• Everything You Need to Know about Contact Lenses

    Are you tired of your glasses fogging up or getting in the way of the activities you love? If so, it could be time to try contact lenses, a vision correction option that millions of people utilize today. Learn more about contact lenses before you make the switch.

    Brief History of Contact Lenses

    In the 1500s, Leonardo da Vinci became the first person to conceptualize wearing corrective lenses directly on the eye. However, it wasn’t until 1887 that the first glass contact lenses were manufactured.

    Drastic advancements have been made in the field of contact lenses over the last 80 years. The materials used have evolved from glass to plastic to acrylate to silicone-hydrogel, and the structure has changed from covering the entire eye to just the cornea. Contacts are more comfortable and breathable today than ever before.

    Types of Contact Lenses

    • Soft lenses range from daily disposables to two- and four-week lenses that require cleaning and storage between each use.
    • Rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses are harder and smaller than soft lenses. You get crisp, clear vision from lenses that last a year or two, but they may be uncomfortable at first.
    • Scleral lenses cover more of the eye. They are suggested for people with irregular corneas or severe dry eye.
    • Toric lenses are available in soft and RGP form. They are shaped to correct astigmatism, which is when the cornea is pointed rather than spherical.

    Contact Lens Eye Exams

    The exams for prescribing contact lenses are more in-depth than regular eye exams. In addition to checking your vision to determine your prescription, the exam also assesses the shape and health of your eyes to ensure you’re a good candidate for contact lenses.

    If you’re new to contacts, your eye doctor will select trial lenses for you to test out. You’ll receive instructions for putting them in and taking them out, and you’ll wear these contacts home to see how you like them. You may need a follow-up exam to discuss any discomfort and try other styles and brands. When you’re ready, your eye doctor will help you order a one-year supply of the contacts you prefer.

    Contact Lens Tips

    • Wash and dry your hands before putting contacts in or taking them out.
    • Put in your contacts before applying eye makeup.
    • Don’t sleep, swim or shower while wearing contact lenses.
    • Store your contacts in fresh contact lens solution every night.
    • Replace your contacts as often as your eye doctor recommends.

    Contact lenses are the right solution for many people who require vision correction. If you’re interested in trying out contacts for the first time, call Gerstein Eye Institute at 773.596.9545. We’ll set up an eye exam for you at our Chicago, IL office, where our eye doctor will fit you with the proper lenses and teach you how to insert and remove them correctly. We’ll also explain how to clean and store contact lenses to help keep your eyes healthy.

  • How to clean your contacts correctly

    The basic method for caring for contact lenses is to clean, rinse, and disinfect. This is a pretty straightforward process. First, make sure your hands are scrupulously clean, with no residue from moisturizer or moisturizing soaps. Dry them with a lint-free towel. Place a contact lens in the palm of your hand, apply a generous amount of multipurpose contact lens solution, and rub the lens gently against your palm with your index finger, with a back and forth motion. Rinse the lens again and place it into your clean lens case, filling the case with fresh solution. Repeat the process with the other lens.

    Sometimes, you’ll need to go further than just cleaning, rinsing, and disinfecting. It’s important to understand the products used in caring for lenses so that you can make the right choices for your eyes.

    • Saline solution: Used for rinsing and storing contact lenses when you’re using a heat or UV disinfection system, it may also be needed with enzymatic cleaning tablets or disinfecting devices. Saline products should never be used for cleaning or disinfection.
    • Daily Cleaner: This can be placed into the palm of your hand to clean your lenses, rubbing each side of the lens with your finger for at least 20 seconds. Other products are better for rinsing and disinfecting.
    • Multipurpose Solution: This solution can be used for cleaning, rinsing, and disinfecting. It can also be used in the lenses case.
    • Hydrogen Peroxide Solution: Used for cleaning, disinfecting, rinsing, and storing contact lenses, it’s good for users who are sensitive to the preservatives in multipurpose solution. It’s important, though, to disinfect and neutralize before putting lenses back into the eyes.
    • Enzymatic Cleaner: Used to remove protein from your contact lenses, this typically involves tablets used with a saline or disinfecting solution. Always follow the instructions on the enzymatic cleaner package.
    • Daily Protein Remover: Is a liquid, used during disinfection with a multipurpose solution, to remove protein from your lenses.

