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Dry Eye Treatments

Dry eyes are no fun: They itch, sting and tear up. Many LASIK patients, approximately 50%, experience dry eye symptoms following their LASIK surgery. The reason so many people experience dry eye after LASIK is that the creation of the corneal flap affects the nerves that regulate the production of tears.

If you have developed dry eye after undergoing LASIK, you are not alone. The symptoms are usually mild, and they typically don’t last long. However, in some cases dry eye can persist for months or years. Thankfully, there are several dry eye treatments available.

Remedies to Treat Mild Dry Eyes:

  • Use over-the-counter preservative-free lubricating artificial tears at least 4 times per day or more if desired, especially following LASIK.
  • Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water. Staying hydrated helps produce natural tears more effectively.
  • Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine which has a drying/diuretic effect.
  • Add dietary omega-3 fatty acids such as 1000mg molecularly distilled fish oil oral soft gels to optimize the oily portion of the tear film and prevent tear evaporation.
  • Use emollient eye drops, such as Soothe or Endura, which contain lipid emollient lubricants to stabilize the lipid layer of the tears and promote overall tear stability.
  • Use a room humidifier to humidify environmental air. This can make a very significant difference. By putting a humidifier in your bedroom or office, moist air can help keep the eye surface hydrated, instead of dry air depleting moisture out of the eyes.

Prescription Treatments for Severe Dry Eyes:

  • Restasis eye drops improve natural tear production. By reducing ocular surface inflammation, the tear glands can produce natural tears more efficiently.
  • Steroid eye drops treating inflammation on the ocular surface has been shown to increase tear production to improve eye comfort.
  • Low dose oral doxycycline pills treat any underlying blepharitis and stabilize the tear film.
  • At a low dose, doxycycline has anti-inflammatory properties, rather than antibiotic properties, to treat rosacea and blepharitis.
  • Punctal plugs help tears stay in the eye longer. Eye drops and tears naturally drain through tiny openings located within the inner angle of the eyelids along the nasal passages. Placing tiny plugs in each opening, called a puncta, can reduce the drainage of tears away from the eye surface.
  • Autologous serum eye drops are manufactured by drawing the patient’s own blood and concentrating the serum by centrifugation. Serum eye drops contain natural growth factors and immunoglobulins that can heal and nurture the ocular surface.

To find out which dry eye treatments may be right for you, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule an appointment with Dr. Boozalis.

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Cataract Surgery

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.

Cataracts typically occur more frequently in older adults, however, there are many other factors such as family history, diabetes, long-term UV exposure, eye injury or certain medications like steroids that can contribute to cataracts.

Cataract symptoms may include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Lights sensitivity
  • Halos
  • Double vision
  • Decreased night vision and sensitivity to headlight glare
  • Dull or fading colors

When a cataract first develops, vision aids like contacts or glasses may help improve your vision. 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 Victoria, Dr. Boozalis removes the cloudy natural lens from the eye while the patient is under a topical anesthesia. Next, a replacement device called an intraocular lens (IOL) is inserted which remains permanently in the place of the removed natural lens. The IOL compensates for the magnification that the old lens provided. Modern IOLs are designed for various functions and made of various materials; Dr. Boozalis will know which is most appropriate for your individual needs. The total surgery time is typically less than 10 minutes.

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure and requires little downtime. With proper rest and avoidance of any strenuous activities such as heavy lifting, 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 the 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 have a cataract. If you are experiencing any symptoms of cataracts, contact Victoria Eye Center today at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule a consultation.

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Custom LASIK

Custom LASIK is a laser vision correction procedure which uses the latest technology to measure the unique visual characteristics of your eye to customize your treatment. Custom Wavefront Guided LASIK in Victoria provides an additional level of precision over what traditional LASIK offers and provides you with the best possible quality vision.

A device called a wavefront analyzer measures the way light travels through your eye and then creates a 3-D wavefront map which is unique in the same way that your fingerprint is unique to you. Your wavefront map provides a detailed diagram of the areas of distortion (called aberrations) that allows Dr. Boozalis to provide you with truly customized vision correction.

Custom LASIK is preferred by many since the wavefront measurement system is very precise and the outcome is an individualized vision correction, which is very different from traditional LASIK surgery or standard prescription glasses. Aside from being very unique and individualized, here are the other benefits of custom LASIK:

  • Helps to improve visual acuity (how much a person can see) and contrast sensitivity (how well a person can see fine details)
  • Less risk of post-LASIK issues such as halos and glare
  • Has been found to have fewer risks of night vision issues after surgery
  • Addresses both aberrations or visual distortions of both lower and higher order
  • Can treat even those who have lost best-corrected vision from prior surgeries such as LASIK, RK and PRK

As with traditional LASIK, a thorough vision exam and consultation is required to determine if a patient is qualified to undergo custom LASIK. If you are eligible for the procedure, Dr. Boozalis will ensure that you receive the best treatment possible. If you are interested in having custom LASIK vision correction in Victoria, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule a consultation today.

