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Treatment Options for Ptergyium

Pterygium treatmentPterygium, also known as “surfer’s eye,” is an elevated, wedged-shaped bump on the eyeball that can cause tearing, blurry vision, and in some cases, astigmatism. Pterygium occurs from ongoing UV light damage to the tissue underneath the white of the eye, as well as excessive exposure to wind and dirt. Although benign, pterygium can cause discomfort. In this blog post, the eye experts at Laser Eye Center review the treatment options for pterygium.

Lubricants and Eye Drops

A comprehensive eye exam with one of our trusted eye doctors can detect a pterygium growth and determine the best treatment option for you. If a pterygium is small, your eye doctor may prescribe lubricants or eye drops to reduce symptoms such as swelling and redness. Topical cyclosporine is also another option, which is also commonly used to treat chronic dry eye disease.

Pterygium Surgery

For some people, pterygium can interfere with vision and permanently disfigure the eye. In these cases, surgery can remove the pterygium and restore vision. During surgery, the pterygium is removed along with the eye tissue that covers the clear mucous membrane that lines the inside of the eyelids, also known as the conjunctiva. Next, your eye surgeon will place and adhere a piece of surface eye tissue onto the affected area, a process called autologous conjunctival autografting. The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and patients are fully recovered in a couple of days.

How to Prevent Pterygium Regrowth

Unfortunately, pterygium growths can reoccur. Your eye surgeon may prescribe eye drops for several weeks to decrease prevent regrowth as well as swelling.

The best way to prevent pterygium from recurring is to protect your eyes from the sun. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when outdoors:

  • Always choose sunglasses that offer 100 percent protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Sunglasses that come with a “UV 400” label are also a great option because they block all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers, which include the tiniest of rays.
  • Sunglasses that curve around the head (wraparound glasses) minimize your eyes’ exposure to the sun by blocking UV light from reaching the eyes from the side of the face. Large frame sunglasses can also offer more protection against the sun, so long they still offer 100 percent UV protection.
  • Performance sunglasses offer sun protection and are ideal for outdoor activities such as bike riding and kayaking. Performance glasses also help shield the eyes from wind and dirt.

Contact Laser Eye Center Today

To learn more about pterygium, schedule an appointment with Laser Eye Center. One of our friendly eye doctors will be happy to answer all of your questions. Please contact us by calling 800-80-LASER (52737) today.

Essential Tips for Dry Eye Syndrome

Avoid dry eyesDry eye syndrome is very common, with approximately 48 percent of adults in the U.S. regularly experiencing symptoms such as dry, scratchy irritation, and burning sensations in the eyes. Fortunately, most cases of dry eye can be cured. The vision experts at Laser Eye Center offer the following tips to help you relieve dry eye symptoms and keep your vision healthy.

Use Artificial Tears

Artificial tears can alleviate the dry, scratchy feeling that often accompanies dry eyes by bringing much-needed moisture to the eyes. There are many brands of artificial tears available without a prescription. Check with your eye doctor to see which eye drops are best for you based on your symptoms.

Beware of Windy Conditions

Windy weather, fans and hair dryers can dry out your eyes, so try limiting your exposure to them. If you plan on spending time outside on a windy day, wraparound sunglasses can reduce the chance of wind blowing directly into your eyes. Prepare for unexpected weather by always packing a pair of sunglasses in your travel bag.

Rest Your Eyes

Blinking moistens the eyes and prevents dryness and irritation. Studies show people blink much less when working at a computer, which increases their risk of developing dry eye. Remember to take frequent breaks when using a computer, smartphone or other digital device. This allows your eyes to regain moisture and focus better.

Avoid Cigarette Smoke

Smoking can have numerous adverse effects on the skin and body. Research shows cigarette smoke can irritate the eyes and worsen dry eye syndrome. Smoking also increases your risk of developing dry eye in the first place.

