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Myopia Treatment

Myopia TreatmentMyopia is the medical term for nearsightedness which is caused by a refractive error many people are born with or develop as they age. Myopia is the most common refractive error of the eye. If you are nearsighted, you typically will have difficulty reading road signs and seeing distant objects clearly, but will be able to see well for close-up tasks such as reading and computer use. Other signs and symptoms of myopia include squinting, eye strain and headaches. Feeling fatigued when driving or playing sports also can be a symptom of uncorrected nearsightedness. Myopia is not a disease, but rather a condition.

What Causes Myopia?

Unlike farsighted individuals, who have a shorter eyeball, myopic patients typically have a longer eyeball. This causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina, rather than directly on its surface.

Myopia also can be caused by the cornea and/or lens being too curved for the length of the eyeball. In some cases, myopia is due to a combination of these factors.

Myopia typically begins in childhood and you may have a higher risk if your parents are nearsighted. In most cases, nearsightedness stabilizes in early adulthood but sometimes it continues to progress with age.

If you’re nearsighted, the first number (sphere) on your eyeglasses prescription or contact lens prescription will be preceded by a minus sign (–). The higher the number, the more nearsighted you are.

Myopia Treatment Options

Myopia can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgeries: PRK or LASIK. Depending on the degree of your myopia, you may need to wear your glasses or contact lenses all the time or only when you need very clear distance vision, like when driving or watching a movie. Refractive surgery can reduce or even eliminate your need for glasses or contacts. These procedures are performed with an excimer laser.

In PRK the laser removes a layer of corneal tissue which flattens the cornea and allows light rays to focus more accurately on the retina.

In LASIK — the most common refractive procedure — a thin flap is created on the surface of the cornea, a laser removes some corneal tissue, and then the flap is returned to its original position.

There are many options for patients with myopia. Dr. Boozalis can help choose the right treatment for your unique vision needs. Contact Victoria Eye Center today at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to learn more about myopia treatment in Location.

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LASIK and LASEK

Today there are several refractive surgery options to correct myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. LASIK and LASEK are popular forms of refractive laser eye surgery. Although these procedures are similar and have the same goal of correcting refractive errors to achieve clear vision, they do have some differences and are suited for certain patients depending on individual factors.

LASIK remains the most popular laser eye surgery, but for people who are not suitable LASIK candidates for various reasons, LASEK may be a better option. Like other types of laser refractive surgery, LASEK works by reshaping the cornea using an excimer laser, allowing light entering the eye to be properly focused onto the retina for clearer vision without eyeglasses or contact lenses. The fundamental difference in how LASIK and LASEK are performed concerns how the eye is prepared for the laser treatment:

During LASIK (Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis), a circular “flap” is created on the eye’s surface using a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser surgical tool. This hinged flap is folded back to access the stroma and reshape the corneal tissue using an excimer laser. The flap is then returned to its original position and serves as a natural bandage, keeping the eye comfortable as it heals. The flap adheres securely without stitches, and healing occurs relatively quickly.

In LASEK (Laser-Assisted Subepithelial Keratomileusis), a much thinner flap is created and consists only of the corneal epithelium. After the laser treatment is finished, the epithelial tissue is repositioned on the surface of the eye to cover the lasered stroma, and a bandage contact lens is placed on the eye to keep the epithelium in place as it heals.

Generally, visual recovery after LASEK is significantly slower than after LASIK. Initial visual recovery can take up to a week with LASEK (as opposed to 24 hours in typical LASIK cases) and final outcomes can be seen anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

Both procedures carry similar risks of complications. Side effects can include vision disturbances such as:

  • Blurry vision, halos and glare
  • Significant overcorrection, under correction or regression which may require further surgery or reliance on eyeglasses or contact lenses for some or all activities
  • Dry eyes
  • Eye infection and irritation

Both LASIK and LASEK have high success rates and similar vision outcomes. Most people achieve 20/20 vision after laser eye surgery, and nearly all achieve 20/40 visual acuity or better.