    There are a few points to remember when cleaning contacts. First, be careful never to touch the solution bottle tip to any surface, including any part of your body. Don’t get tap water on your contact lenses or accessories, because it can carry a microorganism and lead to eye infections. Clean your contact lens accessories as directed, and throw out your contact lens case every three months to reduce the risk of infection. Don’t substitute water or any other liquid for lens solution, and make sure to clean and disinfect your lenses once a day. Follow your eye doctor’s instructions for caring for your contact lenses, and don’t switch products without consulting your doctor.

    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 have together performed over 30,000 procedures. To schedule a consultation, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

  • Seasonal Allergies and Eye Care

    Spring is on its way, bringing with it pollen, in all its allergy-inducing glory. If you’re sensitive to pollen, you’re probably already gearing up for a miserable couple of months, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can minimize allergens in your home, protect yourself outside, and give your eyes the care they deserve. Here, we offer a few tips from the experts on seasonal allergies and eye care. Pollen is the main cause of springtime allergies, and it can travel for miles before finding its way into your nose. If you’re allergic to pollen, your immune system mistakes it for something dangerous and releases antibodies to attack it. Histamines are released into the blood, triggering a runny nose, itchy eyes, and other allergy symptoms. Fortunately, there are some good ways to keep pollen at bay.

    • Don’t let pollen into your house. Even though the weather may be pleasant, it’s best to keep doors and windows closed, especially at night. Stay inside as much as possible in the early morning hours, because pollen is typically emitted between 5 and 10 am. If you’ve been outside, take a shower and change clothes as soon as you get home, and never dry clothing or linens outside, where it can pick up pollen.
    • Clean your home thoroughly to remove allergens. Pollen is one culprit, but there’s also dust, pet dander, mold, and cockroach droppings to contend with. Cleaning on a regular schedule can help minimize allergens in your home and help you breathe easier. Wear a dust mask when you’re cleaning, and use a damp or treated cloth to dust, so you don’t scatter the dust. Vacuum once or twice a week, using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Wash your bedding at least once a week in hot water, and dry it in a hot dryer. If you have pets, bathe them once a week to keep dander under control, and wash your hands any time you pet an animal.
    • Protect yourself from allergens when you’re outside. Wear glasses, to keep pollen out of your eyes. If you want to enjoy the outdoors, do it on cloudy, windless days, because pollen levels are higher when it’s dry, warm, and windy. Finding out what you’re allergic to can be very helpful: if you can recognize it on sight you can more easily avoid it, and if you know what it is you can stay inside during its high pollen hours.
    • If you’re suffering from eye allergies, have a plan to treat them. Using lubricating eye drops can help rinse away pollen, as can saline nose spray. Decongestant eye drops can constrict the blood vessels in the eyes, reducing redness, but shouldn’t be used for more than three days. Oral antihistamines can sometimes help, but in some cases, they can cause dry eyes and may worsen eye allergy symptoms.
    • Ask your doctor for help. There are prescription medications that can be helpful in controlling eye allergy symptoms. There are antihistamine, mast cell stabilizer, NSAID and corticosteroid eye drops that can alleviate or prevent allergy symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe non-sedating oral antihistamines, or recommend allergy shots.

    One of the leading eye centers in Illinois, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago has been helping patients take care of their eyes since 1968. Our certified professional staff has decades of ophthalmologic experience and has worked together to perform over 20,000 procedures. Dr. Gerstein, well-versed in the most advanced technologies, is committed to helping patients find the treatment that’s right for you. For more information call (773) 596-1245 or visit our website today.

  • Eyewear Trends 2018

    If you wear glasses, it can be fun to keep up with the latest eyewear trends, because the right eyewear can be an accessory that completes your signature style. Do you know what’s hot this year? If you want to be on point for 2018, here are some trends you’ll need to know.

