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What Happens if You Blink During LASIK?

A common concern among potential LASIK patients is whether they will be awake during the procedure. Yes—patients are awake during LASIK. However, there is no need to worry if you accidentally blink or move your eyes during the surgery. Thanks to advanced LASIK technologies in Victoria, Beeville, Cuero, Hallettsville and Port Lavaca, your eyes will remain comfortably steady as Dr. Boozalis provides the vision correction results you need to see as clearly as possible.

Before the procedure begins, you will be given anesthetic eye drops that numb the eyes. This will help reduce discomfort during the operation. Then, they’ll use an instrument that will keep your eyes open, so you do not have to worry about blinking throughout the procedure.

Many patients fear that being awake means that they will feel everything that is happening and that makes them squeamish when they think about eye surgery. Rest assured that you will feel nothing more than a light pressure on your eye if you feel anything at all. In addition to the numbing eye drops, you will be given a mild oral sedation, so although awake, you will feel relaxed. 

On average, LASIK will take less than 10 minutes for each eye. The actual time the lasers are in contact with each eye is for merely seconds. Still, the idea of being awake while something is touching the most sensitive part of your body is unnerving for many. So much so, in fact, that many people avoid LASIK surgery for this very reason. 

The good news is that with advanced LASIK technologies and lasers, patients can expect to experience a quick and easy procedure and outstanding vision correction results, even when they are awake during LASIK.

To learn more about the LASIK procedure and how we can help you see as clearly as possible, schedule a free LASIK consultation with Dr. Boozalis by contacting Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website.

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How Does LASIK Work on Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is an extremely common condition. Thankfully, patients with this condition have several reliable treatment options, including LASIK laser vision correction. Here’s what you need to know about how LASIK surgery works to correct astigmatism.

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is caused by an imperfection in the curvature of the cornea or lens of the eye. The cornea is the clear, round dome covering the eye’s iris and pupil. The lens of the eye is a transparent structure behind the cornea. In eyes without astigmatism, the cornea is evenly rounded across all areas, helping to focus light rays sharply onto the retina at the back of your eye. In eyes with astigmatism, the corneas are curved unevenly, in a shape similar to a football. This unevenness prevents light from bending properly as it passes through the eye, resulting in blurred vision.

While astigmatism is typically present at birth, it can also appear later in life. Certain vision factors can indicate an increased risk of astigmatism development, including:

  • Scarred or thinning corneas
  • Excessive nearsightedness or farsightedness
  • Previous eye surgeries (ex. Cataract surgery)

The following are common signs and symptoms of astigmatism:

  • Blurred or distorted vision at all distances
  • Headaches
  • Excessive squinting
  • Eye strain, especially when the eye must focus for long periods, such as using a computer monitor
  • Difficulty driving at night

Astigmatism can be easily detected during a routine eye exam.

How LASIK Works on Astigmatism

LASIK surgery with Dr. Boozalis in Victoria, Beeville, Cuero, Hallettsville and Port Lavaca may provide permanent relief from astigmatism and its accompanying blurry, strained vision.

During LASIK eye surgery, an ultra-precise laser is used to cut and reshape key parts of the eye, restoring and enabling normal function and clearer vision. In the case of astigmatism, LASIK reshapes your uneven corneas, rounding them out so that light passes through properly. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with astigmatism and are ready to correct your vision permanently, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website today to discover a treatment plant that’s perfect for you!

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What is the Difference Between LASIK and PRK?

LASIK and PRK have enabled millions of people to achieve excellent vision.

If you are considering laser eye surgery, there are a number of options to consider. Two of the most well-known procedures are LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). Both procedures have their pros and cons, and your eye doctor can help you determine which type of surgery is best for you based on your specific situation.

When it comes to comparing LASIK vs. PRK, the procedures have both similarities and differences. LASIK and PRK are both refractive eye surgeries that can be used to correct the following vision issues:

  • Myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Astigmatism (distorted or blurry vision)

Both procedures use an excimer laser to reshape the cornea so that when light enters the eye it is focusing properly on the retina, resulting in clear vision. 

PRK and LASIK Differences

PRK was the first laser eye surgery approved for vision correction, and LASIK came on the scene later. There are a few differences between the two. 

With LASIK eye surgery, the surgeon cuts a thin flap on the cornea to get to the treatment area. After the correction has been completed the flap is replaced.

