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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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How Long Does LASIK Last?

How long does LASIK LastIn general, LASIK eye surgery is considered to be a permanent way to correct vision. Given that the procedure takes roughly 30 minutes total to complete, this is pretty impressive. Over the last several decades, LASIK results have proven to be very stable. After the initial healing period of 3 to 6 months, your distance visual acuity should remain the same for the rest of your life (provided, of course, that you don’t develop cataracts or some other age-related eye disease).

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 all prospective patients have a stable prescription for at least two 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.

For most patients, LASIK is a safe, permanent vision correction method. If you are interested in joining the thousands of satisfied LASIK patients in Victoria, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule your consultation.

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LASIK in One Eye Only

Monovision LASIKIn the early days of LASIK surgery, the procedure was performed on one eye at a time. Today, most patients have treatment on both eyes during one safe and easy procedure. Although today it is common practice to treat both eyes together, some patients opt to only have LASIK in one eye for various reasons.

LASIK works to correct refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. If you have normal vision in one eye and blurry vision in the other, LASIK treatment would only be performed on the one eye that needs correction.

If both your eyes require correction due to refractive errors, there is typically no reason to separate LASIK treatments. Also, when you add the inconvenience factor (double the number of consults, follow-up appointments, etc.), it’s easy to see why most people opt to treat both eyes simultaneously.

If you are curious about LASIK treatment in one or both eyes, the first step is to schedule a LASIK consultation to see if you are a good candidate. Contact Victoria Eye Center today at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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LASIK vs Contacts

lasik vs contactsFor some people, making the decision to have LASIK is not as straightforward as it is for others. Misunderstandings about the safety and cost of laser eye surgery can sometimes cause patients to hesitate to move forward. It’s important to understand the record of LASIK vs contact lenses, over both the short and long term.

LASIK vs Contacts Safety

A lot of the misperception about LASIK safety comes from the very earliest days of laser eye surgery, when the technology and procedure itself was new. It was hard for people to accept that something so radical could be safe. Time has proven those initial concerns to be without cause. The LASIK safety record has always been high, with complication rates so low as to be considered extremely rare. Now with steady advancements in the technology, the safety record is better than ever.

Most people aren’t aware that long or short term contact lens use can cause serious and permanent vision damage. In severe cases, it can even cause blindness. The reason contact lenses are so damaging is the simple fact that every time you put one in, you are inserting a foreign piece of plastic into your eye. Infections, bacterial irritation, altered corneal thickness, corneal ulcers and micro-cysts are just some of the possible complications. Astoundingly, for those regularly using contact lenses, vision-threatening infections occur at a rate of 1 in 2,000, whereas only 1 in 10,000 LASIK recipients experience complications.

LASIK vs Contacts Cost

Consider how much you spend on contacts. How many years have you worn contacts? How much do you pay for a box of contacts? How many boxes of contacts are purchased per year? How much do you spend on contact lens solution per year?

LASIK is an investment in your vision, and is more cost effective than a lifetime of contact lens wear. The average contact lens wearer will spend tens of thousands of dollars in their lifetime on contacts. Victoria Eye Center offers competitive pricing and financing to help make LASIK an affordable option for all prospective patients in Victoria.

Other LASIK Benefits

If you are currently wearing contacts, you understand that there are additional non-monetary costs. Contacts can affect your lifestyle. Even simple things like waking up in the middle of the night and trying to move about can be difficult. LASIK provides you with freedom and clear vision.  Benefits include:

  • Increasing your quality of life.
  • Saving time during your daily routine
  • Not having to worry about a rip or tear in your contact lens
  • Not having to worry about losing a contact
  • Being able to see anytime, anywhere

Time and research has proven that when it comes to the health of your eyes and vision, LASIK is a clear winner over contact lenses — but the decision to have LASIK vs contact lenses is not one that should be made without first fully understanding the benefits and risks. Not everyone is a candidate for LASIK, and at Victoria Eye Center we screen our patients thoroughly so that only those who are truly suitable for LASIK receive it. Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule a consultation today.

