Archive for April, 2012

The Eyes Have It: Diagnosing Physical Ailments Through Iridology

When you stare into someone’s eyes, what do you see?

Hope? Fear? Love? Arthritis? Stress? Poor kidney function?
If the last three examples seem a little strange, don’t worry. You’re probably just unfamiliar with iridology, a diagnostic/preventative technique practiced by some advocates of holistic medicine.

Trained practitioners of the method claim that they can examine an individual’s irises (the colored part of the eye that surrounds the pupil) and identify potential health problems or weaknesses in the body’s systems.

(And I’ve been relying all these years on x-rays, blood pressure cuffs, and getting poked with lots and lots of needles.)
The Eye Bone is Connected to The Leg Bone

Iridology is based on the idea that organs of the body are intricately connected and that a problem in one organ can be identified or treated via another organ. This notion is not uncommon in holistic health practice: Reflexology, for example, is based on “mapping” the feet, with each area of the foot corresponding to another body system. Using his or her understanding of foot-mapping, a reflexologist may treat a client’s sinus problems by manipulating the fourth and pinkie toes of the client’s right foot.

The (disputed) legend behind the introduction of “clinical iridology” into the Western world is that a boy named Ignaz von Peczely, accidentally broke an owl’s leg while attempting to free him from a vine. Von Peczely noted that when the owl’s leg broke, a streak appeared in the owl’s iris. When von Peczely became an adult and started to practice medicine, he encountered a patient with a broken leg whose iris had the same streak in the same position, indicating a connection between the appearance of the iris and the condition of other parts of the body.

Eventually, other healthcare practitioners decided to run with the technique and develop their own spin on mapping the iris, offering health advice to clients who are willing to sit for a close-up and personal examination of their eyes.


What the Experts Say

Not surprisingly, many medical experts are quite skeptical of iridology as a diagnostic tool. In fact, mention iridology in a room full of medical doctors, particularly those with skeptical natures,  and you are likely to endure sustained howls of indignation.


The scientific literature, these killjoys claim, doesn’t support iridology as a valid diagnostic method. They also point out that the iris generally doesn’t change much as people age, unless it undergoes some kind of trauma. If the iris accurately reflects a person’s health, it would constantly change in response to chronic and acute health conditions.


(In other words, while an examination of the iris of your right eye can tell you something about the iris of your right eye, it won’t tell you anything about dysfunctions in your big toe, left shoulder or even your left eye.)


Finding an Iridologist

This is where it gets tricky, at least in the United States. See, state government officials typically take the practice of medicine rather seriously. So seriously, that if you plan to diagnose someone’s health problems, you need to earn a license in a recognized health care profession.


(While some iridologists claim to offer only an analysis of a person’s health, not a diagnosis of disease, the definitions of “analysis” vs. “diagnosis” can get mighty murky.)


Now it is true that some licensed medical doctors/osteopathic physicians, naturopaths and chiropractors do practice iridology, although the practice is more common among chiropractors and naturopaths, themselves practitioners of alternative healthcare modalities. Check out alternative medical clinics in your area to find out if iridology is among its offerings.


The other option is to work with an iridologist who doesn’t have any medical qualifications.  As one writer notes, these practitioners often give advice to their clients that resembles that given by any health care professional (eating a balanced diet, keeping hydrated, and getting regular exercise). Following this advice is generally wise, though be cautious if they prescribe herbs or nutritional supplements on the basis of an iridology examination, as both can have an adverse effect on your health if used improperly.


One More Word of Warning

Eye problems are no laughing matter: If you do begin to see changes in your eyes, contact your doctor immediately.

Monday, April, 30 2012 by

“I’m Really Picky About Glasses”

About a year ago I ordered some zenni optical glasses. My dad had actually referred me, apparently he had heard some guy on the radio talking about it, and he told me I should buy a pair, seeing as how I hadn’t purchased any new glasses in awhile, and my prescription had changed slightly. I decided to give it a try.

I’m really picky about glasses, I’ve been wearing them all my life, and I remember as a kid hating my frames due to the size, color, or comfort. I was skeptical to say the least, of ordering glasses online- but I figured if I was going to hate them regardless, I might as well not pay so much for them, and I ordered them on this site.

I wasn’t just ok with them- I was in love with them, the frames I got weren’t bulky, they matched me as a person, instead of clashing, and they were definitely comfortable. The savings weren’t even the biggest bonus.

It’s been a year now, but I’m back, and ordering 2 more pairs. My old pair is still in wonderful condition, but my prescription has changed a little.

