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Are You Susceptible To Vision Loss?

Ask Our Eye Doctor in San Leandro, California, how To Prevent Vision Loss

Vision loss is more common than you may think! In fact, it’s among the most prevalent disabilities in adults and children. Knowing what puts you at risk of developing vision loss is important and can help you to be proactive about caring for your eyes.

Below, we’ll explore the most common causes of vision loss and the risk factors associated with each.

Spreading awareness and education about visual health is just one way that our eye doctors near you can help. To schedule your Comprehensive eye exam, call us today 800-339-2733.


Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases caused by a buildup of pressure within the eye. Too much inner-eye pressure can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss.

Since symptoms don’t usually manifest in the early stages of glaucoma, getting regular eye exams is all the more crucial. Advanced or rapidly progressing glaucoma can show a variety of symptoms, such as blurred vision, headache, severe eye pain and redness, seeing halos around lights, and nausea.

Risk factors for developing glaucoma include:

  • Being 60 years or older
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • African, Asian, or Hispanic descent
  • High myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Previous eye injury or certain eye surgeries
  • Certain medications, like corticosteroids
  • Thin corneas
  • Certain medical conditions, like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and sickle-cell anemia


Cataracts occur when the eye’s lens becomes cloudy. A healthy lens is clear and allows light to pass through it undisturbed.

Common cataract symptoms include cloudy or blurred vision, difficulty seeing at night, light sensitivity, double vision in the affected eye, and seeing colors as faded or yellowish.

Risk factors for developing cataracts include:

  • Aging
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Previous eye surgery, injury, or inflammation
  • Alcoholism
  • Extended use of corticosteroids

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over the age of 60. It occurs when the macula (the small central portion of the retina, which is responsible for sharp, colorful, central vision) begins to wear down.

Early stages of AMD usually go unnoticed, but later stages of the disease can produce symptoms like blurred vision, dark or blurry areas in your central vision, and problems with color perception.

There’s not yet a cure for AMD, but certain treatments can help prevent vision loss.

Risk factors for developing AMD include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Aging
  • Long-term sun exposure
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Family history of AMD
  • Light-colored eyes
  • Farsightedness

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a complication of Type 1 or 2 diabetes that affects the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye called the retina.

Initially, diabetic retinopathy shows no symptoms but can eventually lead to blindness. As it develops, it can cause increased floaters, impaired color vision, dark spots in your visual field, and blurred vision.

Risk factors for developing diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Length of time from diabetes diagnosis — the longer you’ve had it, the higher your chances of developing visual complications
  • Uncontrolled blood sugar
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol or blood pressure
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • African American, Hispanic, and Native American ethnicities
  • Family history of DR

So, what’s the bottom line?

Multiple factors contribute to eye disease and vision loss, and some may even be relevant to you. If you think you may be at risk for vision loss or experience any of the symptoms listed above, speak with your eye doctor in San Leandro as soon as possible. We also recommend you have your eyes thoroughly examined every 1-2 years, or as often as your eye doctor recommends. To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call Turner Eye Institute today.

Book an eye exam at an eye clinic near you to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you.

Turner Eye Institute, your San Leandro eye doctor for eye exams and Contact lenses

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT


Can blindness be prevented?

When caught early, many eye diseases can be treated to halt or slow the progression of the disease and potentially prevent vision loss. The best things you can do to preserve your vision for the long term is to lead a healthy lifestyle and make sure you undergo a comprehensive eye exam every 1-2 years.

Which eye diseases are genetically inherited?

More than 350 ocular diseases have some sort of genetic component. Certain diseases, like retinitis pigmentosa and albinism, are directly inherited through chromosomal information. In other cases, a predisposition to the disease is inherited, rather than the disease itself.

Are Contact Lenses Safe For Young Children?

Here’s a question we often get at our practice: Is my child too young for contact lenses?’ This is an important question, and the answer may surprise you.

