at the same time in lab animals. With the animal viewing movies they monitored the behavior of visual cortex neurons as the images changed.
Results showed that short exposure or adaptation to a fixed visual stimulus caused changes in how much individual neurons cooperated with each other and in so doing improved the efficiency of the cells to encode information for interpretation by the brain.
The authors of the study wrote that how we see our environment depends upon the ability of the neural networks of our brain and body to adapt very quickly to changes in what we perceive. Scientists are increasingly realizing that how our neural networks are structured and how they communicate is itself an adaptive process – our nerve cells change how they respond appropriately depending on what is in our sensory environment – converting ” electrical impulses in the brain into thoughts, memories and decisions”.
Source: “Populations Of Brain Cells Adapt To Changing Images,” Dragoi, et al., Nature 452, 220-224 (13 March 2008).