After a thorough eye exam in Victoria, Dr. Boozalis can advise you on the best type of laser eye surgery for your individual needs and requirements. To schedule a consultation, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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LASIK Versus PRK

LASIK vs PRKIf you are considering laser eye surgery, there are several options to examine. Two of the most well-known laser vision correction procedures are LASIK (Laser Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis) and PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy). Both procedures have their pros and cons, and a visit to Dr. Boozalis in Victoria can help you determine if either type of surgery is best for you based on your specific vision needs.

When it comes to comparing LASIK versus PRK, the procedures have both similarities and differences. LASIK and PRK are both refractive eye surgeries that can be used to correct the following vision issues:

  • Myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Astigmatism (distorted or blurry vision)

Both procedures use an excimer laser to reshape the cornea so that when light enters the eye it is focusing properly on the retina, resulting in clear vision. Dr. Boozalis sculpts what is known as the stromal layer of the cornea to achieve the desired corneal shape for vision correction.

PRK was the first laser eye surgery approved for vision correction, and LASIK came on the scene later.

In LASIK, Dr. Boozalis creates a flap in the corneal tissue. The flap of tissue is lifted so the laser can be applied to reshape the inner layers of the cornea. The computer-controlled surgical laser carefully reshapes the layers of the cornea to repair imperfections in curvature that lead to distorted vision. The corneal flap is then put back in place and heals over the reshaped part of the cornea in a few days.

In PRK, Dr. Boozalis does not create a flap of corneal tissue. Instead, the outer (epithelial) layer of the cornea is removed to expose the area for the laser to reshape. This makes PRK a better choice for people whose eyes meet certain criteria, such as having thin corneas or chronically dry eyes.

A significant difference between LASIK and PRK is the initial discomfort and the speed of visual recovery. Recovery from PRK takes a little longer than from LASIK because the outer layer of the cornea needs time to heal. PRK patients can expect it to take one to three days for the discomfort, blurring and other post-surgical effects to subside, and it will take up to six months for vision to reach absolute peak acuity and clarity. LASIK recovery is much faster. The discomfort following LASIK surgery is usually mild and short term. While most patients report seeing normally within several hours after the procedure, their vision continues to improve gradually for several months before reaching peak quality.

Both surgeries are safe and effective and carry a very high rate of patient satisfaction. Because every patient’s eyes are unique, it’s important to have a thorough examination with an experienced eye surgeon such as Dr. Boozalis in Victoria. Dr. Boozalis has performed thousands of corrective vision surgeries and can recommend the type of surgery and treatment which is best for your individual situation. If you would like to learn more about LASIK or PRK surgery options, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule a free consultation.

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LASIK After 40

LASIK After 40When a person’s near vision begins to diminish, sometime after age 40, many incorrectly assume that readers, bifocal/progressive glasses are the only options to see up close. Fortunately, this is far from the truth. Today, with the latest LASIK technology, there are several options for LASIK after 40.

Everyone over 40 will eventually suffer from presbyopia  – the inability to see close-up. As your body ages, the natural lens of the eye loses its flexibility. Since this is a natural condition of the lens of the eye and not the cornea, it affects everyone; from normal glasses and contact wearers, to people with perfect vision, and even people who received previous laser vision correction.

Until recently, the only solutions to the loss of reading vision were reading glasses or bifocals and progressive lenses. Thankfully, custom LASIK offers multiple solutions that can help you ditch the readers and even leave you completely glasses and contacts free!

Monovision

Most patients who receive traditional LASIK vision correction will be free from glasses until they hit their mid-forties, when presbyopia sets in. But there exists a custom LASIK procedure that can help correct both distance and reading vision. Called monovision, this procedure adjusts one eye to see things close-up, while the other eye sees things at a distance. Your brain then balances out the images for a full field of clear vision. While this may seem weird or uncomfortable, it’s actually the way our normal sight functions.

