How You See the World | How the World Sees You

Posts tagged ‘Erie eyeglasses’

Anti-Reflective Coating: Enhancing How You See the World and How the World Sees You

Anti-reflective coating (also known as anti-glare or AR) is a special treatment for eyeglasses where a very thin coating is applied to both sides of the lenses. Anti-reflective coating enhances both clear vision and the appearance of eyeglasses by eliminating reflections of light from the front and back surfaces of lenses.

anti-reflective coating reduces glareEnhancing How You See the World   

Removing reflections from the surface of lenses reduces glare which makes it easier see while driving at night. In addition to reducing glare, AR allows more light to reach the eyes instead of being reflected away. This enhances comfort and visual clarity when using such things as a smart phone, a tablet, a computer or simply reading a book.

eye glasses without Anti-Reflective coatingeyeglasses with anti-reflective coatingEnhancing How the World Sees You

Anti-reflective coating also improves the appearance of eyeglasses. Lenses without AR coating create reflections that   obscure the eyes of a person wearing glasses. Anti-reflective coating enables the lenses in a pair of eyeglasses to appear almost invisible.

Anti-reflective coating can be a great choice that allows a pair of eyeglasses to perform and look their best. Talk to your eye care and eye wear professional about anti-reflective coating for your eyeglasses.

Learn more about quality eye care and eye wear from a company and a team of eye care professionals who have been providing a superior level of service for more than 35 years. Please visit www.shawneeoptical.com.

Slim, Nice Figure, Ideal Weight and Attractive. What’s Being Described Here?

hi index eyeglass lensesIf you answered eyeglass lenses, you are correct!

Hi-index lenses offer people who wear eyeglasses with lens choices that are thin, light and attractive.

For people who have strong prescriptions for nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, hi-index lenses are a great way to avoid lenses that are thick, heavy and distort the natural appearance of your eyes.

The lenses in a pair of eyeglasses correct vision by bending or refracting light as it passes through each lens.  With conventional plastic and glass lenses, the more light that needs bent, the alternatives to thick eyeglassesthicker the lenses must be.

Hi-index lenses are different.  Here’s how they work and the benefits they offer:

Increased Light Bending Abilities

Hi-index lenses are made of a special material that is able to bend or refract light much more efficiently than conventional lenses.  This means less lens material needs to be used to bend the appropriate amount of light that corrects vision.

Thin Construction

Due to the increased ability to bend light, hi-index lenses are much thinner than conventional plastic and glass lenses. Therefore, the profiles of eyeglasses are not dominated by thick lenses when hi-index lenses are used.

Comfortable Wear

Because less material is used with hi-index lenses, they do not weigh as much as conventional lenses. This makes them light weight and comfortable to wear.

hi index lenses for eyeglassesAttractive

The fashions of today’s most popular frames have either very thin rims or no rims at all (rimless frames). The thickness of the lens becomes very important with these styles of eyeglass frames.  When lenses are too thick, the balance between the frames and lenses becomes disproportionate, resulting in a pair of eyeglasses that are not as cosmetically appealing as they could be with hi-index lenses.

Ask Your Eye Doctor About Hi-Index Lenses

Discuss hi-index lenses with your eye doctor to see if they are an option for you and your vision correction needs.  They may provide you with the function, comfort and appearance you desire in a pair of eyeglasses.

Learn more about quality eye care and eye wear from a company and a team of eye care professionals who have been providing a superior level of service for more than 35 years. Please visit www.shawneeoptical.com.

Three Main Types of Retinal Detachment

Eye anatomy and eye careThe retina is a thin, light-sensitive membrane covering the rear of the eye. It’s the part of the eye where images are focused by the cornea and lens. The images displayed on the retina are transmitted to the visual centers of the brain by the optic nerve. In fact, the retina is technically part of the body’s central nervous system and is considered brain tissue.

Approximately 95% of the retina is responsible for side vision or peripheral vision. The remaining 5% located in the very center of the retina is known as the macula and allows for central vision.

If the retina becomes damaged or separates from the back wall of the eye, it’s a condition known as retinal detachment.  When a retinal detachment occurs, it’s a serious condition that needs attention. A retinal detachment causes the retina to separate from its blood and nutritional supply which could lead to loss of peripheral vision, central vision or both.

