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LASIK Meaning

LASIK meaningThe name LASIK is an acronym for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. Let’s break down the meaning of this big name. The word laser is also an acronym. It means light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. In situ is a Latin term meaning in its original position or place; kerato is a Greek-derived prefix meaning cornea; and mileusis means to shape.  In order to have clear, crisp vision, the eye’s cornea and lens must refract (bend) light rays properly. This allows images to be focused on the retina. Otherwise, the images will be blurry. This blurriness is referred to as a refractive error and it is caused by a difference between the shape of the cornea (curvature) and the length of the eye. LASIK is used to correct the refractive errors of myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. The LASIK procedure is performed by an ophthalmologist who uses an excimer laser (an ultraviolet laser) to remove a thin layer of corneal tissue, reshaping the cornea so that light rays are focused clearly on the retina.

LASIK surgery in Victoria is performed by Dr. Boozalis, who first creates a corneal flap. The flap is then peeled back so that the excimer laser can reshape the corneal tissue underneath. The hinge of the flap prevents it from being separated from the cornea. Once the reshaping is complete, Dr. Boozalis replaces and secures the flap and healing begins. The cornea naturally holds the flap in place so that no stitches are needed. Most patients will notice clearer vision right away.

LASIK is an outpatient procedure and usually only takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete each eye. LASIK is sometimes referred to as laser eye surgery or laser vision correction and is currently the most popular form of refractive surgery in the United States. For most patients, LASIK provides a permanent alternative to eyeglasses or contact lenses.

If you would like more information about the meaning of LASIK, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule a consultation.

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Cheap LASIK (Why You Should Be Wary)

Cheap LASIKThe average cost of LASIK eye surgery is more than $2,000 per eye. You may be tempted by cheap LASIK surgery prices that are advertised. These low cost rates may seem appealing until you realize what you are really being offered.

The Top 3 Reason to Avoid Cheap LASIK:

  1. Technology: Most cheap LASIK eye surgery fees do not include the use of cutting-edge technology. When you see cut-rate prices for LASIK, you are often witnessing the charge for LASIK without the newest and most advanced lasers. These procedures often use less precise measuring techniques, too. This means that your surgery will be a one-size-fits-all treatment instead of being more customized for the best results.
  2. Experience: You get what you pay for, and what you want to pay for is a qualified LASIK surgeon who has performed at least thousands of procedures. When the doctor has very little experience and needs to build a patient base, he is likely to offer cheaper prices.
  3. Hidden Fees: Cheap advertised LASIK surgery prices often have hidden fees. There are often fees for consultations, post-operative visits and medications that are not included in the low advertised price. These fees add up fast and can cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of additional dollars. Make sure to ask what the LASIK surgery cost covers when checking into laser treatment.

Beware of low-cost LASIK because it often means that you are cutting corners with your vision. You only have one set of eyes. If you’re unable to afford the best and safest procedure then you would be better advised to wait until you can save up for the procedure than to risk your future and your vision to a riskier alternative today. You also may be surprised at, with the new financing programs available today, how truly affordable the best can be. If you’re interested in upfront pricing with the most advanced technology in Victoria, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule a consultation.

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What is Refractive Surgery?

Refractive SurgeryIf you have a refractive error, such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism or presbyopia, refractive surgery is a method for correcting or improving your vision. There are various surgical procedures for correcting or adjusting your eye’s focusing ability by reshaping the cornea, the clear, round dome at the front of your eye. Other procedures involve implanting a lens inside your eye. The most widely performed type of refractive surgery is LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), where a laser is used to reshape the cornea.

For people who are nearsighted, certain refractive surgery techniques will reduce the curvature of a cornea that is too steep so that the eye’s focusing power is lessened. Images that are focused in front of the retina, due to a longer eye or steep corneal curve, are pushed closer to or directly onto the retina following surgery.

Farsighted people will have refractive surgery procedures that achieve a steeper cornea to increase the eye’s focusing power. Images that are focused beyond the retina, due to a short eye or flat cornea, will be pulled closer to or directly onto the retina after surgery.