Before committing to monovision LASIK, Dr. Boozalis will have you try the concept using contact lenses to simulate the experience of monovision sight. Many people love it, but for some it may not feel quite right. For patients who decide that monovision is not the right fit for them, they can still get LASIK for their distance vision and just use cheap readers for the times when they need to see up-close.

LASIK has helped millions of patients achieve better vision. For those 40 and over, LASIK may be a great option to improve or even correct vision. If you’re considering LASIK after 40, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule a consultation.

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Vision Correction Methods

Vision CorrectionCorrecting refractive vision problems such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia has advanced beyond simple eyeglasses and contacts. Today, there are several vision correction methods for patients to consider. In Victoria, Dr. Boozalis can help you to understand your options and help to select the best vision correction solution based on your individual needs. The following are common vision correction methods:

Eyeglasses: Wearing eyeglasses is an easy way to correct refractive errors. Improving your vision with eyeglasses offers the opportunity to select from different types of lens options, frame designs and even lens coatings for various lifestyles, occupations and activities.

Contact Lenses: Contact lenses are a popular alternative to eyeglasses. Soft contact lenses offer many convenient options including colored versions, bifocals and daily disposable lenses. Extended wear contact lenses can be worn for up to 30 consecutive days and nights without care.

LASIK: LASIK is the most popular form of refractive surgery, but there are now several other alternatives such as PRK, LASEK and Epi-LASIK. Victoria Eye Center uses the latest laser technology and expertise to customize your procedure to your unique vision needs.

Natural Lens Replacement: Also known as refractive lens exchange or clear lens extraction, this procedure involves the removal of the natural lens within your eye and replaces it with an artificial lens, also called an intraocular lens (IOL). This allows Dr. Boozalis to provide you with a new lens that has improved focusing power, decreasing the need for glasses or contact lenses.

Phakic Lens Implant: In this procedure, the implanted lens is situated on top of the natural lens. It works by adding focusing power to your natural lens without replacing it. This procedure may be beneficial to patients who are extremely nearsighted.

To learn more about the vision correction methods we’ve discussed as well as other options, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Types of Cataract Surgery

If the lens inside your eye has become cloudy, you may want to consider cataract surgery. During cataract surgery in Rancho Cucamonga, Dr. Boozalis removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial lens (called an intraocular lens: IOL) to restore clear vision. The procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis and does not require an overnight stay in a hospital or other care facility. There are three types of cataract surgery, the most common form today is a process called phacoemulsification.

  1. Phacoemulsification: With the use of an operating microscope, your surgeon will make a very small incision in the surface of the eye in or near the cornea. A thin ultrasound probe, which is often confused for a laser, is inserted into the eye and uses ultrasonic vibrations to dissolve (phacoemulsify) the clouded lens. These tiny fragmented pieces are then suctioned out through the same ultrasound probe. Once the cataract is removed, an artificial lens is placed into the thin capsular bag that the cataract occupied. This lens is essential to help your eye focus after surgery. In this most modern method, cataract surgery can usually be performed in less than 30 minutes and usually requires only minimal sedation and numbing eye drops, no stitches to close the wound and no eye patch after surgery.
  2. Extracapsular Cataract Surgery: This procedure is used mainly for very advanced cataracts where the lens is too dense to dissolve into fragments (phacoemulsify). This technique requires a larger incision so that the cataract can be removed in one piece without being fragmented inside the eye. An artificial lens is placed in the same capsular bag as with the phacoemulsification technique. This surgical technique requires a various number of sutures to close the larger wound, and visual recovery is often slower. Extracapsular cataract extraction usually requires an injection of numbing medication around the eye and an eye patch after surgery.
  3. Intracapsular Cataract Surgery: This surgical technique requires an even larger wound than extracapsular surgery and the surgeon removes the entire lens and the surrounding capsule together. This technique requires the intraocular lens to be placed in a different location – in front of the iris. This method is rarely used today but can still be useful in cases of significant trauma.

