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Does Insurance Cover Cataract Surgery?

A cataract is a painless, cloudy area in the lens of the eye. The lens is enclosed in a lining called the lens capsule. During cataract surgery in Victoria, Beeville, Cuero, Hallettsville or Port Lavaca, Dr. Boozalis separates the cataract from the lens capsule. In most cases, the lens is replaced with an intraocular lens implant (IOL). In most instances, with certain limitations, cataract surgery costs are covered under both private insurance plans and Medicare.

Private Insurance 

Private insurance for cataract surgery is usually quite comprehensive but also quite variable. In most instances, private insurances cover a portion, if not all, of the Cataract Surgeon Fee, the Facility Fee, the cost of a Monofocal Lens Implant and the necessary follow up care after your Cataract Surgery. Private insurances vary in the deductible that they may require, the co-pay you might be responsible for and the percentage of each allowable expense that they might reimburse.

Medicare Insurance

Medicare for cataract surgery is also quite comprehensive. Medicare generally covers a portion of the Cataract Surgeon Fee, the Facility Fee, the cost of a Monofocal Lens Implant and the necessary follow up care after your cataract surgery. It is likely that you will be responsible for a co-pay or a deductible for the pre-surgery office examination, consultation and measurements for your cataract surgery. If you need a pre-surgery physical with your medical doctor, you may also be responsible for that physician’s co-pay as well. In addition, if you require anesthesia, while your insurance will cover the allowable anesthesia expense, you may be responsible for the anesthesia co-pay and/or deductible.

It is important to note that insurance may not cover the cost of advanced technology lens implants. The amount of coverage, deductibles and any co-pays are uniquely individual to each patient’s specific health insurance policy. 

To find out if your insurance plan will cover the cost of cataract surgery in Victoria, beeville, Cuero, Hallettsville or Port Lavaca, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website.

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What Conditions Can LASIK Treat?

LASIK is a popular and advanced treatment for improving vision. LASIK is used to treat refractive errors of the eye. In most cases, these errors happen because the shape of the eye isn’t quite right and, as a result, light doesn’t focus on the retina the way it should. In some cases, refractive errors are corrected with eyeglasses or contacts, but LASIK provides a long-term solution that often results in clearer vision. Common refractive errors include:

  • Hyperopia: Hyperopia is commonly referred to as farsightedness. People with this condition may have trouble clearly focusing on nearby objects while they can see things that are far away quite clearly. In this case, light focuses behind the retina instead of on the retina.
  • Myopia: Myopia is also known as nearsightedness. In this case, people can usually see nearby objects clearly, but far away objects are blurry or hard to focus on. In this situation, light is being focused in front of the retina.
  • Astigmatism: If someone has an astigmatism, the shape of the cornea prevents light from focusing evenly on the retina. Objects at various distances may appear blurry or distorted.

There are multiple types of LASIK available. Some patients will be best suited for traditional LASIK while others may be a candidate for Custom LASIK. Custom LASIK, also called wavefront-guided LASIK, is one of the most advanced and successful treatments available for refractive errors. This type of treatment provides more detailed information and can be used to treat a wide range of pupil diameters. At Victoria Eye Center in Victoria, beeville, Cuero, Hallettsville or Port Lavaca , Dr. Boozalis provides custom LASIK treatment that is suited to your vision and your health.

If you’re looking for a way to improve your eyesight and make your day-to-day tasks a bit easier, LASIK may be a good solution. Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website to schedule an appointment and learn more about your options.

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Doctors Who Perform LASIK

LASIK surgeons are eye doctors who are ophthalmologists. When it comes to eye care, the most trained and skilled professionals in the field are ophthalmologists. An ophthalmologist is a physician, either a doctor of medicine (MD) or doctor of osteopathy (DO), who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the eyes and visual system and in the prevention of eye disease and injury. 

