Mobile LASIK and Cataract Surgery Blog

Eye Doctor Serving Mobile, Alabama and the nearby Gulf Coast Area

May 09, 2018

LenSx® is a device that allows Dr. Chris Walton to perform laser-assisted cataract surgery. The addition of an advanced laser makes cataract surgery more precise than ever before. In the hands of a skilled surgeon, the LenSx improves the ability of the eye doctor to provide great visual outcomes.

If you aren't sure whether laser-assisted eye surgery is right for you, please call our practice at 251-581-7484. We are happy to answer any questions you may have as you consider this procedure. Cataracts continue to grow until they may rob you of your vision completely. If you believe you have a cataract, then cataract surgery is usually always recommended. The procedure removes the clouded lens of the eye and replaces it with an intraocular lens. This restores your vision and the cataract cannot return.

To arrange a consultation or to learn more, please call us in Mobile or fill out the contact form on this page. We look forward to discussing your vision goals with you.

April 30, 2018

Man smiling after LASIK surgery in Mobile ALFew medical procedures have the same power to quickly and effectively improve a patient's quality of life as LASIK, or the corrective laser vision surgery performed by ophthalmologist Dr. Chris Walton.

LASIK produces a lasting alternative to wearing contact lenses or glasses.

It's natural to have questions about any medical procedure, much less one that affects something as important as your vision. Dr. Walton recognizes that when his patients know exactly what to expect from the LASIK procedure, they are less likely to experience anxiety or trepidation prior to surgery.

With that in mind, here are three of the most common questions patients have about LASIK.

Question No. One: How is LASIK performed?

Answer: In order to correct a patient's astigmatism, myopia or hyperopia, Dr. Walton will use a medical laser to manipulate the eye's cornea in a way that improves the patient's ability to see. Dr. Walton favors the Allegretto Wave laser, which is one of the best pieces of ophthalmological equipment on the market today.

LASIK is an outpatient procedure that generally lasts about an hour. Dr. Walton prescribes valium to his LASIK patients, which is administered shortly before surgery to insure that patients are completely calm and relaxed during their corrective vision procedure. In most cases, patients experience little or no discomfort from LASIK.

Question No. Two: How long does it take to recover from LASIK surgery?

Answer: Because of the valium, patients need to arrange for a driver to escort them home from our Mobile AL office following LASIK surgery. The doctor also will provide a pair of dark, protective glasses to wear while the eyes are healing.

It’s also important to support the body’s natural healing process by resting and relaxing during the hours just after the procedure.

Most patients recognize an immediate vision improvement after surgery, and experience perfect or near-perfect vision by the next day.

Patients are able to resume their normal daily routines the day after LASIK. Generally speaking, LASIK patients are predominantly healed in around a week, and the eyes are permanently healed in a matter of months.

Question No. Three: How long does LASIK last?

Today’s advanced vision correction surgical techniques have diminished the number of patients who find they need to enhance their vision again in the years following LASIK.

The eye does continue to change throughout our lives, however, which is why a small percentage of LASIK patients do return after a decade or so for a follow-up laser surgery. Or, you may simply need to wear reading glasses because of these age-related vision changes.

The procedure is effective in correcting vision imperfections in the vast majority of patients. For these people, LASIK is a lasting vision solution, and they rarely have reason to return to a LASIK doctor once they’ve healed from their initial surgery.

When you’re ready to find out more about how LASIK can change your life for the better, please dial 251-581-7484 to schedule your LASIK consultation at our Mobile, Alabama office.

April 26, 2018

During cataract surgery, the clouded lens is removed and replaced with an intraocular lens, or IOL. These lenses function much like a natural one, bending the incoming light so that it focuses correctly and provides clear vision. Cataract surgery is very safe and very effective. It's a great way for patients to restore their vision and put a stop to the progressive vision loss caused by the cataract.

The only way to know if this surgery is right for you is to visit Dr. Walton for a one-on-one consultation and exam. He will make sure you know all of your options for seeing clearly once again. At our practice, Dr. Walton offers the standard cataract procedure as well as a laser-assisted procedure. While the laser procedure is not covered by insurance, it does provide maximum precision, optimum results and eliminates the need for eyeglasses.

