Labour minister eyes dedicated time for fathers in new parental leave rules

A newborn rests in his father’s arms in this file photo. (Thinkstock/Thinkstock)The federal government is signalling that when it finally unveils changes to parental leave rules, there will be provisions dedicated exclusively to new fathers.

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mused about the idea last month at the United Nations, it was in the context of more gender equality and increasing opportunities for women in the workforce.

In an interview this week, Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk said she’s interested in making dedicated paternity leave a part of promised changes to parental leave under the employment insurance program.

Dedicated leave for fathers is already in place in Quebec, where fathers alone are allowed to take five weeks of leave with the provincial benefits system covering 70 per cent of their salary. Elsewhere in Canada, fathers can split up to 35 weeks of leave with new mothers.

Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk said she’s keen to see dedicated leave only for fathers allowed on a national scale.

“I’m open to promoting some fairly large changes in that whole sector because families have a tough time — especially when you have preschoolers,” she said in an interview with The Canadian Press this week.

“And if you have children under two, it’s a real challenge for those families so I think we want to modernize the system.”

The Liberals promised during the election to extend parental benefits under the employment insurance system to 18 months from 12.

The new system wouldn’t have a similar increase in benefits, but would instead allow parents to spread one year’s worth of payments over a year and a half.

Critics of the plan say such a system would only benefit those women and families who have enough resources to cover expenses during a year where one or both parents have reduced income.

As well, research suggests that the more time women take on maternity leave, the less likely they are to return to full-time work.

The federal budget unveiled last month widened employment insurance eligibility and increased benefits, but didn’t make any changes to parental or compassionate care leave for Canadians caring for a seriously ill family member.

Instead, the budget said changes to each program “will be advanced over the course of the government’s mandate.”

That disappointed some parents, including the group Toronto Mommies, which started an online petition with more than 37,000 signatures demanding the government fulfil its election promise.

Mihychuk said the government is going to consult with Canadians in the coming months about changes.

“We’re going to look at the overall program on maternity and family leave or parental, and compassionate (care), we’re going to make it more flexible, but maybe we need to look at it even bigger,” she said.

“This is like phase two of the EI reforms.”

More Related to this Story

  • Canada lagging behind many OECD countries in paternity leave

  • Trudeau praised for his efforts to create gender equality

  • WORK IN PROGRESS Women still earning less money than men despite gains in education: study

Topics

  • MaryAnn Mihychuk
  • Canada

[“source-ndtv”]

Through the eyes of a child

LEAVES’ EYES Parts Ways With Singer LIV KRISTINE, Announces Replacement

LEAVES' EYES Parts Ways With Singer LIV KRISTINE, Announces Replacement

LEAVES’ EYES has parted ways with Norwegian singer Liv Kristine and has replaced her with Elina Siirala, a Finnish vocalist who lives in London, England.

Said LEAVES’ EYES in a statement: “Liv was the female voice of the band since the beginning in 2003. Together we toured through fifty countries and five continents. Moreover, we recorded six studio albums with outstanding singer Liv. We are full of pride in what we have reached together!

“From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank Liv for amazing thirteen years of being our front lady, the work we have done together and all the passion for music that we shared all these years! We wish Liv all the best for the future, her solo career and other projects!

Liv will always be an important part of the LEAVES’ EYES history but now we are looking forward to a new chapter and the new musical adventures of LEAVES’ EYES!

“We embrace Elina with open arms and hearts! She is a fantastic singer and performer. Please, welcome the new female voice of LEAVES’ EYES: sensational Elina Siirala!”

Liv Kristine stated: “I am highly proud of having been founding member and front lady of LEAVES’ EYES, which has played a vital role in my life since 2003.

“Good luck, guys. Thank you for the amazing music, outstanding moments with our worldwide audiences, moreover, the passion we all share.”

Liv added in a post on her personal Facebook page: “It’s with sadness I see the latest news reaching you. That this chapter in my life would have to end so soon was not my intention. Life must go on. For all of us.”

Kristine‘s husband is ATROCITY singer and LEAVES’ EYES co-vocalist Alexander Krull, who produced all the LEAVES’ EYES albums at his Mastersound Studio in Germany.

