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.

Mark R. Mandel, MD

As a sub-specialist Dr. Mandel has performed over 70,000 LASIK procedures and 20,000 cataract/IOL procedures. He has been serving Bay Area patients since 1983.

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… always striving to achieve the best possible outcomes.

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.


Author Archives: Mark Mandel, MD

Can LASIK Save You Money in the Long Term?

Saving Money on Vision Correction

Before making any financial decision, it’s always a good idea to do a cost-benefit analysis.

With this in mind, it’s a good idea to calculate the return on your investment in health care, including eye care. Here Bay Area LASIK and cornea specialist Mark Mandel, MD explains why getting LASIK will save you money in the long term.

Typical Eye Care Expenses

Seventy-five percent of adults wear some form of corrective lenses; 71 percent of these people wear glasses and 22 percent wear contacts. This means that, at the very least, every two years, the majority of adults get an exam, re-up their prescriptions and then likely buy glasses — though for some that means contacts, too.

A majority of Americans do not have eye insurance. If you count yourself among this group, you pay on average $403 for eye care needs. This includes:

  • $163 on eye exams
  • $240 on glasses

For patients whose sight is really poor, eye care professionals often suggest some upgrades, including, on average, an anti-reflective coating for an additional $113 and/or polycarbonate lenses for an extra $57.

So far, your average bi-yearly eye care expense is $573.

Now, add in the cost of contacts if you wear those. On average, the cost for nearsighted contacts is $250 for the year, and $600 for those with an astigmatism. In total, without even factoring in the price of solutions and cases you need for your contacts, you’ll spend about $1,073 every two years on eye care. Over the course of your adulthood, you may spend more than $11,000 on your eye care.

Now consider this: on average and for both eyes, LASIK surgery costs $5,700. With more than 97 percent of patients having their vision corrected to 20/20 or better, LASIK clearly comes with a variety of perks — including that of significant savings compared to repeatedly purchasing expensive eyewear.

Bay Area LASIK and cornea specialist Mark Mandel MD and his team of experts would love to meet with you to discuss how LASIK surgery would benefit you. Call 877-210-2020 or visit our site now to learn more or schedule a consultation.

Why Some Patients Prefer Laser Cataract Surgery

Patient undergoing Vision Correction

Cataracts are a visual impairment characterized by a clouding of the eye’s lens. While most cataracts go hand in hand with aging, others can result from an eye injury, a previous eye procedure or other causes.

Cataracts are frustrating for anyone who has them, as symptoms can include:

  • Poor distant or near vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Rings around lighted objects
  • Seeing objects as different or with less color
  • Double vision

There are several treatments available for cataracts, but laser cataract surgery has fast become the gold standard. Here Bay Area LASIK and cornea specialist Mark Mandel, MD explains why many patients prefer laser cataract surgery.

Treatment for Cataracts

While cataracts are the No. 1 cause of blindness worldwide, when they are treated, vision is restored. In fact, corrective treatments for cataracts are 99 percent successful.

Furthermore, recovery is fairly simple and quick, and complications are rare.

When cataracts are severe enough that glasses no longer work or your daily life is interrupted, surgery is the only corrective option, as there are no prescriptions to solve this issue.

Once the cloudy lens has been removed, the doctor will then insert an artificial lens — or intraocular lens. Whichever lens you choose in tandem with your doctor, the idea is for your vision to become clearer, sharper and more vibrant.

Bay Area LASIK and cornea specialist Mark Mandel MD and his team are experts in using the latest laser technology to help remove your cataracts. Dr. Mandel prefers this technology as there are a few benefits. Laser–assisted surgery helps the surgeon make incisions more accurately. Also, laser surgery may offer the patient more precise correction of astigmatism and allows for more precise positioning of the lens implant.

Dr. Mandel and his team have the latest bladeless and laser technology — the LenSx femtosecond cataract laser — at their fingertips to perform this leading cataract corrective surgery, customized to benefit each patient. Call 877-210-2020 or visit our site now to learn more — or to schedule a consultation.

Solutions for Farsightedness

Farsightedness while reading

Do you squint at your computer screen, but give movie screens a wide-eyed look? Do you need readers when you sit down to work, but can head out to sightsee with crystal clear vision? Do you have persistent headaches at the office, but notice the pain goes away in other settings? These are potential symptoms and cues of farsightedness, also known as hyperopia. Eyes that are too “short” and corneas that have a flatter curvature can create hyperopia. Either condition will prevent your retina from catching a clear image, thereby causing objects to be out of focus.

