Trust
Mark R. Mandel, MD

Mark R. Mandel, MD has been selected by hundreds of eye doctors and other physicians to perform LASIK, corneal transplant, and cataract surgery on themselves, their families, and their office staff.

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Experience
Mark R. Mandel, MD

As a sub-specialist Dr. Mandel has performed over 60,000 LASIK procedures and 20,000 cataract/IOL procedures. He has been serving Bay Area patients since 1983.

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Innovation
Mark R. Mandel, MD

We are proud to offer state of the art technology for measuring the eye and performing the latest in advanced surgical techniques. Striving to achieve the best possible outcomes.

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Recognition
Mark R. Mandel, MD

Graduate of Oxford University, UCLA School of Medicine, Fellowship trained cornea transplant and refractive specialist. Chosen by more surgeons to perform surgery on themselves and their families.

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Author Archives: Mark Mandel, MD

Does Cataract Surgery Cause Any Side Effects?

Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most routine procedures performed today. Modern technology, such as the use of the LenSx laser, has improved the accuracy and precision of parts of the surgical procedure and provides exceptional treatment outcomes.

Like any surgical procedure, there are potential side effects and complications of cataract surgery, even in the hands of a highly skilled, experienced and talented surgeon. Understanding what may occur after cataract surgery is important; it helps you keep an eye out for possible complications and alert your doctor if something goes awry.

During your pre-operative cataract surgery consultation, Mark Mandel, MD, will go over all of the surgical risks and side effects with you and answer all of your questions. Expect close follow-up after your procedure so he can monitor your eyes as they heal for any signs of complications.

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What Are Punctal Plugs?

Usually the first line of defense against dry eye disease is to identify common lifestyle or environmental factors that could be contributing to symptoms, and then systematically eliminate those factors. If you see Bay Area ophthalmologist and cornea specialist Mark Mandel, MD, for dry eye symptoms, he may recommend that you modify or eliminate medications known to cause dry eye, up your intake of omega-3 fatty acids and add moisture to the air in your home with a humidifier. He may also recommend using artificial tears or medicated eyedrops to increase the moisture on the surface of your eyes.

If these measures do not control your symptoms, he may recommend an alternative treatment, such as the placement of punctal plugs, to make your eyes more comfortable.

Punctal Plugs for Dry Eye

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Is LASIK Safer Than Contact Lenses?

LASIK Safer Than Contacts

Your eyes are one of your most precious assets, and understandably you want to do everything in your power to keep them safe and healthy. When considering LASIK or another type of laser eye surgery, you might have concerns about the safety of the procedure. Inaccurate information may lead you to second-guess whether LASIK is safer than your current means of vision correction (contacts).

Luckily, Bay Area ophthalmologist, corneal specialist, and laser eye surgeon Mark Mandel, MD, is here to help us understand the long-term safety of LASIK versus contact lenses.

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Elevated Eye Pressure: Causes and Concerns

Ocular hypertension treatment in San Jose

Regularly checking your eye pressure is an important way you can help preserve your vision for a lifetime. Elevated eye pressure can occur without symptoms, and is as dangerous to your eyes as high blood pressure is to your organs. It is often the first sign that you may be developing glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness.

Below, experienced Bay Area ophthalmologist Mark Mandel, MD, discusses prevention and treatment strategies for this serious condition.

Elevated Danger

The cause of elevated eye pressure, known as ocular hypertension, is an imbalance in production and drainage of aqueous humor, the fluid inside your eye. Pressure builds as the eye creates new fluid and the channels which normally drain the aqueous humor become obstructed or damaged. Once that happens, internal pressure rises, and major damage to the optic nerve can result.

In many cases, there is no observable damage to the release channels, yet the natural system of drainage unexpectedly stops working. This system can also be disrupted by an injury to the eye (e.g., a sports injury or car accident) that damages those vital drainage channels, setting in motion the increase in pressure.

Additional Causes of Ocular Hypertension

You are at greater risk for developing ocular hypertension is you are over 40, have thin corneas or a family history of glaucoma. African Americans also have a statistically higher risk.

