• Dust and your Eyes

    Whether it’s an allergic reaction or a speck that gets stuck, some time or another we all have to deal with dust affecting our eyes. That’s why it’s smart to be prepared, and know what to do if dust is causing a problem for you. How do you deal with dust when it comes to your eyes?

    Is it an allergy or a contaminant? Sometimes the answer to that question is not very clear cut. Itchy, watery, uncomfortable eyes can mean that you’re allergic to something, or they could mean that there’s a foreign body in one or both of your eyes.

    If it’s an allergy to dust, you’ll also experience allergic rhinitis. You’ll sneeze, cough, have a headache from sinus congestion, experience difficulty breathing, and have a runny nose. As to your eyes, allergic conjunctivitis will cause inflammation, watering, itching, and redness. Allergies can come on at any age, but they usually start under the age of 30.

    What can you do about allergy eyes? A dust allergy is actually an allergy to dust mites, the microscopic bugs that live in house dust. To lessen your allergies, take steps to control the dust and dust mites in your home. Use allergen-proof bed and pillow covers, wash bedding and stuffed animals frequently, keep the humidity of your house low, vacuum regularly, and use a damp or oiled mop or rag to clean up dust. Reduce clutter, consider removing carpeting, and install a high-efficiency filter in your HVAC. Talk to your eye doctor, who may direct you to take medication, like antihistamines or corticosteroids.

    Sometimes the problem isn’t so much the effect dust has on your eyes as it is that you’ve got some dust in your eyes. It’s easy to get dust in your eye, whether at home, at work, or even outside. Whenever it feels like there’s something in your eye, there are several steps you can take to relieve your discomfort.

    • First, wash your hands, then inspect your eye. Be careful not to rub it, so that you don’t scratch your cornea, and always keep tweezers and cotton swabs away from your eye. Try to find the location of the object, looking near the eyelids and inside your upper and lower eyelids.
    • Try to flush whatever it is out. Fill your hands with clean water and flush your eye a few times, patting dry with a clean towel. Check to see whether you still feel like there’s something in your eye. Often, flushing out your eyes is all that’s necessary to solve your problem.
    • If it’s still there, move your eyelids around. Gently pull your upper eyelid over the lower one, rolling your eye upwards. Release and see if the item has been dislodged.
    • When you can’t seem to get the dust out of your eye, see a doctor. If the object lodged in your eye is sharp or large, you should seek immediate medical attention, at the emergency room or with your eye doctor. Even if it’s just dust, your eye doctor can help remove it from your eye.

    If you’re looking for an eye doctor, Gerstein Eye Institute is here to help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

  • Get your Eyes Ready for the Summer

    People often talk about getting their bodies ready for beach season, but have you ever considered whether your eyes are summer ready? Just as you get your body into shape for summer and take measures to protect it from the sun while you enjoy the outdoors, you can take measures to care for your eye health as well.

    • Get the right kind of sunglasses. You know that you need sunscreen to protect your skin from ultraviolet radiation, but you may not realize that UV rays can harm your eyes as well. Even if you’re not directly in the sun, and even if the day is cloudy, wear sunglasses with 100 percent protection against UVA and UVB rays. This will protect your eyes from short term problems like photokeratitis, and long term issues like cataracts and skin cancer of the eyelids.
    • Don’t forget goggles in the pool. The chemicals in pool water can hurt your eyes. Of course, you know that chlorine can cause your eyes to feel a burning sensation and get red and gritty, but research indicates that frequent exposure to chlorine can also compromise your corneal epithelium. After you get out of the pool, rinse your eyes immediately with fresh water.
    • Other outdoor activities require eye protection as well. You might think of chemical burns as something that happens in a science lab or at a dangerous job, but some common household solutions can be hazardous to your eyes as well. Soap bubbles that pop near your eyes, spray paint, which can blow back into your face while you’re using it, and splashing cleaning solutions can all hurt your eyes. Whenever you’re working with chemicals, wear protective eyewear. It’s also wise to wear eye protection when you are doing activities that could cause foreign bodies to fly into your eyes, like yard work, woodworking, and sports. You can also wear wraparound glasses to protect your eyes from windy conditions.
    • Toss on a hat for added assurance. A wide-brimmed hat, especially used in conjunction with sunglasses, can offer another layer of protection against the sun. The hat can provide shade that makes up for the gaps where the sunglasses let UV rays get around their frames and into your eyes.
    • Keep your hands out of your eyes. One of the best ways to protect your eyes from communicable disease or infection is to wash your hands frequently and avoid rubbing your eyes. You should also wash your hands carefully if you have to put in eye drops, ointment, or contact lenses.
    • Lead a healthy lifestyle. Getting enough sleep, refraining from smoking, and eating a healthful diet are all steps you can take to keep your eyes healthy. Foods rich in vitamins and other nutrients can improve your vision and your eye health, so make sure to fill your diet with fatty fish, fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water, because hydration is just as important to your eye health as it is for your overall health, and it’s even more vital in hot weather. If you smoke, quit, to begin to reverse the damage you’ve already done to your eyes. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Additionally, for optimal eye health, see an eye doctor regularly.

