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Early Signs of Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the lens 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.

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.

Early 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 victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule an appointment in Beeville today.

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The Basics of LASIK

LASIK is a type of eye surgery that uses a laser to reshape your inner cornea to improve your vision by enabling light to properly focus on the retina. It’s an alternative to traditional eyeglasses and contact lenses and is the most commonly performed eye surgery to correct astigmatism, nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia). To help you better understand this popular vision correction method, check out the basics of LASIK:

LASIK is an Innovative Form of Eye Surgery – It uses a laser to reshape the cornea. LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis.

LASIK Doesn’t Guarantee Perfect Vision – Most patients have somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40 vision. You should be able to see better than you did before the procedure, but your vision may not be perfect.

You Should Have Realistic Expectations – LASIK eliminates your need for glasses and contact lenses, which means that you save money in the long run. Yet, it doesn’t take care of all problems. You may still have to wear glasses or contacts in the future, especially as you age.

Not Everyone is Eligible for LASIK – While most people have successful surgeries, it may not be right for you. To determine if you’re a qualified candidate for LASIK in Victoria, Dr. Boozalis will perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine how healthy your eyes are and review your overall health.

The Cornea Heals Quickly – As a result, many people who have LASIK surgery notice dramatic improvements in their vision almost immediately.

LASIK is an Outpatient Procedure – This means there is no overnight stay in a hospital. The procedure generally takes 10 to 15 minutes for each eye.

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

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Finding a LASIK Surgeon

If you are considering a vision correction procedure such as LASIK, one of the most important decisions you will make is the choice of a surgeon. But what should you look for when choosing a LASIK surgeon? Here are several qualifications to consider when choosing a LASIK surgeon for your vision correction needs:

Board Certification: Is the surgeon certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology? Experience is vitally important and this form of certification suggests a certain higher level of expertise.

Referrals: Perhaps your optometrist refers you to a LASIK surgeon, or a friend or family member has had a positive experience with someone they recommend. These recommendations from trusted sources are as powerful as it gets.

Experience: Ideally, your LASIK surgeon should have performed at least several thousand successful procedures, but preferably tens of thousands of procedures. This type of experience signifies that they have acquired the techniques and knowledge necessary for safe, effective treatment.

Equipment: Technology is always evolving and improving. If this is important to you, make sure that the practice you choose invests in these new technologies. Leading edge technology improves the safety, predictability and precision of LASIK surgery. Don’t settle for a surgeon that offers outdated technology.

Of course there are other driving factors when it comes to choosing a LASIK surgeon (location, cost, availability), but don’t be so quick to discount some of the factors listed above. Just because one surgeon is conveniently located near your house or is offering the surgery at half the cost of another, perhaps more reputable option, doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily the best choice for you.

The more time and consideration you take with selecting a LASIK surgeon, the happier you’re likely to be with the experience and outcome. To schedule a LASIK consultation with Dr. Boozalis in Victoria, contact Victoria Eye Center today by calling 800-833-0234 or visiting victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Understanding LASIK Risks

While LASIK surgery is extremely safe and incredibly effective, as with any surgical procedure, there is still some risk involved. The truth is, LASIK risks are rare and typically mild when they do occur. When LASIK risks do occur, the majority of side effects either go away on their own or are easily fixed through a follow-up procedure.

Potential LASIK surgery risks include:

Eye Infections – Like all surgical procedures, LASIK carries a small risk of infection. However, eye infections following LASIK are rare. If the procedure is performed using sterile lasers throughout, the surgeon can avoid any physical contact with the eye and thus minimize the chance of infection. Patients can also reduce the risk of infection by avoiding swimming pools and facial products for a short period of time following surgery.

Dry Eye – Because LASIK temporarily stops the eye from producing tears, patients may experience dry eyes during the first six months following surgery. This is a relatively common side effect of surgery and may be treated with eye drops. The symptoms include dry, itchy, red eyes. Dry eye can sometimes cause eye pain and the feeling of something in the eye.

LASIK Flap Complications – Problems associated with the flap created in the cornea during the LASIK procedure may affect between 0 and 4% of patients. The effects may be short or long term and, in some instances, a second procedure may be required to alleviate symptoms.

In addition to the LASIK risks outlined above, it is normal to experience some temporary side-effects following the procedure. Patients may experience blurred vision, glare and halos or starbursts around lights during the healing process after LASIK surgery. These symptoms are quite common in the first few weeks and they almost always improve over time as the eye heals.

Interested in learning more about potential LASIK risks? Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule your LASIK consultation in Victoria today to start your journey to clear vision!

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Eye Exam for LASIK

Before you can safely undergo LASIK vision correction surgery, your eyes need to be examined by a qualified LASIK professional. This exam helps your doctor determine whether or not LASIK surgery is the right vision correction procedure for you.

During an eye exam for LASIK in Victoria, Dr. Boozalis will analyze the current state of the patient’s vision, check for irregularities in the eye and evaluate the patient’s candidacy for LASIK surgery using several tests, including:

Corneal Topography Test – One of the first tests that are part of the LASIK eye exam is corneal topography which measures the shape of the corneas. Dr. Boozalis uses this test to “map” the cornea to gain a full understanding of the patient’s eye. This tool can identify any irregularities that may exclude a patient from undergoing LASIK. In addition, the data collected during this test will be used to guide the excimer laser used to reshape the cornea during the LASIK surgery.

Pachymetry Test – Like the corneal topography test, the pachymetry test is used to gather information about the cornea which will determine a patient’s eligibility for LASIK. This test specifically measures the thickness of the cornea. LASIK candidates will need a certain amount of corneal thickness to be reshaped during the procedure.