    • Two-tone frames are a fun trend. Whether the frames are one color on the rims and another on the temples, or the tops and bottoms of the rims are shaded differently, expect to see plenty of pairs of two-toned glasses this year.
    • Bold colors are everywhere in eyewear this year. Whether your favorite color is purple, teal, blue or red, you’ll find frames to suit your style. There is also a wide range of pastel hues from which to choose in 2018. Not feeling the full force of color? Try a subtler look, wearing translucent frames with faded colors, or go for clear, white or neutral frames.
    • 2018 is the year of unique shapes in eyewear. Look for lots of angles, and lenses set in contradictory frames to create a shape within a shape. You’ll also see square and round frames, and frames embellished with crystal, beads, and other decorative touches.
    • Eyewear styles in 2018 will give you a look forward and back. Look for lots of angles, and lenses set in contradictory frames to create a shape within a shape. You’ll also see square and round frames, and frames embellished with crystal, beads, and other decorative touches.
    • Cat eye wood frames are a twist on a couple of different trends. Cat eye frames are a big part of the retro look this year, and can really come in any color, from tortoiseshell to bright primary tones. A natural material like wood makes them modern, though. Whether they’re made of pear wood, bamboo, maple, sandalwood, or zebrawood, these frames are a conversation starter. One benefit of wooden frames? They float.

    Are you ready to take the plunge and update your glasses? Schedule a doctor’s visit to make sure your eyes are healthy, first. One of the leading eye centers in Illinois, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago has been helping patients take care of their eyes since 1968. Our certified professional staff has decades of ophthalmologic experience and has worked together to perform over 20,000 procedures. Dr. Gerstein, well-versed in the most advanced technologies, is committed to helping patients find the treatment that’s right for you. For more information call (773) 596-1245 or visit our website today.

  • Common Mistakes Wearing Contact Lenses

    When it comes to wearing contact lenses, are you doing it right? When you first got your lenses, you were given information from your doctor about how to care for them. However, as time has gone on, you may have gotten lax about following those instructions precisely. Many contact lens wearers make mistakes that could potentially have a negative impact on their eye health. Are you making these common mistakes?

    • Do you wear your contacts too long? Some people wear their contact lenses until they begin to feel uncomfortable, but this is a mistake. Follow your doctor’s instructions, because wearing contacts that have outstayed their expiration date can be bad for your eyes, and may keep you from being able to see well.
    • Stick with the program. Keeping your contact lenses clean is of utmost importance, yet some people don’t follow instructions about how to do this. Use contact lens solution every time- not, saliva, water, or any other liquid.
    • Don’t neglect to wash your hands. Part of keeping your lenses clean is not introducing them to more germs. If you touch lenses with dirty hands, you’re contaminating them. This can cause eye infections which sometimes cause permanent damage to the eyes.
    • Washing isn’t enough- you’ve also go to dry them! You’ve washed your hands, but did you dry them? Many people don’t think about it, but water on your hands can conduct harmful microorganisms onto the lenses and then right into your eyes.
    • Cheaper isn’t always better. The desire to be frugal is admirable, but choosing a cheap, generic contact lens solution will cost you in the long run. It’s a much better idea to choose the care system made specifically for your lenses, so that you can properly care for them and, by extension, your eyes.
    • Dirty cases mean dirty lenses. Clean hands- check! Clean lenses- check! But if you put them away in a dirty case, you’re undoing all the good work you just did, when you took so much care to get them clean. Empty out the old solution, wash the case with new solution and allow it to dry. Every now and then, clean it with boiling water. Even if you keep it perfectly clean, though, the case should still be replaced every three months.
    • You snooze, you lose. While there are some lenses approved by the FDA for overnight use, it’s best not to sleep in your lenses. That’s because sleeping in your lenses can decrease the amount of oxygen your eyes take in, and can also cause little abrasions on the surface of your eyes. This damage to the eyes can have a negative effect on your vision, but it can also make it impossible to even wear lenses at all. It’s a better idea to take the extra few seconds and remove your lenses before you doze.

    Ultimately, it comes down to this: choose a good eye doctor, and then follow your doctor’s instructions when it comes to caring for your eyes. One of the leading eye centers in Illinois, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago has been helping patients take care of their eyes since 1968. Our certified professional staff has decades of ophthalmologic experience, and has worked together to perform over 20,000 procedures. Dr. Gerstein, well-versed in the most advanced technologies, is committed to helping patients find the treatment that’s right for you. For more information call (773) 596-1245 or visit our website today.

  • Am I a Good Candidate for Visian ICL Lenses?

    Am I a Good Candidate for Visian ICL Lenses?

    Visian ICL—Implantable Collamer Lenses—are FDA-approved to correct nearsightedness without the use of glasses and contacts. With a short procedure, this eye surgery can offer life-changing benefits to people who are accustomed to relying on glasses and contacts to get through the day. Should you consider this kind of vision correction in Chicago?

