Eagle Eyes
Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Monica and Jim were both treated for glaucoma and cataracts by Dr. Ge.

Accommodating lens implant enhances vision following cataract surgery.

Jim and Monica Haskett met and fell in love while working for the same Allentown, Pennsylvania auto dealer. Jim, who hails from the Trenton, New Jersey area, worked for the dealership for 40 years.

He moved there after he was transferred from a job in Doylestown, PA, which just happens to be Monica’s hometown. But Monica didn’t know Jim before she moved to Allentown.

“We knew each other from the dealership,” Jim recalls. “I was the general manager, and Monica was an accountant and the administrative assistant to the president. After we met, we courted for eight years. Monica and I got together in 1985 and were married in 1993.”

“I left the dealership once we started dating because Jim was in management, and it didn’t look right for him to be dating someone who wasn’t in management,” Monica relates. “I got a job at a CPA firm and worked there for thirty-two years.”

Jim, who retired 11 years ago, and Monica, who retired at the end of last year, maintain a condo in Allentown, which they love, but spend the winter and spring in Florida, where they love to stroll the beach and spend time with friends.

“We retired folks love to walk on the beach,” Jim says. “We probably walk twenty-five miles a week on the beach. We live just off Florida State Road A1A, so the beach is right across the street from our house.

“We spend a lot of time going out with friends as well. We belong to a couple of wine clubs and a couple of book clubs. There’s a lot going on and we find that we’re plenty busy in retirement.”

Jim and Monica have been living an idyllic lifestyle here in Florida, but problems with their vision caused by the combination of cataracts and glaucoma recently threatened to derail their best-laid plans for retirement.

Cataracts develop as a result of a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Glaucoma is a condition that develops from increased pressure in the eyes due to a back-up of fluid. Monica wasn’t surprised that she developed these conditions.

“I’ve had many problems with my eyes over the years,” she shares. “I couldn’t see the clock next to my bed when I was a child. When I was twenty-one, I had LASIK® surgery and wound up with a wrinkle on my retina, which required special surgery to repair.”

Monica first learned she was suffering from cataracts while the couple still lived full-time in Allentown. That’s where she had surgery to remove the cataract in her left eye because that cataract had developed more rapidly than the one in her right eye.

The cataract in Monica’s right eye advanced to a point where it needed to be removed in 2019. At around the same time, Jim developed cataracts as well and was told that his eye pressure was elevated, which is a symptom of glaucoma.

Because increased pressure in the eye can damage the optic nerve and affect vision, Jim began searching for an ophthalmologist to monitor the pressure in his eyes. On the advice of several friends, he chose board-certified ophthalmologist Q. Jocelyn Ge, MD, PhD, at Premier Eye Clinic.

Relieving the Pressure

It was a wise choice, because Dr. Ge specializes in both cataract and glaucoma treatment and employs a new FDA-approved stent technology that can be utilized at the time of cataract surgery. The technology facilitates fluid drainage and lowers eye pressure in a type of glaucoma called open-angle glaucoma, in which the eyes’ drainage channels become blocked. The technology is the iStent inject®.

“Jim originally came to me because of high pressure in the eyes, but while I was treating him for that, his cataracts became worse,” Dr. Ge recalls. “He was on medication eye drops for open-angle glaucoma.

“In people with glaucoma, which is a type of optic nerve damage, or with retinal conditions such as macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy, the sensory parts of the eye are no longer healthy enough to perceive sharp images.

“This is called decreased contrast sensitivity, and for folks with this condition, during cataract surgery, the replacement lens implant should provide one hundred percent of clarity without further compromising contrast sensitivity.

“Jim wanted to reduce his dependence on glasses after cataract surgery, but because of his glaucoma, he is not a candidate for a multifocal lens implant because it would further diminish contrast sensitivity and degrade his quality of vision.

“The Crystalens®, which is an accommodating lens, was the best and only option to reduce his dependence on glasses after cataract surgery because it provides a clear range of vision without compromising contrast sensitivity.”

Fortunately for Jim, Dr. Ge is one of the very few ophthalmologists in the area certified and experienced in implanting Crystalens.

“Jim received the Crystalens in both eyes. He also received the iStent inject in both eyes, and he is very happy now,” Dr. Ge states. “His vision is better than 20/20 in the right eye and 20/20 in the left eye, and his reading vision is excellent as well, without glasses.”

“Dr. Ge performed cataract surgery on my left eye in August and on my right eye in October, and everything turned out great!” Jim exudes. “One of the effects of my cataracts was that I wasn’t seeing colors properly. Everything was sepia, that gloomy light brown color of old movies. But after I got my first eye done in August, the very first thing I noticed was everything I looked at was gorgeous and colorful.”

Dr. Ge chose the same Crystalens as well as the iStent inject for Monica’s right eye because Monica has open angle glaucoma and previously had LASIK surgery.

“For Monica to become less dependent on glasses after cataract surgery, her only real option was the Crystalens,” Dr. Ge notes. “She was not a candidate for a multifocal lens implants because of her glaucoma and previous LASIK surgery.”

Excellent Report Card

Both Jim and Monica are extremely pleased with the results they achieved following cataract surgery with the iStent inject.

“Since my surgeries, I’m glasses free and no longer using pressure-lowering eye drops because my numbers are good now,” Jim enthuses. “I had a check-up last week, and I received all A’s on my report card.

“When Dr. Ge and I first talked about surgery, I asked her to correct my vision like an eagle’s. She told me if she does that, I would be primarily corrected for distance. I might need cheaters in a dark room or if I’m doing extensive reading, but I wouldn’t need glasses for golfing, driving or walking on the beach. For those activities, I can wear civilian sunglasses. I’m very happy with my results.”

“I have the Crystalens in one eye only, so my situation is different from Jim’s,” Monica relates. “Accommodating lenses were too new when I had cataract surgery on my left eye. The eye doctors didn’t talk about them much.

“Before my surgery, Dr. Ge talked with me about the different options for my right eye vision, and how my two eyes would coordinate. We eventually came up with the plan for my right eye based on my activities these days. I’m also very happy with the outcome of
Dr. Ge’s treatment!”

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    • Premier Eye Clinic

      Premier Eye Clinic provides comprehensive eye examinations and treatment for patients of all ages. Their board-certified ophthalmologist is highly experienced in advanced cataract surgery using a "no injection, no stitch, no patch" tech... Read More

    • Q. Jocelyn Ge, MD, PhD

      Q. Jocelyn Ge, MD, PhD, received her medical degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and her PhD from the University of California. She completed her internship at the University of Tennessee Medical Center and her o... Read More