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The latest from our blog

What are Some Signs of Cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye. In most cases, cataracts develop slowly and may not significantly affect eyesight. However, if left untreated, they can quickly begin impacting vision and may even cause blindness. If cataracts are detected in the early stages, adequate measures can be taken to prevent worsening of the condition. For this reason, it is helpful to be aware of the signs and symptoms associated with cataracts. Some signs of cataracts include:

Blurred Vision – The cloudy film that develops over the lens causes a gradual blurring of one’s vision. This blurring of eyesight cannot be corrected by the using of eyeglasses or artificial lenses.

Difficulty Seeing at Night – Those with cataracts tend to have difficulty seeing things in low light, and especially during night time.

Sensitivity to Light – During the very early stages of cataract development, many patients notice their eyes become increasingly sensitive to light, particularly harsh, bright light.

Halos around Light – The presence of the cloudy film on the lens sometimes causes diffraction of light that enters the eye. This causes luminescent halos, often in different colors, to appear when viewing sources of light.

Change in Color Perception – As a cataract advances, the protein that forms the cloudy film on the lens may turn yellow or brown. This may cause light entering the eye to be perceived as an altered hue.

Double Vision in One Eye – A common symptom of the early stages of a cataract is double vision in one eye. Not every cataract patient experiences this symptom, only those suffering from a particular type of cataract. Also, several other eye conditions may cause double vision, but a cataract is amongst the few which causes it only in one eye.

Frequently Needing Stronger Glasses – If you find that you frequently need to increase your contact or glasses strength, this could be an indication that you have cataracts. Rapidly changing eyes could be signs of other conditions as well. Whether it is cataracts or something else, it is important to see a doctor if your prescription needs are frequently changing.

Ultimately, having cataracts may interfere with your ability to carry out simple everyday activities and without treatment, cataracts may lead to permanent blindness. If you experience any of these signs of cataracts or other visual changes, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule an examination with Dr. Boozalis.

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Will Insurance Pay for LASIK Surgery?

Unfortunately, most insurance companies don’t cover LASIK because laser eye surgery is nearly always considered an elective procedure. Elective procedures are typically procedures that are optional, nice to have done, but not medically necessary. 

Although insurance does not often cover the cost of LASIK, certain people may be able to get their laser eye surgery covered due to special circumstances.

People with certain safety requirements (police or firefighters) or medical conditions—such as contact lens intolerance, severe dry eyes or severe allergies—might qualify for insurance-covered LASIK. Either of these conditions can make wearing glasses and contacts dangerous or impossible, leading to a need for LASIK. The conditions must be documented, and there must be a good-faith effort to use contacts and glasses. Even then, an insurance company might not view LASIK as medically necessary.

If you have any type of health insurance policy, contact your benefits coordinator to find out exactly what is and is not covered. You can ask your company questions regarding the amount of coverage offered, what procedures may be covered, and how much you will have to pay whether you use an in-network or out-of-network healthcare provider.

Other Ways to Pay for LASIK

Many U.S. employees have an FSA, HSA or HRA to cover health expenses with income-tax-free accounts. The cost of laser eye surgery is an eligible expense for all these accounts.  In addition, some people may deduct the cost of major medical expenses. Check with your tax preparer to see if you qualify. If you know you want LASIK but are concerned about up-front cost, assess your contributions during your employer’s open-enrollment window and consider increasing your savings so you can afford the procedure next year. At Victoria Eye Center in Victoria, we understand the frustration with wearing glasses and contacts and the desire to have LASIK. That’s why we offer a variety of flexible payment plans and financing options to help make laser eye surgery more affordable for you. To learn more about LASIK and ways to pay, contact us at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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What Will Happen if a Cataract is Left Untreated?

Cataracts occur when changes in the lens of the eye cause it to become less transparent, resulting in cloudy or blurry vision.

