What You Should Know About Your RA

RA

It is estimated that approximately 1.3 million people in this country are impacted by the painful and often disfiguring effects of rheumatoid arthritis. RA can be a very troubling condition for those diagnosed because there is no known cure. One can only hope to stave off the damage done as the bone and tissue of their joints is deteriorating. There are a number of concerns that new RA patients should be made aware of. Some of those problems will be addressed by a primary care physician, others may require a specialist, and a few will even call for a Waco dental professional.

Osteoporosis Unfortunately, these two conditions often go hand-in-hand. The RA can cause the bone thinning and deterioration known as osteoporosis. It is important for RA patients to find low impact forms of exercise to maintain strength and slow bone loss. There are also corticosteroids used to slow this progression.

Sjögren’s Syndrome This is an autoimmune disease that causes dry mouth and dry eyes. It can be very uncomfortable, but also poses other risks including gum disease and tooth decay, as saliva is used to clear away decay-causing bacteria. While there is no cure, there are treatments to maintain healthy eyes and oral conditions.

Heart Disease There are several factors that can increase one’s risk of heart disease. One of the most significant is the presence of RA. In fact, the RA diagnosis automatically doubles a person’s risk of this life threatening condition. Prevention measures and regular exams should be implemented as soon as possible.

Anemia This is a condition that causes a reduced number of red blood cells. These cells, of course, are responsible for the transportation of oxygen through the body. Therefore, too few cells can lead to serious complications. The longer RA symptoms – especially inflammation – go untreated, the greater the risk of anemia becomes. This is due to the fact that the swelling slows the rate at which bone marrow can regenerate red blood cells.

General Infections Perhaps one of the most important things for an RA patient to understand is that, while the medications are important for treating the symptoms of the disease, those drugs can also lead to a depressed immune system, less capable of fighting off infection. This can lead to RA patients becoming more susceptible to contagious illnesses that they are exposed it. It can also increase the risk of bacterial infections, including gum disease.

TMD Temporomandibular Disorders cause problems in the hinging joints of the jaw. These can include significant pain and discomfort, clicking, locking, as well as swelling at the sides of the face. Because RA attacks the joints, it is not surprising that this condition can often accompany it. There are treatments that a
TMJ Dentist in Waco
can provide patients and recommendations that can be made to keep the symptoms of RA at bay so the TMJ is not so directly impacted.

Rheumatoid arthritis can really cause havoc in the body. It is important to maintain constant communication with doctors and dentists to ensure that the problem does not escalate to dangerous levels.

Steven T. Cutbirth DDS
1613 Lake Success Drive
Waco, TX 76710
(254) 772-5420 ?

Rheumatoid Arthritis Fingers (http://www.flickr.com/photos/cloudsoup/6942317880/) / CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

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Med Spa Services: What Do You Need?

Laser Studio

When you want a med spa, what is it you’re looking for? By definition, a med spa is a spa that provides medical or quasi-medical services. While a regular Austin, Texas, spa may offer massage and hot tubs, a med spa probably offers laser hair removal, HCG diet treatments, and the like. So what can you expect from a med spa? Services will differ between locations, but here’s a general list:

Botox. You may think this is only for dermatologists, but some places offer Botox treatments. After all, med spas help you feel better, so why not help you look better as well? You can help deep-six your wrinkles the same day you go to enjoy a relaxing massage. Plenty of skin-care services besides Botox are generally offered as well – simply ask around to find out what different spas offer. You can usually get your skin fixed while also relaxing and having a good time.

Body Sculpting. While liposuction proper tends to be reserved for the bona fide medical office, CoolSculpting, LipoSonix, and other lipolysis/body sculpting treatments can be found at many med spas. Unlike liposuction, these procedures are non-invasive and require no downtime. They don’t come with liposuction side effects like soreness at the site and swelling. Liposuction can cause swelling of the treated site for a long time, and many people who undergo the procedure wear compression gear to combat long-term swelling. These body-sculpting treatments are lower-risk, and you can walk out of the med spa on the same day. The lack of sedation is a major plus.

HCG Diet. In most of the HCG diet information you’ll read in Austin, you’ll find out that this plan is a controversial one, but in some case the results are wonderful. Some doctor’s offices offer this treatment, and many med spas do as well. It can be a nice addition to existing treatments, or it can be a complement to body sculpting or something else. HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone produced by pregnant women that allows them to burn calories even when they don’t eat a lot. HCG diets tend to require you to eat few calories, but they stop your body from going into starvation mode. The jury is out on whether this diet is completely useful or completely useless, but for some people, it has definite results. If you have a consultation with a med spa, you can find out your options.

Chemical peels. Sometimes, your skin just needs a fresh start, and this is just the way to get it. A chemical peel can allow your skin to rejuvenate itself. It can make you look younger and tends to be more effective than spot treatments and the like. You don’t want to overdo chemical peels and other skin treatments, but done in moderation, they can be very helpful. There are myriad other skin treatments available at most med spas…just ask!

When you are ready to improve your life, head over to your nearest med spa and prepare to revolutionize yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, even spiritually. It’s an experience you won’t regret or forget.

Quan Spa-1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yungke22/4326449239/) / CC BY-ND 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/)

Laser Studio
4613 Bee Caves Rd #105-B
Austin, TX 78746
(512) 337-2466

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Prevent Water Damage: What You Should Know About Sump Pumps

sump pumps

Flooding has been a major issue and a source of vast financial loss in several corners of the world in recent years. While Santa Cruz residents have escaped the worst of the water damage and wreckage associated with the strong storms, the local residents should not become too complacent. If nothing else, we should have learned that one can never know what to expect from Mother Nature.

If your home is prone to flooding, then you may want to have sump pumps on hand. While most people have heard of these devices, there are many misconceptions that linger. In order to know what to expect from your own sump pump and to know what is best to invest in, consider the following.

Sump pumps are often the first defense against rising waters. They can keep your home dry even as water rise to dangerous levels. This can save you a great deal of water damage during minor high water situations, but it can also provide you the time needed to secure the rest of the belongings in the home should a major flood move into the area. There are two varieties of sump pumps. Each has a list of advantages and based on these lists, you can better decide which is right of you.

Pedestal Pump the up-right variety of sump pump is referred to as a ‘pedestal pump’. This pump features a motor atop and a pump at the base. There are a number of clear advantages that come with the investment. First of all, it features a clearly visible on/off switch, which makes it easier to control and monitor. Pedestal pumps also boast longer life spans than the other variety of sump pump. In fact, they can often last for up to thirty years. Despite this advantage, they are actually the more affordable of the two types and are much easier to repair should any damage be sustained.

