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Volume 1       January 30, 2007

Welcome to the monthly iSight publication from Pacific Vision Institute Research Foundation! We look forward to becoming your resource for the most up-to-date information about your eye health, vision correction procedures, vision research, and curious and fun facts about this complex and wonderful sense, our eye sight.

  Eye Health - No more un-bearable dry eye

Many of us know about the importance of Omega-3 fatty acids in our cardiovascular health. Did you know that studies found these fatty acids to be as important in improving the health of tear film as well? Oil glands in our lid margins produce lipids that stabilize our tear film and prevent it from vaporizing when we keep our eyes open for any length of time, such as when we look at the computer screen or read. When our tear film is stable, our eyes feel comfortable and our vision is good. As we get older or when we use certain medications such as anti-allergy pills, birth control pills, and anti-depressants, the lipid composition may change and our tear film may become unstable. Omega-3 fatty acids to the rescue! Where do we find them? Fish is an excellent source, but so are the supplements from a health food store. Also, Flax seed oil caplets taken daily have been shown to significantly improve tear film stability. Most recently, Hydroeyes (www.sciencebasedhealth.com) supplements have combined Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids reduce inflammation and provide a potent addition to tear-film stabilizing action of Omega-3 fatty acids

  What's new in vision correction procedures

With LASIK and PRK, the cornea is reshaped with a laser to improve distance vision. With NearVision CK (conductive keratoplasty), the cornea is reshaped with radiofrequency energy to improve near vision for reading and computer work. This procedure used to be just for people who haven\92t had any previous vision correction procedures, such as LASIK or PRK, forexample. Not any more. At the recent American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting, scientists presented the results of NearVision CK in people who already had their distance vision improved with laser vision correction. In these patients, NearVision CK worked safely and effectively to improve reading vision, while their distance vision remained good.

  Tech Corner

The US Navy initiated a program that will offer all-laser IntraLASIK with IntraLase FS laser to its aviators for the first time since the procedure was introduced for the treatment of refractive error. Based on the results of clinical trials, the Bureau of Naval Medicine has determined that this procedure is safe for pilots who are frequently exposed to high altitude, dry air, windblasts, and G forces. IntraLase entered an agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency to provide its femtosecond lasers not only to the US Navy, but also to the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies.

  Fun Eye Facts

Many fans of Spanish Mannerist painter El Greco wonder if he unintentionally elongated the figures in his paintings because of astigmatism. This is not likely for a variety of reasons: the figures he sketched in pencil had normal proportions, and when he distorted the figures in his paintings he elongated angels\92 bodies more than mortals. But to further study this question, a researcher in San Diego had subjects draw squares by copying and by freehand while wearing glasses that induced an astigmatic error in their vision. Though their drawings were distorted initially, after two days the subjects had adapted to the distortion and were able to draw accurate squares. So even if El Greco had astigmatism, it is safe to assume he would have adapted to it, and the elongation of his figures was likely an intentional artistic expression. Perhaps they represent the human spirit ever straining upward.

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