For children with myopia (nearsightedness), contact lenses can be a convenient method of vision correction. It allows kids to go about their day without having to worry about breaking or misplacing their glasses, and enables them to freely participate in sports and other physical activities.

Local Contact lens supplier near you in San Leandro, California

Some children and young teens may ask their parents for contact lenses because they feel self-conscious wearing glasses. Contact lenses may even provide children with the confidence boost they need to come out of their shell. Moreover, these days, it is very popular for children to wear single-use one-day disposable soft contacts, since there is no cleaning or maintenance involved.

Some parents may deny their child’s request for contacts due to concerns about eye health and safety. There’s no reason to worry: contact lenses are just as safe for children as they are for anyone else.

Turner Eye Institute Eye Clinic and Eye exam, contact lenses, myopia in San Leandro, California

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our San Leandro eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

At Turner Eye Institute, we provide children, teens, and patients of all ages with a wide variety of contact lenses. If you’re concerned about the safety of contacts for your child, we’ll be happy to explain and explore ways to ensure maximum safety, optimal eye health and comfort. To learn more or to schedule a pediatric eye exam for contact lenses, contact us today.

What Are the Risks of Having My Child Wear Contact Lenses?

Local Eye exam, contact lenses, myopia in San Leandro, California

Read what our patients have to say on Google Reviews

A study published in the January 2021 issue of The Journal of Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics found that kids aren’t at a higher risk of experiencing contact lens complications.

The study followed nearly 1000 children aged 8-16 over the course of 1.5-3 years to determine how contact lenses affected their eye health.

The results indicate that age doesn’t have an effect on contact lens safety. In fact, the researchers found that the risk of developing infections or other adverse reactions was less than 1% per year of wear — which is comparable to contact lens wearers of other ages.

But before you decide that contact lenses are right for your child, you may want to consider whether your child is ready to wear them. During his or her eye doctor’s appointment, the optometrist may ask about your child’s level of maturity, responsibility, and personal hygiene. Since many children are highly motivated to wear contacts, they tend to display real maturity in caring for their lenses. That said, in the initial stages, parents may need to play an active role, as their child gets used to inserting and removing the new contact lenses.

It’s important to note that just as with any other medical device, contact lenses are not risk-free. Anyone who wears contact lenses has a chance of developing eye infections or other complications with contact lenses. However, when worn and cared for according to your eye doctor’s instructions, contact lenses are low-risk and perfectly safe for children and teenagers.

So, go ahead and bring your child in for a contact lens consultation! We’ll help determine if your child is ready for contacts and answer any questions you or your child may have. To schedule your child’s contact lens fitting or eye exam, contact Turner Eye Institute in San Leandro today.

Call Turner Eye Institute on 800-339-2733 to schedule an eye exam with our San Leandro optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT


Just in case you missed them, here are some of our previous blog posts :

San Jose resident with glaucoma wanting LASIK

LASIK Surgery – Tips for the Aftermath

Many Options in Vision Corrective Surgery, not just LASIK

What Services Can I Get Using Tele-Optometry?

Top 4 Eyecare Tips for Summer Vacation

This summer, whether you’re headed across state lines on a family road trip, flying off to Europe, grabbing a quick weekend getaway, or taking a vacation in your own backyard, don’t forget to protect your eyes!

Summer Eye Care Near You

Check out our top 4 tips for ensuring healthy eyes this summer, and remember, your eye doctor is here to help make the most out of your vision. Dr. Chirag R. Patel sees patients from all over the San Leandro, California area. Let us give you the top-quality eye care you and your family deserve, not only during the summer, but all year long.

  1. Don’t Leave Home Without It

If you have a chronic illness and need to head out of town for a few days, you would never leave home without your medications, right? That’s because you know that if something happens and your meds aren’t with you, you could suffer discomfort or complications to your health.

The same is true for your vision. If you suffer from dry eyes, make sure to take artificial tears or medicated eye drops with you when you travel. Preservative-free eye drops are a traveler’s friend. They’re also available as individual strips, which are recommended since there’s less risk of contamination.

