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The Importance Of Dilated Eye Exams

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

The eye is an extremely amazing and unique organ. In fact, it is the only place in the body where a doctor can see part of the central nervous system—the optic nerve!

What Is A Dilated Eye Exam?

The pupil is the opening in the center of the eye. When your pupil is not dilated, it makes seeing all the way to the back of your eye difficult, limiting our ability to truly determine eye health. When dilated, the pupil widens and allows us to see much more than is possible in a normal eye exam, mainly the optic nerve, the retina, and the macula.

To perform a dilated eye exam, we use dilating eye drops that contain medication to enlarge the pupil. During the exam Dr. Levin can detect signs of eye conditions that could potentially lead to vision loss, helping us prevent and treat them as quickly as possible.

What Can Be Diagnosed With A Dilated Eye Exam?

A careful examination of the optic nerve is important for the diagnosis of glaucoma and other diseases. The diagnosis of retinal diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), would be extremely difficult without a dilated eye exam.

Other conditions found during dilated eye exams include retinal tears or detachments and ocular tumors. These exams can even help detect health conditions that affect the whole body—including diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

Who Should Get A Dilated Eye Exam?

The National Eye Institute recommends that individuals who are 60 or older have an annual, comprehensive, dilated eye exam. Studies show that African Americans have a higher risk of glaucoma, so they are recommended to seek annual comprehensive exams beginning at age 40. In addition, children should have their first comprehensive eye examination before the age of three.

What if you are considered in good health, under 40, and wondering if your eyes need a more thorough check? You may not need a comprehensive eye exam every year, however people ages 20-30 should have one every two to three years.

Ensuring Your Health Is Our Goal

Dilated eye exams are important to our vision health because many eye conditions have no early warning signs. We simply don’t know if something’s wrong unless we look. Even if your eyes are considered healthy, get a yearly eye exam and follow your optometrist’s recommendation on how often to get a comprehensive, dilated eye exam. Remember, getting an eye exam can save your vision.

At our practice, your health is our priority. We love our patients!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Image by Flickr user Nicolas Winspeare used underCreative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Do you have a family member over 60 with vision problems?

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

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As you reach your 60s and beyond, you need to be attentive to warning signs of age-related eye health problems that could cause vision loss. Many eye diseases have no early symptoms. They may develop painlessly and you may not be aware of changes to your vision until the condition is quite advanced. But wise lifestyle choices and regular eye exams can significantly improve your chances of maintaining good eye health even as you age.

Therefore, regular eye exams are even more important as you reach your senior years. The American Optometric Association recommends annual eye examinations for everyone over age 60. See your doctor of optometry immediately if you notice any changes in your vision.

Age-related Eye and Vision Problems

 

The following are some vision disorders of which you should be aware:

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease affecting the macula, the center of the light sensitive retina at the back of the eye, causing loss of central vision. Although small, the macula is the part of the retina that allows us to see fine detail and colors. Activities like reading, driving, watching TV and recognizing faces all require good central vision provided by the macula. While macular degeneration causes changes in central vision, peripheral or side vision remains unaffected.
Senior eye exam

An anuual eye exam can help catch devastating eye diseases, like glaucoma and macular degeneration, early. Early detection increases the chances of maintaining healthy vision in senior years.

  • Diabetic retinopathy is a condition occurring in people with diabetes. It is the result of progressive damage to the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. They leak blood and other fluids that cause swelling of retinal tissue and clouding of vision. The condition usually affects both eyes. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely they will develop diabetic retinopathy, which can cause blindness.
  • Retinal detachment is a tearing or separation of the retina from the underlying tissue. It can be caused by trauma to the eye or head, health problems like advanced diabetes, and inflammatory disorders of the eye. But it most often occurs spontaneously as a result of changes to the gel-like vitreous fluid that fills the back of the eye. If not treated promptly, it can cause permanent vision loss.
  • Cataracts are cloudy or opaque areas in the normally clear lens of the eye. Depending upon their size and location, they can interfere with normal vision. Usually cataracts develop in both eyes, but one may be worse than the other. Cataracts can cause a decrease in contrast sensitivity, a dulling of colors and increased sensitivity to glare.
  • Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases characterized by damage to the optic nerve resulting in vision loss. People with a family history of glaucoma, African Americans and older adults are at higher risk for developing the disease.
  • Dry eye is a condition in which there is an insufficient amount of tears or a poor quality of tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. Dry eyes are a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults.

