Signs It’s Time For An Eye Exam

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

It’s always a good idea to schedule regular eye exams, but under certain circumstances, you might need to come see us between those regular appointments.

What do we mean by “regular appointments?” Well, that varies, largely depending on age. Children should have their first eye exam at six months, their second at three years, and their third before they begin first grade.

From ages six to 60, the American Optometric Academy recommends that people whose vision isn’t considered “at-risk” have an eye exam every other year, and then once every year from age 60 on. For those with “at-risk” vision, the best schedule will be determined by the optometrist.

What Does It Mean To Be “At Risk?”

Several factors can put an individual’s vision at greater risk than the general populace. These include having diabetes or hypertension. These diseases can have a severe impact on vision health. A family history of glaucoma or macular degeneration is also a major risk factor.

Many prescription drugs have eye-related side effects, like dry eye, and we’ll want to carefully monitor your vision health if you’re taking these types of medications. Contact lenses also present an increased risk of eye infection and other complications.

When To Throw Out The Schedule

At-risk or not, as mentioned above, there are several circumstances in which you shouldn’t wait until your next regularly scheduled appointment to pay us a visit:

  • You Always Have A Headache
  • Your Eye Is Infected
  • There are Bright Flashes And Floaters Galore
  • That Eye Pain Is Becoming A Bit Much
  • You’ve Been Squinting For Days
  • You Have Diabetes, Or It Runs In Your Family

You’ve Been Squinting More

If you notice that you’ve had to squint to read road signs, that’s a good sign that you’re due for a prescription change—or, if you haven’t needed glasses before now, that you might need to start wearing them. Squinting will only get you so far.

Bright Flashes And Floaters

It’s perfectly normal to have a few floaters hanging around in your eyes. They can be annoying, but they usually aren’t a problem. However, if you suddenly see a bunch of new ones, you should definitely schedule an appointment, particularly if the floaters are accompanied by bright flashes of light or loss of peripheral vision. These are symptoms of retinal detachment, and can cause permanent blindness if not treated quickly enough.

To learn a bit more about floaters, watch the video below:

Frequent Headaches

Headaches aren’t always the result of eye problems, but it isn’t uncommon for optometrists to spot the causes of chronic headaches first. You may be having these headaches because of eye strain caused by your digital screens. If so, there’s no need to continue suffering in silence when we can help.

Eye Infection

Sometimes eye infections clear up on their own, but that isn’t a risk worth taking. If you’re experiencing blurred vision, light sensitivity, unusual discharge from your eye, itchiness, redness, or pain, come see us as soon as you can. Even if you think it’s just dry eye, it’s still important to come see us, because untreated dry eye can open the door to serious infections.

We’re Looking Out For Your Vision Health

Good vision health is crucial to a high quality of life, and we don’t want you to miss out on any opportunities or amazing views. Any reason for concern about your vision health is reason enough to schedule an early appointment.

Thank you for being a part of our practice family!

 

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

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.

Solar Eclipse Eye Safety: Protect Your Eyes!

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

Are you ready for the total solar eclipse on August 21?

Safety First – Shield Your Eyes!

It’s never a good idea to look at the sun, and that includes during a solar eclipse. It’s already important to wear UV-blocking sunglasses outside during the brightest hours of the day even when we aren’t looking directly at the sun. The light-sensitive cells that allow us to see are like delicate instruments, and looking at the sun overloads them. You can actually burn your retinas—a condition called solar retinopathy—by looking at the sun, and it doesn’t take long.

Eclipse Glasses Differ From Normal Sunglasses

Eclipse glasses are not the same as ordinary sunglasses, and even the very best polarized UV-blocking sunglasses are not sufficient protection for looking at the sun. In order to be approved by NASA, eclipse glasses can’t let more than 0.00032 percent of the sun’s light through them, they can’t have any bubbles or scratches, and they should include safety instructions printed on the earpieces. Do not risk your vision health by wearing eclipse glasses or using a solar viewer that doesn’t meet ISO 12312-2 international safety standards and please be careful buying eclipse glasses from online vendors. 