Said Elina: “I can’t quite express how grateful and honored I am for being asked to join LEAVES’ EYES, one of the most iconic bands in symphonic metal!

“I have the utmost respect for Liv and the band and what they’ve achieved over the years! I take on this challenge with a huge excitement and look forward to the new chapter in my career. It’s truly thrilling to be working with such talented musicians who also are some of the nicest people I’ve met.

“My biggest passion is to make music and perform, so right now I can’t wait to see what the future will bring!”

Siirala will make her live debut with LEAVES’ EYES this weekend in Jakarta, Indonesia. In addition, there will be an earbook tour edition of LEAVES’ EYES‘ latest album, “King Of Kings”, released in June, including a new version and video for the song “Edge Of Steel”, featuring Elina. There will also be a U.S. edition of “King Of Kings” with the new version [“source-ndtv”]

 

Sleepy Judy Finnigan rests her eyes during boozy lunch with husband Richard Madeley as the duo enjoy blissful Cornwall getaway

Taking a moment: Judy Finnigan defied her own words as she enjoyed an idyllic lunch with her husband of 30 years, Richard Madeley in Cornwall earlier in the weekShe penned a successful novel last year entitled I Do Not Sleep.

Yet Judy Finnigan defied her own words as she enjoyed an idyllic lunch with her husband of 30 years, Richard Madeley in Cornwall earlier in the week.

The 67-year-old TV presenter seemed to come over tired as she joined Richard, 59, for an al fresco bite where their table appeared laden with wine, while her eyes momentarily drooped shut.

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Taking a moment: Judy Finnigan defied her own words as she enjoyed an idyllic lunch with her husband of 30 years, Richard Madeley in Cornwall earlier in the week

Judy, who previously described Cornwall as her ‘spiritual home’, looked truly ready for a countryside lunch as she prepped for the UK spring weather in a furry, padded jacket layered over a black look.

Pairing leggings with a scoop neck T-shirt, she tucked her bottoms into a trendy pair of grey Ugg boots – flaunting a youthful flare for fashion.

Linking arms with Richard, the pair looked blissfully happy as they headed into the restaurant, with her handsome husband looking outdoorsy in a red waterproof jacket.

He sported distressed denims as he tucked the day’s papers under his arm, no doubt to keep themselves entertained during the leisurely lunch.

The happy couple: The 67-year-old TV presenter seemed to come over tired as she joined Richard, 59, for an al fresco bite where their table appeared laden with wine, while her eyes momentarily drooped shut

The happy couple: The 67-year-old TV presenter seemed to come over tired as she joined Richard, 59, for an al fresco bite where their table appeared laden with wine, while her eyes momentarily drooped shut

Taking a moment: Judy, who previously described Cornwall as her 'spiritual home', looked truly ready for a countryside lunch as she prepped for the UK spring weather in a furry, padded jacket layered over a black look

Taking a moment: Judy, who previously described Cornwall as her ‘spiritual home’, looked truly ready for a countryside lunch as she prepped for the UK spring weather in a furry, padded jacket layered over a black look

Having a ball: The couple of three decades looked totally at ease in each other’s company as they sat on the porch of the restaurant tucking in

Having a rest: As the lunch wore on, things seemed to get a bit much for Judy who looked worn-out as she rested her head on her hands and closed her eyes

Having a rest: As the lunch wore on, things seemed to get a bit much for Judy who looked worn-out as she rested her head on her hands and closed her eyes

The couple of three decades looked totally at ease in each other’s company as they sat on the porch of the restaurant tucking in.

Both Richard and Judy appeared to be enjoying a tipple as they both supped from wine glasses, seemingly enjoying some white and rose plonk although taking a break for a Coke.

As the lunch wore on, things seemed to get a bit much for Judy who looked worn-out as she rested her head on her hands and closed her eyes.