Keep Your Eyes Clean

Throughout the day, bacteria, oil and pollutants build up on your skin. Not washing your face or eyes increases the risk of harmful substances reaching your eyes and causing them harm. Likewise, leaving your eye makeup on overnight can irritate the eyes. Wash your eyes regularly by placing warm compresses on your eyes, and gently wash your eyelids to eliminate oil buildup. To wash off makeup, soak cotton balls with eye makeup remover and gently place them over your eyelids for 25-30 seconds.

Schedule an Eye Exam

Treating dry eye symptoms can help prevent them from worsening or leading to more serious eye conditions. The eye surgeons at Laser Eye Center have helped thousands of patients in the Los Angeles, Orange County and Inland Empire areas who are experiencing dry eye syndrome. If you are experiencing any dry eye symptoms, our doctors can help you achieve clear vision. Please call us today at 800-80-LASER (52737).

How to Reduce Digital Eye Strain

Digital Eye StrainAccording to The Vision Council, nearly 70 percent of American adults experience some form of digital eye strain, discomfort felt in the eyes after staring at a computer, or other digital device screen for two or more hours at a time. Common symptoms include red eyes, eye twitching, dry eyes and headaches. If this sounds familiar, try the following eye safety tips from Laser Eye Center to help protect your vision from digital eye strain.

Adjust the Light Around You

Simple modifications to your work environment can drastically help your computer eye vision. When possible, close the curtains or blinds to avoid screen glare caused by sunlight. Avoid working underneath overhead fluorescent lights and instead use floor lamps with fewer bulbs or lower intensity bulbs that provide indirect lighting.

If your office has a window, try positioning your computer screen to the side of the window instead of in front of it or behind it. If you still have trouble seeing your computer screen even after making these modifications, try installing an anti-glare screen on your monitor.

Modify Your Display Settings

The brightness on your computer or smartphone screen should approximately match the brightness of your surroundings. If a computer screen is too bright or too dark compared to the room you’re in, you may strain your eyes by forcing them to focus too much. You can also make reading easier by changing the text size and contrast on the screen.

Exercise Your Eyes

Avoid eye fatigue by trying any of the following eye exercises:

  • Look away from your screen every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object that’s at least 20 feet away from you for at least 20 seconds. Eye doctors call this the “20-20-20 rule.”
  • Or, try looking far away at an object for 10 to 15 seconds and then gazing at something up close for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat this 10 times.
  • You can also soothe tension by closing your eyes and placing the centers of your palms over them. Take deep slow breaths and relax your eye muscles.

Blink More Often

We tend to blink about two-thirds less than normal when using a computer. Try blinking 10 times every 20 minutes very slowly, as if falling asleep. This gives your eyes some much-needed moisture and prevents dry eyes and irritation.

Consider Computer Glasses

Computer glasses use prescribed lenses to make it easier for you to read or see your computer screen. Be aware that computer glasses often use a different prescription than regular eyeglasses or reading glasses, so they are usually not suitable for driving or general purpose wear. Consult with an eye doctor to see if computer glasses are an option for you.

Get a Comprehensive Eye Exam with Laser Eye Center

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends people who work with computers schedule a comprehensive eye exam before starting work and once a year thereafter. However, anyone who spends hours in front of a digital screen can experience some form of digital eye strain. Take the next step in protecting your vision by reaching out to Laser Eye Center. One of our trusted vision experts will gladly answer all of your questions and provide tips on how to better protect your eyes against digital eye strain. Please schedule a one-on-one appointment today by calling 800-80-LASER (52737) today.

Summer Eye Safety Tips

Keep your eyes safe this summer

Summer is a fun and exciting season, especially for children. However, typical summer weather and popular outdoor activities present unique threats to your eyes and visual health. Follow these tips from Laser Eye Center to keep your eyes safe through Labor Day.

Regularly Wear Sunglasses

Without the proper sun protection, your eyes are at risk of a host of problems: sunburn of the eyes (called photokeratitis), surfer’s eye, cataracts and cancer of the eye or eyelid. Sunglasses also protect the delicate skin around the eyes from prematurely aging and wrinkling. Look for sunglasses labeled “100 percent UV protection” or “UV 400,” which indicates the glasses protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Choose a style that you love and that flatters your face, so you will be more apt to wear them regularly. Add a wide-brimmed hat for extra protection.

