TRULIGN® for True Vision

Gain independence from glasses with new multifocal lens implants.

James Reeves spent 35 years driving as an over-the-road trucker. After that, he found a position driving for FedEx® and did that for
another 17½ years before finally retiring. Last year, the man who drove for a living noticed driving was becoming hazardous.

Photo by Fred Bellet.

James no longer needs reading glasses to inspect his rods and reels.

“I was having problems reading street signs and other signs until I got up close to them,” describes James. “I had blurry vision, and at night I saw rings around the lights. Reading up close kept getting worse and worse. I could see in the distance, but I couldn’t see up close.”
James had worn glasses for 25 years. Because vision is a critical component of driving safety, he regularly had his prescription updated, but his eyesight steadily deteriorated to a point where, even with glasses, his vision was unclear.
“I kept getting new glasses so I could read the street maps,” he admits. “I was wearing my glasses, and I was still having problems with my eyes. The last time I went to get new glasses, my eye doctor told me I had cataracts and needed to see someone to have them removed.”
James’ eye doctor referred him to Craig E. Berger, MD, a board-certified, fellowship-trained ophthalmic surgeon at Bay Area Eye Institute in Tampa. In addition to his practice at Bay Area Eye Institute, Dr. Berger spent 15 years serving as an adjunct assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of South Florida Eye Institute. Through his work in those two positions, he developed extensive expertise in cataracts and cataract surgery.
After his initial examination of James, Dr. Berger verified that James did indeed have some of the “classic symptoms of cataracts.” He then explained that he agreed with James’ regular eye doctor’s assessment that the cataracts needed to be removed.
“When James first came to see me, he complained of blurry vision,” notes Dr. Berger. “In addition, he was experiencing a lot of glare, especially at night, and he was seeing halos around lights, which made driving difficult. These are classic symptoms of cataracts.”

Common Problem

“Cataracts result from protein build-up in the lens of the eye, which prevents light from passing through and makes the vision look cloudy,” educates Dr. Berger. “Symptoms include cloudy or foggy vision, glare, difficulty seeing at night, loss of color intensity and double vision.”
Cataracts are a common problem, more than 20 million Americans have them and most are related to aging. Other factors, however, such as diabetes, sun exposure, smoking and a family history, can cause the condition to develop at a younger age.
“Cataracts typically become a problem later in life, but they actually start around the age of forty and progress at different rates in different people,” notes Dr. Berger. “For this reason, they can occur in younger people as well.”
Cataract surgery is generally done on an outpatient basis and involves removal of the affected lens and replacement with a new, artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL) implant. One eye is done at a time, usually a few weeks apart.

“Now, I can see the street signs very well using nothing but sunglasses. My vision is no longer blurred. There are no rings around the lights anymore, either.” -James

That was the plan Dr. Berger laid out for James, but Dr. Berger also discovered that James had an astigmatism in his right eye. Astigmatism is a defect in the shape of the cornea that affects the way light is reflected as well as the clarity of images processed by the eye.
In the past, cataract surgery could do little for astigmatism, but modern techniques and newer replacement lenses can correct for the defect and give most patients glasses-free vision. This was Dr. Berger’s goal for James, who notes that Dr. Berger eased his concerns about the procedures right from the very start.
“I felt very comfortable with Dr. Berger,” James relates. “His plan was to treat my left eye first and my right eye later because the right eye wasn’t as bad as the left. He told me that together we would decide which replacement lens I’d get.”

Broad Range of Choices

Before recommending a replacement lens, Dr. Berger explained the advantages and disadvantages of the various lens options to James, including a new lens that corrects astigmatism. The doctor also took time to review James’ lifestyle and activities in order to find the best lens match for him.
“I encourage patients to take the time to gain a clear understanding of the benefits of each of the different intraocular lenses before making a choice,” acknowledges Dr. Berger, who, in addition to his practice at Bay Area Eye Institute, also spends one morning per week treating military veterans at the James A. Haley Veterans Administration Hospital in Tampa.
“No one lens is ideal for everyone. Lenses come in many different sizes, with a variety of features and benefits. It’s important I have an appreciation of my patient’s lifestyle before making any recommendation.
“I consider the patient’s activities, hobbies, the type of work he or she does and his or her visual requirements. Then I do a complete eye exam, looking at the patient’s tear film, the amount of astigmatism and the health of the retina, cornea and optic nerve. I recommend implants based on all of that information.”
Standard lenses used in cataract surgery are monofocal and correct vision for distance only. Patients opting for these lenses generally still need to wear glasses for near and intermediate vision.
Dr. Berger knew James hoped to be glasses free after surgery, so he recommended a more accommodating lens for him, the TRULIGN toric lens.
“Unlike standard lenses, TRULIGN is a multifocal lens,” he explains. “It is designed to correct near, intermediate and distance vision. It gives patients a broader range of vision and helps increase independence from glasses. At the same time, TRULIGN is a toric lens, which is designed to correct astigmatism, further easing the need for glasses.”

Great, and Still Improving

Cataract surgery with TRULIGN replacement lenses made a big difference in James’ everyday life. He says his vision is great now, and it’s still improving.
“After surgery, I was only using readers when reading things up close,” he reports. “While I still use them once in a while for very close up, I’m not using them as often as I was before. I’m not wearing regular glasses at all when driving or doing anything else.
“Now, I can see the street signs very well using nothing but sunglasses, and my vision is no longer blurred. There are no rings around the lights anymore, either.”
An avid hunter and fisherman, James was amazed by the way his environment looked the first time he stepped outdoors after surgery. He believes his hobbies are now more enjoyable, and safer.
“I immediately noticed everything looked crisper, clearer and brighter,” he states. “When I went hunting in Georgia recently, I could see everything clearly without glasses.
“I most definitely recommend this TRULIGN lens, and I have already recommended Bay Area Eye Institute. Thanks to Dr. Berger’s advice, everything has worked out very well because now I can see far, near and everything in between.”

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    • Bay Area Eye Institute

      Bay Area Eye Institute understands that there are many ophthalmologists and optometrists in the Tampa bay area to choose from. Dr. Berger’s practice focuses on patient satisfaction. His philosophy is to put the patient first, provide phys... Read More

    • Craig E. Berger, MD

      Craig E. Berger, MD, is a board-certified, fellowship-trained ophthalmic surgeon. After receiving his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Florida, he received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of South Fl... Read More