With PRK eye surgery, the surgeon removes the entire outer (epithelial) layer of the cornea to access the treatment area. After the surgery, the eye naturally heals and grows a new epithelial layer.

For patients with thinner corneas, PRK is typically the preferred option vs. LASIK. However, PRK requires a longer healing time than LASIK, which is one of the reasons many patients opt for LASIK.

Along with a faster recovery, LASIK patients typically experience less discomfort than PRK patients. They also have a lower risk for infection and other side effects such as inflammation and hazy vision. In addition, vision typically stabilizes more quickly in LASIK patients.

With PRK, the surgeon does have access to the entire thickness of the stroma vs. what is accessible with the LASIK flap. For patients with thinner corneas or those who have previously undergone a LASIK procedure, this extra access may be necessary to achieve optimal results.

While rare, there can be complications with the corneal flap with a LASIK procedure. Also, with PRK there is less likelihood of removing too much of the cornea with the excimer laser as compared to LASIK.

Both LASIK and PRK treatments provide excellent visual outcomes and freedom from glasses for distance vision for nearly all patients. PRK and LASIK generally provide equivalent visual outcomes. So why would someone choose LASIK versus PRK? Some patients prefer LASIK for its faster healing, and others prefer PRK for its extra safety.

It’s important to note that both PRK and LASIK are highly successful, low-risk surgeries that provide most patients with significant vision correction. Because every patient’s eyes are unique, it’s best to seek out a highly qualified, experienced eye surgeon such as Dr. Boozalis.

Dr. Boozalis has performed thousands of corrective vision surgeries in Victoria, Beeville, Cuero, Hallettsville and Port Lavaca, and can recommend the type of surgery and treatment protocol that is best for your individual situation. If you would like to learn more about PRK or LASIK surgery contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website to schedule a free consultation.

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Preparing for a LASIK Consultation

In order to determine if you are a candidate for LASIK, you must first have a thorough, dilated eye exam with a qualified ophthalmologist. This exam is often referred to as a LASIK consultation.

Here are a few things to consider when preparing for a LASIK consultation:

Discontinue Contact Use: It is important for you to stay out of your contact lenses for at least 2 weeks prior to your consultation. Contact lens use can change the shape of your corneal surface, which can reduce the accuracy of the measurement of your refraction. 

Know What to Expect: During the examination, several tests will be administered including measurements taken to determine your prescription, the shape of your eye, the thickness of your cornea and the level of dryness in your eyes.

Make a List of Questions: Your LASIK consultation is intended to gather all the information needed to determine if LASIK is an appropriate method of vision correction for your eyes. But more importantly, it is an opportunity for you to learn about the procedure and to have all your questions answered.  

Medical History and Medication Information: Dr. Boozalis will need to be aware of any medical problems you may have or any medications you are currently taking. Be prepared to share medical information at your visit. 

Prescription History: An important factor in LASIK candidacy is having a stable prescription. If you have older prescription information or actual eyeglasses, please bring them with you to your appointment. 

Arrange a Ride Home: Since your eyes may be dilated during the exam, you may want to have a friend or family member drive you home from your appointment.

Coming in for a consultation in Victoria, Beeville, Cuero, Hallettsville and Port Lavaca is the best way to determine if you are a candidate for LASIK or an alternative vision correction procedure. If you would like to find out if LASIK is right for you, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website to schedule your LASIK consultation today. 

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Can I Drive After Cataract Surgery?

Today, most cataract surgery is done on an outpatient basis, and the entire process usually takes no more than 2 hours from check-in to heading home! The procedure itself usually lasts less than 15 minutes and is virtually painless. 

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Typically, cataract surgery is performed under local anesthesia and the recovery time is minor. Most patients are seeing clearly just one day after surgery, with little or no discomfort. Although you are not put to sleep with general anesthesia for the procedure, you will not be allowed to drive yourself home and will likely not be cleared to drive for at least 24 hours. 

The day after surgery you will have a follow-up visit with Dr. Boozalis, who will evaluate your recovery and test your vision. Typically, vision is greatly improved immediately after surgery, however each patient responds to cataract surgery in their own way, so some people might recover more quickly than others. Dr. Boozalis may advise you to avoid driving for a longer period of time, just to be safe. This means you should plan on having someone to drive you home immediately following your surgery and back to our office the day after for your follow-up visit.

