Toric lenses improve vision for patients with astigmatism following cataract removal.
As a teenager, Beverly Bertalan had difficulty seeing the blackboard from the back of the classroom. Her impaired vision forced her to get her first pair of eyeglasses, but she admits she rarely wore them because she had a hard time adjusting to them.
“I was really bad about wearing them when I was in my teen years,” Beverly recalls. “So, when I got into my twenties, I started to get headaches and realized I needed to go back to see an ophthalmologist and get another prescription and wear glasses regularly like I was supposed to all those years earlier.”
A few years ago, Beverly went for a routine eye exam at Pasadena Eye Center and was told she had developed cataracts. She was also diagnosed with astigmatism in both eyes. Nathan R. Emery, MD, removed the cataracts and placed Toric lenses in both eyes.
“Even with the glasses I was wearing prior to surgery, my vision remained blurry,” Beverly explains. “I also had difficulty seeing at night and a problem with glare as well. Now that the cataracts are gone and the lens implants are in place, my vision is wonderful,” Beverly says. “It is a total turnaround.”
Most cataracts occur when “protein clumping” clouds the eye’s lens to negatively affect vision. During traditional cataract surgery, a doctor uses an ultrasonic device to emulsify or break up the cloudy, natural lens. Once the broken-up material (cataract) is removed, an intraocular lens (IOL) is usually implanted into the eye to permanently correct vision.
Toric lenses correct for astigmatism and are created with curvatures at different angles, one for astigmatism and the other for either myopia or hyperopia. There’s also a mechanism to keep the Toric lens relatively stable on the eye when you blink or look around.
“The Toric lens implant is a very nice contribution to patients with corneal astigmatism,” observes Dr. Emery. “It’s a reliable option and is becoming more and more popular in the industry.
“Beverly was an excellent candidate for the Toric lens,” Dr. Emery continues. “These lenses correct for either farsightedness and nearsightedness, as well as astigmatism. Beverly also chose to do monovision, where one eye is corrected for distance vision and the other eye for near vision. The advantage of monovision is it minimizes the need for glasses at both reading and distance levels.”
Considering cataract surgery
“For patients experiencing difficulty or considering cataract surgery, they need to make an appointment with their ophthalmologist,” says Dr. Emery. “We do a thorough examination here at Pasadena Eye Center and then we talk about the surgery and what it entails. Cataract surgery is an outpatient (same day) procedure. Done right here in our building at the Pasadena Surgery Center, it typically takes only ten to fifteen minutes from the time we make our first incision to when we’re done. Patients are able to return home and pretty much resume most of their activities. There are a few minor restrictions – no golfing, bowling or swimming for about a week after, but other than that they can function and do what they need to do. We wait about two weeks between each eye surgery. You want one eye to heal before you do the other. Once a cataract is removed, patients usually experience an improvement in quality of vision rather quickly.
“If someone’s considering cataract surgery, they should come in, have an examination and then we’ll talk. Based on the health of the eye and factors determined in the exam, we’ll decide which lenses to use. We’ll discuss lens and surgical options, then schedule the procedure and go from there.”
In clear sight
Beverly reports that she is seeing clearer now than she ever has and is thrilled with the results she has received from the Toric lenses.
“I am thrilled with the outcome and I highly recommend Dr. Emery and Pasadena Eye Center,” Beverly asserts. “He took the time to explain the procedure, as well as the lenses he was going to use to correct the issues I had. He is very patient and kind and the staff there is phenomenal.”
With a few minor restrictions, Beverly was able to resume regular activities within days of surgery.
“It’s incredible!” exclaims Beverly. “Since the surgery, I have had perfect vision in both eyes and the blur I once suffered from is gone. Once the cataracts were gone and I had clear lenses, it was an adjustment to get used to the bright sunlight. But it’s nice to be free of glasses. The cataract surgery is so simple and the recovery was short. I am so thankful to Dr. Emery and his staff at Pasadena Eye Center.”