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!

Vision Therapy Program pays off tenfold!

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

Vision Therapy Student Levin Eye Care Center Indiana Chicago

Vision Therapy Success for Oscar!

Oscar was having trouble in school with focus and reading but even with help from teachers, it’s was not enough. That’s when his parents decided it would be best to perform a google search and find the help he needed for his vision and school work. The reviews speak volumes about the success and importance of the Vision Therapy program offered by our office.

Since enrolling Oscar in Vision Therapy he can now identify words precisely and perform visual tasks successfully. Corrected vision is very important to a child’s learning, social development, and even extends to athletics. This is critical to a child’s progress and long-term success. 

Oscar Improved 

Since finishing our Vision Therapy program at Levin Eye Care Center, Oscar is able to move his eyes independently now and keep his attention focused for longer times.

We are so proud of his progress and is on his way to becoming a star student and super reader in the classroom! Leaders are readers and the future is bright for Oscar and his family.

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!

Thank you for voting us Best Vision Care in NW Indiana, Again!

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

Levin Eye Care Center- best vision care in NW Indiana 2021

Voted Best Vision Care in NW Indiana by the readers of the Times Newspaper!

Originally published in the Northwest Indiana Times. 

Serving Northwest Indiana and Chicago for 48 years, Levin Eye Care Center prides itself on a pleasant and professional atmosphere that families have counted on for nearly half a century.

With a focus on listening to and educating their patients, Dr. Steven Levin and Dr. Delia Malone strongly believe that the interaction eye care specialists have with their patients directly affects visual enjoyment and quality of life.

They say their goal is to improve active learning skills and provide children and adults with the tools necessary for success. In addition to routine eye care services, Levin Eye Care Center also treats and rehabilitates patients with lazy eye, misaligned eyes and visual motor complications from a traumatic brain injury.

The eye care center also features a vision therapy program that identifies learning-related vision problems.

“The entire team at Levin Eye Care Center would like to extend our gratitude to all of our loyal patients who voted us Best Vision Care in NW Indiana” Levin said. “We could not have accomplished this without our doctors and staff who are committed to excellence and take pride in the care we offer to each patient.”

If you or your family would like to experience award winning eye care, give us a call or text at 219-659-3050 to schedule your appointment today!

Dr. Steven Levin, IOA lifetime achievement award recipient

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

Dr. Steven Levin lifetime Achievement Award Levin Eye Care

Original Article Published in the Northwest Indiana Times on May 16th, 2021.

Dr. Steven Levin says what happened on April 16 came as a complete surprise. At the annual meeting of the Indiana Optometric Association, Levin received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indiana Optometric Association(IOA).

“I was very humbled and surprised to receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Levin, a longtime Northwest Indiana optometrist at Levin Eye Care Center in Whiting. Levin said that in 50 years’ time the award has been given to just 14 people. In choosing recipients, the Indiana Optometric Association awards points in four categories, each with several qualifications that must be met.

Levin has been honored with other recognitions in his career:

  • 2001 — Indiana Optometrist of the Year Award, the IOA’s highest award, for the member who has demonstrated contributions to the profession; service on behalf of the visual welfare of the public; and service to the community.
  • 2002 — National Optometrist of the Year Award from the American Optometric Association, its highest award in the nation, for “leadership and foresight into children’s educational and public visual welfare initiatives and community service.”
  • 2007—Elected to the National Academies of Practice as a Distinguished Practitioner. The nonprofit organization elects “distinguished professionals advancing interprofessional health care by fostering collaboration and advocating policies in the best interest of individuals and communities.”

Levin, a board-certified member of the College of Optometrists of Vision Development, specializes in vision therapy as well as providing a broad range of optometric care. Vision therapy changes lives, Levin said. Some visual conditions need more than glasses, contact lenses and/or patching and are best resolved through a program of vision therapy rehabilitation.

Levin Eye Care Center Eye Exam

Vision therapy is designed to correct eye-related deficiencies for all ages. The list is long and includes struggles with blurred vision, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, lazy eye, double vision, special needs, autism spectrum disorders, stress-related issues, motion sickness, hand-eye coordination, traumatic brain injuries, and more.

Levin said a common condition, visual stress with reading, can affect children’s academic performance. “Kids do a lot of close work on homework and on screens like iPads, computers and other devices. Reading skills are based on ocular high motor skills that can be affected by close screen work. That can bring visual problems for them.”

Vision therapy helps students see information, process it and use it. First, there’s in-office therapy to work on fine motor skills, then home therapy. “Students who were suffering academically have become excellent students,” Levin said, adding it’s just one reason regular eye exams are important. Levin said various visual problems affect at least 40% of children in the school system. “They may not even realize there’s a problem.”

Toddler Vision Therapy Levin Eye Care Center

Helping students do better in school and his dedication to resolving other vision problems are significant factors in the recognition Levin has received. “I’ve worked with so many people to change their lives — children with learning disabilities, people with traumatic brain injuries – to get them back to their work environment; helping people with stroke. We really do change lives with the rehabilitation we do.”

Levin, who graduated with honors from Illinois College of Optometry at Chicago, is also involved in many public organizations. “I believe in giving back.”

At 48 years and counting, Levin said: “It’s been a wonderful, rewarding career for me. Looking back on my career, I’ve been so blessed with my patients and with so many people I’ve met. My patients are phenomenal. I think about the children who are doing better in school now. I think of how it’s a privilege to be able to also serve the public.”