Submersion Pumps While pedestal pumps are certainly worth consideration, there is much that makes submersion pumps worthwhile as well. This is the more common variety and can be installed into water trenches, beneath the water. A special casing protects the motor and on/off switch. There are actually two different on/off switches, depending on the model — the internal pressure switch and the sealed, mercury-activated float switch. Submersion pumps have a lifespan of up to fifteen years and they will not be an eye sore in the basement, nor will they be in the way of other basement fixtures, such as the furnace. Perhaps the greatest advantage of the submersion pumps, however, is the fact that they are equipped with greater horsepower than pedestal pumps, which means that they can pump out more water faster.

Sump pumps should be tested regularly. Homeowners should inspect cords and plugs, ensure that the pumped water is being directed away from the house and that nothing is clogged. It is important to regularly test sump pumps by introducing water and gauging the automatic on/off function. Unfortunately, as with any piece of equipment, it is possible for sump pumps to fail. Typical problems with sump pumps include outdoor pipes that can freeze or clog and plugging of the small screen where water enters the pump. These problems can be easily repaired, which is why it is important to inspect and test the pumps regularly.

As a final note, it should be mentioned that a sump pump should never empty into floor drains. This can overwhelm sewer or septic system and cause much bigger problems. Water damage repair can be difficult enough, but if your Scotts Valley, CA home suddenly has sewer backup, you will be facing a much greater headache.

Grinder Pump (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gtzecosan/3191496272/) / CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

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Is Your Roof Fire Resistant?

There are many reasons to fear a nearby blaze. The possible sources of house fire are not confined within its walls. They may include many outdoor causes as well, such as chimney sparks, brush fire, or airborne materials from a nearby bonfire or house fire. If the roof is the first to make contact with the fire source, one wants to know that it will resist it, rather than allowing the burning embers to eat through to the attic. A cheap roof repair is much preferred to having to start from scratch after losing everything.

The roof resistance of roofing materials is rated on a three stage scale – Class A, Class B, and Class C. There are also unrated roofing materials, which fail to meet the requirements of any of these three stages. Those, of course, would be the least likely to be recommended by Plano roof repair companies. Ratings are determined by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc, which is a non-profit, private organization founded in 1894.

To understand how the ratings are assigned, one must understand the tests performed.

* Intermittent Flame Will a flame touching the outer surface of the roof reach the interior of the home? That is the question explored in this test. The flame is issued in intervals – turned on for two minutes, turned off for two minutes. The number of cycles performed depends on the class. Class A materials must pass the test guidelines over fifteen cycles, whereas Class C materials will only be exposed to the flames three times.

* Flame Spread This measures the potential for flames to spread along the surface of the roofing material. There is a constant flame source used for the testing over a pre-determined amount of time.

* Ignition From Burning Brands Burning debris can also be the source of fire in a home. The experts want to know how roofing will hold up against the brands, should be deposited and left on the surface.

So, how do the roofs fall into the established classes?

* Class A: This is the best possible rating and suggests that the roofing would stand up against a severe fire. It showcases a flame spread of six feet or less during the testing phase, but also demonstrates an ability to hold the fire at the surface, not allowing it to reach the interior of the home. This better ensures that roof repair in Arlington TX will be the only expense faced by the occupants. Furthermore, there is little chance that this type of roofing with put off sparks and flaming debris that could result in the fire spreading elsewhere.

* Class B: While the flame may spread a bit further, between six and eight feet during testing, Class B is still a respectable rating and suggests that the roofing material is capable of withstanding moderate fire. Observers should act fast to have the fire extinguished to prevent it from entering the home.

* Class C: When the flame spreads beyond eight feet, but not much further, Class C rating is likely to be given. This roofing is not ideal for homes in a high fire risk area, as it will only hold up against minor threats. There is a very real possibility that flames taking the roof will claim a portion of the house as well.

* Unrated: If the roofing material is unrated, do not believe that it will provide any fire protection at all. The burning roof will quickly give way to the attic below. Fast action is absolutely necessary to safe the home.

Affordable Dallas Roofing Solutions
3102 Maple Ave #400-A1
Dallas, Texas 75201
(972) 916-9600

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Check Your Roof to Avoid Winter Issues

With winter weather coming on, homeowners are weatherizing their homes, worrying about the cost of heating and otherwise preparing for winter. They would do well to consider preparing for winter weather! Winter storms are on the rise across the country, leaving damage and power outages in their wake. But it doesn’t take a severe winter storm to pose problems for a homeowner. Even regular, steady precipitation can create the same problems.

While homeowners prepare for winter weather, many do not stop to include roof maintenance in their preparations. While they may be weatherizing windows or worrying about the cost of heating, there are other simple maintenance steps to take in order to save money and prepare for winter. The roof, for example, is perhaps the most overlooked part of the house. But there is no better time than now to prepare to avoid winter roofing issues. Consider the following roofing issues and schedule your roof repair as soon as possible.

Is the roof properly insulated? If not, poor insulation can lead to ice damming. Those pretty icicles do not allow water to drain from the roof, causing moisture to penetrate and damage rooftops. Even without freezing temperatures, too little insulation can lead to energy loss, costing you, the homeowner, hard earned money. High quality ceiling insulation and proper ventilation can also prevent ice damming as well as better controlling internal temperatures in the home. Venting helps control air flow and reduce moisture in attic areas. Check for any animal damage (the attic is a great place to start). This is particularly important if you live in an area where animals may wanting a safe, warm spot for colder weather.

Lack of proper maintenance over time can lead to issues with the roof. A homeowner doesn’t necessarily need to know a lot about roof installation in order to spot critical issues. Taking a pair of binoculars and examining the roof can often turn up signs of a bigger problem. Look for any blown off or curling shingles, vegetation growth on the roof or signs of sagging or buckling. Look for ponding water on the rooftop. Check any chimneys for signs of damage. If you see these things, schedule a maintenance appointment right away. Regular inspection can save a lot of headaches and expense in the future.

If you discover any of these winter issues, scheduling proper roof repair right away is important. Putting off maintenance and repairs only generates a larger and more expensive problem. Find a roofing contractor who has specific experience with winter roofing issues. Make sure all licensing is up to date and that the contractor understands the local permitting process. Ask for examples of previous roof repair jobs so that you have something to compare to the work your home needs. Finally, make sure to establish an ongoing relationship with your roofing contractor; simple regular maintenance can ensure the roof of your home is prepared for any weather!

Affordable Houston Roofing Solutions
5100 Westheimer # 200-A1
Houston, Texas 77056
Phone: (832) 730-2500

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Understanding The Energy Performance Of Your Windows

There are two numbers to pay special attention to when buying new home windows. The first is the U-factor, which is how fast heat transfer occurs between the inside air and that outdoors. The second measure is the SHGC, or Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. This figure measures the amount of infrared light allowed to enter through the windows. Infrared light is heat and it can quickly raise the temperature of a home, which not a good thing in Texas. Consider the differences that can be made with the use of different window materials today.

