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How Long Does It Take for the Eye to Heal After Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is a procedure of the eye that removes and replaces a lens that has become cloudy. The vast majority of patients achieve improved, sharper vision, but this change is not necessarily immediate.

Although some patients see well just a few days after cataract surgery, full healing can take up to three months. Cataract surgery recovery time tends to be minimal and mild, but there are various factors that can impact the speed of recovery. Read on to learn about the recovery process as your eye heals from cataract surgery:

Immediately After Cataract Surgery:

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

How Long Does It Take for the Eye to Heal After Cataract Surgery Part Two to be continued.

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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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Am I a Candidate for LASIK Eye Surgery?

LASIK eye surgery can correct such eye problems as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. To find out if you are a candidate for LASIK, you will need a comprehensive vision exam and consultation by an experienced eye doctor to determine if LASIK is a good fit for you.

Before your LASIK consultation in Victoria, there are some general criteria that can guide you in deciding if this is the right procedure for you. To have laser eye surgery you should be in good eye health, good overall health and have realistic expectations of the LASIK procedure:

LASIK Candidates Should Have Good Eye Health:

  • Your eye prescription should fall within certain prescription limits.
  • You should have no eye disease, including keratoconus, uncontrolled glaucoma, severe cataracts, corneal disease and certain retinal and optic nerve diseases.
  • You should have no residual or active eye conditions including optic neuritis, ocular herpes, some cases of amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (muscle imbalance).
  • You should have no current or recurring infections.

LASIK Candidates Should Have Overall Good Health:

  • To be a candidate for LASIK eye surgery, you should not have any autoimmune diseases, such as Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis.
  • If you have diabetes, it must be well managed and under good control.
  • Certain health conditions may require medications that can slow or prevent healing. You should tell your surgeon about all the medications you are taking and have taken in the last year.
  • You cannot be pregnant or nursing, or plan to become pregnant in the next 6 months following surgery. If nursing and considering LASIK laser eye surgery, you should wait at least 3 months after you’ve stopped. Hormonal fluctuations can affect visual stability.

Considerations and Expectations:

In preparation for a LASIK procedure you will not be able to wear contact lenses for an extended period of time before the surgery due to contacts temporarily altering the shape of your corneas. This amount of time will be determined by your doctor. This is a very important LASIK surgery requirement.

It’s important that you are committed to following the LASIK post-operative instructions from Dr. Boozalis, including:

  • Resting your eyes immediately following surgery.
  • Using prescribed and non-prescribed eye drops to continue the lubrication of your eyes after surgery.
  • Follow-up visits to check on progression of your eye healing and health.
  • Restriction on some activities that could impair the healing processes (such as swimming).

You must be comfortable knowing that while in many cases LASIK surgery eliminates the need for contacts and glasses, results can vary depending on the individual.

Contact Victoria Eye Center today by calling 800-833-0234 or visiting victoriaeyecenter.com to find out if you are a candidate for LASIK eye surgery.

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Can You Prevent Cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye that occurs naturally with age. Cataracts affect nearly 22 million Americans age 40 and older and by age 80, more than half of all Americans will have cataracts. While there is no scientific proof that you can prevent cataracts, there are certainly steps you can take to help reduce your risk factors.

Tips for Preventing Cataracts

Maintain Regular Vision Care – Even if your vision is clear and healthy, make it a priority to schedule yearly eye exams. Routine visits allow your doctor to look for signs of cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and other vision disorders. Early detection can be key in saving your vision.

Eat a Healthy Diet – A healthy diet should be a priority for all of us. Eating foods high in antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, selenium and vitamins C and E, may help ward off cataract development.

Quit Smoking – Research suggests that smoking doubles your chances of developing cataracts and the risk continues to grow based on how much you smoke.

Limit Alcohol Consumption – Like cigarettes, excess alcohol consumption can pose a number of health risks including an increased chance of developing cataracts. So enjoy your wine, beer or cocktails in moderation.

Protect Your Eyes from the Sun – Research has shown that years of chronic sunlight exposure could increase your risk of cataracts. Make sure you wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection when outside for extended periods.

Control Diabetes – Studies suggest that those with diabetes are at greater risk for developing cataracts. That is why maintaining healthy blood sugar is so important—for both your overall health and the health of your vision.

No matter your age, there are steps you can take to help prevent cataracts or slow their development. Don’t wait until your vision becomes affected to start thinking about cataracts. While these tips may help for a while, if you develop a cataract and start to experience vision loss, contact your eye doctor right away. Cataract surgery is a simple procedure to treat the condition and restore vision.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment in Victoria, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com today.

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What is the Difference Between Nearsighted and Farsighted?

