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#1 nemo

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 02:21 PM

Folks,
I know that some of you will probably be appalled by this idea. Still I would be curious to know. One of the things that we as amateur astronomers value is our night sight. Doing what we can to preserve those dilated pupils. Why couldn't one obtain some of that solution that Optometrists use to dilate our pupils during an eye exam. Then if for instance some inconsiderate or unknowing person turned on a white light during an observing session one could just put a few drops of the stuff in the eye's rather than have to wait to regain our night vision. I am not sure about focus issues or the general aspects of optical anatomy and dynamics to know if the use of this chemical would be feasible but I would like to find out. Is there anyone out there who could contribute to this with some additional knowledge and or expertise?
R/S,
Dan
"Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again."

#2 sftonkin

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 02:45 PM

The problem wiht dark adaptation isn't pupil size -- they dilate pretty rapidly. The problem is "visual purple", which takes several tens of minutes to regenerate in the retina.

#3 tomhole

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 03:07 PM

And those drops work because they paralyze your pupil and your ability to focus. Maybe if you had enough focus travel, you could get around that, but I just had my eyes done 2 weeks ago and I couldn't see anything close up or far away. Kinda dangerous driving around. Officer, "Sir, do you know how fast I clocked you on my radar?" Me, "Nope, can't see my speedometer. Can't see you either. Do you have a gun?"

Clear skies,

Tom

#4 Craig Simmons

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 04:08 PM

I tried observing right after an eye exam a couple of months ago and I couldn't focus at all. Everything was brighter but kind of fuzzy.

#5 edcannon

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 07:31 PM

As Stephen said, the pupils change size almost instantly (which you can test somewhere dark with a flashlight and a mirror), and the real issue with dark adaptation is that visual purple stuff that your eye makes when there's very little light. It takes up to 30 minutes to be restored when dark-adapted eyes are exposed to bright lights.

I get my eyes dilated annually by my ophthalmologist, and although I can see well enough to drive (wearing two pair of sunglasses in daylight!), in the dark all bright light sources are extremely spikey. (I can't see close up well enough to read anything.)

From what I've read, the optics of almost everyone's eyes tends to deteriorate around the edges of our lenses, and opening the pupils a lot wider increases the influence of that deterioration. This would seem to tend to support an argument that even young people under the darkest skies perhaps should not use the largest exit pupils due to diminishing returns caused by aberrations around the edges of their pupils.

Ed Cannon - Austin, Texas, USA

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 08:30 PM

Don't do it Dan, they are the only eyes you have and the bionic ones are still on the drawing board!

Nick

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 06:59 AM

Yes, the solution they use in the eye exam really prevents good focusing of the eye especially for close-by objects. I would question the effects of repeated and frequent use of this solution too. Just say no to eye drugs... :lol:

#8 777Guy

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 02:35 PM

Just a suggestion. After I hit the big 50 I had problems with dry eyes that were agravated by exposure to 14 hours of zero humidity air at high altitudes. My eye doctor recommended using lubricated eye drops. After just a few days of using the drops I noticed improved vision. What I also noticed is that I can see much fainter objects and better color if I use a drop in each eye before viewing. It has made viewing enjoyable again as stars now come to a sharp focus and my vision doesn't blur if I look at something for a long time. Try it and see if you notice any improvement.
Jim

#9 nemo

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 03:46 PM

Have been getting some good stuff from all of you who have replied. I may just try that suggestion Jim. I figured there had to be something wrong with the pupil dilation idea other wise somebody by now probably would have came up with an idea to market it. I wonder if there is anything that works to increase the purple in eye's? Or if there might be some thing that would tend to increase visual acuity at night like a food supplement etc. I could see a future for something like that if it was really effective.
R/S,
Dan

#10 KennyJ

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 04:00 PM

Hello Dan,

First of all thank you for your kind "Easter send -off" which I only read after arriving back home a few hours ago.

I agree that "artificial enhancements of a chemical variety" would not be the way to go.

I think that as likely as "food supplements" might be in aiding visual acuity , it is more a case of what NOT to ingress which may help.

I think it is well documented that alcohol , nicotine and caffeine , to name but three drugs , are all detrimental to visual acuity.

Tiredness is another obvious candidate.

And as time passes by , I am becoming more and more convinced that extended use of this very COMPUTER is not helping my own eyesight.

I think the other obvious reason for failing eyesight is the old enemy of "age" --but to some extent this can be counter -balanced by the almost incalculable advantages of experience.