    No matter what time of year it is, you can always feel confident trusting Gerstein Eye Institute with the care of your eyes. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

  • Why your Eye is Twitching, and What to Do About it

    Sooner or later it happens to all of us: a twitching eye. It’s annoying, and it can seem to start out of the blue, but is there a reason behind it? Do you know why your eye is twitching? Perhaps more importantly, do you know what to do about it?

    Eye twitching, called myokymia in medical terms, is typically harmless, and usually goes away in a few minutes. Sometimes, however, it can last for days or even longer. That’s when it might be time to call an eye doctor. Eye twitching that doesn’t go away could mean a serious neurological condition like blepharospasm or hemifacial spasm.

    That kind of condition, however, is rare. Most cases of eye twitching are triggered by something far more mundane and easy to manage. In many cases, thinking about what may have caused the twitching can lead you to the solution to the problem.

    • Stress: If you think stress may be causing your eye to twitch, try to alleviate some stress. Yoga and breathing exercises, spending time with loved ones and pets or finding a way to get a little more downtime can help reduce your stress levels.
    • Fatigue: Lack of sleep can trigger eye twitching, but aiming for a consistent sleep schedule may alleviate an eye twitch caused by fatigue.
    • Eye strain: In this digital age, it’s easy to get digital eye strain from staring at screens. Overuse of computers, tablets, and smartphones is a cause of eye strain, which in turn triggers eyelid twitching. To avoid straining your eyes, use the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away from your screen and focus on an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. You might also consider computer eyeglasses, especially if your job requires excessive screen time.
    • Caffeine: Too much caffeine can lead to twitching eyes, but cutting back on coffee, tea, and soft drinks for a week or two may be the cure.
    • Alcohol: If your eye twitching seems to occur after you’ve had an alcoholic beverage, try abstaining for a while.
    • Dry eyes: Dry eyes are not uncommon, especially in people over 50 and those who use computers, take certain medications, wear contact lenses and consume alcohol or caffeine. If your twitching eyelid is accompanied by feeling that your eyes are gritty or dry, you might want to talk to your doctor about a dry eye evaluation.
    • Nutrition problems: Certain nutritional deficiencies, like a lack of magnesium, can cause eyelid spasms and twitching. If you think this may be a concern for you, talk to your eye doctor about nutritional supplements that might help.
    • Allergies: Allergies cause itching, swelling, and watery eyes, and when you rub your allergic eyes, histamine is released into your eyelid causing eye twitching. You might be able to treat this problem with over-the-counter allergy eye drops, but antihistamines in those drops can cause dry eye, so it’s smart to talk to your doctor about your best options.

    Sometimes, eye twitches can be relieved through the use of warm compresses and gentle eyelid massage. If you’ve considered all of the previously mentioned causes, adjusted your habits where necessary, and tried warm compresses, and the twitching persists, it may be time to call a doctor. There are treatments available for persistent eye twitching, including medications, Botox injections, and surgery.

    One piece of good news: even though a twitching eye may be annoying and make you feel self-conscious, it’s unlikely that anyone else will notice it. If your eye twitch concerns you enough that you think you need an eye doctor, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago can help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

  • How to Treat your Bloodshot Eyes

    Everyone’s eyes get bloodshot or red from time to time, and most of the time it’s pretty easy to figure out why. Maybe you’ve been around cigarette smoke, or you’ve been swimming in a chlorinated pool, or your allergies are flaring up. Red or bloodshot eyes are typically harmless, but sometimes, they indicate a condition that warrants medical attention. How do you know if you can treat your bloodshot eyes at home or if it would be better for you to see an eye doctor?