Ophthalmologists complete four or more years of college premedical education, four or more years of medical school, one year of internship, and three or more years of specialized medical, surgical and refractive training in eye care. This education and training allows them to handle everything from simple medical exams to advanced surgical needs. Ophthalmologists can handle basic eye care situations including eye exams, providing prescriptions for eye wear and diagnosis and testing for visual disorders. They can perform surgeries such as cataract extraction, lens replacement, cornea reshaping, transplants and retinal detachment repair among others. Their medical knowledge of the entire body gives them additional skills in diagnosis and treatment of conditions that originate in another place in  your body, but affect vision.

Ophthalmologists are qualified to treat patients of all ages and a wide range of conditions, but some will specialize in one or more areas that allow them to focus their work in certain environments. If an ophthalmologist chooses to specialize in a specific area of medical or surgical eye care, this person is called a subspecialist. A subspecialist usually completes one or two years of additional, more in-depth training called a fellowship. This added training and knowledge prepares an ophthalmologist to take care of more complex or specific conditions in certain areas of the eye or in certain groups of patients. 

To learn more about the training and ability of an ophthalmologist or how you can benefit from vision care by such a qualified eye doctor, contact Victoria Eye Center today at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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What Do You Feel During LASIK?

LASIK eye surgery is a very popular vision correction procedure, in part because it is patient-friendly in many ways. The procedure only takes about 15 minutes for both eyes, and the healing process begins immediately with little to no discomfort. 

A common question among LASIK patients is “What do I feel during LASIK?” In order to answer this question, it helps to understand a bit about how the procedure works. The goal of LASIK is to gently reshape the cornea, treating only very small portions of tissue by using a precise laser. Throughout the procedure in Victoria, beeville, Cuero, Hallettsville and Port Lavaca, Dr. Boozalis will also take every step to ensure that you are comfortable.

Local Anesthetic – Before your LASIK eye surgery begins, Dr. Boozalis will use eye drops to numb the surface of your eyes. These eye drops feel just like the type that you’d normally use to lubricate dry eyes, but contain a numbing agent so that you shouldn’t feel anything except some pressure during your LASIK procedure.

During LASIK Surgery – During surgery, the first step is creating the flap. This may cause you to feel a pressure sensation, but it is more of an odd or uncomfortable feeling than a painful one. Your eyelids will be held open with a special tool during the procedure, and while this may feel a little strange, it is unlikely to cause any pain.

Excimer Laser – The cool beam of the excimer laser used to perform LASIK eye surgery is incredibly precise and guided by a computer which maps the structure of your eyes down to a microscopic level. During the portion of LASIK when your cornea is being reshaped, you actually shouldn’t feel any discomfort at all.

After your LASIK eye surgery is complete, you may notice slight discomfort, itching or discomfort as your eyes start to heal and your vision stabilizes. These symptoms are common and typically clear up quickly as your eyes go through the healing process. So while no surgery can truly claim to be completely pain-free, LASIK eye surgery is about as close as it gets – both during and after your procedure.

To learn more about LASIK or to schedule your LASIK consultation in Victoria, Beeville, Cuero, Hallettsville or Port Lavaca, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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What Are the Three Types of Cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye that impairs vision. There are three main types of cataract: Nuclear Sclerotic, Cortical and Posterior Subcapsular. The types of cataracts are classified based on where and how they develop in the eye.

Nuclear Sclerotic Cataract: A nuclear sclerotic cataract refers to the hardening of the nucleus, the center, of the lens of the eye. In the early stages of this condition, the lens becomes cloudy and yellow before eventually hardening (sclerosis is the medical term for hardening). As this type of cataract progresses, it changes the eye’s ability to focus and see clearly. 

Cortical Cataract: A cortical cataract is a condition in which areas of white cloudiness will develop in the outer edges of the lens called the cortex spreading inward and having the appearance of a spoke wheel or a star pattern. This condition scatters the light entering the eye and causes blurred vision and glare, as well as difficulties in judging contrast and depth perception.