Regards -- and nice to be back -- Kenny.

#11 lighttrap

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 04:16 PM

And as time passes by , I am becoming more and more convinced that extended use of this very COMPUTER is not helping my own eyesight.


I completely believe that. I can tell at the end of the day if I've had a day that involved lots of computer time. Just think about it, when we were kids everybody always said not to sit too close to the TV. And here we are now, sittin just 18" from a monitor most of the day, and half the night. I don't know of any studies that document detrimental effects of monitor radiation on longterm eyesight, but I do know how my body reacts. If nothing else, staring at this time-sucking vortex medium definitely tires the eyes. Whether it causes longterm hardening of the iris, or permanent chemical changes to the retina or whatever, is anybody's guess. But, I do know that after long monitor use, I sometimes feel like I do after I used to weld things.

On an even more tangential bent, I also notice that if I'm having trouble sleeping, sitting in front of the computer screen seems to wind me up and keep me up longer, than if I just sit in a chair and read. There's something about the energy that these things emit that is both envigorating and annoying and curiously addictive. That shouldn't come as too much of a surprise given the research that's been done regarding the effect of sunlamps on the human psyche. (Well, that and sleep deprivation, etc.)

Anyway, welcome back Kenny.

Mike Swaim

#12 sftonkin

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 05:16 PM

I wonder if there is anything that works to increase the purple in eye's?


Oh yes! Darkness. Most rapid increase for 20 to 30 minutes, and saturation after about 2 hours,at which time a rod can detect single photons.

Or if there might be some thing that would tend to increase visual acuity at night like a food supplement etc.


There was a load of misinformation (mostly based around stories of carrots and bilberries) in WW2. The purpose was to conceal the effectiveness of teh RAF's radar with respect to guiding night fighters to their targets. The resultant mythology ("carrots make you see in the dark") lives on to this day.

#13 777Guy

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 06:43 PM

Dan,
Military and civilian pilots have tried just about everything over the years to improve vision. There are exercises that have been developed that seem to be effective in improving near and distant vision but night vision is what it is. As Kenny mentioned eyestrain is a big culprit and computers seem to cause alot of vision problems.
When airliners started getting "glass Cockpits" twenty years ago by replacing old round dial instruments with CRT computer generated instruments, eyestrain became a BIG problem because of the "screen Flicker". The newest planes have Liquid Crystal Displays that have eliminated flicker and reduced complaints of eyestrain. As far as supplements go, there may be a placebo effect, but I personally don't think they help much. The only thing that has dramatically improved my vision is the the lubricated eyedrops that are perfectly safe to use. As the doctor explained it, that when you age, you produce less tears that are also "thinner". The eyes slowly dry up and actually cause the surface to change shape. The drops provide the moisture and the eyes re-hydrate. Anyway, it has worked great for me,
I would be interested in hearing from others what their experience has been using eyedrops. Also, I am not referring to Visine, that only aggravates the condition.
What I use is called Refresh Liquigel and was recommended by FAA Flight Surgeons and Opthamologists.
Jim

#14 b1gred

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 12:52 AM

I have to agree with 777Guy, I've been flying for about 32 years and find that especially night flying goes better with eye drops - NON MEDICATED - Lubricant only. Those that "Get the red out" also tend to have a "bounce back" effect which is similar to sinus sprays - which you shouldn't use when flying.

Get some GOOD eye drops, "Refresh" makes several good ones if the Liquigel doesn't appeal to you. There is a NOTICABLE difference when looking thru well hydrated cornea vs. dry cornea. Living at 6500' has given my family and me lots of experience in this area...

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 04:42 AM

[quote name="lighttrap"][quote] And as time passes by , I am becoming more and more convinced that extended use of this very COMPUTER is not helping my own eyesight. [/quote]

I'm glad I'm not the only one to notice this !! At my age (48), the eyes start to change shape, usually resulting in a reduced ability to focus on up-close objects. I'm convinced this process is not helped by squinting at a computer monitor for extended periods of time. Trouble is, I'm hopelessly addicted to the friend thing !! Maybe I should get an LCD monitor, eh ? :bawling:

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 07:11 AM

Kenny, I think we all know that alcohol can degrade ones vision. I have experienced this perhaps one too many times! But caffeine too? I guess I'm in trouble then. I like a little joe during those lengthy night oberservations.

Stephen, your reference to the erroneous notion of carrots and night vision reminded me of old Bugs Bunny cartoons when Bugs would claim his carrots improved his night vision. Too bad it doesn't work!

