Revolutionary eye surgery starts in Colorado Springs

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COLORADO SPRINGS — A new surgery for cataracts is making previous treatments obsolete.

One of the first of it’s kind surgeries in the country and the very first in Colorado took place this week at the Colorado Eye Institute in Colorado Springs.

In order for Ed Jocz to work with his hands he needs his eyes.

“I do wood working,” Jocz explained. “I thought I still had great vision, but apparently it wasn’t. When they looked into my eye, they said it’s getting cloudy.”

The cloudiness is called cataracts where the lens of the eye begins to fog over time. It can eventually happen to everybody. For Jocz, his condition was so bad, prescription lenses couldn’t help.

“When I was at the ranch, the owners said, see the two horses on the hill?” Jocz said. “I said, what owners and what hill because I couldn’t see it.”

To fix it, Jocz will be the second person in Colorado, to have a surgery that essentially replaces his fogging lens.

“Since there is no lens, we have to put a new lens in,” Doctor James Lee said. “Otherwise you won’t be able to see and what the advantage of technology now, we actually try to put your prescription into this new lens.”

Dr. Lee has been performing this kind of surgery since the late 90’s while the procedure has changed very little in that time, the results from it have. Lee said this latest change is the most substantial.

“When you look at vision, your basically looking at three distances,” Dr. Lee explained. “There’s far vision, like driving, there’s intermediate, which is the computer vision, then there’s near for reading, and all the previous generations were good at two of the three so you had to pick whether you wanted computer or reading for your near vision. The difference with this lens is you don’t have to do that anymore because it’s just as good, at least with studies with near and intermediate, so basically, you are getting the full range of vision.”

Lee said it doesn’t completely restore 2020 vision. The surgery is also not covered by insurance. In preliminary results from the first surgeries in Europe, he said in addition to an improved range of vision, patients report more vivid colors and improved night vision.

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