Showing posts with label Eyes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eyes. Show all posts

Ultraviolet Light Examples and Protecting Your Vision - List of Things That Reflect or Emit UV

Latest update: April 11, 2023. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

Another Summer Approaches...

The Sun in Ultraviolet Light

It is fairly common knowledge ultraviolet light destroys vision and causes blindness over time. The effects of ultraviolet light are cumulative. How well you protect your eyes when younger will directly affect your vision as you become older. All information on this page has been derived from federal websites, studies, research, archives, etc.

Sources That Emit Ultraviolet Light Rays - Never Look Directly at Them

  • Some halogen, fluorescent, and incandescent lights (found everywhere). Yep, not a good idea to stare directly at any light bulb for long periods of time.
  • Mercury vapor lighting (often used in stadiums and school gyms)
  • Specifically designed UV lights found at many nightclubs
  • Tanning booths 
  • Some types of lasers
  • Sun

Sources That Reflect Ultraviolet Light Rays

  • Pavement
  • Cement, e.g., sidewalks
  • Water
  • Snow
  • Grass
  • Sand
  • Moon (Earth's atmosphere filters out most of it)
  • Pretty much anything white in sunlight
  • Aluminum and aluminum-based coatings
From an astronomical point of view, NASA has an interesting page about ultraviolet light at Tour of the Electromagnetic Spectrum - Ultraviolet Waves.

Environmental Factors Affecting Ultraviolet Exposure

This federal website explains these factors best: FDA direct sub-page. Detailed information for:
  • Geography
  • Altitude
  • Time of year
  • Time of day
  • Weather conditions
The relevant segment is located a little over halfway down their page. Most of it is pretty obvious, though clouds and shade do not protect one as much as people think. UV rays are usually most intense from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The Obvious as to Contacts, Prescription Glasses, Sunglasses and UV Exposure

As everyone who needs their vision corrected knows, we are always offered a UV light protection coating for our lenses when buying glasses; I always agree to it. Folks who wear contacts are given the same option; the contacts are made of a material that absorbs the ultraviolet light part of the spectrum; however, it should be remembered that the contact does not cover the entire eye.

Wearing sunglasses without UV protection is worse than wearing no glasses at all and can even be dangerous; the eyes can be fooled into dilating, causing maximum and damaging exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Here is an eye-opening (so to speak) article by NASA: Ultraviolet-Blocking Lenses Protect, Enhance Vision. The NASA article is a little off-topic, but the message is clear; do spend whatever time, money, and effort necessary to be sure the sunglasses you buy actually do their job. The wrong sunglasses could ultimately subtract years of vision from your life; or at minimum, cause severe problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. One really does not want to experience retina injections and/or cataract surgery in their later years.

Ultraviolet Light Phobia

Almost last, but not least. One should not decide to be phobic concerning UV rays. The body needs ultraviolet light to manufacture the vitamin D3 necessary in order to stay healthy.

In-Depth, Scientific Research and Studies of Environmental Ultraviolet (UV) Reflectance

For the science and tech oriented, there is the lengthy article: Ultraviolet Radiation Albedo and Reflectance. If so inclined, be prepared to set aside an hour or two.

[An Update]

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are buying and using unregulated UVC light devices for disinfection purposes. The FDA is now warning that these unregulated UVC devices can cause eye damage and skin burns. If you are considering buying such a device, here is a cautionary article from CNET: UVC wands kill viruses. They're also a 'major safety issue,' experts warn.

[An Update]

As recently as two days ago, there are research reports definitively stating that ultraviolet LED lights kill the COVID-19 virus. These lights are only to be used where they are not visible, e.g. inside ventilation systems, etc. This research has not been reported in mainstream media; my guess is that it was generally decided it would cause a repeat of August or worse.

[An Update]

Other than the usual advisory concerning summer, not much new to report.

[An Update]

Here is a ncbi/nlm/ page that explains exactly what is happening with UV light, your eyes, your glasses and UV/blue filters: Spectral Evaluation of Eyeglass Blocking Efficiency of Ultraviolet/High-energy Visible Blue Light for Ocular Protection. Here is an excerpt: ...ultraviolet radiation ranging from 100 to 400 nm is harmful to the retina, whereas the visible spectrum of light from 400 to 700 nm is relatively safe. ... The earth's atmosphere absorbs almost all of ultraviolet C (100 to 280 nm) and most of ultraviolet B (280 to 315 nm) light. Ultraviolet A (315 to 400 nm), visible light (380 to 760 nm), and infrared (>760 nm) are able to reach the earth's surface. ...<end excerpt>

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How to Make Kale Tea Recipe and Health, Digestion Warnings

Latest update: February 11, 2024. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

All about the amazing wonder food, kale. Includes nutrition information, salad and dinner cooking recipe information, and the recipe for kale tea.

