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LASIK Surgery Risks

Most LASIK patients are highly satisfied with the results of their refractive surgery. However, like any other medical procedure, there are certain risks to be considered. Before undergoing a refractive procedure like LASIK, you should carefully weigh the risks and benefits. Potential LASIK surgery risks include:

Loss of Visual Acuity: Visual acuity is the sharpness of your vision. Vision that is at least 20/20 is considered ideal visual acuity. But LASIK surgery does not guarantee perfectly sharp visual acuity – like some of the ads promise – and you might not be able to completely ditch your glasses and contacts after your procedure.  

Visual Distortions: Even patients who do achieve 20/20 visual acuity following LASIK can have other problems. Some visual distortions that may be experienced include halos, double vision and issues with glare.  

Under or Over Correction: Though relatively rare, undercorrection or overcorrection are both possible complications of LASIK surgery. Those with severe myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism are at increased risk for undercorrection or overcorrection.

Dry Eye: Damage to nerves sustained during the LASIK procedure can lead to dry eye. Symptoms include discomfort, blurred vision and sensitivity to light; some patients also feel like they have something in their eye. If you already have dry eye, you may not be a suitable candidate for LASIK until you undergo treatment for it, because LASIK may worsen your existing condition.

Inflammation: Inflammation is a normal response to injury, including the cell damage caused by LASIK. If not controlled, or if caused by wound contamination, inflammation may slow the healing process, leading to corneal haze or even permanent loss of vision. Symptoms of inflammation include pain, a burning sensation and/or redness.

Regression: Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that LASIK outcomes are stable in most patients. Nonetheless, a small percentage of patients will see their vision slip over time. This is called regression.

Epithelial Ingrowth: Epithelial ingrowth occurs when cells in the epithelium (the outer layer of the cornea) move under the flap and begin to grow following surgery. Although epithelial ingrowth may not cause any problems, it can lead to blurriness, discomfort and other symptoms. Older patients are more likely to experience epithelial ingrowth.

Although laser vision correction has a very high patient satisfaction rate, negative LASIK side effects can be experienced in some patients. While serious complications are extremely rare, and most side effects are mild and temporary, patients should be fully aware of all possible risks, no matter how minor, before deciding to undergo such a procedure.

If you’re considering vision correction surgery in Beeville, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website to schedule a LASIK consultation with Dr. Boozalis. 

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Options to LASIK

Although LASIK has greatly improved the vision of tens of thousands of patients, it’s not the best option for everyone. There are several options to LASIK to consider if you are interested in vision correction and are not a good candidate for the LASIK procedure. 

Because Dr. Boozalis in Victoria is committed to providing the best possible outcome for each of their patients, LASIK will only be recommended if they believe it’s the best option for you. A variety of preexisting conditions and variables, such as having thin corneas or certain corneal diseases, may prevent you from having LASIK. Dr. Boozalis will determine whether any of these conditions affect you during the comprehensive exam you receive at your initial LASIK consultation.

If Dr. Boozalis determines that you aren’t a LASIK candidate, you may qualify for LASIK alternatives such as photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) or intraocular lenses (IOLS).

PRK: Like LASIK, photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) uses an excimer laser to reshape the eye’s cornea. With PRK, however, the first step of LASIK – creating a corneal flap – doesn’t occur. Instead, the excimer laser ablates the epithelium (the thin outer layer of the cornea) to correct vision, flattening the cornea in a nearsighted eye and smoothing the irregular cornea in an eye with astigmatism. This allows light entering the eye to better focus onto the retina, which results in clearer vision.

IOLS: Intraocular lenses (IOLS) are an alternative to LASIK and PRK eye surgery for correcting moderate to severe myopia (nearsightedness). This procedure is generally indicated for younger patients who are not good candidates for LASIK. IOLs are clear implantable lenses that are surgically placed either between the cornea and the iris (the colored portion of your eye) or just behind the iris, without removing your natural lens. These lenses enable light to focus properly on the retina for clearer vision without corrective eyewear. Implantable lenses function like contact lenses to correct nearsightedness. The difference is that IOLs work from within your eye instead of sitting on the surface of your eye. Also, IOLs offer a permanent correction of myopia, unless the lens is surgically removed.

Dr. Boozalis in Victoria is dedicated to providing the right vision correction procedure for you. To find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK, or if another option is more appropriate for your vision correction needs, please contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website to schedule an appointment.

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Are Cataract Surgery and LASIK Surgery the Same Thing?

LASIK surgery and cataract surgery are NOT the same thing. They are two procedures with the same goal of improving vision, but they correct two different problems.  