Okay rose! Judy clutched the vino as she was engrossed in chat with her handsome husband 

Okay rose! Judy clutched the vino as she was engrossed in chat with her handsome husband

A lunchtime delight: A glass of wine in the bright afternoon looked quite the delight

Share a Coke: Both Richard and Judy appeared to be enjoying a tipple as they both supped from wine glasses, seemingly enjoying some white and rose plonk although taking a break for a Coke

Share a Coke: Both Richard and Judy appeared to be enjoying a tipple as they both supped from wine glasses, seemingly enjoying some white and rose plonk although taking a break for a Coke

Having a laugh: After three decades of marriage, the duo naturally appeared at ease together 

Having a laugh: After three decades of marriage, the duo naturally appeared at ease together

Out and about: Judy certainly seemed to revel in her downtime with her husband

At home... The long-married duo have owned a home in Talland Bay, near the Cornwall village of Polperro, since 1998 and frequently discuss their love for the area

At home… The long-married duo have owned a home in Talland Bay, near the Cornwall village of Polperro, since 1998 and frequently discuss their love for the area

Holding her hand on her cheek, the chilled TV personality seemed to be enjoying a moment to herself in the midst of her wine-soaked lunch with her husband.

The long-married duo have owned a home in Talland Bay, near the Cornwall village of Polperro, since 1998 and frequently discuss their love for the area.

Clearly experts in the field, Richard and Judy launched The Richard & Judy Wine Club over a decade ago and even published an accompanying book.

Taking a sip: A lunch in the sun was the perfect way for the famous couple to welcome in spring

Taking a sip: A lunch in the sun was the perfect way for the famous couple to welcome in spring

Fits of giggles: Judy was having a laugh as she walked along, clearly revelling in her husband's company 

Fits of giggles: Judy was having a laugh as she walked along, clearly revelling in her husband’s company

Laid-back: Judy was looking chilled back yet glamorous for her lunch in the sun 

Laid-back: Judy was looking chilled back yet glamorous for her lunch in the sun

The pair, who also ran an extremely successful book club, have been candid about their love of fine wine.

Chloe, Richard and Judy’s 28-year-old fitness buff daughter, spoke last year about her parents’ wine drinking, insisting she tries to positively influence them.

She said: ‘I try to influence my mum and dad’s diets. I try so hard to stop them eating all this crap, and they drink too much wine but they just want to enjoy themselves.’

Taking a bite: Judy appeared to be enjoying the Cornish delicacies as she tucked in 

Taking a bite: Judy appeared to be enjoying the Cornish delicacies as she tucked in

Fine wine: Chloe, Richard and Judy's 28-year-old fitness buff daughter, spoke last year about her parents' wine drinking, insisting she tries to positively influence them

Fine wine: Chloe, Richard and Judy’s 28-year-old fitness buff daughter, spoke last year about her parents’ wine drinking, insisting she tries to positively influence them

Losing the coats: Later in the day, the pair lost their coats to bask in the warm weather

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3544867/Judy-Finnigan-rests-eyes-boozy-lunch-husband-Richard-Madeley-duo-enjoy-blissful-Cornwall-getaway.html#ixzz4696UjO3g
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Prolonged use of digital devices can harm eyes

Those who spend most of their waking hours glued to computers and other electronic devices better watch out.

Ophthalmologists in the city are seeing an increase in the number of people with symptoms of burning sensation, itching, weariness of the eyes often accompanied by headaches and fatigue.

This, they say, is related to continuous and prolonged exposure to digital devices, especially computers, television and smart phones.

In fact, many of us spend most of our working hours staring at a digital screen. Studies suggest that 60 per cent of people spend more than six hours a day in front of a digital device.

This habit can initially cause dry eyes and strain them. Direct glare of over 30 minutes continuously for a prolonged period can even cause irreversible eye macular degeneration, resulting in rapid deterioration of vision, doctors say.

K. Bhujang Shetty, chairman and managing director of Narayana Nethralaya, says the symptoms of irritation, dryness and burning sensation in the eye could be due to decreased frequency of blinking. The hospital sees at least 30 patients with these symptoms a day.

“Normally, a person blinks 14 to 16 times a minute. Blinking is an essential function that provides moisture and helps spread tears and remove irritants from the surface of the cornea and conjunctiva,” the doctor says.

Kaushik Murali, consultant paediatric ophthalmologist at Sankara Eye Hospital, says although it is not possible to avoid using digital devices, especially computers and smart phones as they have become a part of life now, it would be advisable for people to cut down the time they spend before digital devices.

He says it is important to take precautions such as maintaining a comfortable working distance from the device and ensuring that the screen is bright enough and the fonts big enough to read comfortably.