Metal Frame Versus Wood or Composite – Older windows were often made with metal frames, which did not make for good insulation. The metal allowed easy temperature transfer between the indoors and out. This is amplified by the fact that metal frames often featured a single pane of glass that did little to help break the heat transfer. Clear glass allowed all length sunlight rays free access to the home, which means that infrared rays make it in and quickly raise the temperature of the house, especially in the warmest months of the year, when air conditioning is working overtime anyway. The U-factor of these windows often soared very high, at number of 0.56-0.7, and SHGC was almost always greater than 0.60. While there are many new varieties of glass today that can help control these measures, even the frame was an issue. The same glass framed with a wood or manmade composite produced much lower U-factor and SHGC figures. These newer frames did not promote heat transfer and therefore boasted a U-factor in a range of 0.41-0.55 and SHGC of 0.41-0.6.

Tinted Glass, Insulated Glass, and Low-E Coating – The next thing to address in the efforts to lower these measurements was the glass used. The first approach was to tint the glass, thereby limiting all light allowed to pass, which mean less IR light as well. However, this did little to impact the U-factor; window insulation was needed, which is why manufacturers developed insulated glass. The air pocket between the double panes slowed heat transfer through the glass. The result was lower U-factor counts. Matched with the tinted glass, the outcome was wonderful (U-factor: 0.31-0.40, SHGC: 0.26-0.40). Even better numbers came with the invention of Low-E coating. When two sheets of glass concealed an inner coating and argon fill, the Low-E was allowed to prevent long light waves. There was no longer a need to tint the glass. The visible sunlight could still be enjoyed, but the IR light (longer waves) were blocked. While the U-factor was not impacted, it was already at a very good level, thanks to the insulated glass. The Low-E pushed SHGC lower, however, so that homes in the hot south could enjoy very little added heat. An SHGC count lower than 0.25 could finally be achieved with new Houston windows.

Today, in Texas, homeowners can enjoy true energy efficiency by choosing window installation with new replacement windows featuring insulated glass and Low-E coating. The argon fill ensures the longevity of the coating so the windows can be enjoyed and appreciated for years to come.

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When Should I Replace my Windows?

You are well aware of the fact that it is time to invest in replacement windows. In Austin, though, there is no hurry to get them done in the summer months, as might be the case in other parts of the country. In fact, nearly any season in this area will work for the exchange of old windows for new. However, you may be wondering about price fluctuations throughout the year, or about energy efficiency during the process, or about convenience for you and your family. Whatever your reasoning may be, it is understandable why you would carefully consider the best time to buy and install replacements.

Maintaining Energy Efficiency In the cooler northern climate, the contractors would likely recommend (if not demand) that windows be replaced in the warmer months of the year, but when it comes to preserving the comfortable temperature of a home in the south, the summer months can be a bad (and very uncomfortable) time to be without windows. Even if the air conditioning can keep up, the added cost of it running longer and harder could add up quickly. That is not to mention the increase in the size of your ecological footprint. Early spring and later in the fall, when the temperature is cool, but not cold, may be the best option for those trying to preserve the level of comfort in their home while paying a Leander window contractor. That being said, it is possible to replace one window or a couple of windows at a time to preserve the temperatures in the other areas of the home, should you opt for a summer or winter replacement.

Avoiding Harsh Weather Snow may be a rarity in the south, but rain can sure wield its ugly head numerous times and particularly at certain times of the year. Replacing the windows in a rain- or wind storm can be damaging to the home and dangerous for everyone involved. In fact, window contractors may refuse to do the replacements until the weather clears. To avoid such nuisances, it can be a good idea to choose drier months of the year. April, May, and June are typically the wettest months of the year in this part of the country, while the driest are in the dead of winter. Fall is also fairly dry and it is the time of the year when many Texans are eager to open their windows anyway. As a result, it can be a very appealing time for window replacement.

Best Pricing One of the biggest questions that you are likely asking is what the price difference is between the varying times of the year. Round Rock window replacement doesn’t vary a great deal from month to month, but, that being said, winter is the slowest time for contractors in this field. As a result, it might be possible to work out a better deal on the associated labor expenses, thereby saving yourself some money and getting the job done during a dry, cool time of the year.

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LASIK Learning

Learning about Lasik and Ophthalmology

Your eyes are the only organ that is truly vulnerable, because it is the only organ that shows any part of itself outside of the body. They’re also very fragile. It doesn’t take much for an eye to become injured, even if it is just temporarily. That’s why it is so important to find an ophthalmologist that you can trust in. One that can take care of your eyes in the right way. And, if you currently have glasses, you may also be considering helping your eyes to focus better by getting Lasik correction. Here you’ll find all of the information you need to make the right decision in finding the right LASIK md that can perform such treatments as a cataract surgery procedure, or implanting a toric iol.

Finding a Texas Ophthalmologist

When you look in Texas for the best ophthalmologist, you’ll find that there are a number of them. This doesn’t mean, however, that they’re all going to offer you the type of services that you’re looking for in an ophthalmologist. That’s why it is important to make sure that you know what you’re looking for when you begin your search for a new ophthalmologist. There are a number of things that you should look for, including the proximity of the office building to your home (you don’t necessarily want to be driving 3 hours just to have an eye exam), as well as what types of services the ophthalmologist offers and what type of insurance they accept. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the Round Rock area, the Georgetown area, the Cedar Park area, or the Austin area, there are a number of ophthalmologists available who are highly trained and ready to help you to keep your eyes safe in the areas such as corneal transplant Round Rock or glaucoma treatment Austin.

Lasik

One of the latest breakthroughs in eye care is the ability to make someone who has always needed to have glasses able to see without them. This is done through Lasik. Lasik surgery is still very confusing for many people. They don’t understand what Lasik eye surgery is all about, or how it works to help the patient to be able to fix their vision. Most people seriously doubt that the surgery will be able to make their vision better or improve their chronic dry eyes. The truth is that there is a great deal to know about Lasik surgery, and it’s not all easy to take in. That’s why we have compiled a great deal of information, so that you can learn more about Lasik and how it works, enabling you to make a good decision about which Lasik provider to select and even to figure out if Lasik is the right choice for your needs.

Your eyes are extremely important, and extremely vulnerable, that’s why we focus on providing information that can help you not only in selecting an ophthalmologist and in learning more about Lasik or a retinal disease, but in learning about all kinds of different conditions and surgeries that can be done to help you to keep your eyes working perfectly. The more information you have about your eyes and how they work, as well as what types of diseases or conditions can befall them, the better armed you are to care for them properly.

