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.

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!

Thank you for voting us Best Vision Care Best, Again!

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

Levin Eye Care Center- Best eye care of the region 2021

Voted Best Vision Care by the readers of the Northwest Indiana Times!

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,” 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.”

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.

Are Scleral Lenses right for you?

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in 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:

  • High prescriptions
  • 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.

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!

What Causes People To Have Two Different Colored Eyes Aka Heterochromia?

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

two different colored eyes Heterochromia levin eye care

Eye color is one of the first traits we notice when we meet someone new.

If you’ve ever met someone with two different colored eyes, then you’ve seen what heterochromia looks like. Only three out of every five hundred people have it, though, so it’s not that common (but you might have seen an odd-eyed cat or dog). Heterochromia happens in a few different ways and has a few different causes.

Genetic Versus Traumatic Heterochromia

In most cases, heterochromia is the simple result of unusual genetics, a harmless mutation changing the way the pigment develops in one or part of one iris. There are a few famous examples in movies and TV, such as Dominic Sherwood and Anthony Head, who both have blue eyes with a brown patch in one, and Josh Henderson and Alice Eve, who each have one blue eye and one green.

Even people who aren’t born with heterochromia can still develop it as the side effect of injury or disease. Surgery or trauma can cause a change in the appearance of one eye. David Bowie was a famous example of this due to his one permanently dilated pupil. Diseases like diabetes, eye tumors, or glaucoma can also affect the appearance of one eye differently than the other. This is the case for Mila Kunis, who suffered eye inflammation in one iris for years.

The Types of Heterochromia

Heterochromia comes in a few varieties, as we’ve already hinted at with our celebrity examples. It can be complete heterochromia, segmental, or central. Complete heterochromia (or heterochromia iridum) is where each iris is a different color. Segmental heterochromia (heterochromia iridis) is where a patch of a different color appears in one iris.

The most common form of heterochromia, central heterochromia, is where the two irises match each other but have rings of a different color around the pupils — such as when someone has green eyes but a thin ring of hazel around the middle. The results aren’t quite as instantly striking as mismatched eyes, but they still look pretty cool.

Mismatched Eyes in Culture

Different cultures have interpreted heterochromia in different ways throughout the ages. Eastern European pagans believed that being born with different colored eyes meant they had witch eyes. Some Native American cultures, meanwhile, believed it meant the person had “ghost eyes” with the ability to see into heaven and earth.

Whatever Their Color(s), Let Us Take a Look at Your Eyes!

If you weren’t born with heterochromia but have noticed a change in the color of one or both of your eyes, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment so that we can take a look and find out the cause. If it’s an untreated side-effect from an injury or a symptom of a health condition, we can help!

Our patients have beautiful, unique eyes!

Three Common Vision Problems

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

common vision problems Levin Eye Care Center

Most people who start needing glasses or contacts while they’re young have at least one of three common vision problems : myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.

These common vision problems are all refractive errors, which means they’re problems with the way the eyes focus light, rather than an eye disease. Refractive errors have to do with the physical shape of our eyes, so let’s take a closer look!

Myopia: What’s Right In Front Of You

Myopia is the technical term for nearsightedness, meaning that you can see clearly up close but distant objects are blurred. This happens when the eyeball itself is too long, or when the cornea is too curved. That additional curvature or length causes light to focus in front of the retina instead of on it, which makes the resulting images look fuzzy.

The way glasses or contacts correct myopia is by compensating for this error to extend the light’s focus onto the retina where it belongs. These lenses are concave (thinner in the middle), and always have a negative prescription.

Hyperopia: Gazing Into The Distance 

Hyperopia, better known as farsightedness, means that you can see distant objects clearly, but everything up close is blurry. This common vision problem happens for the opposite reasons that myopia does. Instead of being too long, the eyeball is too short, or else the cornea is too flat. This causes light to focus behind the retina, making near images fuzzy.

In order to correct hyperopia, corrective lenses must be convex (thicker in the middle) and have a positive prescription. The larger the number, the stronger the prescription.