Posterior Subcapsular Cataract: Posterior subcapsular cataracts begin as a small, cloudy or opaque area on the back (posterior) of the lens. It is called subcapsular because it develops on the underside or beneath the lens capsule. The lens capsule is a sac-like membrane that encapsulates the lens and holds it in place. If this condition begins to develop it usually does so rapidly and symptoms may be noticed within just a few months of it first beginning. When developing a posterior subcapsular cataract, a person may begin to notice a glare or halo effect around lights and may also notice difficulty when reading.

If you are experiencing vision troubles, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule an appointment and discuss treatment options. During an examination in Victoria, beeville, Cuero, Hallettsville or Port Lavaca, Dr. Boozalis can determine if you are developing a cataract or if another issue is affecting your eyesight.

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Can I Have Coffee Before LASIK?

Before and after your LASIK procedure it is advised that you avoid caffeinated drinks, including coffee.  Caffeine can cause your eyes to feel dry, which can make it more difficult for you to fully relax during and after the procedure.  

Prior to your surgery, Dr. Boozalis recommends that you avoid caffeine for a few hours. It is a good idea to consume several glasses of water or other non-alcoholic, caffeine-free fluids per day as you prepare for LASIK, beginning several days before the procedure. Taking an omega-3 supplement and using lubricating eye drops may also be recommended a few days prior to surgery and for up to three months post-surgery.

To keep your eyes feeling comfortable and to help prevent dry eyes after the procedure consider the following tips:

  • Inform Dr. Boozalis in advance of any dry eye problems you may have, including allergy-related dryness
  • Take omega-3 fatty acids to promote healthy tear film
  • Drink plenty of water each day
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and other substances that may cause dehydration
  • Follow all instructions given to you for before and after the surgery

For many people, a cup of coffee in the morning is a must-have. However, when it comes to LASIK, it is a good idea to minimize your coffee and caffeine consumption to ensure a comfortable and relaxing procedure. For more information about LASIK surgery in Victoria, beeville, Cuero, Hallettsville or Port Lavaca, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule a consultation with Dr. Boozalis.

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Employee Spotlight

Mandie Hewitt
Surgery Technician & Counselor

Mandie plays an integral role as part of the surgical team at Victoria Eye Center and Victoria Surgery Center. She assists and helps coach patients throughout their chosen treatment plans.

“I enjoy helping patients through the process of scheduling, insurance and educating them on the procedures per the patient plan that Dr. Boozalis has recommended for them,” says Mandie. “I want to help make the patient aware of assistance options if help is needed. I don’t want a patient to feel alone if they don’t have family that can help guide them.”

Mandie has been with Victoria Eye Center over 11 years and feels a strong connection with each patient. “I consider many of the patients I see and talk to monthly as friends. Same thing when I am on the surgery side; when in post-op care I get to talk with the patient and family and make sure that post-op instructions are understood and the patient has everything they will need after surgery. I love helping in the clinic with EYLEA® injections for macular degeneration patients and LASIK surgery on Friday mornings. I enjoy greeting patients and their families who are excited about getting LASIK.”

Many people in the Crossroads area are not aware of all the services and procedures that Victoria Eye Center provides. “I know that we can meet most eye care needs from a basic eye exam to ARMD, DME, IOL surgery, LASIK and much more,” Mandie says. “You want to keep up with the overall health of the eyes just like you would the rest of your body.”

Victoria Eye Center makes it easy and convenient to schedule comprehensive, dilated exams to evaluate the overall health of the eyes. If treatment for any condition is required, we can assist with quality care right here in our community.

Mandie is extremely family oriented and enjoys time with her kids when away from the eye center. “I am a mother of four (two girls: Madison, age 22 and Mallory, age 16 and twin boys: Matthew and Mason, age 15). I also have a granddaughter that is 5 months old. My fiancé and I spend our free time with the kids and our granddaughter as that is what is most important to us.”

Mandie also enjoys photography and can be found behind the lens of a camera most days. Mandie’s life is driven by her aspirations to “guide my kids to be successful and caring in life. I have always told them they can do anything with hard work and to always treat others the way you want to be treated.”

