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Contact Lens Care Tips and Tricks

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Contact Lenses, Eye Health

contact lens care tips

Do you have a habit of rubbing your eyes? You could be spreading germs and increasing your risk of eye infections!

Each time we touch our eyes, we’re introducing all kinds of germs from our fingers and whatever else we’ve touched. A wide variety of microscopic organisms live on our skin. They make up an entire ecosystem referred to as “skin flora.” They aren’t all bad; some microorganisms are actually beneficial to our health. Others can cause infections or diseases if they get past the barrier of the skin, which is what makes the eyes such a convenient entry point for them. Germs stick to our skin any time we touch a surface, and they particularly become trapped under the fingernails where they can breed and spread to other surfaces.

Care and Safety of Your Contact Lenses

Taking care of contact lenses is a slightly more involved process. Contact lenses are medical devices that sit directly on the eye, so cleaning them is more about hygiene than maintenance. Here are the major points:

  • Make sure to only ever handle your contact lenses with freshly cleaned hands.
  • Never reuse contact lens solution for cleaning or storage. All it takes is one use to contaminate the solution!
  • Never use water on contact lenses (definitely never use spit!). All sources of freshwater contain microorganisms that you don’t want in your eyes.
  • Follow the packaging instructions for how frequently to replace your contacts and how long to wear them before taking them out.

Don’t cut corners on your contact lens care! Even if it saves you a little money in new bottles of contact lens solution, it could cost you an eye infection somewhere down the line. The trade-off isn’t worth it.

Contact Lens Care Tips and Tricks

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The Eye’s Defenses

The good news is that our eyes aren’t completely defenseless. Eyelashes aren’t just there to flutter at a crush, they keep out irritants. Blinking sweeps away debris that enters the eye. The tear film is a complex three-layer drainage system that keeps irritants away kind of like a moat around a castle. However, when we rub our eyes, we can create injuries to the cornea that give germs a way to get past our defenses.

Helping Protect Our Eyes from Germs

We encourage our patients to avoid frequently touching their eyes, particularly those who wear contact lenses. On occasions when you need to, such as to put in those contacts or take them out, you can minimize the risk of infection or contamination by washing your hands with soap first and keeping your fingernails trimmed. Fingernail germs are so difficult to scrub away that they’re the main reason doctors and nurses wear medical gloves! (Fake nails aren’t exempt from this problem either.)

Bring Us Your Eye Infection Concerns

If enjoyed this article about contact lens care tips and tricks or you’re ever experiencing eye symptoms like redness, itchiness, watering, tenderness, and burning, that could mean an eye infection. Schedule an appointment so that we can help you fight the infection or determine if it’s something else, and try not to rub your eyes in the meantime!

Show your eyes love by booking an appointment with our award winning team and doctors at Levin Eye Care Center!

Call or Text 219-659-3050 and give your eyes the quality care they deserve.


Know the Signs of Child Eye Problems

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Child and Pediatric Care, Eye Health, Vision Therapy

Child Eye Problems Solved Levin Eye Care Center

Understand Why Child Eye Problems Can Go Undiagnosed

Kids are much less likely than adults to recognize that the problems they’re having are because their eyes aren’t working properly. This means they can’t describe what they’re experiencing to adults. Such children will continue to struggle with an undefined obstacle. They might become distracted and fidgety, and an adult might scold them for it, which only makes things worse. All they know is they’re being scolded for not doing as well as their peers, even if they’re trying their hardest.

Healthy eyesight is hugely important to a child’s development and education.

As much as 80% of all learning is visual, and it’s estimated that more than half of childhood learning difficulties come from undiagnosed vision problems. What can parents do to ensure their kids don’t have to struggle with the social and educational disadvantages of an undiagnosed vision problem?

Vision Problems a School Nurse Might Miss

Inability of children to self-report isn’t the only reason a vision problem might go undiagnosed. Another big one is that many of them don’t receive comprehensive eye exams before starting school. School nurses will test students’ visual acuity using the big E chart, but healthy eyesight is a lot more complicated than having 20/20 vision. Here are some vision problems the school nurse will miss:

  • Astigmatism. Refractive errors that cause blurry vision but which aren’t always caught in a vision screening. Can lead to amblyopia if not treated with corrective lenses.
  • Amblyopia. Also known as “lazy eye,” this means poor vision in one eye due to astigmatism, a difference in refractive errors between the two eyes, or crossed eyes. Can result in irreversible vision loss without treatment.
  • Convergence Insufficiency. The eyes drift outward when trying to focus on up-close things, making reading and other close tasks difficult.
  • Strabismus. A misalignment of the eyes where they turn out, in, down, or up. Can be corrected by patching, special glasses, or surgery.

