Primary Eye Care Associates - January/February 2020



If money were no object, what dream of yours would you make a reality?

was thinking about how I enjoy Mexican food. We keep paying forward these random acts of kindness, and it creates such a great feeling, especially if you’re having a not-so-great day. If money were no object, I would want time so I could perform more actions that lead to people paying forward the kindness they received. You might be thinking: Can’t you do those sorts of things while still having a finite amount of money? Well, yes, but I think we all tend to take care of ourselves before we take care of others. You may be going through your day thinking, “Once I get out of debt or once I save enough money, then I’ll start paying it forward.” I challenge us all to start now — not when you lose the weight, or get out of debt, or if he or she changes first. I tell my kids all the time, “Act now as if you had all the time and money in the world. It’s that attitude that makes you attractive, healthy, and fun to be around. You will perform better on exams and in class.” So instead of answering the question “if money were no object,” why not act as if that were the case right now? The other day, my parents, who were visiting for holidays, had to be dropped off at the airport during a time when I was at the clinic. “No problem,” I thought, “My kids

Some of you might have a pretty good answer to that question. As for me, it’s a hard question to answer with a lot of certainty. However, if money were no object, I would want to be more generous with my time. I would want to use my time to create experiences for the people I know and love, maybe so they can take my created experiences and pay them forward, so to speak. If it hasn’t happened to you, you’ve probably at least heard how someone at a Starbucks or another coffee shop paid for their order and for the person behind them in the drive-thru. That led them to pay for the person behind them, and so on. It’s a little deed that only takes a few seconds to start, but it can create a chain reaction of kindness among strangers. Here in the clinic, I practice this philosophy all the time — sometimes, it doesn’t even cost money. I can bring the team breakfast for our weekly huddle meetings or just give someone a compliment. Just the other day, Carol, our marketing director, had a cup of my favorite soup waiting for me in the lunchroom. Renee randomly brought me tacos the other week because she

will gladly drop them off.” When I told the kids, Shyal said, “Can’t we just get them an Uber?” but that’s not the kind of thinking I mean when I say to act like money is no object. While an Uber Black may be convenient and seem like a nice gesture to some, I asked him, “Is it right to have a stranger take your grandparents to the airport or is it better for you to take them, engage in real conversation, and physically hug them at Midway’s entry?” You may not be rewarded immediately for acts of kindness, but you will be rewarded. That’s a guarantee. I’m not saying to go out and buy something you can’t afford for yourself or others. Rather, we all have the same amount of time given to us each day, so why not use that time to create value, as if money was not an object? Until we all have an unlimited supply of time and money, however, we just have to look up from our own lives every once in a while and perform random acts of kindness wherever we can manage them.

Until next time, eye’ll see you later!

– Dr. Steven Chander

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Natural Remedies for Stuffy Noses DON’T LET CONGESTION GET THE BEST OF YOU

heating system. Try using a humidifier or vaporizer when you sleep. You may also find a warm compress helps ease congestion: Soak a washcloth in warm water mixed with a couple of drops of eucalyptus essential oil (consult the oil distributor for the exact ratio), then place the washcloth over your nose and cheeks for several minutes. Drinking plenty of water and sleeping upright at night can also help ease further congestion.

FLUSH YOUR NASAL PASSAGE Use a saline nasal spray or a nasal irrigator, like a neti pot, to flush and moisturize your nasal passage. These devices flush out allergens and keep your nasal passage moist, easing congestion and preventing further buildup. When using a neti pot or other nasal irrigator, always use sterile, distilled water or water that has been boiled and cooled.

Nasal congestion can have many different causes, including allergies, colds, or the flu, but the symptoms are often very similar: sinus pressure, headaches, and a stuffed-up nose. This is the result of membranes in your nasal passage becoming irritated and your body responding by producing mucus to try and flush out the irritants. Unfortunately, that response also causes nasal congestion. This is intensified by winter weather when dry air and heaters can further dry out your already irritated nasal passage. So, what is the best way to ease nasal congestion and sinus pressure? Try these at-home remedies that focus on moistening your nasal passage.

While over-the-counter decongestants can temporarily help ease

congestion, they are not intended for long-term

use and may further dry out the nasal passage. Adding and maintaining moisture is the best

MAINTAIN MOISTURE Humidifiers add moisture into the air, creating a more humid environment, and can be especially helpful if you have a forced-air

way to prevent or ease sinus congestion. If the problem persists, talk to your doctor.

ONLINE VISION EXAMINATIONS: WORTH IT? The Benefits and Risks of Virtual Prescriptions

The internet has given us access to nearly anything we can imagine — for every doubt or need, we can turn to Google and find answers. But the internet can’t do everything for us. In recent years, companies like Opternative, Glasses On, and Essilor have been offering virtual vision exams for people who need a new prescription for glasses, contacts, or both. But does this service actually replace in-person appointments? If not, what’s lacking?

the results, along with your prior prescription, and issue a new prescription for your glasses, contacts, or both. CAN DIGITAL EXAMS REPLACE IN-PERSON ONES? No. Vision exams only test the superficial limitations of your eyes — other conditions that would be caught in an in-person vision exam, such as astigmatism, are too specified for an online exam to detect accurately. Many eye professionals doubt whether digital exams are beneficial at all; accessing your glasses prescription alone won’t give you a full picture

VISION EXAMS VS. EYE EXAMS If you’re looking to update your lenses’ prescription and/or get new glasses, you’ll need a vision exam. A vision exam will test the quality of your vision, while an eye exam is a more comprehensive evaluation of your eye health. Generally, a flat-screen and the digital world are only capable of vision exams; don’t trust a website that promises a comprehensive eye exam. Some people are skipping in-person vision exams in favor of digital ones. The results from these digital tests are sent to an eye doctor licensed in your state who will review

of the current health of your eyes and whether you may be developing things like glaucoma, retina problems, or even diabetes. Also, vision exam websites typically don’t accept medical or vision insurance, either. For busy patients who can’t seem to find the time at all to walk into a clinic, convenience is an important benefit to online exams. Just know that these tests are not comprehensive, the cost may not justify the purchase, and you run the risk of missing out on additional information about your eyes that can impact your future health.


