Nick Minogue, a 60-year-old New Zealander, was surfing off Pauanui Beach when he was attacked by a Great White Shark. Luckily, he recalled advice that sharks are vulnerable if hit in the eyes or the nose. His first punch missed, but remaining level-headed, the second punch landed “right smack bang in the eye” . That was enough to deter the Great White, and it let go of Minogue’s surfboard and swam away. Minogue did not escape completely unscathed, as in the aftermath, he realised that the shark had manged to puncture his skin through the wet suit. However, Minogue escaped with all limbs intact, so really he could not have been luckier.
Mojo Vision recently released their prototype of an augmented reality contact lens. They are calling it the Mojo Lens. It is a contact lens with a built-in display to allow users to obtain what they deem to be “timely and useful information”  without having the inconvenience of looking down at a screen, wearing awkward glasses, or losing focus in a social situation. Such information may include health tracking, translation and other data feeds . They plan to also incorporate features to help those with low vision, such as real-time contrast, lighting enhancements, and zoom features . Of course, the most basic need for a contact lens, i.e. refractive correction, will still be available . The lens is still in development and the company are currently conducting feasibility studies .
Lt Gov John Fetterman is using his status as a public figure for good. His wife noticed in all photographs that their daughter’s eye had a ‘yellow glow’ . It transpired she has Coat’s disease. Luckily enough for the youngster, the condition was detected early enough that she could undergo treatment to prevent permanent visual loss . There are many other conditions that can cause a ‘yellow glow’, including retinoblastoma, cataract and ocular infection , so if in doubt, better to get it checked out.
Here’s the latest beauty craze to sweep social media. Young women are shaving off the lateral half of their eyebrows and then filling them in for a straighter arch pointing up toward the temple to give the illusion of ‘fox-eyes’. The inspiration for this apparently is to create the type of ‘fox-eyes’ that models Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner have . The hashtag #foxeye on TikTok currently has 8.7 million views . Some are less than enthused by the results, “I do NOT look like a Hadid I look like a haDONT” . It is something to be seen to be believed! Head over to https://www.tiktok.com/tag/foxeye for some mindless entertainment .
A company called C Light Technologies believes they have come up with a method to diagnose multiple sclerosis utilising eye tracking and machine learning (i.e. artificial intelligence) . Apparently, the system observes the retina, rather than the pupil, as in existing eye tracking systems . It is somewhat unclear how accurate this is, and whether this new technology is still in the research and development stages. However, should it be successful, it would significantly reduce the current burden of diagnosing multiple sclerosis, which often requires magnetic resonance imaging and lumbar punctures.
Relevant for our working lives as ophthalmologists, though strictly speaking, not an eye-related story. Farah Roslan, a junior doctor working in the Royal Derby Hospital, has developed disposable sterile hijabs, which have been introduced in her trust . She worked with her mentor, Consultant Surgeon Gill Tierney, to design something that would meet the infection control requirements of operating theatres, but also respect her Muslim faith. Well done to both! It remains to be seen whether this will be adopted nationally .
The Lil Icey Eyes filter took over Instagram recently . It is an augmented reality face filter which gives users a flawless face with the cold, blue eyes of a Siberian husky adorned with false eyelashes . It quickly shot to popularity, presumably because it made the user more ‘beautiful’ as per the standards of the ‘Instagram face’ – slimming noses and enlarging lips, in addition to the eye-altering effects . However, suddenly in the height of its short reign, the filter changed. The creator of the filter, Paige Piskin, posted on Instagram explaining that the filter needed to be changed in accordance with Instagram’s policy, where filters that provide a ‘plastic surgery’ effect need to be banned .
Director M Night Shyamalan suffered a black eye at the recent game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers . Shyamalan was injured when the Lakers all-star Anthony Davis crashed into Shyamalan and his wife in the stands. Davis has not apologised, but Shyamalan is not too bothered. As a Sixers fan, Shyamalan was happy that his team won the game, despite the bodily injury. “I’ll take a black eye for every win we get!” posted Shyamalan on his Twitter account .
(All links last accessed March 2020