There are three (3) main types of retinal detachment:

retinal detachmentRhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment (RRD)

This is the most common type of retinal detachment. The term rhegmatogenous means “arising from a rupture or a fracture”.  Rhegmatogeous retinal detachment occurs when there is a hole or a tear in the retina. The break in the retina allows the gel-like substance from the vitreous cavity of the eye to seep through the opening causing the retina to detach from the eye wall.

Tractional Retinal Detachment (TRD)

A tractional retinal detachment is a retinal detachment caused by the gel like substance within the vitreous cavity of the eye pulling on the retina which eventually causes the retina to detach from the rear eye wall.

Exudative Retinal Detachment (ERD)

An exudative retinal detachment occurs as a result of a leak under the retina which allows the gel-like vitreous substance to enter behind the retina. These types of leaks are typically caused by inflammation.

Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

Flashing lights and eye floaters are common early symptoms associated with a retinal tear or retinal detachment.  If a dark shadow or dark curtain obscures a portion of vision, this is also an indicator of retinal detachment.  Anyone who experiences these symptoms should schedule an exam with their eye doctor immediately.

Learn more about quality eye care and eye wear from a company and a team of eye care professionals who have been providing a superior level of service for more than 35 years. Please visit www.shawneeoptical.com.

Children Shouldn’t Be Scared of Cycloplegic Refraction

Cycloplegic refraction explained by Shawnee OpticalThe term “cycloplegic refraction” certainly sounds intimidating. Tell this to a child and it can be understandably frightening.  As with many unknowns, a little knowledge and setting expectations can take away unnecessary fears.

What is Cycloplegic Refraction?

Cycloplegic refraction is nothing more than a procedure used by eye doctors to gain an accurate reading of a person’s refractive error to help them see more clearly and comfortably.

Refractive error is the inability of a person’s eye to bend light correctly. If light is not refracted properly as it enters the eye, the result is distorted vision.

During the testing in an eye exam, a patient’s eyes may auto- focus, or accommodate, which leads to inaccurate and inconclusive testing results. When your eyes are auto focusing, your eye doctor cannot decisively determine your true eye prescription.

Cycloplegic refraction temporarily stops the eye’s ability to auto focus allowing your eye doctor to correctly ascertain your prescription and optimize your ability to see clearly and comfortably.

Why is Cycloplegic Refraction Common with Children?     

Cycloplegic refraction is often times used with children. Children have a strong ability to unknowingly accommodate, or auto-focus, their vision which makes eye exams yield inaccurate or incomplete results.

As described above, cycloplegic refraction briefly suspends a child’s ability to auto-focus. This provides the eye doctor with an uninterrupted opportunity to obtain an exact reading on the child’s refractive error and derive a true and accurate prescription.

What to Expect with Cycloplegic Refraction

Cycloplegic eye drops are placed in the patient’s eye to prevent the ciliary muscle of the eye from contracting and relaxing. This muscle is attached to the crystalline lens of the eye and controls the shape of lens.

There are a variety of cycloplegic eye drops which differ in strength and duration.  When these eye drops are applied, it causes the pupils to dilate and vision will become blurred for a few hours. Some patients also experience tearing and redness in the eyes.

Not Just for Children

Cycloplegic refraction is not exclusively for children. Adults sometimes need this procedure performed to gain a more precise eye prescription. If eyeglasses do not provide the level of clarity needed, this procedure may be appropriate to deliver a refined eyeglass prescription.

Learn more about quality eye care and eye wear from a company and a team of eye care professionals who have been providing a superior level of service for more than 30 years. Please visit www.shawneeoptical.com.

Eye Glasses: a History and the Future

eye glasses Shawnee OpticalEye glasses are in the process of changing significantly. The eye glasses of tomorrow will be noticeably different than the variety of lenses and frames being offered today.

Eye Glasses History Lesson

Historians generally give credit to Italian monks for fabricating the first pair of eyeglasses at some point between the years 1285 – 1290. These spectacles, as they were commonly called, were used for reading.  Eye glasses to correct distance vision are estimated to have been crafted in the early 1400’s.

One of our Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, invented bifocal lenses in the year 1784 which allowed for correction of both distance vision and near vision in the same lens. An Englishman, Sir George Airy, designed lenses to correct astigmatism in 1825.

