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!

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.

Optical Illusions: More Than Meets The Eye

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

optical-illusions

As you stare at an optical illusion you may wonder… are your eyes playing tricks on you?

To fully understand how optical illusions work, it’s important to grasp that the visual system is made up of more than just our eyes. In fact, optical illusions don’t necessarily trick our eyes—they trick our brains.

The Visual System Is Made Of Many Moving Parts

While your eyes play an important role in vision, they are only one component of a larger visual system that includes many different parts such as the optic nerve, the optic chiasm and the visual cortex of the brain, to name a few.

We see when light enters our eyes and is focused onto the retina. The cells in the retina turn light into electrical signals that are then sent through the optic nerve to the brain. This visual information is interpreted by our brains allowing us to form an image in our minds. So, technically, we “see” with our brains. This complex process takes only one-tenth of a second!

Optical Illusions Take Advantage Of The Brain’s Shortcuts

Our eyes take in a lot of visual stimuli throughout the day and to make sure our brains aren’t overloaded with visual information, they often take shortcuts, filling in gaps or creating an image based on past experience.For the most part, these shortcuts work well for us and we never notice them.

The exception is when we’re looking at an optical illusion. Optical illusions take advantage of these shortcuts and fool our brains so that our perception of an image doesn’t necessarily match reality. Optical illusions may trick us, but they actually reveal a lot about how our visual system works.

Watch this video to understand more optical illusions!

Don’t Let Your Eyes Fool You

It’s easy to be fooled by optical illusions, but as your eye care providers, we make sure you’ll never be fooled by your eyes! By coming in for regular eye exams, you can be sure that your vision is healthy and strong as well as be on the lookout for early signs of disease.

If there’s anything you’ve learned from optical illusions today, it’s that things aren’t always as they appear. The same goes for your vision health. Call us to schedule an appointment today so we can make sure your eyes are in peak condition!

We love our patients. Thank you for the trust you place in our practice!

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.

Time Is Running Out To Use Your Insurance Benefits!

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health, Promo

insurance-benefits

It’s that time of year again! Have you used all of your remaining vision insurance benefits?

What Is Vision Insurance?

Whether you received your vision insurance through an employer or you enrolled in a plan on your own, you may be curious how it works. Each plan differs based on your insurance provider and your level of coverage, but most plans have the same basic function.

Vision insurance plans are health and wellness plans designed to lower the out-of-pocket cost of routine eye care. This often includes eye exams and prescription eyewear. Some plans even offer discounted rates on vision correction surgery. Each provider has a wide range of benefits, so be sure to speak with your employer or insurance provider to understand what benefits are available to you.

Check out the video below to see why you should take advantage of the comprehensive eye exams included in your insurance plan:

Vision Insurance Differs From Other Insurance Policies

Most vision insurance policies differ from other major medical policies. For instance, many regular health insurance policies provide unlimited benefits after you pay a certain co-pay or meet a predetermined deductible. Vision insurance plans, however, are known as discount or wellness benefit plans that offer specific benefits and discounts when you pay an annual insurance premium.

Because of this key difference, it’s important you get the most out of your vision insurance each year! Many plans offer significant discounts on comprehensive eye exams, eyeglass frames, eyeglass and contact lenses, and lens enhancements such as anti-reflective coatings. Since these benefits are discounts based on an annual premium, they don’t roll over to the next year if left unused—meaning you’d lose out on free or drastically discounted services.

Make An Appointment Before It’s Too Late!

We want to help you get the most out of your vision insurance benefits each and every year. If you have any questions about your vision insurance plan, feel free to give us a call! We’d love to work with you to meet your family’s eye care needs.

Thank you for continuing to place your trust in our practice.

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.

Get The Facts On Sports Related Eye Injuries!

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

protective-eyewear

Is your vision a priority when you’re playing sports? Eye Injuries Can Happen When You Least Expect Them

The crisp smell of freshly cut grass on the soccer field, the gleam of the basketball court before a game, the cheering fans at the football stadium, the feeling of the baseball bat, familiar in your hands…There’s no doubt about it–playing sports can be a magical thing.

Unfortunately, that magic can be shattered in an instant. No one understands this better than Aroldis Chapman, Chicago Cubs relief pitcher. In March of 2014, then pitching for the Cincinnati Reds, the four-time All-Star was hit in the eye by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez. After extensive treatment, including surgery, Chapman was lucky to retain full visual capacity and return to the game later that season.

While you or your child may not experience this type or level of injury, sports related eye injuries happen frequently and unexpectedly, and can have severe repercussions as serious as permanent vision loss.