About the Author: Mark Masters has authored may pieces on the eye care & surgery industry and enjoys keeping his readers up to date in this field

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LASIK

LASIK surgeries are the most common of all eye surgeries performed today. More than a million United States citizens have the procedure done on their eyes each year. Of those a fair portion resides in, or near Austin, Texas. It is often called LASIK Austin due to the growing LASIK industry preceding it.

Why LASIK?

Lasik (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) eye surgeries can work to correct farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism, but are most common in those suffering from the latter two. This provides many patients to ability to live with much reduced glasses prescriptions, or entirely free of the corrective lens all together.

Who is the Ideal Patient?

Those who suffer from near-sightedness may want to consider a LASIK procedure to correct their vision. However, there are other criteria that your surgeon will consider before moving forward with it. First and foremost, your eyes must be healthy. There are some conditions such as uncontrolled glaucoma and forms of macular degeneration that could prevent you from being considered an acceptable candidate for the procedure. However, less severe conditions such as conjunctivitis or dry eye syndrome can be treated or controlled in order to prep your eyes for the surgery. Those with the latter will likely be prescribed eye drops in order to ensure no complications arise post-surgery.

Because Lasik eye surgery treats vision, you will also be declined the procedure if your eyes are still fluctuating in eyeglass prescription level. Therefore, younger adults and children are not always considered good candidates for the surgery, simply because their eyes are still changing at such a rapid rate. The ideal person will have stable vision for at least one year. In other words, your eyeglass prescription has remained the same for that length of time. This prescription will also have to fall within a certain level. Too severe or too mild a vision problem may be declined. Though, for those suffering from extreme nearsightedness, there may be other options, so if in the Cedar Park or Georgetown vicinity, please contact us for more information.

Woman who are pregnant or have very recently given birth are likely to be declined because hormone levels can cause changes in vision and the medications that may be used during or after surgery could be considered a risk for an unborn child or an infant that is nursing.

Finally, certain diseases can rule out this procedure, simply because they make it too risky. Rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, HIV and AIDS are some of the examples that may be considered automatic disqualifiers.

Who performs the surgery?

To find out more about the procedure, to determine if you qualify for it and to have all your questions answered, you will want to speak to a licensed ophthalmologist. These are specialists with Doctorates of Medicine. They have spent eight years schooling and at least four years thereafter in internships and residencies in ophthalmology to be fully equipped to handle your eyes. They are licensed and equipped to test for serious eye conditions and diseases, such as Macular Degeneration treatment, as well as performing LASIK and other eye surgeries, such as implanting a Toric Lens. Ophthalmologist also have other duties that are performed regularly, these could range from a corneal transplant to glaucoma surgery and even things such as dry eye treatment.

What should I except from the procedure? This surgery does not require a stay in the hospital in the vast majority of cases. In fact, it typically takes less than an hour, after which patients are able to return home- though will require someone to drive them.

The eye is prepped with numbing drops prior to the surgery beginning. This reduces any discomfort related to the procedure. The lids are propped open with a special device, while you lie back and then he or she will mark the cornea with a special marker to give direction as the surgery progresses.

In most cases today, the cataract surgeon uses a laser to create a flap in the cornea to help improve macular degeneration. The laser is positioned and suction cupped to the eye to ensure that the eye does not move during the laser cut. This flap is then folded back, so the surgeon can reshape that portion of the eye by removing some of the tissue with another type of laser. The ultraviolet beam allows the doctor extreme control as he or she makes the judgment regarding which, and how much, of the tissue needs to be displaced For those suffering nearsightedness, the steepness of the cornea must be reduced, while just the opposite is necessary for those with farsightedness. Astigmatisms require that irregularities of the cornea be smoothed. The newly shaped cornea will better focus light onto the retina allowing it to send better messages to the brain, thereby providing the person a clearer picture of the world. Once the reshaping is complete, the flap is laid back in place.

What are the risks?

Though complications are rare, there are some risks that should be discussed between you and your surgeon. Many of these issues can be avoided if a proper eye examination, including a medical history review, is performed prior to the procedure. However, some, regardless of how ideal a candidate they may seem, will still suffer a negative side effect or complication. The FDA reports that fewer than five percent of patients could experience increased glare or sensitivity to light, visual fluctuations, or halos around natural or generated light sources. Approximately three percent of those that receive the surgery have reported that their vision became worse as a result of it.

Will insurance cover the procedure?

Unfortunately, most insurance will not cover the cost of Lasik surgery, unless special circumstances led to the need of the surgery. If you reside in the Round Rock area, contact us for more information regarding these special cases. For all others, this means that LASIK must be pair out of pocket. Though the cost will range drastically depending on the area where you live, there average prices for this country run between fifteen hundred and two thousand dollars per eye. You may find prices significantly less than this, but you will want to take special care to read fine print and to fully research the doctor performing the procedure. Remember, these are your eyes- your window to the world- that you are entrusting to another person.

About the Author: Mark Masters has authored may pieces on the eye care & surgery industry and enjoys keeping his readers up to date in this field

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Retinal Disease

Understanding Retinal Disease

All of the organs in the body are delicate. Most of them, however, are safely tucked away inside of the body, and do not have any nerve endings, so it is impossible to feel when they are injured or hurt. There is one organ, however, that is actually on the outside of your body, and that can be harmed very easily. When this organ gets a disease, the person knows it very quickly. This organ is the eyes. The eyes, as with almost all organs, are extremely important, but this organ actually helps you to get around in the world. Learning how to live without your eyes, when you’ve had them for your entire life, can be extremely difficult, which is why it is so important to contact a professional, such as a doctor who specializes in ophthalmology or a LASIK Surgeon, who knows about retinal disease and what it can do to your body.

The Retina

Fist things first: let’s learn about the retina. Before you can understand how a disease can affect the retina, it is important to learn what the retina actually does. The retina is a complex part of the eye, but one that is extremely important. It is actually light sensitive tissue that resides in the inner surface of the eye. Your eye acts like a large camera. It makes out images through the light that is where you are. The light goes through the iris and cornea and the lens into the retina. When it strikes the retina it then travels through the optic nerve and into the brain, where the images that we look at are transformed into something that our brains can comprehend. The retina is extremely important to the eye, which is why, when you deal with a retinal disease, it can be very easy to lose your eyesight permanently. There are actually a few different types of retinal diseases that people need to be aware of and on the lookout for, such as dry eyes syndrome and macular degeneration.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is one of the most well-known types of retinal diseases that there is. Macular degeneration is a condition that can easily cause someone (usually an elderly someone) to lose all of their eyesight. Behind the retina is the part that is known as the choroid. This actually supplies blood to the central part of the retina, known as the macula. There are two forms of macular degeneration: dry and wet. In the dry form, a debris actually builds up between the choroid and the retina, which can cause the retina to become detached. With the wet form of macular degeneration, blood vessels actually grow up behind the retina and from the choroid, which can also cause the retina to become detached. The wet form is considered to be the more severe of the two forms of macular degeneration.

