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Happy Thanksgiving from Victoria Eye Center!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the team at Victoria Eye Center would like to take a moment to share a few of the things for which we are thankful.

We are thankful that:

    • We’ve had the privilege of providing eyesight care for the people of Victoria since 1995.
    • We have an outstanding ophthalmologist who is specially trained and highly experienced in LASIK vision correction.
    • The LASIK technologies we’ve invested in are allowing us to improve vision for even more patients – even some of those who were not candidates in the past.
    • Our entire team maintains strong ethical standards and only performs LASIK on qualified candidates.
    • We help patients afford the improved vision they desire through LASIK financing options.
    • We get the opportunity to help educate people about every aspect of LASIK, whether or not they choose us for their procedure.

Our goal is to make our patients feel thankful that they chose Victoria Eye Center for their vision correction.

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy time with your loved ones this holiday season. And if the quality of your vision isn’t something that is making you thankful, contact Victoria Eye Center in Victoria to schedule your free LASIK Consultation. Call 361-578-0234 or visit victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Improve Your Vision for National Family Literacy Month®

The National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) has designated the month of November as National Family Literacy Month®. Having the ability to read with your children can dramatically improve their performance at school as well as their economical, emotional and social development. Family reading time also helps to strengthen the family bond.

At Victoria Eye Center we work hard to help adults achieve clear vision so it’s easy and fun to read – both to their children and for their own enjoyment. One way we do this is through LASIK vision correction. LASIK can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism by actually changing the shape of the cornea. When the cornea is properly shaped, light coming into the eye will focus correctly on the retina (the back of the eye).

Some patients are able to eliminate their need for glasses and contacts after LASIK. Of course, every patient is different, but think of how much more enjoyable reading would be if you didn’t have to hunt for your glasses or take out your contacts at night when reading before bed.

Not everyone who wears glasses is a good candidate for LASIK. You need an in-depth examination by a trained ophthalmologist to find out for sure. At Victoria Eye Center we offer free LASIK Consultations to do just that.

The NCFL has created a fundraising challenge called The Big Give for Families Learning to raise money to support family literacy and learning programs. Participants can win a variety of fantastic prizes. Visit the NCFL website to learn more: http://www.famlit.org/.

Make this a National Family Literacy Month to remember. Contact Victoria Eye Center in Victoria today to schedule your free LASIK Consultation to find out if LASIK is right for you: 361-578-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Using Flex Plans to Pay for LASIK

Tired of wearing glasses or contacts but not sure how to pay for LASIK? If your company offers a Flexible Spending Account, you can choose to place a portion of your pre-tax earnings into this short-term, tax-free savings account to use for non-reimbursable medical expenses, such as LASIK. You can save up to $2,500 on LASIK, depending on your annual income. This program lowers your taxable income.

Use it or Lose it! Most Flex Plans have strict usage rules. If you don’t spend your money on your procedure within the specified timeframe, you will lose your savings.

Follow These Steps for Flex Plan Savings

  • Find out if you are a candidate for LASIK by scheduling a Free LASIK Consultation at Victoria Eye Center.
  • Find out your company’s deadline for open enrollment to sign up for Flexible Spending Accounts.
  • Find out how the cost of your LASIK procedure so you’ll know how much to set aside in your account. This will be determined during the Consultation. Dr.Boozalis cannot pre-determine what procedure will be best for you without examining your eyes first.

Combine Flex Plan Savings with LASIK Financing! Contact Victoria Eye Center to learn more about our 0% interest LASIK financing program, how LASIK is performed and what advanced LASIK technologies Dr.Boozalis uses. Contact us today at 361-578-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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The Effect of Vision Problems on the Collective American Wallets

Prevent Blindness America (PBA) recently commissioned researchers from the University of Chicago to determine how the cost of vision-related diseases affects the American economy. What they discovered is that the long-term effects of eye diseases/disorders and vision loss cost our government, insurance companies and patients approximately $139 billion every year…and there is no growth end in sight. The largest burden, $71.6 billion, falls on patients and their families. This makes eye diseases/disorders one of the most expensive medical conditions in the United States.

Vision problems and vision loss can make a huge impact on a person’s ability to lead a productive professional and personal life. Having regular eye exams can act as a safeguard to stay on top of any obvious or “silent” vision changes that may be developing and allow patients to take proactive measures to preserve their sight. Eye exams can even help detect the presence of other medical conditions, such as diabetes.

At Victoria Eye Center in Victoria, our goal is to help our patients live fuller lives through eye care. We do this through medical procedures like cataract surgery and LASIK eye surgery, as well as treatment/maintenance of conditions like glaucoma and macular degeneration. We work hard to help our patients see with clarity to perform everyday tasks and remain productive members of society.