Use of steroids, including steroid eye drops that are sometimes prescribed after eye surgery, is also linked to elevated pressure within the eye. In addition, ocular hypertension may suddenly appear with the onset of other eye conditions, such as pseudoexfoliation syndrome, a condition related to age and genetics in which small protein fibers accumulate, clump together and block the free flow of fluid within the eye.

Pigment dispersion syndrome can similarly cause accumulation of drainage-blocking particles in the eye. When this condition occurs, granules of pigment break loose from the iris and obstruct one or more channels.

If you would like to know more about elevated eye pressure and ways to protect your vision, we encourage you to schedule a personal consultation with Bay Area ophthalmologist Mark Mandel, MD. Contact Optima Eye by emailing us or calling 877-210-2020 ext. 3 today.

How Permanent Are the Results of LASIK?

LASIK in San Jose

Clarity and convenience are among the top benefits of LASIK. In the minds of most consumers, convenience is measured in part by how long the improved vision will last. Fortunately, patients who have freed themselves from glasses or contacts do not have to subject themselves to a lifetime of vision correction surgeries. With LASIK, one procedure is all that is necessary in most cases.

Below, trusted Bay Area ophthalmologist and corneal specialist  Mark Mandel, MD, discusses how a life without lenses is within reach for the vast majority of adults.

Enduring Results

How permanent your LASIK results will be depends in part on your age, the stability of your prescription and your overall health. It is an urban myth that LASIK needs to be repeated every 10 years. However, the eyes continue to mature into your 20s, and so a LASIK procedure done at a very young age may be premature. Younger persons whose prescriptions need to be updated regularly should wait until their vision stabilizes for the best results.

Some patients who notice a slight regression at a later date may choose a LASIK enhancement procedure, which involves a minor reshaping of the cornea to correct for any vision changes. A recent study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology followed patients whose LASIK corrected for extreme myopia. Within 10 years of the initial procedure, just 6 percent chose a LASIK enhancement to tweak their vision.

In the few cases in which nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism eventually reappears after a LASIK procedure, it is unlikely you will ever return to your pre-surgical prescription. 

As we age, most of us will develop presbyopia, the farsightedness that tends to make reading more difficult. Even with LASIK, you may need to use reading glasses at this point in your life. For some patients over 40, a modified form of LASIK called monovision LASIK can be performed to correct presbyopia.

If you would like to know more about the benefits of LASIK, we encourage you to schedule a personal consultation with Bay Area ophthalmologist Mark Mandel, MD. Contact Optima Eye by emailing us or calling 877-210-2020 ext. 3 today.

Nutritional Optic Neuropathy Causes & Prevention

Eye health & nutrition in San Jose, CA

It’s not every day that a news story educates the public about the strong link between nutrition and ocular health. But it happened recently with the curious case of a British teen who survived for years on a diet centered on chips and crisps — or, as we like to call them in the U.S., French fries and Pringles. He rounded out his daily menu with white bread, sliced ham and sausages.

Bay Area ophthalmologist Mark Mandel, MD, believes this is the perfect cautionary tale for parents and kids alike. After a decade on this adolescent dream diet, the teen suffered substantial damage to his nervous system, including the optic nerve. He experienced partial hearing loss and nearly total loss of sight.

How Does Nutritional Optic Neuropathy Develop?


The clarity of your vision and health of your eyes are dependent on a variety of lifestyle habits. In the case of the teen, his levels of B12, vitamin D, copper, folic acid, magnesium and selenium had collapsed. This condition, known as nutritional optic neuropathy, is more often seen in places with famine, poverty and conflict, not in countries that deep-fry, process and wrap in paper their daily sustenance.

The last reported epidemic of nutritional optic neuropathy occurred in Cuba during the early 1990s, when a disintegrating economy limited healthy diet options for the general population.