Both the doctors say it is advisable for a person to follow the rule of 20s — every 20 minutes, stare at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will bring back the blink rate to normal and also relax the muscles in the eye.

“Playing out is healthier than playing on your device and this holds good especially for children. If you have any strain, get your eyes examined. Any uncorrected refractive error would only compound your strain,” Dr. Murali says.

(REPORTING BY

AFSHAN YASMEEN)

Dos and Don’ts

Do not ignore any symptoms, get eyes tested frequently

Follow the 20/20 rule (A 20 second break once in every 20 minutes to look at an object 20 feet away)

Maintain ideal lighting while using gadgets

Follow good posture

Do eye exercises at regular intervals

[“source-ndtv”]

China official: Mainland eyes boost from ‘superpower’ Federal Reserve

China’s vice finance minister has praised Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen for her clear communication to financial markets and G20 partners and her cautious approach, telling CNBC that the mainland is hoping Fed policy will have a positive impact on its economy.

As a “real superpower,” the Fed has a big spillover effect on the world, Zhu Guangyao said in an interview on Friday in Washington.

“We hope that’s positive spillover and largely reduces negative spillover. We found the Federal Reserve very cautious in their process and (it) takes us into consideration,” he said, noting that Fed policy is still largely based on the U.S. economic situation.

But as the mainland’s economy slows amid a transition away from manufacturing- and investment-led growth and toward domestic consumption, some analysts believe Yellen’s dovishness gives China breathing room to progress on its economic and currency reforms.

Stocks tumbled around the globe in August and early January afterChina’s currency weakened against the dollar, raising concerns of a potentially significant currency devaluation. In August, China shifted the market mechanism for setting its currency’s daily fixing against the dollar to a more market-based rate, which resulted in 2 percent decline in the yuan and spurred fears the country was engaging in a “currency war” to make its exports more attractive. China is also now looking at its currency against a basket of its trading partners’ currencies, rather than the U.S. dollar exclusively.

Zhu strongly denied the devaluation of the yuan was aimed at achieving a competitive advantage.

“Our government made a very strong commitment. We joined the G20 commitment to avoid competitive currency devaluation. Certainly we are not using this currency devaluation to have a trade advantage. That position is very clear,” he said.

He did however express concern over the slow pace of recovery in the global economy.

“Globally, the economic recovery is very slow and downside pressure continues to increase,” Zhu said. He pointed out that the IMF has just downgraded global economic growth forecasts for 2016 to 3.2 percent from 3.4 percent.

Other headwinds were also a cause for concern, he said, such as geopolitical conflict, the refugee crisis currently gripping Europe and the upcoming referendum on whether the U.K. should leave the European Union.

On the last point, he was unequivocal.

“We strongly support a strong and unified EU,” Zhu said.

He pointed to the strong interdependence of the integrated global economy, and warned against breaking away from a larger economic bloc.

“We must strengthen our dependence and strengthen our macroeconomic policies in particular,” he said.

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Young Munster left with ‘tears in their eyes’ after missing bonus point

The hosts needed a bonus point from the game to be sure of a home semi-final against Cork Constitution in Saturday’s semi-final.

However, they came up one try short and with Con sneaking ahead of them with a superior points scoring difference, it means Munsters must now travel to Temple Hill next weekend.

David Corkery, a great servant of Con during his own illustrious playing career, is currently coaching the Limerick side.

“You can’t dress it up, you can’t dress it down, it was extremely disappointing to get that close to a home semi-final”, he lamented.

“There’s so much belief in that side. “You had Marty Moore (international prop returning for Lansdowne after a long injury lay-off at the request of Ireland coach Joe Schmidt). That spurred the boys on. The guys in there are gutted, some have tears in their eyes.”

Considering Corkery’s commitment to Cork Con for so long, it might have been imagined he wouldn’t fancy the idea of leading a Limerick side against them on their home ground in such an important fixture. He dismissed such a suggestion.

“You could have said the same about the league game and we went down and we did our bit. Con made their decision last year when they didn’t keep me on but that has nothing to do with it whatsoever.

“This is Young Munster. You see the tears in their eyes in that dressing room and that means something. It’s something money can’t buy. As a player and as a coach, this has been one of the most enjoyable years of all. My only regret is that I can’t be out on the field with them.

