Bill Harvey: Oh has the world changed?
Author: Bill Harvey
Much to the pleasure of the TV executives running Gogglebox, it seems our national broadcaster may have seriously misjudged how, or indeed whether, the nations’ citizens wished to mark the death of a royal.
In fairness, in such a case, getting the best balance between warranted respect and unwarranted deference is a Sisyphean task, especially at a time where the national mood is in almost constant flux. Missing an episode of EastEnders is one thing. But pity the users of Network Rail and National Rail websites last week who suddenly found their displays switching to greyscale ‘as a mark of respect’. The sudden loss of the all-important colour contrast meant that significant numbers of people with impaired vision were unable to use the site and, presumably, had their travel plans disrupted.
As well as an example of getting the balance wrong, this is yet another instance of the lack of understanding many people have about the nature of sight loss. It reminded me of how the first cashpoints in the UK employed displays completely unsuitable for anyone with less than perfect vision and that soon needed a complete redesign. On the other hand, designers of e-readers now allow colour contrast adaptation, which makes the displays much easier for most older viewers. On a similar note, you may like to look at the colour deficiency simulator app described on page 24 of this issue.
And finally, to the growing list of unusual influences upon intraocular pressure (along with which side you sleep on, cannabis, tightness of necktie and how you hold a mobile phone), we can now add yoga. A study in the latest Journal of Glaucoma concludes, ‘Yogic pranayama and diaphragmatic breathing exercises can reduce intraocular pressure in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma and can therefore be recommended as an adjuvant therapy.’