Cataracts interfere with the passage of light through the lens of the eye. The lens is a crystalline structure that sits just behind the pupil – the black circle in the center of the eye through which light enters. The light is focused by the cornea and the lens on the retina, a layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye which creates electrical impulses of the image then transmitted to the brain, enabling us to see.

Cataracts most often start to develop in a person’s lens as they get older. Over time, cataracts become worse and start to interfere with vision. Important skills can be affected, such as driving, and loss of vision can affect the overall quality of life in many ways including reading, working, hobbies and sports. If left untreated, cataracts will eventually cause total blindness.

The good news is that cataracts can be easily treated. The primary treatment for cataracts is surgery to remove and replace the cloudy lens. Cataract surgery is a simple procedure that typically takes just about 15 minutes to complete.

If you suffer from cataracts, it is recommended that you have cataract surgery before your cataracts start seriously impairing your vision. If you wait too long, your cataracts can become hyper-mature which makes them more difficult to remove and can cause surgery complications. In general, the best outcomes for cataract surgery take place when surgery is performed soon after vision problems develop.

The best way to decide how and when to treat your cataracts is to discuss your options with your eye doctor. During an examination in Victoria, Dr. Boozalis will discuss treatment options with you based on your individual needs. To schedule an appointment at Victoria Eye Center, contact us today by calling 800-833-0234 or visiting victoriaeyecenter.com.

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How Do I Choose a LASIK Doctor?

Choosing a LASIK doctor 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 doctor, consider the following key factors:

Credentials – One should make sure that their LASIK doctor 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 the latest LASIK technology which provides a more individualized correction and more precise results. Modern lasers track and scan the cornea to deliver a consistent and effective outcome for the patient.

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 to feeling more comfortable.

Number of Surgeries Performed – Theoutcome of your LASIK procedure will largely depend on the level of skill and experience your LASIK doctor has.Making sure that the LASIK doctor 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.

Comfort: Finding a LASIK doctor to trust your sight to is an important decision. A good LASIK doctor should make you feel comfortable and help you decide on the best procedure for you and your vision needs. Make sure you feel comfortable with your doctor and all the information you’ve received before you proceed with scheduling your procedure.

Choosing a LASIK doctor is very important and should be researched carefully. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Boozalis in Victoria, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Intraocular Lens Options

Cataracts develop when the natural lens of your eyes become cloudy, affecting your sight.  When a cataract causes your quality of vision to interfere with your daily activities, cataract surgery is recommended.

After the cataract is removed, it is replaced with an intraocular lens implant that is similar to a small soft contact lens which contains an optical prescription that is matched for you, much like your glasses.

If you are diagnosed with cataract formation, Dr. Boozalis in Victoria wants you to know that there are different intraocular lens options available for you.

1. Monofocal lens: These lenses are the most commonly implanted lenses today. They have equal power in all regions of the lens and can provide high-quality distance vision. Monofocal lenses are in sharpest focus at only one distance. They do not correct pre-existing astigmatism, a result of irregular corneal shape that can distort vision at all distances. People with significant astigmatism require corrective lenses for sharpest vision at all distances. Patients who have had monofocal intraocular lenses implanted usually require reading glasses.

2. Toric lens: Toric lenses have more power in one specific axis in the lens to correct astigmatism as well as distance vision. Due to the difference in lens power in different areas, the correction of astigmatism with a toric lens requires that the lens be positioned in a very specific configuration. While toric lenses can improve distance vision and astigmatism, the patient still will require corrective lenses for all near tasks, such as reading or writing.

3. Multifocal lens: Multifocal intraocular lenses are one of the latest advancements in lens technology. These lenses have a variety of regions with different power that allows some individuals to see at a variety of distances, including distance, intermediate, and near. While promising, multifocal lenses are not for everyone. They can cause significantly more glare and loss of contrasts than monofocal or toric lenses. Multifocal lenses cannot correct astigmatism, and some patients still require spectacles or contact lenses for clearest vision.