Running low on disposable contact lenses? Include an extra pair in your carry-on suitcase and stock up on new lenses ahead of time. If you wear eyeglasses, bring a spare set and a copy of your prescription along with you, just in case they get lost or broken.

We recommend speaking to Dr. Chirag R. Patel before you leave for vacation to make sure your vision needs are all set.

  1. It’s Getting Hot Outside

Usually, most people think of protecting their skin from sunburns when they’re at the beach, by the pool, or just spending time outdoors.

Did you know that your eyes can get sunburned, too?

This happens when the cornea is exposed to excessive UV rays. When the sclera (the white part of your eye) looks red, that’s a sign that you’ve got sunburned eyes. You might also notice symptoms like a sudden sensitivity to light, or your eyes may feel like something is stuck in them, or they could feel sore.

The best way to prevent sunburned eyes? Always wear sunglasses with 100% of UVA and UVB light blocking protection.

  1. Watch Out for the Pool

Swimming is one of summer’s greatest pastimes. There’s nothing quite like a dip in a pool or ocean to cool off from the sweltering summer heat. While you’re slicing through the water, remember to protect your eyes.

Remove contacts before going swimming, wear goggles while underwater, and rinse your eyes with cold water when you get out of the pool (it helps get the chlorine or salt out). If your eyes feel dry or scratchy after a swim, use some moisturizing eye drops to lubricate your eyes.

  1. Back to School is Sooner Than You Think

Your kids will be back in school before you know it. Help them prepare for the upcoming school year by scheduling an eye exam now. If they need new glasses because their prescription has changed or your teen simply wants a new look for the new school year, come in to Turner Eye Institute for a consultation and take a look at the newest selection of frames and contact lenses.

Have you had a sudden eye injury or emergency while on vacation? Don’t wait until you’re back home to handle it — seek immediate care today. Certain eye injuries can damage your vision or lead to ulcers, so if you notice symptoms like redness, eye pain, changes to your vision, or flashing light, contact your eye doctor right away.

At Turner Eye Institute, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision this summer and throughout the year.

Cataract Awareness Month

June is Cataract Awareness Month. During this important time, people living with cataracts (and their loved ones) are encouraged to talk about their personal experiences by giving each other helpful information and sharing their knowledge and advice. Use the hashtag #CataractAwarenessMonth on your social media channels to encourage and support others.

Did you know that over 24 million Americans have cataracts? More than 3.5 million Canadians are blind from cataracts, making it one of the most common – and serious – eye conditions today. Dr. Chirag R. Patel treats cataract patients from all over San Leandro, California with the newest and most effective methods of eye care.

With millions of people living with the condition, it’s now more important than ever to bring awareness to this serious condition.

What Are Cataracts?

So what exactly are cataracts?

The lens of the eye is normally clear, which allows you to see things clearly and in sharp detail. Over time, the lens can become cloudy, causing blurry vision. It’s as if you’re looking through a dirty window and can’t really see what’s outside. This clouding of the lens is called a cataract, and it can affect one or both of your eyes.

What Causes Cataracts?

Aging is the most common cause of cataracts. The lens of your eye contains water and proteins. As you age, these proteins can clump together, and when that happens, the normally clear lens becomes cloudy.

Did you know that certain types of major eye surgeries and infections can trigger cataracts? Other issues that can lead to cataracts include congenital birth defects, eye injury, diseases, and even various kinds of medications. If you’re already developing cataracts, be careful when going outside. UV rays from the sun can make cataracts develop faster.

How Can I Lower My Risk of Cataracts?

Certain risk factors increase your chance of developing cataracts. These typically include:

  • Diabetes
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Family and medical history
  • Medications
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • UV ray exposure

To lower your risk, consider reducing your alcohol intake, quit smoking, start an exercise program, eat foods rich in vitamin A and C, and wear 100% UV blocking sunglasses.