    • If your eyes are seeping or crusty, with yellow, green, or brown mucus it could be a sign of infection.
    • Pain or unusual tenderness in or around your eyes might warrant a doctor’s attention.
    • An unusual sensitivity to light, along with red eyes, could indicate a serious issue.
    • If you have a fever or overall sickness in addition to your red eyes, you should seek medical care.
    • Exposure of anyone in your household to pink eye should cause you to talk to your doctor if your eyes become red.
    • Redness or discomfort that lasts for more than a week and doesn’t respond to home remedies warrants a doctor visit.

    Red eyes can be an indication of a serious medical condition. There is an acute form of glaucoma, for instance, causes red eyes, along with severe eye pain. It also manifests with headache, decreased or blurred vision, rainbows or halos in the vision, and nausea and vomiting. If you have red eyes with these symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Uveitis, an inflammation of the uvea, is another serious condition. Symptoms of uveitis can include light sensitivity, decreased vision, and eye pain, in addition to red eyes. Uveitis can be caused by an underlying systemic illness, and can cause numerous complications including cataracts, retinal detachment, and elevated eye pressure, all of which can result in permanent vision loss. Eye injury or infection and dry eye can also cause red eyes.

    If your bloodshot eyes don’t seem to indicate a serious problem, you can try some home remedies or over-the-counter treatments to help relieve the redness and discomfort. Artificial tears can help with dry eyes, and antihistamine eye drops can relieve the red eyes of seasonal allergies. Cool compresses or washcloths on your closed eyes can also offer some relief. To avoid getting red eyes in the future, wash your hands frequently to prevent eye infections, and try to steer clear of irritants like smoke, fumes, pollen, dust, chlorine, or pet dander.

    People tend to assume that red eyes will go away on their own, or with some treatment at home, but that’s not always the case. If you think your bloodshot eyes may require medical attention, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago can help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

  • How to Read your Eye Prescription and What it Means

    You’ve visited the eye doctor and obtained a prescription for eyeglasses or contacts, but when you look at your prescription, all you see is letters and numbers. For the uninitiated, an eye prescription can be confusing. It’s actually not too complicated, once you know what those letters and numbers mean.

    The numbers on your prescription will be listed under headings listed as OS and OD. Those headings are Latin abbreviations: OS means oculus sinister, which refers to the left eye, and OD means oculus dexterous, the right eye. Some prescriptions will also have the abbreviation OU, which stands for oculus uterque and pertains to both eyes. You might also see the letter D, which stands for diopters, the unit doctors use to measure

    You’ll also notice that in front of the numbers that follow there are plus or minus signs. A plus sign (+) indicates farsightedness, while a minus sign (-) means that you’re nearsighted. How nearsighted or farsighted you are is indicated by the numbers: as a rule, the further away the number is from zero, the worse your vision and the higher your requirement for vision correction.

    For instance, a prescription that says -1.00 indicates one diopter of nearsightedness, which is a fairly mild level of nearsightedness. Someone with a higher level of nearsightedness, perhaps -4.25, would require a much stronger corrective lens, which would be thicker. Farsightedness works the same way, with a +5.00 prescription being much stronger than, for instance, a +1.00.

    Are there more letters and numbers on your prescription? If you have astigmatism, there should be three sets. They will generally be written as S x C x Axis. S means spherical, and it will be the number discussed earlier, describing farsightedness or nearsightedness. C is for cylinder, which is referring to the astigmatism. This can be a negative or positive number, showing in diopters your degree of astigmatism. The larger the number, the more severe the astigmatism. The number for the Axis is expressed in degrees and will be somewhere between 0 and 180. Astigmatism is a curvature of the cornea, and the Axis is the number that indicates that curvature’s orientation.

    If your prescription says ADD, that abbreviation is referring to the magnifying power for your reading, progressive or bifocal lenses. The same number will apply to both eyes. If you see the abbreviation PD, that stands for Pupillary Distance, the distance between the centers of your two pupils.