Sometimes the condition develops when intestinal problems, changes resulting from bariatric surgery or the use of certain medications interfere with the proper absorption of nutrients. It can also happen when excessive alcohol consumption crowds out balanced meals, or even in the case of individuals who follow a very strict vegan diet.

Eye Nutrition, from A to B


From an early age most of us learn from our parents, or even a cartoon rabbit, that vitamin A is vital to eye health. B vitamins, along with iron and thiamine, are also essential. Thiamine deficiency can develop quickly, and impact eye movement and the optic nerve.

Non-starchy plant foods, such as fruits and leafy vegetables, are ideal sources of vitamin B. This eye-healthy vitamin can also be found in whole grains, eggs, dairy products, meat, nuts, seeds and legumes. Because many agronomists believe that overuse of farmland has resulted in depletion of nutrients in the soil and the produce grown there, daily vitamin supplements are also a good idea.

Bay Area ophthalmologist Mark Mandel, MD, reminds patients that nutrition plays a role in other aspects of eye health as well. Lack of nutrients can lead to early onset of cataracts or macular degeneration. And a poor diet has even wider health implications, as it correlates strongly with development of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.

If you would like to know more about ways to promote the health of your eyes, we encourage you to schedule a personal consultation with ophthalmologist Mark Mandel, MD. Contact Optima Eye by emailing us or calling 877-210-2020 ext. 3 today.

Healthy Aging Month: Tips for Eye Care Through the Years

Healthy Aging Month Eye Care Tips in San Jose

It is normal to notice changes in your vision as you get older. These may include loss of focus, having trouble distinguishing colors, and needing more time to adjust changing levels of light. Still, it is important to take precaution to minimize the risk of serious eye problems as you get older.

In honor of Healthy Aging Month, Bay Area ophthalmologist and cornea specialist Mark Mandel, MD, is here to share ways you can help preserve your vision and care for your eyes through the years.

Eat a Healthy, Eye-Friendly Diet

There is enough scientific evidence to suggest that consuming certain vitamins and minerals can minimize the risk of certain eye diseases, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. For good eye health, eat foods high in the following nutrients:

  • Vitamin C
  • Beta-carotene
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Don’t Smoke

Smoking affects various aspects of your health, and your eyes are no exception. Research shows that smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and other eye diseases.

Protect Your Eyes from the Sun

Protecting your eyes from the sun’s UV rays minimizes the risk of developing serious eye conditions, including cancer and cataracts. The best way to protect your eyes from the sun is to wear sunglasses that offer 100 percent UV protection. Because the sun’s rays can penetrate through clouds, it is essential you wear sunglasses year round, even during cold, overcast weather.

Manage Health Conditions

Health conditions such as hypertension and diabetes are linked to certain serious eye diseases, including cataracts. If you have a chronic condition, work with your primary care doctor to keep it under control. Take all medications as prescribed, see your primary doctor regularly and keep your eye doctor in the loop when it comes to your general health. You should also maintain a healthy weight, as being overweight increases the risk of diabetes and other chronic conditions connected to eye conditions.

Keep Up with All Eye Exams

Maintaining all of your regular eye exams is important, even if you are not experiencing any symptoms. This is because many eye diseases begin asymptomatic and can only be detected through an eye exam performed by an eye doctor. How often you should get your eyes examined depends on various factors, including your eye, current eye health and family history of eye diseases.

If you are experiencing any unusual eye symptoms, we encourage you to schedule a personal appointment with our ophthalmologist and cornea specialist Mark Mandel, MD. Contact Optima Eye by emailing us or calling 877-210-2020 ext. 3 today.

Can I Have LASIK If I Have Keratoconus?

Can LASIK Treat Keratoconus San Jose CA

LASIK is a laser vision correction procedure that reshapes the cornea to correct refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. During the reshaping of the cornea, some corneal tissue is removed, making the cornea thinner. As a result, LASIK is absolutely contraindicated for individuals with keratoconus, an eye condition characterized by thinning of the cornea.

Bay Area Corneal specialist and LASIK surgeon, Mark Mandel, MD, explains more in this blog post.