Cataract surgery is one of the safest, most successful surgeries involving the eye. Most people notice a significant improvement in their vision and can resume everyday activities, including driving, within 24 hours after cataract surgery. To learn more about cataract surgery in Victoria, Beeville, Cuero, Hallettsville and Port Lavaca, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website.

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What are the First Signs of Cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye that normally occurs due to advancing age. A young, healthy lens is clear and flexible, which allows it to focus images onto the retina. But starting around the age of 40, the lens begins to yellow and harden, diminishing the patient’s vision. 

Cataracts start small but gradually worsen. Their effects on a person’s vision become more noticeable and debilitating over time as they mature. Eventually, an untreated cataract can cause significant vision loss and even total blindness.

The first signs of cataracts include the following:

  • Blurry, dim, or clouded vision (like looking out of a cloudy or streaked window)
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Glare from the sun or lights
  • Poor night vision
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Colors that look dull or faded
  • Need for brighter light for reading or similar activities
  • Frequently changing glasses prescription

Cataracts do not cause pain, tearing, redness or floaters. At first, the cloudiness in your vision caused by a cataract may affect only a small part of the eye’s lens and you may be unaware of any vision loss. As the cataract grows larger, it clouds more of your lens and distorts the light passing through the lens. This may lead to more noticeable symptoms.

At first, stronger lighting and eyeglasses can help you deal with cataracts. But if impaired vision interferes with your usual activities, you might need cataract surgery. Fortunately, due to the advancements in cataract surgery, a patient may have a cataract lens removed before it reaches an advanced stage. Cataract surgery is generally a safe, effective procedure.

If you are experiencing any of the early signs of cataracts, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website to schedule an appointment in Victoria, Beeville, Cuero, Hallettsville and Port Lavaca today.

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Types of Corrective Eye Surgery

Corrective eye surgery, also called refractive and laser eye surgery, refers to any surgical procedure used to fix vision problems. Safe and effective, corrective eye surgery is a commonly performed method of vision correction to reduce or even eliminate your dependence on glasses or contact lenses. If you would like to be less dependent on corrective lenses, Victoria Eye Center offers several corrective eye surgery options in Victoria, Beeville, Cuero, Hallettsville and Port Lavaca including: LASIK, Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK), LASEK and Refractive Lens Implants.

LASIK, laser in-situ keratomileusis, works for people who are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism. Dr. Boozalis uses a laser to create a flap in the outer layer of the cornea and then reshapes the tissue under the cornea so it can focus light properly. The flap is what makes LASIK different from other procedures.

PRK, photorefractive keratectomy, is used to correct mild to moderate nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Like LASIK, a laser is used to reshape your cornea but a flap is not created prior to the corneal reshaping. 

LASEK, laser epithelial keratomileusis, is similar to LASIK in that a flap is created. Dr. Boozalis then uses an alcohol solution to loosen the epithelial tissue and then a laser to reshape the cornea. After that, a soft contact lens is placed to hold the flap in place while your eye heals. LASEK works well to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

RLE stands for refractive lens exchange. Other names include PRELEX, clear lens exchange (CLE), clear lens extraction (CLE) and refractive lens replacement (RLR). This is the same surgery used for cataracts. In this procedure, a small cut is made at the edge of your cornea. The natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced with a silicone or plastic lens. This surgery can correct extreme farsightedness or nearsightedness. It works well for people with thin corneas, dry eyes or other minor cornea problems. A LASIK or LASIK-related procedure can be combined with RLE to correct astigmatism.

The right corrective eye surgery for you is determined through a consultation with Dr. Boozalis. To schedule your appointment, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website.

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Can LASIK Treat Farsightedness?

Hyperopia (farsightedness) is a common vision problem, affecting about one-fourth of the population. People with hyperopia can see distant objects well, but have difficulty focusing on objects that are up close. 

What Causes Farsightedness?

The eyeball of a farsighted person is shorter than normal. This causes light rays entering the eye to focus behind the retina rather than directly on it. 

Many children are born farsighted and some of them outgrow it as the eyeball lengthens with normal growth.

Farsighted people sometimes have headaches or eye strain and may squint or feel fatigued when performing work at close range. If you get these symptoms while wearing your eyeglasses or contact lenses, you may need an eye exam and a new prescription.