NEW YEAR’S EYE CARE RESOLUTIONS How to Better Your Eye Health in 2020

free online smoking cessation program at , or ask your doctor for help. MANAGE YOUR SCREEN TIME Whether it’s for work or pleasure, two-thirds of Americans are spending up to 7 hours a day looking at blue light screens on their computers or other devices, like smartphones. This can create short-term pain, such as headaches, eyestrain, dry eye, and neck/ backache. Pick up the 20/20/20 rule: After 20 minutes, look away at an object 20 feet away for just 20 seconds. The contrast between characters on the screen and the background can also make a significant impact on your eye strain. Make sure your computer screen is positioned below your eye level and tilted back 10–20 degrees. Reducing glare can make a bigger difference than just adjusting type size. If you have to spend hours of your day looking at a computer screen for work, then you may benefit from computer glasses or lenses designed to filter out the blue light that can strain our eyesight so easily. Call our office at 773-735-6090 and make an appointment for more tips on keeping your eyes healthy this year!

This time of year gets people thinking about their future — we think about yours, too! Here are some of the best additions to your routine for your short- and long-term eye health. EAT HEALTHY FOODS You are what you eat. Research shows that age-related vision problems like macular degeneration and cataracts can be combated with nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E. The best way to get them is by eating plenty of leafy green vegetables, like collards, chard, spinach, and kale; fish, like salmon, tuna, or other white fish; nonmeat protein sources, like eggs, nuts, and beans; citrus fruit, like oranges, lemons, and limes; and other protein-rich foods, like oysters and pork. QUIT SMOKING Smoking exposes your eyes to high levels of oxidative stress. A clear correlation has been found between smoking and your risk for a variety of health conditions affecting your eyes, such as cataracts, damage to your optic nerve, and macular degeneration. Don’t let your previous attempts to quit discourage you — keep at it! The more times you try to quit, the more times you’re likely to succeed. Visit the American Lung Association’s website for a


How to Make Your Own SAUERKRAUT

Inspired by


• 2 lbs cabbage • 4 tsp fine sea salt


• Jar • Lid with airlock • Something to weigh down cabbage, ideally made of a nonreactive material like glass


1. Remove outer leaves from cabbage. Slice very thinly. 2. In a large bowl, combine cabbage and salt. Let stand for 20 minutes. 3. Squeeze cabbage to release juices. Let the cabbage continue to soak and release juices for another 20 minutes. 4. Transfer to a jar and press down cabbage until completely submerged in its juices. Weigh down cabbage. 5. Seal jar with airlock. Let cabbage sit at room temperature and away from sunlight for one month. Once fermented, transfer to the fridge. Sauerkraut will keep for six months to one year.

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5460 S. Archer Ave. Chicago, IL 60638

Inside This Issue What Would You Do if Money Were No Object? PAGE 1

Natural Ways to Ease Sinus Congestion PAGE 2

Benefits and Risks of Online Vision Exams PAGE 2

How to Better Your Eye Health in 2020 PAGE 3

How to Make Your Own Sauerkraut PAGE 3

Enter 2020 With an Organized Computer PAGE 4

CTRL, ALT, DELETE YOUR CLUTTER Tips for National Clean Up Your Computer Month

Everyone relies on technology. Computers, laptops, tablets, and phones are staples of modern life. However, it’s easy for these devices to become cluttered with old photos, files, and general disorganization. Luckily, January is National Clean Up Your Computer Month and an excellent time to get your technology in order. START BY DUSTING Over time, computer towers can become clogged with dust, which creates additional, unwanted heat within your computer. Regular cleanings will increase the lifespan of your computer and protect its essential components. Compressed air is great for removing most of the dust and other particulates. If the fans or filters are too dirty, you can remove them from the tower to clean them better. If you use water or liquid cleaning products on them, be sure they are completely dry before placing them back into your computer. ORGANIZE YOUR FILES Naming and arranging the files on your computer in such a way that they’re easy for you to find can end up saving you a lot of

time. Declutter your workspace by creating one file for pictures, one for Word documents, one for spreadsheets, and one for programs to eliminate the hassle of frantically searching for the files you need.

BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER Be sure to back up your computer before you start deleting things. This acts as a safety net in case you delete something you didn’t mean to. Additionally, consider installing a second hard drive. The extra space can help with storing important files without having to worry about how much room is left. CLEAN UP SPACE Any files you’ll never use again should be deleted. Likewise, any programs you haven’t used in a while should be uninstalled. Check your hard drive for files that might be taking up unintended space on your computer. And remember to empty the recycling bin — it’s easy to forget just how much goes in there.


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