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    The Leading Causes of Blindness in the U.S. and How You Can Beat Them

    Last updated 5 months ago

    Eyesight is one of your most valuable senses, but it’s easy to take it for granted sometimes. Unfortunately, certain eye diseases can take your vision away, which is why it’s important to visit your eye doctor on a regular basis for screenings and checkups. While risk factors such as age and heredity are uncontrollable, there are other factors you can control in order to beat the leading causes of blindness in the U.S. Read on to learn more.

    More than 22 million Americans have cataracts, which occur when the lens of the eye becomes clouded. Cataracts are very common in older adults and are the leading cause of blindness across the globe. People with mild cataracts may need to wear eyeglasses more often, while more severe cases of cataracts may require surgery. According to the National Eye Institute, approximately 1.35 million cataract operations are performed in the U.S. each year. Ask your eye doctor about the many options for cataract surgery, as advanced technology gives you the potential to correct your cataracts and eliminate your need for glasses after surgery.

    About 2.2 million Americans have glaucoma, a condition that occurs when the pressure of the fluid inside the eye rises. This pressure can damage the retina and the optic nerve, resulting in loss of vision. Age, severe nearsightedness, genetics, and diabetes are all risk factors for glaucoma. Early detection is essential in preventing glaucoma from causing vision loss, so be sure to talk to your eye doctor about your health history and get screened regularly.

    Macular Degeneration
    Macular degeneration affects the macula, which is the part of the eye that lets you see details when you are driving, reading, watching television, and the like. It can affect your ability to perform everyday tasks and may develop without you even realizing it. Regular eye exams will help detect the disease so you can get started on treatment right away.

    Gerstein Eye Institute is dedicated to helping our Chicago-area patients preserve their vision for as long as possible. Call us at (773) 649-5532 to learn about our treatment options for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other causes of blindness. We have been committed to our patients’ wellbeing since our founding in 1968. 

    Examining Diabetic Eye Disease

    Last updated 5 months ago

    Diabetes is a serious disease that can affect the blood vessels in your eyes. To understand more about diabetic eye disease, watch this brief and informative video.

    Vision loss is an unfortunately common risk associated with diabetes. As diabetes affects the blood vessels in the eyes, it can lead to diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases. If you have diabetes, it is very important to visit your eye doctor at least once a year to be screened for eye diseases. Early forms of many diseases are only detectable through an eye exam with your doctor.

    To learn more about detecting and treating diabetic eye disease, call Gerstein Eye Institute at (773) 649-5532. We offer general eye care and specialty services such as LASIK and cataract surgery to help you continue to see your best. Visit our website to learn more about our Chicago practice. 

    How CareCredit Can Help You Pay for Your LASIK Procedure

    Last updated 5 months ago

    Clear vision is something that most people want, but not everyone is lucky enough to have perfect eyesight. If you want to reduce your dependency on glasses and contact lenses, LASIK surgery may be a good option for you. Talk to your eye doctor at Gerstein Eye Institute to find out how LASIK works and what benefits it can provide. During your conversation with your eye doctor, you should also discuss payment options for LASIK. Keep reading to learn about CareCredit and how it can help you pay for LASIK.

    The Basics of CareCredit
    CareCredit is a credit card that’s different from your regular bank-issued credit cards. It offers special financing options to help you pay for healthcare procedures, such as LASIK, and can help you avoid paying interest as you would with a regular bank card. CareCredit is designed to help you make purchases of all amounts for health, beauty, and wellness procedures. Different special financing options are available at different healthcare providers, so be sure to talk to your eye doctor about which ones work for your LASIK procedure.

    Types of Payment Options
    CareCredit understands that healthcare comes with a price, which is why they offer a variety of payment options so you can get the care you need today. For purchases of $200 and more, CareCredit offers 6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-month plans that allow you to avoid paying interest altogether. All you need to do is meet your minimum monthly payments and pay the full balance by the end of the promotional period. For people with higher fees, CareCredit offers longer payment terms with reduced, fixed-rate interest.

    Reasons to Choose CareCredit
    CareCredit is a good option for patients both with and without health insurance. It helps you pay the out-of-pocket fees that insurance does not cover and gives you the payment flexibility you need to stay on top of your finances.

    CareCredit credit cards can be used at over 150,000 healthcare providers across the country, including Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago. Call Gerstein Eye Institute at (773) 649-5532 to inquire about using CareCredit to pay for your LASIK procedure. Great vision is just a phone call away! 

    What to Do If You Get Conjunctivitis

    Last updated 5 months ago

    Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as “pink eye,” is an uncomfortable and highly contagious condition. Common symptoms of conjunctivitis include itchy eyes, swelling of the eyelid, and a yellowish discharge. Because conjunctivitis is so highly contagious, it is important to seek treatment at the first signs of infection.

    Your eye doctor will evaluate you and prescribe antibiotic drops or other medications that can help to clear the infection rather quickly. If you have conjunctivitis, you should try to touch your eyes as little as possible. Should you touch your eyes, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly to avoid contaminating objects around your house. You may need to stay home from school or work initially as well. If you do not see an improvement in your symptoms, a second visit to your eye doctor may be in order.

    Untreated conjunctivitis can lead to complications such as infections in the cornea, tear ducts, and eyelids. Don’t take any chances if you think you might have pink eye. Call Gerstein Eye Institute of Chicago at (773) 649-5532 to make an appointment to have your conjunctivitis treated. 

    Understanding the Link between Obesity and Vision Problems

    Last updated 6 months ago

    Good vision is something that some people take for granted and can be affected by overall health. It may sound surprising, but research has shown that there is a link between obesity and vision problems. According to one USA Today article, the number of Americans who suffer from uncorrectable vision loss rose by 21% in just six years. This increase may be partially due to the rise in type 2 diabetes, which is in turn linked to obesity. Keep reading to learn more about eye health and obesity.

    Non-Refractive Vision Problems
    Nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism are all considered refractive errors. While these are frequently easily correctable with glasses and contact lenses, other vision problems such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts cannot be treated this way. These non-refractive vision problems are frequently caused by underlying diseases and are more common in older adults. However, diabetes-related eye diseases are occurring more often in younger people, indicating that there is a strong link between obesity-related diabetes and vision problems. Family history can also play a large role in developing these diseases, so it’s important to visit your eye doctor regularly no matter what your weight is.

    The Rise of Type 2 Diabetes
    Approximately 27 million Americans have diabetes, and as many as 80 million have “pre-diabetes,” indicating that they are at a higher risk of developing the disease. Type 2 diabetes can be caused by genetics and environmental factors, and being overweight greatly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Complications with diabetes include kidney failure, amputation, and blindness. When a person has uncontrolled diabetes, tiny blood vessels around the retina can become damaged and leak blood. This condition, known as diabetic retinopathy, can cause swelling, detached retinas, and other vision problems. People who are obese or have diabetes can reduce their risk of vision problems by losing weight, managing their disease, and visiting their eye doctor on a regular basis.

    Obesity can pose a serious threat to your overall health, including the health of your eyes. Contact Gerstein Eye Institute at (773) 649-5532 to schedule an appointment with one of our expert eye doctors to discuss your vision health. We have been serving the Chicago area since 1968.

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