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The latest from our blog

Do You Need Reading Glasses After Laser Eye Surgery?

Patients typically undergo laser eye surgery to reduce or completely eliminate their need for visual aids such as contact lenses and glasses. The truth is that most patients will eventually require reading glasses at some point in their future. Laser eye surgery effectively treats farsightedness, a refractive error that results in blurry near vision and the need for reading glasses. It also treats nearsightedness, a condition which causes distance vision to be blurry. Traditional laser eye surgery does not treat presbyopia, an age-related condition that also causes blurry near vision and the need for reading glasses.

Laser eye surgery makes changes to the cornea, located in the front of your eye. Presbyopia causes natural and normal changes in the lens, located in the back of your eye.

Farsightedness and Reading Glasses

Farsightedness is a condition that is caused by a misshapen cornea. In a patient with 20/20 vision, the cornea has a round shape that reflects light directly onto the retina. In a farsighted patient, the cornea is either too flat or too short, which causes light to reflect behind the retina. As a result, farsighted patients have difficulty seeing near objects.

When a skilled surgeon such as Dr. Boozalis performs laser eye surgery on a farsighted patient, clear vision at all distances can be achieved. For patients in their 20s and 30s, they can expect to see clearly without the need for reading glasses for many years to come.

Presbyopia and Reading Glasses

Presbyopia is an age-related condition that typically develops when patients are in their 40s. This condition will eventually affect all patients, including those who have undergone laser eye surgery. Presbyopia occurs when the interior lens thickens and loses flexibility, making it difficult for patients to focus on near objects. Because this condition is unrelated to the shape of the cornea, traditional laser eye surgery has no effect on it. To treat presbyopia, patients must wear reading glasses when viewing close objects or undergo a surgical procedure such as Refractive Lens Exchange, intraocular lens implant or Monovision LASIK.

To find out if you will likely need reading glasses after laser eye surgery, contact Victoria Eye Center to schedule a consultation with Dr. Boozalis. Call 800-833-0234 or visit victoriaeyecenter.com today.

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What Will Happen if Cataracts are Left Untreated?

Cataracts cause more vision problems than any other eye condition or disease. A cataract causes a part of the lens to become opaque or cloudy. This cloudiness obstructs light from passing through easily, causing vision to become blurry, like looking through a fogged-up window. The cloudier the lens, the worse the vision will be. Cataracts usually develop slowly and sufferers will experience blurred vision that gradually worsens over time.

The Dangers of Untreated Cataracts

Given that cataracts are fairly common, it is likely that there are a significant number of individuals that have begun to develop cataracts and are not yet aware of it. Early stages of cataract development may lead some patients to believe that their worsening vision is simply the result of aging and not realize the severity of their condition until cataracts begin to have a detrimental effect on their vision.

If cataracts are left untreated, they will eventually cause significant disruption in everyday life and interfere with normal activities like driving a car or watching television. Ultimately, complete vision loss will result.

Who is at Risk of Developing Cataracts?

The likelihood of developing cataracts increases as a person ages, with as many as 50% of individuals over the age of 65 developing cataracts that will impact their ability to lead a normal life. Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Blurred or cloudy vision
  • Increased difficulty seeing at night
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • The appearance of halos around lights
  • Faded or diminished perception of color
  • Double vision in one eye

Regular visits to the eye doctor will increase the chances that cataracts are discovered early. Fortunately, modern surgical procedures developed to treat this condition make it possible for ophthalmologists to address this issue using a procedure that is both quick and painless. At Victoria Eye Center in Victoria, Dr. Boozalis uses a laser to painlessly remove cataracts and restore normal vision.

If you are experiencing vision problems, don’t leave your condition untreated. Contact us today at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule an examination.

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Finding the Right LASIK Surgeon

If you are thinking about correcting your vision with LASIK eye surgery, perhaps the most important decision you will make is your choice of surgeon. The experience and skill of your surgeon directly influence the success of your procedure. Here are some recommendations to help you find the right LASIK surgeon:

Get Referrals from Former LASIK Patients – Ask friends and family members that have had good experiences with LASIK for the names of their surgeons. You can also ask your primary care physician or regular eye doctor to refer you to a respected LASIK surgeon.

Do Your Research – Once you have some names, spend time on the surgeons’ websites to learn more about their background and credentials. Double-check that they are board-certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology which indicates that they have received the proper education and training and passed rigorous testing of their knowledge.

What to Look for In a Surgeon – When selecting a surgeon to perform your LASIK surgery, it’s important that they have a number of qualities, including the following:

  • Experience: Ideally, your LASIK surgeon should have performed at least several thousand successful procedures. This type of experience signifies that they have acquired the techniques and knowledge necessary for safe, effective treatment.
  • Technology: Leading edge technology improves the safety, predictability and precision of LASIK surgery. Don’t settle for someone that offers outdated technology.
  • Trustworthiness: Truthfully, LASIK is not right for everyone, and the best surgeons are not hesitant to screen out people that are not good candidates. A surgeon with a reputation for performing LASIK on everyone is not meeting industry standards and should be avoided.
  • Low Pressure: Sought-after LASIK surgeons never pressure patients into treatment. If you meet with a surgeon that puts the pressure on you to have LASIK, you should find someone else.
  • Honesty: Great LASIK surgeons are honest and upfront about the possible risks and limitations of LASIK. Beware of the surgeon that overpromises and guarantees you perfection.
  • Comfort: Your LASIK surgeon should make you feel completely comfortable. They should never rush you or ignore your concerns. They should want to answer your questions and educate you about your options so you can decide what’s best for your needs.