Astigmatism: A Warped Perspective

The third common refractive error people experience is astigmatism, and it’s a little different from the other two. A normal cornea is uniformly curved so that there is a single focal point. A cornea with astigmatism is more football shaped, creating multiple focal points, which makes things appear blurry at any distance and bends their images.

Astigmatism is often paired with one of the other refractive errors, and it requires more complex lenses to correct than they do. Typically, the lens will be somewhat cylindrical rather than spherical.

Keep Your Prescription Updated!

All three types of refractive error can worsen over time. This is which is why most people don’t keep the same prescription forever. If it’s been a while since your last eye exam, or if you’re noticing blurriness where there used to be clarity, having sharp vision again is just one appointment away!

Thank you for always putting your trust in us!  Ask your Doctors at Levin Eye Care Center with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Smoking Can Lead to Vision Loss

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

smoking can lead to vision loss Levin eye care center

The most common health effects that come to mind when we think of smoking are lung cancer and bad teeth, but it doesn’t stop there because smoking can lead to vision loss and blindness.

Smoking is harmful to every system in the body, and it’s also harmful to our vision. A smoking habit can do more damage to our eyesight than disease can, in a few different ways. In a recent Rutgers Study researchers found that smoking can damage vision and your ability to see color.

Smoking: a Risk Factor for Every Age-Related Eye Disease

Studies have shown that smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and even Dry Eye Syndrome. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

AMD is the deterioration of the macula (the central part of the retina where we see the sharpest detail), causing irreversible blindness. Compared to nonsmokers, smokers have triple the risk of developing AMD, and they’re more likely to begin developing it up to ten years earlier than nonsmokers do on average.

Cataracts

Smoking doubles the risk of cataracts, the world’s leading cause of blindness. For heavy smokers, it triples the risk! Cataract symptoms begin with blurred or double vision, light sensitivity, faded colors, and reduced night vision. Fortunately, cataract surgeries are extremely common and safe, so this type of vision loss usually isn’t irreversible.

Retinopathy

Retinopathy is an eye disease closely associated with diabetes, but smoking increases a person’s chances of developing diabetes by up to 40 percent, thereby increasing the risk of retinopathy as well. Poorly controlled blood sugar damages the blood vessels in the retina, causing them to leak blood into the eye. If the damage is severe enough, it can eventually starve the retina of oxygen and lead to blindness.

Smokers Aren’t Always the Only Ones Affected

Secondhand smoke combines the smoke from the end of the cigarette with what the smoker exhales. In addition to harming the vision of the smoker, it can put the eyesight of others at risk too, along with many other health effects. The most vulnerable are young children and infants.

Vaping: Not a Safe Alternative

Vaping is often touted as the “healthy” alternative to smoking, but many of the chemicals in e-cigarette liquid have been linked to increased risks of these same vision-threatening diseases we’ve discussed. If vaping is healthier than regular cigarettes, it isn’t by much. 

Break the Habit to Save Your Vision

Smoking can lead to vision loss but the most preventable because we can control whether or not we do it. It’s never too late to quit, either. Quitting reduces the risk of macular degeneration by six percent after just one year, and it also reduces the risk of developing cataracts! We, as your eye care specialists, care deeply about your health. If you need resources to help quit smoking, we would be happy to offer our suggestions.

Good overall health promotes good eye health!

Tips Every Parent Should Know For Healthy Vision Development In Children

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

Healthy Vision Development In Children Levin Eye Care Center

Did you know that babies have to learn how to see, just as much as they have to learn how to walk and talk?

That’s right, learning how to use their eyes and understand what they’re seeing is a process and critical to healthy vision development in children. There’s a lot we can do as parents to help them develop essential visual skills — everything from choosing the right toys for their age to knowing when it’s time to move on from playing peek-a-boo with them.

Newborn Eyesight: the First Six Months

An infant sees a world of light, shadows, and blurry shapes. They can only focus on objects 8-15 inches away — the perfect distance for looking at the face of the person holding them! Over time, their eyesight grows clearer and sharper, and there are a few things you can do to help foster healthy vision development In Children.