Cataract – A cataract is simply a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye. The lens maintains a delicate balance between water and protein so that we can see clearly through it. When the proteins clump together, the resulting cataract blocks some of the light entering the eye, making vision blurry or hazy. Once the cataract begins to interfere with daily tasks such as reading and driving, cataract surgery is the only viable treatment option.

During cataract surgery in Cuero, Dr. Boozalis removes the cloudy natural lens from the eye and replaces it with an intraocular lens (IOL), which remains permanently in place of the removed natural lens. The IOL compensates for the magnification that the old lens provided. 

LASIK – LASIK is a type of refractive surgery that improves vision by reshaping the corneal tissue of the eye with a laser. The front surface (cornea) of the eye and lens inside the eye form the eye’s focusing system and are primarily responsible for focusing incoming light rays onto the surface of the retina, much like the lenses of a camera focus light onto the film. In a perfect optical system, the power of the cornea and lens are perfectly matched with the length of the eye and images are in focus; any mismatch in this system is called a refractive error, and the result is a blurred image at some location.

Both cataract surgery and LASIK surgery are outpatient procedures and require minimal downtime. With proper rest and avoidance of any strenuous activities, recovery is usually just a matter of days, and most patients experience only minor discomfort. You will be required to wear an eye shield following either procedure, and will need to use eye drops as instructed by Dr. Boozalis. Several follow up appointments will be required to ensure the eye is healing properly and initial results are sustained.

An eye exam is the best way to determine if you would benefit from cataract surgery or LASIK surgery. If you are experiencing less than perfect vision, contact Victoria Eye Center today at 800-833-0234 or website to schedule an examination and consultation.

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Are LASIK and PRK the Same Thing?

If you are considering laser eye surgery, there are several options to examine. Two of the most well-known laser vision correction procedures are LASIK (Laser Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis) and PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy). Both procedures have their pros and cons, and a visit to Dr. Boozalis in Beeville can help you determine if either type of surgery is best for you based on your specific vision needs.

When it comes to comparing LASIK versus 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. Dr. Boozalis sculpts what is known as the stromal layer of the cornea to achieve the desired corneal shape for vision correction.

PRK was the first laser eye surgery approved for vision correction, and LASIK came on the scene later. 

In LASIK, Dr. Boozalis creates a flap in the corneal tissue. The flap of tissue is lifted so the laser can be applied to reshape the inner layers of the cornea. The computer-controlled surgical laser carefully reshapes the layers of the cornea to repair imperfections in curvature that lead to distorted vision. The corneal flap is then put back in place and heals over the reshaped part of the cornea in a few days.

In PRK, Dr. Boozalis does not create a flap of corneal tissue. Instead, the outer (epithelial) layer of the cornea is removed to expose the area for the laser to reshape. This makes PRK a better choice for people whose eyes meet certain criteria, such as having thin corneas or chronically dry eyes. 

A significant difference between LASIK and PRK is the initial discomfort and the speed of visual recovery. Recovery from PRK takes a little longer than from LASIK because the outer layer of the cornea needs time to heal. PRK patients can expect it to take one to three days for the discomfort, blurring and other post-surgical effects to subside, and it will take up to 6 months for vision to reach absolute peak acuity and clarity. LASIK recovery is much faster. The discomfort following LASIK surgery is usually mild and short term. While most patients report seeing normally within several hours after the procedure, their vision continues to improve gradually for several months before reaching peak quality.

Both surgeries are safe and effective and carry a very high rate of patient satisfaction. Because every patient’s eyes are unique, it’s important to have a thorough examination with an experienced eye surgeon such as Dr. Boozalis in Beeville. Dr. Boozalis has performed thousands of corrective vision surgeries and can recommend the type of surgery and treatment which is best for your individual situation. If you would like to learn more about LASIK or PRK surgery options, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website to schedule a free consultation.

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LASIK Technology

LASIK surgery is the most popular laser vision correction procedure performed today, and for good reason. Ongoing advancements in laser technology have made way for successful surgeries and better visual outcomes. At Victoria Eye Center in Port Lavaca, Dr. Boozalis utilizes the latest advancements in LASIK surgery to offer patients the best possible vision correction experience. The most advanced LASIK techniques include:

Bladeless – LASIK involves reshaping the cornea to correct the refractive error. To access the cornea, a flap must be made. In previous vision correction techniques, the flap was created using a hand-held bladed tool. Modern LASIK techniques utilize a femtosecond laser to create the flap, eliminating the risks associated with the use of a manual blade. Studies have shown that the femtosecond laser allows for more precise corneal flap thickness, improving the accuracy and predictability. This also offers a decreased risk of corneal abrasions during the procedure, and a decreased risk of induced astigmatism after LASIK. It also gives more options in terms of flap size, shape and orientation, yielding a more customized procedure, as well as a faster healing time thanks to the smoother edges of the flap. 