Call our experienced Mobile, Alabama, ophthalmology staff, at 251-581-7484, to arrange your consultation.

April 18, 2018

Nationwide, roughly one in six people age 40 and over suffer from cataracts, making this type of eye disorder one the country’s leading causes of blindness.

By the time most Americans turn 80, more than half of their peers suffer from cataract-related vision loss.

Exactly what is a cataract? It’s cloudy buildup around the lens of your eye that generally happens with aging and negatively impacts the way light hits your retina, therefore diminishing your vision.

Dr. Walton is well-versed in cataract surgery options. But even before cataracts develop, there are steps that you can take to diminish the likelihood that you will suffer from this type of age-related vision loss.

Amend Your Diet

Vegetables for eye health in Mobile ALMuch the same way that unhealthy foods can contribute to illness, certain healthy food options can support vision and eye wellness, and therefore lower your chances of developing cataracts.

You may actually be surprised to learn the many types of ailments that can be positively impacted by certain foods — especially fresh fruits and vegetables.Consider that turmeric is used to lessen inflammation in the body, and is therefore a natural pain management remedy, and that kale has more calcium than milk and more iron than beef.

When it comes to your eye health, foods that are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage and deterioration, have been shown to promote great eye health and diminish your chances of developing cataracts. Some excellent sources of vitamin C include:

  • Citrus (oranges, grapefruit, limes, etc.)

  • Tomatoes and tomato juice

  • Red and green peppers

  • Kiwi fruit

  • Broccoli

  • Strawberries

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Cantaloupe

  • Potatoes

Vitamin E is another nutrient that’s known for promoting immunity as well as skin and eye health. That’s because vitamin E is an antioxidant that counters damage to the body caused by free radicals, or the chemical compounds that doctors now believe contribute to higher rates of disease and illness.

That’s why doctors now believe that eating five servings of fresh produce a day and two servings of nuts goes a long way toward advancing long-term health and wellness — including lasting vision and eye health.

Although you can take vitamin E as a supplement, your body is most receptive to whole, non-processed foods. Here are some of the foods known to be rich in vitamin E:

  • Olive oil

  • Almonds

  • Butternut squash 

  • Palm oil

  • Sweet potato

  • Peanuts

  • Broccoli

  • Spinach

  • Avocado

  • Wheat germ

  • Trout

  • Sunflower seeds

Many other fruits and vegetables have been found to promote the body’s ability to fight disease in general. Among them are foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, such as eggs and leafy greens.

Lest We Forget

Cigarettes linked to poor eye health in Mobile ALYou already know that smoking cigarettes is bad for your general health, to say nothing of the very particular and dramatic damage that it causes the heart and lungs. But did you know that cigarette use also can diminish your eye health and therefore your vision?

Particularly as we age, breaking up with cigarettes can be the single most impactful choice you can make when it comes to living a long and healthy life.

Here to Help

Despite these measures, statistics show that as you advance through life, you are likely to face a vision-related health problem that may include cataracts.

If you live in or near Mobile, Alabama and would like to know more about your cataract treatment options, please contact Dr. Chris Walton’s office for a consultation by calling 251-581-7484.

March 20, 2018

Blurry vision caused by cataracts Mobile ALVision deteriorated by cataracts is like looking through a screen of film or fog. You may have double vision and sensitivity to light, and colors may look faded and less vibrant. That is to say that cataracts can have a significant impact on your life. They can be quite dangerous because night driving may become difficult or impossible, and falls and accidents can become more likely due to poor vision. Fortunately, cataract surgery is a safe, effective way to restore your vision.

Is it covered by your insurance? The answer is, it depends. It depends on your policy and the procedure chosen. While the medically necessary portions of conventional cataract surgery are covered by most medical insurance plans, laser-assisted cataract surgery is not.