Trifocal lenses which have three specific powers (one for near vision, one for intermediate vision and one for distance vision) were produced by inventor and musician John Hawkins in the year 1826.

In 1958, Essilor International introduced progressive multifocal lenses which further enhanced lenses with multiple powers for distance, intermediate and near vision.

Innovations in Eye Glasses

Technology is playing an increasing role in the evolution of eyeglasses. Lenses have been developed and continue to be refined whereby the entire lens adjusts with your vision needs.

Electronic eye glasses have been designed with a special type of lens filled with a clear crystal liquid layer that can be electronically controlled automatically or manually. A touch of the finger to the side of the frames or a tilt of the head in a certain direction changes the entire lens to serve your vision needs. If you want to read something, a tilt of the head downward will cause the eyeglasses to automatically adjust the entire lens for near vision. A split-second swipe of the finger across the temples of your frames will allow you to look up from what you were reading and see a distant object clearly through the convenience and comfort of the entire lens.

Electronic glasses are powered by a battery and need to be re-charged. They are currently offered to the public but as you may guess with any emerging technology, they are rather pricey today.

Computing via Eyeglasses

While not targeted towards vision correction, electronic display eyeglasses are being developed that use eye movements to control presentation of information. These eyeglasses contain a microchip that takes data from a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) and displays it directly on the person’s retina, creating an illusion that the images and text are a few feet away. Eye movements can control menus, search information, play video and conduct many other tasks routinely performed on desktops, laptops and mobile devices today.

This advancement in eye wear is still in the prototype phase. The technology is not yet at a point where its purchase and every day use are feasible.

Discuss emerging eye wear technologies that may serve your unique vision needs, lifestyle and budget with your eye doctor at your next eye exam. The options and the choices are changing.

To learn about a company and a team of eye care professionals that have been providing their patients with quality eye care and eye wear for more than 30 years, please visit www.shawneeoptical.com.

Back to School Checklist: Make Your Student’s Eye Care #1

The start of another school year is just around the corner. Many of us have made our list of things we need to do and purchase in order to properly prepare our children for another year of formal education. When you’re out visiting the mall buying new clothes or filling up your shopping cart with notebooks, pens, pencils, backpacks, organizers and similar school supply items, don’t forget to squeeze in a worthwhile visit to the eye doctor for an exam. In fact, eye care for your student(s) should be at the top of your list. Here’s why:

The Best Learning Method

Extensive research in educational theory has shown that visual learning is among the very best methods for teaching students of all ages how to learn. According to research, students remember information at a much higher rate when that information is presented visually. The optimal presentation for learning and retaining information is a blend of (1) visually seeing the information; (2) verbally saying or hearing the information and; (3) physically writing the information.

Visual Clarity Affects Learning

How do you react when you see a complex diagram or an abundance of written text? Is your first reaction to jump right in and study it further or do you reluctantly approach it? How do your children (students) approach information like this?

Many studies show that visual clarity of information being studied greatly impacts the ease at which it is learned. Whether it’s a chart on a projection screen, an article in a newspaper or a page in a textbook, most people will have a positive approach to the information if they can see it clearly and easily. This has huge implications on learning. Positive or negative feelings and perceptions determine the levels of motivation, comprehension and retention that will be achieved.

Crisp, clear and accurate vision is the firm foundation from which successful academic performance can be built.

Easy to Read is Perceived as Easy to Do

Studies show that when information and instructions are easy to read, people tend to think it will not take much time and effort and dive right in. On the other hand, when information and instructions are not easy to read, people perceive the task to be difficult, time consuming and are reluctant to approach it.

Communicate with Your Eye Doctor

Talk to your eye doctor and discuss ways to enhance all areas of your child’s visual health. More than likely, it will enhance his or her academic performance and confidence.  This applies to students of all ages.

To learn more about quality eye care and eye wear, please visit http://www.shawneeoptical.com.

Special Vision Needs for Internet and Cellular Use

We live in a digital world where the demands placed upon our eyes are growing exponentially. These demands now start at a very young age and continue throughout every stage of our life. We depend upon a TV, computer or smart phone at school, at work and to socialize with family and friends.  The importance of seeing clearly and comfortably at a range of approximately 1-3 feet is critical to everyday life.  This significance will only grow in the future as more and more of life’s tasks, functions and pleasures are conducted electronically.

