Winter UV Eye Safety

Most of us remember to wear eye protection and sunscreen in the summer, but we probably don’t think about it as much during the winter months, even though studies show that sun exposure — regardless of season — may increase the risk of developing cataractssnow blindness and growths on the eye, including cancer.

Do you take the necessary precautions before you enjoy beautiful winter days? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t do so consistently.

In a recent study published in Archives of Dermatology, researchers took multiple readings of UV radiation at 32 high-altitude ski areas in western North America and interviewed thousands of skiers and snowboarders to find out whether they took precautions against the sun, such as wearing hats, sunscreen and goggles. The study found that most skiers and snowboarders took only occasional precautions against the sun.

However, sun reflecting off the snow can be very harsh. Exposure to UV radiation can even be high on cloudy days; in the northern hemisphere, the highest exposure is at midday. This extends through late winter and into early spring. Exposure also increases with elevation: the highest UV rating from the Archives of Dermatology study was taken at Mammoth Mountain in California.

Excessive exposure to UV light reflected off snow can damage the eyes’ front surface. In addition to cataracts, sun exposure can lead to lesions and tumors that may be cosmetically unappealing and require surgical removal. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that people be especially careful to protect their eyes in the winter months and only wear goggles or sunglasses with UV protection.

Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology,

Forsyth Clinic Remodel!







If you’ve been by our Forsyth clinic recently, you know we’ve been hard at work there! Come by, say hello, and check out our remodel! You can find us at the same location as always, however we’ve undergone a fantastic facelift that we’re excited to share with you!

Maui Jim: BOGO 1/2 Off!

During the month of December, come in to any Gailey Eye Clinic location to take advantage of our Maui Jim BOGO 1/2 off promotion! Purchase any complete pair of Maui Jim prescription sunglasses or eyeglasses, and receive 50% off a complete pair of eyeglasses! This is an amazing discount we are thrilled to offer our patients just in time for holiday shopping!

New Clinic in Ottawa!

It was an exciting summer for us at Gailey!  We officially opened our new Ottawa location at 4100 Veterans Drive in June.  While we were sad to say goodbye to our former location in Downtown Ottawa, we’re excited to offer our patients and staff a brand new building with ample parking.  Our new home is fresh from top to bottom.  Stop in to peruse our awesome optical boutique or call to schedule your next eye exam today!

What’s Trending in Eyewear?

Clear frames are all the rage right now and we highly recommend that you get your hands on a pair, stat!   From celebrities, to college students, to business professionals, people all over the globe are donning these terrifically translucent trend-setters.   Worried you have what it takes to rock a pair of these chic specs? Fear not, translucent frames come in a variety of styles, ranging from modern sleek to geek chic and they’re appropriate for any occasion.  The beauty of translucent frames is that they act as a highlighter to naturally brighten the eye area and remove shadows. While true clear frames look best on cool skin tones, those with warmer skin tones should try translucent colors with a warm grey or golden hue. The right frames will accentuate your natural features, especially highlighting your brow line and cheek bones.  So, what are you waiting for?  Come in to one of our Optical boutiques today and find your perfect pair of translucent glasses!

5 Risks of Wearing Halloween Costume Contacts

To avoid a real-life Halloween horror story, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is warning the public against wearing costume contact lenses purchased without a prescription. These illegally sold cosmetic lenses may not be sterile and can cause a host of serious eye problems:

  1. Scratches to the eye– If contacts are not professionally fitted to your eye, they can scratch the clear front window of the eye. This is called a corneal abrasion, which is not only painful, but can cause permanent damage. Just ask Laura Butler, who was in severe pain due to corneal abrasions 10 hours after putting in non-prescription lenses, which “stuck to my eye like suction cups.” Treatment often involves medication and patching, but in some cases damage cannot be reversed. Butler now lives with a corneal scar, vision damage and a drooping eyelid.
  2. Infection – Research shows wearing non-prescription contacts increases the risk of an infection called keratitis by 16 times. Early treatment with antibiotic or steroid drops may preserve vision, but sometimes surgery, such as corneal transplantation, is necessary. Robyn Rouse had to have that surgery after she got an infection after wearing non-prescription lenses she bought at a local store. Twelve years later, she still has blurry vision in her left eye and uses daily drops to combat dry eye.
  3. Pink eye – Never share contacts because doing so can spread germs, causing conditions such as pink eye. Highly contagious, pink eye treatment depends on the cause, but typically includes antibiotic drops.
  4. Decreased vision – Whether from a corneal scratch or infection, wearing non-prescription contacts can lead to decreased vision.
  5. Blindness – It’s no scare tactic: wearing non-prescription contacts can lead to permanent vision loss. Julian Hamlin has had more than 10 surgeries and is now legally blind in his left eye after wearing contacts to change his eye color, a mistake he’ll live with forever.