Signs Parents Should Watch For

Certain symptoms of child eye problems are very obvious to an observer, like an eye pointing in the wrong direction or frequent squinting. Others need more careful observation. Here are a few signs that would merit a comprehensive eye exam (though we recommend them no matter what):

  • Frequent blinking and eye rubbing
  • Short attention span, especially for close work
  • Difficulty with reading or avoidance of it
  • Frequent headaches
  • Habit of covering one eye
  • Habit of tilting the head to the side
  • Tendency to hold reading materials very close to their face
  • Difficulty remembering what they just read
  • Tendency to lose their place while reading

Why Wait to Schedule Your Child’s Eye Exam?

Every parent wants to give their child the best chance in life, and making sure they don’t have an eye problem that could interfere with their education and development is a big part of that — and one many parents have no way of knowing about! To learn more about eye problems that often go undiagnosed in children, please give us a call!

Healthy eyesight is crucial for a lifelong love of learning!

Protect Your Vision From Aging With These Eye Care Tips!

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

Protect your vision from aging Levin Eye Care Center

The majority of people will experience changes to their eyesight as they age.

It’s essential to stay on the watch for signs of age-related vision loss the older we get. As eye health professionals, one of our priorities is making sure our patients are informed so that they both know what to expect and can minimize any risks they may have.

Common Age-Related Vision Changes

These are some of the most common vision changes associated with age:

  • Needing more light to see by. As we get older, we often need more light to see by, so you might start needing a few more work lamps and reading lights in your life.
  • Greater difficulty seeing to read and do close work. Over time, the lenses in our eyes can become less flexible, making it harder to focus on close-up things. This is called presbyopia.
  • Increased sensitivity to glare. This can be particularly difficult while driving.
  • Slight changes in color perception. The clear lens in the eye can discolor, distorting the colors we see somewhat.
  • Reduced tear production. Having enough tears is essential for keeping your eyes healthy and for maintaining clear vision.

Age-Related Sight-Threatening Conditions

The above changes can be frustrating and things like presbyopia and dry eye can be treated with reading glasses and eye drops, but there are also more serious vision problems associated with age, such as glaucoma, retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and cataracts.

Many of these eye conditions can be treated, delayed, or even reversed, and improvements in technology and science may lead to even better prognoses in the future. Early detection is critical, which is why regular eye exams are so important as we get older.

Protect Your Vision From Aging

In between your eye exams, there’s a lot you can do to promote your healthy vision. Below are some tips and tricks.

  • Stay active, eat healthy, and don’t smoke: These will all reduce your chances of developing sight-threatening conditions, not to mention what they can do for your overall health! Just make sure to also wear UV-blocking sunglasses when you’re out in the sun!
  • Get the right amount of sleep: A lack of shut-eye can play havoc with our eye health. Sleep is the time when fluids distribute and hydrate your eyes, rejuvenating them for the next day.
  • Give your eyes a break: follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds focusing on something at least 20 feet away. Your eyes will thank you!
  • Practice healthy eye hygiene: Remove make up each day by Cleaning and lightly massage your lids with a washcloth and baby shampoo. We offer FSA/HSA Eligible pre-moistened lid scrubs made by OCuSOFT.
  • Keep your eyes hydrated and moisturized: Drink plenty of water and use artificial tears aka lubricating eye drops if you are experiencing dry eye symptoms. Omega-3 fish oils and supplements like MaxiVision contain vitamins and minerals that will help keep your eyes moist and comfortable.

Your Lifelong Vision Health Is Our Goal!

It is impossible to overstate how important yearly eye exams are for your healthy vision. If it’s been a while since we last saw you or if you’ve noticed any changes in your vision, there’s no time like the present to schedule an appointment!

Give us a call or text us at 219-659-3050 to schedule your appointment!

What Are The Best Foods For Healthy Eyes?

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

Foods for healthy eyes levin eye care

We’ve all heard that eating carrots will give us amazing eyesight but check out these other foods for healthy eyes!

Fun fact: that idea is actually leftover World War II propaganda. The British wanted to keep their new radar technology secret from the Germans, so they claimed far and wide that their airmen got superhuman night vision by eating lots of carrots.

Whether the ruse worked or not, it’s an idea that still lives on in some form eight decades later. There’s at least one grain of truth in it, though: carrots and other nutritious foods might not give us vision-based superpowers, but they do help our eyes stay healthy.