For more information about cataract treatments including these cataract surgery procedures, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Vision Correction

Vision CorrectionIf you’ve thought about vision correction surgery, also called refractive eye surgery, you should know that there are many options available which are different types of laser surgery. There’s the popular and well-known LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis), but also wavefront-guided LASIK and Epi-Lasik, PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) and LASEK (laser epithelial keratomileusis).

The scope of vision problems that can be corrected with refractive eye surgery has expanded greatly in the past few decades. Refractive problems that can be corrected include nearsightedness (myopia), astigmatism (unevenly curved cornea), and farsightedness (hyperopia).

LASIK works by changing the shape of the cornea – the clear portion of the front of the eye – so that light rays focus on the retina and improve vision. A thin flap is created in the cornea. The exposed corneal surface is then reshaped using an excimer laser and the flap is replaced.

Epi-LASIK is an alternative to traditional LASIK, in which an instrument called an epi-keratome is used to separate a very thin sheet of the very top (epithelial) layer of the cornea, which is then moved aside so that the cornea can be sculpted for vision correction.

Wavefront-guided LASIK uses the most advanced technology to address the finer imperfections in the eye. This type of LASIK involves measuring the eye from front to back with a special laser, using what’s called wavefront technology, to create a three-dimensional (3-D) image of the eye. The information contained in the wavefront map guides the laser in customizing the treatment to your individual visual system.

PRK was the first form of laser vision correction surgery. PRK differs from LASIK in that the surgeon does not create a flap. PRK is a good option for patients with thin corneas.

LASEK combines many of the benefits of other vision correction surgeries, notably LASIK and PRK. LASEK can be a good option for patients with thin or unusually shaped corneas.

If you’re a candidate for refractive eye surgery, the surgery should be tailored not only to your vision problems, but also to factors such as age, occupation and lifestyle. There’s no one-size-fits-all surgery. To find out more about vision correction in Victoria, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule your consultation with Dr. Boozalis.

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Should I Have LASIK?

Should I Have LASIKAny elective surgery is an important and often difficult decision. LASIK eye surgery is considered safe and effective by medical standards, but does that mean that it is right for you?

Convenience vs. Risk

LASIK and other refractive surgery procedures may offer the convenience of a reduced need for corrective lenses, but to achieve that convenience you will be required to accept some risk. You have absolutely no guarantee that you will get the exact result you want; however, a comprehensive examination from a competent eye care physician can help determine if you have an elevated risk for a poor outcome.

Not Just LASIK

It is important to meet your eye care professional with an open mind. LASIK is currently the most popular refractive surgical technique, but that does not mean that it is best for everyone’s situation. It may be that an alternative is more appropriate. Be open to LASIK alternatives.

Reasonable Expectations

It is important to have reasonable expectations of your vision following LASIK surgery. It is possible that your vision after the procedure will be better than your current corrected vision, but it is normally unreasonable to expect that result. The goal is usually to have your new vision without glasses the same as your old vision with glasses.

The probability of eliminating the need for glasses and contacts entirely and forever is small. Although LASIK can reduce your refractive error, possibly eliminating it, your eyes will continue to change after surgery at the same rate they changed before refractive surgery.

At some point, virtually all of us will need reading glasses for presbyopia. This may be reduced or delayed with monovision or other techniques, but presbyopia is a natural part of aging.

Eventually virtually everyone will develop cataracts and need to have them removed, again adding to the probability of needing glasses.

Is LASIK Risk Worth It?

Literally millions of people are happy with their vision after refractive surgery and delighted with the reduced need for corrective lenses. There are also thousands who are very unhappy. As a percentage, refractive surgery recipients dissatisfied with their results is a small minority, but should be considered.

Looking for the Best LASIK Surgeon?

