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The latest from our blog

Cataract Surgery Options

Cataracts are a cloudiness that forms in the normally clear lens of the eye, leading to decreased vision. Although cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 40, cataract surgery options offer an easy solution to clear vision for the millions that suffer from the condition. Depending on your pre-operative vision and desired result, Dr. Boozalis in Victoria may choose to remove your cloudy lens and replace it with a clear lens implant called an intraocular lens, IOL. This has been done for routine cataract surgery for years. There are several IOL options that remedy different types of vision problems. Dr. Boozalis can help you decide which is right for you.

There are numerous cataract surgery options. Below are two categories to consider:

Refractive Cataract Surgery: There are several options for refractive cataract surgery. This category includes surgeries that use special IOL lenses designed to correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. The goal is to correct the cloudiness from the cataract as well as improve nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, reducing the need for distance and near vision glasses.

Standard Cataract Surgery: Cataract surgery with a basic, standard, IOL. This type of cataract surgery corrects the cloudy lens but does not provide additional vision correction. With this type of cataract surgery, most patients will see better than before the surgery, but unlike other lens options, will likely require glasses at all distances for the best vision.

At Victoria Eye Center, we want you to know that quality vision correction is our specialty. To learn more about your cataract surgery options or to schedule an examination with Dr. Boozalis, contact us at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com today.

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What to Expect Before, During and After LASIK – Part One

Before LASIK

Prior to a LASIK procedure in Victoria, you will need a thorough consultation and complete eye examination by Dr. Boozalis to determine if you are a good candidate for the surgery.

During your pre-surgery examination, Dr. Boozalis will:

  • Dilate your pupils to fine-tune your prescription
  • Examine your eyes to make sure they’re healthy, including testing for glaucoma, performing a retinal exam and assessing for dry eye
  • Measure the curvature of your cornea and your pupils
  • Examine the topography of your eyes to make sure you don’t have an irregular astigmatism or a cone-shaped cornea – a condition called keratoconus
  • Determine the thickness of your cornea. You need to have enough tissue left after your corneas have been cut and reshaped.
  • Discuss the risks, benefits, options and possible complications of LASIK surgery.

If you qualify for LASIK, you will be required to stop wearing your contact lenses for a while before the surgery. Contacts can temporarily change the shape of the cornea and your cornea should be in its natural shape the day of surgery. Dr. Boozalis may instruct you to stop wearing makeup, lotions or perfume for a few days before surgery. These products can interfere with the laser treatment or increase the risk of infection after surgery.

During LASIK

LASIK is an outpatient surgical procedure. The surgery takes 10 to 15 minutes for each eye.

Local anesthetic drops are applied to numb the eye. An eyelid holder is positioned to hold your eye open and prevents blinking during the surgery. A hinged flap of thin corneal tissue is cut off the outer layer of the eye and the flap is lifted out of the way.

During the procedure you will focus on a green flashing light. The laser will apply computer-controlled pulses of cool laser light to remove a pre-determined amount of corneal tissue according to your prescription, reshaping your cornea. The laser reshaping takes between 10 and 30 seconds.

The corneal flap is then replaced and within minutes natural suction forces within the eyes hold the flap in place. Finally, a shield is placed over the eyes to protect them as they heal.

What to Expect Before During and After LASIK to be continued…

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LASIK for Nearsightedness

To see clearly, the cornea and the lens must bend, (refract) light rays so they focus on the retina. The retina is a layer of light-sensing cells that line the back of the eye. These cells convert the light rays into impulses that are sent to the brain where they are recognized as images. If the light rays don’t focus properly on the retina, the image you see is blurry. This is called a refractive error. Glasses, contact lenses and refractive surgery such as LASIK try to reduce these errors by making light rays focus on the retina.

Refractive errors are caused by an imperfectly shaped eyeball, cornea or lens — or in the case of presbyopia, a lens that can’t change shape enough to focus on close objects. The most common type of refractive error is myopia, also known as nearsightedness, a condition where only nearby objects are clear or distinct. Nearsightedness causes patients to have difficulty seeing things that are far away. Because a nearsighted eye is longer than a normal eye, light passing through the cornea gets focused in front of the retina instead of on it. LASIK surgery can correct this condition by reshaping the steep cornea so that light will pass through and be focused at the correct angle on the retina.