Typical kale leaves at the grocery store for making and drinking kale tea

This page is about kale; including nutrition and diet information (especially concerning lutein, zeaxanthin, AMD) and an extremely easy recipe for kale tea. If you are here just for the kale tea recipe, simply scroll to the green teacup marker at around the middle of the page. Do peruse the digestion and health notes.

What Is Kale and Availability – The Basics

Kale is a dark, green, leafy vegetable from the cabbage family; other examples being cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc. However, kale can also be regarded as a lettuce for the purposes of most salad recipes.

Kale is one of the foods which is often included in what might be called the super food or wonder food category. The nutritional content and the benefits derived therefrom makes this a food one wants as part of their regular diet.

In addition to it's nutritional value, there is growing evidence kale actually inhibits and can even fight some diseases; most notable of these being macular degeneration, cataracts, and some forms of cancer.

Store Availability and Forms

Any competent grocery store will have it. You can buy kale fresh and whole in the produce section. Or, if your store is doing their job right, you can buy it already in pieces, shredded, sliced, diced, minced, etc.

For a food so rich in nutritional value and benefits, the price is amazingly low. If the price isn't low, find another store.

Kale Benefits and Nutrition Data

Percentages and amounts (in milligrams) are based on a 2,000-calorie diet and 3.3 oz. kale servings. "~" is the mathematical symbol used to identify a number as an approximation.
  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin: ~600%. These are the two nutrients that have made kale famous. The body of evidence continues to mount that lutein and zeaxanthin actually inhibits and/or wards off macular degeneration. There is even some evidence lutein and zeaxanthin can reverse macular degeneration to some extent. Kale is the number one food source for lutein. Spinach is usually recognized as coming in second. You can buy lutein in pill form, but the FDA states they have not confirmed the quantity or quality of lutein in these products. The generally accepted daily dosage for lutein is 6 mg. The average American diet falls woefully short of this amount. A 3.3 oz. serving of kale has ~37 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin.
  • Beta Carotene: ~7 mg. An antioxidant, precursor that converts to vitamin A. Antioxidants are generally believed to help prevent certain kinds of cancer. Vitamin C helps the body deal with stress.
  • Potassium: 420 mg. 12%
  • Calcium: 15%
  • Iron: 8%
  • Vitamin K: 950%
  • Vitamin A: 290%
  • Vitamin C: 190%
  • Thiamine (Vitamin B1): 6%
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 8%
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3): 4%
  • Vitamin B6: 15%
  • Folate aka Folic Acid (Vitamin B9): 6%
  • Phosphorus: 6%
  • Magnesium: 8%
  • Copper: 15%
  • Manganese: 35%

Kale Recipe Basics

Kale requires a little more chewing effort than the other cabbage-category items or lettuce. It also has a tendency to make a person feel full sooner than usual. One might want to adjust portions accordingly, particularly as to salads.

Salad Recipes

Kale Salad Recipes

By the simple process of adding kale to the other ingredients, pretty much any salad recipe is also a kale recipe. The only decision is how much kale to include. The more kale included, the more the kale taste and other effects are emphasized. Only you can decide how much is enough and how much is too much.

Vegetable, Stews Casseroles, Chili Recipes

Kale Hot Meal Recipes

A Surprising Note About Cooked Kale

Cooking kale almost doubles the amount of lutein metabolized. This has to do with the heating process unlocking certain components of the kale molecular structure, releasing lutein which would otherwise not be available for the digestive system. It should be mentioned that cooking/boiling/heating usually degrades the nutritional value of most food. The kale-lutein molecular structure is unusual in this respect.

Virtually all casserole, stew, hot vegetable, and chili recipes can include the addition of kale. However, with these dishes, the determining factor is how much kale do you wish to include with the existing recipe ingredients.

If the objective is one of nutrition only, then one would add only so much kale. If, however, the objective is creating a true kale casserole or true kale hot vegetable dish or stew, or chili concoction; then you would add enough to result in making kale the predominant taste. It is a matter of degree only you can decide.

In whatever case, this is where the sliced/diced/minced/max-shredded form is used. Stems and full leaves are not recommended.

The Easy Kale Tea Recipe
and a Digestion Note and Health Warning

Kale Tea Recipe

Do you want the nutrition, but don't want to deal with the recipes and cooking? Many people just drink kale tea.