If you would like to meet the qualified, experienced LASIK surgeon at Victoria Eye Center in Victoria, contact us today by calling 800-833-0234 or visiting victoriaeyecenter.com.

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What is the Best Age to Get Laser Eye Surgery?

For many glasses or contact lens wearers, there comes a time when they say enough is enough and decide to have laser eye surgery. So, what is the best age to get laser eye surgery? Generally, the perfect candidate is someone between the ages of 20 and 40. This is because a major determining factor in laser eye surgery 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.

Laser Eye Surgery 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 laser eye surgery when their eyes are not fully developed will find the results to be temporary and may need corrective surgery in the future.

Older Patients

Older patients typically suffer from age-related conditions that cannot be treated with refractive surgery, such as cataracts, and therefore may not be good candidates for this type of 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.

Of course, laser eye surgery is not right for every patient. If you’re ready to find out if it is right for you, the best thing you can do is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Boozalis in Victoria. Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com today.

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Cataract Surgery and Insurance

A cataract is a painless, cloudy area in the lens of the eye. The lens is enclosed in a lining called the lens capsule. During cataract surgery in Victoria, Dr. Boozalis separates the cataract from the lens capsule. In most cases, the lens is replaced with an intraocular lens implant (IOL). In most instances, with certain limitations, cataract surgery costs are covered under both private insurance plans and Medicare.

Private Insurance

Private insurance for cataract surgery is usually quite comprehensive but also quite variable. In most instances, private insurances cover a portion, if not all, of the Cataract Surgeon Fee, the Facility Fee, the cost of a Monofocal Lens Implant and the necessary follow up care after your Cataract Surgery. Private insurances vary in the deductible that they may require, the co-pay you might be responsible for and the percentage of each allowable expense that they might reimburse.

Medicare Insurance

Medicare for cataract surgery is also quite comprehensive. Medicare generally covers a portion of the Cataract Surgeon Fee, the Facility Fee, the cost of a Monofocal Lens Implant and the necessary follow up care after your cataract surgery. It is likely that you will be responsible for a co-pay or a deductible for the pre-surgery office examination, consultation and measurements for your cataract surgery. If you need a pre-surgery physical with your medical doctor, you may also be responsible for that physician’s co-pay as well. In addition, if you require anesthesia, while your insurance will cover the allowable anesthesia expense, you may be responsible for the anesthesia co-pay and/or deductible.

It is important to note that insurance may not cover the cost of advanced technology lens implants. The amount of coverage, deductibles and any co-pays are uniquely individual to each patient’s specific health insurance policy.

To find out if your insurance plan will cover the cost of cataract surgery in Victoria, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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What Are the Three Types of Cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye due to protein buildup in the body which leads to reduced vision and loss of sight if left untreated. There are three primary types of cataracts: nuclear sclerotic, cortical and posterior subcapsular.

Nuclear Sclerotic Cataracts

A nuclear cataract is the most common type of cataract, beginning with a gradual hardening and yellowing of the central zone of the lens also known as the nucleus. Over time, this hardening and yellowing will expand to the other layers of the lens.

As this type of cataract progresses, it changes the eye’s ability to focus and close-up vision (for reading or other types of close work) may temporarily improve. This symptom is referred to as second sight, but the vision improvement it produces is not permanent.

A nuclear sclerotic cataract progresses slowly and may take several years of gradual development before it begins to affect vision.

Cortical Cataracts

A cortical cataract forms in the shell layer of the lens known as the cortex and gradually extends its “spokes” from the outside of the lens to the center. These fissures can cause the light that enters the eye to scatter, creating problems with blurred vision, glare, contrast and depth perception. People with diabetes are at risk for developing cortical cataracts.

Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts

Primarily affecting one’s reading and night vision, this type of cataract begins as a small opaque or cloudy area on the posterior (back surface) of the lens. It is called subcapsular because it forms beneath the lens capsule which is a small sac or membrane that encloses the lens and holds it in place.

Subcapsular cataracts can interfere with reading and create halo effects and glare around lights. People who use steroids or have diabetes, extreme nearsightedness, and/or retinitis pigmentosa may develop this type of cataract. Subcapsular cataracts can develop rapidly and symptoms can become noticeable within months.

If you are experiencing vision problems in Location and suspect that you may have a cataract, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Boozalis.

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What Causes Cataracts?

A cataract is a common condition in which a normally clear eye lens becomes cloudy, causing blurry vision similar to looking through a foggy window. A cataract occurs when there is a buildup of proteins in the lens, creating protein clumps. These clumps, or deposits, prevent light from passing clearly through the lens, thus disrupting normal vision.