Don’t forget to wear your sunglasses on cloudy or hazy days; keep in mind that the sun’s rays can pass through clouds and haze. Sunlight is also super strong when reflected off of water, so take precautions around beaches, lakes and rivers.

Be Smart around Fireworks

According to a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 11,400 people went to the emergency room in 2014 for fireworks-related injuries; one in six of those injuries affected the eyes (e.g., chemical and thermal burns, rupture of the eyeball and corneal abrasions). Children accounted for nearly half of those incidents.

Leave the fireworks display to the professionals, and avoid playing with fireworks, Roman candles or sparklers at home. If you attend a public fireworks show, pay attention to safety barriers. Children should never handle fireworks or sparklers.

Guard Yourself While Playing Sports

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, tens of thousands of sports-related eye injuries happen every year. Luckily, many are preventable with the right protective eyewear.

If you head outdoors for sports or recreation, don’t forget your gear. Depending on the sport, that might be a helmet with a face mask or wire shield (for baseball or lacrosse), or eyewear with polycarbonate lenses (tennis or racquetball).

Bring Eye Care Backups

Are you taking a summer vacation? Bring an extra pair of eyeglasses or contacts on your trip. Nothing’s worse than losing or breaking your regular pair on a trip and having to scramble around an unfamiliar locale for a replacement. If you use prescription eye drops, pack an extra, unopened bottle.

Traveling by air? Steel your eyes against the dry air of airplanes. Take out contacts on overnight flights, and bring over-the-counter eye drops for extra lubrication.

Declare Your Independence from Glasses or Contacts

If you are tired of relying on glasses or contacts for clear vision, assert your independence! Talk to our team about how LASIK laser vision correction can improve your vision and quality of life. Please call us at 800-80-LASER (52737) to schedule a free LASIK consultation.

What You Need to Know about Keratoconus

Keratoconus symptoms, diagnosis and treatmentAccording to the National Keratoconus Foundation, one out of every 2,000 people is affected by keratoconus, a degenerative eye disease that affects the cornea. Normally round, the cornea starts to thin and bulge, taking on a cone-like shape. This irregular curvature impairs the way light enters the eye and is focused onto the retina, and therefore causes poor vision.

Laser Eye Center treats a variety of eye disorders, including keratoconus, at our full-service Los Angeles practice. Although we are known for LASIK, which corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, we also offer a variety of other treatments to assist patients with all of their eye care needs.

Causes and Symptoms

The etiology of keratoconus is complex, and experts believe that it may be caused by one of several factors. It could arise due to a genetic predisposition. It has been linked with conditions like Down syndrome and Turner’s syndrome. It is also believed that environmental elements — such as overexposure to UV rays — may cause you to be at a greater risk. Other supposed causes include excessive eye rubbing, poorly fitted contact lenses and chronic eye irritation.

Keratoconus symptoms typically appear in a person’s late teens to early 20s. Symptoms may be present in one or both eyes.

Symptoms include:

  • Blurry, distorted vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Glare
  • Loss of best corrected vision


Our doctors review each patient’s symptoms and medical history and perform a comprehensive eye exam during the diagnostic stage. Other tests may be used, including computerized corneal mapping to analyze the curvature of the cornea and look for topographic patterns. The slit-lamp test is also common, and involves directing a beam of light onto the surface of the patient’s eye and examining the eye with a microscope.

Once a diagnosis of keratoconus has been confirmed, treatment options are presented and discussed.

Treatment Options

In the early stages of keratoconus, glasses and soft contact lenses can correct vision. As the cornea progressively weakens and vision worsens, our doctors recommend rigid gas permeable contact lenses. These lenses, which create a smooth surface through which light can be properly refracted, are custom fitted for the best results. Our doctors measure the eye’s surface, which provides information about the tear film, corneal curvature, eye structure and refractive data. The information is then used to create a custom pair of hard contact lenses. We recommend frequent checkups to fine-tune the fit and your prescription and ensure the success of hard contact lenses.

