Watching the Wheels

Cataract surgery allows motorcycle enthusiast to ride safely again.

The older Brent Cole gets, the more daring he becomes. For example, it wasn’t until about 17 years ago that the now 69-year-old adventurer took up the hobby of vintage racecar driving.

Brent Cole went to Dr. Kostick for his cataract surgery, and the outcome was miraculous.

Brent is riding safely with 20/20 vision following cataract surgery.

The Palm Coast resident still rides motorcycles, too. Brent will be the first to tell you, though, that it’s not just his passion that keeps him riding the open road. Were he not a safe, defensive driver, Brent says he might not be riding at all.

“I’ve been riding motorcycles for fifty-three years, and you have to be a defensive rider, or you won’t be riding for long,” Brent says. “You especially need to be defensive when you’re approaching an intersection because that’s where a lot of accidents happen.

“Another smart thing to do is to watch the spokes of the wheels of vehicles coming out of the side streets. You can see that spoke moving before you can perceive the car moving, so that’s a good way to avoid a problem.”

A driver doesn’t need to have perfect 20/20 vision to see the spokes of a wheel moving, but Brent recently learned that poor or deteriorating vision can indeed reduce a person’s ability to pick out that important detail.

“I noticed that my vision was starting to go a little bit, and then it got to a point where if I was about fifty yards out from a side street or intersection, I still couldn’t see those spokes moving, and that worried me,” Brent reveals.

Brent’s concerns prompted a trip to the eye doctor. Just as he’s done since his wife first recommended her about 15 years ago, Brent went to see Alexandra Kostick, MD, at Atlantic Eye Center in Palm Coast for a detailed evaluation.

Board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, Dr. Kostick offers a wide range of services, including cataract and glaucoma screenings, and even performed upper-lid blepharoplasty on Brent’s eyelids a couple years ago.

A Natural Development

“Brent came in this past April saying that his vision was starting to get blurry,” Dr. Kostick reports. “He said he was having trouble working on the computer and reading and mentioned that he was experiencing some glare issues when driving.

“We have been following Brent as a general patient for years, and we noticed a year ago that he was developing cataracts. When he came back this time, it was apparent that the time had come for us to take those cataracts out.”

Cataracts develop naturally in about 90 percent of all people 65 or older, usually from a breakdown of the eye’s lens fibers, a clumping of the eye’s proteins, or both. They typically cause blurred vision, an increase in sensitivity to light and a reduction in color vibrancy.

Though cataracts usually develop slowly, they can be corrected quickly and easily through an outpatient procedure where the natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens, or IOL.

After examining Brent, Dr. Kostick immediately scheduled him for cataract surgery. Prior to surgery, however, the doctor and the patient must agree on the specific type of IOL the patient will have implanted.

Standard IOLs correct a patient’s vision primarily for distance, meaning the patient may still need to wear glasses for reading. Patients can also have one eye corrected for distance vision while the other is corrected for reading, a process called monovision.

Brent chose to receive multifocal lenses, which are the best option for patients seeking to reduce their dependence on glasses, be it for distance vision or reading. Brent also had an astigmatism corrected in his left eye during his surgery.

“We corrected the astigmatism by performing a limbal relaxing incision,” Dr. Kostick informs. “That’s a procedure done right at the time of the cataract surgery in which we create a flattening by making incisions at opposite edges of the cornea.”

In addition, Dr. Kostick used a special machine called the ORA™, which stands for Optiwave Refractive Analysis, to obtain the most accurate measurements possible of the shape of Brent’s eyes during the surgery.

“The ORA fine-tunes the power, and therefore narrows down the selection, of the intraocular lens implant,” Dr. Kostick notes. “There’s no way our pre-op measurements can compete with it, so it makes the patient’s end result much, much better.”

A good end result from cataract surgery is a patient who can literally see better than they have in decades, and that was the end result for Brent, whose vision was returned to 20/20 following cataract surgery.

“The outcome has been outstanding,” Brent enthuses. “It’s like a miracle happened to me. I’m seeing like I did when I was a kid again, even for reading. I don’t need glasses anymore for anything, and that’s a great feeling.”

Family-Like Atmosphere

As a longtime patient of Dr. Kostick’s, Brent says he knew all along that he was getting the best care a cataract patient could possibly get. Dr. Kostick managed to impress Brent nevertheless.

Brent Cole went to Dr. Kostick for his cataract surgery, and the outcome was miraculous.

“It’s like a miracle happened to me. I’m seeing like I did when I was a kid again. I don’t need glasses anymore for anything.” -Brent

“She’s just awesome,” Brent exudes. “She’s a great professional, and she explained everything about the procedure very well. I knew exactly what to expect every step of the way, and that kind of thing is very important. I mean, there were no surprises at all.

“And it’s the same with her entire staff. They’re all great people and so professional. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about them all. One of the things I love most is that everybody there treats you like you’re a member of the family. They really do.”

A family-like atmosphere is a big part of what Dr. Kostick strives for at Atlantic Eye Center. She is proud to be treating the sons, daughters and grandchildren of patients she has been treating for years.

“Our patients become part of our extended family,” Dr. Kostick asserts. “We strive to make them comfortable by creating a very caring environment. They know they are going to be treated with a personal touch whenever they come here.”

A strong reputation in the community is also something the staff at Atlantic Eye Center strives to maintain.

“I think word of mouth is very important for doctors, and we pride ourselves on the referrals we get,” Dr. Kostick adds. “I can honestly say that my staff go out of their way to ensure that people are cared for to our utmost capability.”

Print This Article
    • 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 experi... 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