Welcome to Victoria Eye Center

Opening Hours : Monday to Friday - 7:30am to 5:00pm
  Contact : 800.833.0234

All posts by blog

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Laser Vision Correction Options

laser-vision-correctionRefractive laser surgery for vision correction has made tremendous advances over the last several decades.

Today, many different options exist to help the majority of people who wear glasses or contact lenses reduce or eliminate their dependence on their corrective lenses. In almost all cases, refractive laser surgery is considered elective and cosmetic.

Here are some facts about laser vision correction:

  • Vision correction surgery can benefit people with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.
  • Myopia occurs when near objects appear clear but distant objects are blurry. The eye is too long and/or the cornea is too steep for its focusing ability, thus, objects are blurry.
  • Hyperopia occurs when near objects are blurry and far objects are clear. In this case, the eye is too short and/or the cornea is too flat for its focusing ability, which causes the blurriness.
  • Astigmatism is best described as distorted or warped vision due to the surface of the eye being somewhat irregular in shape. With this condition, the eye has various focal points causing images to be distorted.
  • Vision correction surgery modifies the cornea and/or the lens in order to focus light on the back of the eye without the need for corrective lenses.
  • Vision correction surgery will usually not benefit people with presbyopia (the inability to see objects up close). Presbyopia describes the condition in which the eye exhibits a progressively diminished ability to focus on near objects with age. This condition affects all people older than 40-45 years of age and is corrected by bifocal glasses or bifocal contact lenses. In presbyopia, the lens loses its ability to change shape and thus focus the eye on objects up close. Presbyopia is not a problem of the eye being too long or too short. Research is ongoing to develop corrective surgical procedures for presbyopia, but the technique has not yet been established.

Today, various options in vision correction surgery include the following:

  • Radial Keratotomy (RK)
  • Photorefractive keratotomy (PRK)
  • Laser in situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)
  • Femtosecond laser-assisted LASIK (iLASIK)
  • Laser thermal Keratoplasty (LTK)
  • Conductive Keratoplasty (CK)
  • Intracorneal ring segments (ICR)
  • Phakic intraocular lens implants

With so many laser vision correction options available, it is important to select the appropriate method for your specific needs. In Victoria, Dr. Boozalis can meet with you to evaluate your vision and help choose the surgery method best suited for you. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, please contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

Read More

LASIK Risks

lasik-risksMillions of Americans have had LASIK eye surgery to correct their vision since it was introduced in the United States several decades ago. Although LASIK has an excellent safety profile and a very high success rate, there are potential risks to consider. Sight-threatening complications such as significant loss of vision from LASIK surgery are extremely rare, and many side effects and laser eye surgery complications can be resolved with additional surgery or medical treatment.

The first step is to determine if you are a good candidate for vision correction surgery. Dr. Boozalis in Victoria will perform a thorough diagnostic eye exam to determine your suitability for LASIK surgery.

He will evaluate:

  • The shape and thickness of your cornea
  • Your refractive errors and pupil size
  • The moistness of your eyes (to check for dry eye syndrome)
  • Your general health and medical history
  • Any medications you are taking

Common LASIK risks and complications to be aware of:

Temporary discomfort and vision disturbances. Discomfort during the first few days following LASIK surgery, such as mild irritation and light sensitivity, is normal and to be expected. During the first few weeks or months you also may experience: halos; glare and starbursts in low-light environments, especially at night; dry eye symptoms; hazy vision; and reduced sharpness of vision. In most cases, these are temporary and disappear completely within3-6 months.

Flap complications. The LASIK procedure involves the creation of a thin, hinged flap on the front surface of the cornea. This is lifted during surgery for laser reshaping of the eye. The flap is then replaced to form a natural bandage. If the LASIK flap is not made correctly, it may fail to adhere properly to the eye’s surface or microscopic wrinkles called striae (STRIE-ee) could develop in the flap. These flap complications can cause optical aberrations and distorted vision.

Dry eyes after LASIK. Some people who have LASIK surgery experience a decrease in tear production that can cause eye discomfort and blurred vision. Dry eye syndrome after LASIK surgery is usually temporary and can be effectively treated with lubricating eye drops or other measures. Dry eye problems usually disappear when healing of the eye is complete, which can take up to 6 months. People who already have severe dry eye usually are eliminated as LASIK candidates.

Significant undercorrection, overcorrection or regression. Not everyone will achieve 20/20 vision after LASIK eye surgery, and contact lenses or eyeglasses for some or all activities may still be required in very rare cases. If the laser removes too much or too little corneal tissue, or your eye’s healing response is not typical, your visual outcome will be less than optimal. One possible cause of a less-than-perfect outcome is that your eyes did not respond to laser eye surgery in a predictable manner. Another possible cause is that your eyesight may have been optimal shortly after LASIK but regressed over time due to over-healing. In most cases, a significant undercorrection or regression can be successfully treated with additional laser vision correction after your surgeon confirms your residual refractive error is stable.