Carrots: the Real Story

Carrots really are good for us. Like other yellow and orange vegetables and leafy greens, carrots are a great source of vitamin A. The color comes from beta-carotene, which our intestines use to make vitamin A. Our eyes use this vitamin to convert light into brainwaves and keep our corneas (the clear layer over the front of the eye) strong. Vitamin A deficiency leads to blindness in as many as half a million children every year.

Oranges and Sweet Potatoes

We need antioxidants like vitamins C and E to stay healthy. For eye health, vitamin C lowers the risk of developing cataracts and may slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We can get plenty of vitamin C by eating citrus fruit like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons. We need vitamin E to protect our eyes from “free radicals” (molecules that disrupt healthy tissue), and sweet potatoes and nuts are great sources of vitamin E.

Leafy Greens and Eggs

Studies have shown that getting plenty of the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin correlates with a lowered risk of chronic eye diseases like cataracts and AMD. Eggs and leafy greens are the best sources of these nutrients.

Fish and Oysters

We need plenty of omega-3 fatty acids for good brain function and a healthy immune system, and research shows that they also help with visual development and retinal function. There’s no better source of omega-3 fatty acids than fish.

Oysters, meanwhile, are a great source of zinc. Zinc acts as a vehicle that gets vitamin A from our livers to our retinas. A vitamin A-rich diet is useless if there isn’t any zinc to go with it. If you aren’t a fan of oysters, there are smaller amounts of zinc in nuts, beans, and meat.

Being Proactive About Eye Health Means More Than Nutrition

No matter how many great nutrients we consume for the sake of good eye health, eating right is no substitute for regular eye exams. Eye problems can happen for a variety of reasons unrelated to poor nutrition, and that’s where the optometrist comes in. We can detect problems in the early stages and begin treatment or intervention.
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We love helping our parents maintain good eye health for life!


Vision Therapy Corrects Lazy Eye!

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Child and Pediatric Care, Eye Health, Vision Therapy

Maddie was experiencing challenges in school because of the visual condition amblyopia commonly know as lazy eye. Her right eye showed signs of suppression and blurred vision and not working with her left eye. Even though previous doctors did not recognize this condition, her mother wanted a second opinion. She found Levin Eye Care Center because of their success with HTS vision therapy in correcting amblyopia related difficulties without surgery.

Since completing the Vision Therapy program at Levin Eye Care Center, Maddie is more confident in school and displays improved ocular motor skills. Also, she is less frustrated, and able to read at a grade level above her current placement. Comfortable vision is critical to a child’s academic development and maturity. Our in office program combined with HTS Vision Therapy yields amazing progress and enables patients to maintain their gains longer.

Maddie Now Exhibits:

  • Improved balance and hand-eye coordination
  • Lazy Eye Corrected (Amblyopia)
  • Improved Ocular motor skills when reading
  • Uses both eyes together
  • Reads above grade level

If these symptoms sound familiar, either for you or a child in your life, we can help! Call or text us at 219-659-3050 to schedule an appointment today!

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Give your child the academic advantage with our Vision Therapy program!

A Vision Therapy Program At Home And In Office Produce Massive Results!

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Child and Pediatric Care, Eye Health, Vision Therapy

vision therapy exercises at home

Ian was experiencing academic challenges in school with writing, spelling reading, and doing school assignments. He had trouble with focusing at near and external stimuli were overwhelming his senses. His teachers thought that he was experiencing symptoms of dyslexia. However, several of his family friends recommended the Vision Therapy Program at Levin Eye Care Center because of their success in correcting these difficulties with Vision Therapy.

Since enrolling in Vision Therapy, Ian now enjoys reading longer and has more patience when learning.

Ian Now Exhibits:

  • Increased patience when doing schoolwork
  • Improved Ocular motor skills when reading
  • Improved focus when reading
  • Enhanced depth perception
  • Greater confidence and a better attitude in school

Since completing the Vision Therapy program at Levin Eye Care Center, Ian is more confident in school and displays a positive attitude. Also, Ian is less frustrated, able to control his emotions better, and enjoys more quality time with his family. Comfortable vision is critical to a child’s development and an office and home Vision Therapy program give the best results.

If these symptoms sound familiar, either for you or a child in your life, we can help! Call or text us at 219-659-3050 to schedule an appointment today!

Is Blue Light Bad for Our Eyes?

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Child and Pediatric Care, Eye Health, Vision Therapy

Is Blue Light Bad for Our Eyes Levin eye care center

How big of a role does a bright screen play in your nightly routine?

Since the advent of handheld devices that could access the internet, a lot of us have been browsing websites late into the night, our eyes glued to a bright little screen, making sure we haven’t missed any updates before we go to sleep. As optometrists, we can’t endorse this bedtime ritual. Screens emit a lot of blue light, which affects both our internal clocks and our eye health.