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Make Protecting Your Eyesight a Priority

It’s easy to take your eyesight for granted when you don’t have vision problems. Unfortunately, no one is immune from developing eye conditions and diseases in the future.

May is designated Healthy Vision Month by the National Eye Institute to remind you to make your eye health a priority by scheduling a comprehensive eye exam. 

Through eye exams, our team can diagnose eye diseases that do not have obvious outward symptoms in the early stages such as cataracts, glaucoma and others. We can also diagnose conditions like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) that slowly robs you of your central vision. The earlier these types of diseases are detected the sooner treatment can be administered to slow the progression of the disease. 

Even certain health problems can be identified during eye exams, including high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and more.

More Healthy Vision Tips
In addition to having regular eye exams, incorporate these tips into your daily life to protect your eyesight: 

  • Using protective eyewear when playing sports
  • Wearing 100% UV protection sunglasses to block ultraviolet rays from the sun
  • Living a healthy lifestyle (exercising, eating right, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking)
  • Being aware of eye traits in your family tree – eye health can be hereditary
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When Do Red Eyes Require Medical Attention?

We’ve all experienced bloodshot eyes after staying out too late or when having an allergic reaction to pollen, dander or some other environmental factor. But sometimes your red eyes may signify something more serious that requires medical attention. If you are experiencing any pain with your red eyes and over-the-counter eye drops are not helping, you may have one of these conditions:

  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye): inflammation of the conjunctiva (thin membrane on your eye and in your eyelids) can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection
  • Blepharitis: inflammation of the eyelids leading to tearing, crusting or flaking
  • Stye: red-colored bump in or on the eyelid caused by an infected oil gland
  • Chalazion: a non-infectious stye that forms into a hard bump in the eyelid caused by a blocked oil gland
  • Scratched cornea: abrasion on the outer surface of the eye caused by injury or foreign particles in the eye
  • Dry eye syndrome: eye irritation caused by quicker than normal evaporation of tears or failure of the eyes to produce sufficient tears

The treatment for these conditions may be as simple as performing eyelid hygiene at home or using medicated eye drops. The best way to find out is by scheduling an eye exam. If you are experiencing any eye irritation, be sure to stop wearing contact lenses. You may also want to discontinue the use of eye makeup until your condition improves.

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Controlling Diabetes During the Holidays

The holidays are notorious for tempting us with mounds of heavy meals and scrumptious treats during parties with family and friends. Sometimes it is hard to say no to food and drinks; overindulging often just becomes another part of the season. This can be detrimental for anyone, but if you are diabetic it is especially important to manage your health through your intake of healthy foods and proper medications to control your blood sugar.

Minimize the Risk of Diabetic Eye Problems During the Holidays

Diabetics with uncontrolled high blood sugar are at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. This condition occurs when the blood vessels in the retina (back of the eye) leak fluid or bleed causing the retina to swell. New blood vessels can also begin to grow on the surface of the retina causing serious vision issues – even blindness.

Regularly overindulging in unhealthy foods, especially during the holidays, may aggravate existing vision conditions or increase the risk of new vision problems – as well as place your overall health in jeopardy.

Tips for Holiday Eating

  • Eat a healthy snack before attending parties so you won’t be as hungry.
  • Remember that moderation is key. Limit your portion sizes when facing unhealthy options.
  • Choose your meal add-ons wisely – avoid or limit your intake of gravy, dressings, fried foods, honey or marshmallow toppings, butter, etc.
  • Avoid consuming sugary drinks and limit your alcohol intake.
  • Incorporate exercise after eating a larger meal: walk, dance, toss a football outside…anything to get moving with friends and family.
  • Check your blood sugar level often, especially if you are out of your normal routine.
  • Stay on top of your medication schedule.

If you are experiencing any vision changes, contact us today to schedule an eye exam. You may have an undiagnosed diabetic-related condition that is causing vision problems such as:

  • Blurry vision
  • Floaters
  • Double vision
  • Dark spot in central vision
  • Difficulty reading or doing close-up work
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