LASIK Surgery Helps Fall Allergy Sufferers

seasonal allergies LASIK

Fall is a favorite season for many due to the cooler weather and changing leaves. But seasonal allergy sufferers often dread this time of year because of the allergens it brings with it. According to WebMD, almost a third of Americans have been afflicted with hay fever, which is usually triggered by a fall allergy to plant pollen like ragweed. Although ragweed affects the largest number of seasonal allergy sufferers in the fall, mold and dust mites can also trigger severe allergy reactions.


This year, meteorologists predict that the Southeast will have to endure an onslaught of allergies due to a warmer and wetter fall than normal. This climate often prolongs the allergy season with the continued growth of ragweed and mold.


Common symptoms seen in seasonal allergy sufferers are a runny nose, sneezing, coughing and irritated eyes. Patients with vision problems and seasonal allergies especially experience a dramatic increase in these symptoms.


Airborne allergens can severely aggravate the eyes at the best of times, but wearing contact lenses during the fall can worsen this irritation. Your contacts often act as a magnet for airborne allergens, causing your eyes to feel extremely itchy, dry and sometimes painful. Many sufferers feel as though they have no other choice than to switch to wearing their glasses to avoid eye irritation.


A solution to itchy, irritated eyes that seasonal allergy sufferers are beginning to turn to is LASIK surgery. While laser eye surgery and allergies might not initially appear related, many have found that it is the most effective and permanent solution for people who wear contacts or glasses and are suffering from allergies. While it won’t prevent you from experiencing seasonal allergies, LASIK surgery dramatically reduces and often eliminates the need for contacts or glasses.


It is important for you to disclose all allergy symptoms with Dr. Ashraf during your initial appointment. He will be able to determine the best solution for your allergy symptoms moving forward.


Here are a few temporary solutions for your comfort before you go in for your initial LASIK consultation:

  • Restrict the amount of time you spend outside during high pollen count days
  • Use eye drops or artificial tears to help your eyes feel less dry or irritated
  • If you find that your eyes are hurting or itching, apply a cool washcloth to your eyes for relief
  • Your home’s indoor air quality could be a significant contributor to your eye irritation due to dust mites—be sure that your filters and vents are cleaned properly


If you are one of the 40 million Americans that are prevented from enjoying fall due to seasonal allergies, contact us to schedule a consultation for LASIK or visit our website.


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LASIK Clinic Concerns in the UK

laser eye surgery atlanta

LASIK Surgery in Atlanta

A new article in the UK’s Daily Mail has some questioning the morality of LASIK clinics in the London area. At the Atlanta Vision Institute, we see this as an opportunity to address many of the concerns surrounding LASIK surgery and to reassure individuals that when they come to us, they are making the right decision.

The article focuses on optical franchises in the London, England area. It suggests that many of the LASIK clinics investigated actually charged drastically more for their procedures than advertised. One such clinic is Optical Express — a major chain of opticians that cover everything from a new prescription for your glasses to laser eye surgery. These clinics ranked poorest out of those investigated.

Chain clinics such as these often run the risk of poor quality, care and communication. Unfortunately, some clinics worry more about making a profit than ensuring their patients are comfortable and receiving the highest quality of care. We try our best to remain as open and honest as possible with our patients. We are always upfront and willing to discuss our pricing and only advertise genuine specials that will truly benefit you.

An issue found by researchers at multiple optical clinic chains was their inability to explain the risks that go along with a LASIK procedure. While it is a non-invasive surgery, LASIK is still a surgical procedure and should be treated as such.

When you come in for your initial consultation, you will meet with Dr. Ashraf and go over every aspect of the procedure. This includes everything you should know before your surgery, what the surgery entails and what you should be doing after your surgery. He doesn’t shy away from the benefits — or the risks — because it is vitally important that you understand all facets of the surgical procedure before you make your decision. We want you to be as informed as we are!

Unlike other clinics, we think it is important for you to meet with Dr. Ashraf during your initial consultation, as opposed to right before your surgery. This will allow you to feel more comfortable with the entire process and ensure that all of your concerns are addressed before the procedure.

We also encourage patients to do their own research before their initial consultation. This way, you already have an idea of the procedure and can ask questions about anything you’re unsure of. We have a page on our website dedicated to explaining the entire LASIK surgery process for your convenience.

If you’re still unsure of the Atlanta Vision Institute, go to to read reviews about Dr. Ashraf from his previous patients. If you have any additional questions or would like to book a consultation with Dr. Ashraf, please contact us.


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From the Bench to the Field: LASIK Surgery in Football

It’s easy to think of your favorite football players as invincible because of their talents and endurance. However, many have had to overcome obstacles in order to achieve their dreams and become the heroes we look up to today.

Many of the skills and traits that successful football players exemplify are influenced by the quality of their eyesight. How can a quarterback throw the ball to a teammate 50 yards down the field if he can’t see him? And how would the receiver be able to catch the ball without his glasses or contacts? Agility and strength might be considered the most important skills for a football player to have, but those attributes are worthless if the player can’t see where he is going.

