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    Your Guide to Common Vision Conditions

    Last updated 9 months ago

    Millions of Americans are affected with vision conditions that make daily activities more difficult. If you are having trouble seeing objects up close or far away, or suffer from blurry vision, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to find out if you have a refractive error. For a better understanding of common vision problems, consider this helpful overview:


    Nearsightedness, or myopia, occurs when light rays focus in front of the retina. Myopia can affect the eye if the eye is either too long or has excessive focusing power. This condition generally causes distant objects to appear blurry, though patients retain clear vision of nearby objects. Though glasses can re-focus the light rays on the retina and significantly improve vision, many patients opt for laser vision correction surgery for a long-term solution.


    Also known as farsightedness, hyperopia occurs when light rays are focused behind the eye’s retina. This condition may occur either because the eye is too short or because it is unable to focus. Hyperopia causes both near and distant objects to appear blurry, and usually worsens with age. Mild to severe hyperopia may be permanently corrected with LASIK surgery, while some patients prefer glasses or contact lenses.


    Astigmatism occurs when light rays become distorted because of an excessively curved cornea. The shape of a healthy cornea is spherical; people with astigmatism have corneas that are shaped more like footballs, which causes light rays to focus at multiple points in front of or behind the retina. Astigmatism can affect near and distant vision and cause blurriness. Fortunately, this condition can be alleviated with glasses, contact lenses, or LASIK surgery.

    Here at Gerstein Eye Institute, we are dedicated to helping all of our Chicago patients find the LASIK vision procedure that is right for them. Our attentive staff can guide you through your financing options, and our experienced eye surgeons have helped countless Illinois residents achieve clear vision. If you have glaucoma, astigmatism, myopia, or cataracts, contact our full-service eye care center at (773) 973-3223.

    Qualities to Look for When Choosing a Lasik Surgeon

    Last updated 9 months ago

    For many patients, LASIK can permanently reduce reliance on irritating contact lenses and uncomfortable glasses. When you invest in a laser vision procedure, you should be sure to work with a LASIK surgeon who can guide you through each step of this innovative eye surgery. If you are looking for a LASIK surgeon, review this checklist to make sure your eye doctor is up to the task:

    Professional Credentials

    Even if your LASIK surgeon comes personally recommended by a close friend, it’s important to ask any new eye doctor about his or her training and education. Remember, your eye surgeon will be operating on a priceless possession—your vision. When you consider where to have LASIK surgery performed, ask for all certifications and inquire about professional memberships. Experienced surgeons should be able to provide testimonials from satisfied clients and point to significant teaching and research activities.

    Significant Experience

    Next, find out how much experience your eye surgeon has performing LASIK procedures. Many general eye doctors also have a surgical practice, but not every eye center has a hard-earned reputation as one of the premier LASIK providers in the state.

    Personalized Care

    Finally, be sure to select an eye surgeon you feel comfortable with. Every medical practice is different, and it’s important to personally visit each eye doctor and meet with your surgery team beforehand. Make sure you ask who will be your main contact at the office, how the LASIK screening procedure works, and who will perform follow-up examinations and aftercare. If you do not feel satisfied by the level of individual attention, look elsewhere.

    Here at Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago, we can help you secure financing for your LASIK surgery. If you live in Evanston, North Shore, or Skokie, give us a call at (773) 973-3223 or visit our website to learn more about our LASIK procedures and general eye care. Our eye surgeons also perform cataract surgery and intraocular lens insertion.

    Conjunctivitis 101

    Last updated 9 months ago

    Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, occurs when the eye’s conjunctiva become inflamed. The conjunctiva is a transparent membrane that coats the eye, protects it from environmental hazards, and provides lubrication. When this membrane attracts bacteria, it can become infected. Other causes of conjunctivitis include viruses, allergies, or irritants such as dirt, smoke, or soap. Common symptoms are itchy, swollen eyes, and a red, thickened conjunctiva. Some sufferers may also have vision troubles, or notice a green discharge from the eye. Unfortunately, the infection can be easily transmitted if an affected individual rubs her eyes and touches household items. Conjunctivitis can usually be treated by an eye doctor with antibiotics and compresses.

    Whether you have experienced pink eye symptoms, have been struggling to see up-close or far away objects, or simply need to check in with an eye doctor, contact Chicago’s Gerstein Eye Institute today. Our eye surgeons also perform LASIK and cataract surgery. Contact us at (773) 973-3223 if you have any questions about our practice.

    How Refractive Errors Impact Vision

    Last updated 9 months ago

    Has your eye doctor diagnosed you with a refractive error? As you will learn in this video, there are four kinds of refractive errors: myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia.

    Myopia, or nearsightedness, causes distant objects to appear blurred, while hyperopia, or farsightedness, causes close objects to appear blurred. Astigmatism can make both close and distant objects to appear blurred. Presbyopia usually sets in around middle age, when the eyes’ lenses become less flexible and are less able to focus on near objects.

    If you are looking for an eye doctor and surgeon in Chicago, call Gerstein Eye Institute at (773) 973-3223. Our friendly staff can guide you through our available procedures, including LASIK and cataract surgery.

    Understanding the FSA Limits for 2013

    Last updated 10 months ago

    If your employer offers a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you’ll have another excellent option for financing healthcare costs that are not covered by your insurance policy, such as LASIK procedures, glaucoma treatments, glasses and contacts or other eye surgeries. Talk to your employer’s human resources department about enrolling in an FSA and taking advantage of the tax benefits. Keep reading for an overview of how current legislation will change FSA policies in 2013.

    Contribution Limit

    Previously, there weren’t any federally imposed limits on how much you could contribute to your FSA during the year, although employers did set limits. Beginning on January 1, 2013, the IRS is now imposing a $2,500 annual contribution limit. This means that you can contribute no more than $2,500 for your LASIK surgery. In the future, the contribution limit will increase in accordance with the inflation rate. There is a loophole you may be able to take advantage of; if you’re married and your spouse also has an FSA, you could both contribute a maximum of $2,500 each to those accounts. The money may be spent toward medical expenses for any family member.

    Possible Grace Period

    One disadvantage of an FSA is that it’s a “use it or lose it” account. That is, if you do not spend the funds within that year, you forfeit the money. The IRS has been reconsidering this, but has yet to change the rule. In the meantime, ask your employer if a grace period is offered for your FSA. Some employers allow withdrawal of the funds through March 15 of the following year.

    Procedure Coverage

    In previous years, many people used up the funds in their FSA accounts by purchasing over-the-counter medical supplies. Newer rules make this impossible; you must have a prescription for covered items. However, LASIK procedures are still covered. In fact, you can use your FSA funds to cover any type of eye surgery, glasses and contacts.

    Use your FSA to fund your LASIK procedure and talk to Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago about other financing methods. Give us a call at (773) 973-3223 or visit our website for more information. We offer cataract surgery and vision correction procedures, including LASIK and intraocular lens insertion - Visian ICL.

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