Specific Care For Two Sets Of Cataracts

Ophthalmologist develops personalized strategies for retired couple’s eye procedures.

Jack and Arlene sitting looking at a magazine.

Jack and Arlene are essentially free of glasses after cataract surgery.

Jack and Arlene Huttle have been happily married for a quarter century. Now retired, Arlene was a supermarket cashier for 25 years, and Jack was a New York City firefighter for 31 years. It was his dream job.

“I always wanted to be a firefighter,” shares Jack, 77. “I liked everything about the job. The people I worked with were great. Everybody loved to go to work. We loved going out to fires, putting down fires and helping people. It was a wonderful job.”

Jack also loves to tell people how he came to meet his wife.

“I went to the supermarket and came home with Arlene,” he jokes. “Her store was close to where I lived at the time.”

In 2010, the couple relocated from their native Long Island to Florida to escape the cold, blustery New York winters and bask in warm sunshine all year long.

“The weather is the best part of living in Florida,” corroborates Arlene, 74. “I miss the seasons in New York, but I don’t miss shoveling snow in the wintertime. That was never fun.”

Shortly after the move, Arlene was diagnosed with early stage macular degeneration, an age-related deterioration of the center portion of the retina. For help, she was referred to board-certified ophthalmologist and ophthalmic surgeon Q. Jocelyn Ge, MD, PhD, of Premier Eye Clinic, which has offices in Port Orange and Ormond Beach.

“Dr. Ge recommended that I take AREDS2,” Arlene says, referring to vitamins that help slow vision loss due to macular degeneration.

“The vitamins have helped me keep the macular degeneration under control. I visit Dr. Ge every six months so she can keep a close eye on it, but last year she discovered I had cataracts.

“She said I could probably wait for surgery to remove the cataracts, but my eyesight was getting increasingly worse. My vision was blurry, and it was hard to see clearly while driving at night because I saw glare, starbursts and halos around lights. I told Dr. Ge I wanted surgery, and she said, Fine.

Cataracts are a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye. The only treatment is surgery in which the lens is removed and replaced with a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL). There are many types of IOLs, which perform different functions.

“Arlene wore glasses 100 percent of the time, and she wanted to be free of them after cataract surgery,” Dr. Ge recalls. “I suggested a monovision contact lens trial. With monovision, one eye is corrected for distance and the other eye is corrected for near vision. Only about 50 percent of the population can tolerate monovision, and Arlene was one of them.

“In April 2021, we performed routine cataract surgery using standard monofocal IOLs to give her monovision. Following surgery, she achieved clear distance and near vision without glasses.”

Separate Situation

Like his wife, Jack developed cataracts in both eyes. His symptoms grew worse over time and peaked this year.

“I started noticing problems with my vision about a year and a half ago,” Jack reveals. “My vision was a little blurry, and I found it difficult to read. Like with Arlene, I was seeing glare and halos around lights, so I had trouble driving at night as well.

“This spring, when I visited Dr. Ge for a checkup, she said the problem was cataracts and told me what needed to be done. But rather than wait another year until my vision got even worse, I decided to have cataract surgery this year.”

At Premier Eye Clinic, Dr. Ge creates personalized strategies rather than cookie-cutter, production-line treatment plans. That proved critical with Jack, whose eye care history was much different than Arlene’s.

“For one thing, he had undergone a type of corneal refractive surgery on his left eye called conductive keratoplasty, or CK,” Dr. Ge explains. “That procedure was performed in the 1980s, 10 years before LASIK laser surgery became available. The CK corrected Jack’s left eye for nearsightedness so he could read better, but it left a scar on his cornea. He also had astigmatism in both eyes.”

“I now have 20/20 vision in one eye and 20/15 in the other, so my vision is better than good.” – Arlene

“Because of the scar on his left eye and the astigmatism, he was not a good candidate for a multifocal or extended depth-of-focus lens implant, which corrects vision in multiple focal ranges. So, we chose to implant the Trulign® toric IOL in Jack’s left eye and a monofocal toric lens in his right eye.”

A toric lens is shaped differently than a standard lens and is used to correct astigmatism.

The Trulign toric lens is an accommodating lens with astigmatism correction, meaning it moves as the eye’s focusing muscles contract. It mimics natural focusing and allows the eye to focus on objects at varying distances. Along with the monofocal toric lens in his right eye, Jack’s vision improved markedly.

“As of his last exam, Jack was 20/20 in both eyes without glasses for distance,” Dr. Ge reports. “The Trulign in his left eye also gave Jack what’s called social reading. He may need low-power, over-the-counter readers for very small print, but he can see pretty much everything around him far and near without glasses.”

“Better Than Good”

It’s been more than a year since Arlene underwent cataract surgery at Premier Eye Clinic. She’s still ecstatic about her results.

“It’s fantastic,” she gushes. “My vision is very clear, and I don’t wear glasses anymore, only sunglasses for the strong Florida sun. I now have 20/20 vision in one eye and 20/15 in the other, so my vision is better than good.”

Jack echoes Arlene’s enthusiasm.

“My vision is much better. I see fine without glasses,” Jack effuses. “I do have to wear ‘cheaters’ to read menus in dark restaurants, but the glare and halos around lights at night are gone, so I see better to drive at night.”

Jack and Arlene are equally enthused about Dr. Ge and her staff.

“Dr. Ge is a great doctor. She knows what she’s doing and is very professional,” Jack raves. “She’s a pleasant, soft-spoken person. She explains everything and answers questions before you even ask them. The same with the staff at Premier Eye Clinic. Everybody is so nice, helpful and informative.”

Arlene appreciates how Dr. Ge kept her calm and confident.

“Dr. Ge is very good at her job. She knows her stuff and is very thorough,” Arlene assesses. “She answers questions professionally and makes you feel comfortable. I recommend her to anyone.”

© FHCN article by Patti DiPanfilo. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb

 

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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

    • Kyle Bettis, OD

      Kyle Bettis, OD, completed his undergraduate education at the University of Central Florida, graduating cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He received his Doctor of Optometry degree in 2016 from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Be... Read More

    • Ashley C. Royce, OD

      Ashley C. Royce, OD, earned her undergraduate degree cum laude at the University of North Dakota and her Doctor of Optometry degree at Pacific University. She completed a hospital-based residency in geriatric and primary care at the Roseburg VA... Read More