Exploring Intraocular Lens Options

There’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” intraocular lens.  Together, you and your doctor will discuss which lens or combination of lenses best fits your lifestyle and your vision goals. For more information on intraocular lens options, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Are You Awake During Cataract Surgery?

Cataracts are a common age-related condition where the lens of the eye starts to become cloudy. This leads to progressive vision impairment. Cataracts are easily treated with a simple surgical procedure to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a new, clear lens, known as an intraocular lens or IOL.

Today, most cataract surgery is done on an out-patient basis, and the entire process usually takes no more than two hours from check-in to heading home! The procedure itself usually lasts less than fifteen minutes and is virtually painless.

Typically, patients are awake during cataract surgery. This eliminates risks associated with general anesthesia (where you are put to sleep) and enables Dr. Boozalis to communicate with you during your procedure.

You will be given an oral medication prior to the procedure to help you relax during your surgery. Before you are taken into surgery, the area around your eye will be cleansed and drops will be put into your eye to dilate the pupil. An anesthetic shot or numbing eye drops will be used to make sure you’ll be comfortable throughout the surgery. You should not feel pain or discomfort during your procedure.

Cataract surgery is one of the safest, most successful surgeries involving the eye. 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.

To learn more about cataract surgery in Victoria, contact Victoria Eye Center to schedule a cataract surgery consultation. Call 800-833-0234 or visit victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule your appointment today!

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What is the Best Age to Get LASIK?

LASIK is a great option for many people who suffer from poor eyesight. But one question many people have before considering this procedure is what the best age is to get LASIK? There is a right and wrong age for LASIK.

The Best Age For LASIK

Generally, the perfect candidate for LASIK is someone between the ages of 20 and 40. This is because a major determining factor in LASIK candidacy is a stable eye prescription for at least two years. Just as your body grows and matures through adolescence, so do your eyes. Research shows that your eyes begin to stabilize and your prescription is more likely to remain steady after the age of 20.

LASIK for Teens

Although LASIK is a safe and effective way to improve vision, the FDA has not approved the procedure for people under the age of 18 because their eyes are not fully developed. In some cases, a person’s eyes may not fully develop until the age of 21. A teenager who undergoes LASIK surgery when their eyes are not fully developed will find the results to be temporary and may need corrective surgery in the future.

Older LASIK Patients

Older patients typically suffer from age-related conditions that cannot be treated with LASIK surgery, such as cataracts, and therefore may not be good candidates for the LASIK procedure. Cataracts occur when the natural lens in the eye becomes cloudy, resulting in blurred vision. It is one of the leading causes of vision loss among older people. Patients with cataracts should consider undergoing cataract surgery, in which the eye’s natural lens is replaced by an artificial lens.

The benefits of LASIK have convinced millions of people to undergo this procedure. To determine whether you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Boozalis in Victoria by contacting Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Do You Wear an Eye Patch After Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is the removal of the natural lens of your eye when it has become opaque or cloudy, typically due to age. There are many bad habits that can cause cataracts, however, it is generally related to age. During cataract surgery in Victoria, the cloudy lens is replaced with an artificial clear lens to restore crystal clear vision. It is the most common and quick eye surgery when performed by a skilled surgeon.

Upon completion of your cataract surgery, a clear, plastic shield will be placed over your eye. It is important that you wear the shield as instructed by Dr. Boozalis. This eye shield is more protective than a standard eye patch, guarding your eye from dust or any potential injury as you heal. You may be instructed to sleep with the shield for at least one week following your surgery.

Other things you can do to ensure that your cataract surgery is successful include:

  • Use your eye drops as prescribed
  • Be sure not to rub or press on your eye
  • Avoid strenuous activity until your doctor informs you that it is acceptable
  • Return for all your post-operative appointments as scheduled

Taking these precautions are necessary in order to prevent any infections that may prevent you from restoring your vision.

Taking good care after cataract surgery is essential to prevent eye infections, minimize side effects and restore clear vision at the earliest possible time. Recovery time for cataract surgery varies from person to person, which is why proper care is essential.

