Surprising Measles Outbreak Is Eye-Catching for Doctors of Optometry

By Staff
Monday, April 22, 2019 2:22 PM Typically, when patients arrive at the New York City practice of Andrea P. Thau, OD, they are asked whether they are up to date on their immunizations. It's a normal part of the practice's patient intake process. These days, though, the line of inquiry about immunization has taken on added weight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now reporting measles outbreaks in 20 states or 555 cases nationwide as of April 11. That's the second-highest number of measles cases in the U.S. since measles was basically eliminated in 2000, according to the CDC. Most of the measles cases are concentrated in New York City. In particular, the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens have reported 329 confirmed cases. Dr. Thau practices in the neighboring borough of Manhattan. "We are primary eyecare providers. We are an important part of the health care system and an entry point in that system for members of the public,” Dr Thau said. Click here to read the full story from the AOA.

Earth Matters: ‘CBS This Morning’ to report on Every Continent for Earth Day

By Staff
Friday, April 19, 2019 5:44 PM Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day now includes events in more than 193 countries, which are now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, according to Wikipedia. In this post from CBS, the network’s “CBS This Morning” show will mark Earth Day with stories from every corner of the globe as part of CBS News' division-wide coverage for Earth Day. The broadcast will feature eye-opening reports on our changing planet, the fight to save it and its impact on humanity. Diana Miller, executive producer of the morning show said, “This Earth Day we are uniquely positioned to bring people to the frontlines of the fight to save our planet with the first-rate storytelling of CBS News. Our goal is to deliver stories that inform, engage and connect our viewers." Read more about it here.

An Easter Egg Hunt for Blind Children

By Staff
Thursday, April 18, 2019 12:22 PM Here’s a heart-warming post from ThisIsTheBronx.info, just in time for Easter. Visually impaired children often miss out on one of the biggest joys of the season: Easter Egg Hunts. CBS New York reported that this year a clever initiative started a year ago gave them a chance to participate in the tradition at the Lavelle School for the Blind. They do it with beeping eggs. They’re wired by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, so the children find them through sound rather than sight. This year more than 150 students from a range of ages participated. After the hunt ended, kids got an extra special surprise: the chance to pet NYPD horses and dogs. Organizers said the goal is to expand the event and one day bring in children from all over New York to participate in a Central Park hunt. Click here for the full story.

This New App Manages Your Privacy for You, From Facebook to Alexa

By Staff
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 5:01 PM In theory, most people care about their privacy online. But controlling it is another matter entirely, since your data is spread out across every account you sign up for, and even some that you don’t. Often, the only means to protect yourself is to painstakingly change each privacy setting for dozens if not hundreds of accounts—the average person has 191 accounts to keep track of—which quickly becomes overwhelming. A new app called Jumbo is aiming to solve privacy’s biggest design problem by providing a single, simple interface that gives you an easy way to access your settings from one place. Right now, the app can set your Facebook settings to the most private possible version, delete old Tweets, clear your Google search history regularly, and clean out all of the voice recordings Amazon has stored based on your interactions with Alexa. Click here to read more about Jumbo in this post from Fast Company.

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Tackles Visitors' Color Blindness

By Staff
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 5:14 PM SANTA FE, N.M.—The vibrant colors and hues in Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings soon will be on full display here for color-blind visitors. The Santa Fe museum announced Monday it's teaming up with California-based EnChroma to expand the gallery experience through special glasses. Starting May 3, visitors with red-green color blindness can borrow glasses to see O'Keeffe's work in the way that she intended. Stacy said the project with EnChroma has ties to that part of the artist's story. EnChroma co-founder Andrew Schmeder said O'Keeffe juxtaposed colors from nature in ways that evoked emotion and seeing that relationship between colors has been challenging for people with color blindness. Read More.

Lessons Learned From a Trip to Neiman Marcus' Dallas Flagship Store

By Staff
Monday, April 15, 2019 3:43 PM Many brick-and-mortar stores are losing money, but it's not because of online giants luring shoppers away with big discounts and VR. Instead, too many retailers don't realize that bringing shoppers into stores and converting browsers into buyers is all about being more human in an increasingly inhuman world. My recent visit to the Neiman Marcus flagship store in Dallas illustrated exactly this. It became clear why the retailer is over $4 billion in debt and why people are wondering how much longer they will be around. While my shopping trip began with pleasant greetings from store associates, that's where the interactions essentially ended. Find out more about retail consultant Bob Phibbs’ shopping experience in this post from Retail Dive.