He’s quick to credit his staff. “We have a wonderful staff. You can tell because there are hundreds of five-star reviews online. We do a thorough job in all our evaluations. I pride myself on customer service and my associate Dr. Delia Malone feels the same way.”

Further corroboration is evident: The most recent first place rankings for Levin Eye Care Center in The Times of Northwest Indiana’s Best of the Region polls happened last year and this year. Levin said he intends to continue providing the best vision care for children and adults in the Region, with the same professional, compassionate care that has earned him the awards for excellence.

dr levin lifetime award IOA speech

Levin Eye Care Center offers a full scope of optometric services with the latest technology available in the industry, providing eye wear designing and dispensing; contact lens fitting and follow-up, including disposable, bifocal and lenses for astigmatism; treatment of eye diseases and co-management of cataract surgery; laser vision correction (LASIK) co-management and consultation; sports vision enhancement and/or improvement; treatment for dry eye syndrome; and much more. “I love taking care of patients,” said Levin, expressing an award-winning approach to his practice.

Student Sees Success In School After Vision Therapy!

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

vision therapy success clara

Congratulations to Clara! She’s officially graduated from our vision therapy program!

She has made tremendous gains in reading and writing times, and we’re excited to see her blossom into a top student!

Clara can now read and write for longer periods of time without frustration and anxiety and loves to learn.

  Before                                  After

Levin eye care vision therapy Sentence writing beforeLevin Eye care vision therapy Sentence writing after

 

The results have been amazing and dramatic! Her hand-eye coordination and visual-motor skills improved since completing vision therapy at Levin Eye Care Center.

If you want your child to reach their full potential, call or text us at 219-659-3050 for more information and to schedule your appointment for a comprehensive eye exam.

Are Scleral Lenses Right For You?

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

Scleral lenses exam Levin eye care center

Scleral lenses are an exciting innovation in contact lens technology that is used to treat a patient with high astigmatism, irregular astigmatism, keratoconus and dry eye disease.

With these specialty lenses the contact lens vaults over the cornea creating a new surface free of astigmatism or irregularities such as those found in patients with keratoconus, high astigmatism, and irregular astigmatism.

We have had successful fittings that brought vision from just seeing ‘the big E’ to almost perfect vision while wearing the lenses.  Successful use has helped people maintain their employment, regain their ability to drive, and enjoy their life.

Benefits of wearing Scleral Lenses :

  • Stable Vision for those with High Prescriptions
  • Helps with High Astigmatism
  • Keratoconus Correction
  • Wearing Comfort for Dry Eye
  • Can promote healing of the Ocular Surface

An added benefit of the lenses’ ability to vault over the cornea is that it creates a moisture lock on the cornea all day long. Unlike other contact lenses that pull moisture away from the cornea, the liquid chamber beneath the scleral lens creates a moist environment for the cornea all day long.

Whether a patient suffers from Dry Eye Syndrome, has an anatomical abnormality of the eye or an autoimmune condition that contributes to their dry eye, scleral lenses do not discriminate the cause and they can help maintain moisture on the cornea and provide relief.

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Schedule a comprehensive evaluation today at Levin Eye Care Center to see if Scleral Lenses are right for you!

Why Children Need A Comprehensive Eye Exam

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

child eye exam levin eye care center

What comes to mind when you think of a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

We’re guessing your list probably includes vinyl recovery beds, jars full of wooden tongue depressors, and the big E eye chart. For over a century and a half, that big E chart (officially called the Snellen chart) has been an excellent diagnostic tool for identifying nearsightedness…but not much else. There are many other ways a child’s vision might not be working properly, which is why it’s so important for children to get a comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist!

The Link Between Vision and Learning

Being able to see clearly and perform visual tasks well is hugely important to a child’s education, social development, and even athletic performance. Up to 80% of learning is visual, with all those whiteboards and textbooks and writing assignments to look at, among many other things.

The Less Obvious Vision Problems

What does the Snellen eye chart miss? Basically any vision problem that isn’t nearsightedness. A comprehensive eye exam, on the other hand, will also test for farsightedness, astigmatism, color blindness, visual perception, hand-eye coordination, and important binocular vision skills like focusing, tracking, and teaming. Any of these problems can negatively impact learning if they go untreated.

When a Vision Problem Remains Undiagnosed

Unlike adults, children don’t have the vocabulary or understanding to recognize what “good eyesight” is supposed to be like. They only have their own experience to go off of, so if it hurts to focus on close-up work for long, they probably won’t know why. Children might believe they’re not smart enough for school. In fact, children display a lot of the symptoms common in learning disorders, and without a comprehensive eye exam, there’s a good chance they’ll be misdiagnosed with one.

Recognize the Symptoms of Eye Problems

Some eye problems are easy to spot, such as an eye that points the wrong direction. However,Other symptoms are more subtle.

These include: 

  • Reading comprehension problems
  • Difficulty completing schoolwork
  • Short attention span (particularly for close-up tasks)
  • Frequent headaches
  • Covering one eye
  • Frequent blinking and eye rubbing
  • Fidgeting

Give Your Child a Good Start with an Comprehensive Eye Exam

Every child should have a comprehensive eye exam early in their schooling so that any eye problems can be caught and treated quickly. With the new school year starting, this is a great time to schedule an eye exam for your child. We can either rule out or identify any vision problems, even the less obvious ones, and determine the best steps to take next!

We look forward to seeing you and helping you see well!