Rehabilitation Options

Your doctor of optometry can help plan a rehabilitation program so that you may resume an independent life within your condition’s limitations. A wide variety of rehabilitation options are available to help people with low vision live and work more effectively, efficiently, and safely. Most people can be helped with one or more low vision treatment options. The more commonly prescribed devices are:

  • Spectacle-mounted magnifiers — A magnifying lens is mounted in spectacles (this type of system is called a microscope) or on a special headband. This allows use of both hands to complete a close-up task, such as writing a letter.
  • Hand-held or spectacle-mounted telescopes — These miniature telescopes are useful for seeing longer distances, such as across the room to watch television, and can also be modified for near (reading) tasks.
  • Hand-held and stand magnifiers — These are convenient for short-term reading of things such as price tags, labels, and instrument dials. Both types can be equipped with lights.
  • Video magnification — Table-top (closed-circuit television) or head-mounted systems enlarge reading material on a video display. Some systems can be used for distance views tasks. These are portable systems, and those that can be used with a computer or monitor. Image brightness, image size, contrast, and foreground/background color and illumination can be customized.

Read the full article HERE via www.aoa.org

Looking for New Glasses or Sunglasses? Quality Matters

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

When it comes to buying something as important as glasses or contact lenses, make sure you get them from the right source.

While there are online options available, we’re here to tell you that there are important benefits to ordering from the experts!

We Provide More Options In Style, Fit And Brands

Finding the right frames for you is important to us. That’s why we carry a variety of brands and styles that can satisfy everyone’s unique fashion sense! We know quality matters and thats why our frame collections are crafted with long-lasting materials so you get the premium product you deserve.

Looking good isn’t the only objective when picking out a pair of frames. We also make sure your frames have a completely customized fit for optimum comfort! Our expert optical staff is trained to help assist you in finding frames that fit your face perfectly. We’re happy to assist you in making any adjustments to achieve that perfect fit!

We Ensure Prescription Accuracy

Getting an accurate prescription is absolutely essential for your comfort! When fitting you for glasses, one of the important measurements that we take is the PD, or pupillary distance. This measurement helps us determine where to place the center of each lens in your frames to completely customize the optics to your eyes. Determining the correct location for the bifocal, trifocal, or multifocal lens is also very complex and is best done by a trained professional!

The Health Of Your Eyes Is Our Priority

In 2011, the American Optometric Association published a study showing the drawbacks of ordering eyeglasses online. Out of 200 glasses ordered online:

  • Only 154 pairs were received
  • 44.8 percent had incorrect prescriptions or safety issues
  • 29 percent had at least one lens fail to meet required prescription
  • 19 percent of adult lenses and 25 percent of children’s lenses failed impact resistance testing

Similar issues have been found when buying contact lenses online. In fact, many of these purchases are made without a valid prescription, especially when buying decorative lenses. Whether your contacts are decorative or for vision correction, all contact lenses need to be properly fitted and prescribed by an eye doctor.

We Care About Our Patients

We understand the importance of finding the perfect frames to suit your unique lifestyle. The looks you choose are an expression of who you are! While it may be tempting to buy online, it’s important not to compromise safety or quality for perceived convenience. When you buy your glasses at our office, you’re guaranteed safe, high-quality products that last and backed by a one year warranty!

Thank you for your continued trust and loyalty!