The Physics of Visible Light

The range of colors we can see is known as the visible light spectrum, a tiny sliver of the electromagnetic spectrum. Red light is the lowest energy light we can see and violet light is the highest. Below red light is infrared and above violet light is ultraviolet radiation. (Fun fact: the reason the sky and ocean appear blue to us is that blue light scatters more easily than other colors.)

The Impact of Artificial Light on Our Internal Clock

No matter how tech-savvy we are, we can’t change the biology of our eyes. Across all of human history, it’s only been in recent decades that blue light came from anywhere besides the sun. Blue light signals our brains that it’s daytime and we should be awake. When we look at our screens late into the evening, we effectively trick our brains into thinking it’s not bedtime yet.

Turn Off the Blue Lights Before Bed

If you’ve noticed that you don’t feel tired until very late at night or that you struggle to fall asleep once you’re in bed, late-night screen usage probably isn’t helping. We recommend either putting the screens away at least an hour before bed or checking out different screen settings that can reduce the blue light after sundown. This tiny change makes a big difference in quality of sleep as well as your eye health!

When the sun goes down, it signals our bodies that it’s time to sleep. Biologically, we aren’t used to the concept of artificial light, which can be a problem when there’s so much of it around us. When we use our devices before bed, we’re beaming subconscious signals to our brains that it’s not time to sleep yet. Our brains respond by suppressing the release of melatonin, an important neurotransmitter that helps us sleep.

The result is that it takes us longer to fall asleep than it would otherwise and lowers our overall quality of sleep, which feeds into all the negative health effects of sleep deprivation. A great way to avoid all these sleep issues is to simply put our devices away in the hour before we go to sleep. In cases where that isn’t possible, use the night mode function to cut out the blue light.

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Is Blue Light Bad for Eye Health?

Blue light is so close to UV radiation on the electromagnetic spectrum, many optometrists are concerned that it could be similarly harmful to our eyes, potentially increasing the risk of conditions like age-related macular degeneration.

A more immediate concern from blue light exposure is digital eye strain. After hours and hours of looking at a bright screen, our eyes might ache or struggle to focus, and we can even get headaches. Computer glasses and screen filters help make screens easier to look at, but a great trick is the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break to focus on an object 20 feet away.

We Can Answer Your Questions About Blue Light

If you’ve been experiencing symptoms of eye strain and want recommendations or you have other questions about how blue light can impact eye health, we’d love to discuss it with you at our practice! We want all of our patients to have the information they need to keep their eyes healthy.

Give us a call or text 219-659-3050 if you are experiencing negative effects from screen time.  Schedule your appointment today!

Learn About Child Vision Development

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Child and Pediatric Care, Eye Health, Vision Therapy

Child Vision Development Levin Eye Care Center

Did you know that babies have to learn how to see?

It might seem strange, since using our eyes is something we do automatically all day, but babies need to develop a number of visual skills in order to effectively use their eyes and process what they’re seeing, just like they have to learn how to walk and talk. Parents can be a big help to the child vision development process, particularly by choosing age-appropriate toys.

What a Baby Sees in the First Six Months

An infant’s world is made up of light, shadow, and blurry shapes. They can only effectively focus on things 8-15 inches away — coincidentally the perfect distance to see the face of the person holding them! Over time, they begin to see things more clearly and sharply, and parents can help in several ways:

  • Fill their surroundings with color. It takes a few weeks before a baby’s color vision starts to develop, and once it does, they won’t be able to get enough of bright, pretty colors. That’s why they enjoy mobiles.
  • Help them get used to tracking movement with their eyes by moving objects in front of them.
  • Play peek-a-boo. This isn’t only to make them laugh (even though that already makes it worth doing); it’s a great way of giving them practice focusing their eyes.

The Dramatic Progress in Months 6-12

Hand-eye coordination begins to develop around month six, and parents can help by keeping Baby well supplied with colorful objects to grab and play with. Crawling also helps them learn coordination (which does sometimes come at the price of some bumps on the noggin, since they haven’t learned that their heads don’t stop at their eyes yet).

Months 6-12 are when your baby will get bored of peek-a-boo. The reason they love peek-a-boo so much in the early months is that they don’t understand object permanence yet, so it looks like magic to them, but eventually they figure out the trick: Mom and Dad aren’t blinking out of existence when they’re out of sight, they’re just hiding behind their hands! At this point, you can change the game and start hiding toys under a blanket and challenging them to find them.