Eye disease prevention, maintenance and research will go a long way toward keeping vision medical costs in check. We encourage you to schedule an eye exam/Vision Consultation today. Call 361-578-0234 or visit victoriaeyecenter.com.

(The University of Chicago report is titled: “Cost of Vision Problems: The Economic Burden of Vision Loss and Eye Disorders in the United States.“)

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LASIK and Dry Eye

If you are considering LASIK vision correction surgery but have the pre-existing condition of Dry Eye Syndrome, it is advisable to get your Dry Eye condition under control before undergoing LASIK. One of the potential complications of LASIK is Dry Eye, as it can cause a temporary decrease in tear production and affect healing after surgery. If your eyes are already dry, LASIK could worsen your condition and cause your eyes to feel unusually dry and uncomfortable. This could last just temporarily or for months or years after surgery.

Ways to Treat Dry Eye

Your Dry Eye condition may be treatable so you can pursue LASIK eye surgery. Your doctor may order prescription eye drops to lubricate your eyes, help your body produce more tears or reduce inflammation. Punctal plugs, which are inserted to block tear drainage, may also help restore moisture to the eyes.

The Experts Agree

“Patients with pre-existing dry eye should be cautioned that refractive surgery, particularly laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), may worsen their dry eye condition.” (Nettune & Pflugfelder, 2010)

“Patients who have dry eye and are considering refractive surgery should have the dry eye treated before surgery.” (American Academy of Ophthalmology Basic and Clinical Science Course Subcommittee, 2011)

The only way to know for sure if your eyes are ready for LASIK is by scheduling a comprehensive LASIK Consultation to identify Dry Eye and other conditions. Dr. Boozalis at Victoria Eye Center offers free LASIK Consultations at his Victoria office. Schedule yours now at 361-578-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Set up an Early Detection Plan for Breast Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. At Victoria Eye Center we are proud to treat our patients as family, and we work very hard to make sure the procedures we perform for them are as life-changing as possible. Whether it’s through LASIK vision correction, cataract surgery, treatment for an eye disease or even just a routine eye exam, our main goal is always to provide a better quality of life.

Did you know that certain cancers can spread to the eyes? Breast cancer is one type of cancer that can cause secondary intraocular cancer in the middle layer of the eyeball. It often has no symptoms, but it can be detected during routine eye exams. This is one more reason why regular eye exams are so important.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, an astounding 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Early detection is absolutely key in fighting and surviving breast cancer. Having an early detection plan for breast cancer in place is extremely important for women. This plan should include such scheduled monthly/yearly activities as:

    • Breast self-exams
    • Mammograms
    • Clinical breast exam by a gynecologist or family doctor

You should look for changes in the breasts, including:

    • Lumps
    • Skin texture changes
    • Nipple tenderness or changes
    • Breast size or shape changes
    • Nipple discharge

Dr. Boozalis doesn’t treat breast cancer, but his detailed eye exams may help identify potential underlying health problems. If you are experiencing any changes in your vision or just want to be proactive in preserving your health, please contact Victoria Eye Center right away to schedule your Consultation. Contact us today at 361-578-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Possible Cause for High-Grade Nearsightedness Discovered

A recent study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics has identified gene mutations associated with severe, high-grade myopia (nearsightedness). Researchers at Duke Medicine found these mutations in the SCO2 gene that metabolizes copper, which is important to regulate oxygen levels in eye tissue. When there is too much oxygen, the eye’s development can be altered.

“This is the first time a gene mutation for autosomal dominant nonsyndromic high-grade myopia in Caucasians has been discovered,” said senior author Terri Young, M.D., MBA, professor of ophthalmology, pediatrics and medicine at the Duke Eye Center, Duke Center for Human Genetics and the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School (Duke-NUS). “Our findings reflect the hard work and collaboration of our international research team.”

“Our findings, plus information from the literature, suggest that copper deficiency could predispose people to develop myopia,” Young said. “While this wasn’t directly tested in this study, it’s possible that our diets – which are deficient in a number of minerals and vitamins – play a role, and it may be something as easy as taking a supplement with copper that helps thwart the development of myopia.”

Other factors besides gene mutations are likely responsible for myopia development. Additional myopia research will continue.

Nearsightedness is one vision condition that is often corrected through LASIK eye surgery. However, laser vision correction is not appropriate for all patients who have myopia, especially high-grade. The FDA has approved certain lasers to treat varying levels of myopia, even up to -.12 diopters; however, some doctors may recommend a different type of procedure for patients who don’t meet the right vision requirements.