Transitions Lenses Adapt To Your Lifestyle

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

Our surroundings are constantly changing. Whether you’re inside reading a book or outside exploring a local farmer’s market, you deserve lenses that adjust to your environment and your lifestyle.

Transitions® lenses automatically adjust to the lighting around you, giving you optimal vision and protection. By adapting to ever-changing lighting conditions, Transitions lenses reduce eye fatigue, eye strain, and the effects of harmful UV rays.

Transitions Help You See Your Best No Matter Where You Are

Transition lenses offer the flexibility and convenience of changing from clear indoors to dark outdoors. All of our frames and lenses come with a 1 year warranty! 

You Can Try Transitions Today

Click this link to see what having Transitions would be like!

If you would like to learn more about Transitions lenses give us a call! We can help you find the right lenses for your lifestyle.

Thank you for continuing to place your trust in our practice!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

 

Eye Turn and Lazy Eye cured with Vision Therapy

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Vision Therapy

Vision Therapy Eye Turn Levin Eye Care

 

 

 

 

 

Learn how Vision Therapy helps with Eye Turn and Lazy Eye

Since doing vision therapy the Cook sisters have seen large improvements in confidence, reading, math, comprehension, and writing abilities. Learn why they trust Levin Eye Care Center with their vision and how it has helped with their daughters. Their mother could see early success with Mary Rose in our vision therapy program that she enrolled her daughter Olivia in Vision Therapy too.

Dr. Steven A. Levin has over 45 years of experience with vision therapy and has helped countless patients with learning related vision problems, eye turns, lazy eye and tracking problems.

Vision therapy can help with learning-related vision problems

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Vision Therapy

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There is help for children having visual difficulties that cannot be managed fully with eyeglasses or contact lenses. It’s a specialty of Dr. Steven A. Levin, a National Optometrist of the Year Recipient who has treated thousands of children during his 37 years of practice.

The Levin Eye Care Center in Whiting offers a Vision Therapy program designed to identify hidden learning-related vision problems. Dr. Levin, who is also a recipient of the Indiana Optometrist of the Year award, answers a few questions about vision therapy.

Q: What is vision therapy?

It is the neurological re-education of the visual system in order to improve and enhance it. Most cases we see are children not living up to their potential academically or they’re having reading, comprehension and learning problems. There are also cases where their eyes are turning in or turning out—they can’t use both eyes together. We can align those eyes through therapy. To get a good functional vision you want to be able to use both eyes at the same time.

Q: How does a child qualify for the therapy and what are some symptoms that show a need for this treatment?

A lot of children we see come in with symptoms that include having a difficult time in school. The teachers have noticed tracking difficulties and the child is not able to focus. The child could be skipping lines when they read or omitting words or reversing letters and words. A child comes in for a full comprehension evaluation, and based on that, we go through some other testing—something we call a developmental vision evaluation. We look at the entire visual system. You have to understand that 80 percent of what we learn in the classroom comes from the visional system and 80 percent of that comes from doing close work.

What we have to do is look at this visual system and how the child is bringing information into it. We look at how it’s being received. The brain has to organize and interpret this information and then it sends it out to other areas of the brain that we use, like visual memory, hand-eye coordination, handwriting and things like that. This information modifies information coming back in again so you have a continuous loop.

Q: What are the benefits of vision therapy? 

Once you reorganize the visual system, what you notice is they start doing much better academically. What we see with our children when they go with therapy is their life skills change and they develop more confidence. They’re happier and the frustration goes down. The parents are happier and so are the siblings, because now they’re getting as much attention as that child. Many times the child becomes more social. These kinds of vision problems for a child affect the entire family, and when you are able to help the child, then you’re also helping the family and things get better for everyone.

Q: Is vision therapy something children undergo at the office only?

It’s usually an office program about once or twice a week. Usually a session runs an hour and then they’re given home therapy to do, which is about four to five times a week.

Q: What else would you like to tell parents about vision therapy and children?