The good news is that Bay Area LASIK and cornea specialist Mark Mandel, MD has multiple solutions for farsightedness.

Why Does Farsightedness Occur?

Most babies are born hyperopic, but the defect self-corrects as the eyes grow and develop.

Age-related farsightedness is another form of the condition. As it does with any organ, age takes a toll on your eyes. By the time you reach your mid-40s, your lenses are likely to become less flexible, and eventually you will develop presbyopia ( the inability to read) and/or age-related hyperopia.

What Are the Solutions?

If your hyperopia is causing enough fuzziness and discomfort to warrant treatment, there are a few options, starting with glasses or contacts. Either will change the way light rays bend into the eyes, sharpening up  objects. Patients with severely farsighted vision who prefer glasses may consider aspheric high-index lenses with an anti-reflective coating, which are thinner and lighter than other lenses.

Different laser surgery options are also available, all of which Bay Area LASIK and cornea specialist Mark Mandel MD offers.

LASIK surgery involves the doctor creating a thin flap in the cornea, under which he will go in and reshape the cornea and then put the flap back in place. LASIK is often suggested to more active patients, as the recovery time is quicker than with PRK.

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a laser procedure performed to correct farsightedness as well as nearsightedness. This option is offered mainly to patients with thinner corneas.  During PRK, Dr. Mandel removes the surface corneal cells and reshapes the cornea with the excimer laser.

For both procedures, Dr. Mandel uses FDA-approved wavefront-guided laser treatments, as they are able to correct for higher order aberrations and thereby diminish glare, halos and starbursts, while also increasing contrast sensitivity. For LASIK, the femtosecond laser is used to create the flap in a procedure known as “all-laser LASIK.”

Schedule a Consultation Today

Bay Area LASIK and cornea specialist Mark Mandel MD and his Optima Eye team serve patients in San Jose and the greater Bay Area, including the East Bay. Learn more about his services and schedule a consultation today by calling 877-210-2020.

Foods That May Help Prevent Eye Disease

Foods that may help Eye Health

Although the treatments for eye disease have never been more successful, it is far better to avoid conditions like cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration in the first place. Multiple studies appearing in academic journals show a correlation between eating certain foods and preventing eye disease.

Here Bay Area ophthalmologist Mark Mandel, MD, of Optima Eye, discusses the foods you should incorporate into your diet for healthier eyes.   

Fruits with Vitamin C

Vitamin C may be best known for maintaining a healthy immune system, but it also has a lot of benefits for your eyes. This micronutrient boosts collagen production, which keeps your cornea and your eye’s blood vessels healthier. Research also shows that vitamin C consumption reduces your risk for cataracts.

Fruits with good amounts of vitamin C include kiwis, apples, peaches, cantaloupes, bananas and of course citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit.  

When it comes to seedless produce, your best bet is to look for veggies that fit into these two categories:


Leafy (and usually dark) greens: Foods like kale, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, romaine lettuce and watercress are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that have been found to help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. They also have been shown to help your eyes better filter blue light, which can help you to avoid retinal damage.

Brightly colored veggies: Lutein and zeaxanthin are also found in many vibrant (think red, yellow and orange) vegetables such as carrots, peppers, corn and sweet potatoes, so do not hesitate to add some color to your leafy green dishes to enhance your carotenoid intake.  

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Multiple studies have connected fish oil consumption to decreased risk for both dry eye and macular degeneration. Salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring all have high omega-3 fatty acid content. If you would prefer to skip seafood altogether, though, you can also find omega-3 in walnuts, chia seeds and soybeans.  

Whole Grains

Researchers have found that switching from refined carbohydrates to cleaner grains slows the effects of macular degeneration by a significant amount. To reap those benefits, try brown rice instead of white, or whole-wheat bread and pasta instead of the white varieties. You can also add sides of quinoa or barley in place of more traditional starches to boost your eye health.    

The thing to remember about all this research is that, even with a terrific diet, preventing eye disease is far from a guarantee. In the event that you do develop a condition that requires treatment to preserve your eyesight, schedule an appointment with ophthalmologist Mark Mandel, MD by contacting one of Optima Eye’s Bay Area locations. Email or call us at 877-210-2020 ext. 3 today.