Before you sign up for LASIK surgery to correct nearsightedness, here are a few things to think about:

  • LASIK is surgery to a very delicate part of your eye and cannot be reversed.
  • As with any surgery, there are risks and possible complications.
  • Millions of people have had LASIK, many very successfully, but it’s not for everyone.
  • LASIK may not give you perfect vision. Most patients achieve somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40 vision, but 20/40 vision may not be sharp enough for certain work or leisure activities. Even 20/20 does not always mean perfect vision. Detailed, precise vision may be slightly diminished.
  • If you are nearsighted and don’t yet need reading glasses, having LASIK may mean you will need reading glasses earlier than if you had not had the surgery.
  • The benefits of the LASIK procedure may diminish over time. More than 10% of LASIK patients in the U.S. require a second surgery, called an enhancement, to restore the desired vision correction. This is more likely for people who were more nearsighted or farsighted or had higher astigmatism before LASIK.
  • Most insurance plans don’t cover the surgery.

To learn more about how LASIK can correct your refractive error and improve your vision, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule a consultation and exam.

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LASIK Flap Complications

Despite its excellent record of success and safety, LASIK eye surgery, like all surgical procedures, has some associated risks. Most LASIK side effects are mild and temporary. While serious complications, such as those associated with the LASIK flap, are extremely rare, it’s important that patients be fully aware of all possible risks, no matter how remote, before deciding to undergo the procedure.

What Causes LASIK Flap Complications to Occur?

The creation of a flap in the outermost layer of the cornea is what distinguishes LASIK from other forms of laser refractive surgery such as PRK and LASEK. This means that flap complications are a potential risk of all forms of LASIK. However, these complications are slightly more common when LASIK is performed using a handheld microkeratome surgical tool. While this blade is extremely precise and safe, it is operated by hand; therefore, there is a greater chance of slight imperfections with the resulting corneal flap. In general, these imperfections, jagged edges, uneven depths and other possible issues do not interfere with LASIK results or lead to complications of any sort.

To minimize the risk of flap complications, Dr. Boozalis prefers replacing the traditional microkeratome with a more accurate, computer-guided laser. The all-laser approach using the latest laser technology removes the element of even slight human error, resulting in corneal flaps that have perfectly straight edges with strong hinges and uniform depths.

Reducing the Risk of LASIK Flap Complications

Regardless of the technique used to perform LASIK, patients play a significant role in preventing flap complications. After LASIK surgery, it is vitally important that you follow the post-operative instructions provided to you by Dr. Boozalis. These instructions may include advice tailored specifically to your case, but should include avoiding:

  • Rubbing your eyes
  • Wearing eye makeup
  • Lotion around your eyes
  • Getting water, especially streaming water, directly in your eyes
  • Contact sports
  • Dust and dirt

You will be given protective eye shields to wear during sleep for the first week after your surgery; this will prevent you from accidentally rubbing your eyes at night. Itchiness and irritation can be soothed with artificial tears. Following all post-operative instructions will help to ensure a safe, comfortable, speedy recovery free from LASIK flap complications.

To learn more about LASIK flap complications and how they can be avoided, contact Victoria Eye Center today at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Common Vision Problems that LASIK Treats

Your eye shape and cornea are keys to better vision. When light enters the eye it is bent, refracted, by a clear tissue on the front of the eye called the cornea. The cornea, in effect, acts like a lens to focus incoming light onto the retina on the back of the eye. If you wear glasses or contacts, these bend the light as needed to adjust for your eye prescription. LASIK vision correction surgery in Victoria can reduce and/or eliminate your dependence on glasses and contact lenses if you suffer from the following common vision problems:

Myopia

Myopia, called nearsightedness, happens when the eye is elongated or the cornea is too curved. Because of this, light entering your eyes does not focus on the retina as it should, but instead focuses on images at a point in front of the retina. The result of nearsightedness is that your distant objects appear blurry, while near objects appear clear.