Dr. Chris Walton is an experienced ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Mobile, Alabama. His approach is to help you choose which procedure is right for you by arming you with all the information you need. To learn more, please call us at 251-581-7484.

LenSx® Laser Cataract Surgery – Not Covered by Insurance

Laser-assisted cataract surgery is precise and efficient. Because it automates several of the steps in cataract surgery, it produces reliable and predictable outcomes. Unfortunately, like LASIK, laser-assisted cataract surgery is not covered by insurance. But it can be very advantageous.

Here is how the laser helps Dr. Walton provide cataract surgery:

  • Makes a precise, customizable incision in the cornea

  • Automates removal of the outer layer of the lens, so that the cataract can be removed (this step is critical to a good visual result, and a laser-assisted removal means the replacement lens can be placed in an ideal position)

  • Automates fragmentation of the lens, which makes removal of the cataract easier and more efficient

Do these things sound technical? Truth be told, they are quite technical! The benefits of laser assistance are technical benefits, with the end result being a great visual outcome that eliminates the need for glasses. By using automated laser energy at certain steps, Dr. Walton can perform these steps very precisely. The machine maps out the anatomy of your eye, allowing Dr. Walton to offer a highly customized procedure. Talk to us today about the benefits of this surgery. If you're interested, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Walton. He is enthusiastic about the benefits of the LenSx®, but he also provides conventional cataract surgery, which also comes with a high success rate and very low complication rate. He will make sure you have all the information you need to choose one over the other.

Conventional Cataract Surgery – Covered by Most Insurance Policies

Cataract surgery patient in Mobile, Gulf Coast areaConventional cataract surgery is performed with traditional surgical instruments, similar to scalpels but made very small so as to make fine incisions in the cornea. The major difference here is that those instruments are used instead of a laser.

Dr. Walton provides a highly successful, efficient and safe conventional technique. Laser-assisted isn't necessarily any safer, but you will likely still need to wear glasses afterward. The conventional procedure remains a good option for many people – particularly because it is covered by most health insurance plans. The coverage varies depending on your policy, such as your out-of-pocket maximum. Our front office can help you sort through all of these variables.

Another thing to discuss is coverage of the implantable, intraocular lens (IOLs). This is the artificial lens that replaces your clouded lens, allowing you to see clearly. Certain IOLs are not covered by certain insurance policies. We will help you determine what your policy covers and what you may be responsible for paying.

Next Steps

Dr. Walton wants each of his patients to choose the cataract surgical technique that is the best match for them. He knows that insurance coverage is often one of the primary factors in the decision. Don't feel as though you need to make the decision right now – first, visit Dr. Walton for a consultation. He'll make sure cataract surgery is appropriate, and discuss each option with you. Our helpful staff will provide information about costs, insurance coverage and financing options, and then we'll provide whatever other guidance you need in order to make a decision.

Ready to arrange your FREE consultation with Dr. Walton? Please call our Mobile, Alabama office at 251-581-7484. We proudly serve the Gulf Coast area.

March 15, 2018

Computer eye strain treatment in Mobile ALThe organization Prevent Blindness designates March as a month to raise awareness about eye safety in the workplace.

It's the end of an 8-hour work day, and your eyes feel fatigued, gritty, irritated and dry. This is quite common among office workers and other professionals who use digital screens for more than 2 hours a day. Screen time causes eye strain, and there is some concern among ophthalmologists that the blue light emitted by screens may increase the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. But more research is needed.

The sun is the greatest source of blue light and UV light. We need light for our general health. It helps us feel awake and alert during the day, and it regulates our sleep/wake cycle so that we get a restful night's sleep. But we know that long-term exposure to UV light and blue light from the sun can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration and other issues. So we wear sunglasses to protect our eyes.