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LASIK Consultation and Exam

A LASIK consultation and exam at Victoria Eye Center includes several steps to determine if you are a suitable candidate for LASIK surgery. This appointment will last approximately 2-3 hours during which time you will have your vision, eyes and overall health thoroughly evaluated.

You might wonder why the LASIK consultation and evaluation is so long. During the visit in Victoria, Dr. Boozalis is creating a thorough assessment including highly detailed measurements of your entire eye and its capabilities. This information determines three very important things:

  • The overall health of your eyes.
  • If LASIK is recommended (or not recommended) for your eyes, your vision and your lifestyle.
  • If LASIK is recommended, and you decide to move forward, the data from your consult will drive the vision correction treatment.

The goal is to collect as much information as possible for both your surgeon and you to help make the best choice for your vision.

This information is collected through a series of sophisticated diagnostic tools and tests that evaluate and measure every aspect of your eye. The good news is that, except for getting a few eye drops and a bit of gentle pressure on the surface of the eye, these tests are noninvasive and pain-free. Most of the tests are simply taking pictures with high powered imaging devices.

What to bring to your LASIK consultation and exam:

  • All Prescription glasses
  • DON’T wear your soft contacts for 4 days prior to the exam
  • DON’T wear your Toric soft contact lenses for 2 weeks prior to your exam
  • DON’T wear hard or gas-permeable lenses for 4 weeks prior to the exam
  • List of all medications and supplements
  • List of medical and general allergies
  • Records from your previous eye doctors (old prescriptions)
  • Insurance information

Go to the appointment prepared with questions about the LASIK procedure and expect to discuss the following with Dr. Boozalis:

  • Your full health history. There are medical conditions, such as diabetes, that may make LASIK and other laser vision correction options not an appropriate choice. Also certain medications, such as corticosteroids, can affect the healing process.
  • The outcome you can expect given your specific vision and circumstances. Dr. Boozalis will answer all your questions and help you understand the risks and benefits of LASIK.

If you are ready to schedule your LASIK consultation and exam in Victoria, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com today!

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LASIK for Presbyopia

LASIK for PresbyopiaPresbyopia is a normal and expected consequence of the aging process. Presbyopia occurs when the natural lens inside the eye gradually loses its flexibility. The crystalline lens within your eyes is composed of proteins. When you are young, these proteins are soft and flexible. As you begin to approach your 40s, presbyopia occurs as the protein composition of the crystalline lens changes, making it harder and less flexible. When the crystalline lens loses its ability to flex, it is no longer able to change its shape and effectively bend light rays as sharply so the ability to focus on near objects is diminished. When presbyopia sets in, people who already wear glasses may need bifocals or trifocals, and those who have never worn glasses may require reading glasses.

As mentioned above, people will start to notice symptoms of presbyopia around age 45. Most people first notice that they have to hold books, magazines and other materials further away in order to be able to focus their eyes to read. The condition will progressively worsen.

If you are age 40 or over and considering LASIK, presbyopia is an important concept to understand. LASIK has absolutely no effect on your eye’s focusing muscles or on the crystalline lens, so it does not correct ordinary presbyopia. So, if you only need eyeglasses for reading, LASIK is not a good vision correction option for you. However, if you need to have your distance vision corrected because you are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism and need some help with close vision because you are beginning to experience presbyopia, LASIK may be an option if performed as a specialized monovision LASIK.

Monovision LASIK works by correcting one eye for distance and the other eye for near vision. LASIK for presbyopia through monovision removes the need for bifocals or reading glasses, but it can also have an effect on depth perception. If LASIK is not an appropriate option for a patient, an alternative may be bifocal contact lenses that can correct for both far and near vision in both eyes.

Presbyopia is an issue that requires correction and if not properly treated will cause vision to get worse and interfere with daily life. To find out if LASIK for presbyopia may be right for you, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule a consultation.

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Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis

LASIKLaser in Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) is a popular refractive surgery technique used to correct vision in people who have myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism (a condition in which the front surface of the cornea of the eye is not spherical).

During LASIK surgery in Victoria, Dr. Boozalis uses a laser to create a thin flap in the cornea. The flap is then lifted and a process called photoablation, which uses an excimer laser, removes microscopic amounts of the internal corneal tissue that changes the curvature of the cornea. After the cornea is reshaped so that it can properly focus light into the eye and onto the retina, the corneal flap is put back in place and the surgery is complete.

The surgery is generally performed while the patient is under a local anesthesia and usually takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Benefits of LASIK

LASIK has many benefits, including:

  • It has a high success rate. About 95% of patients are satisfied with the outcome of LASIK.
  • LASIK surgery is associated with very little pain.
  • Vision is corrected nearly immediately or by the next day after LASIK.
  • Recovery is quick. LASIK requires no bandages or stitches.
  • Adjustments can be made years after LASIK to correct vision even further.
  • After having LASIK, most patients no longer need corrective eyewear (glasses, contacts, etc.).

