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Opening Hours : Monday to Friday - 7:30am to 5:00pm
  Contact : 800.833.0234

The latest from our blog

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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Employee Spotlight

Mandie Hewitt
Surgery Technician & Counselor

Mandie plays an integral role as part of the surgical team at Victoria Eye Center and Victoria Surgery Center. She assists and helps coach patients throughout their chosen treatment plans.

“I enjoy helping patients through the process of scheduling, insurance and educating them on the procedures per the patient plan that Dr. Boozalis has recommended for them,” says Mandie. “I want to help make the patient aware of assistance options if help is needed. I don’t want a patient to feel alone if they don’t have family that can help guide them.”

Mandie has been with Victoria Eye Center over 11 years and feels a strong connection with each patient. “I consider many of the patients I see and talk to monthly as friends. Same thing when I am on the surgery side; when in post-op care I get to talk with the patient and family and make sure that post-op instructions are understood and the patient has everything they will need after surgery. I love helping in the clinic with EYLEA® injections for macular degeneration patients and LASIK surgery on Friday mornings. I enjoy greeting patients and their families who are excited about getting LASIK.”

Many people in the Crossroads area are not aware of all the services and procedures that Victoria Eye Center provides. “I know that we can meet most eye care needs from a basic eye exam to ARMD, DME, IOL surgery, LASIK and much more,” Mandie says. “You want to keep up with the overall health of the eyes just like you would the rest of your body.”

Victoria Eye Center makes it easy and convenient to schedule comprehensive, dilated exams to evaluate the overall health of the eyes. If treatment for any condition is required, we can assist with quality care right here in our community.

Mandie is extremely family oriented and enjoys time with her kids when away from the eye center. “I am a mother of four (two girls: Madison, age 22 and Mallory, age 16 and twin boys: Matthew and Mason, age 15). I also have a granddaughter that is 5 months old. My fiancé and I spend our free time with the kids and our granddaughter as that is what is most important to us.”

Mandie also enjoys photography and can be found behind the lens of a camera most days. Mandie’s life is driven by her aspirations to “guide my kids to be successful and caring in life. I have always told them they can do anything with hard work and to always treat others the way you want to be treated.”

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Make Protecting Your Eyesight a Priority

It’s easy to take your eyesight for granted when you don’t have vision problems. Unfortunately, no one is immune from developing eye conditions and diseases in the future.

May is designated Healthy Vision Month by the National Eye Institute to remind you to make your eye health a priority by scheduling a comprehensive eye exam. 

Through eye exams, our team can diagnose eye diseases that do not have obvious outward symptoms in the early stages such as cataracts, glaucoma and others. We can also diagnose conditions like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) that slowly robs you of your central vision. The earlier these types of diseases are detected the sooner treatment can be administered to slow the progression of the disease. 

Even certain health problems can be identified during eye exams, including high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and more.

More Healthy Vision Tips
In addition to having regular eye exams, incorporate these tips into your daily life to protect your eyesight: 

  • Using protective eyewear when playing sports
  • Wearing 100% UV protection sunglasses to block ultraviolet rays from the sun
  • Living a healthy lifestyle (exercising, eating right, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking)
  • Being aware of eye traits in your family tree – eye health can be hereditary
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When Do Red Eyes Require Medical Attention?

We’ve all experienced bloodshot eyes after staying out too late or when having an allergic reaction to pollen, dander or some other environmental factor. But sometimes your red eyes may signify something more serious that requires medical attention. If you are experiencing any pain with your red eyes and over-the-counter eye drops are not helping, you may have one of these conditions:

  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye): inflammation of the conjunctiva (thin membrane on your eye and in your eyelids) can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection
  • Blepharitis: inflammation of the eyelids leading to tearing, crusting or flaking
  • Stye: red-colored bump in or on the eyelid caused by an infected oil gland
  • Chalazion: a non-infectious stye that forms into a hard bump in the eyelid caused by a blocked oil gland
  • Scratched cornea: abrasion on the outer surface of the eye caused by injury or foreign particles in the eye
  • Dry eye syndrome: eye irritation caused by quicker than normal evaporation of tears or failure of the eyes to produce sufficient tears

The treatment for these conditions may be as simple as performing eyelid hygiene at home or using medicated eye drops. The best way to find out is by scheduling an eye exam. If you are experiencing any eye irritation, be sure to stop wearing contact lenses. You may also want to discontinue the use of eye makeup until your condition improves.

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LASIK Reviews

If you’re tired of wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses, you may wonder whether LASIK surgery is right for you. After all, LASIK surgery has a successful history and most patients are satisfied with their results.