Eye infection. Infections rarely occur after LASIK because the corneal flap acts as a natural bandage. Still, it is very important to use medicated eye drops as directed after your LASIK procedure to avoid infection and control inflammation as your eyes heal.

Choosing a skilled and experienced LASIK eye surgeon can help reduce these risks and enable you to achieve the best possible results from laser eye surgery. If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Boozalis to discuss if LASIK is right for you, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com today.

Read More

Questions to Ask a LASIK Surgeon

questions-to-ask-a-lasik-surgeonIf you are considering LASIK, it is important to discuss the benefits and risks that could result from correcting vision with surgery rather than eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Each LASIK candidate has a unique set of general and eye health circumstances and lifestyle goals that need to be carefully assessed with their surgeon before electing to go ahead with the surgery. Although LASIK benefits many people, for others it may not be the best choice.

Choosing to undergo LASIK surgery is an important, potentially life-changing decision. Prior to your LASIK surgery, you will get the chance to ask your surgeon all the questions you want to ask. To help you make an informed decision, Dr. Boozalis at Victoria Eye Center in Victoria recommends the following list of questions to ask during your consultation.

Get to Know Your LASIK Surgeon

  • What is your professional training?
  • How many years of experience do you have?
  • How many LASIK procedures have you performed?
  • Do you perform any other types of vision treatment?
  • How many of your patients achieve vision results of 20/20 or better?
  • How do you handle complications?
  • Do you have testimonials from previous patients I can read?

Familiarize Yourself with the Procedure

  • Am I a candidate for LASIK?
  • If I’m not eligible for LASIK, do you offer other laser vision correction surgeries?
  • How should I prepare for the procedure?
  • Do you use the latest LASIK technology?
  • Do you perform bladeless LASIK surgery?
  • What kind of laser will you be using to perform my procedure?
  • How long does the procedure take?
  • Is LASIK painful?
  • What results can I reasonably expect?
  • Is LASIK permanent?
  • Will I need laser vision correction again?
  • What are possible side effects and complications associated with LASIK?
  • What financing options do you offer?

Learn What to Expect During the Recovery

  • Will I be able to drive myself home after surgery?
  • Will I be given pain medication for discomfort?
  • How long is the recovery?
  • Should I take time off from work? If so, how much?
  • When can I exercise?
  • When will I see my final vision results?
  • What type of long-term follow-up care do you offer?
  • How can I maintain clear vision after LASIK?

Dr. Boozalis at Victoria Eye Center has years of experience performing LASIK and other laser vision correction surgeries in Victoria. To find out if you’re a candidate, schedule a FREE consultation with us. Contact us at phone or website today.

Read More

Custom LASIK vs. Traditional LASIK

different-types-of-lasikTraditional LASIK has been around since the 1990s and has been performed on thousands of people around the world.  It has produced excellent results for the majority of people who have utilized this life-changing procedure.

Custom LASIK is a more recent form of laser eye surgery that uses a 3-D mapping system to diagnose the exact contours of each of your eyes. This data then guides the laser in your treatment. This is known as Wavefront-guided LASIK and it yields excellent vision results. Traditional LASIK does not use a Wavefront system.

The Wavefront system gathers very detailed and precise information so that your LASIK treatment is extremely precise.  Wavefront custom LASIK can correct both lower and higher-order aberrations whereas traditional LASIK corrects only lower.

Traditional LASIK

No wavefront 3-D map is made. The LASIK treatment is the same as when such maps are made, but it is not guided by this wavefront map data. What guides it? Less detailed information guides it, which is gathered from several optical machines:

  • An auto-refractor – a machine that measures your prescription using infrared light. You can’t see that light because it’s outside our visual range. You look at an image in the machine and the auto-refractor changes the image size until it comes to a clear focus for you. Sensors are picking up the reflected infrared light from your eyes.
  • A corneal topographer – again, you look into this machine through a special opening and sensors detect several hundred points on each eye. Software then connects these points to create a colored map of each eye.
  • A pupilometer – a handheld instrument which measures the diameter of the eye’s pupil, both in darkness and in light. This is important for planning the exact treatment area around the pupil.

Your eye surgeon puts all this data together and forms a clear understanding of how your cornea needs to be reshaped.

Custom LASIK

LASIK is an excellent choice for many patients. Custom LASIK is a laser vision correction procedure that helps your LASIK surgeon further customize the correction to your individual eyes.