Tips for safe use of solar filters/viewers from the American Astronomical Society:

  • Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched, punctured, torn, or otherwise damaged, discard it.
  • Always supervise children using solar filters.
  • If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on and put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.
  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright Sun. After looking at the Sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the Sun.
  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.
  • Similarly, do not look at the Sun through a camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays could damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.
  • Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device; note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.
  • If you are inside the path of totality, remove your solar filter only when the Moon completely covers the Sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright Sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases.
  • Outside the path of totality, you must always use a safe solar filter to view the Sun directly.

 

Click Here for a list of reputable vendors of authentic solar eclipse glasses

What Is A Solar Eclipse?

The sun is about 400 times larger than the moon, but it’s also 400 times farther away from the earth, which is why they look the same size in the sky. When they line up with the earth just right, the moon can block out the sun, resulting in a solar eclipse. Anywhere the moon’s shadow falls, we see the eclipse, but it’s only a partial eclipse unless we’re in what’s called the “path of totality.” No matter how much of the eclipse you see, make sure you’re protecting your eyes.

To learn a bit more about solar eclipses, check out the video below:

Your Eyes’ Health Is Our Top Priority

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.

Fireworks Eye Safety Tips

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

Is there anything more American than hot dogs on the grill and fireworks in the sky? We all enjoy a patriotic pyrotechnics display, but fireworks are not without their risks.

Explosives Are Not Toys

To anyone lucky enough to have never been injured by fireworks, they might just seem like exciting lights and sounds, but the fact of the matter is that fireworks—from bottle rockets and Roman candles to mortars and artillery shells—are explosives. Even when they fire in the right direction, they can project tiny pieces of shrapnel toward nearby spectators at high speeds.

Even poppers and sparklers aren’t as safe as they seem. Sparklers burn at temperatures over 1200°F! That’s not something we want anywhere near our eyes. A few good rules for sparklers are to always supervise children under age 12 when they use them, don’t run with them, hold them at arm’s length from the body, and only use one at a time.

Eye Injuries Are Too Common

Every year, thousands of Americans are injured by fireworks. In 2014 alone, 1,300 people went to emergency rooms specifically for eye injuries. More significantly, it was the bystanders who suffered the majority of those injuries, not the operators. In 2015, an estimated 8,000 people were treated for firework-related injuries between June 19 and July 19, of which 42% were younger than 20. The injuries ranged anywhere from burns to more serious problems like cuts, and amputations. In 2015, 11 people died from fireworks accidents. All it takes is one spark or fast-moving piece of shrapnel to cause permanent blindness. Don’t let this happen to you or your loved ones!

Safety First!

The safest thing you can do is avoid home fireworks entirely and only go to professional displays, but if you are doing fireworks at home, make sure you follow these fireworks safety tips:

  • Carefully follow all safety instructions on the labels of your fireworks.
  • Always use protective eyewear. When shrapnel goes flying, goggles can be the difference between being blinded for life and walking away completely unharmed.
  • Supervise young children at all times. Better still, keep children under age 12 away from all fireworks, even sparklers and firecrackers!

Here’s a few more safety tips for using sparklers to celebrate your Independence Day:

If There Is An Injury…

Sometimes accidents happen even when we follow all the rules. If you or anyone else you know sustains an eye injury this 4th of July, here are some steps to follow:

  • Do not rub, rinse out, or apply pressure or ointment to the injured eye. Any of these will likely do even more damage.
  • Go straight to the emergency room (don’t even pause for pain medication on the way). The sooner the eye receives treatment, the better its chances are for recovery.

Have A Blast (As Long As You’re Safe)!

We want you all to be safe as you celebrate Independence Day, but we also hope you have a great time with family, friends, food, and fireworks.

Wishing all our patients a happy Fourth of July!

