A Far Sight Better

Cataract surgery restores fading vision.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Dellor Grant

Though she spent the first two years of her life in the big city of Chicago, Illinois and later spent about six years living out west in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Dellor Grant considers herself a Floridian. And rightfully so.

Now 67, Dellor has lived most of her life here in the Sunshine State, including the last 20, all of which have been devoted largely to serving as the business and office manager for her daughter’s chiropractic practice.

“I work because I still enjoy working,” Dellor says. “But I’m pretty active, too. When I’m not working, I enjoy being on my bicycle, going to the beach or the theater, and I enjoy doing Pilates and things of that nature.”

For almost as long as she’s been managing her daughter’s practice, Dellor has also been battling some health issues. All of them, including a series of strokes in the optic nerve, have been related to her eyes.

“My vision problems began when I was diagnosed with narrow-angle glaucoma,”Dellor says of the disorder that occurs when a sudden build-up of fluid behind the colored portion of the eye, or iris, creates undo pressure that causes irritation, pain and blurriness.

“That problem was eventually rectified, and in 2011, I had a condition called optic ischemic neuropathy,” Dellor continues. “That’s a stroke in the optic nerve, and I actually had three of them, two in my left eye and one in my right.

“The most recent was about three years ago this past April. The therapy that was done to correct that was prednisone drops in my eye, but that ended up causing the lens to deteriorate very quickly.”

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Improved vision is helping Dellor run her daughter’s chiropractic office

Seeing the Signs

Dellor’s lenses weren’t the only thing that deteriorated. As a result of the ischemic neuropathies, Dellor’s vision deteriorated as well, to a point where she was left with massive blind spots in the lower half of each eye.

Those blind spots and the eventual deterioration of her lenses created a visual nightmare for Dellor that made it difficult for her to read and see clearly in the distance and at night. She also had trouble distinguishing the colors of traffic lights. “The discoloration of the lights got to the point where I eventually had to stop driving because it wasn’t safe for me to be operating a vehicle,” Dellor laments.

Prior to taking herself off the road, Dellor had been under the care of a retina specialist who recommended she visit an ophthalmologist who could better determine the cause of the deterioration of her lenses and determine a treatment to repair it.

The ophthalmologist she was advised to see is David E. Hall, MD, at Pasadena Eye Center in St. Petersburg. When Dellor first visited him, Dr. Hall had no trouble determining the cause of her fast-deteriorating lenses and vision. It was cataracts.

“Rather advanced cataracts,” Dr. Hall confirms. “When Dellor first came to see me, she could not see much of the eye chart at all. Perfect vision is 20/20, of course, but her vision was much worse. She was 20/100 in the right eye and 20/80 in the left eye.”

Cataracts develop naturally in about 90 percent of all people 65 or older, usually from a breakdown of the eye’s lens fibers, a clumping of the eye’s proteins, or both. They typically cause blurred vision, an increase in sensitivity to light and a reduction in color vibrancy.

Though cataracts usually develop slowly, they can be corrected quickly and easily through an outpatient procedure where the natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens, or IOL.

Standard IOLs correct vision primarily for distance, but patients can also have one eye fixed for distance vision and the other corrected for reading, an option called monovision. A third option is multifocal IOLs.

Most multifocal IOLs work like bifocals and correct vision for distance and reading or close-up work, but there is now a new multifocal lens option that works like a trifocal lens and allows for distance, reading and intermediate vision to be corrected.

With a break of a week or two in between, physicians correct one eye at a time. An ultrasonic device is used to break up the cloudy, natural lens, which is then removed. Once that old lens is eliminated, the intraocular lens is implanted, permanently correcting the vision.

On the Money

For her IOLs, Dellor accepted Dr. Hall’s suggestion that, because of the blind spots she was dealing with, she take the monovision route and be fit with one lens set for distance vision while the other was fit for reading vision.

The result of the surgeries was even better than Dr. Hall anticipated. After completing his work, Dr. Hall measured Dellor’s vision at 20/30 in her left eye and the equivalent of 20/25 in her right. This despite the remaining presence of the blind spots.

“We hit it right on the money in terms of getting her in focus,” says Dr. Hall, who used a couple of specialized measuring devices to ensure the power of Dellor’s IOLs were as accurate as they could be. “She had a really good outcome.”

Dellor agrees with that assessment. She says her cataract surgeries went “flawlessly,” thanks to Dr. Hall’s “gentle touch,” and reports that her vision is now exceptional, given the issues she’s been forced to deal with.

“My second eye was corrected late last year, and after the follow-up exam for that about a week later, I was so overwhelmed with joy and emotion that I got out of the chair and asked if I could give Dr. Hall a hug,” Dellor enthuses.

“There’s a spirit in that office that is really special, and when you’re there, you feel like you’re the only patient he has. That’s one of the things I really love about his clinic. When I’m there, I know I’m important to them, and that matters to me.

“I’m seeing so well now that I would literally stand on a corner and wave a flag for Dr. Hall. I tell everybody I know about him and how kind and efficient his staff is. When I was advised to go see Dr. Hall, I was told his work is genius, and I believe I’m proof of that.”

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    • Pasadena Eye Center

      The doctors and staff of Pasadena Eye Center are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality eye care, and they offer the latest advancements in ophthalmology.... Read More

    • David E. Hall, MD

      David E. Hall, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist. He graduated from the University of Mississippi and received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He completed his internship at Erlanger Hospital and... Read More

    • Nathan R. Emery, MD

      Nathan R. Emery, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist. He completed his undergraduate studies at Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, before serving a two-year mission in England. Upon his return to the United States, he completed his medi... Read More

    • Dennis C. Ryczek, OD

      Dennis C. Ryczek, OD, is a Florida-certified optometrist. He attended St. Petersburg Junior College and the University of South Florida. He graduated summa cum laude with a doctorate in optometry from the University of Houston, TX, and c... Read More