Tear Analysis – Dr. Boozalis will perform tear analysis, measuring tear production and quality during the pre-LASIK eye exam. In many cases, patients who suffer from dry eye syndrome – a condition in which the eyes do not produce enough tears – experience an increase in the condition as a side effect following LASIK surgery. By analyzing the tears before LASIK, the condition can be identified and treated prior to surgery to ensure quick, complication-free healing.

Medical History – During the eye exam for LASIK, it is important for patients to be candid about their medical history including past vision problems, current medications and diseases such as diabetes. Individuals who have previously suffered eye infections or trauma to the eye may require special accommodations in order for the LASIK procedure to be successful. During this evaluation, patients are encouraged to ask questions about their candidacy for LASIK surgery, as well as bring up any concerns they might have about the procedure.

If you’d like to schedule an eye exam for LASIK, contact Victoria Eye Center today by calling 800-833-0234 or visiting victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Diagram of the Eye

Even though the eye is small, only about 1 inch in diameter, it serves a very important function – the sense of sight. The eye is one of the most complex organs in the human body. It is made up of many distinct parts working in unison together and in order for the eye to work at its best, all parts must work well collectively.

Let’s look at a few of the main parts of this vital organ:

Anterior Chamber: The space between the cornea and the iris, filled with the aqueous humor.

Choroid: The vascular layer of the eye, containing connective tissue. Nutrition of the eye is dependent upon blood vessels in the choroid.

Ciliary Body: the part of the eye that connects the iris to the choroid.

Cornea: The clear, dome-shaped tissue covering the front of the eye.

Fovea: A tiny pit located in the macula of the retina that provides the clearest vision of all.

Iris: The colored part of the eye that controls the amount of light that enters the eye by changing the size of the pupil.

Lens: A crystalline structure located just behind the iris – it focuses light onto the retina.

Macula: The small area at the center of the retina responsible for what we see straight in front of us.

Optic Nerve: The nerve that transmits electrical impulses from the retina to the brain.

Pupil: The opening in the center of the iris. It changes size as the amount of light changes.

Retina: Light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. It contains millions of photoreceptors (rods and cones) that convert light rays into electrical impulses that are relayed to the brain via the optic nerve.

Vitreous Gel: A thick, transparent liquid that fills the center of the eye. It is mostly water and gives the eye its form and shape.

Our eyes are vital for seeing the world around us. Keep them healthy by maintaining regular vision exams. Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule an appointment today.

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LASIK Aftercare Instructions

LASIK eye surgery provides many people with the option to get rid of their contact lenses and glasses and improve their quality of life with better vision. When considering LASIK, it is important to understand what to expect with recovery. Below are some LASIK aftercare instructions to help you have the best possible outcome.

  • Take all of your prescribed medications as instructed.
  • Wear proper eye protection. This can protect your freshly operated eyes from scraping or bumping.
  • Drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • Keep yourself away from exhausting physical activities, especially those which might cause eye injury.
  • It’s better not to exercise for at least one week after the surgery.
  • Don’t take a shower or wash your hair until at least 24 hours after your procedure.
  • Be careful when you’re in the shower or bath. Be sure to keep soap out of your eye when you wash your hair and watch out for hair spray and shaving lotion.
  • Don’t drive until you are instructed to by your doctor.
  • Avoid pools, hot tubs, saunas and lakes for at least 3 weeks.
  • Do not wear eye makeup for at least a week.
  • Avoid dirty and dusty environments.
  • Sunlight may cause damage to your eyes, so wear sunglasses with proper UV protection whenever you are outdoors.
  • Give your eyes a rest. Avoid watching TV, reading or using the computer for the first 24 hours as these activities may strain your eyes.

To learn more about LASIK aftercare instructions in Victoria or to find out if LASIK is a good option for you, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Side Effects of LASIK Eye Surgery

LASIK is a popular surgery used to correct vision in people who are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism. LASIK eye surgery works by reshaping the cornea, the clear front part of the eye, so that light traveling through it is properly focused onto the retina located in the back of the eye.

LASIK, like any other surgery, has the potential for certain side effects. LASIK eye surgery is one of the safest, most effective and predictable types of surgery one can have today, however, patients should be aware of and fully understand potential side effects before making the decision to have LASIK.

Side effects of LASIK eye surgery may include:

Dry Eyes: Dryness in the eyes is a side effect that should be expected for any patient having LASIK. It is normal and expected for patients to experience a sensation of grittiness or a sandy feeling in the eye following the procedure. This sensation usually tends to resolve itself over the first 1-3 months. It is important to use lubricating eye drops very often after LASIK as this will help your eyes heal and minimize the dry eye symptoms.

Night Glare and Halos: Some patients may experience night glare or halos during the first month following treatment.

Light Sensitivity: Most patients are a little light sensitive right after the procedure.

Slight Discomfort: At some point in the 30-45 minutes after the procedure, your eyes will start to feel uncomfortable. This period of initial healing is the worst part of post-op LASIK recovery as far as side effects go. It only lasts a few hours.

Itchy, Scratchy Eyes: It is also common for patients to feel itchy, scratchy or foreign body sensations in the eyes for several days after LASIK. These sensations usually improve day after day. Preservative-free artificial tears help the eyes feel comfortable whenever those sensations happen. A good tip is to keep some of the artificial tears in the refrigerator, because the cooled tears are extra soothing, especially during the first few days.

For more information about LASIK eye surgery in Victoria, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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LASIK Consultation Preparation

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 for your LASIK consultation preparation:

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 important, 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.

Eye 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 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 victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule your LASIK consultation today.

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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 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 inside the eye 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 victoriaeyecenter.com.

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