From Near Blind to Brilliant

Cataract surgery an excellent option for vision correction.

In North Carolina, Andrea Levinson, 64, was recognized as a doctor of natural medicine. She had a great practice, loved her work and achieved good results for her patients. When she moved to Florida in January 2017, she had to give up the title “doctor,” but not the care she delivered. Her title doesn’t matter much to her; she has something bigger in mind.

Dr. Q. Jocelyn Ge of Premier Eye Clinic in Port Orange and Ormond Beach performed cataract surgery on Andrea Levinson and used a sophisticated intraocular lens implant so she no longer is dependent on eyeglasses.

Crystalens implants have given Andrea the crystal-clear vision she always wanted

“I’m getting ready to purchase a cruise ship that I’m going to convert into a state-of-the-art, sustainable, holistic center and travel the world helping people,” she announces.

Although Andrea’s vision of a floating natural health center was clear in her mind, her actual vision was less than crystalline. Poor eyesight was a problem she’d dealt with for most of her life, one that got increasingly worse over the years.

“I’ve been wearing glasses since I was six years old,” she shares. “Thirty years ago, I went on a group hike and it started to rain torrentially. Since my glasses were wet, I couldn’t see, so I endangered everybody. I decided then to get RK surgery.”

RK, or radial keratotomy, is a refractive surgery to correct nearsightedness. For ten years, that surgery provided Andrea with what she described as “great vision.” After that, she reports, her vision began to decline.

“It began changing during the day,” Andrea explains, “My prescription in the morning was different than it was in the afternoon, so I had to wear two different pairs of glasses.”

Andrea’s vision remained that way for many years. She became accustomed to the accommodations she had to make to see clearly. About two years ago, however, Andrea’s vision began to deteriorate substantially, and she started looking for an eye doctor who could help her.

“My vision got considerably worse – to the point where I couldn’t even tell there were letters on the eye chart,” she describes. “Where people read the big ‘E,’ I didn’t see anything. All I saw was white paper. I couldn’t see near, medium or far. I was wearing trifocals and was close to becoming legally blind.

“My eye doctor told me I also had the beginnings of cataracts, so I looked for doctors who specialized in that. I went to many doctors who said I was a tough case because of my previous RK surgery and refused to treat me. Then, one of the doctor’s suggested I see Dr. Ge.”

The eye surgeon the doctor recommended was board-certified ophthalmologist Q. Jocelyn Ge, MD, PhD of Premier Eye Clinic. Even with Andrea’s complications, Dr. Ge took on the challenge of treating her.

“When Andrea first came to see me, she was wearing trifocals, which meant she needed eyeglasses for distance, reading and everything in between,” reports Dr. Ge. “She was looking for help to do away with the glasses she had to wear on a daily basis.”

A Second Option

During Andrea’s initial examination, Dr. Ge noted Andrea’s cataracts had not yet reached the point where surgery was medically necessary. Dr. Ge also noted Andrea’s history of having had RK surgery, which was the refractory surgery used prior to LASIK®.
Dr. Ge considered both factors before recommending a treatment plan for Andrea.

“Andrea’s eyes were otherwise healthy,” states Dr. Ge. “That gave us options for correcting her vision, even with her RK history. We could perform LASIK to treat her prescription, but there are drawbacks to that option.

“With LASIK, we cannot correct both eyes for near and far. Instead, we correct one eye for distance and the other eye for near vision. This is called monovision, which means Andrea would have a big difference in focus between the two eyes and with each individual eye. She would see clearly at distance or near, but not both.”

The greater factor was Andrea’s existing cataracts. Because they would continue to grow with age and would eventually cause her vision to become limited again, Andrea was facing the virtual certainty of needing to undergo cataract surgery down the road.

“For these reasons, I recommended going ahead with cataract surgery over LASIK for Andrea,” Dr. Ge explains. “Cataract surgery removes the natural lens of the eye and replaces it with a clear artificial lens implant. By using a premium implant that offers a range of vision, we can correct Andrea’s vision at all distances and free her from dependence on glasses.”

Dr. Ge began Andrea’s treatment in February with surgery on her left eye and completed her right eye a month later. In both eyes, the doctor implanted a sophisticated lens implant called Crystalens®.

“Andrea’s vision is now 20/20 for distance, 20/20 for near and 20/12 for intermediate range with both eyes,” notes Dr. Ge. “She has normal near and far vision in each eye and, at 20/12, really sharp intermediate vision, and that’s without glasses.”

When thinking of surgery to correct vision problems, most people naturally think of LASIK, asserts Dr. Ge. “However, cataract surgery with the current technologies works just as well. And in some cases, it’s even better than LASIK to help people become free of the burden of glasses and contact lenses. That was our goal with Andrea.”

Miraculous Vision

Since Dr. Ge performed surgery on Andrea’s eyes earlier this year, Andrea’s vision is brilliant. She’s thrilled with the results of her treatment.

“I’m just ecstatic,” she marvels. “I can see things across the street, and I can read words on the television. When I sit in the living room, I can see the clock on the kitchen wall. I can see leaves on a tree that’s fifty yards away. I can actually read the newspaper and my cell phone. It’s going to take me a while to adjust to the fact that I can see now, but every moment is a miracle for me.”

The clarity of her vision since surgery amazes Andrea. It’s also amazing to Andrea that Dr. Ge’s surgery ended her dependence on prescription eyewear.

“I don’t wear glasses at all anymore,” she says. “Now, when I swim and boat, which I do a lot, I don’t worry about not seeing or having wet glasses on the water.”

Andrea describes Dr. Ge and her staff at Premier Eye Center as being wonderful. She adds that she’s grateful for everything they did to make her experience as easy and comfortable as possible.

“Dr. Ge is excellent, was really knowledgeable about my complications and took extra time with me,” she relates. “Knowing that my vision changed during the day, she had me come in at different times to take measurements before she decided which lens to use. The Crystalens she chose works for me.

“I feel Dr. Ge and her team at Premier Eye Clinic went above and beyond. That’s the kind of practitioner I was, and that’s exactly what I was looking for in a provider.”

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    • Premier Eye Clinic

      Premier Eye Clinic provides comprehensive eye examinations and treatment for patients of all ages. Their board-certified ophthalmologist is highly experienced in advanced cataract surgery using a "no injection, no stitch, no patch" tech... Read More

    • Q. Jocelyn Ge, MD, PhD

      Q. Jocelyn Ge, MD, PhD, received her medical degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and her PhD from the University of California. She completed her internship at the University of Tennessee Medical Center and her o... Read More