For active people like Clara, wearing glasses or contacts, and having cataracts and glaucoma, was really inhibiting her enjoyment of life. Clara’s competed in over 100 marathons and regularly swims, runs and bikes for training and the pure pleasure of being fit and active.
Clara has worn glasses and contacts for many years and also has astigmatism. She suffered from dry, red and scratchy eyes for many years. As her vision changed in her 40s, she tried monovision with contacts. This corrects one eye for distance and one for reading vision. The mind quickly adjusts and patients can avoid wearing bifocals or reading glasses. This solution was good for Clara for many years.
Fast forward past several Ironman triathlons over the years. Clara was now faced with having glaucoma and cataracts. She was controlling her pressure with drops, which were expensive and a hassle to remember to pack when traveling to competitions. Her frustration reached new heights during an Ironman in Canada.
“I put on my swim cap and got one mile into my swim. My cap slipped up and pushed my goggles off. It happened quickly and I realized one of my contacts had been knocked out. I was terrified. I couldn’t see and I was in the water. A support person came to my aid and encouraged me to continue swimming. A 112-mile bike ride was my next task. My husband told me the words I didn’t want to hear. He said, ‘You have to stop. You can’t see well enough to navigate the dangerous bike course. It’s over.’ I was devastated, but knew he was right. My race was over,” Clara recounts.
Luckily, Clara had some options to consider with her vision. When her glaucoma was discovered by another doctor, she was referred to Dr. Wagle at Eye Surgeons. He understood her need to stay active and suggested a three-in-one procedure when cataracts were discovered.
Clara had cataract surgery and when her natural lenses were replaced during the procedure, she opted to correct one eye for distance vision and the other for near vision. It was the same monovision solution that had worked for her through contacts. And during her cataract surgery, she also had an iStent® implanted to reduce her eye pressure. In a single procedure, she had corrected her vision, removed cataracts and regulated her pressure.
Clara was instructed to stop training for two months post surgery to allow the eyes to heal and reduce the possibility of injuring her eyes. She wore safety glasses when she resumed training, loves wearing sunglasses and Dr. Wagle approved her use of smaller goggles, which she preferred. Today, Clara is off drops and training for another triathlon. She’s looking forward to competing in the Quad Cities Marathon in the fall.
The material contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.