Looking Ahead

Premium lens implant keeps vision clear now and in the future.

As a psychiatric nurse, Gerald Smith devoted 43 years to the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene, including working part-time after he retired. For most of those years, Gerald had near perfect vision, so he was greatly discouraged when his eyesight began to fade.

“Several years ago, I reached the age when my eyes just stopped working like they used to,” reveals Gerald, 69. “I started going to an eye clinic in New York and began wearing glasses. Over those years, my vision issues progressed, and I had to get stronger and stronger prescriptions, which was a pain.

Gerald Smith had his cataracts removed by Dr. Q. Jocelyn Ge at Premier Eye Clinic in Port Orange and Ormond Beach. His cloudy lenses were replaced by Trulign® intraocular lens implants. The Trulign lenses also corrected Gerald’s astigmatism and presbyopia, leaving him virtually glasses free after surgery.

Gerald Smith

“I ended up having to wear trifocals every day. Many times, when I tried to look at something, like to read or paint, I’d have to tip my head up high to look through the bottom of my glasses. Doing that gave me pain in my neck.”

Constantly wearing glasses took a toll on the glasses as well. Gerald says the trifocals he wore every day were always getting scratched and smudged.

“They got so bad, I could barely see through them,” he states. “When I moved to Florida, the street I lived on took me right past Premier Eye Clinic. I thought, I need new glasses. I’ll stop in there and see if I can get an appointment for an eye exam.”

Premier Eye Clinic is the practice of board-certified ophthalmologist Q. Jocelyn Ge, MD, PhD. After performing a comprehensive evaluation of Gerald’s eyes, Dr. Ge describes what she discovered.

“When I first met Gerald, he told me he was having trouble both seeing far away and reading up close and was wearing his glasses one hundred percent of the time,” Dr. Ge notes. “He was also having difficulty with nighttime glare. He was wearing the correct prescription glasses and was still having trouble with his vision.”

Gerald was not prepared for the results of the doctor’s examination.

“I was pretty surprised when Dr. Ge told me I had cataracts,” Gerald shares. “I had some of the symptoms, like blurry vision and trouble seeing at night, but I attributed that to the condition of my glasses. Dr. Ge told me the cataracts were to the point where they should be removed.”

During cataract surgery, a minor, relatively painless procedure, the cataract, or clouded, natural lens, is replaced with a clear, synthetic lens implant.

“I decided to go ahead and have cataract surgery,” Gerald recounts. “Dr. Ge performed additional tests, and we discussed replacement lens options. She told me about the standard lenses, but with those, I’d still have to wear prescription glasses. I really wanted to get rid of the prescriptions and not have to wear glasses at all.”

Hurdling Obstacles

Before recommending a replacement lens implant for Gerald, Dr. Ge first needed to evaluate his overall eye health. The doctor identified several conditions affecting Gerald’s eyes that needed to be overcome.   

“In addition to cataracts, Gerald had significant astigmatism in both eyes,” Dr. Ge describes. “He also suffered with presbyopia, an age-related condition in which the eyes start to lose their power to see close up. These conditions can be corrected with cataract surgery and the appropriate intraocular lens implants.

“There are two main types of presbyopia-correcting lens implants, which allow patients to see both far and at reading distances without glasses. One is a called a multifocal lens, which creates multiple focus at the same time through specific optic designs on the lens implant.

“The second type is called an accommodating lens implant, which moves inside the eye through contractions of the eye muscles. It only has one clear focus, but when patients want to see far, the lens moves backward. When they want to see close up, it moves forward within the eye.”

Gerald had yet another obstacle to hurdle in his quest to be glasses free after surgery. He had a strong family history of age-related eye disease. His mother had macular degeneration and glaucoma, which put Gerald at increased risk for those diseases in the future as well.

“Patients who have glaucoma or macular degeneration are not candidates for multifocal lens implants,” Dr. Ge alerts. “But they are candidates for the accommodating lens implants. Those include the Crystalens®.

“The Crystalens works with the muscles inside the eye to very gently move the lens implant back and forth. These are the natural eye muscles that stretch and contract to change the natural lens’ shape. It gives patients the near focus they had when they were young.”

Gerald didn’t have macular degeneration or glaucoma, but thinking ahead, Dr. Ge wondered if that would still be the case 15 or 20 years from now. If he did, the Crystalens would continue to provide 100 percent of the light and wouldn’t become a limitation to Gerald’s vision. The same could not be said for multifocal lenses.

“The Crystalens, which is a flexible lens, can also treat astigmatism,” Dr. Ge observes. “These lenses that provide the range of vision and treat astigmatism are called Trulign® Toric lens. That’s what I recommended for Gerald.”

Dr. Ge clarifies that accommodating lens implants such as Crystalens or Trulign lens don’t always leave patients 100 percent glasses free. Some may need low-power, over-the-counter reading glasses for close-up work. Before cataract surgery, Gerald told Dr. Ge he wanted his vision to be clearest at arm’s length because that is the distance where he does most of his work.

“I wasn’t that concerned about reading the newspaper, the directions on a prescription bottle or anything else with very small print,” Gerald relates. “Dr. Ge told me I would probably have to get a pair of cheater glasses to read those things. I didn’t mind having to do that as long as I could see clearly at arm’s length.”

Gerald was amazed by the difference in his vision after cataract surgery. He was pleased to see things fully and clearly again. It made him realize just how bad his eyesight had become.

“The first thing I noticed was the difference in clarity and colors,” Gerald observes. “When I watched TV, the colors were so much brighter. I didn’t realize how much my vision decreased, especially while the cataracts progressed. It happened so slowly. After the procedures were done, I could see a huge difference in my vision.”

The surgery and Trulign lenses gave Gerald the freedom from his glasses he sought. He’s extremely pleased that he no longer has to wear the trifocals. To him, they were uncomfortable and annoying.

“It was a real pain with them because I was always moving my head searching for the right vision to see with,” he discloses. “I don’t have to do that now. I just look at what I want to see, and I don’t have to turn my head.

“My experience at Premier Eye Clinic with Dr. Ge and her staff was excellent. Dr. Ge explained everything to me, and she listened when I expressed my opinions on what I preferred. The staff was very good, as well. I definitely recommend Dr. Ge and Premier Eye Clinic.”

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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