Custom LASIK uses Wavefront Technology to measure the way light travels through your eye. This technology performs a detailed analysis of your eye that examines the entire optical system. The instrument used provides information about the unique visual characteristics of your eye, allowing for an additional level of data about your vision.  This, in turn, enables your LASIK surgeon to further customize your vision correction. The data is used to guide the laser during your custom LASIK laser vision correction procedure for optimal results.

If you have any questions about traditional LASIK vs. custom LASIK or would like to schedule an evaluation, please contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com. Dr. Boozalis in Victoria can help you decide which vision correction procedure is right for you.

Read More

Cataract Causes

cataract-causesA cataract occurs when the lens inside your eye becomes cloudy. Things linked to clouding include:

  • Aging (age-related cataracts)
  • Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, such as from sunlight, tanning booths, or sunlamps
  • Diabetes: especially when the blood sugar levels are above the safe range, diabetes causes changes in the eye that can result in cataracts
  • Disease inside the eye such as glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, retinal detachment or long-term uveitis
  • Long-term use of steroid medicines
  • Frequent X-rays or radiation treatments to the head
  • Family history (genetics) may cause the tendency to inherit and develop cataracts
  • Vitrectomy: people who have had the vitreous gel removed from their eye (vitrectomy) have an increased risk of cataracts
  • Eye injury, though injury-related cataracts are rare, injury is a leading cause of cataracts in children
  • Being born with cataracts (congenital): some children are born with the condition

Possible cataract causes include:

  • A genetic fault inherited from the child’s parents that caused the lens to develop abnormally
  • Certain genetic conditions – including Down’s syndrome
  • Certain infections picked up by the mother during pregnancy – including rubella and chickenpox
  • An injury to the eye after birth

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. Cataracts generally develop in both eyes, but not evenly. The cataract in one eye may be more advanced than the other, causing a difference in vision between eyes.

When to see a doctor:

Make an appointment for an eye exam if you notice any changes in your vision. If you develop sudden vision changes, such as double vision or flashes of light, sudden eye pain, or sudden headache, see Dr. Boozalis in Victoria right away. Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule an eye exam.

Read More

Cataract Surgery Recovery

cataract-surgery-recoveryModern cataract surgery is very safe and effective. In fact, the overall success rate of cataract surgery is about 98%.

Typically, the procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia and the cataract surgery recovery time is minor. Most patients see clearly the day after surgery, with little or no discomfort.

To ensure the best possible outcome and to minimize your risk of complications after cataract surgery, it’s important to carefully follow the instructions regarding what to do and what not to do after your cataract procedure.

The checklist below will help you know what to expect and what to do during your cataract surgery recovery.

Immediately After Cataract Surgery:

  • At the completion of your cataract surgery, a lightweight protective shield will be placed over your eye, held in place with surgical tape. This shield will decrease the risk of injury from inadvertently rubbing or accidentally bumping your eye.
  • You will be given dark sunglasses to wear in order to reduce light sensitivity during your trip home.
  • You might feel a little groggy immediately after surgery, especially if you were given a medication to help you relax during the procedure.
  • You may spend some time in a recovery area, where Dr. Boozalis or an assistant will answer any questions and review post-surgical instructions. Your follow-up appointments may be scheduled at this time as well.
  • Typically, you will not be allowed to drive for 24 hours, so someone will need to drive you home.
  • If you have not already done so prior to surgery, you should fill the prescriptions for post-operative medications Dr. Boozalis gave you.
  • When arriving home, you may be allowed to remove your eye shield, but you should wear it when sleeping for at least a week to prevent eye injury.
  • Apply your eye drop medications as instructed to control inflammation and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Some burning, stinging and/or “gritty” feeling to the eye is normal.
  • Do not rub or put any pressure on your eye.
  • It usually is okay to engage in light activity — such as reading, watching television and walking — immediately after cataract surgery, but you may want to simply rest comfortably or nap in bed when you return home.

The First Few Weeks After Surgery:

  • You can bathe or shower, but avoid getting water in or near your eye.
  • Typically, you will have a follow-up visit with Dr. Boozalis the day after surgery. Have someone drive you to your follow-up visit. Avoid driving until the doctor has verified that it is safe for you to do so.
  • Wear dark, ultraviolet (UV) protective sunglasses when outdoors.
  • Your eye may still feel a little gritty and/or sensitive to the touch for a few days after surgery.
  • It is not unusual to experience glare and halos around lights during the first few weeks after surgery.
  • Continue to use your eye drop medications according to the schedule Dr. Boozalis gave you. He may recommend frequent use of artificial tears if your eyes are dry. Keeping your eye moist will help it heal faster.
  • You should be able to drive, return to work and resume your normal activities within a week.