    On a contact lens prescription, you’ll find the same listing of power under OD and OS, and some of the same information you’d see on an eyeglasses prescription. In addition, however, a contact lens prescription will include the prescribed brand, as well as numbers following the abbreviations BC and Dia. BC means Base Curve, Dia stands for diameter, and these two measurements together ensure the proper fit on your eye’s surface.

    If you are looking for an eye doctor, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago can help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

  • How to Heal your Eyes Overnight

    Ah, bedtime! Sleep is one of the most restorative things we can do for our bodies, and as we rest overnight, we’re giving our bodies the chance to burn calories, renew our minds, and even heal from injuries. How does getting a full night of sleep affect our eyes? Additionally, what can we do to help promote eye health while we’re sleeping? Here, we offer tips on how to heal your eyes overnight.

    • Getting the right amount of sleep can help prevent several eye issues. Those who do not get a full night of sleep each night are at risk of conditions like ischemic optic neuropathy, eye spasms, eye strain, and dry eye. The quality of your sleep matters, too. Sleep apnea, a condition that causes sporadic interruptions in breathing that disrupt your sleep, has been linked to the development of glaucoma. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get somewhere between six and ten hours of sleep each night, and studies have shown that getting at least five hours of sleep each night is vital for eye health.
    • Go to bed with a clean face. Gently remove any eye makeup, using eye makeup remover or a cotton pad with olive oil or another pure oil. Steer clear of anything with heavy fragrance or essential oils, to avoid irritating the sensitive skin around your eyes. Use patting motions and light, gentle, swipes, avoiding any rubbing or pulling at this tender area. Be similarly careful in the selection and application of any eye cream or nightly moisturizer.
    • What you do during the day matters, too. Eat a balanced diet, full of nutrient-dense foods like greens, fish, and sweet potatoes, and consider taking a daily vitamin to promote eye health. If you must spend a great deal of time working at a computer, follow the 20-20-20 rule to prevent eye strain. Look away from the computer for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes, focusing on something 20 feet away.
    • If your eyes seem puffy or tired, try a home remedy. Resting your eyes for a few minutes under cucumber slices, cooled chamomile tea bags, or even cold spoons. You may also find it helpful to find an eye cream with antioxidants, vitamins, and moisturizers.
    • See an eye doctor regularly. While sleeping and eating well can provide your body with the resources it needs to heal your eyes overnight, regular visits to the eye doctor are important for finding and treating eye problems. Many eye diseases have no symptoms in their beginning stages, yet are most easily remedied when they’re discovered early.

    If you are looking for an eye doctor, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago can help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

  • Glasses Cleaning and Care Tips

    Glasses cleansing and care tips by Gerstein Eye Institute

    Eyeglasses aren’t just an important tool for improving your vision- they’re an investment. Once you’ve found the right pair, you’ll want to take excellent care of them, so that they’ll last a long time and keep you seeing clearly. Here, we offer some glasses cleaning and care tips to help you care for your glasses the right way, not just to keep them clean, but also to prevent scratches and other damage.

    First things first: some dos and don’ts for keeping your lenses sparkling clean.

    • Do start with clean hands. Before you ever touch your eyeglasses, wash and dry your hands thoroughly. Make sure to use lotion free soap and dry with a clean, lint-free towel if you’re going to be working with your glasses.
    • Don’t pull off your glasses and rub them with your shirttail. Your clothing can have dust, debris, and particles that can scratch your glasses. Using a microfiber cloth designed to clean glasses is a better bet, but a dry cloth is still not as good as water.
    • Do use lukewarm water to rinse your glasses. Hot water can damage some eyeglass coatings, but lukewarm water will go a long way toward removing the dust and debris that can scratch your lenses when you’re cleaning them.
    • Don’t use saliva to clean the lenses. Your spit is not going to do a good job, and it’s also not hygienic.
    • Do use lotion-free dishwashing liquid to help get them really clean. Use only a small amount, because dishwashing liquids are typically very concentrated. Gently rub the lenses on both sides, then clean all parts of the frame, including the nose pads and the part that goes behind your ears.
    • Don’t use household glass or surface cleaners on eyeglasses. The chemicals used in these products can damage the coating on your glasses.
    • Do rinse away all traces of soap. If soap is left on your lenses, they’ll smear when you dry them.
    • Dry with a shake and a polish. Shake the glasses to get most of the water off of the lenses, then look them over carefully to make sure they’re clean. Using a clean, lint-free towel that hasn’t been laundered with a dryer sheet, carefully dry the frames and lenses. Make sure the towel is completely clean, because dust, dirt, cooking oil, or any other substance can cause scratches on your lenses. If any spots remain, gently buff them with a clean microfiber cloth.
    • Don’t use random fabrics to clean your lenses. Paper towels, tissues, napkins, and toilet paper can all leave your glasses linty, scratched, or smeared.