Symptoms

In most cases of macular degeneration, the person who has it experiences a slow loss of vision. With both wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration, the process can be slow or it can be immediate. Although in age related macular degeneration it is more likely that the symptoms start slowly. Patients who are dealing with macular degeneration may begin to see shadowy areas in the middle of their vision, or they may start to see distorted or fuzzy vision.

The way that many doctors test to see if their patient is dealing with macular degeneration is to do what is known as an Amsler grid. This is a grid that is basically a chart with a number of black lines. The doctor can then show the person the grid and will listen to what the patient tells them that they see. If they see anything other than black lines or small white dots connecting the black lines (an optical illusion), then there is a chance that they may be dealing with age related macular degeneration.

If macular degeneration is suspected, the doctor will then likely order a test known as a fluorescein angiography. This helps the doctor to examine all of the blood vessels that are around the retina and the macula to see if there is anything strange occurring.

What Causes It?

No one is quite sure exactly what causes macular degeneration, but it is known that age often plays a part. Some studies have shown that obesity and inactivity also raises the risk of a patient getting macular degeneration symptoms, while others also show that heredity may have a lot to do with the condition. Hypertension can also cause a person to have the symptoms of macular degeneration as can smoking. There are even some medications that can cause macular degeneration symptoms as a side effect. It’s best to visit a ophthalmologist who specializes in such procedures as LASIK correction.

Treating Macular Degeneration

If macular degeneration is not treated, it can lead to blindness. Unfortunately there is no cure for macular degeneration, and someone who has dry macular degeneration will likely have a much more difficult time getting their macular degeneration symptoms managed. Those who have wet macular degeneration, however, do have a few options available to them when it comes to macular degeneration treatment. The first few rounds of treatment options are mostly medicinal, but others are very similar to cataract lens surgery, retinal detachment surgery, or even a laser corneal transplant.

The most recent drug treatment for wet macular degeneration is Lucentis. This drug works by inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factor proteins, which can stimulate the growth of blood vessels in the body. This can help to prevent new blood vessels from growing in the back of the eye, allowing the condition to be halted in its tracks for awhile.

There is also wet macular degeneration surgery. This surgery is done with a thermal laser that actually treats the blood vessels that have formed on the retina, which can delay the advancement of macular degeneration significantly. This surgery, however, is only good for less than 20% of people who have macular degeneration, which is why most doctors will go for the medications first. Austin, Texas is one of the leading hubs that perform such procedures as glaucoma surgery austin and installing toric lense austin . Texas has a growing community of eye care doctors, it is often best to do your research to find one that suits your needs.

About the Author: Mark Masters has authored may pieces on the eye care & surgery industry and enjoys keeping his readers up to date in this field

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Ophthalmologist

You will find eye specialists of all titles in Austin, Texas that can assist with a variety of different treatments, such as LASIK Correction, wet macular degeneration, and cataract laser surgery. However, depending on your needs, you will need to know who specializes in what. So, allow us to better explain the titles associated with the eye field.

Defining the Differences

When it comes to assisting you with your eyes, a general eye care doctor takes the first rung of the ladder. They are not trained to provide tests or examinations of your eye and they will not be present should you require treatment or surgery. These are the professionals that assist you in determining the proper glasses frames for your face shape and they will ensure that the selected pair fit your face snuggly.

Optometrists

Who have earned a Doctor of Optometry, claim the next rung. They are the doctors you see to have your eyes checked regularly to determine the level of health and the necessary prescription for corrective lenses. However, this is not the only reason you might choose to see an optometrist. The examinations that they are licensed to perform can detect disease and harmful conditions, as well as color blindness, depth perception, and the ability to properly focus your eyes. However, for some conditions, they will need to refer you to a more advanced specialist for dealing with treatments for things such as LASIK dry eyes.

One of the upcoming hubs of Texas for treatment options is Austin. Many new technologies such as Restor Surgery Austin and corneal transplant surgery Austin are a great option for patients suffering from certain disorders.

On the third and final rung, you will find the Ophthalmologist. These professionals have earned a Doctorate in Medicine and have the qualifications necessary to perform surgeries and advanced treatments of the eye.

Are you considering LASIK, Glaucoma, or Cataract Surgery?

Among the many matters that your Ophthalmologist can assist you with, glaucoma laser surgery is probably the most commonly thought of. These doctors are licensed to provide a variety of eye care services, in all actuality- surgery being among those.

Before you elect to have surgery, you will need to be diagnosed with the condition in question. These doctors of Ophthalmology, such as a LASIK Surgeon are able to perform a wide array of tests and examinations in order to assess any damage or condition suffered by the eye. This included Glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and retinal diseases. In some states, they are even licensed to diagnose conditions that relate to eye damage, such as hypertension and diabetes.

The initials that an Ophthalmologist wears after his or her name are M.D., as opposed to optometrists, who wear the initials O.D. for Doctor of Optometry. As you might expect, the latter would require more schooling and training. The O.D. requires a total of eight years- four undergraduate and another four at a college of optometry. Some, though not all, will also go on to do a residency.

The M.D. of the eye world is required four years of undergraduate, four years of medical school, a one year internship and a minimum of three years is residency at a hospital. They are trained in the full gamut of eye care and are able to complete the same examinations and diagnosis as and O.D. If he or she desires to have a subspecialty, then it will likely mean another year or two of training in that field of study.

Areas considered for subspecialties include Cornea Disease, Glaucoma, Neuro-ophthalmology (which is the relationship between eye conditions and neurological diseases), Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery (to correct damage to the eye lid, orbit, or surrounding facial structure), Pediatric Ophthalmology, and Vitreoretinal Diseases (these include all diseases that affect the retina and vitreous).

Along with all of this extensive training comes a great deal of responsibility. These doctors are trained to study and examine the eye carefully, as well as medical histories to find any anomalies that may lead to problems or serious side effects from selected treatments or procedures. Because people rely on them with one of their most treasured gifts- their sight- it is not really a surprise that they are put through such rigorous training before being allowed to practice.

Before selecting a surgeon to perform your desired procedure, keep in mind that although they may all possess the M.D. initials, not all are equal. You may want to inquire about the subspecialty training that a doctor opted for. For instance, you may be better off in the hands of someone that specializes in Glaucoma if you are undergoing glaucoma surgery. The same is true for those who need corneal transplants, Lasik surgery, or intraocular lens implants, who would be better suited to be matched with someone special trained or experienced in that respective area. Also ask about the number of surgeries of that type performed by that surgeon, as well as the number of time difficulties have arisen as a result of the procedures. You doctor should not shy away, nor be offended by these types of questions as you are entrusting him or her with something precious.