    Although only your eye doctor can decide for sure if you are a good candidate for Visian ICL, they are generally appropriate for people who are between the ages of 21 and 45 who are nearsighted with mild to severe myopia. Patients should not have had any changes to their glasses or contact prescriptions of greater than .5D for at least a year—this helps to ensure that their vision loss will not progress further after getting Visian ICL. This procedure is ideal for people who need a treatment that does not create dry eye complications. However, if you have been diagnosed with astigmatism of more than 2.5D, then your eye doctor may recommend a different treatment plan.

  • Cataracts 101

    Cataracts are an eye condition that typically causes blurry, dim, or cloudy vision. If your ophthalmologist has diagnosed you with this disease and recommended that you consider getting intraocular implants through cataract surgery near Chicago , then watch this video to understand the basics of this condition.

    Cataracts are a common eye problem that affects millions of individuals as they age, and it develops when a person’s eye lens, which is normally clear, becomes cloudy. This condition is typically the result of age-related changes that affect the eye and is seen most commonly in individuals over age 60. This condition cannot be reversed, but an ophthalmologist can remove cataracts and restore vision in most cases.

  • Cosmetic Lenses and Your Eye Health

    Are you looking for cosmetic contact lenses in Chicago to complete your Halloween costume? If so, you’re not alone. Cosmetic lenses are a popular costume accessory that can be safe and fun. However, there are some important facts that you should know about when it comes to these contact lenses and your eye health. contact - lenses

    What are cosmetic lenses?

    Designed to change the appearance of a person’s iris in some way, many people enjoy wearing cosmetic lenses day-to-day and for special occasions. For example, cosmetic lenses can make a person’s green eyes look a bit greener, make the entire iris appear black, or make the pupil appear the same shape as a cat’s. However, the most important thing that you should know about cosmetic lenses is that they are medical devices and should be approached in the same way that a pair of corrective lenses would be approached.

    How do I get cosmetic lenses?

    Because cosmetic lenses qualify as medical devices, they require FDA approval and an up-to-date contact lens prescription from an eye doctor to be sold in the United States. This means that even if you do not need prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses to see well, that you will need to visit an optical center to get a prescription if you want to wear your cosmetic lenses safely. Once you have your contact lens eye prescription, you can purchase the contacts of your choice from an FDA approved company.

    Why are cosmetic lenses considered medical devices?

    In the past, you could find contact lenses being sold as “one size fits all” in costume and novelty stores. The problem with this is that eyes are not the same shape from person to person, and even a single individual can have eyes that are not identical in shape. When you wear contact lenses that do not fit your eyes, this can lead to infections and permanent eye damage. For these reasons, you must purchase and care for cosmetic lenses in the same way you would a prescription pair.

  • Eating for Eye Health

    As your eye doctor can tell you, your diet can affect your vision in a number of ways, but if you have diabetes, the foods you eat take on even more significance. Talk to your eye doctor in Chicago about the link between blood sugar control and vision health. This video explains more.

    High blood sugar can cause damage to the blood vessels in your eyes that can lead to blindness. By controlling the amount of carbohydrates in your diet, you can better control your blood sugar level and reduce the chances of eye damage. When you visit your eye doctor, he or she will perform an exam to check for diabetic eye damage and can offer eye care tips, including dietary advice, to better protect your vision.

  • Reasons to Choose Visian ICL

    If your eye doctor or ophthalmologist recommends that you undergo eye surgery for vision correction in Chicago , you should ask him about Visian ICL. Visian ICL, a type of intraocular contact lens treatment, is an incredibly safe, effective form of eye surgery that results in significant vision correction. Intraocular contact lenses are contact lenses that are implanted directly into the lens of the eye for optimal vision correction.

    You might qualify for Visian ICL eye surgery even if your eye doctor did not consider you a good candidate for LASIK surgery or other vision correction surgeries. Visian ICL is safe, and provides predictable, stable vision correction. Unlike disposable or gas permeable contact lenses, intraocular contact lenses do not require cleaning or maintenance, and can remain in your eyes even while you sleep, bathe, and swim. This means that you won’t have to deal with the frequent eye care associated with removable contact lenses.

    An eye doctor can remove your intraocular contact lenses if you experience problems. Visian ICL eye surgery offers vision correction for a variety of eye problems, including mild to severe myopia and astigmatism. The eye surgery doesn’t carry the risk of dry eye syndrome.

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