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Love is in the Air, Love is in the Eyes

We have all heard the term ”Love is in the Air”, but can love really be in the eyes? Actually, Science has proven it so. Certain chemicals (or endorphins) that produce the emotion of love can be emitted through emotions expressed in the eyes. Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra all can prove that love is in the eyes of the beholder. There are physiological changes in the eyes that occur when love is expressed between two individuals. Two people in love, love shown towards a family member, child, or pet all cause the same response: the pupil (black part in the center of the eye) dilates.

The size of the pupil can be an indication of emotional responses and messages. According to, Scientific American, the autonomic nervous system (our fight or flight response), causes the pupil to have a quick dilating response. The ANS is also in charge of heart rate and perspiration,and when a person is extremely interested in another person, the pupil has a dilating effect that is slightly less than the pupillary light reflex. This bounce in size is an automated response that gives scientists indication of mood or interest (or love) shown to a person or pet.

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January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma, often referred to as “the silent thief of sight”, can occur with no warning signs, pain or symptoms. It affects 3 million people in the United States and has caused blindness in over 120,000 people. Glaucoma cannot be cured, but if detected early can be managed to limit its effects.

Glaucoma usually occurs when there is an increase of pressure within your eye, but can occur with normal eye pressure as well. This pressure causes damage to the optic nerve, which is the weakest part of your eye, leading to decreased peripheral vision and possibly blindness.

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Dilation Exam - Closed Caption

The colored part of the eye is called the iris. It is composed of two muscles. The constrictor and the dilator. The black circle at the center of the iris is called the pupil and is actually just an opening to allow light into the eye. The pupil appears black because the inside of the eye contains pigment to absorb all of the light that enters it, not allowing any of it to reflect back out.

When light enters your eye there is a muscular reflex in your iris to regulate the amount of light that hits the retina. Too much light and constrict muscles tighten to making your pupil smaller to limit the amount of light entering your eye. Not enough light and the dilator muscles contract allowing your pupil to get bigger.

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Spotlight on Blue Light

You wouldn’t dream of going to the beach without sunscreen on, or snow skiing without goggles to protect you from ”snow blindness”..... So what do you do to protect your eyes from potentially harmful blue light from screens? Blue light exposure is at an all time high, with the average viewer spending greater than 5 hours per day behind some sort of screen device.

New research is exploring the effect of light rays emitted from phones, computers, television, and some LCD lights to see the effect on the retina and lens of the eye. The blue light spectrum is a portion of the visible light spectrum similar to UV-A and UV-B. UV-B exposure has been a known cause of cortical cataracts. This is leading researchers to conclude that this exposure needs to be studied more.

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Optomap Comparison view of retinal exam

Comparison view of optomap retinal exam vs conventional exams

A snapshot view of the retinal images of conventional exams, such as slit lamp with 90 degree diopter, direct ophthalmoscope, indirect ophthalmoscope, and fundus camera compared with the optomap retinal exam image.

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