Astigmatism can be corrected with refractive surgery techniques that selectively reshape portions of an irregular cornea to make it smooth and symmetrical. The result is that images focus clearly on the retina rather than being distorted due to light scattering through an irregularly shaped cornea.

Refractive surgery might be a good option for you if you:

  • Want to decrease your dependence on glasses or contact lenses
  • Are free of eye disease
  • Accept the inherent risks and potential side effects of the procedure
  • Understand that you could still need glasses or contacts after the procedure to achieve your best vision
  • Have an appropriate refractive error

There is no one size fits all method for correcting refractive errors. The best option for you should be decided after a thorough examination and discussion with your ophthalmologist. If you are considering refractive surgery in Victoria, you and Dr. Boozalis can discuss your lifestyle and vision needs to determine the most appropriate procedure for you. Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule your consultation today.

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Dry Eye and LASIK

Dry Eyes and LASIKDry eyes are no fun: They itch, sting and tear up. They’re a possible side effect of LASIK eye surgery, but usually they clear up within the first year of recovery. It is important when considering LASIK that you understand the possibility of experiencing dry eyes after your procedure. If you suffer from dry eye prior to LASIK, proper preoperative treatment can be provided to you so that you will have the best possible LASIK results and experience.

The eye requires that it be continuously covered by natural tears produced by the eye. Dry eye is a condition where not enough tears are produced to keep the eye comfortable and healthy.

In Victoria, Dr. Boozalis uses several diagnostic tests to help diagnose dry eyes. There are many ways to treat dry eyes depending on your particular situation.

Dry Eye Before LASIK Surgery

Having dry eyes does not rule you out as a candidate for LASIK surgery, although it may postpone your treatment. Patients with dry eyes who wish to undergo LASIK require treatment for their dry eyes prior to undergoing surgery.

A normal, healthy tear film is a requirement for a successful LASIK eye surgery procedure. A healthy tear film contains several components that help to protect the eye against infection, and it provides a smooth optical surface that is integral to clear vision.

Before LASIK and during your consultation, Dr. Boozalis will evaluate your tear film and may measure the quantity of tears you produce. The goal is for Dr. Boozalis to be comfortable with the quantity of your tears so that you can get the best possible results from your LASIK procedure.

Dry Eye After LASIK Surgery

It is normal and expected that during the creation of the flap in surgery a certain number of the corneal nerves will be temporarily damaged. This means that for some time after your LASIK procedure, the regular nerve impulses that ordinarily would have told the lacrimal gland to produce tears will be interrupted, which may cause dry eyes. This is a normal and expected part of the healing process after LASIK. Every LASIK patient will need to use lubricating and moisturizing drops often after their procedure. In almost all cases dry eye symptoms disappear within a couple of months—and sometimes within a few weeks.

If you are interested in LASIK and would like to set up a consultation, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com today.

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Is Cataract Surgery Safe?

is-cataract-surgery-safeA cataract is a clouding of the eye lens that can make it hard for you to see. The condition is most common in older people, but anyone can have one.

As cataracts grow, they can cause symptoms that interfere with daily activities. Cataracts can cause dim, blurred, yellow or double vision. This can make it hard to read, work on a computer and anything else that calls for clear eyesight. You may also experience poor night vision and find it harder to drive when it’s dark. People with advanced cataracts can even fail the vision part of a driver’s test. Cataracts can make you more sensitive to glare from the sun. You might see a halo around bright lights. This can keep you from being outdoors as much as you’d like.

If you have any of these symptoms, cataract surgery could be a great solution for you. During cataract surgery, the lens inside your eye that has become cloudy is removed and replaced with an artificial lens (called an intraocular lens – IOL) to restore clear vision. The procedure typically is performed on an outpatient basis and does not require an overnight stay in a hospital or other care facility.

Cataract surgery is one of the safest, most successful surgeries involving the eye. Although cataract surgery is very safe and side effects are rare, there is a chance you could experience a complication such as:

  • Eye infection or swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Retinal detachment
  • Feeling of pressure inside your eye
  • Loosening of new implant
  • Fluid buildup in eye
  • Drooping eyelid

As your eyes heal in the days following surgery, you may experience various visual disturbances such as glare and halos. This is normal and they usually subside over time.