Many of these procedures, like Lasik eye surgery and even some of those that correct types of macular degeneration, can be completed as outpatient surgeries and in a matter of an hour or less. There are many licensed professionals in the Round Rock, Georgetown, and Cedar Park vicinities that can perform these procedures. Ensuring that you are under the care of a professional that is going to take the time to ensure you are in the proper healthy, not on medications that could interfere, and made fully aware of the benefits and potential risks, will make that short procedure one that you will think fondly on for the rest of your life. Do be aware, however, that regardless of how talented, experienced and knowledged your surgeon is, there are complications that can arise when working with the eyes.

The chance of complications occurring as a result of your procedure are rare, when in the care of an experienced surgeon and of those that can present themselves, Corneal Adema (swelling of the eye) and changes in intraocular pressure are two of the more common issues. Both can be relieved and treated by your Ophthalmologist.

About the Author: Mark Masters has authored may pieces on the eye care & surgery industry and enjoys keeping his readers up to date in this field

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Lens Implants

For those who have a damaged eye lens or have suffered with cataracts, the idea of having intraocular lens implants can hold a great deal of apprehension. Though the concept of having another person or piece of machinery near his or her eye can be the cause of some anxiety, the procedure has become so common place in recent years, similar to that of LASIK that more and more people are opting for the restored vision and comfort that these miracle implants can result in.

IOL Types and Brands

One of the first discussions you will likely have with your doctor after deciding to have the lens implant procedure, is that about the types of lenses available to you. There are two distinct types of lenses- monofocal, for those that need correction in just one portion of their vision corrected, or multifocal, which will correct vision at all distances. Although the latter option holds an obvious advantage for dry eyes treatment, those who do not wish to carry on wearing reading glasses, they also require a period of adjustment that is not required of monofocal lenses. Additionally, premium implants are available that will correct astigmatism now, so that patients no longer have to rely on bifocals after the surgery.

There are a few different brands associated with multifocal lenses. The three that are most common are Crystalens, Toric, and ReStor.

Lens implants designed by Acrysof ReStor are made to reduce a patient’s dependency on glasses post-surgery. The FDA reports that at least eighty-percent of patients that receive ReStor lenses report living glasses-free. The lenses are designed to give cataract patients their ability to see once again without the need of surgery for cataracts. The ReStor Implants even assist in regaining the eyes ability to quickly change focus from one distance to another- it is truly the sight restore lens. The procedures in Texas that have grown in popularity over the years are Restore Lens Austin, along with Austin corneal transplant.

By moving within the eye, thereby creating clarity at all focal lengths, the Crysalens Implants by Baush and Lomb provide cataract patients a unique comfort. After a Crystalens surgery patients have reported the ability to read newspapers, road signs, and everything in between far more easily.

For those who suffer astigmatism, there is no better lens, besides that of LASIK Correction, than that the Acrysof Toric. Toric lenses have proven highly successful at correcting this common eye issue and the FDA reports that those patients who opt for a Toric lens have a 97% chance of never needing corrective glasses for distance again. Though many will need reading glasses even with the Toric IOL, the alternative lenses would likely result in the same patients requiring bifocals post-surgery.

The IOL Procedure

Regardless which type of intraocular lens implant you choose to receive, the procedure will be essentially the same. Fortunately for most, this surgery does not require a stay in the hospital. It is generally done as an outpatient procedure. Before any incisions are made the eye will be treated with an anesthetic to numb it. Once the doctor feels that the eye is properly anesthetized, he or she will begin by creating a very tiny incision at the edge of the eye. This is the opening, which will allow for the cataract to be removed and the same that the Crystalens, ReStor, or Toric Lense will enter through. A good ophthalmologist will generally be able to complete the procedure in less than an hour, similar to that of macular degeneration treatment.

The Ideal Candidate

Though most patients that receive Crystalens Cataract, Toric Cataract, or ReStor surgeries are sufferers of cataracts, all can be performed on those who have suffered other damage to the natural lens, similar to that of glaucoma eye surgery. However, the ideal candidate typically has stable refraction of the eye for six months prior to surgery. Though, most ophthalmologists recommend the procedures only for those with healthy eyes, because the central cornea is not disturbed during the procedure, there are some conditions that can be present but not deter lens implant surgery. Thin corneas, dry eye and other similar slight cornea issues can be worked around. The typical patient will range in age for twenty-one to eight years of age, with the largest percentage over sixty-five.

Risks and Benefits of Intraocular Lenses

Lenses like the cataract surgery ReStor lenses have given a renewed vision to millions of people around the world. Those who have suffered for years and have even succumb to drastic vision loss as a result of their cataracts are now enjoying the benefits of IOLs like the cataract surgery Crystalens selection. Benefits are obvious and can be so great to include a life without corrective glasses, but there are some risks to the procedure and the lenses that you should be aware of.

First, it is essential that you understand that complications are rare, but they can happen. Taking the time to be sure that you have an experienced Austin Ophthalmologist who can recognize red flags will help to ensure you have a pleasant experience and outcome. An examination should be performed prior to the surgery, which will include a thorough investigation of your medical history that might bring light to any potential problems. For those approved to move forward with the procedure, less than five percent will encounter any difficulties. Swelling or Cornea Adema is among the most common of these issues. In fact, most patients will have swelling to some degree. It is not considered a genuine problem unless it persists for more than two days. Increased pressure around the eye can also occur. Medications and topical ointments, like those used to treat Glaucoma patients, can be used to treat the problem. For a list of any further, potential complications, speak with your doctor.

Choosing your Surgeon

The most essential part of any procedure, like the ReStor cataract surgery, is that you are made to feel comfortable- physically and mentally. You should find a surgeon that is able to provide you that level of comfort through experience and knowledge. A Crystalens eye could mean a clearer, better tomorrow, but only if it is inserted correctly. Be sure that you do your research so you can choose an ophthalmologist that is willing to give you the time and attention you deserve.

About the Author: Mark Masters has authored may pieces on the eye care & surgery industry and enjoys keeping his readers up to date in this field

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Glaucoma

More On Glaucoma

If you know someone who is elderly, then you may have heard of glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye disease. While most people can associate the name glaucoma to the eye, the majority of people do not know what glaucoma truly is, how someone gets it, or what can be done to cure it. This is a condition that should be learned about because it affects many different people every year, and can progress into blindness if it is not taken care of properly.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease which damages the optic nerve. The optic nerve is extremely important when it comes to vision. It is the nerve that transmits the images that the eye and the lens see to the brain. When it becomes severely damaged, the person who has the damaged optic nerve will be unable to see, rendering the eye blind.

