By Daniel Flinn – “You have cataracts,” my ophthalmologist announced. “Great,” I replied. “When can I get those new lenses implanted?” I’d done my homework and realized the new lenses would correct nearly all the astigmatism interfering with my vision. A few weeks later, I had nearly 20/20 vision without my glasses. I still wear them for reading, but not for driving and most other situations.
I was fortunate to connect with Scott Durrett, MD at Provision Laser Eye Center with offices in Englewood and Venice. He’s one of the first surgeons in Sarasota County to employ Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery using the LenSx Laser with the ORA System.
During my exam, Dr. Durrett and his technician, Curtis, discussed how to correct my nearly seven cylinders of astigmatism. The surgery was scheduled for the following week. I was surprised at the ease and comfort during and after surgery.
As I waited in the surgery room, a nurse used drops to open my pupils and numb my eyes. They were completely numb within thirty minutes. She then wheeled me into the laser room where Dr. Durrett performed a Limbel Relaxation Incision using a special laser. I felt mild discomfort which lasted less than ten seconds.
Fifteen minutes later, I was in the next surgery room where the doctor covered everything on my face except my eye. “You’re going to see a fantastic light show,” he assured me, and indeed, I could see strange and beautiful lights as he extracted the cataract and implanted the toric lens that would correct my astigmatism. I felt mild discomfort when he rinsed my eye, but no pain. About twenty minutes later, I was in the recovery room waiting to go home.
My post-surgery treatment included three different eye drops daily. I went to sleep that night wondering what the effect would be the next day. When I awoke, I could read the clock on the other side of the room. Out on the lanai, I could see the birds, the trees and the clouds, all without eyeglasses, which were part of my life since the age of five!
I learned through this process that cataract surgery nowadays is safer, more comfortable, and more successful than ever before thanks to enhanced laser technology and experienced physicians like Dr. Durrett. If colors are not as bright as they used to be, or things are getting fuzzy, make an appointment with a good ophthalmologist to get those eyes checked, and if necessary, schedule the surgery that will be right for you.
Daniel Flinn is a retired high school and college English teacher.