Welcome Sight

Revolutionary lens serves up superior vision after cataract surgery.

A sense of dread spread through Akron, Ohio, a few years back when loyal patrons of Luigi’s, an iconic family-owned Italian restaurant that has been a community staple since 1949, learned of a social media post claiming the business was closing.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Marie Keith

What the patrons eventually discovered, much to their delight, was that it wasn’t the award-winning Akron Luigi’s known for serving the best pizza in town, but rather a Luigi’s thousands of miles away in Fife, Scotland.

Marie Keith, 77, remembers all the confusion and consternation caused by that social media post. She is, after all, the daughter of Rick and Rose Ciriello, the couple who founded Luigi’s in Akron’s Northside District.

“My father opened the restaurant, and after he and my mother got much older it was mostly my brother who ran it, and I worked weekends there,” Marie explains. “Now my son Tony is the general manager, and he’s doing a great job.”

That’s no exaggeration. Luigi’s has been named Akron’s best Italian restaurant by Akron Life magazine each of the past two years and won first prize in the Akron Beacon Journal’s Best Pizza contest on several other occasions.

“We’re also very proud of our spaghetti and tossed salads,” Marie adds. “We put our own homemade dressings on the salads and lots of mozzarella cheese. But all the food is good. It must be, right? Because we’ve been there for so long.”

Marie has been there as long as anyone, but she’s mostly a seasonal visitor now because she spends winters in Florida. It was while she was back home a couple of years ago that she learned of a growing medical issue.

“My eye doctor back home told me I was getting cataracts,” Marie reveals. “At the time, though, he told me they weren’t ready to come out yet, so I didn’t do anything about them.”

Until recently.

“I was helping my friend look for an ophthalmologist here in Florida, and when I read about Dr. Emery at Pasadena Eye Center I said to myself, Wow, I really like what I’m reading. So, we made an appointment and went to see him.

“As I sat there and listened to Dr. Emery examine my friend, I was so impressed that I thought, I want to make an appointment for myself with this man, which I did. That’s how I became a patient of his myself.”

Nathan R. Emery, MD, first saw Marie as a patient in early March, when he explained that her cataracts had, in fact, matured enough to come out, if she was ready to have the surgery. Marie was more than ready.

“I had started experiencing some vision problems, the worst of which were these terrible starbursts I was seeing around lights at night,” Marie confides. “It was so bad that I had to stop driving at night, so I was ready to get the cataracts out. I told Dr. Emery, Let’s do it.

In Focus

With more than 4 million performed each year in the United States alone, cataract surgery has become one of the more common medical procedures. Typically completed in less than 15 minutes, it is also one of the quickest.

With a break of a week or two in between, ophthalmologists typically correct one eye at a time by first breaking up and removing the cloudy, natural lens with an ultrasonic device. Once that lens is removed, an artificial intraocular lens, or IOL, is implanted in its place.

IOLs are made of a flexible plastic. During surgery after a patient’s clouded natural lens is removed, the IOL is rolled up and placed inside the eye. Once it is in place, the IOL unfolds and side structures called haptics hold it in place.

IOLs, which permanently correct a patient’s vision, come in various forms. Standard IOLs correct vision primarily for distance, but patients can have one eye fixed for distance and the other for reading, an option called monovision.

A third option is multifocal IOLs. One such multifocal lens acts like a bifocal lens to correct distance, and reading or intermediate vision. But now there is a new multifocal lens that acts like a trifocal lens to correct distance, reading and intermediate vision.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

The PanOptix lens has given Marie “perfect vision” at all three distances: near, far and in between.

This revolutionary trifocal IOL is called the PanOptix® lens. It has been available to patients in Europe for four years and Canada for two years, and recently received FDA approval for use in the United States.

“Most people these days need all three aspects of their vision to function properly,” Dr. Emery explains. “They can literally be looking at their cellphone while working at a computer and then suddenly need to look into the distance for some reason.

“The problem with prior multifocal IOLs is that they are not great at providing patients with all three aspects of vision. They’re great at providing two, say distance and reading vision, but then the third aspect may not be as sharp.

“With the PanOptix lens, you get that sharp distance, intermediate and near vision, and we’ve been very pleased with the results we’re getting in patients who want all three of those aspects and want to be independent of glasses.”

Dr. Emery warns that the PanOptix lens may not work well for every patient. He notes that patients with macular degeneration, a corneal condition or diplopia, which is better known as double vision, are not good candidates.

But for patients such as Marie, or anyone who may be nearsighted but does not have another lingering vision issue, the PanOptix lens is fast becoming the gold standard for replacement lenses
during cataract surgery.

“It really is one of the best options we can offer a patient who wants to be glasses-free,” Dr. Emery concludes. “When I have a patient who has that goal in mind, I now lean in the direction of recommending the PanOptix lens for them.”

Glasses-Free

Dr. Emery did exactly that in recommending an IOL for Marie, who accepted the recommendation and had surgery to remove the cataract in her right eye on March 11. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Marie had to wait until May 20 to have the surgery on her left eye. The result, she says, was well worth the wait.

“My vision now is perfect,” Marie exudes. “I like to do crossword puzzles in the morning, and before I got the cataracts out, I had to wear glasses to do that. Now, I don’t need to wear glasses anymore for anything.

“Another problem I had was I would get bad headaches, I guess from eye strain, if I sat at the computer for too long. But ever since I had the cataract surgery, I’m not having that problem anymore either.

“I think so much of them that I would almost offer a money-back guarantee on their work. They’re that good.”- Marie

“Having this surgery was absolutely wonderful for me, and I am thrilled that I met Dr. Emery and had him do it. He is so kind and warm-hearted, and he makes you feel comfortable from the very first time you meet him and step into his office.

“He’s really inspiring, and his staff is incredible. They are so caring, and they do a great job of following up and calling to make sure you’re doing okay after the surgery. I was even impressed by the surgery center where they do the surgery.

It’s like a mini hospital.

“My whole experience with Dr. Emery and Pasadena Eye Center was so good, I recommend them to anybody and everybody. I think so much of them that I would almost offer a money-back guarantee on their work. They’re that good.”

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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

      Nathan R. Emery, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist. He completed his undergraduate studies at Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, before serving a two-year mission in England. Upon his return to the United States, he completed his medi... Read More

    • Dennis C. Ryczek, OD

      Dennis C. Ryczek, OD, is a Florida-certified optometrist. He attended St. Petersburg Junior College and the University of South Florida. He graduated summa cum laude with a doctorate in optometry from the University of Houston, TX, and c... Read More