Reasons You Should Not Put Off LASIK

LASIK in the Bay Area

Having performed over 70,000 LASIK procedures, LASIK and cornea specialist Mark Mandel, MD has been fortunate enough to hear many Bay Area LASIK patients tell him, “I wish I did this years ago!” Here he explains why — if you are already contemplating LASIK — logic states that you should act sooner than later. 

It Is Permanent

For nearly all patients, the results from LASIK last the rest of their lives. This surgery is not the kind of procedure that improves your vision for 10 to 15 years so that you would want to give more consideration to the specific timing — forever is forever. 

In that sense, delaying the procedure does not accomplish much. Allow your new eyewear-free lifestyle to commence as soon as possible. 

It Is Better to Get LASIK When You Are Younger

The optimal candidate for LASIK is between the ages of 20 and 40 because by then your eyes have stabilized, you remain in overall good health, and you are unlikely to have developed age-related eye conditions that could impede the procedure.   

Make no mistake, by no means does that mean people middle aged and older cannot or do not get LASIK in large numbers. Some people do not even have vision problems that would warrant getting LASIK until they are older.

During a consultation, Mark Mandel, MD can confirm whether you are a candidate for LASIK regardless of your age. However, if you plan to get LASIK at some point, now is the time!

It Could Be a Waste of Money to Not Do It

Although LASIK surgery is not inexpensive, many consider it a wise financial investment for long-term vision care. Comparing the cost of a few decades of contact lenses to LASIK, you likely come out ahead by choosing refractive surgery.   

That is especially true if you know that you eventually plan to get LASIK. Every year that you continue to spend money on glasses and contacts before getting LASIK is money that was not necessary to spend. Remember, Optima Eye offers financing through CareCredit, so if your hesitation stems from not having the money available in lump sum, paying for LASIK now may be more feasible than you realized.

If you feel the motivation to finally make an appointment to discuss your own candidacy for LASIK, schedule a personal consultation with Bay Area LASIK and cornea specialist Mark Mandel, MD. Contact Optima Eye by emailing us or calling 877-210-2020 ext. 3 today.

Answers to Common Questions about Astigmatism

Astigmatism FAQ Page for Bay Area Ophthalmologist

For a condition that affects roughly one-third of the United States population to a significant degree, it is surprising how many people do not have much of an understanding of astigmatism. Below, top Bay Area LASIK and cornea specialist Mark Mandel, MD, of Optima Eye, answers some of the most frequent questions about astigmatism.

What Is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a refractive error in which the curvature of either the cornea or lens is abnormal. Due to this irregularity, light rays entering the eye do not bend at the proper angles, in turn leading to blurry vision. While other refractive conditions like nearsightedness and farsightedness cause your sight to be hazy at certain distances, astigmatism makes your vision blurry at all distances.    

What Are the Symptoms of Astigmatism?

The most telling symptom is blurry vision. If you have persistently blurry vision, regardless of whether it ends up being astigmatism, you should talk to your eye doctor about this issue.

Other symptoms you may notice include having to squint or strain your eyes to see, which is likely to leave your eyes feeling tired and increase the frequency with which you experience migraines. You also may have extra trouble seeing at night.

A mild astigmatism (which may get worse over time) may be hard to diagnose on your own, which is why it is important to undergo regular eye examinations to check for these types of conditions.  

How Do I Get Tested for Astigmatism?

Most comprehensive eye exams will include multiple tests for astigmatism. In fact, you likely have already undergone these tests, even if you were not fully aware of their purpose.

The first test is for acuity and involves reading letters on a chart from a distance. During a second test called keratometry, your doctor uses an ophthalmometer to measure your cornea’s precise curvature. The third such test is the refraction test, which evaluates how light bends through your cornea. This test is the one where the doctor switches between lenses with different strengths to determine what prescription will resolve the astigmatism.    

Is It Possible to Fix Astigmatism?

Yes, fortunately there are many ways to address astigmatism. Common interventions allow most people to attain 20/20 vision in spite of astigmatism. Eyeglasses and contact lenses fitted with the proper prescription can usually do the trick.