Most people notice a significant improvement in their vision and can resume everyday activities within 24 hours after cataract surgery. However, depending on which intraocular lens you have implanted, it can take between two to six months to completely adjust and for you to achieve your optimal vision. Because IOLs are made of durable material, it’s rare that they need to be replaced.

If you are ready to see clearly again, contact Victoria Eye Center in Victoria to schedule a cataract surgery consultation.  Call 800-833-0234 or visit victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule your appointment today!

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Does LASIK Hurt?

does-lasik-hurtLASIK eye surgery is a very popular 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. Another perk is that it doesn’t take long to start seeing positive results, and getting back to most of your favorite activities. Although the results of LASIK surgery are very consistent, there are still questions to be answered.

One of the most common questions is: does LASIK hurt? The short answer is no, for most people, it doesn’t. In order to explain the long answer, let us look at why LASIK eye surgery is able to deliver results with very minimal pain or discomfort.

In order to understand why LASIK causes little or no pain, 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, 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 they also 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 pain, 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, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Can LASIK Fix Astigmatism?

lasik-astigmatismIn a perfect world, all eyes would have a nice spherical shape and be perfect optical lenses. In the real world, the eye is usually not perfectly shaped and visual clarity is compromised. When astigmatism is present, the eye has a shape like a football set on one end. This asymmetrical shape of the eye causes the light rays traveling through it to scatter and not be clear. Astigmatism is a very common vision problem. Despite its big, somewhat scary-sounding name, astigmatism is simply a refractive error like nearsightedness and farsightedness and it can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses and LASIK surgery.

The ultra-precise lasers used for LASIK surgery can be programmed to reshape the cornea so the front surface of the eye is more symmetrical, thereby eliminating vision problems caused by astigmatism.

Most of the time astigmatism can be fully corrected with a single LASIK procedure. High amounts of astigmatism can be corrected with LASIK, though this increases the likelihood a follow-up LASIK enhancement may be needed to fine-tune the correction.

LASIK for astigmatism is an excellent option when compared to other alternatives like eyeglasses or contact lenses. Eyeglasses and contacts compensate for the abnormal curvature of the astigmatism with a lens that is curved in the opposite way from the cornea, effectively cancelling out the distortion. Unlike LASIK, these are short-term corrections to the symptoms associated with astigmatism – blurry vision, eyestrain and headaches. They can also be disorienting since, by definition, these lenses are non-uniform in shape.  Astigmatism contacts can also rotate out of alignment causing blurring to occur.  And all contact lenses carry the risk of infection, inflammation or corneal damage.

LASIK for astigmatism in Victoria involves Dr. Boozalis making a thin, small circular hinge cut into your cornea. Dr. Boozalis folds back the hinged flap and then reshapes the cornea using a cool excimer laser. Many people choose to have LASIK for astigmatism over other refractive surgeries because it is very safe and the recovery time is very short.

If you are considering LASIK to correct your astigmatism, it’s important to discuss your options with a surgeon or eye care professional. Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule your consultation today and see if LASIK is the right choice for you.

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Vision Correction

vision-correctionIf you’ve thought about vision correction surgery, also called refractive eye surgery, you should know that there are many options available which are different types of laser surgery. There’s the popular and well-known LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis), but also wavefront-guided LASIK and Epi-Lasik, PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) and LASEK (laser epithelial keratomileusis).

The scope of vision problems that can be corrected with refractive eye surgery has expanded greatly in the past few decades. Refractive problems that can be corrected include nearsightedness (myopia), astigmatism (unevenly curved cornea), and farsightedness (hyperopia).

LASIK works by changing the shape of the cornea – the clear portion of the front of the eye – so that light rays focus on the retina and improve vision. A thin flap is created in the cornea. The exposed corneal surface is then reshaped using an excimer laser and the flap is replaced.

Epi-LASIK is an alternative to traditional LASIK, in which an instrument called an epi-keratome is used to separate a very thin sheet of the very top (epithelial) layer of the cornea, which is then moved aside so that the cornea can be sculpted for vision correction.