One of the difficult things about glaucoma is that it is very sneaky. It affects approximately one in ten people who are over the age of 80, but many people don’t know that they have it until the disease has progressed a significant amount, which is when the patient may experience some pain. That is often when they seek out their ophthalmologist in order to see what is causing their eye pain, and that is when glaucoma is generally diagnosed. It is at that point that glaucoma treatment, which in similarity to a corneal transplant, has to be decided upon between the patient and their eye doctor, as there are a few different ways that glaucoma can be treated. It may be treated with pills, eye drops, traditional surgery, or laser surgery, or possibly a combination of methods, depending on each patient’s specific needs.

Glaucoma Treatments

It is always the goal of the eye doctor to manage the glaucoma in the easiest way possible for the patient, which is why there are a few different levels of care that one person may go through during their glaucoma treatment. The goals are to preserve the eyesight as much as possible, along with taking the quality of life into consideration, and to avoid nerve damage or age macular degeneration. The first level of care is generally medication. There are eye drops that can help to lower the intraocular pressure which can help to slow down the progression of the glaucoma. People who are not in desperate need for surgery for glaucoma will often have the medications first, and may eventually have eye surgery later. There are also pills which can be prescribed to a patient who is looking for glaucoma treatment, but these pills may have more side effects than the drops, which is why some eye doctors shy away from using them unless it is absolutely necessary to.

Very few Ophthalmologist do prescribe a marijuana glaucoma treatment, which is one of the few reasons why a patient may be able to get a card for medical marijuana. Marijuana is a suitable glaucoma treatment because, it is believed, the herb actually releases some of the optical pressure in the eye, helping to take the pain away from the glaucoma and often making it easier for a patient to wait for their surgical date without having to deal with a great deal of pain.

There are a few different types of glaucoma eye surgery that a patient can have to help them to treat their glaucoma. The first type of surgical treatment of glaucoma is the traditional treatment, which is called canaloplasty. In this procedure, a small incision is made directly into the eye and a microcatheter is put into the incision and is threaded through to the site of the problem. Once a gel-like material is put into the problem area, the catheter is removed and a suture is placed. This gel-like material, called viscoelastic, helps to open the canal and to remove the pressure in the canal.

Laser glaucoma surgery, similar to LASIK is performed by an ophthalmologist and is often used now to treat patients who are dealing with glaucoma. One type of surgery, which is a temporary solution to help with what is called open angle glaucoma, which is where the canal starts to close slowly, is known as a laser trabeculoplasty. In this surgical glaucoma treatment procedure, a laser is aimed at a portion of the eye known as the trabecular, and it slightly opens up the canal to help release the pressure from the condition. It is not a cure, and often needs to be repeated a number of times in order for it to be successful. A central hub in the Texas area is Austin, which is the leading research in Austin LASIK as well as other techniques such as glaucoma laser surgery.

Glaucoma drainage implants can also be placed into the eye, which are designed for glaucoma patients who are not responding to the maximum therapy that the eye doctor has given them. In this procedure, which is similar to cataract eye surgery, a tube is placed into the anterior chamber of the eye to allow the fluid to flow out of the affected chamber, thereby releasing the pressure.

Recovery from Glaucoma Surgery

One of the good things about glaucoma surgery, aside from the fact that it helps to relieve the pressure that the condition causes, and therefore the pain, is that patients can go back to their daily lives directly after having the surgery. Patients who have the laser surgery have very little pain or discomfort while they’re recovering, and the procedure is done on an outpatient basis, not all that different from chronic dry eye surgery. They are requested not to lift anything heavy or to strain for a few weeks, and checkups are mandatory to document the results and the patient’s progress.

Patients who have conventional glaucoma surgery will find that their recovery takes longer than someone who had the laser procedure or an intraocular lens implant. Recovery often takes up to four weeks, although it can take up to two months, and the success rates are a bit lower, and are only in the 70 – 90 percent rage.

There are few risks with a glaucoma surgery of any type, and these risks are very rare to see. They include bleeding, infection, and pain. In rare instances, a loss of too much pressure has resulted in a loss of vision, but those are extremely rare cases. For the most part, seeing your eye doctor for glaucoma treatment, or for glaucoma surgery, is the best way to manage your condition.

About the Author: Mark Masters has authored may pieces on the eye care & surgery industry and enjoys keeping his readers up to date in this field

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Dry Eyes

Dry Eyes – More Serious Than It May Sound

Every once in awhile we all have to deal with dry eyes. Dry eyes can be itchy and frustrating to deal with, but most people believe that their red eyes are nothing serious and that they’re temporary not requiring eye surgery. But the truth is that someone who has dry eyes and may be dealing not only with frustrating itchiness and redness, but they may be dealing with a more serious condition that needs to be treated. If this is occurring at a young age you definitely want to contact a pediatric ophthalmologist to evaluate your condition.

What Are Dry Eyes

The eyes are an organ, and like any organ, they need certain things in order to be able to survive and to work to the best of their ability. When it comes to the eyes, they require a few things in order to work correctly, including tears. Tears are a combination of moisture, oils, mucus, water, and even proteins and antibodies. What seems to be simply water is so much more. The water in the tears moisturizes the eyes, while the oils lubricate the eyes. Mucus helps the tears to spread to the entire eyeball and the antibodies and proteins help to prevent infection in the eye. All of this is formulated into one little tear, which is created by small glands that are all around the eye.

What Causes Dry Eyes

There are a few things that can cause dry eyes, and while some of them are easily fixed, others are not. If the oil layer in the tears is abnormal, which can happen when the meibomian glands get clogged up, the tears evaporate too quickly, which can cause dry eyes. The water that is inside of the oil is produced by tear glands, and it helps to wash away any irritants that may be in your eye. If your tear glands are not producing enough water, the oil and mucus layers may connect and may cause dry eyes. And even the mucus layer is important, and if the mucus layer is not created correctly inside of the eye, dry spots can form anywhere in the cornea, which would cause dry eyes.

Almost everyone, and especially people who are over the age of 40, has dry eye symptoms every once in awhile, but chronic dry eye is something that is much different from temporary dry eyes and should be evaluated by a LASIK ophthalmologist. Tears, when they’re not formed correctly on a routine basis, can cause chronic dry eyes, and the malfunction of tears can be caused by a few things, including poor lid functioning. The lid should blink around once every twelve seconds, but it does this not only to keep irritants out of your eye, but also to spread the tears across the eye. If there is a problem with your eyelids, you may have to deal with dry eyes.

There are also medications that are known to cause dry eye symptoms, including over the counter medications such as sleeping pills, birth control pills, some antidepressants, decongestants, and diuretics. Usually when someone stops taking these types of medications, their dry eyes are cured and they no longer have to deal with any of the symptoms that accompany dry eyes.

Chronic dry eyes can also be a symptom of systemic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, or lupus, which is why it is a good idea to speak with your doctor if you are dealing with constant dry eyes, so that your condition can be accurately evaluated.