An NBA Tribute to Eye Doctors Affected by California’s Camp Fire

By Staff
Friday, April 12, 2019 4:29 PM For the ninth year, VSP teamed up with the Sacramento Kings NBA team during a game to engage local fans and raise awareness about the importance of vision care. The company also sought to reflect on the Camp Fire, California’s most devastating wildfire to date, and recognize the hometown heroes who positively affect people’s lives when it’s needed most. Here’s what VSP had to say about the event: “Since the Camp Fire, we’ve seen communities unite on a path to recovery, despite considerable loss and tragedy. Among the many affected were several VSP network eye doctors from Paradise, California. Even though some of them suffered both personal and professional losses, they continued to care for their patients and their communities by providing care on board the VSP Eyes of Hope mobile clinic or in other eyecare practices. The entire basketball stadium, filled with approximately 17,000 fans, was silenced as a touching video highlighted the stories of affected community members—many who received care on board our mobile clinic." Read more about it on VSP’s blog.

Katie Bouman: The Woman Behind the First Black Hole Image

By Staff
Thursday, April 11, 2019 1:33 PM A 29-year-old computer scientist has earned plaudits worldwide for helping develop the algorithm that created the first-ever image of a black hole. Katie Bouman led the development of a computer program that made the breakthrough image possible. The remarkable photo, showing a halo of dust and gas 500 million trillion km from Earth, was released on Wednesday. For Dr Bouman, its creation was the realization of an endeavor previously thought impossible. Excitedly bracing herself for the groundbreaking moment, Dr Bouman was pictured loading the image on her laptop. "Watching in disbelief as the first image I ever made of a black hole was in the process of being reconstructed," she wrote in the caption to the Facebook post. She started making the algorithm three years ago while she was a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Click here to read more about the first-ever image of a black hole.

She Went to the Hospital for an Infection—Doctors Found Four Bees Living in Her Eye, Eating Her Tears

By Staff
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 3:51 PM The 29-year-old woman had no idea why her eye was swollen shut. She was in unbearable pain and could not stop tearing up. The Taiwanese woman said she was confused about why an issue she thought was an infection kept getting worse, CTS News reported. But when the woman, identified by her surname He, received treatment at Fooyin University Hospital in Taiwan, doctors didn’t find a bacterial infection. While looking at He’s eyes through a microscope, Hung Chi-ting, the hospital’s head of ophthalmology, witnessed something he hadn’t seen before. Insect legs were wiggling from one of her eye sockets. He yanked out a small bee, known as Halictidae, or a “sweat bee.” And it was alive. The doctor wasn’t done. Soon he extracted three more live bees from the woman’s eyelid. Craving salt, the bees had been feeding off He’s tears, the doctor said at a news conference last week, later describing the odd medical diagnosis as a “world first.” The insects had made a new home under He’s eyelid — that is, until they were all removed alive. He was discharged and is expected to make a full recovery, KRON-TV reported. Click here to read the full story from The Washington Post.

April Is Health and Safety Month

By Staff
Tuesday, April 9, 2019 12:05 PM According to the recent Prevent Blindness study, The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems, women make up the majority of the 4.4 million Americans age 40 and older who are visually impaired or blind. More women than men have age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. These numbers will only continue to increase in the years to come. Although there are no cures for these diseases, many of the effects may be lessened through early detection and treatment. A recent online survey on behalf of Prevent Blindness found, however, that one in four women had not received an eye exam in the past two years. Prevent Blindness has designated April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month in an effort to educate women about the steps they can take today to help preserve vision in the future. Click here to read the full story.

