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How Can You Tell if You Have a Cataract?

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, they can quickly begin impacting vision and if left untreated, 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 symptoms associated with cataracts. If the following cataract symptoms are experienced, contact us to schedule an examination.

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 among 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 cataract symptoms or other visual changes, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website to schedule an examination with Dr. Boozalis.

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What Happens in a LASIK Consultation?

The first step in having LASIK in Cuero 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. The doctor and staff can then recommend the best approach to 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 website today.

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Who is Not Suitable for LASIK Eye Surgery?

Not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery. There are several reasons why LASIK may not be a good choice of vision correction for some patients. Below is some information about who should NOT get LASIK:

Those who are younger than 18 years old. LASIK results are permanent. However, a person’s eye can change throughout life. Because vision can change dramatically during the adolescent years, LASIK is not recommended for anyone under the age of 18.

Those who are pregnant or nursing. Hormone fluctuations during pregnancy and nursing can cause changes to a woman’s vision and corrective prescription. Mothers considering LASIK should wait 3-6 months or longer after weaning to allow their prescription to stabilize. 

Those who are taking certain prescription drugs. Some prescription drugs can interfere with LASIK results. For example, some steroids may delay healing and decrease optimal results. Acne medications can cause significant dry eye which can increase the chance of corneal scarring after LASIK. 

Those whose vision is not stable. If your prescription is fluctuating, you will not be considered a good candidate for LASIK surgery. Most doctors prefer your prescription to be stable for one to two years. Prescriptions can fluctuate for a variety of reasons. Contact lens wear, diabetic blood sugar changes and normal aging changes can cause your prescription to change over time.

Those who are not in good general health. Certain medical conditions can affect the way your body heals after surgery. Patients with autoimmune diseases are not good LASIK candidates. Many autoimmune conditions cause dry eye syndrome. A dry eye may not heal well and has a higher risk of post-LASIK infection. Other conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, glaucoma, or cataracts often affect LASIK results. 

Those who have dry eye syndrome. A person with dry eyes has an increased risk for significant post-LASIK discomfort and a possible worsening of dry eye symptoms. Having dry eyes can also delay proper healing. Some people with dry eye symptoms can find relief through various treatments. Sometimes patients are placed on special dry eye medications before LASIK eye surgery. Certain procedures, such as punctal occlusion, may be performed to help the dry eye condition and minimize unwanted symptoms.

Those who have unrealistic expectations. If you expect perfection, LASIK may not be for you. Every patient heals differently after surgery. After undergoing LASIK, there is always a possibility that you may need to wear reading glasses or corrective lenses for at least some activities. 

While LASIK is an excellent vision correction procedure for many people, it is not for everyone. To find out if LASIK is right for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Boozalis in Victoria. Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website today. 

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Can LASIK Fix Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is an extremely common condition. Thankfully, patients with this condition have several reliable treatment options, including LASIK laser vision correction. Here’s what you need to know about how LASIK surgery can correct astigmatism.

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is caused by an imperfection in the curvature of the cornea or lens of the eye. The cornea is the clear, round dome covering the eye’s iris and pupil. The lens of the eye is a transparent structure behind the cornea. In eyes without astigmatism, the cornea is evenly rounded across all areas, helping to focus light rays sharply onto the retina at the back of your eye. In eyes with astigmatism, the corneas are curved unevenly, in a shape similar to a football. This unevenness prevents light from bending properly as it passes through the eye, resulting in blurred vision.

While astigmatism is typically present at birth, it can also appear later in life. Certain vision factors can indicate an increased risk of astigmatism development, including:

  • Scarred or thinning corneas
  • Excessive nearsightedness or farsightedness
  • Previous eye surgeries (ex. cataract surgery)

The following are common signs and symptoms of astigmatism:

  • Blurred or distorted vision at all distances
  • Headaches
  • Excessive squinting
  • Eye strain, especially when the eye must focus for long periods, such as using a computer monitor
  • Difficulty driving at night

Astigmatism can be easily detected during a routine eye exam.

How LASIK Fixes Astigmatism

LASIK surgery with Dr. Boozalis in Beeville may provide permanent relief from astigmatism and its accompanying blurry, strained vision.

During LASIK eye surgery, an ultra-precise laser is used to cut and reshape key parts of the eye, restoring and enabling normal function and clearer vision. In the case of astigmatism, LASIK reshapes your uneven corneas, rounding them out so that light passes through properly. 

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with astigmatism and are ready to correct your vision permanently, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website today to discover a treatment plant that’s perfect for you!

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What Happens if You Blink During Laser Eye Surgery?

A common concern among potential LASIK patients is whether they will be awake during the procedure. Yes—patients are awake during LASIK. However, there is no need to worry if you accidentally blink or move your eyes during the surgery. Thanks to advanced LASIK technologies in Victoria, your eyes will remain comfortably steady as Dr. Boozalis provides the vision correction results you need to see as clearly as possible. 

Before the procedure begins, you will be given anesthetic eye drops that numb the eyes. This will help reduce discomfort during the operation. Then, they’ll use an instrument that will keep your eyes open, so you do not have to worry about blinking throughout the procedure.

