Crystal Clear

Crystalens® AO restores 20/20 vision.

Thomas Perez enjoyed good distance vision for much of his life. But after he turned 60, his eyesight became blurry, his eyeglass prescriptions became stronger and his optometrist warned him that cataract surgery was inevitable.
Thomas couldn’t see trees and road signs as clearly as he once did, especially when he drove at night.
“Night driving was tough,” he recalls. Street lights appeared to have halos around them, and the glare was so distracting that his wife did most of the night driving.
Watching television became “a nuisance.”

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Thomas Perez

“It was always a question of whether to leave my glasses on or off and to decide how far to sit from the TV,” Thomas relates.
Playing golf was a trial, too. He needed glasses to improve his close-up vision when he teed off, but then he couldn’t see where his ball landed.
“I’d have to rely on somebody telling me where my ball went,” Thomas complains.
The game he regularly enjoyed playing became so aggravating that he stayed away from the links for a few years.
His deteriorating vision also led to challenges on the job. Thomas worked for General Mills in his native Buffalo, NY and in Lodi, CA before retiring and moving to St. George, UT. He started working again as a parts specialist in the municipal fleet division before retiring a second time.
“I was having a little difficulty the last few years working for the city,” Thomas says. “I was getting irritated with my eyes for not being able to see far.”
His symptoms were typical of those who struggle with cataracts, which are a cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear lens of the eye. Everyone develops a cataract eventually, typically by their mid 60s. Thomas had nuclear cataracts, which formed deep in the nucleus of his lenses as a result of normal aging.
Eventually, his optometrist in his home state of Utah told Thomas that updating his trifocals would no longer suffice.
“My doctor told me that was the best he could do,” Thomas recounts. “He couldn’t get it crystal clear and perfect like I was used to. He got it as clear as he could, which wasn’t really acceptable.”
It was time for surgery.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Thomas’ refreshed vision allows him to read
comfortably again.

Thomas and his wife spend their winters in Indian Rocks Beach enjoying the sun, sand, restaurants, shopping, golf, spring training baseball and visits with family in Fort Myers. During their stay in early 2017, Thomas underwent a back operation and decided that while he recuperated, he would take care of his eyes, too.
His optometrist in Utah recommended The Eye Institute of West Florida, the go-to place for ophthalmic care for more than 40 years, and Thomas made an appointment with Robert J. Weinstock, MD. The board-certified, fellowship-trained ophthalmologist and his staff then began the extensive process of helping Thomas determine the best type of intraocular lens (IOL) implant for his needs.
“We ask each patient questions about their lifestyle, what they enjoy doing, whether they work and what their visual goals are,’’ Dr. Weinstock explains. “We talk about whether they’ve worn contacts or glasses, how often they wear those and for what activities.
“We also perform a number of maps and tests of the eye. We check the health of the retina and the cornea and check for astigmatism,” he continues. “It’s important for us to get to know each patient so I can then refine and determine what to recommend as the best option for the patient.”

“Safest Surgical Procedure”

Though cataract surgery is the most frequently performed operation in this country, many people “have a subconscious fear and anxiety about it,” Dr. Weinstock acknowledges. “They’ve heard stories from parents or grandparents from back in the day when the surgery was more invasive, you had to stay in the hospital and it wasn’t as quick and painless.”
Dr. Weinstock allays patient’s concerns by reassuring them it’s the “safest surgical procedure in medicine right now.”
“I let them know that we can now use a laser to do a lot of the surgery and that we don’t need stitches or patches to cover the eye,” he notes. “And I tell them that I’ve done the surgery on my mother and my father and that if there was anything I thought was dangerous or would hurt somebody, I wouldn’t be doing it on my own family.”

Sharp Sight Restored

Using eye-drop anesthesia, Dr. Weinstock performed separate procedures on Thomas’ eyes two weeks apart in February 2017. His cataracts were removed and replaced with Crystalens AO. As an accommodating IOL, it delivers an improved range of vision over lenses that only enhance distance vision.
Other implant options include monofocal lenses, which offer a fixed focus for one distance; multifocal lenses, which provide distance and near focus and toric lenses to correct astigmatism.
“There is no one-size-fits-all treatment because everyone sees differently,” Dr. Weinstock stresses. “For Thomas, one of the things he experienced was a lot of glare at night, and it was important for him to restore sharp, crisp distance vision. At the same time, he wanted to be able to see his computer clearly. He wasn’t dead set against wearing glasses for reading, but his distance and middle vision were a priority. For people with that set of priorities, we use the Crystalens.
“The advantages of Crystalens IOLs are that they provide high-contrast, high-quality distance vision and non-glare nighttime vision. They also perform very well for computer and intermediate vision,” Dr. Weinstock adds. “They free people up from wearing glasses, except for a light pair of reading glasses purchased over the counter.”

“It was like watching a black-and-white TV and then switching to a high-definition TV.”-Thomas

During surgery, Dr. Weinstock also corrected Thomas’ astigmatism by using a laser to reshape his cornea, the front surface of his eye, so it’s more rounded rather than oval.
Thomas marvels that he instantly noticed improvement after each surgery. Now, he enjoys 20/20 vision in both eyes and needs only cheaters to read. Best of all, he’s rid himself of prescription eyewear.
“I’m not an eyeglass-wearing kind of person,” Thomas admits. “I don’t like them. You always have to clean them.”
He rates Dr. Weinstock as “excellent” and “one of the best.” Thomas grades the office at The Eye Institute of West Florida as “A-one, superior.”
As for his restored vision, “I tell people it was like watching a black-and-white TV and then switching to a high-definition TV,” Thomas enthuses. “That pretty much sums it up.”

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    • The Eye Institute of West Florida

      The Eye Institute of West Florida was founded by Stephen Weinstock, MD, in 1974. For more than forty years, the practice has provided excellence in eye care in a warm, personal environment combined with a tradition of service and devotion to th... Read More

    • Stephen M. Weinstock, MD, FACS

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    • Robert J. Weinstock, MD

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