  • Encourage them to learn how to track movement with their eyes by moving objects in front of them
  • Give them plenty of color to look at. Their color vision will take a few weeks to begin developing, and then they won’t be able to get enough of those bright colors, which is why they love to look at mobiles so much.
  • Play peek-a-boo! This doesn’t just get them to laugh and make adorable surprised faces; it’s helping them learn to focus their eyes.

Quick Learners: 6-12 Months

By this point, your baby will begin developing hand-eye coordination, and you can help them along by giving them plenty of colorful objects to grab and play with. Crawling helps develop their coordination too, but it might take a couple of bumps on their cute noggins before they remember that their heads don’t stop at their eyes!

Around this age, you’ll probably notice that your baby isn’t so entertained by peek-a-boo anymore. This is because they’ve learned object permanence. They understand that Mommy and Daddy didn’t just blink out of existence like wizards when they went behind their hands. A good new game to play at this point is hide-and-seek, hiding a toy under a blanket and challenging them to find it.

Toddlerhood and Advanced Visual Skills

Around the time your baby learns to walk, they will be able to further improve their hand-eye coordination by throwing, bouncing, and chasing balls. Their visual skills in this area are tied to other important skills like comprehension and balance. As their vocabularies develop, they’ll be able to start putting names to objects.

By about age two, they’ll begin to discover their burgeoning artistic abilities, so make sure to provide them with drawing materials. Wooden blocks or interlocking blocks will be excellent toys for them at this age as well.

The Role of Eye Exams in Baby Eye Health

On top of providing your children with the right types of toys to encourage their developing visual skills, it’s also important to bring them in for eye exams. Unlike older children, who have the words and understanding to tell you when something’s wrong with their vision, babies and toddlers are fully dependent on adults to figure out when there’s a problem. This is why scheduling their first eye exam for around six months old is so important!

Your child’s healthy lifelong vision is one of our highest priorities!

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.

Recognize the Signs of Retinal Detachment

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

retinal detachment levin eye care center

Our eyes are amazing, complex organs, but there are a lot of ways for things to go wrong.

One that we want to educate our patients on today is retinal detachment. This is a serious, sight-threatening condition that affects 1 in every 300 people at some point in their lives, but it can be treated with early enough action. Before that can happen, patients have to be able to recognize the signs.

How the Retina Works

The retina is the part of the eye that converts light into signals that go to the brain so that we can see. It consists of a network of specialized photoreceptor cells called rods and cones, and it’s made up of two layers. The inner layer is where all the rods and cones are, and the outer layer, called the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), is a kind of filter that supports and nourishes the rods and cones and holds them in place on the back of the eye.

What Is Retinal Detachment?

Retinal detachment is pretty much what it sounds like. The layer of rods and cones peels away from the RPE. The most common cause is when a hole develops in the retina and fluid from the eye creeps between the two layers, but it can also happen as a complication of trauma, infection, or eye surgery. Retinal detachment needs to be treated immediately, because it leads to permanent vision loss in the affected eye.

Retinal Detachment Risk Factors

Some people are more likely than others to develop retinal detachment. The biggest risk factor is age, because as we grow older, the fluid in our eyes shrinks, and 10-15 percent of the time, this causes a tear in the retina. Other risk factors include:

  • Extreme near-sightedness
  • Cataract removal, especially if the lens is not replaced
  • Previous retinal detachment in one eye
  • Marfan’s syndrome
  • Injuries in contact sports and activities like paintball

Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment is usually not painful, but be on the watch for the following symptoms and get to an eye doctor quickly if you notice them — particularly if you notice more than one:

  • Sudden flashes of light, particularly when moving the eye
  • A sudden increase in the number of floaters in your vision
  • A heavy feeling in the eye
  • A shadow spreading from the peripheral vision towards the central vision
  • A sensation like a transparent curtain is coming down over the field of vision
  • Straight lines beginning to appear curved

Keep Up with Your Regular Eye Exams

Regular visits to the eye doctor aren’t just important for keeping your glasses prescription up-to-date. We can also check for early signs of retinal detachment and get it treated before it gets worse and causes permanent vision loss. In the meantime, make sure to protect your eyes with the right eyewear and help them stay strong by eating healthy foods and staying active!

We look forward to seeing you!

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.