    Now that you know how to clean your glasses, how can you keep them free of scratches? When you purchase glasses, opt for scratch resistant coating, to make it easier to keep them from harm. Further, one of the most important things you can do is to make a rule for yourself: if they’re not on your face, they’re in their case.

    Remember, no pair of eyeglasses will last forever. Over time, normal use and exposure to the environment is bound to create a few scratches. Occasionally, you’ll probably even drop or misplace your eyeglasses. Even with scratch resistant coating, your glasses are no scratch proof. Your eye care provider can help you with an anti-scratch warranty for your lenses, but ultimately, you’re going to need to replace them because scratches in the lenses can irritate your eyes.

    When it’s time to get new glasses, it’s time to have a complete eye exam to make sure you’re using the right prescription. If you are looking for an eye doctor, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago can help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

  • Maintaining Healthy Eyes in Winter

    Maintainance for healthy eyes in winter

    Most people have plenty of health concerns during winter. Cold and flu season can be rough, it’s often hard to stay warm, and winter is a risky time for slips and falls. What many don’t realize, though, is that eyes need extra protection during the winter, too. Maintaining healthy eyes in winter requires a little bit of effort, but it’s worth it to keep your vision strong and your eyes in tip-top shape.

    • You may not realize it, but you definitely need sunglasses in the winter. It’s easy to remember to wear sunglasses when it’s hot outside, but there are several ways the sun can damage your eyes when it’s cold. Snow is especially problematic because UV rays can enter your eyes directly or from being reflected off of the snow. Wear sunglasses that protect against UV rays, and if it’s especially bright outside, wear a hat or a visor.
    • Sometimes, sunglasses aren’t quite enough protection. When you’re being active outdoors in winter, it’s easy to get debris like dirt, bark, slush, or ice into your eyes. Sunglasses protect against some mishaps, but goggles are a better bet for maximum protection. Look for goggles with UV protection built in, or choose goggles that allow you to wear sunglasses underneath.
    • What you eat has a huge impact on your eyes. Dry eyes are one of the biggest problems in winter, and eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help alleviate this problem. About three and a half ounces of fatty fish like mackerel, tuna, salmon, anchovies, or trout can provide about one gram of omega-3s.
    • Staying hydrated is important for every part of your body, including your eyes. Sometimes, people forget to drink water when it’s cold outside, but maintaining the proper hydration can help keep your eyes from feeling dry.
    • It’s important to keep your eyes moist in winter. Cold air outside and hot air from the heater indoors can really dry out your eyes, causing them to feel uncomfortable and gritty. Try not to sit too close to heat sources, and use a humidifier or artificial tears to help keep your eyes from getting too dry.
    • To keep eyes healthy, keep your hands off of them. Your hands tend to carry bacteria, and putting them up to your eyes can cause an infection. What’s more, rubbing dry eyes can cause them to become even more irritated and uncomfortable.
    • For good eye health, take frequent breaks from screens. Whether you’re working at your computer all day or bingeing your favorite show when it’s too cold to want to go out, too much staring at a screen can leave your eyes dry and irritated. Take frequent breaks, adhering to the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away from the computer, focusing on something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. It’s also smart to think about blinking because people tend to blink less when they’re staring at a computer screen.

    If you are looking for an eye doctor, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago can help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

  • What is a Stye, and How Should You Deal with It?

    Have you ever had a stye? It usually starts with a little bit of pain or a feeling of heaviness in your eyelid, and you’ll notice a little red spot on your lower eyelid. It’s not harmful, but it can be unsightly, uncomfortable, and annoying. What, exactly is a stye? More importantly, how should you deal with it to make it go away?

