Jackson, MS, July 02, 2010 --(PR.com
)-- Have you noticed the futuristic trend? Older people suddenly are bragging about their vision.
What’s gotten into them? They’re wearing new intraocular lenses implanted during cataract surgeries.
“I think it changed the course of the last years of my life, I really do,” said Mary Ruth Jones, whose multi-focal lenses were implanted by Jackson ophthalmologist Connie McCaa, M.D., Ph.D. “I’m a voracious reader. I read three or four hours a night and I don’t have to wear glasses any more.
“I’m ecstatic,” Jones of Vicksburg added. “I mean I’m not pleased – I’m ecstatic!”
When senior citizens have cataract operations to replace their eyes’ clouded natural lens, many no longer receive a monofocal, artificial replacement lens to correct a single vision problem. Instead, implanted lenses are correcting multiple problems - including nearsightedness, farsightedness, reading problems, and even astigmatism.
“This is the fastest growing part of my practice now. These new lenses really are exciting to my patients,” McCaa (pronounced McKay) said. “It’s wonderful to hear senior citizens bragging about their vision.”
A nationally known cornea and refractive surgeon, McCaa recently was named one of the Best Doctors in America for a 12th consecutive year. She has performed thousands of cataract surgeries.
A cataract is a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, impairing vision. The new lenses not only replace the body’s natural lenses, they correct vision problems that otherwise would necessitate wearing eyeglasses or contacts.
McCaa performs cataract surgery as an outpatient procedure, with local anesthesia.
These intraocular lenses are either multi-focal or toric lenses. A multi-focal lens corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or presbyopia (reading vision), but not astigmatism. A toric lens corrects astigmatism as well as any single (monofocal) vision problem.
Cataracts affect more than 20 million Americans over age 40. By age 80, more than half of all Americans have cataracts, according to joint report by the National Eye Institute and Prevent Blindness America. Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed ophthalmic procedure.
McCaa performed cataract surgery on Joseph Thweatt of Brandon, then implanted a toric lens in his right eye. Thweatt, who has worn glasses since childhood, now sees 20/20 at distance in his corrected eye and looks forward to having another cataract removed and a corrective lens implanted in his left eye later this year. “I’m looking forward to just getting rid of my glasses then,” he said.
“I do brag, because now I can see!” Thweatt, 62, added. “The right eye was just completely cloudy. I couldn’t read and caught myself keeping my right eye closed. I also had night blindness.”
Thweatt was nearsighted with astigmatism, in both eyes, and was seeing 20/400 in his right eye before the implant.
Common symptom of cataracts are blurring and declining vision. Other symptoms may be colors looking faded or dim, vision problems in bright lights or sunlight, double vision, trouble seeing in low light or at night, and/or frequent changes in glasses or contact lens prescriptions, McCaa said.
“All the things that are basic to my life were affected by my vision and I always had to find my glasses. That didn’t fit my persona. It was annoying,” said Jones, 73.
“I feel like it’s almost magic,” she said of the lens implants. “When you think of parents who didn’t have the opportunity for this kind of procedure - it is like magic.”
Usually, insurance or Medicare pays for the surgery and a monofocal lens, but not for the extra cost of multi-focal or toric lenses, McCaa said. Multi-focal lenses are not recommended for patients with retinal problems.
McCaa has two clinics in metro Jackson, Miss. Her ophthalmology clinic is in the West Tower of St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson. Her LASIK Laser Eye Center is at 4800 Lakeland Drive in Flowood, convenient from Jackson International Airport. Call 601-713-0038 for an appointment or visit www.ConnieMcCaa.com
McCaa has been board certified in ophthalmology since 1983.