LASIK Disadvantages

  • Changes that are made to the cornea cannot be reversed after LASIK.
  • LASIK is generally not covered by insurance plans so is paid for by the patient.
  • Rarely, complications related to LASIK can cause a reduction in the best vision achievable with or without glasses. Potential side effects include dry eyes, halos and glare.

To learn more about Laser in-Situ Keratomileusis or to schedule a LASIK consultation with Dr. Boozalis, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Cortical Cataract

Cortical CataractA cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. As you age, proteins in your lens begin to break down and the lens becomes cloudy. You may not even realize you have a cataract because it usually grows very slowly and may not impede vision early on. While cataracts are rarely dangerous, after many years they will likely affect vision. By age 65, over 90% of people have a cataract and half of the people between the ages of 75 and 85 have lost some vision due to a cataract.

There are several types of cataracts. Each type of cataract develops in a specific portion of the lens. A cortical cataract forms in the shell layer of the lens, known as the cortex, and gradually extends its “spokes” from the outside of the lens to the center. These spokes block or distort the light passing through the eye. This causes glares to form around lights and a loss of contrast between colors and shades. Both near and distance vision are slowly reduced. If left untreated, cortical cataracts can result in vision loss.

There are several cataract treatment options available, including:

Prescription Glasses: Since cortical cataracts can result in decreased visual acuity, glasses may be prescribed to make up for the vision loss. However, this is only a short-term solution as the cortical cataract continues to develop. Eventually, glasses will cease to be an effective method of treatment. When this happens, it is probably time to consider cataract surgery.

Cataract Surgery: When glasses fail to make up for the vision loss caused by a cortical cataract, cataract surgery may be your best option to restore your sight. Cataract surgery in Victoria is an outpatient procedure and involves Dr. Boozalis removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens.

If you think that you may be developing cataracts or if you are already considering cataract treatment, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule an appointment today.

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When is the Best Time to have LASIK?

Time for LASIKFor many glasses or contact lens wearers, there comes a time when they say enough is enough and decide to have LASIK. So, when is the best time to have LASIK?

When your eyes and prescription are stable: Teenagers and many young adults often experience changes in their contact lens prescription and eyeglass prescription from year to year. It’s important for refractive errors to be stable for at least 12 months before undergoing LASIK or other refractive surgery.

When you want to improve your quality of life: There is no better time to have LASIK than now. The sooner you have the procedure, the more years you have to enjoy the unique benefits it brings. Regardless of age, experiencing the freedom of life after LASIK is worth it.

When you’re just plain done with glasses and contacts: There are many reasons that people state they are just done with glasses and contacts as a viable vision correction solution. These include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Contact lens induced infections
  • Broken or misplaced glasses
  • Not being able to see when waking up
  • Activities like scuba diving, swimming, running, exercise, etc. that are hindered by glasses and contacts
  • Tired of spending money year-after-year on glasses and contacts

So, when’s the best time to have LASIK? It’s when you feel totally ready!

Of course, LASIK is not right for every patient and there may be other considerations. If you’re ready to find out if LASIK is right for you, the best thing you can do is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Boozalis in Victoria. Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com today.

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Advancements in LASIK

Advancements in LASIKLASIK surgery is the most popular laser vision correction procedure performed today, and for good reason. Ongoing advancements in laser technology and ophthalmology have made way for successful surgeries and better visual outcomes. At Victoria Eye Center in Victoria, 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 of this part of the surgery. 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 shape. 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 Victoria 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 victoriaeyecenter.com.

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When LASIK May Have to Wait

Time for LASIKIf you have made the decision to undergo LASIK laser vision correction surgery, you may be anxious to schedule your procedure as soon as possible. Millions of patients have benefited from LASIK, but there are times when LASIK may have to wait.

During Pregnancy – Due to hormone fluctuations that occur during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, a woman’s vision prescription may change. It is believed that the hormone changes cause a swelling of the lens which can alter the patient’s degree of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. The hormone changes that occur start in the preliminary stages of pregnancy and continue until a couple of months after breastfeeding has ceased. To achieve the best possible vision correction results, patients should consider LASIK surgery two to six months after breastfeeding has stopped.

When Your Eyes Are Still Changing – For many, LASIK is a possibility as young as 18 years of age, but for some, their vision may fluctuate into their early twenties as hormonal changes continue until their body is done growing. It is pointless to undergo LASIK if your eyes are still changing because you will most likely require more surgery. If you’re over 18 years of age and your prescription has been stable for about a year, you should be able to consider LASIK.

If You Have an Untreated Eye Disorder or Health Condition – If you have untreated eye conditions such as dry eye or uncontrolled health disorders such as diabetes, LASIK may need to wait until those issues have been dealt with and they are treated and/or under control.

The best way to know if LASIK is a good option is to be seen for a consultation with a reputable LASIK surgeon such as Dr. Boozalis in Location. Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeye.com to schedule a consultation today.

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