Treating Dry Eyes

How dry eyes are treated depends on what is causing the problem. Before your doctor, cataract surgeon, or ophthalmologist, can get dry eye treatment for your dry eyes, they need to know what the problem is. For instance, if you have lid problems, some sort of an eyelid condition that causes you to blink too often or not enough, your doctor may refer you to a surgeon who specializes in surgery that can fix your eyelids. This surgeon is known as an oculoplastic surgeon or even a LASIK eye surgery could help, and they can if the condition is due to an abnormality of the eye. If the eyelids are inflamed, it may be recommended that you clean the eyes regularly with a special solution, such as antibiotic eye drops.

The first thing that most people do when they’re worried about their dry eyes is to go to the store and to purchase over the counter artificial tears. These artificial tears can bring some dry eye relief and can help to get rid of the symptoms of dry eyes. While some people may find that this helps their dry eyes to dissipate, it may not be the right solution for someone who is dealing with chronic dry eyes. Those people will need a different type of dry eye remedy by a doctor that is experienced in such proceedures as a retinal detachment.

One of the types of treatment that many doctors are prescribing now is Restasis. The medication decreases inflammation on the surface of the eye and actually helps the glands to create more tears. There are some people who have experienced burning in the eye while using this drug, but many people find that it helps their problems significantly. BioTears is another prescription medication for people who are dealing with dry eye symptoms, and works by also reducing inflammation in the eyes and by helping the eye to produce more tears. Or your doctor may prescribe a specific type of steroidal eye drops, which help to jumpstart the tear production and to reduce inflammation.

There is also a dry eye surgery that you can have if the condition is severe enough. This surgery is only for extreme cases and involves actually cauterizing the tissue in the eye, which stops the fluid from draining out improperly. This is a procedure that needs to be performed by an ophthalmologist, someone that is familiar with procedures such as crystalens surgery or surgery for glaucoma.

Dry eyes can be extremely annoying, but there are many different methods that a doctor has to help you to get rid of the itchy, gritty, red eyes that are preventing you from fully enjoying life.

About the Author: Mark Masters has authored may pieces on the eye care & surgery industry and enjoys keeping his readers up to date in this field

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Corneal Surgery

Understanding Corneal Surgery

We use our eyes every day. We use them to see things, to do our jobs, to watch our children grow, to spot potential mates, to adore the mates that we already have, and to do so many things. That may be why it is so devastating when somebody is at risk of losing their vision. While most people can learn to adjust fairly quickly to having only one hand, or one leg, learning to adjust to a sightless world when you’ve had sight for so long can be extremely difficult. In some cases, corneal surgery can help to make it possible for someone who is at risk of losing their vision to be able to see once again.

What Is Corneal Surgery?

Corneal surgery is a surgical procedure that is performed on the eyes to replace a diseased or damaged cornea. Before you can understand how corneal surgery works, it is important to learn more about what a cornea is, and what it does. In an eye that is healthy, the cornea is a dime-sized piece of tissue that fits over the colored part of the eye, which is called the iris. It acts a bit like a window, letting light go through it, and then through the pupil, and through the lens. It is thanks to the partnership between the cornea, and the lens, that light is focused correctly onto the retina, which is in the rear of the eyeball. Once the retina receives the information and the light, it transmits the images that it sees through the nerves and directly to the brain.

If you’re familiar with how a camera works, you can liken the retina to the film that you would need in an older camera, and the cornea like a lens that works in coordination with the lens. In most people, the cornea is never damaged and is able to do its job admirably for most of their lives. There are, however, some instances in which the cornea becomes irregular, or in which is clouds up, which causes the eye to transmit blurry images to the brain. When the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, it is a condition known as a cataract, which is a condition that many elderly people have to contend with.

How the Corneal Transplant Surgery Works

When a patient needs a corneal transplant surgery, the ophthalmologist will schedule the date at a local hospital or outpatient surgery center. One of the premier locations for this is in Austin, Texas, best known for its premium LASIK eye surgery as well as cataract surgery, corneal transplantation, glaucoma treatment, and retinal detachment surgery.

Once the patient has been prepped by the team, they will be given either a local anesthetic, general anesthesia, or a sedative to help them to get through the procedure. Once the patient has been properly prepped, the surgical team will isolate the eye (or eyes) in need of treatment and will get the eye ready for the transplant. The surgeon will the cut the cornea of the patient in a circular fashion. The same size cutout is made of the donor cornea, which then is placed into the eye where the previous cornea was. The surgeon then stitches the cornea into place so that it does not move and makes sure that it is watertight. Antibiotic eye drops are put into the eye and the eye is patched to allow it to heal properly. This is an outpatient procedure, which means that the patient can go home as soon as they are cleared.

Chance of Success and Financial Obligations

The first question that most people have when faced with the possibility of needing to have a corneal transplant is how high their chance of success is for the transplant. Statistics show that the chance of success in a corneal transplant surgery is more than 90% for patients who follow the orders that were given to them by the surgeon and who attend their office visits as they should. A full transplant failure is rare, as is graft rejection, and a surgeon will give their patient information on what signs to look for that these conditions are occurring.

The average cost in the United States for getting a corneal transplant surgery completed ranges anywhere from $7,000 to $11,000, and possibly a bit more, depending on what area of the country that you live in. Many times insurance companies will contribute to the cost of the surgery, as it is in their patient’s best interest, as well as their own, to have the surgery completed. In some cases, up to 80% of the cost of the surgery can be covered by the insurance company.

Recovery Time

One of the other big questions that most people have about a corneal transplant surgery is the amount of recovery time that is necessary for someone who has it done. The first thing to know is that, in the short term, the recovery time that it takes to go back to work and all of your other engagements is not long, especially when using a crystalens. A person can generally go back to work and to their daily schedule as soon as they feel up to it, which is usually around the one week mark or a bit before unless suffering from severe symptoms of dry eyes. Unfortunately it takes a bit longer than that for the eye to successfully recover from the surgery and for the vision to be as good as it can get. The recovery time for the eye can take anywhere from a year to eighteen months, and while that sounds like a long time, it is the best way to ensure that the transplant is successful and that the eye is able to focus and the person able to see once again.

If you are having cloudy vision, or your eyes just feel off, it is best to seek out a trained ophthalmologist in order to have your eyes thoroughly checked. You may have a condition that requires you to have a corneal transplant. While the process can be a long one, it is one that has the potential of helping the patient to avoid having blurry vision, and possibly to even avoid having blindness. If living in the Texas area, seek out Ophthalmology Austin, or plan to expand to a nearby city.

About the Author: Mark Masters has authored may pieces on the eye care & surgery industry and enjoys keeping his readers up to date in this field

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