“This club has won only one AIL title in more than 20 years (2003) and they’re better than that.

“Ultimately we are alive, we’re kicking and it’s going to take a good side to beat us. Con had better be prepared because we’re coming. We beat them by a point in the last minute of our two games so far so there’s no reason why we can’t do it again.”

Scorers for Young Munster:

Gearoid Lyons try, pen, 2 cons; Dan Goggin, Jack Harrington try each.

Scorers for Lansdowne:

Scott Deasy pen.

YOUNG MUNSTER:

C O’Hanlon; J Harrington, T Goggin, G Lyons, D O’Neill; R Guerin, A Griesel; D Begley, G Slattery, E Ryan, T Goggin, S Duggan, S Rennison, D Dee, B Kilkenny.

Rolling replacements:

P Meyer, B Betts, M Madden, A Ross, M Doyle.

LANSDOWNE:

I Fitzpatrick; E Quinn, M Roche, T Daly, F Gormley; S Deasy, M Darcy; I Prenderville, J McKenna, M Moore, J O’Rourke, P Donnellan, J Ryan, C Butterworth, M Deegan.

Rolling replacements:

T McElroy, J Barry, R Deacon, R O’Farrell, C Barden.

Referee:

F Murphy (IRFU).

[“source-ndtv”]

Medical mystery: Burning eyes at cheerleading event

The first two patients came in around midnight, both with burning eyes and trouble seeing.

The two didn’t know each other, but emergency department staff at Aria Health-Torresdale Campus in far Northeast Philadelphia discovered that both had attended a cheerleading competition at a local high school that day.

“I said, ‘Where were you sitting?’ I thought maybe somebody sprayed something,” recalled Annahieta Kalantari, the physician in charge. Then more people arrived in the ER with red eyes, irritated eyes, tearing. A few reported shortness of breath, which led Kalantari to wonder whether she faced “a mass exposure casualty sort of thing.” She ordered the hazmat tent erected outside the ER and emergency responders alerted.

By the time Steve Alles arrived at the gym in the morning, fire, police, hazmat, emergency operations, and others had swarmed the gymnasium. Swabs for chemical powder were negative. Ditto air monitoring for radioactivity, volatile organic compounds, hazardous gases.
Alles, who led the city health department’s response, took his laptop to the ER to interview patients; about two dozen had come in during the night; half were still there.

Shortness of breath turned out to be uncommon, perhaps caused by stress. About 1,000 people had attended the Dec. 4, 2011, competition, and a quarter of them eventually had eye pain. But the Sunday event went for nine hours, with hardly anyone seeking help until late at night.

“A chemical [reaction] should be seconds to minutes. An infection would be days. The fact that it was hours, a half-day, was a head-scratcher,” Alles said.

image: http://media.philly.com/images/rsz_symptoms.jpg
The solution:

Steve Alles, the physician who manages the city health department’s bioterrorism and public health preparedness unit, had worked on plenty of epidemiological investigations before – tracking back, through the activities of people who are ill, the sources of food poisoning or whooping cough or influenza.

Though causes often can be easily determined, sources are tougher. Foodborne illness caused by norovirus, for example, has a well-defined set of symptoms, yet locating the restaurant where a sick worker handled the produce may be impossible.

This time, the source of the red and inflamed eyes – often known as pinkeye or conjunctivitis – clearly was the cheerleading event at Father Judge High School. It was the cause that was unknown.

“Epi” investigations typically rely on responses to questionnaires that are unique to every outbreak. Based on his interviews with patients in the ER, Alles spent much of the day preparing a questionnaire to be sent through coaches of the more than 20 competing teams to everyone who had attended – mainly families of the cheerleaders, age 5 to 16, from around Northeast Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, Alles used a tool that physicians of all stripes, from oncologists to public health investigators, rely on every day: a literature search.

He went to databases that contain millions of medical journal articles, and started searching for such key phrases as eye burning and school gymnasium.

Up popped a few articles describing large numbers of people seeking treatment for burning eyes after attending events at school gymnasiums. The culprit: metal halide lamps with broken outer envelopes.

The lamps produce an electric arc that travels through mercury and metal halide gases, creating intense white light. The glass outer shells protect against harmful ultraviolet wavelengths. In gyms they occasionally get hit by errant basketballs or volleyballs, breaking the protective envelope even as the light keeps shining.

