Sports Vision Training : The Athletes Unfair Advantage Over The Competition

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

Sports Vision Training Indiana Levin Eye Care Center

When we think of athletes, we probably think of speed and strength first, but there is an unfair advantage some athletes are using called sports vision training.

Strong visual skills are just as important to an athlete’s success as strong muscles. Athletes have to process visual information quickly so that they can respond to it. The cool thing is that, like muscles, some visual skills can be improved with practice. Sports vision training improves the acceleration and efficiency of your eye tracking capabilities. We have a set of activities and equipment specifically designed for athletes to improve processing speed, visual acuity, vergence (binocular vision), tracking, and reaction time at levels that beat the competition.

What Visual Skills do Athletes Use?

Here are some of the most essential visual skills that help athletes perform at the top of their game:

  • Color vision. It’s a lot easier to recognize the difference between teammate and opponent when you can see the different jersey colors!
  • Depth perception. Athletes need to be able to judge the distances of objects and other players.
  • Dynamic visual acuity. Beyond just having clear vision, athletes need to be able to see fast-moving objects clearly too.
  • Eye tracking. Athletes also need to be able to track fast-moving objects with their eyes instead of jeopardizing their balance by turning their heads or torsos.
  • Eye-hand-body coordination. Being able to adjust the position of your body, hands, and feet based on what you see is essential for succeeding in sports.
  • Peripheral vision. Athletes need to be able to react to what’s happening at the edges of their vision, not just the things happening straight ahead.
  • Visual concentration. An athlete needs to be able to focus on what matters even when there are a lot of distractions trying to draw their eyes.
  • Visual reaction time. The faster an athlete can process and respond to visual information, the faster they can get into position.
  • Visualization. Athletes need to be able to picture different scenarios to prepare themselves for potential obstacles and opportunities — all while focusing on the events of the moment.
  • Visual memory. An athlete must keep a great deal of visual information in their heads while playing, including the positions of other players based on where they saw them last.

You Can Train Your Visual Skills on the Go

You won’t need a gym to train several of these visual skills. A simple exercise for depth perception, for example, is to hold a pen at arm’s length and repeatedly put the cap on it. You could also hold a small pebble at arm’s length and try dropping it into a drinking straw.

A great way to train peripheral awareness is by turning our heads to the side while we use a computer or watch TV. We can improve the flexibility of our eyes by switching rapidly between focusing on something close and something far away. To practice dynamic visual acuity, try cutting out different sized letters from a magazine and taping them to a turntable. Then see how well you can identify the letters when it spins at different speeds.

Take a peek how Four Time NBA Champion, Two Time MVP and Finals MVP Steph Curry uses Sports Vision Training to achieve excellence on the court.

Keep Your Eye on the Ball, Athletes!

If NBA Champions Michael Jordan, Steph Curry, and Kawhi Leonard have used sports vision training to rise to elite levels, then why shouldn’t you follow their lead?  Keeping our eyes sharp (and healthy) is something we might overlook but when thinking about staying in shape for sports. From professional athletes sinking a three pointer at the final second to commercial pilots flying the friendly skies. Sports Therapy Training is a game changer and makes all the difference in the world.

If you’ve played sports, then you know an inch and a millisecond can be the difference between a win and loss. Gain the advantage on and off the field with the Levin Eye Care Center sport vision training program!

Call/Text 219-659-3050 to learn how to gain an unfair advantage over your competition.

We Offer Cataract Treatment Chicago and Northwest Indiana

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

Cataract Treatment Chicago Northwest Indiana

Cataracts are the world’s leading cause of blindness, and the history of treating them is long and fascinating.

Over 20 million adults 40 and up in the US will develop cataracts, and by the time they reach 80, half of them will. Normally, the lenses in our eyes are filled with transparent protein, but the protein can become clumped together over time and turn opaque, resulting in symptoms such as light sensitivity, glare, dim or clouded vision, halo effects around lights, impaired night vision, double vision in a single eye, faded colors, and more frequent changes to glasses prescriptions.

French Impressionism and Cataract Surgery in the 1920s

No one wants their vision blocked by cataracts, but it’s a particularly intolerable condition for someone who paints for a living. Such was the fate of Claude Monet, perhaps the most famous Impressionist painter. His vision began deteriorating from cataracts in his mid-fifties, which is clear from the increasingly muddy color palette in his paintings from that time.

Monet hesitated to get cataract surgery because it hadn’t gone well for some of his fellow artists. He tried eye drops for a while, but eventually gave in and got the surgery on one eye in 1923. He proved to be a very uncooperative patient, but the combination of surgery and thick glasses did grant him greatly improved vision for the next few years. His paintings during that period look much more like his pre-cataract work.

Cataract Surgery Today

If he lived today, Monet never would have hesitated to get cataract surgery. Thanks to advancements, there’s no need for bulky glasses because the clouded lenses can simply be replaced with artificial ones! Every year, three million Americans undergo cataract surgery, after which they enjoy up to 20/20 vision, even if they haven’t had it in decades. Cataract surgery has an incredibly high success rate, at around 98-99%.

Modern Cataract Treatment Chicago

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Have You Noticed Any Cataract Symptoms?

If you’ve been experiencing any changes to your vision that sound like the above, we recommend scheduling an eye exam. In this day and age, there’s no reason to suffer vision loss from something so easily reversible. We have offered Cataract Treatment Chicago and in Northwest Indiana for over 49 years.

See the difference of award winning eye care and make an appointment today!  Our top priority is your lifelong vision health.

Thank You For Voting Levin Eye Care Center The Best Eye Care Center Again!

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

Best Vision Care NWI Levin Eye Care Center

Levin Eye Care Center has proudly served Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland for nearly 50 years and our doctors and team provides the finest quality care to every patient who walks through the door.

Whether we’re administering our award-winning Vision Therapy Program to identify hidden learning-related vision problems or treating and rehabilitating everything from lazy eye to misaligned eyes to visual motor complications from traumatic brain injury.The goal is the same: to provide the quality comprehensive eye exams and superior patient care that leads to visual enjoyment and a higher quality of life.

“We could not have won the honor of Best Vision Care again without our doctors and staff who are committed to excellence and take pride in the care we offer to each patient,” says Dr. Steven Levin, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indiana Optometric Association in 2021. “And we look forward to continuing to serve the eye care needs of the Region for many years to come.”

Thank you for your continued support and for making Levin Eye Care Center the best eye care center in Northwest Indiana!

Story originally posted in the Northwest Indiana Times Best of the Region 2022 Healthcare 

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!