Goodbye Eyeglasses

Clear vision ReSTOR®ed through cataract surgery.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Brenda is seeing glasses free following her “effortless” cataract surgery.

For the past four years, Brenda Lovell has been her own boss. She owns a consulting company through which she offers executive business coaching. She also serves as a consultant to various nonprofit organizations in the Tampa Bay area. Brenda helps leaders and organizations achieve excellence, however they define it.

“I’ve been an executive for global nonprofit organizations, and my focus has always been on leadership, team building and developing trust within teams so members can achieve and exceed their performance goals,” the Illinois native relates. “I reached an age when I wanted to work for myself, and consulting in this field was the best fit for my experience.

“I always wanted to work for nonprofits. I liked it because they typically have a for-profit arm to raise money to operate. I started my career in internal auditing and ended up moving into nonprofits, and I loved it. I particularly loved working for the global nonprofit associations.”

All was going well for Brenda until last July, when she accompanied her son on a college trip to California. She had experienced some minor clouding of her vision prior to that, but she noticed it was dramatically worse during the trip.

“I wasn’t having much trouble driving at night in places that were familiar to me, but I had trouble in California because I didn’t know the roads,” Brenda explains. “Headlights from other cars bothered me as well. Those were pretty much my only symptoms, but they caused me to go to my eye doctor.

“I ended up going to two eye doctors because the first couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my eyes. The second eye doctor finally diagnosed cataracts. That doctor knew Dr. Berger because he had worked with his office, so he recommended I visit Dr. Berger for cataract surgery.”

Craig E. Berger, MD, is a board-certified, fellowship-trained ophthalmic surgeon at Bay Area Eye Institute in Tampa. In addition to his practice, Dr. Berger was an adjunct assistant professor of ophthalmology at University of South Florida Eye Institute for 15 years. With these two positions, he developed extensive expertise in cataracts and cataract surgery.

A 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,” Dr. Berger informs. “Symptoms include cloudy or foggy vision, glare, difficulty seeing at night, loss of color intensity and double vision.”

Cataracts are a common problem, 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.

“Typically, cataracts become a problem later in life, but they actually start around the age of forty and progress at different rates in different people,” Dr. Berger notes. “For this reason, they can occur in younger people as well.”

Cataract surgery is generally done on an outpatient basis and involves the surgical removal of the affected lens and the replacement of the natural lens with a synthetic intraocular lens, known as an IOL.

Before recommending a replacement IOL, Dr. Berger explained to Brenda the advantages and disadvantages of the different lens options. The doctor also reviewed Brenda’s lifestyle and activities in order to find the best lens match.

“Before recommending a specific lens, I always consider the patient’s activities, hobbies, the type of work they do and their visual requirements first,” Dr. Berger says. “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, and 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. Something to keep in mind is that no one lens is ideal for everyone. Lenses come in many different sizes, with a variety of features and benefits.”

One of the things Brenda learned from Dr. Berger was that she could become glasses free after cataract surgery by choosing multi-focal IOLs to replace her cloudy natural lenses. Brenda was very interested in that option.

“I used reading glasses for quite a while; then, a few years ago, I got glasses for distance vision at night,” Brenda shares. “I used them as more of a convenience if I knew I was going somewhere and my eyes were tired, but I wasn’t required to wear them.

“Then, I got transition lenses that helped with near and distance vision, but I never liked them. I went back and forth between wearing them and taking them off, especially when I gave presentations.

“I would wear them to see the screen, but then I had to take them off to see the audience. That was very annoying. Those lenses never worked for me, so it was a goal to get rid of glasses altogether.”

Smooth Transition

Based on her lifestyle and personal wishes, Dr. Berger recommended for Brenda the ReSTOR IOL. This lens gives patients clear vision at all focal points, and enables patients to live glasses free.

“All ReSTOR lenses take away the need for glasses, even reading glasses,” Dr. Berger elaborates. “According to the manufacturer, they feature a pupil-adaptive design that precisely allocates light to the retina more like the natural human eye.

ReSTOR combines apodized (an optical filtering technique) diffraction and refraction technologies that allow for clear vision at both near and far distances. This helps focus light on the retina for images at various distances and creates a smooth transition of light between the distant, intermediate and near focal points.

Cataract surgery is typically performed one eye at a time, with the patient usually waiting a couple of weeks or more before having the second eye corrected. In Brenda’s case, Dr. Berger corrected her left eye first, last October. He then corrected her right eye in August of this year.

“The surgeries were effortless!” Brenda exclaims. “I was in and out, and even had lunch with the friend who drove me to the first surgery right after the procedure was done. Recovery was effortless as well.

“And since my cataract surgeries, I have 20/15 vision in my right eye and 20/20 in my left eye. My night vision is perfect. Headlights don’t bother me anymore. I don’t have any issues with my eyesight whatsoever.

“In fact, I can see so clearly now that I see dirt in my house that I’ve never seen before. Colors are also much brighter now, and I don’t have to wear any glasses at all. I didn’t know that was possible, so I’m very excited about that.”

Brenda is quite happy with the results of her cataract surgery. She credits Dr. Berger’s expertise for the procedures’ positive outcome.

“My cataract surgeries were totally successful,” she enthuses. “I‘ve already recommended Dr. Berger and Bay Area Eye Institute, as well as ReSTOR lenses. They’re absolutely wonderful.”

Print This Article
    • 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