Treatment Options

Farsightedness can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses to change the way light rays bend into the eyes. You may need to wear your glasses or contacts all the time or only when reading, working on a computer or doing other close-up work.

Refractive surgery is a great option for correcting hyperopia. Laser vision correction surgery may reduce or eliminate your need to wear glasses or contact lenses. 

LASIK, laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is the most widely performed laser vision correction surgery. With LASIK, Dr. Boozalis cuts a flap to reach the inner part of your cornea then uses a laser to remove a small amount of tissue from the cornea to give it a different shape and correct the focusing error. 

Dr. Boozalis is experienced in treating hyperopia in location. Talk to him today about your options for correcting farsightedness, so you can make the choice that is best for you and your lifestyle. Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website to schedule your appointment or for more information.

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Should You Have LASIK After Age 40?

When a person’s near vision begins to diminish, sometime after age 40, many incorrectly assume that readers, bifocal/progressive glasses are the only options to see up close. Fortunately, this is far from the truth. Today, with the latest LASIK technology, there are several options for LASIK after 40.

Everyone over 40 will eventually suffer from presbyopia – the inability to see close-up. As your body ages, the natural lens of the eye loses its flexibility. Since this is a natural condition of the lens of the eye and not the cornea, it affects everyone; from normal glasses and contact wearers, to people with perfect vision and even people who received previous laser vision correction.

Until recently, the only solutions to the loss of reading vision were reading glasses or bifocals and progressive lenses. Thankfully, custom LASIK offers multiple solutions that can help you ditch the readers and even leave you completely glasses and contacts free!

Monovision

Most patients who receive traditional LASIK vision correction will be free from glasses until they hit their mid-forties, when presbyopia sets in. But there exists a custom LASIK procedure that can help correct both distance and reading vision. Called monovision, this procedure adjusts one eye to see things close-up, while the other eye sees things at a distance. Your brain then balances out the images for a full field of clear vision. While this may seem weird or uncomfortable, it’s actually the way our normal sight functions.

Before committing to monovision LASIK, Dr. Boozalis will have you try the concept using contact lenses to simulate the experience of monovision sight. Many people love it, but for some it may not feel quite right. For patients who decide that monovision is not the right fit for them, they can still get LASIK for their distance vision and just use cheap readers for the times when they need to see up-close.

LASIK has helped millions of patients achieve better vision. For those age 40 and over, LASIK may be a great option to improve or even correct vision. If you’re considering LASIK after 40, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website to schedule a consultation.

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Can You Prevent Cataracts from Getting Worse?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye that occurs naturally with age. Cataracts affect nearly 22 million Americans age 40 and older and by age 80, more than half of all Americans will have cataracts. While there is no scientific proof that you can prevent cataracts from getting worse, there are certainly steps you can take to help reduce your risk factors.

Tips to Prevent Cataracts from Getting Worse:

Maintain Regular Vision Care – Even if your vision is clear and healthy, make it a priority to schedule yearly eye exams. Routine visits allow your doctor to look for signs of cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and other vision disorders. Early detection can be key in saving your vision.

Eat a Healthy Diet – A healthy diet should be a priority for all of us. Eating foods high in antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, selenium and vitamins C and E, because these may help ward off cataract development. 

Quit Smoking – Research suggests that smoking doubles your chances of developing cataracts and the risk continues to grow based on how much you smoke.

Limit Alcohol Consumption – Like cigarettes, excess alcohol consumption can pose a number of health risks, including an increased chance of developing cataracts. So enjoy your wine, beer or cocktails in moderation.

Protect Your Eyes from the Sun – Research has shown that years of chronic sunlight exposure could increase your risk of cataracts. Make sure you wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection when outside for extended periods.

Control Diabetes – Studies suggest that those with diabetes are at greater risk for developing cataracts. That is why maintaining healthy blood sugar is so important—for both your overall health and the health of your vision.

No matter your age, there are steps you can take to help prevent cataracts from getting worse. Don’t wait until your vision becomes impaired to start thinking about cataract prevention. While these tips may help for a while, if you develop a cataract and start to experience vision loss, contact your eye doctor right away. Cataract surgery is a simple procedure to treat the condition and restore vision. To learn more or to schedule an appointment in Victoria, Beeville, Cuero, Hallettsville and Port Lavaca, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website today.

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