Spectacular View

Cataract surgery reveals a whole new world.

During their 60 years of marriage, Marva and Warren Beck have traveled the world. The St. Petersburg couple have sailed on more than 100 cruises, visiting more than 86 countries along the way.

Photo by Fred Bellet.

Marva Beck

“We’ve been to Hong Kong, China, Mexico, Italy, the Bahamas, Costa Rica – you name it and we have been there,” Marva shares. “And we’ve lived in many areas of the country as well. My husband worked for an insurance company, so we moved around a lot. We’ve lived in Alaska, Colorado, California, Utah, Hawaii and Miami. My daughter went to five high schools in four different states.
“We have lived the most amazing life. We have forty-four grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and every one of them has been on an international trip with us. It’s been a real adventure, to say the least.”
Marva says the couple’s travels reveal an amazing world full of sights pleasing to the eyes.
“I have seen the world through eyeglasses since I was thirteen years old,” Marva shares. “I can’t recall a time when I did not need to wear glasses. I never was one for contact lenses. I always had glasses on.”
More than a decade ago, Marva began having her vision checked annually by Nathan Emery, MD, at Pasadena Eye Center. She’d met Dr. Emery at the church they both attended and says he was the obvious choice for monitoring her eye care needs.
“He is very personable and knowledgeable, and I have always felt comfortable with him,” Marva shares. “He always knew just what to suggest as far as my prescription was concerned.”
In recent years, Dr. Emery diagnosed Marva with cataracts.
“Over the last few months, I noticed that my vision had gotten much worse,” Marva relays. “I was at a point where I would put my glasses on for a quick trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and I never had to do that before.
“At night, I would see halos around the streetlights and the oncoming cars. Also, colors were dull. Everything I looked at seemed washed out and faded. I didn’t want to travel because I wasn’t enjoying the view. The world is too beautiful a place to miss out on any of the details.”
Marva consulted with Dr. Emery regarding how advanced her cataracts were and if surgery was required.

Which Lens to Choose

“Marva waited just about as long as she could and after much discussion, we decided that surgery was necessary to remove the cataracts,” Dr. Emery confirms.
“I admit I was afraid because any kind of surgery on the eyes just sounds scary to me,” Marva admits. “I know Dr. Emery so well and have so much confidence in him that I just knew I was going to be in capable hands, so we went ahead and scheduled it.”
Following cataract removal, it is necessary to have intraocular lens (IOL) implants placed.
“Based on the health of the eye and factors determined in the exam, we discuss lens and surgical options with the patient and decide which lenses to use,”
Dr. Emery explains. “We have many options to choose from that will suit the needs and long-term goals of every individual.”
Together, Marva and Dr. Emery decided that the cloudy lenses caused by her cataracts would be replaced with the leading-edge Symfony® IOL, which best suited her lifestyle and needs.

“I could have never imagined a world without eyeglasses, but here I am. Colors are so bright and vivid now. It’s more than I ever imagined it would be!” – Marva

“Marva wanted a lens that would limit her need for glasses in all ranges of vision,” Dr. Emery confirms. “The Symfony is an extended-range lens providing not only distance vision, but also improved intermediate and up-close vision without being dependent on glasses.
“The Symfony lens helps vision at multiple distances, but it’s very different from other multifocal lenses,” continues Dr. Emery. “The way the lens is designed, the optics of it allow a more extended range of vision to be in focus. It’s very good for somebody who has very healthy eyes, aside from cataracts, and doesn’t want to wear glasses anymore, which was the case with Marva. She had worn glasses since her early teenaged years and wanted to have improved vision.”
The Symfony lens utilizes new technology called extended depth of focus. One advantage is how it provides intermediate vision for tasks such as reading a grocery shelf label or working at a computer.
“This lens is very good in providing distance vision and also provides midrange vision without some of the downfalls we see in multifocal lenses,” explains Dr. Emery.
The Symfony lens is also available in a version that corrects astigmatism, so people who have high astigmatism now have the possibility of not needing glasses.

Over and Out

Marva says the surgery wasn’t as scary as she originally thought because the staff at Pasadena Eye Center calmed all of her fears.
“They are fantastic, and I love every single one of them,” she raves. “From start to finish, they explain the process so there are no surprises. They are fantastic.”

Photo by Fred Bellet.

Marva loves using the telescope from her high-rise condominium in downtown St. Petersburg.

Marva is thrilled that she now has perfect 20/20 vision and says the only glasses she needs to buy are sunglasses.
“The first thing I did after my surgery was go out and buy a whole bunch of sunglasses that weren’t prescription strength,” Marva shares. “It was great. Now, I have so many pairs of sunglasses, they are all over the house, in my car, everywhere. I love it because they are cheap, and I don’t have to worry about it if I lose them. I can afford to replace them.
“In the sixty-plus years I have worn glasses, I have been to several eye doctors, and Dr. Emery is the absolute best,” Marva states. “He connects with patients on a personal level. I know he really cares.”
While Marva isn’t sure where the next adventure will take her and her husband, she looks forward to finding out.
“When I married Warren, he told me he would treat me like a queen every day of my life, and he has done that,” she shares. “I just want to keep on living this great life with him.
“And now, I see the world in a whole new light, and the view is spectacular! I could have never imagined a world without eyeglasses, but here I am. Colors are so bright and vivid now. It’s more than I ever imagined it would be!”

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    • Pasadena Eye Center

      The doctors and staff of Pasadena Eye Center are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality eye care, and they offer the latest advancements in ophthalmology.... Read More

    • David E. Hall, MD

      David E. Hall, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist. He graduated from the University of Mississippi and received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He completed his internship at Erlanger Hospital and... Read More

    • Nathan R. Emery, MD

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    • Dennis C. Ryczek, OD

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