Heritage Eye Center

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Heritage Eye Center Joshua Heczko, MD, Sanjay Patel, MD, Dania Tassabhji, OD
Joshua Heczko, MD, Sanjay Patel, MD, Dania Tassabhji, OD

Sentries guarding the gift of sight, the eye doctors at Heritage Eye Center revealed their motivations and inspirations. They shared memories about temporary childhood blindness and family members with metal shards in their eyes. They told us why they think Lasik can leave patients more appreciative than those who undergo unexpected life-saving surgeries. Board certified and specializing in varied fields, the doctors also offered advice on protecting one of your major senses, and how common over-the-counter eye drops can do more harm than good.

Sanjay Patel, MD
Sanjay Patel, MD

Temporary Blindness

Dr. Sanjay Patel experienced a week of blindness as a young child. Though the doctors in the Toronto hospital where he was admitted never learned the cause of his vision loss, the young patient never lost faith in medicine. Now chief surgeon and board certified ophthalmologist at Heritage Eye Center, where he’s practiced since 1999, Dr. Patel specializes in cataract surgery.

Often caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation over time, cataracts can feel like seeing the world through a fog. Worse, the fog can become denser over time. Other causes include diabetes, some steroid medications, electrical injuries, and eye trauma, so senior citizens are the usual candidates for cataract surgery, but not the only ones. “I had a young lady with a cataract in her late 20s or early 30s,” said Dr. Patel. “She had a baby and hadn’t seen her baby’s face in almost six months.”

Replacing the foggy lens with an artificial one, cataract surgery can minimize the need for glasses and even act as bifocals. Dr. Patel explained that the procedure uses a smaller surgical incision than ever before, and no longer requires stitches, a drastic change from the cataract surgery of a few decades past. Recovery can be as quick as a few days, with some patients reporting 20/20 vision the day after their procedure.

But while Dr. Patel describes impressive results, he told us that it’s a point of pride to never push any treatment on his patients. “I always say these are your options, pros and cons, and get input on their goals,” he said. In this way, he has become something like the doctors who helped him as a child.

Dania Tassabhji, OD
Dania Tassabhji, OD

Metal Shards

Dr. Dania Tassabhji recalled her grandfather, a construction worker, encountering metal shards in his eyes during her childhood. Observing the profound relief provided by optometric care ignited her fascination with the field of optometry. Now a board certified optometrist and glaucoma specialist, Dr. Tassabhji is passionate about educating her patients on the importance of regular eye exams and maintaining overall eye health. She emphasizes the importance of annual evaluations, which not only assess vision but also detect early signs of health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which can affect eye health.

Additionally, Dr. Tassabhji explained the crucial role optometrists play in identifying early warning signs of glaucoma and macular degeneration, both of which are hereditary, during routine examinations. She discussed the prevalence of dry eyes, exacerbated by factors like the environment and prolonged screen time, and recommends the 20/20/20 rule – taking a brief visual break every 20 minutes by focusing on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds to alleviate strain. While cautioning against the overuse of over-the-counter eye drops, she told us how she explores cutting-edge treatments for dry eye syndrome with her patients, including innovative therapies like autologous serum tears derived from the patient’s own blood.

Excited about the ongoing advancements in optometry, Dr. Tassabhji eagerly anticipates the profession’s future trajectory, ready to continue delivering unparalleled care and innovation to her patients.

Joshua Heczko, MD
Joshua Heczko, MD

Big Changes

The big payoffs satisfy Dr. Joshua Heczko. The kind where patients undergo a 10-minute surgery and then no longer need glasses. The fellowship-trained ophthalmologist specializes in corneas, performs Lasik surgeries, and helps remove cataracts at Heritage Eye Center, which he joined last August.

“My wife is a trauma surgeon,” said the doctor. “She saves lives all the time, but I feel like my patients are much more appreciative than hers. might wake up without an arm. I have patients with cataracts who ” he said.

Dr. Heczko explained that the number of people needing eye prescriptions has skyrocketed in the last several years, with only a few theories offered as to why. Though lots of researchers examine the cause, some point to the dependence on technology at younger ages, resulting in near-sighted children. The problem is especially prevalent in Asia, explained the doctor.

For patients who are good candidates for Lasik, the elective procedure will reshape their corneas, but offers a quick recovery. “Throughout the medical field, Lasik has some of the best results and some of the happiest patients,” said the doctor. Dr. Heczko told us most patients have 90% of vision return within a week.

Full Attention

At Heritage Eye Center, the doctors provide patients with their full attention. Scribes notate each visit, and an outstanding office team helps the practice flow efficiently. With a great supportive framework, Heritage Eye Center locations in Allen and McKinney foster strong doctor-patient connections just as much as they offer expert care from a diverse team of board certified specialists. For patients 18 and up, it’s a resource you can count on.


1501 Redbud Boulevard
McKinney, Texas 75069

915 West Exchange Parkway
Suite 160
Allen, Texas 75013