Potential patients rely heavily on LASIK reviews from family, friends and colleagues. When researching LASIK surgery, it is important to read LASIK reviews by patients who have had the procedure and can speak to their experience.

After reading through Victoria Eye Center LASIK reviews, the most important step is to schedule an exam with Dr. Boozalis to determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery. Although LASIK surgery is a popular and successful vision correction method for many patients, it isn’t the most appropriate option for everyone, and it does come with some risk.

During LASIK eye surgery in Victoria, Dr. Boozalis creates a flap in the cornea and then uses a laser to reshape the cornea and correct refractive error problems in the eye. LASIK surgery is best suited for patients who have a moderate degree of refractive error causing:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia), in which you see nearby objects clearly, but distant objects are blurry
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia), in which you can see far objects clearly, but nearby objects are blurry
  • Astigmatism, which causes overall blurry vision

Patients with dry eye syndrome, thin corneas, certain medical conditions or diseases, as well as other issues, may disqualify them from being a good LASIK candidate. A successful surgical outcome depends on careful evaluation of your eyes before the surgery.

Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to learn more about our LASIK reviews or to schedule your LASIK exam with Dr. Boozalis.

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LASIK

LASIKLASIK, which stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, also commonly referred to as laser eye surgery or laser vision correction, is the most popular form of refractive surgery for the correction of myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.

For clear vision, the eye’s cornea and lens must bend (refract) light rays properly. This allows images to be focused on the retina. Otherwise, the images will be blurry. This blurriness is referred to as a refractive error and is caused by a difference between the shape or curvature of the cornea and the length of the eye.

In Victoria, Dr. Boozalis performs LASIK surgery by using a laser to reshape the eye’s cornea, improving visual acuity. For many patients LASIK provides a permanent alternative to eyeglasses or contact lenses.

During the LASIK procedure a flap of corneal tissue is created. This flap is then peeled back so that the laser can reshape the corneal tissue underneath. Once the reshaping is complete, Dr. Boozalis replaces the flap. The cornea will naturally hold the flap in place, so no stitches are required.

Although LASIK has helped millions of people improve their vision and reduce their need for glasses or contacts, not everyone is a good candidate for the procedure. You must be at least 18 years old, have healthy eyes and a stable prescription that is within the range that LASIK can correct. It’s also important to consider the risks and rewards and make sure you have realistic expectations.

Potential LASIK risks may include:

  • Corneal infection
  • Corneal scarring or permanent problems with the cornea’s shape, making it impossible to wear contact lenses
  • Decrease in contrast sensitivity, even with 20/20 vision, objects may appear fuzzy or gray
  • Dry eyes
  • Glare or halos
  • Light sensitivity
  • Night driving problems
  • Reduced vision or permanent vision loss
  • Scratchiness

For more information about LASIK or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Boozalis, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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LASIK for Astigmatism

LASIK for AstigmatismAstigmatism is a common condition in which the cornea of the eye has a shape similar to that of a football, rather than a normal corneal shape resembling a baseball. Because the cornea is oddly shaped, light bends unequally as it enters the eye, causing vision distortion or blurriness.

Many who suffer from astigmatism do not know that it can often be corrected with LASIK eye surgery. Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is a popular form of laser eye surgery that reshapes the inner layer of the cornea to correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. LASIK eye surgery has proven to be an effective treatment for many patients with mild or moderate astigmatism. LASIK is also a convenient option for many other people, even if they don’t have astigmatism.

LASIK for astigmatism is accomplished by smoothing out the irregularities of the cornea at the precise points of the astigmatism, therefore allowing light to focus correctly on the retina. During the LASIK procedure in Victoria, pulses of cool, ultra-violet light are emitted from a computer-guided laser to remove corneal cells according to your unique prescription.

There may be some patients with severe astigmatism that do not qualify for LASIK surgery. Many people suffering from astigmatism are children and it is recommended that LASIK patients be over the age of 18 years old to ensure that their refractive error has stabilized.

Depending on the type and severity of astigmatism, as well as other factors, Dr. Boozalis may be able to treat your eyes with LASIK. To find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK, Contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com to schedule a consultation.

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Why is Some LASIK Cheap?

Why is some LASIK CheapIf you are considering LASIK, you’ve probably noticed advertisements for low-cost, discount LASIK. While discount LASIK eye surgery may sound enticing, there are numerous reasons to be wary of these so-called “deals.” Let’s review why some LASIK is cheap:

Discount LASIK advertisements usually contain fine print regarding the actual cost of the LASIK procedure. Typically, this either means hidden fees are involved and the patient doesn’t actually save money or only a small number of people qualify to receive LASIK eye surgery at that low price. Many times these ads look great on the surface but it is only after you have gone into the eye doctor’s office that you find out the true costs. Be especially wary of such bold offers; many people who choose to undergo LASIK in this way are hit with additional fees after their surgery is over.

