Freedom From Glasses

New trifocal lens implant frees veteran from glasses.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Joe enjoys working on his car more now that he doesn’t have to fight with his glasses.

Long Island, New York native Joe Saladino’s working career was all about law and order, an area in which he eventually served the US military, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the US Department of Defense.

But it wasn’t all work for the Florida transplant. Joe, 69, met his future bride while on assignment in Japan.

“I met my wife while working in the government office in Tokyo,” Joe shares. “After that, I was supposed to stay in Tokyo, but I said, No, I’m going to go home. When my wife and I returned to the States, I left the government and joined the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. After fifteen years, I retired from there and went to work with the Department of Defense.

“As part of my job with the Department of Defense, I was deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait for almost seven years, working in a combat support role. I loved my job, but I’m retired now. I was with the government for a little more than twenty years.”

Since he was 40, Joe has worn glasses. And for as long as he’s worn glasses, he’s had issues with them.

“When I was deployed, my glasses were blown off from an aircraft, and it was a real pain in the neck to get them replaced,” Joe says. “I like to work on cars, but when I did, my glasses were always falling off or getting scratched.”

Several years ago, Joe upgraded to progressive lenses in an effort to eliminate the need for reading glasses and clear his vision at all distances. But recently, Joe’s vision deteriorated even further, to a point where not even new lenses could help him see clearly.

“Light really hurt my eyes, but if I put on sunglasses, I couldn’t see at all,” Joe explains. “I also couldn’t see the TV clearly, even with the progressive lenses in my glasses. I didn’t drive much at night, but when I did, the lights from cars coming at me were too bright, too.”

Based on these symptoms, Joe’s eye doctor suspected Joe had cataracts, which cause clouding of the eye’s natural lens and decreased vision. That doctor referred Joe to Haroon Ilyas, MD, a board-certified, fellowship-trained eye surgeon at Brandon Eye Associates, where Dr. Ilyas examined Joe’s eyes and confirmed he did indeed have cataracts.

“Joe was having trouble seeing clearly while reading and doing his favorite activities such as working on cars and hunting,” Dr. Ilyas recalls. “After my examination, I concluded his cataracts were visually significant and recommended cataract surgery.”

Dr. Ilyas explained the cataract surgery to Joe. He noted that during the procedure, the clouded natural lens is removed and replaced with a transparent lens implant. The eye surgeon reviewed the available implant lens options and recommended new, premium, multifocal lenses that can eliminate the need for glasses altogether.

Zoned Out

The new lens Dr. Ilyas recommended is the PanOptix® Trifocal Intraocular Lens. Recently approved by the FDA for use in the United States, the PanOptix has been used in Europe with success for four years and in Canada for two, and as its name suggests, it is a trifocal lens that provides clear vision at all three focal points – far, intermediate and near.

“The PanOptix lens has optical zones that shift to accommodate near, intermediate and far vision,” Dr. Ilyas describes. “The lens switches zones based on the size of the patient’s pupil. If a person moves their focus from an intermediate distance to up close, there is a reduction in pupil size, which brings in the appropriate zone on the lens for optimal vision.”

Anyone with cataracts and an otherwise normal eye exam is a potential candidate for the PanOptix lens, Dr. Ilyas points out. Those with vision disorders such as glaucoma and macular degeneration are typically not candidates. Dr. Ilyas notes that the PanOptix lens frees most patients from the need to wear glasses following surgery.

“This lens corrects for intermediate and near vision, as well as far, so it reduces patients’ dependence on reading and computer glasses,” he confirms. “Most people prefer to not use glasses if there is a technology available that allows them to bypass glasses. The PanOptix is the best multifocal lens implant technology I have seen in my career.”

Before Dr. Ilyas recommends any lens implant, he takes time to get to know and understand his patient’s lifestyle. This helps him determine which lens implant is most appropriate for the patient’s vision needs. When he learned Joe is a very active individual who likes to read and work on classic cars, he concluded the PanOptix was the perfect lens for him.

“Joe relies on his distance vision, but also had intermediate and near vision needs,” Dr. Ilyas observes. “Joe also wanted to not wear glasses and have to always carry around a pair of reading glasses. He was a good candidate for the PanOptix lens implant, and we recommended the PanOptix lens because our goal with Joe was to get him as free of glasses as possible.”

Better Than Ever

Joe agreed with Dr. Ilyas’ recommendation and underwent cataract surgery on his right eye first. He was amazed by the difference in his vision following just that one procedure.

“Right away, I noticed colors were much brighter,” Joe exudes. “When I went outside and looked at the sky, it was so blue. The trees were so green. Everything around me was brighter. And that was after just one surgery.

“When I covered my right eye and looked out my left eye, everything was yellow. So the difference between my right eye and my left eye was incredible. Now, since both eyes have been done, I can see better than I have since I was a young boy. I can’t believe the improvement.”

Joe’s enhanced vision makes performing his activities easier and more enjoyable, especially since he’s no longer dependent on his glasses.    

“Driving is a pleasure,” he reports. “And I can now do things like work around the house and not have to wear glasses. It’s so nice when I’m working on my cars to just put on safety glasses and not worry about my regular glasses falling off or getting scratched.

“I’m very happy with my decision to have cataract surgery and to get the PanOptix lenses.”

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    • Brandon Eye Associates, PA

      The doctors at Brandon Eye Associates use their hearts to help care for your eyes. In addition to being lauded, board-certified physicians at the height of their careers, your Brandon, Sun City Center and Plant City Ophthalmologists are car... Read More

    • Haroon Ilyas, MD

      Haroon Ilyas, MD, is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. Dr. Ilyas completed his undergraduate studies at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, earning a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology. He attended medical school at... Read More