Eye Tracking Technology – Early LASIK procedures required patients to fixate on a light to treat the refractive error. Modern LASIK utilizes advanced eye-tracking systems that keep track of the eye’s continual movements. The eye naturally makes small involuntary movements. Advanced eye tracking systems have an active infrared eye tracker that tracks the center of the pupil to detect and compensate for any involuntary eye movements. The active eye tracker can move 10 times faster than the human eye as well as faster than the laser itself. Eye tracking has markedly increased the accuracy of LASIK and makes patients feel confident that any micro eye movements they make won’t affect the visual outcome of their procedure.

Custom Wavefront Mapping – Wavefront mapping is a highly sophisticated technology that allows Dr. Boozalis to create a 3D image of your eye. The information gathered by the wavefront map system helps detect the eye’s unique imperfections and it allows the laser to create a smoother and more precise corneal shaping. Wavefront technology increases the accuracy of visual outcomes and reduces the likelihood of side effects such as glare and halos.

These advancements have made LASIK more effective and more accessible to potential candidates. Advancements in LASIK technology broadens the number of people eligible for LASIK. Nowadays, patients with thin corneas, who were previously unable to undergo the procedure, can become candidates thanks to the femtosecond laser’s ability to create a thinner flap. Essentially, these LASIK advancements allow each procedure to be tailored to the unique shape of each patient’s eye. As you might expect, this results in excellent outcomes and high patient satisfaction. 

Safety and accuracy of vision outcomes are some of the most important criteria in choosing a LASIK surgeon. Dr. Boozalis in Port Lavaca understands this and would love to help you reach your goals of clear vision with these advanced techniques. To schedule a LASIK consultation, contact Victoria Eye Center today at 800-833-0234 or website.

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Is LASIK Permanent?

In general, LASIK eye surgery is considered to be a permanent way to correct vision. Given that the procedure takes roughly 30 minutes total to complete, this is pretty impressive. Over the last several decades, LASIK results have proven to be very stable. After the initial healing period of 3 to 6 months, your distance visual acuity should remain the same for the rest of your life (provided, of course, that you don’t develop cataracts or some other age-related eye disease).

Rarely, a small percentage of patients will experience regression – a return of some nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. If a regression of this sort occurs and becomes bothersome, a follow-up procedure called a LASIK enhancement usually can be performed to restore clear vision. In many cases, patients who experience minor refractive changes after LASIK aren’t bothered by the change and don’t feel a need for additional vision correction. Others choose to wear prescription eyeglasses only for specific activities (driving at night, for example), while some opt to have enhancement surgery performed.

For the best, long lasting LASIK results, Dr. Boozalis recommends that his patients have a stable prescription for at least two years before considering the procedure. Usually before the mid-20s a person’s eyes may be still growing and changing. Having a stable prescription for at least two years is an important consideration for anyone, young or old, to be deemed a good LASIK candidate. For patients in their 40s-50s, it’s important to understand that at some point in the future, they may experience presbyopia, a normal age-related loss of near focusing ability which causes up-close vision to become blurred. When this happens, most people need to wear reading glasses to read and to see near objects clearly.

For most patients, LASIK is a safe, permanent vision correction method. If you are interested in joining the thousands of satisfied LASIK patients in Victoria, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website to schedule your consultation.

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Does LASIK Treat Nearsightedness?

Nearsightedness, medically known as myopia, is a refractive error many people are born with or develop as they age. Myopia is the most common refractive error of the eye. If you are nearsighted, you typically will have difficulty reading road signs and seeing distant objects clearly, but will be able to see well for close-up tasks such as reading and computer use. Other signs and symptoms of myopia include squinting, eye strain and headaches. Feeling fatigued when driving or playing sports also can be a symptom of uncorrected nearsightedness. Myopia is not a disease, but rather a condition. 

What Causes Myopia?

Unlike farsighted individuals, who have a shorter eyeball, myopic patients typically have a longer eyeball. This causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina, rather than directly on its surface.

Myopia also can be caused by the cornea and/or lens being too curved for the length of the eyeball. In some cases, myopia is due to a combination of these factors.

Myopia typically begins in childhood and you may have a higher risk if your parents are nearsighted. In most cases, nearsightedness stabilizes in early adulthood but sometimes it continues to progress with age.

If you’re nearsighted, the first number (“sphere”) on your eyeglasses prescription or contact lens prescription will be preceded by a minus sign (–). The higher the number, the more nearsighted you are.