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Preparing for LASIK

Even though LASIK is a relatively safe procedure, it is normal to experience uneasiness or nervousness prior to surgery. If you are scheduled for LASIK eye surgery in Victoria, properly preparing for LASIK will help you feel more at ease and increase your chances of a positive outcome.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for LASIK:

  • On the day before surgery, stop using makeup, lotions, perfumes or creams. These substances may cause debris to get into your eyes.
  • Arrange for transportation. You’ll need to have someone drive you to and from your place of surgery. It may take several days to adjust to the change in your vision.
  • On the day of surgery, eat a light meal before leaving for your appointment. Most surgeons will allow you to take any prescription medications as normal.
  • Dress comfortably and casually. Don’t wear bulky clothes or accessories, especially in your hair. Wear something casual so you won’t need to change once you return home to rest.
  • It’s normal to feel some anxiety before having LASIK, but try to remain as calm as possible.
  • If you are concerned about pain, talk to your surgeon. LASIK shouldn’t hurt, but you may feel slight pressure from the laser.
  • Take a few days off. Some LASIK patients go back to work the day after their procedure, but Dr. Boozalis suggests taking at least a couple of days to rest. Make sure you keep your expectations realistic. This is especially important if you work outdoors because you need to keep your eyes as clean as possible.
  • Stop wearing your contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses, you’ll need to switch to glasses full time for at least a few weeks before your surgery. Contact lenses can distort the shape of your cornea, which could lead to inaccurate measurements and a poor surgical outcome. Your doctor will provide specific guidelines depending on your situation and how long you’ve been a contact lens wearer.

Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com for more information on preparing for LASIK.

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Cataract Surgery Options

Cataract Surgery OptionsCataracts are a cloudiness that forms in the normally clear lens of the eye, leading to decreased vision. Although cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 40, cataract surgery options offer easy solutions to clear vision for the millions that suffer from this condition. Depending on your pre-operative vision and desired result, Dr. Boozalis in Victoria may choose to remove your cloudy lens and replace it with a clear lens implant called an intraocular lens (IOL). This has been done for routine cataract surgery for years. There are several IOL options that remedy different types of vision problems. Dr. Boozalis can help you decide which is right for you.

There are numerous cataract surgery options. Below are two categories to consider:

Refractive Cataract Surgery: There are several options for refractive cataract surgery. This category includes surgeries that use special IOL lenses designed to correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. The goal is to correct the cloudiness from the cataract as well as to improve nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, reducing the need for distance and near vision glasses.

Standard Cataract Surgery: Cataract surgery with a basic, standard, IOL. This type of cataract surgery corrects the cloudy lens but does not provide additional vision correction. With this type of cataract surgery, most patients will see better than before the surgery, but unlike other lens options, will likely require glasses at all distances for the best vision.

At Victoria Eye Center, we want you to know that quality vision correction is our specialty. To learn more about your cataract surgery options or to schedule an examination with Dr. Boozalis, contact us at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com today.

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LASIK Average Cost

Average Cost LASIkThe cost of LASIK eye surgery varies drastically across the country. Several factors influence the LASIK cost, but the average price most people pay is about $2,000 per eye.

The price you’ll pay for your LASIK depends on several factors, including:

  • The type of laser technology you choose
  • The type of surgical instrument used to create the corneal flap
  • If your pre-op exam and follow-up visits are covered in the fee
  • If your post-op medications are included in the fee
  • If retreatments (if necessary) are covered in the fee
  • The skill, reputation and experience of your refractive surgeon
  • The community and area of the country you live in

The least expensive LASIK procedure is standard (non-wavefront-guided) LASIK; during this procedure, the corneal flap is created with a mechanical microkeratome. This is somewhat outdated LASIK technology.

The highest-priced option typically is wavefront-guided custom LASIK performed with the latest-technology excimer laser and a femtosecond laser for the corneal flap. Wavefront-guided technology uses precise computer-generated mapping of the eye to guide the excimer laser as it reshapes the cornea, often providing better visual outcomes than standard LASIK.

The eye surgeon performing your procedure will also influence the cost of LASIK eye surgery. Surgeons with the most experience tend to charge a bit more because they bring lots of expertise to the table.

LASIK Financing Options

To help patients afford LASIK and other vision correction procedures, many refractive surgeons offer financing plans to fit any budget. In some cases,0% financing is available for a limited payback period. Ask your eye surgeon for information about available financing plans during your LASIK consultation.

You only have one set of eyes. Choose wisely when it comes to laser vision correction surgery — don’t let the cost of the procedure be your primary consideration. To learn more about LASIK in Victoria or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Boozalis, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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LASIK Healing – Part Two

Avoid Any Facial Applications: Avoid applying any facial applications, especially around your eyes. Creams, lotions and makeup should be avoided to prevent infection. Eye liner, eye shadow and mascara are especially dangerous because small particles from the makeup can enter or irritate your eye.

Protect Your Eyes from the Sun: You’ll find that your eyes are incredibly sensitive to bright light, especially sunlight, post-surgery. You may want to consider wearing your sunglasses indoors if the indoor lighting is bothering you as well. Wearing dark sunglasses to protect you from the sun or bright light is important for helping your cornea heal.