For patients who would rather not have to rely on eyewear indefinitely, LASIK and cornea specialist Mark Mandel MD offers other solutions like LASIK and PRK, astigmatic keratotomy, toric ICL and toric IOLs. After confirming your astigmatism with your optometrist, if you are interested in one of these refractive surgeries to permanently resolve your blurry vision, then schedule a personal consultation with Bay Area LASIK and cornea specialist Mark Mandel, MD.

You may contact Optima Eye by emailing us or calling 877-210-2020 ext. 3 today.

Preserving a Clear, Healthy Cornea

Corneal Health for Bay Area patients

The cornea is the transparent, convex shield that protects the eye’s pupil and iris. It plays a key role in ensuring sharp vision by focusing incoming light on the retina. If the cornea is misshapen or becomes damaged, your eyesight will lose its clarity. Here, Bay Area cornea and LASIK specialist Mark Mandel, MD reviews several conditions that can affect the health and integrity of your cornea.

Corneal Dystrophies

Corneal dystrophies involve accumulation of opaque material in the cornea. The severity can vary widely with this condition, and may involve a high level of pain. There are over 20 different types of inherited dystrophies that can harm the cornea.

In one variety, Fuchs’ dystrophy, loss of the internal corneal cells called the endothelium causes swelling of the cornea. This leads to blurred vision that progressively worsens. Granular dystrophy involves the accumulation of material in the internal portions of the cornea. This interferes with vision and is sometimes painful. 

Keratoconus is a condition where the middle part of the cornea thins and begins to bulge. The resulting cone-shaped cornea cannot precisely focus light on the retina. The condition can also cause scarring and swelling.

Patients who suffer from progressive keratoconus face the prospect of gradually dimming vision, as well as multiple corneal transplant surgeries to replace a thinning, cone-shaped cornea. One new treatment option, corneal crosslinking, repairs the cornea by hardening the collagen fibers within the cornea so that it does not continue to thin and bulge and scar. Corneal crosslinking will typically not reverse the effects of keratoconus, but it is the only proven technique for stopping its progression.

Other Risks

Keratitis is a painful infection that causes inflammation and can scar and otherwise damage the cornea. Treatments depend on the exact cause and range from antibiotic or cortisone eyedrops to corneal transplants in severe cases.

Dry eye syndrome is another chronic condition that can damage the cornea. The eye’s meibomian glands secrete oils that keep tears from evaporating quickly. When these glands stop working properly, the fine layer of moisture on the eye’s surface dissipates, resulting in less protection for the cornea.

If you would like to know more about ways to ensure a healthy cornea, we encourage you to schedule a personal consultation with Bay Area cornea and LASIK specialist Mark Mandel, MD. Contact Optima Eye by emailing us or calling 877-210-2020 ext. 3 today.

How Quick Is LASIK Recovery?

LASIK surgeon in the Bay Area

Speed and limited downtime are two of the main benefits of ultra-convenient and comfortable LASIK vision correction. The surgical laser is in contact with the cornea for 40 seconds or less, and the entire procedure is over in about a half hour. Recovery is also rapid, and typically free of complications. Below, experienced Bay Area cornea and LASIK specialist Mark Mandel, MD outlines the phases of post-LASIK healing.

Recovery Timeline

Your eyes begin healing immediately after your LASIK procedure, and you should begin seeing clearly within 8 hours. Over the next few months, your vision will adjust to the new cornea shape until you achieve maximum clarity.

During the recovery period, some patients report slight fluctuations in vision, sensitivity to light, halos around lights, occasional blurring and difficulty with night driving. In addition, it is not uncommon to experience dry eyes for weeks or months. You may briefly experience a slight itching, burning or a foreign body sensation.

Give your eyes room to heal efficiently by avoiding makeup, swimming, vigorous physical activity, contact sports and especially rubbing the eyes. Premier LASIK specialist Mark Mandel, MD will advise you when it is safe for you to resume various activities.

Make sure to keep your follow-up appointments, as it allows your surgeon an opportunity to measure the changes in your vision and check for any complications. If you do feel pain as your eyes heal, this is actually an indicator that you need to return to the office so that your surgeon can check for infection or other side effects that require prompt attention.

The healing process is unique to each patient. Some attain their new, sharper vision quickly, while others experience some fluctuation in vision over a longer period. Only when your eyes have completely healed can Mark Mandel, MD fully evaluate your eye health and quantify the amount of improvement you have gained from the procedure.