Kale tea is not difficult to make, though do note the health and digestion warnings that follow.
  1. Put 2, 3 or 4 medium-to-large pieces of kale in a microwaveable cup, depending on cup size. If you are a first-timer, probably best to start with just two pieces.
  2. Fill to three-fourths full of water; push the pieces under water if need be.
  3. Microwave for 4:44 minutes:seconds (your microwave results may vary). In fact, keep an eye on it; it may over-boil; also, the kale may expand and need to be tamped back down during the process.
  4. Be careful when removing from microwave. The cup will be hot, including the handle.
  5. Tamp down again.
  6. Optionally add water as needed.
  7. Stir it. Let cool. Stir again.
  8. Remove the  pieces of kale.
  9. You have your kale tea. And it's perfectly fine to drink any remaining, tiny pieces which may happen to be floating around; after all, it's kale.
Once you are a pro, you will probably do the following...
  1. Stuff the bottom third of a microwaveable cup full of kale.
  2. Fill to three-fourths full of water; push the leaves under the water if need be.
  3. Microwave for 4:44 minutes:seconds (your microwave results may vary).
  4. Maybe add some water.
  5. Stir it. Let cool. Stir again.
  6. Doesn't bother to remove any of the kale.
  7. Drinks all the liquid.
  8. Empties cup of the remaining kale into trash or refills cup a little over half-full of water, microwaves for another 3:33 minutes:seconds, drinks second cup of weaker tea.
Boiling water. And of course, there is certainly nothing wrong with...
  1. Boiling the water on the stove.
  2. Pouring the water into your prepared cup.
  3. Letting the leaves sit awhile and stir.
  4. Etc.

Kale Health and Digestion Notes

Keeping in mind the high concentrations of nutrients, don't go overboard. Drink no more than one cup the first time or so. See how your digestion handles it. Do it when you plan on being home for the next few hours.

This is also a good time to mention that too much vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and certain other vitamins and minerals on a regular basis, can actually be deleterious to one's health. On the other hand, even just one ounce of kale is a lot of kale; so you don't have that much to worry about. One full ounce of kale is about a third of the above specified nutritional percentages. Just keep in mind what other foods and liquids you are regularly consuming.

What with kale tea being so packed with vitamins and minerals, it can be used to occasionally replace a meal in weight loss programs. Kale tea is also an effective appetite suppressant. For that matter, it would be perfect for use in the infamous Military Diet.

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Description of Retina Needle-in-Eye Procedure - A Patient's Experience and Perspective

Latest update: February 11, 2024. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

Here is the actual process of what happens during the AMD retina needle injection treatment from a patient's point of view. Includes before, during, and after.

This page is written by a patient for the purpose of alleviating other patient's fears and concerns associated with that first needle injection in the eye, retina treatment.

Description includes what happens before, during, and after the procedure; as well as what to expect the next day or two afterward. This is a patient's description and does not give medical advice, though things the doctors office said are reported and a couple of government website resources are included.

This was a whole new experience for me and as a side note, I had no idea what to expect; so I decided to get the grocery store trip and all other chores done beforehand. Turned out to be the wise thing to do. One is not going to really feel like doing much of anything for the next few days after treatment.

Wet Macular Degeneration and the Needle in the Eye Injection Treatment; Overall Procedure Description and Side Effects

A Quick Introduction

As a patient, I just had this done to me. Here is a description of the actual treatment, procedures involved, and the experiences before, during, and after. These are my own, personal experiences, your results may vary. It should also be mentioned there are needle-in-the-eye, retina injection treatments for diseases other than AMD and different stages of AMD and also there are different medicines that are used; so what the retina specialist informs/instructs you may be different than what the retina specialist informed/instructed me.

The Actual Eye Needle Injection

Since the purpose of this page is to eliminate as soon as possible the dread concerning what you are wondering will happen and the expected pain involved, I am starting with the description of the actual needle retina injection first. It is good news. The before and after descriptions follow.
  • Sedatives may have been offered to you earlier.
  • You will sit down in a somewhat reclining chair.
  • A very small needle may be injected in probably a hand vein, purpose being to inject a dye to assist the doctor when viewing your eye(s) yet again. It was barely a pinprick, over within just a few seconds.
  • The doctor will inform you he will not be putting the needle in your eye until he tells you he is ready to do so. In other words, you won't have to sit/lie there wondering when it is going to happen.
  • Yet more eye drops will be put in your eye(s) and the doctor will be looking into your eyes with bright lights yet again.
  • There will be a burning feeling in your eyes. The burning will get worse; but then subsides.
  • Your eyes will be watering all over the place, don't worry about it.
  • The doctor and assistant will be wearing surgical masks. No one is supposed to do any unnecessary talking, including you
  • The doctor will place a small device on your eye, purpose being so you don't blink during or immediately after the injection.
  • The doctor will inform you he is ready to make the injection and will instruct you to look in a certain direction and to concentrate on looking in that direction.
  • By now, the eye drops have made your eye totally numb.
  • The injection will be in the side of the eye, not the front.
  • You won't see the needle.
  •  You won't feel the needle.
  • The needle will be in and out before you even know what happened.
  • The very small hole the needle created seals itself almost immediately.
So basically, there's discomfort during the process, but you don't have to be concerned as to the pain aspect. The bark of the concept is worse than the bite of the actual event. Speaking of discomfort, there will be some of that before and after the injection as well. What follows is about the before and after experiences. As with the needle injection, knowing what to expect will pretty much remove the stress factor. 