Avoid the Impulse to Touch or Rub Your Eyes: No matter how bad they burn or itch, do not touch your eyes after LASIK. Rubbing or scratching your eyes is a natural tendency that everyone is born with, and refraining from doing this will be the most challenging thing you face during the healing process.

Depending on the type of procedure and state of your eyes before surgery, LASIK healing can last as few as five days to a few weeks. Most patients are generally free to go about their general routines within a few days of the procedure.

During the LASIK healing period, it is common to experience vision fluctuations. Don’t be alarmed because they are a completely normal part of the recovery process! While your eyes are healing, your corneas stabilize in their new shape and your vision will experience the stabilization accordingly. Your vision fluctuation might be any of the following:

  • Glare
  • Halos
  • Difficulty driving at night

These symptoms can last for only a few days or up to a few months after surgery. Although they are not worrisome, it’s important to communicate with Dr. Boozalis about your vision fluctuations during your follow-up appointments so you can be better monitored and advised throughout your post-op care.

If you are ready to find out if LASIK is right for you, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule your free consultation.

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LASIK Healing – Part One

LASIK HealingOne of the many benefits of LASIK eye surgery in Victoria is a fast healing and recovery time. Below are several tips that can speed up LASIK healing and help you to avoid any complications after surgery:

Give Yourself Time to Heal: After your LASIK surgery, give you and your eyes time to rest before you go about your daily activities normally. Ease your way back into the flow of things, and make sure you take a couple of days off work to allow for adequate healing.

Consider Taking Baths Instead of Showers: A bath may enable you to protect your eyes better than you would in a shower. Shampoo and soap can contaminate or irritate your eyes, so any contact with these products should be avoided. Water from the shower that hits you directly in the face can also cause complications when the droplets hit your eyes. When drying yourself, make sure you avoid rubbing your eyes at all costs.

Make Follow-Up Appointments a Priority: You will have several scheduled visits with Dr. Boozalis after your LASIK surgery and it is important that you keep all your follow-up visits to properly monitor your recovery progress.

Use All Prescribed Medication: Dr. Boozalis will prescribe medicated and lubricated eye drops to assist with the LASIK healing. These eye drops are essential for the healing process and can help prevent any dryness or discomfort. Use them as frequently as directed.

Avoid Playing Sports: You’ll want to avoid any sports, whether they are contact sports or not, for up to a month. Although it may be possible for you to participate in non-contact sports much sooner, your vision and depth perception may not have fully adjusted. This puts you at risk of having a person or object inadvertently hit you in the eyes which can create complications for your LASIK healing.

Wear Proper Eye Protection: After your LASIK procedure, you will be provided with an eye shield to protect your eyes. You’ll want to have some type of eye protection for up to two weeks after your surgery to prevent damage that may occur while you sleep, or an inadvertent blow to the eye from a person or object.

LASIK Healing Part Two continued next week.

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Presbyopia

PresbyopiaPresbyopia is a normal result of the aging process. The crystalline lens within your eyes is composed of proteins. These proteins are soft and flexible when you are younger. As you approach middle age, presbyopia occurs as the protein composition of the crystalline lens changes, making it harder and less flexible. When the crystalline lens loses its ability to flex, it is no longer able to change its shape and effectively bend light rays as sharply, and the ability to focus on near objects is diminished. Symptoms of presbyopia typically begin between age forty and fifty and progressively worsen through age sixty-five. When presbyopia begins, people who already wear glasses may need bifocals or trifocals, and those who have never worn glasses may require reading glasses.

If you are around age 40 and considering LASIK, presbyopia is an important concept to understand. LASIK has absolutely no effect on your eye’s focusing muscles or on the crystalline lens, so it does not correct ordinary presbyopia. So, if you only need eyeglasses for reading, LASIK is not a good vision correction option for you. However, if you need to have your distance vision corrected and need some help with close vision because you are beginning to experience presbyopia, LASIK may be an option if performed as a specialized monovision LASIK.

Currently, monovision LASIK is the most popular vision correction surgery for presbyopia treatment. During monovision LASIK surgery in Victoria, Dr. Boozalis corrects one eye for distance vision and leaves the other eye for near vision. After monovision LASIK, a person relies on one eye for driving and other distance vision tasks, and uses the other eye for computer work and reading. Though this may sound a little strange, after a short period of adjustment and adaptation, monovision typically feels natural and most monovision LASIK patients are pleased with their vision and are significantly less dependent on reading glasses.

Depending on your individual lifestyle and vision requirements, LASIK treatment for presbyopia may be an option you’d like to discuss with Dr. Boozalis. Contact Victoria Eye Center at 757-483-0400 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule your LASIK consultation today.

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