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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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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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