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    Answering Common Questions about Dry Eyes

    Last updated 3 months 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 4 months 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 4 months 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.

    How Radiation Exposure Can Lead to Cataracts

    Last updated 4 months ago

    You probably know that the sun’s rays can damage your skin and even lead to cancer. Did you also know that UV radiation can damage your eyes? Short-term exposure to UV rays can result in something known as photokeratitis, which may be painful and produce red, itchy, sensitive eyes. This is temporary, however, and doesn’t normally lead to long-term damage. However, long-term exposure to UV rays over many years can increase your chances of developing cataracts, and can damage the retina as well. To minimize your risk of experiencing eye damage and cataracts caused by UV radiation, always wear sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. People who spend a good deal of time in the outdoors skiing, climbing, or at the beach should be especially aware of the damage the sun can do to their eyes. 

    If you have noticed any changes in your vision or if it’s just been a while since you’ve seen your eye doctor, contact Gerstein Eye Institute at (773) 649-5532 to make an appointment. We have been serving our Chicago-area patients with high-quality and compassionate eye care since we first opened our doors in 1968.

    What to Expect During LASIK surgery

    Last updated 4 months ago

    Are you tired of having to rely on glasses and contact lenses to get through the day? Do you wish you could wake up in the morning and see everything clearly? If so, it might be time to talk to your eye doctor about LASIK surgery. LASIK is a procedure that can eliminate your dependence on visual assistance, so you can look and see your best without help. LASIK technology has advanced over the years, and can now be completed without the use of any blades. Keep reading to learn what you can expect from LASIK surgery. 

    Preparing for the Procedure

    If you are planning to undergo LASIK surgery, you’ll have to start preparing a few weeks in advance. You and your eye doctor will go through a preliminary examination to make sure you are a good candidate for the procedure. If you wear soft contact lenses, you’ll need to stop wearing them for about two weeks before your exam. This is because contact lenses can temporarily change the shape of your corneas, and they need to return to their natural shape for an accurate examination. The day before your procedure, you should stop using any makeup or lotions around your eyes, as they could increase the risk of infection after LASIK surgery.

    During the Procedure

    Now that you and your doctor have determined that LASIK is right for you, you’re almost ready to undergo the procedure. Make sure you have a ride to and from your doctor’s office. The surgery itself should take only about 30 minutes, and your eyes will be numbed so that you feel only a slight pressure. The actual reshaping of the cornea takes less than one minute, and with the latest in laser technology, the procedure is incredibly precise.

    Recovering from the Procedure

    You may experience some discomfort following your surgery, but thanks to bladeless technologies, the recovery period is shorter than ever before. Be careful not to rub your eyes, even if they feel itchy, as this could result in the need for further treatment.

    You’ve waited long enough to have better vision. Call Gerstein Eye Institute of Chicago today at (773) 649-5532 to begin your journey towards better eyesight. The only things you have to lose are your glasses and contact lenses!

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