For vision to work properly, both your distance and near vision should be clear. Both nearsightedness and farsightedness are refractive conditions, referring to how light is focused in relation to the eye. Below, learn what farsightedness and nearsightedness mean, as well as the differences between the two.

Farsightedness

The technical term for farsightedness is hyperopia. If you are farsighted, you can see distant objects well, but reading or looking at items close up is blurry for you. With hyperopia, the eyeball is either too short or there is not enough curvature of the lens for objects to focus properly. Light will focus at a point beyond the retina instead of in front of the retina or directly on its surface. This causes blurry vision up close.

Nearsightedness

Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is the opposite of farsightedness. It means that with your uncorrected natural vision, you have difficulty seeing at a distance. This happens when the eyeball is too long. Because it is longer than normal, light cannot focus properly through the lens and cornea. When you view an object, the light rays that hit your eye will end up focusing at a point in front of the retina instead of focusing directly at the retina. This is why objects farther away become blurrier compared to objects up close – the focusing distance is further. Nearsightedness can also be caused by the curvature of the lens of the eye. If the lens is too curved, this will throw off your focusing point as well.

Differences Between Nearsightedness & Farsightedness

Being farsighted or nearsighted both affect your ability to see clearly. The difference between farsighted and nearsighted is whether you have difficulty seeing up close or at a distance. Farsightedness makes it hard to see things that are close, and nearsightedness makes it difficult to see things that are far away. Both conditions can be improved with corrective lenses such as glasses or contacts as well as LASIK surgery.

To learn more about nearsightedness or farsightedness or if you are interested in LASIK vision correction, contact Victoria Eye Center by calling 800-833-0234 or visiting victoriaeyecenter.com.

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What is Laser Eye Surgery?

Laser eye surgery is an umbrella term for several eye surgeries used to correct refractive errors. The most common types of laser eye surgery include LASIK, PRK, LASEK and EpiLASIK.

Each of the four laser eye surgery procedures below use the same special laser, called an excimer laser, to reshape the cornea. This is what corrects vision. But laser eye surgery can vary in the specifics of the procedure, the recovery time, which surgical instruments are used and your patient candidacy. You might be a better candidate for PRK, for instance, than for LASIK.

The Right Laser Eye Surgery

In Location, Dr. Name is able to determine from a comprehensive, laser-eye-surgery-specific eye exam which procedure is best for you. The doctor’s recommendation will follow which procedure they think will give you the best possible outcome. Most patients achieve 20/20 or better vision after laser eye surgery.

  1. LASIK: Laser in Situ Keratomileusis

LASIK is the most common laser eye surgery. LASIK starts with the creation of a thin flap in the cornea. Once the flap is created, the excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea which corrects the refractive error.

  1. PRK: Photorefractive Keratectomy

PRK is the second most common type of laser eye surgery. PRK starts with the removal of a portion of the surface of the cornea or epithelial tissue. There is, therefore, no need for flap creation and the removed tissue grows back. Some patients prefer PRK because they don’t want a corneal flap, and some patients are better candidates for PRK eye surgery than for LASIK (for instance, people with thin corneas). Once the epithelium is removed, a laser is used to reshape the cornea. The PRK recovery period is a bit longer than that of LASIK.

  1. LASEK: Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis

LASEK is similar to LASIK and PRK, but it starts with the application of alcohol to the corneal epithelium. This loosens the outermost corneal cells and allows the surgeon to move them out of the way, without removing them, for the laser procedure. After reshaping the stroma with the excimer laser, the surgeon can replace the sheet of epithelial cells and put a contact lens in to let it heal. LASEK can be a good option for patients with thin corneas.

  1. Epi-LASIK: Epithelial Laser in Situ Keratomileusis

Epi-LASIK starts the way LASIK does, except the flap is thinner and made only of epithelial tissue. Once the flap is created it is moved aside just enough so that the surgeon can reshape the stroma underneath with the excimer laser. The flap of epithelium is then replaced and covered with a contact-lens bandage to heal. Some consider Epi-LASIK a hybrid of LASIK and LASEK. Some surgeons believe Epi-LASIK is a good option because the flap exists only in the epithelium layer and because there’s no alcohol used during the procedure.

Only a trained professional can determine your candidacy for laser eye surgery and recommend the best procedure for you. For more information about laser eye surgery, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com today.

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How Does LASIK Work?

LASIK surgery is the most common laser vision correction procedure, and has helped millions of people around the world see better every day. The procedure can be broken down in just a few easy steps.