Intacs corneal inserts (sometimes called implants) are a minimally invasive surgical option used primarily for the treatment of keratoconus. Intacs are two tiny, clear crescent-shaped pieces of a plastic polymer that are inserted into the cornea to reshape the front surface of the eye. In July 2004, the FDA granted Intacs a Humanitarian Device Exemption for use in the treatment of keratoconus largely because of Intacs’ safety record. Additionally, with only a few treatment options available such as corneal transplants, they were left with no other alternative available for keratoconus patients.

Corneal crosslinking has also emerged as another viable treatment modality. This procedure strengthens the corneal tissue with riboflavin, a type of vitamin B. Corneal crosslinking can be combined with other therapies for sufficient results.

In rare cases where the patient cannot tolerate hard lenses and other treatments are ineffective, corneal transplant becomes necessary.

Do You Suffer from Poor Vision?

If your vision is compromised and you cannot see clearly without glasses or contact lenses, visit Laser Eye Center for a professional eye exam. We can screen you for keratoconus and other common eye disorders, and discuss treatment options.

Please call us at 800-80-LASER (52737) or go to to schedule a free consultation today.

FDA Report on LASIK Shows High Patient Satisfaction & Great Outcomes

FDA studies LASIK patient outcomes and satisfaction

An important study has confirmed what the Laser Eye Center team has long believed: LASIK improves the lives of our patients tremendously (and with very few long-term side effects).

The results of an FDA-led study on LASIK found that the procedure is incredibly effective, and that patients are overwhelmingly satisfied with their procedure. Here, Laser Eye Center discusses the study and its findings in more detail.

What the FDA Study Set Out to Prove

In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration teamed up with the National Eye Institute and the Department of Defense to study nearly 600 LASIK patients. The LASIK Quality of Life Collaboration Project involved a Web-based questionnaire and patient interviews of military personnel and civilians that underwent LASIK.

The goal of the project, according to the FDA, was look at the vision quality of patients after LASIK, and to measure their satisfaction with the procedure, as well as post-operative side effects.

They followed up with the patients three months after their LASIK procedures, to evaluate their vision and inquire about their quality of life.

Happy Patients Enjoy Better Vision

The results were terrific: at least 95 percent of the patients had 20/20 vision or better. Earlier data showed the 20/20 rate around 60 percent.

Not only did the patients see more clearly, but they were also thrilled with the results: the military patient group had a 99-percent satisfaction rate, and the civilian group reported a 96-percent satisfaction rate.

“Overall, patients experienced improved symptoms after surgery with an extremely high satisfaction rate. That’s better than most things in medicine, not just in the eye world,” said Dr. Mitchell A. Jackson of Ocular Surgery News.

Temporary Side Effects after LASIK

The team also looked at visual symptoms after LASIK, such as glare, halos and dry eye. Though a small percentage of patients did report mild symptoms, the researchers believe that the timing of the study could be to blame. According to the team, any post-operative visual symptoms tend to crop up around the three-month mark, and disappear after that.

“I’ve done many studies looking at LASIK outcomes and I’ve found that the incidence of the signs and symptoms of dry eye are most pronounced between one to three months, and then improve markedly at six to 12 months,” said Dr. Edward Manche, an investigator who took part in the study. “This also applies to glare, halo and starbursts.”

However, overall, the studies found that less than 1 percent of patients had difficulty engaging in their normal lifestyle activities after LASIK.

Do You Want Clearer Vision?

If you would like to count yourself among the ranks of satisfied LASIK patients, Laser Eye Center would love to tell you more about the surgery. Please call our office at 800-80-LASER today and schedule an informational LASIK surgery.


Why Exercise Is Important to Your Eye Health

Exercise for healthy eyesThe benefits of exercise are indisputable. Consistent physical activity is great for your cardiovascular health, your mental health and the health of your eyes!

Here, Laser Eye Center shares a few reasons that walking, running, swimming, dancing and other physical activities can help keep your eyes healthy and prevent disease.

Control Health Problems

Many eye diseases are linked to systemic health problems — for example, diabetes and diabetic retinopathy. Working out can help control diabetes and other conditions (such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol), and limit eye-related complications.