Wavefront-guided LASIK uses the most advanced technology to address the finer imperfections in the eye. This type of LASIK involves measuring the eye from front to back with a special laser, using what’s called wavefront technology, to create a three-dimensional (3-D) image of the eye. The information contained in the wavefront map guides the laser in customizing the treatment to your individual visual system.

PRK was the first form of laser vision correction surgery. PRK differs from LASIK in that the surgeon does not create a flap. PRK is a good option for patients with thin corneas.

LASEK combines many of the benefits of other vision correction surgeries, notably LASIK and PRK. LASEK can be a good option for patients with thin or unusually shaped corneas.

If you’re a candidate for refractive eye surgery, the surgery should be tailored not only to your vision problems, but also to factors such as age, occupation and lifestyle. There’s no one-size-fits-all surgery. To find out more about vision correction in Victoria, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule your consultation with Dr. Boozalis.

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How Old Do You Have To Be To Have LASIK?

age-for-lasikIf you have considered vision correction surgery, you may have wondered how old you have to be to have LASIK. LASIK has been FDA approved for patients 18 or older. There is no ideal age to have the procedure, but it is important to have a stable prescription and, of course, healthy eyes.

One benefit of having LASIK done when you are younger is that there are more years to enjoy the benefit of improved vision, the eyes tend to heal quicker and stabilize faster and there are fewer side effects such as dry eyes. There are also fewer problems with reading vision than in older patients.

At first LASIK seemed to be most popular with an older demographic of an average age around late 30s or early 40s but now we are seeing many more patients in their 20s who have discovered the benefits of laser vision correction.

For patients in their 30s or 40s, LASIK is a wonderful procedure, but special consideration must be given to the management of presbyopia (need for reading glasses after age  40).

For patients in their 50s and 60s LASIK is still safe and effective, but other factors, such as possible cataracts, that start appearing at this age must be evaluated. If you suffer from a cataract, LASIK will not improve your vision and cataract surgery should be considered.

It is not uncommon for patients to undergo LASIK in their 70s and 80s as an enhancement as part of premium cataract surgery.

If you would like more information about LASIK, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com. Dr. Boozalis has helped thousands of patients in Victoria achieve optimal vision and freedom from glasses and contacts and would love to help you also.

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LASIK Flap

lasik-flapLASIK, which stands for laser in-situ keratomileusis, is a popular surgery used to correct vision in people who are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism.  One aspect of LASIK surgery that has made it such an innovative and effective procedure is the LASIK flap.

Creating the LASIK Flap

The first step of LASIK eye surgery is to partially detach a very thin layer of tissue from the cornea. This layer of tissue remains attached to the cornea on one side, creating a flap. Dr. Boozalis then uses a cool laser to alter the shape of the cornea beneath the flap. Changing the shape of the cornea corrects the vision problem that is being treated.

After the shape of the corneal tissue beneath the flap has been properly altered, the flap of tissue is set back into place. This flap serves as a protective covering for the area of the eye that has been operated on, and thus facilitates rapid healing. In fact, with the use of a LASIK flap, the corneal tissue can be as much as 90% healed within 24 hours!

Advantages of the LASIK Flap

Before LASIK surgery techniques were developed, doctors used photorefractive keratectomy, PRK, to correct vision. Known as an ablative procedure, PRK removes small pieces of tissue from the surface of the cornea. Though this procedure provides effective vision correction, and is still used in some cases when the cornea is too thin or misshapen to work well with a LASIK procedure, it takes longer to heal. The LASIK flap offers a faster, less painful recovery than the earlier methods of refractive surgery.

In order to determine if LASIK will work well to correct your vision, you should consult with a LASIK surgeon. Dr. Boozalis, who specializes in LASIK surgery in Victoria Eye Center, will evaluate your vision, the shape of your cornea, your overall health and other factors. Dr. Boozalis will then provide a suggested course of treatment and help you decide if LASIK is right for you.

If you suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, LASIK might be an excellent option to improve your eyesight. For more information about how LASIK can help you, please contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule a LASIK consultation.

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