  1. Numbing Drops: In Victoria, Dr. Boozalis administers numbing drops that take effect in seconds and last throughout the procedure.
  2. Flap: Next Dr.Boozalis will create a thin, hinged flap in your cornea. When the flap is created and then lifted, it is normal for your vision to dim and blur.
  3. Laser Reshaping: While monitoring and tracking your eyes with a computer, Dr. Boozalis uses an excimer laser to precisely reshape the stroma layer of your cornea. The laser removes cells according to your unique prescription with incredible precision. If you’re getting custom LASIK eye surgery, Dr. Boozalis will correct for more nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism as needed.
  4. Flap Replacement: After the laser has completed its work, Dr. Boozalis replaces the flap on your cornea – without stitches – and you’ll begin to notice the difference almost immediately.
  1. Aftercare: After your procedure you will wear sunglasses and will need a ride home. Rest your eyes for about 24 hours. Dr. Boozalis will schedule some follow-up evaluations. While you’ll want to be careful with your eyes, avoiding strenuous activities for a few weeks, most people are able to go right back to work the following day.

In order to determine if you are a candidate for LASIK, we invite you to visit us for a free consultation. You will meet with Dr. Boozalis to discuss what procedure will best suit your needs. Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com for more information.

 

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LASIK and Pregnancy

LASIK vision correction is not recommended during or shortly after pregnancy. It is recommended that you postpone LASIK due to the following concerns:

Hormone fluctuations: Fluctuations in hormone levels and fluid retention can cause changes in your vision and eye anatomy. It is common to experience small changes in nearsightedness or astigmatism during pregnancy. Hormone changes during pregnancy can affect the shape and thickness of the cornea, the part of the eye that is manipulated during LASIK. These changes may not only affect the success of the procedure, but also may affect how your eye heals.

Dry Eyes: Normal patients who have LASIK often complain of dry eyes for a few months after LASIK. When LASIK is performed, the nerves that run through the cornea are severed. These nerves regenerate but it takes about 3-6 months for that to occur. During that time, the normal feedback mechanism that controls tear production is interrupted and dry eyes may occur. Hormone changes can lead to dry eyes during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Dry eyes may make your eyes uncomfortable and could delay healing after LASIK. As a result, it is best not to add complicating factors to the healing process.

Radiation: An often-overlooked reason for waiting on LASIK is the issue of radiation from the laser. This is considered an extremely small risk, but still should be considered, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. This is of low concern but any risk of exposure to potentially hazardous material during pregnancy should be avoided if possible.

Medications: To undergo LASIK, your eyes must be dilated. The medications administered for dilation, as well as antibiotic and steroid eye drops prescribed after LASIK surgery, could be absorbed through mucous membranes, which could be harmful to the fetus.

After pregnancy and during breastfeeding, hormones levels are still fluctuating. In Victoria, Dr. Boozalis recommends waiting at least six months after discontinuing breastfeeding before scheduling LASIK surgery. Although having LASIK can be a very exciting time for a highly nearsighted individual, LASIK is still considered an elective procedure that is not medically necessary.  Waiting a few more months is usually the best approach. What is important is the state of your vision — LASIK should not be performed until your prescription is completely stable.

To learn more about LASIK surgery or to schedule a consultation, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Can LASIK Correct 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 (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 Corrects Astigmatism

LASIK surgery with Dr. Boozalis in Victoria 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 victoriaeyecenter.com today to discover a treatment plant that’s perfect for you!

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Alternatives to LASIK

LASIK eye surgery is the most popular type of vision correction because it can effectively treat a wide range of refractive disorders. However, it is not the right treatment for every patient. Approximately 25% of people who want LASIK are not good candidates for the procedure. For some, their corneas are too flat or too thin. For others, their vision problems are too extreme to be corrected by LASIK. Fortunately, there are other laser-eye surgery options for those who do not qualify for LASIK and still wish to ditch their glasses or contacts.

Alternatives to LASIK include:

Photorefractive keratectomy – PRK is similar to LASIK in that a laser is used to reshape the cornea and change its focus. Instead of being performed under a flap like LASIK, it’s done on the surface of the cornea.

Clear Lens Extraction – CLE involves removing the natural lens from the eye and implanting a lens that permanently corrects any optical errors, offering a full range of near and far vision without the need for glasses.

LASEK – For people with very flat and/or thin corneas, LASEK is a suitable alternative to LASIK. Rather than using a blade or a laser, this procedure uses an alcohol solution to soften the outer layer, allowing it to be peeled back and exposing the tissue underneath. As with LASIK, a laser is then used to reshape the inner corneal tissue.

EpiLasik – Like LASEK, Epi-LASIK is a less invasive alternative to LASIK. A special microkeratome, the Epi-keratome, is used to precisely separate a very thin sheet of epithelial tissue from the cornea. This thin sheet is lifted to the side and the cornea is treated as with PRK. Then the thin sheet is moved back into place to re-adhere to the cornea. A “bandage” soft contact lens is applied and used for about four days to help the epithelial layer heal.

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

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