Tailored Care For Couple With Cataracts

She also had eye complications. Both now have ‘fantastic’ vision.

Joanne and Richard received individualized cataract surgeries and say they are equally happy with their outcomes.

Richard and Joanne Jacksto will celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary in September, but they’ve been loyal friends far longer than that.

“I’ve known Richard all my life,” explains Joanne, 67. “I was adopted and 3 months old when my parents brought me home. Richard and his parents lived next door. We became friends, and our friendship eventually turned into a romance.”

Richard and Joanne spent the first years of their marriage in New York. Richard worked as a heavy construction mechanic and Joanne was a bookkeeper. But Richard always wanted to live in Florida, so 30 years ago, the couple relocated to the Sunshine State and ultimately settled in Crane Lakes Port Orange.

“I haven’t fully retired yet. I still work part time,” offers Richard, 75. “I live at Crane Lakes and also work there doing landscaping and general maintenance four days a week.”

Nine years ago, Richard’s work-life routine suffered a setback when the vision in his left eye became blurry, and he began to see annoying halos around lights at night.

Blurry vision and halos are common symptoms of cataracts, which is a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye. The only treatment for cataracts is surgery in which the clouded lens is removed and replaced with a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL).

After learning that his cataract required treatment, Richard began searching for a qualified eye surgeon. He found one in the pages of Volusia Health Care News. That’s where he read an article about board-certified ophthalmologist and ophthalmic surgeon Q. Jocelyn Ge, MD, PhD, of Premier Eye Clinic, which has offices in Port Orange and Ormond Beach.

“Richard came to us with a cataract in his left eye,” Dr. Ge recalls. “I performed cataract surgery on that eye in 2013 and implanted the ReSTOR® multifocal IOL. The ReSTOR was the multifocal IOL of choice back then.”

After surgery and follow-up, Dr. Ge referred Richard to Ashley C. Royce, OD, a board-certified optometric physician at Premier Eye Clinic, for ongoing care.

“Three years after I operated on Richard’s left eye, Dr. Royce referred him back to me to have the cataract removed from his right eye,” Dr. Ge recalls. “I implanted the ReSTOR lens in that eye as well, and it was again successful.

“The ReSTOR lens has delivered a very good outcome for Richard in both eyes. He does not require glasses even after all these years. Today, Richard just comes to the clinic for yearly exams with Dr. Royce.”

Unhealthy Eyes

Like her husband, Joanne has trusted her vision to Dr. Royce since 2014. But unlike Richard, whose eyes were healthy aside from the cataracts, Joanne has several conditions that have affected her eye health.

“When I first met Joanne, she had elevated eye pressure as well as ocular surface disease, specifically dry eye,” Dr. Royce reports. “She also has a corneal condition called map dot fingerprint dystrophy (MDF). We tailored Joanne’s treatments to address her specific needs and vision goals.”

MDF is a hereditary disease affecting the epithelium, or outermost layer, of the cornea, the transparent outer covering of the eye. With MDF, recurrent abrasions develop on the surface of the cornea that look like fingerprints on the clear window of the eye.

“As far as Richard and I are concerned, Dr. Ge and Dr. Royce are the best in the business.” – Joanne

“Dr. Royce said the MDF was causing some of the blurriness in my vision, but I also had cataracts forming in my eyes,” Joanne reveals. “Eventually, the cataracts got so bad that I couldn’t see clearly with or without glasses, so Dr. Royce referred me to Dr. Ge for cataract surgery.”

“Joanne came to me thinking it was her chance to have the same clear vision that Richard has enjoyed all these years with the ReSTOR lens,” Dr. Ge recalls. “But because Joanne has eye conditions Richard does not, she is not a candidate for multifocal lens implants.

“Instead, I gave her the option of an accommodating lens implant, which is basically a monofocal lens that moves gently inside the eye using the patient’s own eye muscles and structures to provide a range of glasses-free clear vision, simulating the natural accommodation of the younger eye. I recommended bilateral Crystalens® IOLs for Joanne, and she’s doing great with them. She has almost 20/20 vision and is very happy.”

As part of Joanne’s cataract surgery, Dr. Ge also performed a second procedure aimed at reducing the pressure inside Joanne’s eyes. Known as minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS), it calls for the implantation of a miniature titanium stent called the iStent® to create a bypass in the trabecular meshwork, which is the main drainage mechanism in the eyes. The iStent improves the eye’s natural ability to drain fluid, decreasing pressure in the eyes.

“I Can See Perfectly”

Joanne underwent cataract surgery on her left eye on November 1. The surgery on her right eye was completed on January 31.

She’s ecstatic about her outcome.

“My vision is great now,” she enthuses. “I don’t need to wear glasses at all. I do use eye drops because I have a very bad case of dry eye, but other than that, I can see perfectly. I’ve worn glasses since I was 11 years old, and I love being able to walk around without them.”

Richard is just as happy with his results.

“When I’m outside, I have the vision of a 25-year-old. It’s really fantastic,” he enthuses. “I’m glad I had the surgery done, and I’m glad I had it done by

Dr. Ge. She’s very professional and very good with follow-up. And she knew how to explain everything so I could understand. Dr. Royce is as nice and as professional as Dr. Ge.”

Joanne agrees with Richard’s assessment of Dr. Ge and Dr. Royce.

“I love both of them and trust them implicitly,” she raves. “They’re very knowledgeable. They know exactly what they’re doing. I wouldn’t go anywhere else. As far as Richard and I are concerned, Dr. Ge and Dr. Royce are the best in the business.”

© 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