WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Vision can get dull and blurry as people get older. Surgery can fix the problem and even provide freedom from glasses.
Visiting the eye doctor is nothing new for Diana Whited. "I've worn glasses since I was 10 or 11," she said.
But, a couple months ago, she realized her vision wasn't what it should be. “Things were dull, the colors were dull, and I didn't realize that as much until after the fact and things were getting blurry at night. It was harder to drive."
She needed surgery to remove her cataracts, which causes the lens of the eye to become cloudy as we age. Dr. Ejaz Husain with Associated Ophthalmologists said, "By removing the cataract from the eye and replacing it with a clear lens that never gets cloudy again. It's a permanent solution."
Dr. Husain said it’s a common surgery and patients have choices when it comes to the implanted lens. He said, “Traditionally we have used mono-focal lens implants that unfortunately only allowed people to see at one focus, so people always needed reading glasses.”
"With the introduction of the new lenses it's given the patient independence from glasses all together," he continued.
Dean Hammerstrom got the multi-focal lens implants four years ago. "You get up, you don't have to put glasses on to read the newspaper or watch T.V, or do anything like that, so it's changed my life quite a bit."
Dr. Husain said the surgery has helped thousands of patients and now the next generation of lenses is out where you can customize the lenses to fit your lifestyle."
"So that if a patient likes to read a lot, we have a certain lens for that. If a patient likes to drive or shop a lot and they want to see intermediate vision, we have a lens for that," said Dr. Husain.
Whited likes the freedom the surgery has given her. She said, "I'm looking forward to taking a trip because I've had to wear prescription sunglasses for a long time. I'm always looking for my other pair of glasses, so now I can buy those really nice fun sunglasses, like I've never been able to do before."
To get the surgery, you must have healthy eyes, minimalist astigmatism and motivation to be free of glasses. Dr. Husain said insurance will cover part of the surgery, but you may have to pay more depending on the lens you choose.