Further Recovery:

Within 2 to 3 months after cataract surgery, your eye should be comfortable and your vision should be clear. If you have residual nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, you may need prescription eyeglasses. To reduce your need for glasses, a laser vision correction procedure such as LASIK or PRK often can be performed to sharpen your eyesight.

Be aware that a common complication of cataract surgery — called a secondary cataract — can develop 2 to 4 months (or longer) after surgery.

It’s important to be patient and not expect perfect vision immediately after cataract surgery. It takes some time for your eye to heal completely, and it is not unusual to experience fluctuations in your vision for several days or even a few weeks after surgery.

During your follow-up visits, Dr. Boozalis will advise you about how your eye is healing and when your vision has stabilized.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Boozalis in Victoria or to find out more information about cataract surgery recovery, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

Read More

LASIK Consultation

lasik-consultationThe first step in having LASIK in Victoria is scheduling a consultation, during which Dr. Boozalis will evaluate your candidacy for laser eye surgery. After a thorough discussion and a non-invasive eye exam, Dr. Boozalis will be able to determine if LASIK is right for you. Your doctor can then recommend the best approach for the procedure based on your eye exam results.

Preparing for your LASIK consultation:

Dr. Boozalis will likely recommend that you stop wearing contact lenses in the days or weeks prior to your consultation. Contact lenses distort the shape of the cornea, and Dr. Boozalis will want your cornea to have returned to its natural shape by the day of your LASIK consultation.

What to expect at your LASIK consultation:

On the day of your consultation, you and the doctor will go to a private room to discuss your use of eye glasses and contacts, the reasons you want LASIK, and your expectations after the procedure is performed. Some patients hope laser eye surgery will leave them totally independent from eye glasses and contacts, but this isn’t realistic. Most adults will need reading glasses by a certain age, for instance.

Good laser eye surgery candidates have realistic goals for laser eye surgery, such as reducing the need for eye glasses and contact lenses or enjoying a more active lifestyle. Patients with unrealistic expectations are not good candidates.

Dr. Boozalis will also want to know about your health history. General health conditions, such as diabetes or an autoimmune disease, and ocular health conditions, such as dry eyes or ocular herpes, can affect whether or not you are a candidate for LASIK and how you will recover after the procedure.

Some medications can affect healing. This and other lifestyle factors—including playing contact sports or consuming alcohol and drugs—can also influence candidacy. You may be asked about any of these things to better understand your candidacy for the LASIK procedure.

A typical LASIK consultation continues with a very comprehensive eye exam. This exam will include tests you might recognize, such as pupil dilation and prescription measurement. But the doctor will also use some tests that are specific to the world of laser vision correction. Your cornea will be measured in detail, including its thickness, curvature and topography. A tear-film test may be performed to check for dry eyes. Each test will be explained before it is performed, and all of them are painless.

If you would like to schedule a LASIK consultation, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com today.

Read More

LASIK Financing

lasik-financingWith the average cost of LASIK being more than $2,000 per eye in the U.S. and the procedure not being covered by most insurance plans, you might feel that laser vision correction is beyond your financial means. Thankfully, there are a number of LASIK financing options available to make LASIK affordable for people who cannot pay the full price of the procedure up front. Monthly payments for LASIK surgery using a financing plan can be less than $200 per month.

Paying for LASIK Through Finance Companies

Today it’s commonplace to arrange monthly payments for a variety of health-related procedures, including LASIK!

First, you should make sure the LASIK surgeon you plan to use approves of the financing company. This is because not all LASIK surgeons will work with all financing companies, so confirm with your surgeon before you apply for a loan.

Companies that provide LASIK financing usually offer a range of plans in which you can complete payments within three months, or extend monthly payments for as long as five years. Some companies allow you to spread out payments over time without incurring any extra cost.

Some short-term payment plans charge no interest at all. For longer term payments, interest rates can vary greatly and range as high as 22.99 percent. A deposit also may be required. Interest rates and deposits depend on personal credit ratings and the LASIK financing company used.

How to Apply for LASIK Financing

Applying for credit from a LASIK financing company usually is quick, easy and similar to obtaining other traditional loans. Many LASIK surgeons offer LASIK financing directly through major companies, making the process simple for you.

How much does LASIK cost?

We want to help all our patients experience a life free from the hassle of glasses and contacts. During your free LASIK consultation in Victoria, Dr. Boozalis will perform a series of vision tests and ask you questions about your vision and lifestyle in order to provide you with a customized treatment plan and price to best correct your unique vision correction needs. To learn more about LASIK financing or schedule your consultation, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

Read More