There are several reasons why a cataract may form, including:

Aging – The eyes mainly consist of water and protein. As we grow older, some of the protein may form chunks and cloud a certain area of the eyes lens. This phenomenon is called a cataract. It may grow over time and cause partial or complete vision loss. The good news is the condition is usually treatable through cataract surgery. The process involves removing the natural lens of the eyes then replacing it with an intraocular lens.

Traumatic Cataract – Another common cause of cataracts is trauma: blunt or penetrating ocular trauma, electric shock, chemical burns or ionizing radiation. A traumatic cataract can develop even years after these types of eye injuries first occurred.

Diabetes – People with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop cataracts. The aqueous humor provides nutrients to our eye’s lens, including oxygen and glucose. A person who suffers from diabetes will not have full control of their glucose levels which may result in high levels of sugar in the aqueous humor. This can lead to swelling, simultaneously affecting vision. Likewise, the lens inside the eye has an enzyme that converts glucose into sorbitol. This sugar alcohol can affect both cells and protein and may eventually result in cataracts.

Congenital Cataract – While cataracts are normally associated with the aging process, there are instances of cataracts in newborns. These congenital cataracts can develop for a number of different reasons including inherited tendencies, infection (such as measles or rubella), metabolic problems, diabetes, trauma, inflammation or drug reactions.

High Blood Pressure – High blood pressure (HBP) is known to cause elevated inflammation which may result in cataracts. Aside from cataracts, HBP may also lead to age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Smoking – Experts suggest that smokers have higher chances of forming cataracts than non-smokers. The toxins from cigarette smoke cause oxidation in cells, including those in the eye lens.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption – Studies have shown that high alcohol consumption significantly increases the risk of cataracts. Heavy drinking induces microsomal enzyme cytochrome in the liver. Metabolism of this element produces free radicals which may lead to chunking together of proteins in the eye. This then leads to cataract formation or vision loss.

If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of cataracts, it is important to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible. Cataracts are very treatable and cataract surgery is the most frequently performed surgery in the country.

Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule an appointment with Dr. Boozalis today.

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Reasons to Have LASIK

If you are struggling with vision problems because of a refractive error, LASIK surgery may be the right tool to improve your eyesight. By correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, LASIK can truly change your life.

Here are just a few reasons to have LASIK:

To Offer Convenience – One of the most positive reasons to have LASIK is the convenience of life without glasses and contact lenses. Imagine waking up in the morning and being able to read the clock without first searching for glasses or putting contacts in.

To Ease Discomfort – Glasses and contact lenses cause many people to experience regular discomfort and sometimes even pain. Contacts can dry out the eyes and cause irritation; ill-fitting glasses can cause pain on the bridge of the nose. LASIK reduces and often eliminates many of these discomforts so you can feel better in your daily life.

To Make Traveling Easier – With clearer vision you won’t have to worry about packing bulky bottles of contact solution or an extra pair of glasses. There’s no risk of forgetting, misplacing or breaking your visual aids when you are away from home.

To Further Your Career – People in certain careers, such as first responders or members of our military, require excellent vision and candidates that wear glasses or contact lenses may be turned away. By improving vision, LASIK can help people pursue their occupational dreams and enjoy professional success.

To Save Money in the Long Run – Although the one-time cost of laser vision correction is much higher than a box of contact lenses or a pair of eyeglasses, once you add up the amount of money you spend in just a few years on glasses, frames, contact lenses, solution and routine eye exams, you will realize that LASIK pays for itself over time. As an added benefit, you can use tax-free funds from a flexible spending account or health savings account to pay for all or part of the LASIK cost.

To learn more about the reasons to have LASIK or to find out if LASIK is right for your vision needs, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule an appointment with Dr. Boozalis.

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Early Signs of Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the lens that normally occurs due to advancing age. A young, healthy lens is clear and flexible which allows it to focus images onto the retina. But starting around the age of 40, the lens begins to yellow and harden.

Cataracts start small but gradually worsen. Their effects on a person’s vision become more noticeable and debilitating over time as they mature. Eventually, an untreated cataract can cause significant vision loss and even total blindness.

Early signs of cataracts include the following:

  • Blurry, dim or clouded vision (like looking out of a cloudy or streaked window)
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Glare from the sun or lights
  • Poor night vision
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Colors that look dull or faded
  • Need for brighter light for reading or similar activities
  • Frequently changing glasses prescription

Cataracts do not cause pain, tearing, redness or floaters. At first, the cloudiness in your vision caused by a cataract may affect only a small part of the eye’s lens and you may be unaware of any vision loss. As the cataract grows larger, it clouds more of your lens and distorts the light passing through the lens. This may lead to more noticeable symptoms.

At first stronger lighting and eyeglasses can help you deal with cataracts. But if impaired vision interferes with your usual activities, you might need cataract surgery. Fortunately, due to the advancements in cataract surgery, a patient may have a cataract lens removed before it reaches an advanced stage. Cataract surgery is generally a safe, effective procedure.

If you are experiencing any of the early signs of cataracts, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule an appointment in Beeville today.

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The Basics of LASIK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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