Dixie Wilcox, 78, has required prescription glasses since she was in the seventh grade. Her vision, while not a perfect 20/20, wasn’t the worst. Last year, she began to experience fuzziness in her vision and was bothered by lights after her last pair of glasses broke and she could not replace them.
Wilcox’s husband, 90, cannot drive much compared to Wilcox, and she knew she needed to get her eyes checked before they got worse.
Wilcox became a patient of Ohio Eye Associates after her husband’s referral and based on his experience there. When she went in September, she saw ophthalmologist Krysta Goslin, MD, who, after giving Wilcox an exam, informed her that she had a cataract in her left eye and could benefit from surgery.
“Everybody gets cataracts and cataracts don't hurt your eyes, you don't need them out until they affect your life,” Goslin said. “But if you don't take them out and you let them get worse, you could eventually go legally blind or have impaired vision. It's not a permanent loss of vision but you could eventually lose more and more vision.”
A cataract is a condition in which your eyes become cloudy, resulting in blurry vision. Doctors can perform a series of tests before diagnosis including a detailed assessment of a patient's vision, glasses and overall eye health.
Symptoms of cataracts include blurred or hazy vision, double vision, poor vision in bright light, seeing halos around lights, poor vision at night, yellowish tinged vision and frequent changes in eyeglasses or contact lens prescription.
Once a cataract is diagnosed, it can slowly worsen over time. Wilcox had her eye surgery scheduled in that same month she saw Goslin, but she canceled it at the last minute. Forty years ago she had heart surgery after having a stroke and the anesthesia made her uncomfortable. She feared the complications that would come from any future surgeries.
“I was very frightened,” Wilcox said. “But by talking to the staff at Ohio Eye, I told myself I had to do it because my husband's 90 and I have to do it for him as well as myself.”
Wilcox rescheduled the appointment for May 2021 and underwent the surgery. Cataract surgery is currently the only way to treat cataracts that are affecting vision. It is a minimally invasive, low-risk, outpatient procedure with a success rate of 98 percent. Goslin and ophthalmologist Jonathan Skarie, MD, PhD, have performed the surgery numerous times.
“What I like to tell patients is when you notice symptoms, and they start to affect you, that's a good time to have cataract surgery,” Goslin said. “If you wait for several years after your vision affects your daily activities, the lens could mature and harden and it could be harder to get that cataract out.”
The goal of surgery is to remove the natural lens which has become cloudy due to cataracts. The natural lens serves an important function of focusing images in the eye. After it is removed, a new, clear artificial lens is placed into the eye to replace this focusing power. The specialists at Ohio Eye can prescribe specialty lenses in a variety of different designs and materials after surgery.
Goslin reassured Wilcox of the straightforward procedure, and because of that Wilcox felt confident that her surgery would be a success.
“They made me feel so at ease,” Wilcox said. “When I went back to Ohio Eye the second time, I guess I just had to make sure I had the faith in them. And I had to believe that I was in good hands. And I was.”
At Ohio Eye Associates, the eye professionals work together to create a circle of care that includes eye exams, lens fittings, treatment of eye diseases, surgeries, and postoperative care. Patients have experts dedicated to achieving the best outcomes at each step in their eye care journey. Call 419-614-0075 to make an appointment.