    A stye, also known as a hordeolum, is a bump near the edge of your eyelid caused by a localized infection in the eyelid. Styes develop from an eyelash follicle or oil gland that becomes clogged somehow, either from oil, debris, or bacteria. They can be a complication of blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelid or they can be the result of stress.

    The symptoms of a stye include watery eyes, pain, tenderness, itching, and redness. Styes can make eyes feel sensitive to light or bruised and can cause a feeling of a foreign body in the eye. They don’t impact vision, though, and they typically go away on their own, though not usually as quickly as the person with the stye would like. There are some things you can do to speed up the healing time:

    • Use a warm compress. You can buy compresses especially made for eyes, or you can use a clean, warm washcloth as a compress. Just press the compress to your eyelid for about ten minutes, at least four times each day until the stye is healed.
    • Massage the affected area. Use the tips of your fingers to gently massage the area, making sure your hands are scrupulously clean, and taking care not to poke yourself in the eye.
    • Eye drops may help heal the infection. Your eye doctor can recommend medicated eye drops or antibiotic ointments that you might find helpful.
    • Try eye lid scrubs. Specially formulated eyelid scrubs are similar to a moist towelette and are designed to address the underlying problems of bacteria or blepharitis.

    You can sometimes prevent a stye by keeping your eyelids extremely clean. Don’t sleep in eye makeup, and avoid touching your eyes throughout the day. It may also help to manage your stress. It’s not always possible to avoid them, though, and if you do get a stye, it’s wise to try to reduce its duration. When a stye lasts for a long time, it can turn into a chalazion, which may require a steroid injection or lancing. Your doctor can lance the chalazion for you, but you should never try to squeeze or pop a bump on your eyelid at home. Squeezing a stye can cause a serious eye infection.

    There are eyelid bumps that are not styes, like millia and xanthelasma. It’s a good idea to see a doctor if you have a bump on your eyelid, rather than assuming you know what it is and treating it at home. Your doctor will be able to correctly identify the bump on your eyelid and recommend the right treatment for your specific condition.

    If you are looking for an eye doctor, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago can help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

  • Glaucoma prevention tips

    The second leading cause of irreversible blindness globally, glaucoma affects more than three million people in the United States alone. Typically, it doesn’t have any symptoms, and many people don’t realize they have glaucoma until it is at an advanced stage. There’s no cure for glaucoma, though the symptoms can be treated and the progression of the disease slowed if it’s caught early. There are, however, some steps you can take to prevent glaucoma.

    • Protect your eyes. Wear protective eyewear any time you’re participating in sports, doing a home improvement project, or engaging in any other activity that puts your eyes at risk. Injury to the eye can cause secondary or traumatic glaucoma. Prevent overexposure to UV rays by wearing sunglasses or a wide-brimmed hat when you’re outside.
    • Exercise regularly. Moderate exercise, at least three times a week, can lower your risk of glaucoma. Avoid exercises like headstands, which can increase intraocular pressure, one of the major risk factors for glaucoma.
    • Fill your diet with nutrient-dense foods. Foods that support eye health include dark green, yellow, and orange fruits and vegetables, fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C, and foods with vitamin A, like sweet potatoes, mangoes, milk, egg yolks, and liver. Foods that contain vitamin E, like eggs, wheat germ, nuts, vegetable oils, and whole grains, are good for your eyes, as are foods with vitamin D, like fatty fish and egg yolks. Also important are foods with zinc, like oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, and nuts, and foods with omega-3 fatty acids, like walnuts and wild salmon.
    • Do the things that you already know support your overall health. Maintain a healthy weight, don’t smoke, keep your blood pressure under control, and limit caffeine consumption.
    • See an eye doctor regularly for exams. The single most important thing you can do to protect your eyes from the damaging effects of glaucoma is to have regular eye exams. Before age 40, you should be seen every two to four years, and then every one to three years up to age 54, moving to every one to two years at 55 of over. If you’re a person with high-risk factors, like African heritage, diabetes, or a family history of glaucoma, you should be tested for glaucoma every year or two after you turn 35. The best way to prevent vision loss from glaucoma is to catch the disease in the early stages so that you can receive treatment to slow its progression.

    If you are looking for an eye doctor, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago can help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.