Toddlerhood and Advanced Visual Skills

Toddlers gain a lot of coordination when they learn to walk, and playing with balls helps too. Comprehension and balance are big factors in a toddler’s visual skills. When they begin talking, they start putting names to the objects they see, and around age two, they might discover burgeoning artistic talent. Make sure they have access to paper and crayons! Big, interlocking blocks or wooden blocks are also great for toddlers.

Early Childhood Eye Exams

As important as it is to provide the right types of toys and play the right games with your baby, eye exams are critical to the child vision development process. Babies and toddlers lack the words and understanding to communicate to us if something is wrong with their eyesight, so more than anyone else, they need an eye doctor to check for them. This is why we recommend scheduling the first eye exam at six months and another around their third birthday.

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Let’s get your child started on a life of healthy vision together!

Call or Text 219-659-3050 to book your comprehensive eye exam today with our award winning team!

Completing vision therapy brings success!

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Child and Pediatric Care, Vision Therapy

Completing Vision Therapy at Levin Eye Care Center

Completing vision therapy has accelerated Tommy’s path to success

Tommy was experiencing trouble in school with focus, reading and playing sports but even with aid from teachers, it was not enough to get him to the levels required for success.

Since enrolling Tommy in Vision Therapy, he can now locate words and perform visual tasks successfully with improved motor skills. Tommy can now cross the midline after completing vision therapy at Levin Eye Care Center. When we move our arm or leg across the middle of our body to perform a task this is crossing the midline.

Tommy Improved:

  • Ocular motor skills
  • Speed completing schoolwork
  • Better focus when playing sports and in school
  • Better depth perception
  • Improved grades

After completing Vision Therapy at Levin Eye Care Center, Tommy can move his eyes without moving his body and maintain his focus for longer times. Corrected vision is critical to a child’s development, learning processes, and athletics. Tommy’s family made the investment in their child’s future with vision therapy and it will pay off tenfold as he grows into an adult.

If you have a child or adult who has any of these symptoms, we can help! Call or text us at 219-659-3050 to schedule an appointment today!

Dry Eye Syndrome Could Be The Reason For Your Headaches

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health, Uncategorized

Dry Eye syndrome Levin Eye Care Center.

Frequent headaches could be a symptom of an uncorrected vision problem or dry eye syndrome! That’s right, if you experience a lot of headaches, it would be worth your time to schedule an eye exam.

Digital Eye Strain and Headaches

Thanks to modern technology, we spend hours a day looking at bright screens, and a common price we pay for these fabulous conveniences is digital eye strain. Typical symptoms include blurred vision, tired and aching eyes, difficulty focusing, and — you guessed it — frequent headaches.

Eye strain doesn’t have to come from screens, either. A vision problem like hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (age-related farsightedness), or astigmatism puts a lot of strain on the eye as it attempts to compensate. With astigmatism, the cornea is shaped abnormally, so it bends light in ways it shouldn’t, leading to a lot of squinting. That alone can sometimes contribute to headaches.

With hyperopia and presbyopia, the lens of the eye focuses images a bit behind the retina instead of right against it, which makes nearby objects look blurry. Trying to read small print quickly turns into a headache, sometimes literally. The older we get, the less flexible the lenses in our eyes become and this can happen to people who never needed glasses earlier in life.

The 20-20-20 rule can help Dry Eye and Digital Eye Strain!

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Eye Problems Can Be a Headache for Kids Too

Kids with undiagnosed vision problems are as susceptible to frequent headaches as adults are. That’s just one of many reasons every child should have a comprehensive eye exam with a real eye doctor, not just a school nurse with a big E chart. There could be a vision problem besides basic refractive errors (like nearsightedness or farsightedness) causing them headaches, but kids wouldn’t be able to make that connection for themselves.

The Wonders of a Correct Prescription

The changes in our vision are gradual enough that they’re hard to notice. It might take months or years to really register how much harder it is to see distant details or read up close. Most people who experience headaches related to vision problems simply need an updated prescription for their glasses or contacts! This combined with treatment for dry eye syndrome can help improve patient’s quality of life and productivity at work and school.

When Headaches Are Tied to Sight-Threatening Conditions

One symptom of glaucoma (an eye disease that involves the buildup of pressure against the optic nerve, resulting in permanent vision loss) is headaches, and cataracts can also cause them. Cataracts develop as the proteins in the lens clump together, clouding the vision. Regular eye exams are essential for catching sight-threatening conditions early on.

A Dry Eye Syndrome Exam Is No Headache!

We all have busy schedules and it’s hard to find space for something like an eye appointment, but it’s worth it, especially for anyone suffering frequent headaches with no idea what’s causing them. You can cross eye problems off the list of potential causes by scheduling your next eye exam with the award-winning team at Levin Eye Care Center!

Contact Us Today!