Dr. Zarmeena Vendal answers questions about the latest cutting-edge techniques in eye surgery and laser vision correction.

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Dr. Zarmeena Vendal is the founder of Westlake Eye Specialists, a state-of-the-art eye surgery practice with offices in Austin, Kyle and New Braunfels. In addition to cataract and refractive surgery training, Dr. Vendal received additional fellowship training in glaucoma at Harvard’s Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

With the ever-increasing demands on our eyesight, especially in the era of COVID-19, more and more people are choosing to take the step toward vision correction. In 2020 alone, almost a million people opted for LASIK and other forms of vision correction to get rid of their glasses. Dr. Zarmeena Vendal, a board-certified cataract and refractive eye surgeon and founder of Westlake Eye Specialists, sits down to chat with us about all things related to eye surgery to help Austinites make this critical decision about their vision.

What are some options for vision correction in 2021?

Austinites have access to better technology than ever before. We accomplish vision correction in two main ways currently: LASIK for patients mostly age 20-50 who have a glasses prescription within range, and lens replacement of the eye’s natural lens for those aged 50 and older, which also restores near vision.

What is LASIK, and how do I know if I am getting the right technology?

LASIK is essentially a reshaping of the front surface of the eye, which can eliminate the need for glasses. We accomplish this by using a very precise laser to create a paper-thin flap and then apply laser under the flap. This is all done in five minutes without stitches at our office’s LASIK suite. We also believe in custom iDesign LASIK as the perfect platform for great results. This means you receive a treatment customized to your eye that will fit your eyeball like a glove. No two treatments are exactly alike.

What is all the buzz about LASIK and dry eye?

Several years ago, there was a lot of press about LASIK causing dry eye. I think the vast majority of the cases were patients who were never screened properly for dry eye to begin with. At our office, we make this a priority and perform detailed tests to catch dry eye. I firmly believe that if it is diagnosed, then issues can be avoided. We also prescribe aggressive lubrication as part of the LASIK healing process, and our patients do really well.

Lens replacement sounds too good to be true. Tell us about it.

This kind of surgery still gets me excited after 20 years of performing eye surgery. We can literally exchange a patient’s own natural lens for an artificial one in eight minutes, and they can see long distance and close up without glasses. The latest lens implants have multi-focusing abilities so patients can do the majority of up-close work without glasses. Especially today, this can be life-changing as we are spending so much time on our computers and phones.

What’s the coolest technology you are using today?

One of the most cutting-edge technologies we have the privilege to use is the Light Adjustable Lens (LAL). We can now use these lenses for cataract surgery and then adjust them with a light beam to give near-perfect vision after surgery. This is especially helpful in eyes that have imperfections or have had other surgeries like LASIK in the past. It used to be harder to hit 20/20 targets in these patients, but with the LAL, we can tweak each lens multiple times in the office until the patient is genuinely happy with their vision. It is truly amazing!

Westlake Eye offers services for LASIK, cataract, glaucoma, dry eye and oculoplastic care. Please visit us at westlakeeyes.com or call 512.472.4011.

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