Common Symptoms of Cataracts

If you have cataracts, you may experience some common symptoms like:

  • Blurry vision
  • Colors that used to be bright now appear dim
  • Double vision
  • Glare from natural sunlight or from artificial light, like light bulbs and lamps
  • Halos around lights
  • Night vision problems
  • Sensitivity to light

If you or a family member notice any of these signs, talk to Dr. Chirag R. Patel right away. The sooner you seek treatment, the faster we can help you get back to clear vision.

Coping With Cataracts

If you’re experiencing vision problems from cataracts, there is hope. If you have a mild case, a combination of a different eyeglass prescription and better lighting in your home, office, or other environment can improve your vision. In more advanced cases, your optometrist will likely recommend cataract surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a clear one.

Do I Need Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures today. In fact, the American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that 2 million people undergo the procedure each year.

During the procedure, the doctor will gently remove the cataract from the eye and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (known as an IOL). Because it’s a common procedure, cataract surgery is usually performed in an outpatient clinic or in your eye doctor’s office. There is no need to stay in a hospital and you can usually resume your normal activities in just a few days.

If you’ve exhausted every other solution and still suffer from blurry vision from cataracts, surgery may be an option. Schedule a consultation online or call 800-339-2733 to book an eye doctor’s appointment at Turner Eye Institute and together, we’ll determine if cataract surgery is right for you.

During this Cataract Awareness Month, share your stories and successes, and give your loved ones hope for a healthy and high quality of life.

Help! My Child Doesn’t Want to Wear Glasses!

Do your kids need glasses in order to see clearly? Maybe they have a strong case of nearsightedness, perhaps they have astigmatism, or another type of refractive error. Whatever the cause, getting your kids to wear eyeglasses can be a parenting challenge.

Dr. Chirag R. Patel treats patients from all over San Leandro, California with their vision correction needs. The knowledgeable, caring staff at Turner Eye Institute can help you and your kids if they’re struggling with their glasses or don’t want to wear them.

Why Won’t My Child Wear His or Her Glasses?

To help your children get the best vision possible, you first need to understand why they’re fighting with you over their glasses. It usually stems from something physical, emotional, or social, such as:

  • Wrong fit
  • Wrong prescription
  • Personal style
  • Reactions from friends

How do you know which it is? Pay close attention to the signs, from what your kids say, to how they behave, to how they interact with others.


Improper fit is a big reason why glasses could feel uncomfortable. If they slip down, itch behind the ears, or put pressure on the bridge of the nose, it can explain why a child wouldn’t like to wear them.

If there’s been a big change to their prescription, they may need time to get used to it. If they were given the wrong prescription, they may be straining their eyes, getting headaches, or having eye fatigue. An incorrect prescription can make wearing glasses painful or awkward. It doesn’t correct their vision, either, so they’ll still see blurry images. When this happens, your eye doctor can check the prescription and make an adjustment.


Your kids at home aren’t the same as your kids in school, on the sports field, or with their friends. They may be afraid of being made fun of in school, or they may not want the sudden attention on their appearance. These feelings can be even stronger among the tween and teen set.


Even young kids can feel different when they put on a pair of glasses, especially if it’s for the first time. Feeling different or weird, in their eyes, translates to a negative experience. When wearing glasses makes them feel like the odd man out, they may not want to wear them. The last thing your child wants is to feel like a social outcast. After all, everyone wants to belong.

How We Can Help

First, bring your child in to the eye doctor for an eye exam. Our optometrist, Dr. Chirag R. Patel, will check to make sure that your child has the right prescription and that any vision problems are being corrected. Next, we’ll take a look at the glasses and place them on your child’s face to determine if they’ve got the proper fit. Our optician will take care of any adjustments that need to be made.

The Vision They Need, The Style They Want

Fashion isn’t only for adults. Your budding fashionista or trendy young stud wants to look awesome, so don’t forget about style. When your kids look great, they’ll feel great! Give them the top-quality eyewear they need without compromising on style. Your kids are a lot more likely to wear glasses when they like the way they look.