Treatment Options for Nearsightedness

Myopia can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or refractive LASIK eye surgery. Depending on the degree of your myopia, you may need to wear your glasses or contact lenses all the time or only when you need very clear distance vision, like when driving or watching a movie. Refractive surgery can reduce or even eliminate your need for glasses or contacts. In LASIK — the most common refractive procedure — a thin flap is created on the surface of the cornea, a laser removes some corneal tissue, and then the flap is returned to its original position.

There are many options for nearsighted patients. Dr. Boozalis can help choose the right treatment for your unique vision needs. Contact Victoria Eye Center today at 800-833-0234 or website to learn more or to schedule a LASIK consultation. 

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Can You Have LASIK if You’re Over 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 LASIK options for patients over age 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 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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What is the Average Age for Cataract Surgery?

A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Your eye’s natural lens is located directly behind the pupil and is made up of mostly water and protein. As you get older, the protein parts of the lens can begin to clump together. These clumps start small but grow larger over time. The bigger they get, the more they can compromise your vision. A cataract can make objects appear blurry. It can also make colors seem less bright.

Cataracts are a common condition, especially for older people. Cataracts typically begin developing in people age 40 years and older but don’t usually begin to impair vision until after age 60. However, younger people can develop cataracts, too. These juvenile cataracts (in children) can be caused by a genetic mutation that affects proteins, by metabolic disorders or by trauma (eye injury).

The symptoms of cataracts are similar to those for myopia (near-sightedness). These symptoms may begin as minor annoyances and progress over time to impair vision. You may feel symptoms in one or both eyes. They include:

  • Blurry or cloudy vision
  • Faded colors
  • Poor night vision, with halos around streetlights and car headlights
  • Light sensitivity in daylight or to bright lights at night
  • Double vision
  • Frequent changes to your prescription for glasses or contacts

Once a cataract has developed, there is no cure except to have it surgically removed. With a routine, outpatient surgical procedure in Victoria, Beeville, Cuero, Hallettsville and Port Lavaca ,Dr. Boozalis can remove the cataract using a small incision. A synthetic intraocular lens (IOL) is usually inserted at the time of cataract extraction to replace the focusing power of the natural lens. There is no average age to have cataract surgery; the time to have the procedure is when the cataract is affecting your vision enough to interfere with your normal lifestyle.

To learn more about cataracts or to schedule a consultation for cataract surgery, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website.

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What Causes Cataracts?

A cataract is a common condition in which a normally clear eye lens becomes cloudy, causing blurry vision similar to looking through a foggy window. A cataract occurs when there is a buildup of proteins in the lens, creating protein clumps. These clumps or deposits prevent light from passing clearly through the lens, thus disrupting normal vision. 

There are several reasons why a cataract may form, including:

Aging – The eyes mainly consist of water and protein. As we grow older, some of the protein may form chunks and cloud a certain area of the eyes lens. This phenomenon is called a cataract. It may grow over time and cause partial or complete vision loss. The good news is the condition is usually treatable through cataract surgery. The process involves removing the natural lens of the eye then replacing it with an intraocular lens.

Traumatic Cataract – Another common cause of cataracts is trauma: blunt or penetrating ocular trauma, electric shock, chemical burns or ionizing radiation. A traumatic cataract can develop even years after these types of eye injuries. 

Diabetes – People with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop cataracts. The aqueous humor provides nutrients to our eye’s lens, including oxygen and glucose. A person who suffers from diabetes will not have full control of their glucose levels which may result in high levels of sugar in the aqueous humor. This can lead to swelling, simultaneously affecting vision. Likewise, the lens inside the eye has an enzyme that converts glucose into sorbitol. This sugar alcohol can affect both cells and protein and may eventually result in cataracts.

Congenital Cataract – While cataracts are normally associated with the aging process, there are instances of cataracts in newborns. These congenital cataracts can develop for a number of different reasons, including inherited tendencies, infection (such as measles or rubella), metabolic problems, diabetes, trauma, inflammation or drug reactions. 

High Blood Pressure – High blood pressure (HBP) is known to cause elevated inflammation which may result in cataracts. Aside from cataracts, HBP may also lead to age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Smoking – Experts suggest that smokers have higher chances of forming cataracts than non-smokers. The toxins from cigarette smoke cause oxidation in cells, including those in the eye lens.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption – Studies have shown that high alcohol consumption significantly increases the risk of cataracts. Heavy drinking induces microsomal enzyme cytochrome in the liver. Metabolism of this element produces free radicals, which may lead to chunking together of proteins in the eye. This then leads to cataract formation 18or vision loss.

If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of cataracts, it is important to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible. Cataracts are very treatable and cataract surgery is the most frequently performed surgery in the country.

Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website to schedule an appointment with Dr. Boozalis today.

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