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    UV Safety Tips for July

    Last updated 2 days 14 hours 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 16 days 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. 

    Answering Common Questions about Dry Eyes

    Last updated 23 days ago

    Do you often have the feeling that your eyes are dry and uncomfortable? Many people suffer from chronically dry eyes, especially as they get older. When your eyes are dry, they may feel itchy, gritty, burning, or irritated. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with these feelings of discomfort. Discuss your dry eye symptoms with your eye doctor so that you can get to the root of the problem and then address it. Keep reading for answers to common questions about dry eyes. 

    What Are the Causes of Dry Eyes?

    Dry eyes can develop for a number of different reasons. Aging is one of the major risk factors; in fact, the majority of people over the age of 65 report experiencing at least a few symptoms of dry eyes. Hormonal changes from pregnancy, contraceptives, and menopause make women more susceptible to developing dry eyes than men, though men are certainly not immune to developing the condition. Dry eyes develop from a reduction in the amount of tears in the eyes, which can be caused by certain medications, including antidepressants and blood pressure medicine. Contact lens wearers may also experience dry eyes more than people who wear glasses or those with normal vision.

    How Does a Doctor Diagnose Dry Eyes?

    If you have been experiencing symptoms of dry eyes, make an appointment with your eye doctor so that you can be fully evaluated. Your eye doctor will examine your medical history as well as your current health to determine what could be causing your dry eyes. After a thorough evaluation of your eyes, eyelids, corneas, and tear ducts, your doctor will explain what you can do about your dry eyes.

    What Are the Treatments for Dry Eyes?

    For mild cases of dry eyes, your doctor may recommend using eye drops that contain artificial tears to keep your eyes lubricated. In more severe cases, surgery may be indicated to keep tears in the eyes for a longer amount of time.

    You don’t have to live with the discomfort of dry eyes. Call Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago at (773) 649-5532 to make an appointment to have your eyes evaluated. We pride ourselves on providing individualized care for every patient we see.

    How Cataracts Affect Eyesight

    Last updated 1 month ago

    As you age, many parts of your body will start to change. Your eyes are no exception, and cataracts can affect your vision as you get older. Watch this video to learn how cataracts affect eyesight. 

    The lens of the eye is made up mostly of water and protein, and must be clear in order for your retina to receive a sharp image. In a normal eye, the proteins in the lens are arranged in such a way that there is no image distortion. However, as you age, proteins inside your lens tend to group together, causing a clouding of the lens, or a cataract. The groups of proteins can grow in size and number, leading to blurred vision and an inability to see colors sharply.

    The board-certified eye doctors at Gerstein Eye Institute are experienced in treating a wide range of eye conditions, including cataracts. Call us at (773) 649-5532 to make an appointment for your next eye exam, and be sure to report any changes that you have noticed in your vision. 

    How Early Detection Can Help Diabetics Save Their Eyesight

    Last updated 1 month ago

    It’s easy to take your good vision for granted, but if something should change with your eye health, your world can be drastically altered. Visiting the eye doctor on a regular basis is important for everyone, but is especially important for people who have diabetes. Diabetic eye diseases are a potential complication of diabetes, and can lead to severe vision loss or even blindness. Detecting diabetic eye diseases early is one of the most crucial steps in minimizing the damage they can do. Keep reading to learn how early detection of diabetic eye problems can help individuals with diabetes save their eyesight. 

    Early Stages of Diabetic Eye Diseases

    If you have ever noticed a change in your vision, it has probably been fairly difficult to ignore. Refractive errors like nearsightedness and farsightedness are easy to detect and present themselves clearly. Diabetic eye diseases, however, often develop without any noticeable symptoms. All people with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, which is why it’s so important to see your eye doctor even if your vision seems to be normal. Even if you don’t have symptoms, your doctor will be able to tell if you have diabetic retinopathy or macular edema. Early treatment can help prevent vision loss in the long run. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, people with proliferative retinopathy can cut their risk of blindness by 95% with early treatment.

    Treatment of Diabetic Eye Diseases

    During your eye exam, your eye doctor will check your eyes for early signs of diabetic eye diseases. If you have diabetic retinopathy, there is no treatment needed in the first three stages beyond controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. However, if you have macular edema, laser surgery may be indicated to slow the leaking of fluid around the macula. Proliferative retinopathy can be treated with a laser procedure that helps to shrink abnormal blood vessels.

    Don’t take risks with your eyesight, especially if you have diabetes. Call Gerstein Eye Institute at (773) 649-5532 to schedule your next checkup with our Chicago eye doctors. We provide complete eye care ranging from vision exams to specialized treatment for conditions like diabetic retinopathy.

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