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    Understanding the Link between Obesity and Vision Problems

    Last updated 10 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.

    What Happens to an Eye Affected by Macular Degeneration?

    Last updated 10 months ago

    Macular degeneration is a serious condition that can interfere with your central vision. Take a look at this video to learn more about what happens due to macular degeneration and some of the treatments used to address the problem.

    The macula is the center part of the retina, located at the back of the eye. If the macula begins to break down, it can lead to blurry vision close up and at a distance. It can also cause distortion in your central vision or lead to dark areas when you try to focus. While age is the most common cause of macular degeneration, its risk can be slightly lowered by healthy living, antioxidant vitamins, and laser treatment when necessary.

    Call Gerstein Eye Institute at (773) 649-5532 to learn more about macular degeneration and how we can help you lower your risk of vision loss. We are one of the leading eye centers in Illinois, and we have performed over 20,000 procedures to help people just like you see their best. 

    Answers to Your Visian ICL Frequently Asked Questions

    Last updated 11 months ago

    For many years, individuals suffering from nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism have had their eyesight issues corrected with LASIK surgery. In some circumstances, however, eye surgeons cannot perform LASIK for vision correction. For instance, some people have corneas that are too thin to undergo the reshaping process that LASIK surgery entails. Other people may have additional ocular problems, such as dry eye syndrome, that prevent them from getting such a procedure. Thanks to the advancements in vision correction, these individuals can now benefit from Visian ICL.

    What is Visian ICL?
    People with refractive errors who cannot get LASIK likely have to wear contact lenses, which can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. Contacts often contribute to dry eye issues, and must receive daily cleaning to prevent additional eye irritation. Visian ICL is an implantable contact lens that eliminates the need for removable vision correction devices.

    How does Visian ICL work?
    Like LASIK surgery, the Visian ICL procedure requires very little pre-surgery preparation or postoperative downtime. Patients typically arrive for their treatment and leave after receiving it in an hour or less. No change is made to the eyes other than the insertion of the intraocular lenses in front of those of the natural eye. Once in place, these artificial yet organically compatible lenses help correct eyesight problems.

    Who is a candidate for Visian ICL?
    Individuals with myopia, or nearsightedness, should speak to their eye doctors about Visian ICL, as they are the best candidates for this procedure. With a single appointment to the eye doctor, someone who has been relying on contact lenses for years can have the opportunity to enjoy clear vision without ever again needing contacts or glasses.

    Gerstein Eye Institute is delighted to offer Visian ICL for patients in the Chicago, Skokie, and Evanston communities. If you would like to learn more about this procedure, call (773) 649-5532. You can also visit our website for more information on our other vision correction procedures, including LASIK and cataract surgery. 

    What Are Floaters and Flashers?

    Last updated 11 months ago

    Do you on occasion experience flashes of light or spots in your vision? If so, you may have what eye doctors call flashers or floaters. Both conditions stem from a change in the composition of the eye’s interior. The vitreous humor is a substance that makes up a primary part of the eye. Healthy eyes have vitreous humor to which the retinas are attached. Eyes that are injured or aged may experience circumstances where the vitreous humor detaches from the retina. As it does, a person may think he sees flashes of light. This substance may also begin to separate its interior components, which are made up mainly of water and proteins. This separation may account for the spots a person sees.

    Don’t let floaters or flashers disrupt your vision. Gerstein Eye Institute can perform a comprehensive examination of your eyes to determine both the cause of and solution to your eyesight issues. Call (773) 973-3223 to schedule an appointment at our Chicago location. 

    The Link Between Cataract Prevention and Proper Nutrition

    Last updated 11 months ago

    As with many medical ailments, the onset of cataracts depends on a number of controllable and uncontrollable conditions. Age is a primary risk factor. Certain ethnicities also seem to be more susceptible to cataracts than other demographics. While you can’t help some risk factors, others are within your control. Limited sun exposure and smoking cessation can decrease your vulnerability to cataracts. Your diet can also affect your chances of getting this condition.

    Why does nutrition matter for eyesight?
    Researchers have found that specific vitamins and minerals can potentially delay or decrease cataract growth. In particular, vitamin E and vitamin C can play pivotal roles in slowing cataract formation. Both vitamins contain antioxidant properties that deter the deterioration of the eye lens in which cataracts develop.

    What foods can aid in the prevention of cataracts?
    Many medical professionals, including eye doctors, recommend a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables. Oranges are just one food with an ample amount of vitamin C; to make sure that you get enough of this vitamin in your diet, eat this citrus fruit as a snack or accompaniment to your breakfast or lunch. You can also take advantage of the vitamin C found in strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, and broccoli. To get your daily vitamin E, try including more spinach and apricots into your diet. Almonds and sunflower seeds can also give you a vitamin E boost. 

    How can individuals further protect their eyes?
    While good nutrition can greatly enhance your chances of having cataract-free vision well into your older years, regular eye doctor appointments are likewise essential to healthy eyesight. An eye doctor can detect issues long before they begin affecting your vision and recommend treatment to prevent potentially irrevocable damage to your eyes.

    Has your vision become cloudy over the last several months or years? If so, now’s the time to schedule a consultation at Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago. Call (773) 973-3223 today to learn more about our cataract surgery options. 

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