“It’s very rewarding to help someone and bring a smile to their face – we surgeons like to see that.”
For Dr. Eugenio Candal, medicine is all in the family. “Both my parents are doctors. My father was a surgeon who later went into orthopedics and my mother was an ophthalmologist. I also have two uncles that are doctors and both of my grandfathers and great grandfathers were physicians. Growing up, I knew I wanted to be able to help people improve their lives through medicine. I’m very proud that being an ophthalmologist allows me to do that.”
Dr. Candal, who is Board Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, treats many patients who are suffering from either dry eye or cornea problems. “If a patient comes in with dry eyes, I tell them that there are a lot of things we can do for them and chances are we can really help them. There are a lot of causes for dry eye, from simple problems like sitting in front of a computer incorrectly to immune system diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. I try to carefully tailor each patient’s treatment to their own particular problem.”
Dr. Candal also sees many patients suffering from glaucoma. “Compliance is a big issue with glaucoma. Patients really need to follow their care instructions. The trouble with glaucoma is that patients don’t realize they are losing their vision until it is too late. Studies have shown that people who keep their appointments, use their drops regularly and come in for testing, have an overall less risk of going blind from glaucoma.”
According to Dr. Candal, new cutting-edge diagnostic technologies such as Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), have revolutionized the way ophthalmologists diagnose eye diseases. “With this new technology you can get images of the optic nerve as well as the retina. It can also be used for the front of the eye and the cornea as well. The detail of the images is much greater than what we’ve had in the past. This technology allows a more precise and convenient diagnosis for the patients we treat.”
Ophthalmologists such as Dr. Candal are highly trained in surgery and often specialize in treating one area of the eye. Dr. Candal performs most of his surgery at the front of the eye, including such procedures as corneal transplants and LASIK and PRK for vision correction. “LASIK is an outpatient procedure generally performed with local anesthetic eye drops. This type of surgery gently reshapes the cornea by removing microscopic amounts of tissue from the outer surface with a computer-controlled beam of light. The laser is so precise, it can cut notches in a strand of human hair without breaking it. The procedure itself takes only a few minutes, and patients typically return to their daily routine in one to three days. PRK is a refractive procedure similar to LASIK which can be used in patients that may not be candidates for LASIK due to dry eyes or other issues.”
Dr. Candal enjoys being able to help his patients in dramatic ways. “I had one young man as a patient who was diabetic and it was ruining his vision. Until I performed cataract surgery on him, he wasn’t able to go out, wasn’t really able to function. After surgery, it was like night and day for him. He was able to return to all the activities he loved. It’s very rewarding to help someone and bring a smile to their face – we surgeons like to see that.”
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