Hyperopia

Hyperopia, called farsightedness, occurs when the eye shape is either too short or the cornea is excessively flat. Farsightedness happens in eyes that are incorrectly focusing images behind the retina rather than directly on it. The result of farsightedness is that near objects you are seeing appear blurry, while distant objects appear clear. In some cases, hyperopia may cause blurriness at both distance and near.

Astigmatism

If you have astigmatism it is because you have a cornea that is not spherical or basketball-shaped like a normal eye, but your cornea is typically shaped more like a football. The result of astigmatism is that the objects you are viewing are not focused into a single image and vision is distorted or blurry. Astigmatism can be present alone or in addition to nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Reshaping the Cornea

During LASIK in Victoria, Dr. Boozalis uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea to properly refract light for corrected vision. The laser pulses cool, invisible ultraviolet light to painlessly reshape the cornea in a precisely controlled manner without damaging adjacent eye tissue. The cornea then properly refracts light so you can see without the need for corrective lenses.

To learn more about how LASIK can treat your vision problems, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule your LASIK evaluation.

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What is the Day of LASIK Surgery Like? – Part Two

Upon arrival at our office, your eyes will be numbed with anesthetic eye drops and an eyelid holder will be positioned to keep your eyelids open during surgery. You will remain awake and comfortable throughout the procedure.

A laser is used to gently create a corneal flap. Dr. Boozalis then folds this flap back to prepare the eye for the treatment. Based on preliminary measurements taken by Dr. Boozalis during the pre–operative examination, a sophisticated computer program controls the amount of laser pulses needed to reshape the cornea. This portion of the procedure only lasts a few minutes.

Following the correction of the refractive error, the corneal flap will be folded back to its normal position.

What to Expect After Surgery

Immediately after your procedure, your vision may be a little blurry. This is normal. You should notice a significant improvement in your vision the morning following your procedure.

You may have some mild discomfort for a few hours after your procedure as the numbing drops wear off. Patients usually compare this to a dirty contact lens feeling. The best thing to do is to keep your eyes gently closed for a few hours following your procedure to reduce any discomfort.

It’s possible that you will also experience more tearing than usual, or a heightened sensitivity to light, but don’t be alarmed because these are common, temporary side effects of LASIK. To maximize the chances that you will avoid these side effects, we recommend resting your eyes as much as possible for the remainder of the day following your procedure.

LASIK recovery times are much faster than most other medical procedures, with almost all patients returning to normal activities the day after having their surgery.

To find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK vision correction in Victoria, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule your LASIK consultation today.

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What is the Day of LASIK Surgery Like? – Part One

Many patients wonder what will happen on the day of their LASIK surgery. It’s natural to feel a bit anxious or nervous about having a procedure like LASIK and knowing what to expect can help ease a patient’s emotions.

Here is an overview of what happens on the day you have LASIK, including details about preparing for your procedure, as well as recovering from it:

Prior to Your Surgery

While preparation for LASIK surgery is significantly less intensive compared to other surgical procedures, there are a few things you’ll need to do to ensure that all goes well.

Here’s a simple checklist of things to remember while prepping for your LASIK procedure in Victoria:

  • Plan to spend 2 to 3 hours with us on the day of your scheduled procedure.
  • Arrange for transportation. You will be unable to drive immediately following LASIK surgery, so you will need to arrange for a ride home from your procedure.
  • Wear comfortable and casual clothing on the day of your procedure. It’s a little cool in the laser rooms, so remember to bring along a sweater.
  • Do not drink alcohol on the day of your procedure.
  • On the day before surgery, stop using makeup, lotions, perfumes or creams. These substances may cause debris to get into your eyes.
  • Take a few days off. Some LASIK patients go back to work the day after their procedure, but Dr. Boozalis recommends taking at least a couple of days to rest. Make sure you keep your expectations realistic. This is especially important if you work outdoors because you need to keep your eyes as clean as possible.
  • Stop wearing your contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses, you’ll need to switch to glasses full time for at least a few weeks before your surgery. Contact lenses can distort the shape of your cornea which could lead to inaccurate measurements and a poor surgical outcome. Dr. Boozalis will provide specific guidelines depending on your situation and how long you’ve been a contact lens wearer.

