The thought of chunking out eye glasses and contact lenses has more people willing to go under the knife. Even degenerative conditions, like cataracts, can be wiped out thanks to lens implants.
"Crystal clear" is far from the description that Kathryn Hollier, of Kinder, would have used two years ago to describe her vision. "I was constantly looking for glasses all the time," she said.
Kathryn says life around her looked blurry, near and far away. "I was constantly squinting to read road signs, moving my books in and out to find the focal point," she said.
Bifocals and contact lenses did not cut it for Kathryn and ophthalmologist Jon Yokubaitis atThe Eye Clinic in Lake Charles says she was beginning to develop cataracts. "The cataract is actually a cloudy lens that's developed inside the eye," he said.
Cataracts worsen as we age and the permanent fix to restore clear vision is an intraocular lens implant. "We go inside the eye, remove the lens through a tiny incision, a two millimeter incision and then put the lens implant in place of the human lens that we've removed," said Dr. Yokubaitis.
There are two types of lens implants: mono-focal, which corrects distance vision and multi-focal, which corrects near and far vision problems.
Kathryn needed the multi-focal lens implant. An incision was made at the edge of the cornea and a tiny, high frequency ultrasound probe was used to dissolve and remove her damaged lens. Then, the new lens is implanted, all within ten minutes. "We inject the lens implant through a shooter and this is a flexible, foldable implant that unfolds within the eye," he said.
Kathryn had the lenses implanted two years ago and now sees 20/20. "No glasses, no contacts anymore, " she said. "The only glasses I look for now are my sunglasses!"
Only one eye is operated on at a time because of the very rare occurrence of a surgical complications.
Dr. Yokubaitis is talking more about cataract surgery at a free community seminar on Monday, October 28th at The Eye Clinic in Lake Charles at noon. Refreshments will be served and pre-registration is requested. Call 478-3810 to pre-register and get any other questions answered.