Understanding Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a progressive degenerative corneal condition. It causes the normally round cornea to thin and bulge into a cone-like shape. This in turn deflects light as it enters the eye on its way to the retina, distorting vision. As the bulging of the cornea worsens, nearsightedness and irregular astigmatism can occur. In addition to blurred vision, keratoconus can result in glare and light sensitivity.

Why Keratoconus May Disqualify You from Having LASIK

Keratoconus weakens the cornea, and having LASIK can weaken an eye with keratoconus even further.         

Treating Keratoconus with Intacs and Collagen Crosslinking

Fortunately there are several treatment options available for individuals with keratoconus. Keratoconus can be effectively treated with prescription eyewear such as glasses for milder cases and contact lenses for more advanced cases. But as the condition worsens, more advanced treatments are needed. Cornea specialist Mark Mandel MD is pleased to offer Intacs, which are FDA-approved clear, arc-shaped corneal inserts that are surgically inserted within the peripheral cornea to flatten and reshape the front surface of the eye. In addition to treating keratoconus, Intacs can be used to treat induced ectasia after LASIK surgery. It’s important to note that Intacs do not cure keratoconus or LASIK-induced ectasia or halt their progression. It can, however, make it easier to wear contact lenses to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.

Collagen crosslinking is an FDA-approved procedure that uses vitamin B drops and an ultraviolet light to strengthen the cornea and halt the progression of the condition. It is extremely effective in stopping the progression and should be used as soon as keratoconus is diagnosed (especially in children and teens).

Corneal specialist Mark Mandel, MD, can discuss your treatment options in detail upon meeting with you and evaluating your case. To schedule a personal consultation, contact Optima Eye by emailing us or calling 877-210-2020 ext. 3 today.

Study Suggests Dry Eye Affects More Than Just the Eyes

New Study Dry Eye Affects Every Day Tasks San Jose

People with dry eye have more than itchy, irritated red eyes to worry about. According to a recent study, those with dry eye report an overall lower quality of life. In addition, the group of over 1,000 dry eye patients report that they have difficulty performing everyday tasks and have higher levels of anxiety and worse overall health than individuals without dry eye.

Mark Mandel, MD, Bay Area eye surgeon and dry eye specialist, discusses the study’s findings in this blog post.

Dry Eye and Everyday Tasks

The study, conducted by prescription dry eye drop manufacturer Shire, asked dry eye patients to complete questionnaires that assessed their perceptions of their visual health and overall health. The answers were compared to the responses of people without dry eye.

Dry eye patients found it harder to perform simple, everyday tasks than the control group. These tasks include getting dressed and using a computer. The latter makes sense, as spending hours upon hours looking at computer screens can lead one to blink less frequently, which in turn can lead to dry eye.

Dry Eye and Overall Health

Dry eye patients reported experiencing anxiety, depression and worse overall health than individuals without dry eye. They also reported having a harder time establishing relationships with other people due to the bothersome symptoms of dry eye (e.g., red eyes, irritation, blurry vision). Since dry eye is often a chronic condition, many individuals who struggle with the eye condition may become discouraged about finding relief and may experience a lower quality of life than those without symptoms.

What To Do About Dry Eye

Dry eye is a common yet treatable condition. At Optima Eye, Dr. Mandel has helped many individuals with dry eye overcome their symptoms and find relief. The best treatment option depends on the individual’s specific symptoms and the root cause of the condition. If you’re experiencing dry eye and a lower quality of life as a result of it, Dr. Mandel can meet with you personally to evaluate your case and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. Among the treatment options he may recommend are artificial tears, anti-inflammatory drops, omega 3 oral supplements and punctal plugs, all of which may provide temporary relief. For potential longer-term relief, he may recommend LipiFlow, a revolutionary in-office treatment that restores the natural production of oils for long-term lubrication and dry eye relief.

Whether you experience temporary or chronic dry eye, let Dr. Mandel help. Schedule an appointment at one of our four office locations by emailing us or calling 877-210-2020 ext. 3 today.

