I would encourage any ophthalmologist who has not yet implanted a Crystalens (Bausch & Lomb, Rochester, NY) to give it serious consideration. Since undergoing refractive lens exchange with the Crystalens, I continue to practice ophthalmology full time. I enjoy seeing hyperopic patients in my office who do not like their spectacles and/or contact lenses and then telling them that we as ophthalmologists now have a solution. This article describes my refractive history and my experience as a recipient of the Crystalens.
HYPEROPIA AND PRESBYOPIA
At 20 years old, I was a typical mild near and distance hyperope with a UCVA of 20/10. I was active in sports and outdoor activities, and I could not even tolerate wearing sunglasses when golfing. In my early 40s, I was shocked when premature presbyopia started causing me visual difficulties. Although I understood as an ophthalmologist the progression of the disease, I disliked the thought of wearing any type of spectacles, and I could not adapt to contact lenses.
In 2000, I underwent hyperopic LASIK with the Allegretto Wave (WaveLight, Inc., Sterling, VA). David Johnson, MD, my friend from Tampa, Florida, and a fellow FDA trial investigator for the Allegretto Wave, performed my surgery. Afterward, I felt like I had been let out of jail! I had regained my ability to play sports and function at near without spectacles. I became a true disciple of hyperopic LASIK.
REFRACTIVE LENS EXCHANGE
For the past 10 years, I have dedicated my practice exclusively to refractive surgery. I have seen far too many patients who were unhappy with multifocal IOLs after cataract surgery, especially when they had previously undergone refractive procedures. The patients' lack of quality distance and near vision was not acceptable. When I personally developed nuclear sclerotic cataracts, I called my friend James Gills, MD, of Tarpon Springs, Florida. He strongly recommended I undergo refractive lens exchange with the Crystalens.
My surgical experience was phenomenal. Few other procedures in medicine turn the clock back 40 years! I had surgery on one eye on a Wednesday in September 2007, and my second eye underwent surgery the next day. I was completely functional the day after my last procedure. Dr. Gills and I played golf on the following Friday and Saturday. I could see the ball at a distance and read my scorecard and the menu in a restaurant. Due to the nuclear sclerotic cataracts, I had developed a significant myopic astigmatism, and I am now virtually plano in each eye.
I have treated many physicians and ophthalmologists successfully during my career, and I always consider it a privilege and blessing. We forget sometimes how precious the gift of perfect vision is. We are very fortunate to have technology that can restore our vision to what it was years ago.
As a full-time ophthalmologist, I appreciate seeing patients who do not like their spectacles and contact lenses. Seeing me in the office functioning without glasses gives them positive reinforcement. I can honestly tell them I see 20/20 at distance and J2 at near with no compromise and great contrast sensitivity.
Charlie Moore, MD, is Medical Director of International Eyecare in Houston. He serves as US Medical Monitor for Alcon Laboratories, Inc., and WaveLight, Inc. Dr. Moore may be reached at (713) 984-9777; firstname.lastname@example.org.