This New Zealand Company Proves How 4-Day Workweeks Are Great for Business

By Staff
Monday, April 8, 2019 3:50 PM At one large company in New Zealand, some employees no longer work on Fridays. Others don’t work Wednesdays. But everyone is paid a full-time salary. Perpetual Guardian, a statutory trust company with 240 employees, first tested a four-day workweek in early 2018, collaborating with academic researchers from two Auckland universities to study the impact on its business. After the eight-week-long trial, employees reported lower levels of stress, higher levels of job satisfaction, and a much greater sense of work-life balance. Just as significantly, despite the reduced hours, productivity didn’t decline. In November, the company decided to make the changes permanent. Andrew Barnes, the company’s founder, has thus far seen no downside. “In fact, the company is performing better than it did last year.” Click here to read the full story from Fast Company.

Watch Out NBA, Stephen Curry Now Wears Contacts

By Staff
Friday, April 5, 2019 12:07 PM As difficult as it is to believe, Golden Stare Warriors star Stephen Curry, who is arguably the best shooter on the planet, has had trouble seeing for his entire NBA career. Curry has the condition Keratoconus, which causes distorted and blurred vision. So, Curry recently got contact lenses. It's probably not an accident that following a slump after the All-Star break, he went on a nine-game streak with over five 3-pointers per game. Curry says his contacts have entirely changed the game for him. “It’s exactly that,” Curry said when asked if he feels like he has new eyes. “It’s like the whole world has opened up.” That could only spell trouble for the opposing teams. Read the story on USA Today Sports.

The Diets Cutting One in Five Lives Short Every Year

By Staff
Thursday, April 4, 2019 3:54 PM The food we eat is putting 11 million of us into an early grave each year, an influential study shows. The analysis, in the Lancet, found that our daily diet is a bigger killer than smoking and is now involved in one in five deaths around the world. Salt—whether in bread, soy sauce or processed meals—shortened the highest number of lives. Researchers say this study is not about obesity, but "poor quality" diets damaging hearts and causing cancer. The Global Burden of Disease Study is the most authoritative assessment of how people are dying in every country in the world. The latest analysis used estimates of countries' eating habits to pin down how often diet was shortening lives. The dangerous diets were those containing: too much salt, 3 million deaths; too few whole grains, 3 million deaths, too little fruit, 2 million deaths. Read the full story in the BBC News.

Blindness & Beauty: How Visually Impaired Women Are Changing an Industry That Ignored Them

By Staff
Wednesday, April 3, 2019 4:08 PM The beauty industry, which increasingly aims to cater to every creed and color, has largely ignored visually impaired people like Ha. This is bizarre when you consider that 36 million people worldwide are totally blind, and 217 million have moderate to severe visual impairment. “People think just because blind women can’t see, they don’t care about what they look like,” says Sam Latif, who was diagnosed with low vision at five years old due to a condition called retinitis pigmentosa, eventually losing her sight completely in early adulthood. “They think that the visually impaired don’t spend money on beauty products or can’t apply makeup so they’re not relevant to this industry. Fortunately, that notion is being challenged from the inside by people like Latif — she is Procter & Gamble’s special consultant on inclusive design, a new role that helps ensure products are designed, packaged, and advertised to be inclusive for the 1.3 billion people worldwide who have a disability. Change is also coming thanks to the success of blind and visually impaired beauty bloggers, like YouTuber Molly Burke, who has 1.7 million subscribers, and Lucy Edwards, CoverGirl’s first blind beauty ambassador. Click here to read more.

This Is When the Gender Wage Gap Is Finally Predicted to Vanish

By Staff
Tuesday, April 2, 2019 3:36 PM The gender pay gap is shrinking, but at this rate, it might not vanish until 2070. Women in the U.S. on average earn $0.79 for every $1 their male colleagues make, according to a new report by the job search and salary tracker site Glassdoor. The study, released Tuesday, calculated the adjusted pay gap, which accounts for variables like age, education, and industry, at 4.9 percent, down 0.5 percent from three years ago. Meanwhile, the unadjusted pay gap in the U.S. is 21.4 percent, and while that figure has shrunk by 2.7 percent since 2016, it won't fully close for another 51 years unless employers do more to fight pay disparity. The report comes before Equal Pay Day on April 2, a date determined by the National Committee on Pay Equity that symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men made in the previous year. Read more about the wage gap in this post from Inc.com.