If you have any degree of nearsightedness and would like to know if you are a good candidate for LASIK, contact Victoria Eye Center in Victoria to schedule a LASIK Consultation: 361-578-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Cool Facts About Dolphin Eyes – #1 of 4

Recently we read an article about dolphin eyes written by Joy Clausen Soto, Senior Dolphin Trainer at SeaWorld. We thought it was so interesting that we’re going to devote our next series of blogs to her cool facts about dolphin eyes.

“A dolphin can move each eye independent of the other.”

While that is cool for a dolphin, it’s not so cool for humans. In humans, this condition is similar to one called strabismus. It occurs when the muscles of the two eyes don’t work together to maintain proper alignment. You might have one eye looking straight forward while the other eye looks a different direction:

    • Inward (cross-eyed), known as esotropia
    • Outward, known as exotropia
    • Upward, known as hypertropia
    • Downward, known as hypotropia

Refractive surgery, such as LASIK eye surgery, won’t resolve strabismus. However, there are surgical and non-surgical treatments that can be used to correct the problem.

A person with corrected strabismus can also have instances of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. In these cases, they may consider having LASIK eye surgery to correct the vision problems. If you had strabismus at any time in your life, be sure to inform your LASIK surgeon of this and all of your medical history prior to undergoing the procedure.

To learn more about LASIK eye surgery, please contact Victoria Eye Center in Victoria to schedule a LASIK Consultation. Call 361-578-0234 or visit victoriaeyecenter.com today.

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LASIK: Good Enough for NASA

If you’re still concerned about the safety of LASIK, consider this: The National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) now accepts astronaut applicants who have undergone LASIK. Many studies were done to ensure that acceptable vision quality was achieved after the procedure. There were also concerns about the stability of the corneal flap that is created for the first step of the surgery. By folding back this flap, the surgeon has access to the underlying corneal tissue to correct the nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. When the procedure is complete, the corneal flap is folded back into place so it can re-adhere.

The extensive research showed that advanced LASIK provided excellent results:

    • Corneal flap fared well in extreme conditions (especially when created with blade-free femtosecond laser technology as opposed to conventional procedures using a metal blade)
    • Wavefront-guided LASIK produced superior results (this is technology that uses laser light to identify imperfections in the patient’s eye and create a 3-D map to guide the laser treatment for the most precise vision correction possible)

People in the aerospace environment benefit from being able to see without the hindrance of glasses or contacts (think about glasses floating through the air or trying to clean contacts without gravity!). LASIK has also made it possible for nearsighted people to become astronauts (this wasn’t possible in the past).

Even if you haven’t set your aspirations on being an astronaut, LASIK can open up a whole new universe of possibilities for your everyday life. Many people achieve 20/20 vision – or better – after the procedure and enjoy years of their lives without glasses or contacts.

Of course, not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK. Your corneas may be too thin, you may have medical conditions that will interfere with your healing or your vision problem may be better corrected by a different type of procedure. A quick glance won’t let you know if LASIK is right for you – you need a full eye examination.

If you’re ready to fix your vision, visit the website of Dr.Boozalis at Victoria Eye Center to schedule a LASIK Consultation in Victoria. Visit victoriaeyecenter.com or call 361-578-0234 today.

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Elephant Eyes

In honor of National Elephant Appreciation Day on September 22, here are some facts about elephant eyes.

    • Their eyes are very small, only about 1.5” in diameter.
    • The location of their eyes on the side of their heads allows for peripheral vision but not depth perception; the trunk creates a large blind spot in their vision.
    • They have three eyelids: an upper, lower and one that moves vertically for more protection.
    • Their long eyelashes keep foreign matter out of their eyes.
    • They have the same visual pigments as humans with red/green color-blindness.
    • Their range of vision is only about 30 feet – some people might say that elephants are nearsighted!

Because of their poor vision, elephants use their sensitive trunks to navigate. Their poor vision does not hinder their ability to orient themselves, and that’s a good thing since vision correction surgery just isn’t performed on elephants!

It is, however, performed on millions of Americans every year. At Victoria Eye Center, we’ve performed many LASIK vision correction surgeries to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. LASIK in Victoria is considered to be one of the safest medical procedures when performed by an experienced surgeon like Dr. Boozalis. Of course, there are risks with any type of surgical procedure, so it’s always advisable to get all of the facts about LASIK before you decide to pursue this popular procedure.

One way to get the facts is by scheduling a free LASIK Consultation at Victoria Eye Center. You can find out if your eyes have the right characteristics for LASIK and you can get all of your questions about LASIK answered.

So don’t forget to take a minute to appreciate elephants on September 22 (an elephant wouldn’t forget). And, if you’re stuck wearing glasses or contacts, contact us today to schedule your free LASIK Consultation at victoriaeyecenter.com or 800-833-0234.

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