Karen’s Vision Therapy Success Story

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

“Thank you Dr. Levin! I don’t think I would be where I am today without Vision Therapy”

-Karen Stengler

 

Before coming to Levin Eye Care Center’s vision therapy program Karen was struggling to read and concentrate on her schoolwork. Karen would frequently have migraines during and after school that made it difficult to focus.

Before Vision Therapy :

  • Migraines
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Struggles with schoolwork
  • Didn’t enjoy reading

 

Karen was able focus on her schoolwork and concentrate on her studies after completing the vision therapy program at Levin Eye Care Center. She also had a significant decrease in the amount of migraines and is currently working in the medical field and in graduate school. Karen can now finish a book quickly in one sitting and loves to read!

After Vision Therapy :

  1. Decreased headaches and migraines
  2. Increased focus
  3. Loves reading
  4. Graduate student

 

Watch Karen’s story to learn how vision therapy can change your life!

Did you know that your Sunglasses can Expire?

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

Lucky for you, it may be time for a new pair of shades!

We’re surrounded by things with expiration dates, from the food in our fridge to the moisturizer we put on our face at night. Over time, the lightbulbs in our lamps go out and the paint on our houses fade. But what about your sunglasses? Do they have a shelf life?

Can Sunglasses Expire?

There are two kinds of people in this world: those that buy a new pair of sunglasses every year, maybe even several pairs, and those that find one good pair that they love and try to make them last. If you are part of the second group, you may want to listen up.

A study was recently conducted by researchers at the University of São Paulo in Brazil to see if sunglasses lost their UV-blocking power over time.

Here are someways that you might be harming your sunglasses:

  • everyday wear and tear of sunglasses
  • throwing them in your bag without a case
  • accidentally dropping them on the ground
  • scratches on the lenses that may be gradually diminishing their efficacy

While this is an interesting finding, there is a lot more research needed to fully understand exactly how long sunglasses can last and what their “expiration date” may be. Levin Eye Care Center recommends that you continue to take good care of your sunglasses while you have them, and don’t hesitate to get a new pair every year or two. Not only will you always be in style, but you can be sure your eyes are properly protected from the sun!

Remember These Tips When Buying Sunglasses

Not all sunglasses are created equal. Some look stylish, but may not provide the same amount of protection as another pair. When you do buy a new pair of shades, you want to make sure they are serving their purpose, which is to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays!

Here are some tips to remember when buying sunglasses:

  • Make sure they block 99 to 100 percent of UV light or have “UV absorption up to 400nm” on the label.
  • Larger frames and wraparound styles are great at protecting your eyes from many different angles.
  • Remember that the color and darkness of the lens doesn’t affect how well it protects you from UV rays. However, darker lenses can be more useful in very bright conditions.
  • Polarized lenses don’t block UV light, but are great for reducing glare and improving visibility.

We Have Just What You’re Looking For!

The staff at Levin Eye Care Center can help you choose from a variety of different styles and brands of sunglasses at our practice. Come and see for yourself! It would be our pleasure to help you find the perfect pair of shades for your style and personality.

We love to serve you! Thanks for trusting us with your vision health!

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.

Have You Ever Wondered What A Phoropter Does?

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

This is a question we love getting: “What does that big, space helmet-looking thing actually do anyway?”

Most patients have wondered what that large, imposing piece of equipment is that they always see at the optometrist’s office. Well, it’s called a phoropter, or a refractor, and it’s an awesome tool we eye docs love to use! Read on to find out more!

A Brief History Of The Phoropter

The phoropter was invented in the early 1900s. One, called the Ski-optometer, was invented by Nathan Shigon and another, called the Phoro-optometer was developed by Henry DeZeng. Later came Bausch and Lomb’s Greens’ Refractor.

The phoropter was unique from the device that was previously being used, the monocular optometer, because the phoropter was able to measure refractive errors as well as traits of binocular vision (meaning how well the eyes work together), among other things.

In today’s world, as technology gets more and more advanced, usually devices get smaller and more streamlined. You may be surprised to hear that with almost every new model that came out, the phoropter kept getting bigger and bigger! Over time, the phoropter continued to improve until it became what it is today in the 1960s, still as big and bold as ever.