5 Facts to Know During Cataract Awareness Month

Cataract Awareness Month 5 Facts San Jose CA

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, approximately 25 million Americans have cataracts, which is the clouding of the eye’s naturally clear lens. Over time, the clouded vision caused by cataracts worsens and if left untreated, can lead to blindness.

The good news is that cataracts are treatable — and clear, crisp vision is possible with cataract surgery. In honor of Cataract Awareness Month, Bay Area cataract surgeon Mark Mandel, MD, shares five facts to know about cataracts.

Cataracts Occur Gradually

Cataracts occur as a result of proteins in the eye clumping together, clouding a small area of the lens. The clouding that is formed, known as a cataract, becomes larger and denser over time, clouding more of the lens and making it harder to see.

Age Isn’t the Only Risk Factor for Cataracts

Cataracts are largely caused by age-related changes in the eyes. But there are other factors that may cause someone to develop cataracts prematurely. These include:

  • Overexposure to UV light
  • Health conditions (e.g., diabetes, hypertension)
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Prolonged use of corticosteroid medications
  • Previous eye surgery
  • Trauma to eye
  • Family  history of cataracts

Cataract Surgery Is Safe and Common

While early stages of cataracts can be managed with prescription eyewear, the only way to remove cataracts is through surgical intervention. Surgery becomes necessary when the cataracts have advanced so much that they interfere with everyday activities such as reading and driving.

Surgery may sound intimidating but cataract surgery is extremely safe and common. About 3 million cataract surgeries are performed each year, and more than 95 percent of patients achieve clearer vision after cataracts.

Cataract Surgery Can Do More Than Improve Your Vision

Cataract surgery involves removing the clouded natural lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) that works to restore clear vision. But cataract surgery does more than restore vision. Researchers have found that having cataract surgery can reduce the risk of falling and automobile accidents. In addition, one recent study found that cataract surgery may even improve mental function.

Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery Is Available at Optima Eye

Traditional cataract surgery involves using a handheld surgical blade to create an incision through which to access the eye’s natural lens. While this technique is safe, new developments in ophthalmology have made way for laser-assisted cataract surgery. This advanced technique replaces manual instruments with a femtosecond laser to perform critical steps of the cataract removal process. Laser-assisted cataract surgery enhances the precision of many critical steps of cataract surgery.

Laser-assisted cataract surgery is not for everyone. The best way to determine the most appropriate treatment option for you is to schedule a personal consultation with a board- certified cataract surgeon like Dr. Mandel.

If you have been diagnosed with cataracts or suspect that you may have this condition, contact Optima Eye. Book your appointment at one of our four office locations by emailing us or calling 877-210-2020 ext. 3 today.

Sarah Lee shares her successful LASIK experience. Click below to enjoy her video.

Physicians and patients have traveled from all over the world to Mark R. Mandel, MD

If you would like to meet with Dr. Mandel to discuss your personal vision needs, please contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

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Laser Refractive Surgeries

Laser refractive surgery corrects focusing errors of the eye (e.g., nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism) in order to improve visual sharpness and clarity. Procedures include LASIK, laser cataract surgery and refractive lens exchange.

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Premium Cataract Surgery

At Optima Eye we offer premium cataract surgery. Patients can opt for laser cataract surgery and / or premium intraocular lens implants, with several options to fit your unique lifestyle.

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Complete Eye Care

Dr. Mandel and his team of professionals offer a complete continuum of general eye care services to accommodate every patient’s needs — whether those needs are as simple as a routine eye exam, or as complex as laser vision correction.

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Dry Eye Treatment

Dry eye syndrome, which affects more than 100 million people worldwide, can be painful and debilitating. Dr. Mandel uses several approaches to treat dry eye, ranging from medication to punctal plugs.

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1237 B Street
Hayward, CA 94541

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455 O’Connor Drive, Suite 360
San Jose, CA 95128

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Castro Valley, CA 94546

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Concord, CA 94520
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