Thursday, July 5, 2012

Scholarship to be awarded for 'most beautiful eyes'

A $10,000 educational scholarship is up for grabs in Prevent Blindness America’s (PBA’s) 2012 Most Beautiful Eyes Contest.  Through July 31, parents of children aged up to 17 years can enter their children in the contest by submitting a photo at The first 50 entrants will receive a free pair of children’s sunglasses (Real Kids Shades [RKS]).
“Keeping our children’s eyes healthy has been a top priority since our organization was founded in 1908,” said Hugh R. Parry, PBA president and chief executive officer. “Through the Most Beautiful Eyes Contest, we hope to remind parents of the important role that healthy vision has in a child’s development and potential performance in school.”
The public will be able to vote online Aug. 1 to 31. One contestant from each state will advance to the second round of voting. All state winners will receive a free pair of children’s sunglasses (Eagle Eyes Optics Rock-It, including a children’s Fisher Space Pen).
Broadcaster Larry King, “Fox NFL Sunday” host Curt Menefee, and actress Barbara Eden will serve on the celebrity panel of judges selecting the national winner. The national winner and two family members will be invited to PBA’s annual awards banquet Nov. 2 in Chicago, where the scholarship will be awarded.
Marchon Eyewear, Eagle Eyes Optics, RKS, and Walters Golf are sponsoring the contest. For more information, visit the PBA Web site,, or call 800/331-2020.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Pollution & Conjunctivitis
Air pollution irritates the eye. Although this makes intuitive sense, few studies have been published on the topic. Now a team of researchers reports that pollutants increased demand in Taiwan for outpatient care for nonspecific conjunctivitis.1
The team, which includes an ophthalmologist, a biochemist, and an environmental engineer, measured the impact of air pollution on ocular health by coupling national health insurance data for outpatient visits between 2007 and 2009 with daily ambient air quality data tracked by the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration. 
Unlike other conditions affected by air pollution—asthma, for example—the effect on the eye from exposure to pollutants is immediate. 
The researchers found that ozone (O3) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) produced the strongest effects. Large-diameter particulate matter (PM) had an adverse effect, although fine PM did not. 
The authors report that conjunctivitis accountsfor more than 40 percent of ophthalmologic outpatient visits annually in Taiwan.
The study’s conclusion did not surprise Susan M. MacDonald, MD, who noted that the term “urban eye allergy syndrome” is already part of the medical lexicon. “Poor air quality can exacerbate allergic conjunctivitis and dry eye,” said the director of comprehensive ophthalmology, Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington, Mass.
But Dr. MacDonald said that it is easy to overlook air quality when evaluating patients. She called the study “a good reminder that air quality does affect our patients’ eyes and should be considered when we are evaluating patients with ocular irritation.”

1 Chang C et al. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012;53(1):429-433.