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

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.

Common Eye Conditions Found in People Age 40 and Older

Age & Eye Disease

Your vision is an invaluable asset as it directly influences your quality of life. Unfortunately, vision tends to worsen with age and you become more susceptible to certain eye diseases. Below, trusted ophthalmologist and cornea specialist Mark Mandel, MD, discusses common eye diseases found in people age 40 and older.

Presbyopia

Presbyopia is the age-related loss of near (or reading) vision. As you age, the internal lenses of your eyes become less flexible and as a result have more difficulty switching focus from far to near objects. Presbyopia occurs gradually and most people do not notice its effects until age 40 or older.

Although presbyopia can be treated with reading glasses, advances in LASIK have made it possible to mitigate the effects of the age-related eye condition while correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. One LASIK technique involves treating one eye so it can focus properly on far objects and the other to focus on near objects. This is called monovision. The two eyes work well together to see clearly at most distances.

Cataracts

Cataracts is a common eye condition among individuals age 60 and older. A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Over time, the proteins in the lens clump together, causing the lens to become cloudy. Age is the common cause of cataracts but other causes include genetics, certain medical problems like diabetes, eye injury, previous eye surgeries and UV damage.

The only way to remove a cataract is through surgical intervention. During surgery, the cataract is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens to restore clear vision. Today’s premium IOLs are more advanced than ever. In addition to restoring vision affected by cataracts, some lenses can also address some of the effects of presbyopia so patients can see well at distance and near as well as correct for astigmatism.

Glaucoma

Often referred to as the “silent thief of sight,” glaucoma is a set of eye disorders that gradually damage the optic nerve, which is responsible for carrying information from the eye to the brain. Although there is currently no cure for glaucoma, early detection and management of the condition can slow down its progression. Research shows that the risk of glaucoma increases with each decade after age 40.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss among older Americans. AMD is a result of the deterioration of the macula, the part of the retina that is responsible for central vision and what allows you to read, recognize faces and other tasks that require an ability to see fine detail. As with glaucoma, there is no cure for AMD but treatment can slow down vision loss.

To learn how to preserve healthy vision as you get older, or to learn about cataract surgery and treatment of other eye conditions, schedule a consultation with Mark Mandel, MD, at one of his four office locations. Contact Optima Eye by emailing us or calling 877-210-2020 ext. 3 today.

Could Cataract Surgery Improve Brain Health?

Cataract Surgery & Brain Health

If you are considering cataract surgery, you are likely aware of the positive effects the surgical procedure can have on your everyday life. By restoring clear vision and sharp focus, cataract surgery can make everyday activities like reading text messages easier, computer work more comfortable and driving safer. Now a recent study has found that cataract surgery may improve mental function.

Mark Mandel, MD, a renowned cataract surgeon, discusses the findings of the study in this blog post.

About the Study

Researchers compared the rates of cognitive decline in patients before and after having cataract surgery. They found that the rate of cognitive decline slowed down by 50 percent after cataract surgery over the course of 13 years of follow-up testing. The rate of cognitive decline among patients after cataract surgery was similar to the rate of decline among individuals without cataracts.

While scientists are still not certain why or how vision problems like cataracts affect cognitive decline, researchers theorize that factors such as isolation, embarrassment and lack of physical activity as a result of vision problems may contribute to the problem.

The data for the study comes from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Researchers looked at 2,068 cataract patients and 3,636 adults without cataracts. They tested participants’ memory by asking them to recall 10 words immediately after the words were read aloud to them and then again after participants had been distracted by other tasks.

This study joins a growing body of research that has analyzed the advantages of cataract surgery beyond improving sight. For instance, one previous study has found that older adults who have had cataract surgery have a lower risk of falling and hip fractures.

About Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery involves removing the natural lens of the eye that has become clouded with a cataract over time. Once the lens is removed, an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) is positioned into place to restore clear vision. Today’s premium IOLs can fix vision at various distances and treat other eye conditions, including astigmatism and the need for reading glasses (presbyopia). Cataract surgery is a very common and safe procedure. Recovery is minimal and most patients notice an improvement in their vision very soon after surgery.

To learn more about cataract surgery, please schedule a personal appointment at one of Dr. Mandel’s four office locations. Contact Optima Eye by emailing us or calling 877-210-2020 ext. 3 today.

What Matters Most When Picking a LASIK Surgeon?

Choosing a LASIK Surgeon

Working with a qualified LASIK surgeon is the best thing you can do to ensure that your laser vision correction procedure is both safe and successful. If you have just begun your search, you may be wondering what one factor matters most when picking your LASIK surgeon. The truth is that there are several factors you need to consider and qualifications your LASIK surgeon must possess.

Mark Mandel, MD, Bay Area cornea and LASIK specialist, discusses these qualifications in this blog post.

Education and Training

First and foremost, your LASIK surgeon must have completed the proper education and training to safely perform laser vision correction. Select a surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. Board-certified LASIK surgeons have graduated from an accredited medical school, completed years of surgical training and regularly take continuing courses to stay on top of the latest advances in laser vision correction.  Preferably, the surgeon is a fellowship-trained corneal specialist.

Membership to professional organizations like the American Academy of Ophthalmology are good indicators that the surgeon possesses the expertise needed to perform complex laser vision correction procedures.

State-of-the-Art Technology

Technology is constantly evolving. Innovative technologies like All-laser LASIK and wavefront LASIK allow surgeons to customize treatment to be more precise and accurate. A great LASIK surgeon invests in the latest technology and innovations in order to provide a safe patient experience and excellent visual results. Femtosecond laser flaps help to ensure a safer outcome. The latest wavefront lasers with the latest software upgrades are essential.

Transparency

Great LASIK surgeons possess not only great technical training and experience, but also communication skills. Your surgeon should take the time to thoroughly answer all of your questions and concerns. He or she should also set reasonable expectations about your procedure and the results. In other words, your surgeon (and his or her staff) should be completely transparent with you about what to expect before, during and after your LASIK surgery. They should also not try to pressure you into having surgery or making premature decisions in regards to your surgery and care.

Learn More about Mark Mandel, MD

Mark Mandel, MD, is a renowned laser vision correction surgeon and cornea specialist who has performed over 70,000 laser vision procedures. Voted one of Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors, Dr. Mandel and his team are known for world-class patient care. If you would like to learn more about LASIK or the other laser vision correction procedures he offers, such as the ICL for high degrees of myopia, contact Optima Eye. You can schedule an appointment at one of our four office locations by emailing us or calling 877-210-2020 ext. 3 today.

What Happens If Cataracts Are Left Untreated?

Untreated Cataract Problems

Currently, no medication or eyedrop has been shown to stop or reverse the formation or cataracts. The only way to treat a cataract is by surgically removing the eye’s natural lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. Modern techniques and technology allow surgeons like Mark Mandel, MD, to remove cataracts in the least invasive way possible. The procedure takes less than an hour and is performed on an outpatient basis.

Although every surgery has risks, leaving cataracts untreated can also be risky. Read on as Dr. Mandel explains what can happen if cataracts go untreated. Continue reading

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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Hayward, CA 94541

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San Jose, CA 95128

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