Article Credit: American Academy of Ophthalmology:

Things You Should Know If You’re Planning To View The Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse1

On August 21, 2017, people across 11 states in the U.S. will have the rare and memorable opportunity to see a total solar eclipse, including residents of Illinois. Though a total eclipse will be visible only from southern Illinois, namely Carbondale and the surrounding area, those of us in central Illinois will still be able to see a partial eclipse.

Here are some important eye health and safety tips we’d like you to be aware of:

Stylish Sun Protection for Your Eyes

Are you ready for all the fun in the sun this summer?  Make sure you protect your eyes in style!  The sunglasses you choose will not only affect the way you look, they will actually impact the way you see!!  Here are some cool options to consider as you purchase new sunglasses this season.

Mirrored Lenses:  Mirrored lenses are back and better than ever.  Besides looking totally cool, these lenses help protect your eyes by reflecting excess light away.  If you’re looking to make a bold statement, try reflective lenses in a bold color like gold or emerald blue!

Colored Lenses:  The beauty of colored lenses is that they allow you to make a bold statement without compromising the ability to block dangerous ultraviolet rays.  Still, it’s important to consider that colored lenses do affect the way you see color.

Making the Gradients:  To really shake things up, consider purchasing gradient lenses!  Gradient lenses allow you to have a darker tint at the top and a lighter tint at the bottom.  This makes them ideal for driving, as sunglasses with gradient lenses protect the eye from sunlight coming in from above, while leaving the vision clear below to see the road and your dashboard.

Whether you’re on the golf course, on the boat, at the pool, or just sitting on the front porch this summer, it’s important to make sure you have the best UV protection for your eyes.  Come in to Gailey and let us help you choose the right lenses for your lifestyle.  We are pleased to carry Essilor Colors with Xperio UV polarized lenses to make you look and see your very best!

Introducing NEW, Exclusive Glasses!

If you’re looking for unique glasses, something no one else has, we can help with that! Gailey is now offering the exclusive brands; KIO YAMATO and Maui Jim Ophthalmics.

KIO YAMATO comes to us from Japan! The name Kio Yamato literally means “pure and clean” and their frames fulfill that description perfectly.  This is a luxury eyewear brand that prides itself on offering modern, comfortable, handmade frames.  Their unique craftsmanship boasts unique hinge and temple designs that are sure to grab your attention. Gailey Eye Clinic is the only retailer of this brand in central Illinois. You can try KIO YAMATO frames in our Champaign and Springfield clinics – coming to Bloomington soon!

Maui Jim offers more than just sunglasses??  Yes, Maui Jim now offers an ophthalmic line of eyewear for everyday, indoor use.   As you probably know, Maui Jim is known for their incredible sunglasses, but, lucky for us, they’re branching into ophthalmic eyewear as well!  This new line of eyewear is designed to deliver all day comfort to those with prescriptive needs.  They are made with the highest quality materials and finishes, and their custom lenses give a crisp, clear view of the world around you.  Before they make their way to optical boutiques around the world, you can shop Maui Jim ophthalmics exclusively at Gailey Eye Clinic (these new frames aren’t even on Maui Jim’s website yet)! Fun fact: did you know Maui Jim headquarters are right here in Peoria, Illinois?

Celebrate National Eye Donor Month!

March is National Eye Donor Month and we’d like to honor the thousands of eye donors and their families who have made the decision to give the gift of sight through tissue donation.


Eversight Illinois- Bloomington is central Illinois’ very own eye bank.  It has carried on the mission of restoring sight in communities throughout central Illinois since its inception in 1952.  Initially, the eye bank was named the Watson Gailey Foundation Eye Bank and was part of Mennonite Hospital.  Now, many years later, the eye bank is part of a network of community eye banks called Eversight Illinois that provides the resources and expertise for eye tissue donation, transplantation, and research.

Gailey Ophthalmologist, Dr. Gregory Halperin, serves as one of the Medical Directors of Eversight Illinois-Bloomington and is proud to offer cornea transplant surgery.   Dr. Halperin, as well as, Gailey’s Dr. Robert Lee, offer hope and restored vision through transplant surgery for people with eye diseases like Fuchs’ Dystrophy.

It is only through the gracious act of tissue donation that we are able to perform life-altering, vision-restoring procedures like cornea transplant surgery.   Although we have a wealth of technology at our fingertips, we still need people like you to say ‘yes’ to donation. Take time to celebrate with us this month – discuss donation with your family, friends and colleagues and encourage them to become a registered eye, organ and tissue donor.  Find out more at

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Peru / Lasalle: (815) 224-1100
Springfield: (217) 529-3937