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    The Importance of Learning Your Family's Eye History

    Last updated 2 months ago

    You may know what color eyes your parents have, but do you know if your grandparents ever had any eye health problems? Eye conditions can be passed down through your family. Watch this video to learn about the importance of investigating your family’s eye history. 

    Many eye diseases are hereditary. If you have a family history of glaucoma, for example, you may also be at a higher risk for this disease. Talk to your parents to find out how their eye health has been throughout their lives, and don’t forget to ask about their parents’ eye health as well. When you visit your eye doctor, make sure you relate this information so that you can receive a thorough evaluation with particular attention paid to these genetic diseases.

    Gerstein Eye Institute is the leading provider of advanced eye care and surgery in the Chicago area, providing all of our patients with expert care since 1968. Contact us at (773) 649-3758 to make an appointment, or visit our website for a look at all of our eye care services. 

    Can Children Develop Cataracts?

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Good vision care should start early in life, and proper care can help you enjoy many years of excellent vision. Visiting your eye doctor on a regular basis can help your doctor spot vision problems, such as refractive errors like nearsightedness and conditions usually associated with age like cataracts, before they get worse. Though cataracts are most common in adults over the age of 60, it is possible for children to have cataracts. Cataracts in children are relatively rare, occurring in about three out of every 10,000 children, according to the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. Keep reading to learn more about children and cataracts. 

    What Cataracts Are

    Whether they occur in adults or children, cataracts are essentially the same thing. The lens of the eye is normally completely clear, allowing light to pass through unobstructed. A cataract refers to any clouding or opacity of the lens, and can lead to partial or full vision loss. The cloudiness of the lens scatters light as it passes through, making vision blurry or glaring, and can interfere with the ability to see contrast. About 21 million people in America have cataracts, and surgery is often required to restore normal vision.

    Why Children Develop Cataracts

    Though it is not very common, babies can be born with cataracts. Sometimes, the cataracts are caused by genetics, while at other times, they occur spontaneously due to the way the lens develops. Some children may have cataracts when they are born, while others can develop them as they grow up.

    How Cataracts in Children Are Treated

    In some cases, cataracts in infants and children do not need to be removed because they are small enough to not interfere with normal vision development. However, surgery may be required as soon as possible if the cataracts impede vision. Delaying the removal of such cataracts can hinder the development of the brain’s vision centers.

    For answers to all of your questions about cataracts and cataract surgery, call Gerstein Eye Institute at (773) 649-3758. We have been providing the Chicago area with quality eye care for over 40 years. People with cataracts have many options for restoring their vision, so don’t let your eyesight dwindle away. 

    Are Your Eyes a Window Into Heart Trouble?

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Your eyes are the window to your soul, or so the saying goes—and according to recent research, they may also be the window into what’s happening with your heart health. A recent study showed that people with damage in the smallest blood vessels in their eyes were at a greater risk for developing atrial fibrillation, a heart disorder. The symptoms of atrial fibrillation are generally easy to miss, but it can lead to strokes and other health problems. 

    Microvascular disease, or MVD, is hard to detect in the heart, but your eye doctor may be able to spot the signs during a routine eye exam. Any sign of micro-bleeds or micro-aneurysms found during your eye exam could be an indication of MVD and should be checked out by a cardiologist.

    Let Gerstein Eye Institute of Chicago take good care of your eye health. Call us at (773) 649-3758 to make an appointment, and don’t forget to report any changes in your vision to your eye doctor. We’re here to help you protect and restore your eyesight. 

    UV Safety Tips for July

    Last updated 3 months ago

    Did you know that July is UV Safety Month, sponsored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology? Now that summer is here, there’s no better time to educate yourself and your family on the dangers of the sun’s UV rays. Though the sun can feel pleasant and warming on your skin, it can also do a lot of damage if you don’t protect yourself properly. In addition to causing skin cancer, UV rays can damage your eyes and the delicate skin surrounding them. Keep reading for tips for protecting yourself against UV rays this summer.

    Wear Sunscreen

    It doesn’t matter if you’re packing up to hit the beach for the day or just doing some gardening in your backyard—you should wear sunscreen. The sun’s UV rays can even penetrate clouds, so you should put your sunscreen on even if it’s not bright out. Look for a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays, and choose one with an SPF factor of at least 15. If you’re fair-skinned or you have a family history of skin cancer, consider upping your protection level to SPF 30. Apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of skin, and don’t forget your ears and the tops of your feet.

    Shade Your Eyes

    Your skin isn’t the only body part that can be harmed by UV rays. Excess exposure to UV rays can cause both short- and long-term eye problems. In fact, the more solar radiation your eyes are exposed to, the greater your risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration becomes. To protect your eyes, stay cool and wear high-quality sunglasses that block 99 or 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation. If you’re outdoors a lot, look for frames that wrap around your face for maximum protection. Don’t forget to grab a pair for your kids, too, as they will often be in the sun more than adults.

    At Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago, we understand that every one of our patients has unique needs when it comes to eye care. Contact us at (773) 649-3758 to make an appointment, and don’t forget to stop by our optical center to pick out your new sunglasses to keep your eyes safe from UV rays this July and all year long. 

    Choosing a LASIK Surgeon

    Last updated 3 months ago

    Are you tired of relying on glasses or contact lenses just so you can see clearly? If so, it may be time to consider how LASIK eye surgery can benefit you. LASIK can greatly reduce and even eliminate your dependence on vision aids so you can see clearly from the moment you wake up in the morning until you go to bed at night. Choosing a LASIK surgeon is something that should be done carefully, as not all surgeons are the same. Do your research and speak with a few different LASIK surgeons to thoroughly understand the benefits and potential risks of the procedure. The surgeon you choose should be well-qualified and have a proven track record of successful procedures. Talk to your friends and family to find out if they have had positive or negative experiences with any LASIK surgeons, and choose a surgeon with whom you feel confident and comfortable. 

    At Gerstein Eye Institute, we exclusively use all-laser procedures when we perform LASIK surgery. Contact us at (773) 649-5532 or visit our website to learn more about the LASIK procedure and to find out if it might be right for you. 

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