Taking a break at work to reduce eye strain in Mobile ALAnother source of blue light is screens: your computers, laptops, phones, televisions and tablets. Ophthalmologists know that these screens can strain your eyes, and it's possible there is a link between extended screen use and a heightened risk for macular degeneration and cataracts. Research is ongoing. In the meantime, stick to these tips to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of your workplace computer screen:

  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look at something at least 20 feet away

  • Position your computer monitor 20 to 24 inches from your eyes

  • Take frequent, short breaks throughout the day to get up and walk around

  • Reduce glare from your computer screen – consider using a standup lamp instead of bright overhead fluorescents, and adjust your screen brightness so it matches the surroundings

  • Make sure font is large enough and the contrast is strong enough that you aren't straining to read what is displayed on your monitor

  • Don't forget to blink! We blink about a third as often as we do when we are away from our screens, and blinking hydrates and moistens your eyes

There are also things to be done outside of work. Stop looking at your electronic devices and television a few hours before bedtime. Research has shown that viewing blue light close to your bedtime interferes with sleep. And schedule routine eye appointments so that Dr. Chris Walton can look for signs of vision problems and provide you with individualized tips for workplace eye safety.

For any questions about your eye health, or to schedule an appointment at our Mobile, AL, office, please call our team at 251-581-7484.

March 08, 2018

If you know you need cataract surgery, of course you probably want to know whether glasses will still be necessary after the procedure. And the answer is, it depends. With bladeless cataract surgery – performed with the LenSx® - prescription glasses will not be necessary, and there is a good chance you won't even need reading glasses. After conventional cataract surgery, most people still need to wear glasses for good vision. The bladeless procedure is not currently covered by insurance, which is the main reason why some people choose the conventional procedure instead.

Both procedure types have high success rates, although you may still need glasses after conventional cataract surgery. Dr. Chris Walton makes sure you feel empowered to choose a procedure that is right for you. He will provide information, guidance and support, but ultimately he wants you to make the decision that feels right to you.

To arrange a consultation in Mobile, Alabama, please call our office at 251-581-7484, or complete the contact form on this page.

February 26, 2018

Using a computer after LASIK surgery in Mobile ALComputers have become an essential part of our lives. It's the rare person who doesn't use a computer at some point during their day – most likely at their jobs, but almost certainly during their personal lives.

Considering this, it's not a surprise that those considering LASIK have a lot of questions about how the procedure will affect their ability to use a computer. The specific question many prospective patients ask is, “How long will I have to wait before using a computer after LASIK?”

It's important to fully invest in your recovery from LASIK.You shouldn't rush yourself – take your time and allow your eyes to fully recover.

Resting Your Eyes After LASIK

Generally speaking, you should refrain from looking at a screen – computer, phone, TV – for about 24 hours after undergoing LASIK. After that, you can begin to gradually ramp up your screen exposure. It's usually safe to use your computer in a normal fashion a few days after LASIK.

Of course, it's important to understand that LASIK will pose some challenges to your eyes for a few weeks afterward. Specifically, your eyes will be more vulnerable to losing moisture and drying out after LASIK. This is particularly true when looking at your computer, as we tend to blink much less often while staring at a computer.

So once you start using your computer after undergoing LASIK, make sure you take precautions. These include:

  • Using the artificial tears we will provide or recommend to you after your procedure

  • Remember to blink – it sounds simple, but as we've already mentioned, it's really not. Make a conscious effort to blink frequently while using your computer

  • Take breaks. The rule of thumb is 20/20/20 – after 20 minutes of computer use, take a 20-second break and look at something at least 20 feet away

And, of course, make sure to get enough sleep. Go to bed early and give your eyes a chance to rest. And try not to use your computer or smartphone in bed or right before you go to sleep.

Of course, every patient is unique, and everyone recovers at a slightly different rate. Don't push yourself. If you feel your eyes growing dry and fatigued, step away from the computer. Take a long break. Go home early from work and take a nap. Give your eyes time to recover.

And if things don't feel exactly right, if you're still struggling a bit after LASIK, don't hesitate to call us. We don't abandon you after your procedure – Dr. Walton and his staff are here for you in the days, weeks and months after LASIK.

If you live in or around Mobile, Alabama and you have questions about LASIK and how it will affect your life, please call Dr. Christopher Walton, M.D today at 251-581-7484. We're happy to arrange a consultation and examination, or simply answer your questions and concerns.