-Erika Robbins

Saturday, April, 28 2012 by

Weekly Optical Illusion “The Rotating Snakes”

Akiyoshi Kitaoka’s rotating snakes optical illusion is a sight to behold. According to this article on the trick that makes the snakes slither has more to do with the movement of your eyes than the swirling of the image. Blinks and tiny flits of the lens back and forth cause your brain to perceive movement in what is a perfectly still image “studies have suggested that the perception of motion is triggered by the eyes drifting slowly away from a central target when viewing the illusion” according to the article. Whatever the cause, it’s always interesting when your eyes play tricks on you.

Click Here for an up close and all more mind bending effect.

Friday, April, 27 2012 by

Sports Eye Injuries and the Importance of Protective Eyewear

Sports are a good way to maintain a healthy body, but they do pose a certain amount of physical risk, for novices and experts alike, regardless of age. If you’re not worried about what could happen to your eyesight should you get hit by an errant sports ball, you might want to reconsider. April is Sports Eye Safety Month, so take the time to learn more about how to protect your eyes when you take part in any type of sports activity.

The Why

According to the National Eye Institute — part of the National Institutes of Health–, every 13 minutes an emergency room treats a sports related eye injury. The most eye injuries come from sports such as basketball, boxing, baseball, hockey, racquetball and lacrosse. However even sports such as biking and wrestling pose a risk, though it is lower.

Even if an eye injury doesn’t seem serious, it still can be. The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that if an eye that was hit begins to hurt or develops a vision problem then medical attention is necessary. A black eye should also be taken to have medical attention.

The How

Plan ahead to protect your eyes when you participate in sports by investing in eye protection gear such as sports glasses or sports goggles. Not to be confused with regular eyewear, sports glasses and sports goggles are designed to provide greater impact resistance. Each kind can be worn with contact lenses or have prescription lenses. Also, some sports goggles fit over regular glasses.

When buying a pair of sports glasses, pick a pair that is meant for the sport you engage in. Also pick a pair that will be physically comfortable to wear while you play. Aesthetics, though secondary, are also important – should your picture end up in the sports section you will want to look good.


The NIH states that using protective eyewear may keep your eyes from being injured up to 90% percent of the time. This could mean staying in the game rather than sitting it out. Beyond general safety, wearing sports glasses can influence your insurance rates. Fewer trips to the hospital or doctor’s office might mean smaller payments.

Sports Glasses and Children

Sports injuries are a common cause for blindness in children. The NIH along with other vision organizations recommend that coaches, teachers and parents make sure children wear protective eye gear during sports activities. It is also recommended that adults wear protective eye gear as an example to children, so that they will want to wear their eye gear as well.

Friday, April, 27 2012 by

Who Invented Glasses, Anyway?

It’s pretty easy to take normal, everyday things for granted. But have you ever wondered who invented glasses? It’s generally believed that monks or craftsmen in Italy produced the first form of glasses between 1285-1289. However, the name of the actual person who invented them is unknown. In 1306, a monk in Pisa, Italy named Giordano da Rivalto remarked in a sermon that he knew the man who created glasses, (“one of the most useful arts on earth”), but he failed to give the person’s name. It was Rivalto, however, who coined the term “occhiali” or “eyeglasses.”

As the story also seems to go, the man who invented glasses attempted to keep the idea a secret to avoid economic competition. But a monk in Pisa, Italy named Friar Alessandro Spina knew of the design and decided to make pairs of glasses himself and then distribute them to everyone. If that’s true, then we owe a big thank you to Friar Alessandro Spina for generously sharing them with the world.

Other interesting dates in the history of glasses:

1784: Benjamin Franklin invents bifocal lenses.
1799: John McAllister, Sr. opens America’s first optical shop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1800: The monocle is introduced in England.
1825: Sir George Airy designs the first lenses to correct astigmatism.
1826: John Hawkins introduces trifocal lenses.
1908: Dr. John Borsch, Jr. patents his fused bifocal lenses, which are thinner and more attractive than Franklin-style bifocals.

Glasses have come a long way – and taken some interesting turns – since the days of 13th century Italian monks. And while it would be great if the monocle suddenly came back into style, we don’t see that happening anytime soon. Luckily though, Zenni carries all of the latest styles and all at affordable prices. So whatever your style and whatever color frame you’re looking for, Zenni is here to help. Head on over to our website and check it out.

Thursday, April, 26 2012 by