While LASIK is generally an extremely safe procedure, a low cost can be an indicator that corners are being cut. Discounts and group deals on LASIK pose the risk of poor surgical outcomes and poor patient care due to outdated technology. It is important to find a LASIK surgeon that has sufficient experience and uses the latest blade-free technology such as Dr. Boozalis in Victoria.

Prices for LASIK can vary widely depending on your particular prescription and other factors. The average price for LASIK surgery is around $2,000 per eye.

The important issue concerning the cost of LASIK is whether the fee advertised is all inclusive. Before you schedule a LASIK procedure, confirm with your surgeon everything that is and is not included in the fee you have been quoted and request the information in writing.

Even where price may be a significant concern, many patients are able to take advantage of financing options with affordable monthly payment plans. To learn more about the cost of LASIK in Victoria or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Boozalis, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com today.

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LASIK Healing Time

LASIK Healing TimeAs soon as your LASIK surgery is complete, your eyes will have already begun the healing process. The initial healing period after LASIK occurs rather quickly. Long-term LASIK healing can last from several weeks to several months. It’s normal to experience some fluctuations in your vision and other side effects during your LASIK healing time.

The First Few Days of Healing:

You will need someone to drive you home following your LASIK procedure in Victoria. During the first few days following LASIK, you may feel some eye pain, along with irritation and watering. Some patients experience a gritty feeling as if they have sand in their eye. Dr. Boozalis may instruct you to wear a patch or shield over your eye for the first few days, especially while sleeping, so that you avoid rubbing your eye and eyelid. Your eyes may also be sensitive to light and your vision may be fuzzy for the first few days. You may be given medicated eye drops to help prevent infection and inflammation. You will have a check-up appointment within 24-48 hours after your surgery. During this examination, Dr. Boozalis will check your eyes and test your vision.

The Weeks and Months of Healing Following LASIK:

The complete LASIK healing time is normally about six months. Regular follow-up visits will be scheduled during this time or longer to continue to monitor your vision and eye health. Your follow-up appointments are critical to your full recovery and must not be neglected. In most cases, vision should be stable and clear at the six-month post-op visit. If you experience dry eyes, halos, glare or other visual disturbances after your LASIK surgery, most of these symptoms should be gone or significantly reduced by your six-month visit.

To ensure proper healing, it is very important that you carefully follow all post-operative instructions. Remember that during the LASIK healing you may experience several vision fluctuations and symptoms. For more information about LASIK in Victoria or to find out if you are a candidate for the procedure, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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Is LASIK Covered by Insurance?

Smashed Piggy BankMany health insurance companies consider LASIK an elective procedure. Elective procedures are typically procedures that are optional, nice to have done, but not medically necessary.

While LASIK is often considered an elective procedure, there are times when it may be medically necessary. These include:

  • Surgery to correct vision problems caused by an injury.
  • LASIK for patients that can’t wear glasses or contacts.
  • LASIK to correct vision problems caused by surgery.
  • LASIK to correct very severe vision problems (the definition of very severe varies from insurance company to insurance company).

It’s important to talk with your doctor to determine if your LASIK surgery will be considered cosmetic or medically necessary.

Affordable Options for LASIK

There are many ways to afford LASIK. Many people finance their procedures, making monthly payments over time until the procedure is paid in full. In addition, some choose to put the balance on a rewards-bearing credit card for points, miles or other incentives.

Many U.S. employees have an FSA, HSA or HRA to cover health expenses with income-tax-free accounts. The cost of laser eye surgery is an eligible expense for all these accounts.  In addition, some people may deduct the cost of major medical expenses. Check with your tax preparer to see if you qualify. If you know you want LASIK but are concerned about up-front cost, assess your contributions during your employer’s open-enrollment window and consider increasing your savings so you can afford the procedure next year.

If you have any type of health insurance policy, contact your benefits coordinator to find out exactly what is and is not covered. You can ask your company questions regarding the amount of coverage offered, what procedures may be covered and how much you will have to pay whether you use an in-network or out-of-network healthcare provider.

The value or LASIK is life changing for some. The money saved on costs associated with reducing the need for glasses and contacts reflects only part of the surgery’s value though. Many find that after LASIK they can do many things that they could not have done before, improving their quality of life. It’s important to weigh not just the cost of LASIK, but the overall gains you may experience.

For more information about how to afford the LASIK procedure in Victoria, contact Victoria Eye Center at 800-833-0234 or victoriaeyecenter.com.

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