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    Testing for and Diagnosing Cataracts

    Last updated 1 day 15 hours ago

    Eyeglasses and contact lenses are designed to improve vision, but they cannot treat every issue. That is why many patients must turn to cataract surgery when dealing with cloudy and blurry vision. Find out if you need to worry about cataracts by learning more about them, how they are tested, and how they are diagnosed.

    What are Cataracts?

    A cataract refers to a condition where the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, resulting in problems with vision. Clear lenses are essential for maintaining clear and focused vision, but cataracts make vision cloudy and blurry, making it difficult to focus and comprehend smaller text.

    What Causes Cataracts?

    Cloudiness in the lens, or a cataract, is typically caused by protein build-ups. Protein can build up in the eyes for a number of reasons, resulting in a decrease in vision ability. Cataracts are commonly caused by age, as lenses continue to create new layers as we get older. Cataracts can also be caused by infection or injury during birth, medical conditions or specific drugs, and injuries to the eyes.

    How are People Tested for Cataracts?

    If you are worried about cataracts affecting your vision, it is important to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor. During this appointment, your doctor will get an idea of your risk for the condition by asking about your medical history as well as the concerns you have for your vision. Eye doctors also dilate and inspect the eyes and give patients eye chart tests to determine whether or not cataracts are present.

    What Happens After Diagnosis?

    Patients who are diagnosed with cataracts can find the solution they seek with surgery. Cataracts can worsen over time, making it difficult to keep up with daily tasks. If you feel that your cataracts are interfering with your life, you may want to talk to your eye doctor about scheduling a surgery.

    Get more insight into cataract testing and diagnosis from the experts here at Gerstein Eye Institute. Take a look at our website or call us at (773) 649-5532 to learn more about cataract surgery and how our eye doctors can help your vision. 

    Understanding How Cataracts Are Diagnosed

    Last updated 9 days ago

    According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly 22 million Americans age 40 and older are affected by cataracts—and by age 80, more than half of all Americans will have had cataracts or cataract surgery. Fortunately, diagnosis and treatment of this common condition are fairly simple.

    During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will use a variety of non-invasive tests to determine if cataracts are the cause of your impaired vision. A cataract is the clouding of the lens of the eye. This clouding disperses light as it passes through the eye instead of precisely focusing it on the retina and can interfere with vision by causing blurriness, loss of contrast, and glare. Your eye doctor will ask about your medical history and symptoms, evaluate your vision with the use of eye charts, and examine the front structures of the eye, including the clarity of the lens and cornea, using advanced ophthalmologic instruments. Once these tests are performed, your eye doctor can determine whether cataracts are present and recommend surgery.

    Gerstein Eye Institute’s onsite Eye Surgical Center uses advanced technology lenses to help all our patients enjoy optimal vision following cataract surgery. If you would like to schedule an eye exam or cataract surgery consultation, call our Chicago eye center at (773) 649-5532.

    What You Need to Know About Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    Last updated 16 days ago

    The National Institutes of Health states that age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss among Americans 60 and older. This disease affects millions of people and currently has no cure. Learn more about AMD during this year’s AMD Awareness Month by reading the following information and consulting your eye doctor.

    The Macula

    AMD affects the eye’s macula, a small spot at the center of the retina. This sensitive part of the eye is made up of millions of light-sensing cells and is responsible for sharp, central vision, allowing the optic nerve and brain to translate light into images. The severity of AMD is determined in part by the number of drusen in the eye—drusen are lipid deposits under the retina. Late-stage AMD is often classified as either “dry” or “wet.” In dry AMD, the light-sensitive cells and supporting tissues of the macula gradually break down. Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina, which may leak fluid and blood that further damage the macula.

    Symptoms and Risk Factors

    Changes in central vision are the primary symptoms of AMD, including blurry, wavy, distorted, blank, or dark areas in the center of your field of vision. As AMD progresses, these blurred areas may grow larger and objects may appear less bright or colorful. If you have difficulty reading or recognizing faces, AMD may be to blame. Though there is no known cause of AMD, some factors may increase your risk, such as: age, smoking, high cholesterol, family history of AMD, farsightedness, poor diet, and obesity.

    Treatment

    Unfortunately, there is no cure for AMD today, but some steps can be taken to delay the onset of late AMD and help patients keep their vision for longer. Some studies suggest that certain nutritional supplements can slow the progression of the disease in patients who have intermediate AMD. Precise, doctor-prescribed doses of vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, copper, lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial to some patients.

    Regular eye exams are an important tool in early diagnosis of AMD. To schedule your next exam with an experienced eye doctor, call Gerstein Eye Institute of Chicago at (773) 649-5532. You can also visit our website for more information on our services and treatments, including LASIK and cataract surgery.

    Peeking at the History of Vision Correction [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Last updated 17 days ago

    When it comes to vision correction today, you have a wide range of technologically advanced options, ranging from no-glare glasses to LASIK and cataract surgery, but it may surprise you just how far back the history of vision correction reaches. Examples of vision correction date back over one thousand years, when individuals placed spheres on top of reading materials to magnify the letters. Glasses debuted in Italy in 1284, and the first vision correction surgery was performed in 1898. Check out the history of vision correction in this infographic from Gerstein Eye Institute. We provide the very latest in cutting-edge vision correction surgeries to our patients. Please share this fascinating look at the evolution of vision correction with your family and friends. 

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    What Is LASIK Surgery?

    Last updated 23 days ago

    Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, better known as LASIK, is a popular surgical procedure for the correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It’s estimated that more than 600,000 LASIK surgeries are performed each year in the U.S.

    To learn more about LASIK vision correction, including its benefits and risks, watch this informative video from the FDA. Most patients report being satisfied with the outcome of LASIK, but this procedure is not for everyone. If you have recent changes in your eyeglasses prescription, diabetes, a medical condition that inhibits healing, or a history of eye disease, injury, or surgery, you may not be an ideal candidate. Watch the full video for complete information about what to expect from LASIK.

    At Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago, our eye surgeons are proud to offer the latest in laser vision correction technology to our patients, including custom LASIK with our state-of-the-art IntraLase FS laser and ALLEGRETTO WAVE® Eye-Q. To schedule a LASIK evaluation, please call us at (773) 649-5532 today.

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