What You Can Do to Help

Encourage, stay positive, and don’t give up. Avoid telling them what you want them to wear. Let them choose for themselves. In the end, they’re the ones wearing the glasses. Making decisions is an important life skill, something they’ll need as they grow up and become more independent.

For younger children, use positive words to encourage them. Talk about how glasses are like magic, letting them see beautiful things around them. Show them how a pretty flower or a bright red truck looks with the glasses on, and how different it looks with the glasses off. For older kids, throw in a little pop culture. Tell them how trendy they’ll look by showing them pictures of celebrities who also wear glasses. You’ll also rack up some cool parent points.

At Turner Eye Institute, we have the experience and unique approach to children’s eyewear that will make your kids want to wear their glasses. Schedule an eye exam today – you can book an appointment online right here. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call and we’ll be glad to help.

Get Ready for Summer, Get LASIK

LASIK eye surgery, Eye Doctor in San Leandro, Concod, and Castro Valley, CA

Now is the time to start thinking about summer and your vision. As you dream about all those sizzling weekend escapes to the shore, you’re probably also checking out the trending fashions for beachwear. Don’t forget about your eyes! A pair of designer sunglasses is a fantastic way to upgrade your look and see clearly on sunny days. However, if you need prescription eyeglasses to see, then you’ll need a pair of prescription sunglasses. If you’re not thrilled with the idea of carrying around two pairs of glasses, one for indoors and one for outdoors, we have a better summer solution for you – LASIK eye surgery at Turner Eye Institute, located in San Leandro, Concord, and Castro Valley, CA.

What do you have to gain from LASIK?

The benefits of LASIK are particularly appreciated during the summer months. While prescription sunglasses are fine for strolling the streets, they won’t help you see underwater. Also, they don’t offer the wide peripheral vision that you need for summer sports. And although contact lenses can offer an alternative to prescription glasses, anyone who has ever spent a day at the beach in contacts will understand how uncomfortable it can be for your eyes. Even the tiniest grain of sand on your contacts can ruin your carefree day with excruciating, painful vision. In addition, wearing contacts when you swim is an unhealthy practice that threatens the health of your eyes.

LASIK solves all of these summer challenges, giving you safe, healthy, and crystal-clear vision both underwater and on dry ground. LASIK laser eye surgery also allows you to pick up a pair (or many pairs) of stylish nonprescription sunglasses for a much cheaper price than buying prescription sunglasses.

What exactly is LASIK?

LASIK is a modern, popular method of laser eye surgery to correct myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), an

female eye closeup digital, Eye Care in San Leandro, Concod, and Castro Valley, CA

d astigmatism. In the comfort of our eye care centers in San Leandro, Concord, and Castro Valley, our eye surgeon will use a laser to make a thin corneal flap. This flap will be laid back in order to provide access to the inner part of the cornea, which our eye doctor will reshape by removing microscopic amounts of tissue with a laser. After this part of the procedure, the flap is replaced in position and eye drops are inserted.

How fast does LASIK work?

This eye surgery usually takes about 10-15 minutes total, and many patients report improvement immediately – as soon as they sit up from the surgery.

How long does it take to recover from LASIK?

Recovery is fast and typically, very little discomfort is experienced. You may experience light sensitivity, mild irritation, and some visual side effects from the eye surgery, which will all be temporary and typically disappear within a few weeks. In order to fully enjoy your summer with your new vision after LASIK, we recommend planning ahead! To make the most of LASIK, book your laser eye surgery with Dr. Patel at Turner Eye Institute before the seasons switch.

Plan your LASIK eye surgery in time for summer

Don’t wait until the day before summer vacation – call our eye care clinics in San Leandro, Castro Valley, and Concord, CA, to schedule a pre-operative consultation and get started with your new vision today.