Beyond Reading Glasses

Extended periods of time watching videos on YouTube, posting on facebook, searching on Google, tweeting on Twitter, networking on Linkedin, texting a friend or chatting with a family member commonly lead to health problems such as tired eyes, headaches and neck pain. To address these conditions, computer hardware and software manufactures as well as cell phone and smart phone manufactures are constantly developing new features, screen displays and fonts that are more eye-friendly.  However, more specialized eyeglass lenses beyond the capabilities and features of traditional reading glasses may be required to properly and effectively utilize technology and prevent chronic health conditions. Bifocals and Progressive lenses are not designed for computer and smart phone use. They may cause eye strain as well as neck and back pain as you adjust your body in the quest to find a position where your vision is clear and focused through your lenses.

Visual Fatigue Syndrome

Visual Fatigue Syndrome or VFS is typically caused by focusing on objects in the 1-3 feet vision range for extended periods of time. Symptoms of Visual Fatigue Syndrome may include Tired Eyes, Eyestrain, Blurred Vision, Dry Eyes, Burning Eyes, Headaches, Neck Pain and Back Pain.  More and more people are suffering from VFS due to the demands of their digital world. VFS can reduce your productivity and your ability to concentrate which often times leads to increased stress.

Talk to Your Eye Doctor

A candid conversation with your eye doctor can help you immensely with the demands of today’s technology as well as avoiding or reducing the effects of Visual Fatigue Syndrome.  It’s important to discuss your career and lifestyle demands with your eye doctor, especially as it relates to your use of technology equipment. What specific equipment you utilize on daily basis and the duration of use can be particularly helpful. For example, tell your eye doctor that you spend 6 hours a day working at a computer with a 15” monitor or you spend the majority of your day using an iPad.  Armed with this type of information, your eye doctor can offer valuable guidance on preparing your environment for optimal vision such as proper lighting and how to position your equipment.  In addition, your eye care professional can also recommend and prescribe special lenses that match the demands of your digital lifestyle.

Eyeglass Lenses Designed for the Computer and Visual Fatigue

To keep up with the modern world and its visual demands, eyeglass lens manufacturers are continually developing new specialty lenses.  Computer lenses provide a wide “near” area in order to see the entire computer screen clearly and comfortably with a small “distance” area so you can see across the room.  Anti-fatigue lenses are specialized lenses targeted at improving the “near” vision needed to operate a laptop, tablet computer or smart phone  and relieving the symptoms of visual fatigue such as burning eyes,  blurry vision, headaches and watery eyes.

Technology greatly improves our productivity and ability to communicate with others.  Make sure you are equipping yourself with the proper eyewear to keep up with the demands of your digital life and promote maximized eye health.

To learn more about quality eye care and eye wear, please visit http://www.shawneeoptical.com.

Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses, What’s Your Best Choice?

The Vision Council of America estimates there are 174 million corrective lens wearers in the United States. Whether these people choose eyeglasses or contact lenses, the basic process is the same. These lenses bend rays of light so that they come to a clear focus on the retina. There are also several notable differences in how these lenses function, answering these questions and understanding differences can help you choose which one is best for you and your lifestyle.

Do You Want Consistent Correction or Can You Live With Moments of Blur? 
Eyeglass lenses, being a solid chunk of plastic, bend light rays in the exact same way every minute of every day. Therefore, your vision correction is consistent and dependable. Contact lenses, by contrast, are paper thin and as bendable as a piece of cellophane. The natural flexing of contacts and their interaction with the eyes’ tear film can cause small variations in vision throughout the day. If you are adverse to the occasional “blurry moment” then contacts may not be your best bet.

Do You Want Clarity at All Angles?
Both eyeglasses and contacts deliver a crisp, clear image when you look straight ahead. However, with eyeglasses, as your eye moves out towards the periphery of the lens, you encounter more and more “prismatic” distortion. The stronger the prescription is, the more distortion occurs. Theoretically, the same is true with contact lenses, but due to the thinness of the material and the fact that contacts move with your eye, the distortion is greatly reduced. That is one reason why people with high prescriptions tend to prefer contacts.