If you are ready to choose a doctor to be evaluated for the LASIK procedure, we recommend you consider Dr. Boozalis, who has years of experience and expertise in Victoria. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Boozalis, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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LASIK and Diabetes

LASIK and DiabetesMillions of people have chosen LASIK surgery to improve their eyesight. But is LASIK a safe choice for someone with diabetes?

Medical research has identified a clear link between diabetes and eye-related complications. Those who have diabetes are at a higher risk of facing eye complications in the future. Some effects of diabetes, like slow healing and increased risk of infections, make eye-related procedures, including LASIK, a potentially risky affair for patients with these health issues.

People with diabetes can opt for LASIK; they are simply advised to move ahead after a thorough and detailed analysis of the potential risks and consequent benefits. While studies have shown a clear link between diabetes and eye-related problems, research focusing on LASIK has yielded mixed results.

People with diabetes can opt for LASIK without an enhanced risk of postoperative complications provided their blood sugar levels are under control. Merely having the right readings on the day of the LASIK surgery will not be enough though; the patient will need to have stabilized blood sugar levels for a period of two to three months prior to surgery.

If an individual who has uncontrolled diabetes is interested in pursuing LASIK, then primary efforts should focus on bringing blood sugar levels under control first. Again, merely bringing the daily blood sugar count under control will not suffice. The risks involved in undergoing a procedure like LASIK will come down only when blood sugar levels are kept under control for a period of two to three months.

Apart from diabetes medications, patients can benefit by switching to a healthier lifestyle to ensure their diabetes remains under control at all times. Smaller and more frequent meals, intake of complex carbohydrates and following a regular and disciplined exercise regimen will ensure faster control over diabetes.

The eyes will need some time to heal after LASIK surgery. A surge in blood sugar levels after the procedure can increase the chances of complications. Therefore, a person with diabetes should ensure they follow a healthy lifestyle before and after their procedure.

While uncontrolled diabetes can lead to problems, keeping your blood sugar levels under control through sustained and disciplined efforts will increase chances of a safe and complication-free LASIK surgery. If you have diabetes and are interested in LASIK eye surgery, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule an appointment and discuss your options for vision enhancement. Dr. Boozalis has helped many patients with diabetes in Victoria to achieve healthy vision.

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LASIK

LASIKIf you wear glasses or contact lenses, you might consider surgery to correct your vision. LASIK is a popular vision correction procedure that uses a laser to reshape your cornea — the clear, round dome at the front of your eye — to improve the way your eye focuses light rays onto your retina.

LASIK is short for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. During LASIK in Victoria, Dr. Boozalis uses the latest laser technology and equipment, along with years of experience, to customize your LASIK procedure to your unique vision needs.

LASIK surgery begins with an anesthetic drop being used to numb the surface of the eye. Dr. Boozalis uses a special laser to create a thin flap of corneal tissue that is folded out of the way. The laser is then used to reshape the underlying corneal tissue, correcting the refractive errors of the patient. Once the corneal flap is replaced, it quickly adheres to the eye, and healing begins.

The surgery takes 10 to 15 minutes for each eye. Generally, both eyes are done during the same procedure. LASIK is an outpatient procedure, allowing patients to return home to rest following their surgery.

Before you sign up for LASIK surgery, here are a few things to consider:

  • LASIK is surgery to a very delicate part of your eye and cannot be reversed.
  • As with any surgery, there are risks and possible complications.
  • Millions of people choose LASIK and have great results, but it’s not for everyone.
  • LASIK may not give you perfect vision. Although most LASIK patients experience 20/20 vision following surgery, not everyone will have vision so sharp.
  • Even with LASIK to correct your distance vision, you are likely to need reading glasses in your mid-40s. LASIK surgery cannot correct or prevent presbyopia, the age-related loss of focusing power for seeing near objects.
  • Most insurance plans don’t cover the surgery.

If you’d like to find out if LASIK is a good option for you, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule a consultation with Dr. Boozalis.

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