What Are Cataracts?

Cataract Information by Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago

Cataracts are quite common in older people, but if you haven’t experienced them you may not know much about what they are. A cataract is a clouding of the eye lens that negatively affects your vision. By the age of 80, at least half of the population will have a cataract or have undergone cataract surgery.

Cataracts can happen in both of your eyes or in just one of them. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms you may have a cataract:

  • Blurred vision
  • Faded colors
  • Glare from sunlight, headlights, etc. or a halo around lights
  • Difficult seeing at night
  • Double vision
  • Frequent changes in prescription for eyewear

Cataracts typically develop slowly and at first they can be helped by getting new glasses, using anti-glare sunglasses or magnifying lenses, and using brighter lighting. If you haven’t experienced a cataract, it can be compared to looking through a foggy or frosty window.

If you notice any of the previously mentioned symptoms, you should make an appointment for an eye exam. See your doctor right away if you experience sudden eye pain, sudden vision changes, or sudden headaches.

If you haven’t experienced cataracts, it might not be too late to help prevent them from forming. Regular eye examinations can lead to early detection of cataracts. Unhealthy activities like smoking or drinking too much can increase your risk of cataracts. Managing health conditions like diabetes and eating fruits and vegetables with antioxidants can also help prevent cataracts.

Cataract surgery is very common and is a relatively simple and painless procedure to help regain vision. More than three million Americans undergo the procedure each year and 90% of them regain very good vision, from 20/20 to 20/40. You will likely still need reading glasses and may require progressive lenses.

To learn more or schedule an appointment with Gerstein Eye Institute, give us a call today at 773-596-9545.

The Benefits of LASIK

Know the Benefits of Lasik by Chicago's Gerstein Eye Institute

LASIK is still the most common laser eye surgery in the United States. The procedure can be completed with a laser or a blade and creates a thin flap in the cornea. The cornea is reshaped to correct the refractive error and improve vision.

Laser eye surgery was first available in the 1980s and by 2001 LASIK was the most common elective surgery in the world. LASIK is considered a third option in addition to wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses.

There are several benefits of having LASIK performed, and the most obvious is having your vision improved without having to wear glasses or contacts. After LASIK surgery, your vision will improve immediately, and it may continue to improve for a year.

LASIK eye surgery can be performed in both eyes on the same day and you’ll likely be able to get back to work in just a day or two. LASIK is a viable option for about 80% of the adult population. If you’re 18 or older, have a common vision problem such as far or nearsightedness or astigmatism, lead an active lifestyle, are in general good health, and cannot or would prefer not to wear glasses or contacts, LASIK could be right for you.

More Benefits of LASIK

  • The safety of LASIK eye surgery has increased over the years
  • Typically causes little to no pain
  • Vision is corrected almost immediately or at least by the day after the procedure
  • Quick recovery
  • Adjustments can be made for years
  • Most patients will no longer need corrective eyewear
  • You’ll actually save money over the years on frames and lenses or contacts and contact solution as well as optometrist appointments
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Can participate in activities such as swimming or surfing without worrying about eyewear
  • Reduced allergy symptoms compared to wearing contacts

To schedule an appointment with Gerstein Eye Institute, call 773-596-9545.