Eye Care, Woman getting eye exam in , California

What is PRK and how does it differ from LASIK

The names and acronyms of the many types of laser eye surgery are confusing, and it’s common for our patients at Turner Eye Institute to ask for an explanation of the differences between all these procedures. Our San Leandro, Concord, and Castro Valley, CA, eye care specialists are pleased to explain!

Introducing your cornea

To understand how PRK works and how it differs from LASIK, it’s helpful to become more familiar with your cornea. This outer part of your eye has several layers. The primary layer is the stroma, which is the middle layer and makes up 90% of the thickness of your cornea. It has collagen tissue fibers that are arranged in a way that gives the cornea a high refractive index and translucency. These are the essential characteristics that you need for your eye’s lens to focus. The outermost cornea layer is a clear epithelial (skin) coating that protects the cornea from the surrounding environment.

If the surface epithelial layer of your cornea is damaged, it will heal and grow back. However, the collagen fibers of the stroma do not grow back. That’s how both LASIK and PRK work – your eye doctor will use a laser to sculpt the stroma layer, removing tiny amount of tissue and permanently reshaping the cornea. Once the cornea is changed to correct your vision condition, the light that enters your eye will be focused more acutely, giving you sharp vision without glasses or contact lenses.

PRK – Photorefractive Keratectomy

This type of laser eye surgery can help resolve nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. It is most effective if your vision condition is mild or moderate. During PRK, your eye surgeon will use a cool pulsing beam of UV light on the outermost surface of your cornea.

Your eye surgeon will numb your eye with a topical anesthetic before precisely removing an area of surface epithelium in order to access your cornea. This removal is quick, and you may feel slight pressure on your eye. Then, an excimer laser will be used to reshape your cornea. The entire procedure takes about ten minutes, maximum.

After PRK, a bandage contact lens will be placed over your eye. You will need to wear this bandage for the first four or five days after surgery, so your eye can heal. The eye doctor will remove the lens about a week later, and usually by this point there is functional vision. Over the next six months, you will need to visit our San Leandro, Castro Valley, or Concord, CA, eye care center a few times for follow-up exams.

Throughout the first few weeks, your vision may switch back and forth from clear to blurry. Until it stabilizes, you may need eyeglasses to read or drive at night. Other side effects include dry eye. You will receive eye drops to prevent infection and keep your eyes moist. Gradually, your vision will improve, and you should experience the final results within a month to a few months.

Differences between PRK and LASIK

Both PRK and LASIK are regarded to be safe and effective. Just like PRK, LASIK uses an excimer laser to correct vision by reshaping the stroma layer of the cornea. However, PRK is done differently. As opposed to LASIK, which just moves the outer layer of corneal tissue out of the way to perform the reshaping, PRK actually removes the tissue.

With PRK, the healing is slightly longer than it is with LASIK, because the epithelial tissue has to become as smooth and regular as it was before. After about a month, most people have 20/20 vision.

The advantages of PRK lie in the fact that there is no cutting of a corneal flap, like there is with LASIK. Although the recovery from PRK can be longer and more uncomfortable, the rate of complications with PRK are virtually nonexistent. The modern bladeless technology eliminates the risks. In addition, people who do not have a thick enough cornea to qualify as a candidate for LASIK will often qualify for PRK.

PRK vs. LASIK – which is right for you?

To make this decision, call to book a consultation at Turner Eye Institute. Our eye doctor will evaluate your eyes to see if you are candidate for both procedures. If you qualify for both types of laser eye surgery, then we will discuss the pros and cons to make a decision. We have an eye care clinic located conveniently to serve you – choose from our Concord, Castro Valley, and San Leandro, CA, offices.

Mental Health and Your Vision

May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the USA; in Canada, Mental Health week is May 6th to 12th. Since 1949, it has been observed throughout the United States as a way of drawing attention to the importance of proper mental health. This year’s theme is #4Mind4Body. The idea is that using elements around us, such as the people in our lives, faith, nature, and even pets, can strengthen wellness and overall mental health.

Did you know that your vision can affect your mental health? While things like stress, trauma, and family history are factors that impact mental health, vision can also impact it.