Exposure causes a temporary condition called photokeratitis. Snow blindness is a version of this, as is eye damage from looking directly at a solar eclipse, although that can be permanent.

Alles called the fire department. The bulb at Father Judge was too high to see from the ground but upon climbing a ladder the break was obvious. The bulb was replaced with a newer version that is designed to self-extinguish when broken.

Alles went ahead with his questionnaire, a 33-page document that asked families that attended the competition everything from what each person saw (flash of light?), smelled (fumes?), and ate to what they wore (mascara? glitter? tanning spray?) and where they sat and when, as well as medical symptoms they might have experienced.

Given the size of the event and the 75 percent response rate, the survey turned up a wealth of information. A total of 242 people of all ages had developed photokeratitis, half of them serious enough to seek treatment.

Those who spent at least two hours sitting in the bleachers were two-thirds more likely to report burning eyes than those who spent less time there. And people who wore eyeglasses or contacts were one-third less likely to have symptoms than those who did not.

It’s unclear how often broken metal halide bulbs cause such outbreaks. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published a case study about the Philadelphia event, coauthored by Alles, in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The MMWR often highlights public health risks that are not well-known.

The report included a second event here two years later, in 2013, when people complaining of burning eyes sought emergency treatment after as little as 30 minutes playing basketball in the Kingsessing Recreation Center gym. It took several days to realize a broken bulb was the culprit in eye pain for 20 people that lasted from three hours to more than a week.

[“source-ndtv”]

A laser for your eyes

As-grown (Er,Yb):GdAl3(BO3)4 crystal by using high-temperature solution growth on dipped seeds (a) .
Credit: Nikolay Leonyuk

A team of the Lomonosov Moscow State University scientists and the Belarusian National Technical University has created a unique laser, which is a compact light source with wavelengths harmless to the human eye. The development can be used in medicine, communications systems and also in research. The works are published in Journal of Crystal Growth and Optics Letters.

‘In collaboration with our colleagues of the Center for Optical Materials and Technologies, Belarusian National Technical University, we have developed a highly efficientdiode-pumped eye-safe laser, which can be used in ophthalmology, communication systems and ranging’, says Nikolay Leonyuk, Professor, Department of Crystallography and Crystal Chemistry, Geological Faculty, the Lomonosov Moscow State University. The development of such laser became possible to the fact that the team of scientists had created a laboratory growth technology of single crystals with desired properties.

The emission with wavelengths of 1500 — 1600 nm is agreeably safe for the eyes and seems prospective for practical applications in medicine, ranging (determining the distance from the observer to the object), communication systems andoptical location. This feature is explained with, first, the fact that the light-refracting system of the eye (cornea and crystalline lens) have a sufficiently high absorption coefficient in this part of the spectrum, so only a small fraction of the energy reaches the sensitive retina. Second, the radiation in the 1500 — 1600 nm spectral range suffers low losses passing through the atmosphere, and it makes advantages for their applications in telecoms.

To date, among the sources of radiation in this spectral range, the most widely used are the solid-state lasers based on phosphate glasses co-doped with Er (erbium), and Yb (ytterbium) ions. Such lasers are also relatively simple, compact and capable of operating in adjusted Q-mode required for producing short impulses. In the meantime, the main disadvantage restricting the usage of erbium phosphate glasses in continuous diodesystems is a low thermal conductivity of the matrix. To avoid such limitation, Er and Yb containing crystalline matrixcan be used.

In the issued research, GdAl3 (BO3)4 single crystals co-doped with Er and Yb were used to improve the efficiency of generation pulse energy and repetition rate, and henceto increase the maximal measurement range, reducing errors and time spending. These single crystalsare characterized by a record value of thermal conductivity and high thermochemical stability (decomposition at temperatures of 1280°C, resistant to corrosive environments) as well as mechanical strength.

‘The created solid-state laser based on yttrium gadolinium borate crystals (Er,Yb:GdAl3 (BO3)4 is a unique compact source of emission with varying eye-safe wavelengths’ says Nikolay Leonyuk. ‘Reliable laser design, along with high performance makes it possible to be widely used in laser ranging systems, metrology andlaser-induced breakdown spectroscopy.’