What is the Day of LASIK Surgery Like? Part Two to be continued…

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What Are the Risks of LASIK?

Most LASIK patients are highly satisfied with the results of their refractive surgery. However, like any other medical procedure, there are certain risks to be considered. Before undergoing a refractive procedure like LASIK, you should carefully weigh the risks and benefits. Potential LASIK risks include:

Loss of Visual Acuity: Visual acuity is the sharpness of your vision. Vision that is at least 20/20 is considered ideal visual acuity. But LASIK surgery does not guarantee perfectly sharp visual acuity – like some of the ads promise – and you might not be able to completely ditch your glasses and contacts after your procedure.

Visual Distortions: Even patients who do achieve 20/20 visual acuity following LASIK can have other problems. Some visual distortions that may be experienced include halos, double vision and issues with glare.

Under or Over Correction: Though relatively rare, undercorrection or overcorrection are both possible complications of LASIK surgery. Those with severe myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism are at increased risk for undercorrection or overcorrection.

Dry Eye: Damage to nerves sustained during the LASIK procedure can lead to dry eye. Symptoms include discomfort, blurred vision and sensitivity to light; some patients also feel like they have something in their eye. If you already have dry eye, you may not be a suitable candidate for LASIK until you undergo treatment for it because LASIK may worsen your existing condition.

Inflammation: Inflammation is a normal response to injury, including the cell damage caused by LASIK. If not controlled, or if caused by wound contamination, inflammation may slow the healing process, leading to corneal haze or even permanent loss of vision. Symptoms of inflammation include pain, a burning sensation and/or redness.

Regression: Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that LASIK outcomes are stable in most patients. Nonetheless, a small percentage of patients will see their vision slip over time. This is called regression.

Epithelial Ingrowth: Epithelial ingrowth occurs when cells in the epithelium (the outer layer of the cornea) move under the flap and begin to grow following surgery. Although epithelial ingrowth may not cause any problems, it can lead to blurriness, discomfort and other symptoms. Older patients are more likely to experience epithelial ingrowth.

Although laser vision correction has a very high patient satisfaction rate, negative LASIK side effects can be experienced in some patients. While serious complications are extremely rare, and most side effects are mild and temporary, patients should be fully aware of all possible risks, no matter how minor, before deciding to undergo such a procedure.

If you’re considering vision correction surgery in Victoria, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule a LASIK consultation with Dr. Boozalis.

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How to Choose a LASIK Surgeon

Choosing a LASIK surgeon is one of the most important decisions to make once you have decided to have LASIK surgery. But how do you know who the best person is for such a task? When choosing a LASIK surgeon, consider the following key factors:

  • Surgeon’s experience and qualifications
  • Technology
  • Patient reviews
  • Number of surgeries performed

Credentials – One should make sure that their LASIK surgeon is board certified, meaning that an entity recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties has certified the surgeon to practice their specialty. Also, make sure that the surgeon is licensed in the state they are performing the procedure.

Technology – Understanding the type of technology that a surgeon uses is another important factor to consider. There are several different technologies that LASIK surgeons may use and there are many differences that contribute to precision and results achieved. For example, some surgeons may still use a microkeratome blade to create the corneal flap during LASIK surgery whereas many surgeons now use an all laser approach to laser vision correction. Other surgeons may offer more advanced technology such as customized wavefront LASIK which provides a more individualized correction and more accurate result.

Patient Reviews – Reviews from patients who have previously had LASIK performed by the surgeon you are researching can give great insight as to what you can expect. Knowing that the majority of the surgeon’s patients are satisfied with their experience and would recommend the surgeon can be helpful toward feeling more comfortable.

Number of Surgeries Performed – Making sure that the surgeon you choose to perform your laser eye surgery has adequate experience is very important. The more surgeries a LASIK doctor has performed, the more time they have had to perfect their skills.

Choosing the right LASIK surgeon is very important and should be researched carefully. During a LASIK consultation at Victoria Eye Center in Victoria, you will be able to openly discuss these topics with Dr. Boozalis who can answer all your LASIK questions and concerns. Call 800-833-0234 or visit victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule your appointment today.

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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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