How Does Vision Affect Mental Health?

Certain types of eye diseases and visual impairments can lead to emotional problems like anxiety and depression. This is particularly common in cases of severe vision loss. Patients with glaucoma, macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy, for example, can experience mild to acute vision loss. This can make everyday activities like driving, running errands, watching TV, using a computer, or cooking, a difficult and painful experience. When this happens, it can cause a loss of independence, potentially leaving the person mentally and emotionally devastated.

Like most surgical procedures, LASIK corrective surgery is permanent and irreversible. Although it has very high success rates, LASIK has been considered the cause of depression and mental health issues in a few instances.

Kids’ Vision and Mental Health

Increased screen time among school-age children and teens has been shown to reduce emotional stability and cause repeated distractions and difficulty completing tasks, while also increasing the likelihood of developing nearsightedness.

Kids with visual problems often experience difficulty in school. If they can’t see the board clearly or constantly struggle with homework due to poor vision, they may act out their frustration or have trouble getting along with their peers.

Coping with Vision Problems

One of the most important ways to cope with visual problems is awareness. Simply paying attention to the signs and symptoms — whether the patient is an adult or a child — is a crucial first step.

Family members, close friends, colleagues, parents, and teachers can all play an important role in detecting emotional suffering in those with visual difficulties. Pay attention to signs of changes in behavior, such as a loss of appetite, persistent exhaustion, or decreased interest in favorite activities.

Thankfully, many common vision problems are treatable. Things like double vision, hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), amblyopia (lazy eye), and post-concussion vision difficulties can be managed. Vision correction devices, therapeutic lenses, visual exercises, or special prism glasses may help provide the visual clarity you need. Your primary eye doctor can help and a vision therapist or low vision expert may make a significant impact on your quality of life.

How You Can Help

There are some things you can do on your own to raise awareness about good mental health:

Speak Up

Often, just talking about mental health struggles can be incredibly empowering. Ask for help from family and friends or find a local support group. Be open and honest about what you’re going through and talk with others who are going through the same thing. Remember: you’re not alone.

If you experience any type of sudden changes to your vision — even if it’s temporary — talk to your eye doctor. A delay in treatment may have more serious consequences, so speak up and don’t wait.

Get Social

Developing healthy personal relationships improves mental health. People with strong social connections are less likely to experience severe depression and may even live longer. Go out with friends, join a club, or consider volunteering.

Have an Animal

Having a pet has been shown to boost mental health and help combat feelings of loneliness. Guide dogs can be especially beneficial for people suffering from vision loss.

Use Visual Aids

If you or a loved one is experiencing mental health issues caused by vision loss, visual aids can help. Devices like magnifiers or telescopic lenses can enlarge text, images, and objects, so you can see them more clearly and in greater detail.

Kids can benefit from vision correction like glasses, contacts, or specialized lenses for more severe cases of refractive errors. Vision therapy may be an option, too. It is a customized program of exercises that can improve and strengthen visual functions.

Always talk to your eye doctor about any concerns, questions, or struggles.

Thanks to programs like Mental Health Awareness Month, there is less of a stigma around mental health than just a few decades ago. Advancements in medical technologies and scientific research have led to innovative solutions for better vision care.

During this Mental Health Awareness Month, share your share your struggles, stories, and successes with others. Use the hashtag #Mind4Body and give your loved ones hope for a healthy and high quality of life.


Am I a good candidate for PRK?

Criteria for PRK laser eye surgery

lasik eye surgery at Turner Eye Institute in San Leandro, Concord and Castro Valley CARight after LASIK, PRK is one of the most commonly performed laser eye surgery options. These two procedures are very similar, but also have significant differences. Neither laser eye surgery is always better than the other, but one of them is likely better for you! Depending on your personal needs and unique vision condition, your eye doctor will decide whether PRK or LASIK is the best fit.