#17 craig_oz_land

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 07:43 AM

A vitamin A deficiency does cause nightblindness.

Betacarotene found in carrots can be convertered by the body to Vitamin A.

See link for more info on Vitamin A and eye function.

http://lpi.oregonsta...amins/vitaminA/

About computer monitors. The pineal gland is light sensitive. It is responsible for releasing melatonin when the light reaching the eyes is reduced. Melatonin induces and is responsible for sleep. PC monitors emit light.

There is also some interesting research that suggests that the pineal gland is influenced by low frequency electromagnetic radiation EMR. CRT monitors emit EMR as well as light. Power lines and transormers emit EMR as well. Melatonin is an antioxidant as well as a hormone and it is also involved in gene expression. Faulty gene expression is a factor in some cancers.

I better stop rambling now.

#18 Remy Bosio

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 02:55 PM

I took Tripple 7's advice and went to Wal-Mart this morning and got some of those miracle drops he spoke about. I'm old too and do have a slight problem with DES (dry eye syndrome). Well, I got the Refresh drops and instilled a couple in each eye about 4 hours ago. Now, I can't see anything but big concentric circles! Naw, just kidding :grin:

So far my eyes "do" feel more relaxed. They feel less stressed than before. Looking at this laptop screen for a couple of hours leaves me with what I call "eye anxiety" and sometimes I go out to look at the sky and see double stars when they aren't! Barry Simon has mentioned this problem also after long computer use.

As it is extremely clear tonight, I will throw some more in and go look thru my binos. I will report if I notice an improvement of any kind.

P.S. These drops are on the expensive side. :shocked: W-M price was $10.75 for the little 1/2 oz. bottle. They also have a big package with individual use bottles for as much as a cheap eyepiece! May be a fair price for a cool $ jet pilot, but for a retired ****, it made me ouch!

#19 nemo

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 04:58 PM

Jim and Stephen,
Appreciated the information on the eye drops. I am one of those guys that you probably have had reason to curse once in a while as I am one of those "Week end Warriors". Have had my license since 1974. The usual PP,single engine,land. I do not know why but I have all ways had exceptional good night vision. Over the years many have commented about it. Interestingly I had never heard about the dry eye syndrome. Since I like to ride a Harley once in a while I am going to use that suggestion as I have definitely had some burning eye's after a good ride. It's amazing what a guy can learn on a binocular forum which reminds me that I am seriously off topic. By the way-Stephen as usual your comments are high value with exceptional content and every time I read a post of yours my horizons are expanded. Thank you sir!
R/S,
Dan

#20 nemo

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 05:03 PM

Kenny,
Glad to see your back. Hope you didn't kill the Easter Bunny while on the road. Did you have an opportunity to do any observing of interest?
Dan

#21 777Guy

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 09:30 PM

Remy,
I don't pay anything close to $10.75 a bottle! I agree that that is a bit steep. I can not remember the exact price, as a 1/2 oz bottle lasts me a long time, but I am pretty sure I paid less than $5 for my last bottle. I can only find it at Target.
Jim

#22 b1gred

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 11:51 PM

I get mine at Walgreen's, or King Soopers, but it sure doesn't cost anything like $10.00 per bottle, in fact I get the 1.5 oz drops for less than $12 per bottle. I swear by these drops, my night vision used to have little "spikey stars" around every bright light, now I see "normally" and I think my night vision is significantly improved by using the drops. Another thing, if you do have DES, try wearing some clear wrap-around glasses whenever you're out in the windy evening air. They help keep the wind off your eyes and that helps with the moisture...

#23 tomhole

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 12:01 AM

777,

Never heard of those drops. I'll have to ask my flight surgeon about them. The biggest problem I have is dry eyes caused by breathing pure oxygen for two hours. That sometimes makes it more difficult to fly the ball at night. Course, pretty much everything makes it difficult to fly at night. :bawling:

Clear skies,

Tom

#24 Remy Bosio

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 09:27 AM

I tested my vision last evening after 2 treatments of the Refresh Liquigel. I can say it seemingly reduced the coma effect on stars. Terrestrially, I percieved I could see clearer in low light areas. Course this initial apprasal could be mostly psycological placebo effect.

In any case, I will continue using them. Can't hurt.

#25 rboe

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 10:13 AM

I suppose we could buy a bunch, relabel it at Cloudy Nights Eye Balm and make a bundle. :)


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