The Doctor Visit Before the Eye Needle Injection Visit

The usual chart exam, the usual other tests, the doctor doing the usual dilating and looking into your eyes with the bright lights, the usual picture taking, and whatever other tests might be called for. I only mention this because one might have the false impression that everything has been taken care of and only the eye injection remains when you go to your next appointment; such is not the case. They are only getting started.

The Eye Injection Visit Procedures Before the Actual Needle Injection Is Done

Sedatives may be available. You will be subjected to more eye drops, more tests, more bright lights, more eye pictures (dozens?), more technicians/doctors shining more bright lights in your eyes than you can imagine. You will also be bombarded with all sorts of important information during this entire process. By the time it is time for the actual needle injection, you will be a pretty much confused, disoriented, temporarily light-and-eye-drop-blinded mess. You will be guided into the eye injection room.

[The actual injection procedure is described earlier,
right after the quick intro in case you missed it.]

After the Eye Needle Injection Procedure and Side Effects

I somehow ended up back at the front desk. I was handed a piece of paper and told it was my next appointment; Since I temporarily couldn't read the side of a barn, I told her I would take her word for it. [An update. During my second retina injection visit, I'm at the exit counter being handed my third needle injection appointment. I suddenly said, "Where's my glasses?" Turns out I was wearing them.]

This would be a good time to mention that sometime during all of the above and immediately afterwards, I was informed that:
  • Keep eyes closed as much as possible for the day.
  • Do not watch TV or use computer for the day. And forget about reading.
  • Do not rub, touch, bump eye.
  • Do not let water get near eye for three days at least.
  • Put the prescribed anti-bacterial drops in eye(s) four times a day for four days. Real pain in the neck for me, I missed the eye more often that hit. Fortunately, the prescription apparently takes that into account; sufficient quantity was provided to get the job done.
  • Do not engage in manual labor or other strenuous activities for four days. Was informed this has more to do with doing anything that raises blood pressure than anything else. So I guess doing anything stress-related would also not be a good idea.
  • Was warned about possible pain afterwards, but so far none. If there is pain, was told to take OTC painkillers; but if really severe pain or severe vision loss, then to immediately call them.
  • Was forewarned to expect the floaters.
It should also be mentioned, do not even think of trying to drive home. For that matter, taking a few days off work and also skipping driving at all during that time is highly recommended, just my opinion.

Side Effects - My Black Spots Floaters Experience

  • While waiting for my ride home, I noticed I had six, black floating floaters. They must of been heavy. Whatever direction I moved my eyes or head, gravity dragged them downward. Two were large; two were medium, two were small.
  • Since I was supposed to keep my eye closed and no TV/computer/exercise or such; when I got home, I just went to bed and was actually able to fall asleep. When I woke up, the two smallest floaters were gone. [Update. For my subsequent visits, I deliberately got up extremely early; then when I got home, I went to bed and was able to sleep through to the next day.]
  • By the end of the day, the two large floaters and two small floaters had changed to one large and three small.
  • By the next morning, I was seeing just one small-to-medium floater. That little critter hopped all over the place as I was working on the computer. A few hours later, that floater also departed the scene.
  • [Update. On the second visit: this time there was only one medium-to-large, black-spot floater afterwards. It eventually disappeared in about 25-30 hours.]
  • [Update. After the third visit: this time the floaters alternated between being green and blue. Doc's office said no big deal, that it was ok.]
I decided to call the office and ask them a few questions. Here are the answers.
  • The floaters are the actual medicine dissolving.
  • Do not consume anything for the next few days that thins the blood, this includes alcohol and NSAIDs. However, high blood pressure medication is apparently fine. For that matter, I don't even know if blood pressure medication thins the blood or not; better safe than sorry. Might depend on which medication is used, there are several; be sure the doctor knows.
  • Vision can remain blurry or be double vision for a day or maybe two. The eye drops also cause blurriness for a few minutes.
  • The TV and computer ban only applied for the remainder of the treatment day.

Couple of Extra Reminder Side Effects Notes

  • The day after treatment, there was still blurriness and double vision issues in the morning. By around noon, all had cleared up.
  • By the next day, I was feeling downright cheerful again; but still no desire to do much.

Some Macular Degeneration Federal National Institute of Health Resources

The greatest fear is that of the unknown. Now you know what to expect. Not the most fun experience one will ever have, but certainly not the worst.

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