Reduce Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Studies have shown that exercise can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). One study of 3,800 people showed that people who worked out three times a week had a smaller chance of developing AMD than people who did not work out at all. The team behind the study insists that it is not the strenuousness of the activity that matters, but the time spent exercising that helps reduce the risk of AMD.

Lower Intraocular Pressure

Some experts also believe that regular physical exercise may lower intraocular pressure and improve blood flow to the retina and optic nerve, which is very important for preventing glaucoma.

If you aren’t currently active, remember that it’s never too late to start. You don’t have to run marathons or lift heavy weights for health benefits. What’s important is that you are moving your body consistently. Start walking during your lunch break with a coworker, or go dancing on the weekends with your spouse.

When Your Vision Affects Your Activity Level

Are you a regular runner or athlete that suffers from myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism? Are you tired of wearing glasses or contact lenses every time you suit up for a game or a run?

Consider having LASIK to correct the refractive error that hampers your eyesight. Most of our LASIK patients enjoy the sweet freedom from glasses and contacts after surgery. They have told us that it is much easier to hit the pavement or jump in the game without worrying about bothersome visual aids.

For more information about how LASIK can improve your vision, your activity level and your quality of life, please contact Laser Eye Center today. Call 800-80-LASER and schedule a consultation with our team.

Eye Diseases that May Be Hereditary

Eye Diseases That Can Be InheritedIt has been well established that certain diseases like colon cancer seem to run in some families. But did you know that the same is true of eye diseases? Families may pass along abnormal genes that cause eye diseases like retinitis pigmentosa or strabismus. In serious cases, inherited eye diseases can completely rob a person of their vision.

Here, the Laser Eye Center team identifies several eye diseases that are known to be hereditary.


Though we tend to think of albinism as a lack of pigment in the skin or hair, it can also affect the eyes. People with albinism may have white or pinkish irises, be sensitive to light/glare and have other problems with their vision. Some are even legally considered blind.


Achromatopsia is a vision disorder in which a person can see little to no color. They may also suffer vision loss and be sensitive to bright light. To manage their symptoms, many people with achromatopsia wear sunglasses or tinted contact lenses.

Best’s Disease

A rare form of macular degeneration, Best’s Disease can cause blurred/distorted vision or the loss of central vision.

Cone-rod Dystrophy

Cone-rod dystrophy is a disease that causes light-sensitive cells of the retina to deteriorate over time. This causes decreased sharpness of vision, as well as loss of peripheral vision and color perception. Retinitis pigmentosa is the most common form of cone-rod dystrophy.


Often inherited, keratoconus is a corneal condition in which the cornea progressively thins and bulges outward. Keratoconus can cause blurred or distorted vision. Nearly one in five people with keratoconus will require a corneal transplant at some point.


Microphthalmia is a condition in which one or both eyes are abnormally small. Visual impairment from microphthalmia can range from reduced vision to blindness.

Stargardt’s Disease

Like Best’s Disease, Stargardt’s Disease is a type of macular degeneration. It robs a person of central vision and can make it difficult to perform simple daily tasks like reading or driving. Some people with Stargardt’s Disease experience total loss of detail vision.


Genetics may contribute to an eye condition called strabismus, where both eyes fail to align simultaneously under normal circumstances. Although it is most commonly inherited, strabismus can also be caused by an injury or disease.

Usher Syndrome

Usher Syndrome causes hearing loss and gradual vision loss due to retinitis pigmentosa. People with Usher Syndrome may also have trouble with their balance.

Contact Laser Eye Center

Refractive errors aren’t necessarily passed along from generation to generation. However, if you have poor vision due to nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, LASIK can help you enjoy freedom from glasses and contacts.

Contact Laser Eye Center today to learn more about LASIK and how it can help improve your vision and quality of life. Call 800-80-LASER to speak with a member of our team.