Do You Depend on Your Peripheral Vision?
Sitting away from your face, eyeglasses have a built-in problem with peripheral vision. To see well to the right side, you must turn your head to the right. If you just glance sideways you’ll encounter blur as you go outside of the glasses’ field of vision. Contacts, moving with your eyes, deliver far greater peripheral vision. This is a key point for sports enthusiasts.

How Much Discomfort Can You Tolerate?
Contact lenses work in tandem with your eyes’ tear layer, so any change in your tears can impact lens comfort. Allergies, air conditioning, wind, and many other factors can make your eyes a little more or less watery, and that can greatly affect contact lens comfort and performance. Eyeglasses free you of these concerns, but as any eyeglass wearer can tell you, walking into a warm room on a cold day or watching a football game in the rain can carry a whole different set of comfort issues.

Are Fashion and Appearance Primary Considerations? 
While most people focus on finding an eyeglass frame thats fashionable, the larger cosmetic issue may be their lenses. A person who is nearsighted will have lenses that are thick at the edge and thin in the middle. This makes their eyes appear smaller than they really are. Conversely, those who are farsighted have lenses that are thicker in the middle and their eyes will appear larger than they really are. These considerations disappear for contact lens wearers.

How Much of a Health Risk and How Much Time Are You Willing to Invest?
Because contact lenses sit right on your eye, they pose a potential health risk. A lens that fits too tight or too loose can damage the cornea and poor hygiene and lens handling can lead to dangerous infection. That is why most eye doctors insist on regular yearly eye exams for their contact lens patients. Contact lens wearers should plan on investing more time on their eye care than their eyeglass wearing counterparts: more time at the doctor’s office and more time cleaning and caring for their lenses.

What’s Your Budget?
While a pair of designer eyeglasses can be fairly expensive, over time contact lens wear will generally prove to be more costly. Frequency of eye exams, frequency of lens replacement and the added expense of cleaning solutions drive up the total cost of contacts. You must also keep in mind that most eye doctors will strongly recommend that contact wearers also have a pair of eyeglasses to fall back on when needed.


To learn more about eyeglasses, eyeglass lenses, proper eye care, eye wear and Shawnee Optical, please visit our website at www.shawneeoptical.com.

How The Lenses of Eyeglasses Are Made

The function of an eyeglass lens is to bend rays of light so that when they enter the eye they focus perfectly on the eye’s retina. This idea of using lenses to improve faulty vision goes back many centuries. While the technology, equipment and precision used in the process of making lenses have changed exponentially in recent years, the basic steps in creating a prescription lens have remained largely the same for the past 50 years. Here’s how eyeglass lenses are made: 

Start with Lens Blanks
The process of creating a prescription eyeglass lens begins with large buttons of lens material that look like clear hockey pucks. These lens blanks are typically injection molded and mass produced using a variety of plastic resins. The front side of these lens blanks have set curvatures that define the nature of the lens. Single-vision lenses, bifocals, trifocals and the myriad of progressive addition lenses each have a unique front surface. Lens manufacturers often put millions of dollars into engineering the precise front curvatures of their progressive addition lenses (just in case you were wondering why your eyeglasses cost so much).

Step 1 – Surfacing
Once the technician selects the proper lens blank, he mounts it to a carrier block made of wax or lead alloy and inserts it into a lens lathe. Using computer settings dictated by your eye doctor’s prescription, the lathe shaves layers of material off the back side to create very precise curvatures and the desired thickness. It is the combination of the front side curvatures and the back side curvatures that determines how the lens will bend the light rays to correct various degrees of myopiaor near sightedness, hyperopia, or far sightedness, presbyopia, or reading vision, and astigmatism.

Step 2 – Fining
When the lens comes out of the lathe, the back side is somewhat rough. This gives it a frosted appearance. The technician now puts the lens on a fining machine, which uses a precisely tooled polishing block, called a lap, to polish the back side of the lens. The convex side of the lap is covered with a pad that is impregnated with a fine grit and is then mechanically agitated against the concave surface of the lens until the lens is totally clear. To picture this, make a fist with one hand, and then drape your other hand over the top of it and rotate your palm. That’s the fining process.