Using of laser diode as a pump source increase the lifetime of laser up to 100,000 hours. The laser system is easy to use and plug and play, it does not require water cooling, as well as does not generate any vibration during laseroperations.

Compared with the widely used CW erbium fiber lasers, the (Er,Yb):GdAl3(BO3)4-based laser is characterized by linear laser radiation and lower price.

[“source-ndtv”]

Rubbing Your Eyes Feels Good, But It’s Bad


The occasional “knuckle rub” to an itching eye can feel so relieving, especially as allergy season starts. But according to Dr. Mark Mifflin, professor of ophthalmology, chronic eye itching can lead to serious, irreparable damage to your eyes. On this episode of “The Specialists” we investigate what can cause constant eye irritation–and the risks you take by rubbing your eyes too often or too hard.

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Transcript

Dr. Miller: Rubbing your eyes might feel good, but it is really bad. Is that true? We’re going to talk about that next on Scope Radio.

Announcer: Access to our experts with in-depth information about the biggest health issues facing you today. “The Specialists” with Dr. Tom Miller is on The Scope.

Dr. Miller: Hi, I’m here with Dr. Mark Mifflin. He’s a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Utah. Mark, is rubbing your eyes too much a problem? Can that lead to some bad outcomes?

Dr. Mifflin: Yes, actually, it wouldn’t be necessarily intuitive that rubbing one’s eyes could result in actual damage to the eye, but it’s fairly common.

Dr. Miller: Now everybody at some time has got to be rubbing their eyes. So are we talking about a small number of people?

Dr. Mifflin: Well, we actually see a category of disease, perhaps two, that are related to chronic eye rubbing. Certainly, short term eye rubbing is probably not going to cause a problem except for maybe a very few patients who may have some kind of severe problem underlying their eye condition. But chronic eye rubbing can result in the weakening of the cornea and distortion of the cornea called keratoconus.

And it’s often associated with people with very bad allergic conjunctivitis or itchy eyes and, unfortunately, some of these people are so itchy that they nothing feels better that . . . I call it the knuckle rub to the eye. Unfortunately, over time, that can actually weaken and distort the eye.

Another thing that can be associated with chronic eye rubbing is actually laxity of the eyelid. The eyelid can, over time, lose its elasticity and that’s a less serious problem, but still not something that we want to happen.

Dr. Miller: So if somebody was rubbing their eyes because they have severe allergies in the spring or even year-round, how do they end up at your doorstep? Is it that their vision is blurred at some point?

Dr. Mifflin: Yes, typically, most of the patients who we feel that actually there is an association between chronic eye rubbing and disease fall into the diagnosis of the condition called keratoconus, which is a structural abnormality of the cornea causing poor vision due to an abnormal shape to the surface of the eye. The shape causes irregular astigmatism, which often cannot be corrected by glasses or even contact lenses in its severe stages.

One really important is that this disease may run in families and, typically, may start even in childhood. So certainly, parents should be advised to try to seek treatment for their young children who may have severe allergic disease and in the case of eyes, typically allergy eye drops are very effective in eliminating itch. And behavior modification just through teaching can help children not rub their eyes.

Dr. Miller: Now, how do you know if you’re rubbing your eyes too hard?

Dr. Mifflin: I tell my patients that the amount of pressure needed to wash one’s face with a washcloth gently or dry with a towel is the appropriate amount of pressure to put on one’s eye. Anything more than that is probably unhealthy for the eye.

Dr. Miller: So if you’re rubbing to the point where you’re seeing stars, then it’s a bad thing?

Dr. Mifflin: It is possible to induce the sensation of light or the perception of light without actually seeing light. And this can occur with the eyelid closed and these little sparks of light are called photopsia and certainly, when one rubs their eye hard enough to induce photopsia, that is not a good thing.

Dr. Miller: And if you do that repetitively, you might end up in the ophthalmologist’s office.

Dr. Mifflin: I would say that there is a good chance that if you do it over a period of years, you could end up with even worse than that.

Announcer: TheScopeRadio.com is University of Utah Health Sciences Radio. If you like what you heard, be sure to get our latest content by following us on Facebook. Just click on the Facebook icon at TheScopeRadio.com.

[“source-ndtv”]