Watch out for these signs or symptoms of sports related eye injuries:

  • Pain when looking up and/or down, or difficulty seeing
  • Tenderness
  • Sunken eye
  • Double vision
  • Severe eyelid and facial swelling
  • Difficulty tracking
  • The eye has an unusual pupil size or shape
  • Blood in the clear part of the eye
  • Numbness of the upper cheek and gum
  • Severe redness around the white part of the eye

Know The Risks

Did you know that there are approximately 100,000 sports related eye injuries each year? 30,000 of those are sustained by children. While that may seem frightening, we’d like to emphasize that 90 percent of sports related eye injuries can be prevented through the proper use of protective eyewear.

It’s important to know what the risks are for the specific sport you are involved in, as certain sports are riskier than others. For example, baseball, hockey, basketball, water polo and racquet sports result in more eye injuries than other sports. In addition, different types of sports may pose unique risks. Cyclists, skiers and snowboarders (to name a few) are more in danger of radiation injuries caused by exposure to the sun.

Wearing protective eyewear may not be able to completely protect your eyes in all cases, but it can drastically reduce the frequency and severity of sports related eye injuries. Talk to us about the sports you and your child are involved in. We can recommend the most effective type of eyewear and gear for the specific sports you participate in.

Your Vision Is Precious

Sports related eye injuries can change a person’s life in an instant. As the saying goes, prevention is the best treatment! The next time you don your uniform, don’t forget to put on your protective eyewear with it. Your vision is precious, remember to protect it.

Thank you for being such wonderful patients!

Did You Know That Nearly Half Of All Eye Injuries Occur At Home?!

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

eye-safety

Can you guess where nearly half of all eye injuries occur?

There are approximately 2.5 million eye injuries in the United States each year. To many people’s surprise, around 50 percent of these injuries occur at home.

Make Your Home Safe For Your Sight

When we hear the words “protective eyewear” most of us think of people working in lab coats or hard hats, while normal tasks such as mowing the lawn or cleaning with household chemicals seem so commonplace as to not pose any danger. As evidenced by the statistic above, we know this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Here are our top five tips on how to protect your vision at home:

  1. Use protective eyewear. Wear proper safety glasses whenever exposed to projectiles (such as wood chips, shavings and dust), chemicals, and radiation or electricity.
  2. Make your home eye-safe. Remove tripping hazards, secure rugs and make sure there is sufficient lighting and handrails around stairs.
  3. Remove debris before yardwork. Lawn mowers and weed wackers can cause devastating injury. Inspect your yard to remove any hazards before going to work.
  4. Be smart when using hazardous products. Do not mix chemical agents and always be aware of manufacture warnings and guidelines. Always wash your hands after completing a task involving chemical substances.
  5. Properly store tools and cleaners. Ensure that they are out of reach of children and pets.

Take Extra Care With Bungee Cords

While bungee cords are extremely useful, and relatively cheap, they are often the cause of serious eye injury. Bungee cords are pulled tight to hold things down or keep them in place, but what if the cord is not quite long enough?

Many people are inclined to keep pulling until the cord slips out of their hands or breaks, launching it back at them at up to 200 miles an hour. As you can imagine, this can be very dangerous, especially in the hands of children. If you do use bungee cords, be sure to wear protective eyewear. However, we recommend using alternative fasteners such as ropes.

Talk To Us About Protective Eyewear

If you wear glasses or contacts and frequently do tasks around your home that pose a risk to your eyes, talk to us about getting prescription safety glasses. We want to make safeguarding your eyes as easy and as comfortable as possible so your vision is always protected!

We’re grateful for your loyalty to our practice.

Jacqueline Anderson
Jacqueline Anderson

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 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.

cran23
cran23

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month 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! :)

Joshua Tl
Joshua Tl

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 year ago

I went to Levin Eye Care Center because of the wonderful reviews I saw online. After discussing improving my acuity and reading skills. They recommended the vision therapy program. Even in my mid-twenties, I decided to go through with it and start the process. The sessions were well worth it and it's an easy one on one setting. I highly recommend to take the 1st step and go see for yourself. The results I have experienced so far is amazing. Thank you once again!!!

Diane Oceguera
Diane Oceguera

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 year ago

The best service you can receive for your eyes is at Levin Eye Care Center. The staff there is genuine, loving, happy, fun and truly care about your overall well being. They make you feel special and loved. You leave there with great eye care and stylish glasses. I have also taken my mother there. She loved the attention and care she received by everyone there. I would like to give 100 stars or more to Olivia, Loretta, and Dr. Levin. You guys rock!!!

Planting Possibilities
Planting Possibilities

5 out of 5 stars

posted 7 months ago

I have been going to Levin Eye Care Center for 33 years. My wife has been going longer. Dr. Levin and his staff are very knowledgeable and helpful explaining eye health options. Our entire family are patients at Levin Eye Care Center.

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