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

IOL Choices for Cataract Patients

IOL cataract choices in the Bay Area

More than ever before, cataract patients enjoy an incredibly wide selection of intraocular lenses (IOLs), the advanced lens implants that bring life into clear focus after cataract surgery.

These plastic IOLs, originally designed only to efficiently imitate the eye’s natural lenses, now provide capabilities that transcend the limitations of the cataract-clouded lenses they replace. New IOLs allow patients to reduce and even eliminate reliance on prescription lenses. Below, Bay Area ophthalmologist and premium refractive cataract specialist Mark Mandel, MD explores the expanding array of IOL choices.

State-of-the-Art Multifocals

Multifocal IOLs represent the most dramatic improvement in IOL technology. As the name suggests, these lenses are able to focus on objects at various distances. Most offer two set fields of vision, but a new trifocal option allows clear vision at near, far and intermediate distances. Patients who receive these new trifocal IOLs can read a book, watch TV and look up to enjoy a sunset, all with the same permanent and resilient implanted lenses.

This new trifocal option is the AcrySof IQ PanOptix intraocular lens. It works by splitting light into three focal points: The intermediate focal point for these exceptional lenses is 60 cm, which is within the optimal range for performing tasks using digital screens. This is more practical than the 80 cm focal point used by some other lenses. The near vision focal point is 40 cm, an ideal distance for reading and other close-range tasks. The third focal point is infinity, allowing clear, panoramic views of the world around you.

In addition to PanOptix, the Vivity, Symfony and Tecnis lenses offer the greatest opportunity for cataract patients to achieve freedom from frames. The PanOptix, Vivity, Symfony and Tecnis multifocal lenses bring close and distant objects into focus without eye muscle assistance.

Sharp Vision, High Satisfaction

Although adults who needed glasses or contacts before cataract surgery may not achieve 20/20 vision with these advanced IOLs, almost all patients who receive the lenses will see a significant improvement in their vision. An estimated 80 percent of advanced IOL patients will have no need to rely on glasses or contacts, and nearly all will be able to pass a driver’s license exam without corrective lenses.

Many will not need reading glasses. To ensure freedom from reading glasses, patients have the option of selecting “blended vision,” in which one implant is adjusted for distance and the other for near vision.

If you would like to know more about cataract surgery and IOL choices, 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.

Why You Should Stop Rubbing Your Eyes

Preserving healthy eyes in San Jose & Bay Area

Rubbing your eyes is a natural response to itches, irritation and allergies. Most of us have been doing it for a very long time — since infancy, in fact. Watch a baby wake up in the morning and you’re very likely to observe this hardwired behavior.

But as natural as it may be, and as logical as it may seem, routinely rubbing your eyes can have negative consequences, ranging from scratched corneas to keratoconus. Below, Bay Area ophthalmologist Mark Mandel, MD, discusses some of the risks.

Under Pressure

One of the main reasons that we rub our eyes is that it works. By rubbing the eyes, we stimulate tear flow, and this can wash away whatever is irritating the eye. It also has the unexpected effect of relaxing the vagus nerve, which can reduce stress.

Because the eye is so fragile, even a moderate amount of rubbing can result in damage. When rubbing causes small blood vessels to break, the eyes appear blood-shot. Leakage from capillaries can even help create dark circles under the eyes.

In the process of rubbing the eyes, your hand may transfer germs to the area, which can cause conjunctivitis or other infections. If there is dirt, debris or a grain of sand in the eye, it can scratch the cornea when you rub your eyes. The effect is even greater if you wear contact lenses.

Too much rubbing can affect your vision, changing your prescription by shortening or lengthening the distance between lens and retina. It can also cause an increase in intraocular eye pressure, which is especially dangerous for those already suffering from elevated eye pressure.

Constant eye rubbing can wear away the thickness of the cornea. When the cornea loses integrity, it may gradually become more conical in shape, resulting in keratoconus, a condition that can seriously impact the health of your eye and the clarity of your vision.

The Liquid Solution

The way to prevent all these effects — refraining from rubbing your eyes — is easier said than done. Eye rubbing is a natural response that we need to make a conscious effort to unlearn. The best alternative to addressing dryness and irritation is to wash the eye with sterile saline, eye drops or water. Flushing away dust and debris is the safest way to restore comfort and protect your delicate eyes.

If you would like to know more about healthy eye habits, 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.

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.


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.


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.


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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Hayward, CA 94541

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