Many patients fear that being awake means that they will feel everything that is happening and that makes them squeamish when they think about eye surgery. Rest assured that you will feel nothing more than a light pressure on your eye if you feel anything at all. In addition to the numbing eye drops, you will be given a mild oral sedation, so although awake, you will feel relaxed. 

On average, LASIK will take less than 10 minutes for each eye. The actual time the lasers are in contact with each eye is for merely seconds. Still, the idea of being awake while something is touching the most sensitive part of your body is unnerving for many. So much so, in fact, that many people avoid LASIK surgery for this very reason. 

The good news is that with advanced LASIK technologies and lasers, patients can expect to experience a quick and easy procedure and outstanding vision correction results, even when they are awake during LASIK.

To learn more about the LASIK procedure and how we can help you see as clearly as possible, schedule a free LASIK consultation with Dr. Boozalis by contacting Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website.

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Tips for Healthy Eyes

Your eyes are an important part of your health. There are many things you can do to keep them healthy and make sure you are seeing your best. The following simple tips can help you keep your eyes healthy and your vision as clear as possible for many years to come:

Get routine eye exams from an eye doctor. You might think your vision is fine or that your eyes are healthy, but visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure. Your eye care professional is the only one who can determine if your eyes are healthy and if you’re seeing your best.

Know your family’s eye health history. Talk to your family members about their eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with a disease or condition since many are hereditary. This will help to determine if you are at higher risk for developing an eye disease or condition.

Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and other systemic conditions, which can lead to vision loss, such as diabetic eye disease or glaucoma.

Wear proper protective eyewear when playing sports or for hazardous tasks. Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields and eye guards specially designed to provide the correct protection for a certain activity. Most protective eyewear lenses are made of polycarbonate, which is 10 times stronger than other plastics. 

Avoid cigarette smoke and other irritants. Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.

Wear UV-blocking sunglasses to protect your eyes from excessive ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. Too much UV exposure can damage your retina and cause lasting vision loss. It can also raise the risk of cataracts. When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 -100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.

Take regular breaks from close work and visually demanding tasks. If you spend a lot of time at the computer or focusing on any one thing, you sometimes forget to blink and your eyes can get fatigued. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eyestrain. Provide good light for reading, work, or study (soft background light plus a light on your task).

Clean your hands and your contact lenses properly. To avoid the risk of infection, always wash your hands thoroughly before putting in or taking out your contact lenses. Make sure to disinfect contact lenses as instructed and replace them as recommended.

To learn more tips for healthy eyes or to schedule an eye exam with Dr. Boozalis in Hallettsville, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website today.

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How is LASIK Performed?

LASIK is a vision correction procedure that aims at permanently altering the focusing power of the eye by reshaping the cornea with a precise excimer laser. LASIK is performed as an outpatient procedure while the patient is awake. Usually both eyes are operated on at the same time, but if you prefer, it can be done one eye at a time. 

LASIK is performed in the following steps: 

Eye Preparation – A few minutes prior to your LASIK procedure in Port Lavaca, anesthetic eye drops will be placed in the eye to be treated. A special solution is used to clean around the eyes. A speculum (eyelid holder) is placed between your eyelids to keep your eyelids wide open and prevent you from blinking during the procedure. 

Flap Creation – To create the corneal flap, Dr. Boozalis uses either a handheld device or a laser to cut the top layers of corneal tissue at a pre-determined depth. One edge of the flap is left uncut, forming a hinge. Using the hinge, Dr. Boozalis folds back the flap to access the underlying corneal tissue.   

Excimer Laser Ablation – The creation of the corneal flap prepares your eye for the primary step of the LASIK procedure, where the excimer laser is used to correct your vision. The laser beam will be focused over your eye and you will be asked to stare at a blinking light. This light will help you to fixate your eyes on one spot once the laser is started. In a series of short pulses, the excimer laser will reshape your cornea by removing some tissue from the middle layer of the cornea called the stroma. A computer controls the amount of laser energy delivered to your eye according to amount of treatment required. A tracking device is used to find the center of your pupil, so if your eye moves, the laser will follow and stay with the center.  

Flap Replacement – After reshaping the corneal tissue, Dr. Boozalisreturns the flap to its original position, where it heals naturally. This step marks the completion of the LASIK procedure. If you are interested in LASIK in Port Lavaca, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website to schedule your free consultation.

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Can I Use My Phone After LASIK?

Following LASIK surgery, it’s important to understand that your eyes are in a recovery process and you need to take special care to ensure they heal properly. Since your eyes are still healing, they will be especially sensitive in the first 24 hours after the LASIK procedure. Because of this, it’s recommended to wait at least 24 hours before using your phone, computer, tablet or watching TV.

Using your phone immediately after the procedure can cause your eyes to strain, and that may negatively affect the healing process. Keeping eyes away from the screen will prevent them from straining, getting tired and drying out. After the first 24 hours, your eyes should be strong enough to handle a little screen time.