Phoropters Help Us Fine-tune Your Prescription

This may sound familiar… you walk into the optometrist’s office and after some initial tests and pleasantries, you’re asked to sit behind the “space helmet” and look at the eye chart through the phoropter lenses. As we change the lenses with different optical powers, we’ll ask you the question we know you all love to answer, “Which is more clear, one or two?”

Based on your answers, we come up with a prescription that gets you as close to seeing 20/20 as possible. The phoropter is an amazing tool that helps us fine-tune your prescription and make sure you have the clearest, most accurate vision possible!

Watch the video below to learn more about what perfect vision is and why glasses are necessary for some people!

Want To Hear More?

If you have been wondering about some of the other equipment you’ve seen at our office, let us know in the comments section of this blog post! We’d be happy to highlight another cool tool that helps us do our job: keeping your eyes healthy and your vision precise.

Helping you see the world clearly is the best job in the world!

Vote for Levin Eye Care Center : The Times Best of the Region 2017

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Promo, Vision Therapy

A step-by-step guide to voting The Times Best of the Region 2017

Step 1 – Click the link -> The Times Best of the Region 2017 : Best Vision Care

 

Step 2 – Click Register / Login on the right side and input your email address then click continue.

 

 

 

 

Step 3 – Please check your email and click the link provided to confirm your account. The sender will be named “Promotion  Support ” Also, the email might be in your junk mailbox / folder.

 

Step 4 – Once you have clicked the confirmation link you will be sent back to the site. Now click on Healthcare then scroll down to “Best Vision Care” and Vote for Levin Eye Care Center!

When you see the green “Voted” button appear you have successfully voted us the Best of the Region 2017 !

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for your continued support and voting us Best of the Region!

Happy Valentine’s Day Savings!

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Promo

Happy Valentine’s Day!

To celebrate we are offering a 50% savings on Dior and Ovvo Frames while supplies last!

Call the office at 219-659-3050 or send us a message on our social networks for more info

*Promotion not applicable with VSP, Eyemed insurance, previous purchases or other discounts*

It Might Be Time For New Frames!

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Promo

new-frames

Fine works of art, delicious cheeses, and beautiful antiques all take on special qualities as they age. Old eyeglass frames may look stylish, but wear and tear will eventually take its toll.

Whether you’re sporting a pair of vintage specs, or you’ve simply had your frames for a while, we can help you recognize the signs when it’s time to update to a new pair of lenses or frames.

“How Do I Know When It’s Time?”

Of course, the number one sign that you should be considering new lenses and frames is if you’re noticing changes in your vision! How long has it been since you updated your prescription? The American Academy of Optometrists recommends a comprehensive eye exam every two years, or more often if certain risk factors are present.

Most of the time, such vision changes are so gradual that you don’t think about it until it becomes a problem. Come visit with us and let’s check your vision and prescription.

Other signs that you shouldn’t ignore include:

  • Frames with stripped screws
  • Heavily scratched or worn-down lenses
  • Bent frames that just don’t fit right
  • A loose fit that’s difficult to keep adjusted
  • Headaches more often than usual
  • Irritated skin at frame touch points

When It’s Time, Find New Frames That Fit YOU!

You can reduce everyday stress with a new pair of glasses that fit you comfortably and correctly. With properly fitting frames, there will be no more worrying about them sliding off or breaking—or going through the day with a vision-related headache.

While it’s important to find frames that fit you comfortably, you also want to find a pair that compliments your face shape. If you need help identifying your face shape check out the video below or visit us at our practice!

While You’re At It, Get Frames You Really Like!

Yes, the primary purpose for eyeglasses is to help you see better. But in addition, great-looking frames are fun to wear and boost your confidence. We’re experts at recommending frames that both compliment your individual look, face shape, and fit your lifestyle—and we have lots of awesome choices for you to consider!