You want to keep an eye on their development and how they keep up academically with the rest of the class. Parents usually have a pretty good idea of what their child’s potential could be. If a teacher or a parent just has a gut feeling that there is something going on, it’s time to bring them in for an evaluation. With the demands children have academically in our society, it’s very important you give them every chance to succeed.

Q: What is it like to help children with eye care?

The most satisfying part of my practice is when a child comes up and hugs me. It keeps me going every day. There’s no better satisfaction than when you’ve changed a child’s life.

Originally published at www.nwitimes.com

DO YOU HAVE CHRONIC HEADACHES? Find out why…

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

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Are you suffering from headaches? You may want to ask yourself when your last eye exam was!

If you have undetected or uncorrected vision problems, you may be suffering from headaches needlessly.

Headaches Can Be Caused By Eyestrain

A routine eye exam can uncover a variety of issues that may be causing headaches.While most headaches aren’t necessarily caused by vision problems, it is important to get your eyes checked on a regular basis to make sure.

Eyestrain is caused when the small muscles of the eye are forced to work harder than normal. This can result in tired, aching eyes, blurred vision and frequent or chronic headaches. Eyestrain associated with headaches can be caused by a number of things such as:

  • Astigmatism: the cornea is not a normal shape. This causes people to squint in order to focus their vision which can lead to headaches.
  • Hyperopia: also known as farsightedness, the eye focuses images behind the retina instead of directly on it, causing blurred vision, eyestrain and headaches.
  • Presbyopia: this occurs as the lens becomes hard and inflexible with age. Lens hardening makes it more difficult to focus, causing sore eyes and, you guessed it, headaches.

It’s important to remember that most eye conditions can be corrected with prescription glasses or contact lenses. In addition, those who already wear prescription glasses or lenses and get headaches may not be aware that their eyes have changed over time. Many people simply need their prescription updated.

Whatever the case, if your headaches are a result of vision problems such as the above mentioned, relief is in sight. All it takes is a visit to your eye care professional!

More Serious Issues Can Be At The Root Of The Problem

Glaucoma has also been known to cause headaches. Glaucoma is an eye disease characterized by a buildup of fluid in the eye, causing increased internal eye pressure. This pressure may lead to severe headaches in some cases.

People with cataracts may also suffer from headaches. As cataracts develop, usually due to age, the lens of the eye becomes clouded and the person’s ability to see is slowly diminished. As vision becomes limited, the eye works harder to see and focus, often causing eyestrain and head pain.

Get Your Eyes Checked

If you’re in doubt about the cause of your headaches, a good place to start is at your optometrist’s office! Because our eyes naturally compensate for vision problems to a certain degree, some issues may affect us without us realizing it. For this reason, many people often fail to link headaches to problems with the eyes.

Your health, comfort and well-being are important to us. If visual impairment is causing your headaches, we can identify the problem and help you improve your quality of life. Feel free to call or come in with any questions you may have!

We love our patients! Thank you for your loyalty!

The Contact Lens Care Guide: Do’s And Don’ts

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

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Contact lenses are safe, comfortable, and can change your lifestyle! However, taking proper care of them is crucial to your vision health.

Improper contact care or cleaning can lead to infection and, in severe cases, vision loss. Remember these tips when it comes to contact lens care:

Your Optometrist Knows Best

To avoid eye infection or other vision problems, wear contact lenses as prescribed by your eye care professional. Even with a prescription, not all contacts will be right for your eyes or lifestyle. Consult with your optometrist to see what contacts are best for you.

As with any prescription, contact lens prescriptions expire. See your optometrist yearly or as recommended to ensure you continue to have an accurate and appropriate prescription for your eyes.

When It Comes To Contact Lenses, Sharing Is Not Caring

Remember, your contact lenses should never touch anyone’s eyes but your own.Using another’s lenses can spread harmful particles or infection from their eyes to yours. Not fun!