Vision Related Resolutions for the New Year

Enjoy Clear Vision in 2015January is an excellent time to work on resolutions for the upcoming year, and health-related resolutions are common. Laser Eye Center encourages you to consider your visual health as you set your 2015 resolutions. Here are some ideas:

Achieve Clear, Crisp Vision with LASIK

If you’re tired of relying on glasses or contact lenses to perform simple, everyday tasks, it’s time to think about having laser vision correction. LASIK corrects the refractive error that causes nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Most of our LASIK patients are able to enjoy independence from visual aids after surgery. Make 2015 the year that you finally go glasses-free!

Schedule Your Annual Eye Exam

Regular eye exams are critical to preventing and treating vision problems. They are a good opportunity to keep your prescription current, check for any signs of disease and ensure the overall health of your eyes. Some people believe they don’t need an eye exam if they aren’t experiencing any symptoms — this is untrue! Some vision disorders are asymptomatic and only detectable by a vision professional.

Even if you aren’t due for your annual exam for a few months, call Laser Eye Center today (800-80-LASER) to book your appointment for 2015. Maintaining healthy eyes requires your diligence!

Invest in Quality Sun Protection

You may think of sunglasses as a fun fashion accessory, but they are also an important tool to help protect your eyes from the sun’s dangerous UV rays (as we noted in an October blog post). Look for a pair of sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV and HEV (high-energy visible) rays. What’s even better is if they are a wraparound style. Then, commit to wearing them when you are outside.

Quit Smoking

Smoking increases the risk of eye problems like cataracts, dry eye, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and more. Also, it’s terrible for your health! If you are having trouble going “cold turkey,” talk to your general practitioner about possible smoking cessation aids.

Avoid Computer Eye Strain

Studies show that between 50 to 90 percent of employees that use computers experience eye strain, eye twitching, red eyes and other troublesome visual symptoms. To avoid these problems, position your computer between 20-28 inches from your eyes, blink frequently, and, every hour, take a 20-second break to focus your eyes on an object across the room.

For more ideas about keeping your eyes healthy and your vision clear, please contact the Laser Eye Center team. Call 800-80-LASER today.

How to Treat Surfer’s Eye

act-6b“Surfer’s eye” is a slang term for an eye growth called pterygium. Pterygium grows on the conjunctiva, which is the clear mucous membrane that lines the inside of the eyelids. Pterygium is noncancerous, but may cause eye irritation, discoloration and excessive tearing. The growth may remain small or enlarge until it interferes with vision. Depending on the case, pterygium may be red, swollen, thick or large enough to affect the shape of the cornea (leading to astigmatism).

It is believed that pterygium is caused by ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, as well as excessive exposure to wind and dirt. Since surfers are frequently exposed to these elements, pterygium developed the nickname “surfer’s eye.”

Before we consider the available treatment options, let’s review the symptoms of pterygium:

  • Red/pink color on the inner corner of the eye
  • Dry or gritty sensation
  • Tired eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Feeling of something in your eye

The team at Laser Eye Center can diagnose pterygium during a simple eye exam and review the available treatment options.

Topical Treatments

The simplest and least invasive pterygium treatment is lubricating eye drops, ointments or mild steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation.

Surgical Recovery

Unfortunately, some cases of pterygium advance and start to interfere with vision. It then becomes necessary to remove the pterygium surgically. The surgery takes approximately half an hour, and requires a couple days of recovery.

During surgery, the doctor anesthetizes the eye and extracts the pterygium and eye tissue covering the conjunctiva. The doctor will place and adhere a graft over the removed tissue. After surgery, the doctor may prescribe steroid eye drops to use for several weeks to reduce swelling and decrease the risk of regrowth.

Preventing the Recurrence of Surfer’s Eye

It is possible for pterygium to grow back. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the pterygium recurrence rate is between 30 and 40 percent, and more likely to occur in people under the age of 40. However, you can take steps to prevent recurrence by protecting your eyes from the sun, wind and dirt. Wear wraparound sunglasses with UV protection while outdoors and use artificial tears to keep your eyes moist in dry conditions. If you notice any irregularities or regrowth, contact your doctor immediately.

For more information about detecting or treating surfer’s eye, please contact Laser Eye Center by calling 800-80-LASER or sending us an email.