When It’s Time, We’re Here To Help

Does getting new glasses feel overwhelming? If so, let us help you find the perfect frame with the perfect prescription. Call us to make an appointment soon.

We appreciate having you as our valued patient. Thank you!

Do Your Child’s Eyes Cross Frequently?

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

child-eye-crossing

Do you ever notice your child’s eyes crossing or moving in different directions?

Just as babies slowly learn to walk and talk, they must also learn how to see and correctly use their eyes to experience the world around them. Learning to focus their eyes, move them and use them together accurately is a process that takes place over time during infancy and childhood.

Crossing Eyes Are Normal In A Newborn

A common question we hear from parents is, “My baby’s eyes cross sometimes and move in different directions. What does it mean?” Since a baby’s visual system isn’t fully developed until later in childhood, it is normal for their eyes to cross or wander occasionally during the first few months of life. This should stop, however, after four months of age.

 

Past Four Months, It May Be Strabismus

If you notice that your child’s eyes are crossing or turning in different directions most of the time or beyond the age of four months, they may have strabismus. Strabismus is an eye condition in which both eyes don’t look at the same place at the same time. It can occur in one or both eyes, be constant or occur intermittently, and can be present from birth or develop later, most often by the age of three.

Strabismus can be caused by a number of things. The problem may occur in the muscles around the eye, the part of the brain that directs eye movements, or the nerves that transmit information to the eye muscles. Certain health conditions such as down syndrome and cerebral palsy may make a child more likely to develop strabismus.

Early Treatment Is Important

Strabismus can cause double vision and interferes with a person’s ability to perceive depth. Some people may think that their child will outgrow strabismus, but this is untrue. In fact, if strabismus is left untreated, it can progress to amblyopia, or lazy eye.

When the eyes are misaligned, the brain receives two different images. If left untreated, the brain will eventually ignore the image from the turned or crossed eye, permanently reducing vision in that eye. This is when amblyopia occurs.

The good news is that strabismus, if treated early, can be corrected with much success. Treatment options include:

  • Eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Prism lenses
  • Vision therapy
  • Eye muscle surgery

Eye Exams Are Crucial To Your Child’s Vision Health

Infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at six months. During their exam, we ensure that your child’s eyes are developing and working together properly. If you notice your child’s eyes crossing, frequently turning or wandering before they are six months old, call us and set up an appointment. It’s never too early to make sure that your child’s vision is healthy!

Thank you for trusting us with your family’s vision health!

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.

Jacqueline Anderson
Jacqueline Anderson

5 out of 5 stars

posted 5 months ago

Amazing office, from staff to the doctor all were exactly what I wanted And needed. My kids thought they were great as well which is important to me. They fit me in for an appointment last minute and stayed late when it ran over. They helped me figure out a way to pay my bill that I could afford. Every step they were there for me, friendly and smiling. I'd recommend this office without reservation to anyone seeking quality eye care! Thank you all for being so wonderful, I truly appreciate it.

Cyn Sacramento
Cyn Sacramento

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 months ago

I have been going to Levin for 2 years. Very personable staff, knowledgeable and always helpful. Love my newest Gucci glasses. Easy to be seen as well.

cran23
cran23

5 out of 5 stars

posted 4 months ago

The employees here are very helpful and helped me pick the perfect sun glasses! They offer care credit which makes it easier to get what you want and have more time to pay. Thank you guys! :)

Melissa Fasano
Melissa Fasano

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 months ago

We just picked up my 4yr old's first pair of glasses. Everyone in the office is so friendly and helpful!!

James D.'s Review James D.
5 Stars

Dr. Levin and his staff have excellent attention to detail and lots of patience. They answered all my questions and made me feel super welcomed with a snack...

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Jim F.'s Review Jim F.
5 Stars

Levin Eye Care Center stands head and shoulders above many businesses.

They are excellent with customer service, pay special attention to detail,work hard...

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M. N.'s Review M. N.
5 Stars

I was just recently here for a routine eye exam and also needed some new glasses. I just got new insurance through work and needed to find an office that...

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