PRK and LASIK use the same basic laser eye surgery technology, yet LASIK involves cutting a flap to access the corneal tissue, and in PRK, your eye surgeon will remove the outer layer (epithelium) entirely. How does your eye doctor determine whether you are a good candidate for PRK? Our eye doctor at Turner Eye Institute explains.

Candidacy for PRK

Your eye doctor will meet with you to discuss your lifestyle requirements and to perform a detailed eye exam to check if you qualify for PRK. The following variables will be considered:

Vision prescription

PRK is used most commonly to correct myopia (nearsightedness). PRK is generally the preferred laser eye surgery to treat severe myopia.

Corneal thickness

This is important because of the different ways that LASIK vs. PRK are performed. During LASIK, a corneal flap is created. To be safe and effective, this requires a thicker cornea. In contrast, PRK laser eye surgery doesn’t entail cutting a flap. That’s why it is a popular, suitable option for people with thin corneas who do not qualify for LASIK.

Type of employment or occupation

The corneal flap created during LASIK is contraindicated for people who work in certain industries, such as construction, military, or manufacturing careers. That’s because the risk of eye trauma is higher in these jobs, which increases the possible risks of the corneal flap. Our Turner Eye Institute eye doctor often recommends PRK instead of LASIK for patients who are employed in these fields.


Just like LASIK isn’t always the best option for certain occupations, it’s also not recommended for people who play contact sports or engage in martial arts and other types of high-intensity activities. These hobbies expose the eyes to potential trauma, and PRK may therefore be the preferable solution for laser eye surgery.

Ultimately, only a qualified eye doctor can decide which laser eye surgery is right for you. To find out more about PRK, contact Turner Eye Institute for a consultation.

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3 Q’s You Need to Ask Your LASIK Surgeon

Eye Care, Woman getting eye exam in , California

What you need to know when choosing a doctor for vision correction

Did you decide that it’s time to get LASIK and finally get rid of your eyewear? We applaud your decision and wish you success with your new vision! But before you sign on the dotted line, there are a few important questions you should ask your eye surgeon.

LASIK was approved as an advanced vision correction surgery in the US back in 1999. Since then, its popularity has grown considerably and many doctors currently offer this procedure in their eye care clinics. With so many choices out there, how can you decide which eye surgeon to use? To boost your confidence in choosing the best eye care center and surgeon for your LASIK surgery, our staff at Turner Eye Institute outlined the top 3 questions for you to ask:

  1. How many laser vision correction procedures have you done?

Experience is essential. A reputable eye surgeon should welcome any questions about his or her qualifications and expertise. Nowadays, it isn’t unusual for a highly experienced doctor to have performed over 25,000 LASIK surgeries. In our offices in San Leandro, Concord, and Castro Valley, CA, we’ve provided tens of thousands of patients with crisp vision with laser eye surgery! We are proud to have a long-standing record of excellent results and outstanding surgical outcomes.

2. Do you own your own eye care practice?

Bottom line – you want an eye doctor who is dedicated to you and your vision. Generally, the owner of a private eye care practice will be much more committed to providing exceptional service and ensuring patient satisfaction than someone who simply clocks in and out. In addition to the actual surgical procedure, the preoperative consultation and postoperative care are important parts of the entire LASIK process. At Turner Eye Institute, Dr. Patel is passionate about helping his patients navigate every step of vision correction comfortably.

3. Do you offer alternate options for vision correction?

LASIK isn’t for everyone. People with a thin cornea, certain pre-existing medical conditions, or an extremely high vision prescription are not always good candidates for this type of laser eye surgery. That’s why it is important to ask about alternate options and explore what’s best for you. If your eye doctor does a preoperative eye exam and determines that LASIK isn’t a viable solution, why go back to square one to research for a new eye care practice? You want an eye surgeon who is skilled in different types of surgery, such as PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, and conductive keratoplasty (CK). Our eye doctor in San Leandro, Castro Valley, and Concord, CA, is experienced in performing many procedures, using both laser and non-laser technologies.