If you’re interested in cataract surgery in Victoria, contact Victoria Eye Center today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Boozalis. You can contact us by calling 800-833-0234 or visiting victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Cataract Surgery Recovery

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure completed in less than one hour. Cataract surgery has a high success rate for improving your eyesight and should allow you to return to your normal activities, like driving, following a few weeks of recovery.

Your cataract surgery recovery begins immediately following your procedure. A light shield will be placed over your eye immediately after surgery to keep you from accidentally rubbing it. Most patients are able to go home within a few hours of the procedure. You will be required to have a friend or family member drive you home following surgery.

During your cataract surgery recovery, it’s normal to experience grittiness, watering, blurred vision, double vision, red or bloodshot eye. These side effects usually improve within a few days, but it can take 4 to 6 weeks to recover fully.

Dos and Don’ts for the first few weeks after surgery:

Do:

  • Keep your eyes moist
  • Use your eye drops as instructed to reduce inflammation and avoid infection
  • Rest and take it easy for the first few days
  • Use your eye shield at night for at least a week
  • Take painkillers if you need to
  • Bathe or shower yourself as usual
  • Wear your eye shield when washing your hair
  • Read, watch TV and use a computer
  • Use your shield or sunglasses outdoors
  • Avoid swimming for 4 to 6 weeks
  • Avoid any type of straining

Don’t:

  • Rub your eye
  • Allow soap or shampoo to get into your eye
  • Drive until you get clearance from your doctor
  • Do any strenuous exercise or housework
  • Wear eye make-up for at least 4 weeks
  • Fly without seeking advice from your doctor

You can expect to return to most normal activities during the first week. If you work, how soon you can return will largely depend on your type of job and if you need new glasses. Dr. Boozalis will advise you on the most appropriate times to resume other activities. Following your surgeon’s instructions regarding what you should and should not do after your cataract surgery is important.

Several follow up appointments will be scheduled during your cataract surgery recovery time. A secondary cataract may develop during the first few months following cataract removal. This is a common complication following cataract removal and can be corrected with a painless procedure called a capsulotomy.

Within a month or two your vision should be clear, and your eyes should be comfortable. You will want to continue wearing sunglasses outdoors and consider wearing safety glasses while playing sports. The best candidates for this procedure are patients with blurred or cloudy vision, light sensitivity and color dullness. If you suspect that you have cataracts, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule an appointment with Dr. Boozalis.

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What Eye Conditions Does LASIK Treat?

LASIK surgery uses the latest technology to correct a number of refractive errors that cause blurry vision. LASIK stands for laser in-situ keratomileusis and has proven to be highly effective in correcting and reducing the refractive eye conditions that it is used to treat. This surgical procedure makes use of a highly precise laser to carefully reshape the cornea to the desired results.

LASIK surgery can correct three types of refractive errors:

Myopia (Nearsightedness) – Myopia occurs when the eyeball is slightly longer than usual. This causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina, rather than directly on its surface. Patients who are nearsighted have difficulty seeing objects that are at a distance. LASIK surgery corrects myopia by flattening the cornea so that light entering the eye focuses on the retina rather than in front of the retina.

Hyperopia (Farsightedness) – Hyperopia occurs when the image formed by the focusing mechanism of the eye is behind the retina. This condition is caused by an eye that is shorter than normal, or a cornea that’s not as curved as it should be. Patients who are farsighted have difficulties seeing objects that are close, and typically have trouble with reading or viewing any item up close.

Astigmatism – Astigmatism is a common condition caused by an imperfection in the curvature of the cornea or lens of the eye. When the cornea or lens is unevenly steepened, it can result in objects having an irregular focus. This very a common refractive eye disorder and can be found on its own but it can also accompany hyperopia and myopia.

Patients with varying degrees of refractive error have found success with LASIK vision correction in Victoria. To find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule a consultation with Dr. Boozalis.

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