Even after the first 24 hours following LASIK, you should take it easy when looking at electronic devices. You are still recovering, so it’s a good idea to avoid spending hours scrolling social media. Instead, use your phone for a few minutes at a time throughout the day and monitor how your eyes feel. If you’re noticing any discomfort or straining, take a break and allow your eyes to rest.

You can also follow the 20-20-20 rule. This rule states that for every 20 minutes of screen time, you should look at something that’s about 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. This helps prevent straining and ensures proper healing after your LASIK surgery.

It’s also important to keep your eyes moisturized and lubricated as you heal from LASIK. When you stare at a screen for a prolonged period of time, your eyes don’t blink as often as they should. Because of this, your eyes can strain, get irritated, and dry out. Blinking frequently and using moisturizing eyedrops can help keep your eyes moisturized.

If you decide to use your phone after LASIK, make sure you consider the tips above. To learn more about what you can and can’t do while your eyes heal after LASIK, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website.

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Can You Have LASIK After Cataract Surgery?

LASIK surgery can be performed 3-6 months after cataract surgery, however, it may not be necessary. Modern cataract surgery can help to reduce a person’s need for glasses. In fact, depending on the intraocular lens that you choose to have implanted in your eye during cataract surgery, you might even eliminate the need for glasses. 

During cataract surgery in Beeville, Dr. Boozalis can also correct your nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism with the use of a premium intraocular lens (IOL) customized to correct your specific refractive errors and reduce or eliminate your need for eyeglasses after surgery. There are even multifocal IOLs that can correct near vision problems caused by presbyopia, reducing your need for reading glasses, too.

This advanced type of cataract surgery is sometimes called refractive cataract surgery. Sometimes, minor refractive errors still remain after refractive cataract surgery. If so, traditional refractive surgery such as LASIK or PRK often can be performed several weeks or a few months later to further improve eyesight.

Cataracts are a protein build-up on the natural lens behind the iris. Ordinary cataract surgery involves a blade (or a laser) being used to make a small incision in the cornea. Ultrasound technology is then used to break up the lens and the pieces are then siphoned out of the eye. The IOL (chosen for your specific prescription if it’s refractive cataract surgery) is inserted into the eye to replace the natural lens. 

LASIK performed on its own is a laser surgery that reshapes the cornea of the eye to correct refractive errors. It can address nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. It is a quick and easy procedure that can introduce a lot of convenience and freedom into a person’s life by reducing their dependence on glasses and contacts.

Of course, if you choose to have cataract surgery done and save LASIK for some time after, there is no harm in doing them separately. Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website to learn more about these procedures that can help you achieve precise vision.

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Is LASIK Effective Long Term?

Thousands of people across the globe have experienced the lasting benefits of laser eye surgery. Laser eye surgery has proven highly effective in most people with common vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. In fact, as many as 70% of patients will experience better than 20/20 vision once they’ve had the procedure. So, what makes laser eye surgery such an effective option for vision correction?

The most effective form of laser eye surgery utilizes the latest technology available to LASIK surgeons.  In the early years of LASIK surgery, the procedure required the use of a mechanical cutting tool to create a flap in the eye’s cornea. Bladeless LASIK technology has advanced to the point where no actual blade is used, and surgeons are able to reach optimal levels of vision correction. Advancements in custom wavefront technology make it possible for a LASIK surgeon to use a computer-guided laser to reshape the cornea to the patient’s exact prescription.

This allows for the highest level of precision possible for vision correction. Unlike glasses or contact lenses, LASIK surgery actually reshapes your cornea to permanently correct your vision. Along with the incredible effectiveness of laser eye surgery is the knowledge that the process is relatively pain-free, with only minor discomfort and a very quick recovery. Plus, once you make the investment in LASIK surgery, you will soon discover the cost savings in no longer having to pay for new contact lenses or glasses. All of this makes LASIK eye surgery a preferred method of vision correction for many qualified candidates.

Rarely, a small percentage of patients will experience regression – a return of some nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. If a regression of this sort occurs and becomes bothersome, a follow-up procedure called a LASIK enhancement usually can be performed to restore clear vision. In many cases, patients who experience minor refractive changes after LASIK aren’t bothered by the change and don’t feel a need for additional vision correction. Others choose to wear prescription eyeglasses only for specific activities (driving at night, for example), while some opt to have enhancement surgery performed.

For the best, long lasting LASIK results, Dr. Boozalis recommends that their patients have a stable prescription for at least 2 years before considering the procedure. Usually before the mid-20s, a person’s eyes may be still growing and changing. Having a stable prescription for at least two years is an important consideration for anyone, young or old, to be deemed a good LASIK candidate. For patients in their 40s-50s, it’s important to understand that at some point in the future, they may experience presbyopia, a normal age-related loss of near focusing ability which causes up-close vision to become blurred. When this happens, most people need to wear reading glasses to read and to see near objects clearly.

Following laser eye surgery, it’s important to maintain regular eye exams to ensure optimal vision for the long term. Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or website to find out if laser eye surgery could be an effective vision correction method for you.

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