Through the Looking Glass

Going the extra mile helps patient overcome extreme nearsightedness.

Ever since she was a small child, Eleanor Kosmidek wore thick eyeglasses.

“I had very bad eyesight my entire life,” Eleanor recalls. “I couldn’t see the board in school. I had a lot of difficulty learning. And I got my first pair of glasses very young. In fact, I can’t really recall a time without wearing them.

Eleanor Kosmidek underwent cataract surgery by Alexandra Kostick, MD, at Atlantic Eye Center.

Eleanor can see much better when she is
driving since having her cataracts removed.

“My glasses weren’t your average pair either,” she continues. “They were extremely thick, like Coke® bottles. That is hard when you are growing up. Eventually, I wore contact lenses, and that helped me a lot with my self-image.”

In recent years, Eleanor feared things were getting worse with her vision. When she could no longer see well, even with her glasses on, she knew there was a problem.

“About a year ago, I was told I had cataracts, and the eye doctor I went to at that time told me, When your eyes are ready and the cataracts have worsened, you will know, and boy, did I ever find that out.

“I couldn’t see to drive, day or night,” she shares. “In the morning, I couldn’t see the time on the alarm clock. I had to sit within six feet of the television just to see it, and we have a seventy-inch screen.”

Eleanor says several of her neighbors advised her to make an appointment at Atlantic Eye Center.

“Four of my neighbors on the same street had cataract surgery there,” she recalls. “The idea of the surgery scared me, but I took their recommendations to heart. I trusted them, so I made an appointment.”

Extreme Circumstance

Eleanor met with Alexandra Kostick, MD, of Atlantic Eye Center, where she underwent an evaluation and consultation.

“Eleanor came to me with extremely blurred vision, to the point where it was unsafe in many aspects of her life, such as driving,” Dr. Kostick confirms. “After evaluating her eyes, it was determined her cataracts were quite progressed, and she needed to have those removed.”

Those who have cataracts describe a variety of symptoms, including a loss in the vibrancy of colors, glare from oncoming headlights and the need for frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions. This occurs because cataracts are a gradual discoloration or clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Some patients experience no symptoms, while others report them in various combinations and degrees.

“Because Eleanor had such an extreme case of nearsightedness,”
Dr. Kostick explains, “the lens we would recommend for a regular patient didn’t exist for her.” Instead, Dr. Kostick consulted with a manufacturer of intraocular lenses and opted for a monofocal lens. It has a very different power than what most ophthalmologists normally use.

Eleanor says she was apprehensive about eye surgery.

“I was very nervous and scared when Dr. Kostick did the first eye,” she shares. “But, about a month later, when I had the cataract surgery on my other eye, I was much more relaxed because I knew what to expect.”

During cataract surgery, a small incision – measuring about one-eighth of an inch in length – allows the introduction of a small, ultrasonic probe that applies sound waves to the cataract, emulsifying it so gentle suction can remove the debris from the tiny capsular sac that protects the lens. Once the natural lens of the eye is removed, the replacement lens is then placed.

Above and Beyond

Dr. Kostick says she feels that putting forth extra effort is what makes her practice stand out above the rest.

“I took the effort to research Eleanor’s options and talk to a lens manufacturer,” she emphasizes. “More often than not, my staff and I go above and beyond the call of duty for a patient, whether it’s an insurance verification, a consultation with a specialist or ordering a specialized intraocular implant for cataract surgery. We are always striving to take the extra step for patients to make their experience unique and successful.”

Dr. Kostick reaffirms that the eye care specialists at Atlantic Eye Center truly care about the well-being of their patients and their care.

“Each patient is unique, and we know that,” Dr. Kostick assures. “We treat each one as an individual and with a personalized approach. We don’t put patients on a conveyor belt and push them through the clinic. We take the time to talk with them and recognize their wants and needs. We are compassionate about the care we administer as a team.

“In Eleanor’s case, she needed more than just the standard surgery and the regular implant. It took quite a bit of groundwork to get the right lens for her, but everything ended up turning out wonderfully.  She’s extremely happy with the results.

“Many of our patients come to us through word of mouth, and that, I think, is an indication of our status in the community of being a respectable practice.

“Eleanor came to see me after several of her neighbors recommended Atlantic Eye Center. She’s a great example of referral success for our practice,” Dr. Kostick adds.

Seeing Is Believing

Eleanor says no longer having blurry vision the minute she opens her eyes in the morning is one of the most amazing results of her cataract surgery.

“I can see the numbers on the clock, so I no longer need to grab my glasses immediately when I wake up,” she says. “It’s an amazing difference for me. It truly is remarkable.”

Eleanor relates that she is more than pleased that she took the advice of her neighbors and chose Dr. Kostick and Atlantic Eye Center.

“Dr. Kostick has a wonderful bedside manner, and her office is warm and welcoming,” she states. “I highly recommend them to anyone needing cataracts removed or just a regular eye exam. I don’t think I could be happier with my results. Colors are vibrant, and I am seeing things I never even noticed before. It’s an eye-opener – a whole new world for me!”

FHCN article by Judy Wade. Photo by Jordan Pysz. Stock photo from istockphoto.com. mkb
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    • Atlantic Eye Center

      Flagler County’s leading female board-certified ophthalmologist, serving the county since 1996, is at Atlantic Eye Center. Benefits the center offers you include: A multi-trained and highly regarded doctor Unparalleled eye care experien... Read More

    • Alexandra Kostick, MD, FACS, FRCSC

      Alexandra Kostick, MD, FACS, FRCSC, is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. After earning her medical degree at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Dr. Kostick served a mixed surgery internship at St. Boniface Hospital at... Read More