Sports personalities and analysts often joke when a player makes a terrible throw or catch that “they must need glasses.” But what if this is actually true? If a player wears glasses on the field, they are mocked. Contacts can be helpful for some, but a full-contact sport like football increases the likelihood of lenses falling out or irritating the eye.

lasik surgery atlanta

The best solution for athletes with vision problems is for them to undergo LASIK surgery. As a non-invasive surgery, players can be back on the field in two weeks.

A common myth regarding athletes and LASIK is that they are ineligible for surgery because of added risks. While it is true that athletes are at a higher risk for complications after LASIK surgery, it does not make them ineligible for the procedure. Because sports like football are high-contact, they are more vulnerable to arising complications after any surgery. If athletes take the proper precautions after the procedure, there is no reason why their profession would rule out the possibility of laser eye surgery.

Atlanta’s sports industry is no stranger to LASIK surgery. Ray Buchanan, former Atlanta Falcons cornerback and safety, had the procedure done during his career. Greg Maddux, former Atlanta Braves pitcher and four-time Cy Young Award winner, had his surgery during the regular season and pitched a one-hitter two days after the procedure.

Other notable football players that have had LASIK surgery are Troy Aikman (Dallas Cowboys), Tiki Barber (New York Giants), Danny Kanell (New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons) and Wayne Chrebet (New York Jets).

Aikman in particular has become a notable advocate for the procedure. Before LASIK surgery, his eyesight was 20/600: “I couldn’t even read the big E on the eye chart.” Now, his vision is 20/20.

Athletes don’t have to be the only ones benefiting from LASIK surgery. If you’re interested in the procedure or have any questions you want answered, contact the Atlanta Vision Institute to book a free consultation.


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Can Your Eyes Reveal Your Health?

Research suggests eyes predict disease development

You’ve heard your eyes are the window to your soul, but they can also reveal a great deal about your overall health and the potential to develop serious health conditions later in life. In fact, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute recently discovered that some abnormalities in the eye may uncover early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, which is a loss of memory and decline in mental abilities. This is a progressive disease that causes problems with memory and thinking and can ultimately prevent someone from performing daily tasks. More than 26 million people are affected and that number is expected to quadruple by 2050. There is currently no cure for the disease. Current treatments slow the progression of the disease and improve day-to-day life.

The researchers considered the eye a window into brain function and activity, and the study allowed them to see how changes in the eye can reflect a decrease in brain function. The findings could eventually help doctors to identify early symptoms of Alzheimer’s sooner and provide treatment earlier.

Using high-resolution imaging techniques, animal models and donated human retinas from patients who suffered from Alzheimer’s, researchers were able to study changes in the eye and visual acuity and understand how those changes indicate the presence and development of the disease. The researchers monitored tissue degeneration and the decline in visual function. Both of these indicators are strongly associated with developing Alzheimer’s.

Alexander Ljubimov, PhD, is the director of the Eye Program within the Regenerative Medicine Institute and is co-author of the study. Regarding the study, he stated in a recent Science Daily article: “Greater magnitude in these eye abnormalities may mean a greater chance of a patient having Alzheimer’s disease. These findings may be used to study Alzheimer’s disease mechanisms and test potential drugs.”

While more studies are needed to confirm this initial research, it is fascinating to understand how much the eyes can reveal about disease development and the potential for patients to develop debilitating diseases in the future. The full study may be accessed online here.

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New Study Published in Ophthalmology Finds Correlation between Smoking, Drinking and Physical Activity and the Development of Visual Impairment

link between visual impairment and drinking

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health studied the relationship between the prevalence of visual impairment and smoking, drinking alcohol and physical activity (like exercise). Their findings were recently published in Ophthalmology.

According to an article, the number of people suffering from visual impairment in the US is anticipated to reach at least 4 million by 2020, which is a 70% increase from 2000. This drastic increase is because of the growing population of older citizens and a greater prevalence of age-related disease.

The research ultimately discovered that, over the course of 20 years, visual impairment developed in 5.4% of the population and varied based on the incidence of physical activity (or lack thereof), smoking and consuming alcohol.

The study found that sedentary persons were nearly 5% more likely to develop visual impairments than those who were physically active. In addition, after adjusting for age, the study also found that people who were more active were 58% less likely than sedentary individuals to develop visual impairment.

For heavy drinkers and smokers, the potential to develop visual impairment was higher than non-drinkers and non-smokers but the study found the difference was not statistically significant.

For occasional drinkers, however, the study discovered a surprising trend. Occasional drinkers — individuals who reported an average of one serving per week — developed less visual impairment over 20 years. 11% of non-drinkers developed visual impairment while only 4.8% of occasional drinkers developed impairment.

Age is a common factor associated with visual impairment and the development of eye diseases. Lifestyle behaviors can be altered, and the study helps to illustrate how three significant and common behaviors affect vision as a person ages. While there is some correlation between certain lifestyle choices and visual health, researchers note that the data itself does not prove that these behaviors are directly responsible for increased risk.

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