Step 3 – Edging
Now that the prescription has been ground in and polished, the lens is much thinner than when it started, but it is still the diameter of a hockey puck. The next step is to cut the lens down to size. In most labs today this is done with a computerized lens edger. The newly surfaced lens goes into the edger along with the frame you have selected. The edger uses a digital tracer to capture an exact three-dimensional image of the frame and then, using the fitting measurements provided by your optician, the edger passes the lens over a diamond cutting wheel until it is reduced to the proper size and shape.

Step 4 – Coatings 
Now the lens is ready for finishing touches. For example, lenses can be specially coated to resist scratching, to block ultraviolet light or to reduce reflections. Anti-reflective coatings are a rapidly growing segment. In dust-free coating equipment, the lens typically receives up to 16 ultrathin layers of metal oxide coating. These various layers combine to dampen glare, repel water and sometimes repel oil.

The Future of Eyeglass Lenses is Getting Clearer
While the vast majority of eyeglass lenses made today follow the procedures above, new technology is entering the market. Knowledge developed in the refinement of LASIK eye surgery is rapidly making its way to lens laboratories. The same concepts that doctors use to custom “carve” a patients cornea during LASIK surgery can be applied to plastic lenses. This emerging science, known as wavefront technology, will ultimately make lens blanks a thing of the past. New wavefront lens lathes will custom carve the front and back surfaces of lenses, resulting in greatly reduced visual distortion and improved lens clarity.

To learn more about eyeglasses, eyeglass lenses, proper eye care, eye wear and Shawnee Optical, please visit our website at www.shawneeoptical.com.   

The Unavoidable Facts About Bifocals, Part 1

On the list of unavoidable suffering, well behind death but only slightly ahead of  taxes, you’ll find bifocals.  For most of us, bifocals serve as a warning shot that middle age is hot on our heels. It’s a rite of passage that 95% of Americans over the age of 45 have experienced and in the next few years nearly 78 million baby boomers will join the Bifocal Club.

The eye condition is called presbyopia. The word is Greek for “old man’s eyes” but the roots of the condition actually start much earlier than the name implies. As teens, our eyes stop growing, but the lens in the eye continues to generate new cells. As a result, the lens gets progressively denser as time goes by. This increased density results in a stiffening of the lens. By the time we reach our mid forties the lens is so stiff that it can no longer make the transition from distance vision to near. Many of us will try to put off the inevitable by holding the newspaper further away or pushing the computer screen a little further back. Eventually, however, we find ourselves at the eye doctor’s office holding our first bifocal prescription.

Treating Presbyopia with Eyeglasses

Like our grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers and mothers, most of us will fight their emerging presbyopia with eyeglasses. Unlike our parents and grandparents however, many of us want nothing to do with unattractive bifocal lines. This cosmetic concern has made no-line bifocals, more accurately known as progressive addition lenses (PALs), the new clear-cut lenses of choice, but there’s more to PALs than just a pretty face.

“What consumers want,” notes Carol Norbeck, spokeswoman for the Vision Council of America, “is to see as if they never got old. That’s a tall order but progressive lenses are coming closer and closer to that goal”. Our parents’ traditional lined bifocals had two distinct prescription zones. You were either looking through the distance portion or through the reading segment, and when you passed from one zone to the other the image would suddenly change in size.  This is called image “pop”.  Functional? Yes, but it didn’t feel anything like normal vision. Today’s progressive lenses, by contrast, offer a gradual transition from distance to near prescription. The lens provides clear vision at  distance, near and points in-between with no image pop.

    In  PALs introduced in the 1980’s and 1990’s, the trade-off for the lineless design was a pair of  bothersome blur zones on either side of the transition corridor. Today, these older designs are called “hard progressives”. More recent lens designs, called “soft progressives” utilize advanced mathematical formulas and computer graphing to create a much more subtle visual transition from distance prescription to reading prescription. The blur zones have been greatly reduced and pushed to the periphery of the lens where they are safely out of the normal field of vision. The result is vision that feels very natural.

Shawnee Optical Consumer TipIn today’s optical marketplace hard PALs often sell along side the newer soft designs at surprisingly similar prices. Make sure you are being fit with a soft progressive lens. If your optician doesn’t know the difference find another optician.

To learn more about proper eye care, eye wear and Shawnee Optical, please visit our website at www.shawneeoptical.com.

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