Follow The Recommended Replacement Schedule

Don’t stretch out your lenses longer than your eye care professional recommends. Daily disposable lenses are designed to be worn once and then thrown away. Other contacts are designed to last longer and need to be properly cleaned and stored. Whatever you choose, replace your contacts as recommended.

Do Not Sleep In Your Contacts

This is perhaps the most disregarded instruction when it comes to contact lens wear. Unless you are prescribed “extended wear” contacts, wearing your contacts at night deprives your eyes of much needed oxygen and can lead to serious problems.

A Good Cleaning Regimen Will Protect Your Eyes

Basic cleaning care for contact lenses consists of five easy steps:

  1. Wash your hands. The last thing you want to do is transfer germs from your hands to your eyes!
  2. Rub the lens. Using a few drops of the recommended solution, rub the lens in the palm of your hand. This will clean off any debris or protein buildup.
  3. Rinse. To get off any loosened debris, rinse the contacts with solution taking as long as the package directs.
  4. Use fresh solution to store. Never use your old solution from the day before. This solution will not properly disinfect your contact lenses and can cause infections.
  5. Repeat. Simply repeat these steps for your other lens!

Remember to never use tap water on lenses or even put them in your mouth to “rinse” them. Microorganisms can live in even the cleanest water and can cause damage to your sight.

Our Job Is To Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Following these steps as well as the guidelines from your eye care professional is the single best way to avoid eye infections. At our practice, your health is our priority. Please contact us if you have any questions about contact lens care!

We love our patients. Thank you for your continued loyalty!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions. Image by Flickr user MarLeah Cole used underCreative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Ocular Superfoods: Foods That Promote Healthy Vision

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

We’ve heard more than once that carrots are good for our eyes. But they’re certainly not the only food that can benefit our sight!

Here are some of our favorite foods that help promote and maintain healthy eyes.

Leafy Greens And Vegetables

Here is yet another reason to eat your green veggies! Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, broccoli, watercress, and collard greens are all filled with vitamin C, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin—important nutrients for healthy vision. Lutein and zeaxanthin absorb 40-90 percent of blue light intensity, meaning these protective greens act like sunscreen for your eyes! The antioxidants they contain also help protect against eye damage that results from cigarette smoke and air pollution.

Brussel sprouts–although not leafy–are also a green veggie chock full of vitamin C.

Let’s not forget the carrot! Carrots contain beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A that prevents night blindness and promotes a healthy retina. Similarly beneficial orange-colored vegetables are sweet potatoes and pumpkins.

Fruits

Fruit is a must when it comes to getting that all-important vitamin C in your diet.Citrus fruits and berries are a great source of vitamin C and help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration—two of the leading causes of adult blindness.

Açai, for instance, is loaded with both vitamins A and C and protects the retina from free radical damage. Blueberries are especially good for your health, reducing your risk of cataracts, glaucoma, heart disease, and cancer.

Seeds And Nuts

Vitamin C has a companion: vitamin E. This duo works together to keep healthy tissue strong. Nuts such as pistachios, walnuts, pecans, and almonds; and seeds such as sunflower seeds, for example, are excellent sources of vitamin E and zinc. They are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids which tremendously boost your eye health.

A tablespoon of wheat germ oil in your salad is also a great way to get your vitamin E. Fun fact: it only takes one handful (an ounce) of almonds to get about half of your daily dose of vitamin E. It’s as easy as that!

Proteins

Seafood, red meat, and eggs are the best proteins for your eyes. Fish such assalmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which may help protect against dry eyes, macular degeneration, and cataracts.

Oysters, crab, beef, and eggs are great sources of zinc, which helps keep your retina healthy. Egg yolk is also a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, just like the leafy greens we talked about.

Do Your Eyes A Favor

The next time you want to pass on the vegetables, remember the important benefits they provide for your eyes as well as your whole body health! We’re passionate about helping you see the very best you can! If you have questions about how your diet can benefit your lifelong vision health, let us know!

Thank you for being a valued patient and friend.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.