Reading Again

Vision After Laser Cataract Surgery

Francisco Diaz- Olea looked down at the magazine.

And he could see the words.

He grasped it in his hands. And simply - read.

It would be a normal moment, had the 77-year-old Parker, Arizona, resident not had cataract surgery that very same afternoon at the Arizona Eye Institute & Cosmetic Laser Center.

Eyes that deceived him to the point he unknowingly drove far to the right of his lane - once getting pulled over, another time tapping a mailbox over. Eyes that made him nervous when his equally nervous daughter, Elisa Diaz, would try to help him see - those eyes were suddenly zeroing in, with perfect vision - to the tiny text on those pages.

It was an improvement he never quite believed in - so used to the cloudy vision that had taken away his ability to judge distances quickly, within a year. He had grown used to the cataracts that clouded his vision, and his life.

But there it was, laid out in black and white. The article could have had any plot, any angle. The real story was his - a story of a proud, hard-working farmer, who could see clearly again without the need for needles, stitches or an eye patch.

Francisco is just one of the many whose lives are transformed by the hands of Arizona Eye Institute & Cosmetic Laser Center's Medical Director and Surgeon, Emilio Martin Justo, M.D.  Dr. Justo's commitment to improving vision among the community has brought to the institute the most state-of-the-art technology there is in cataract surgery: the LenSx femtosecond laser for refractive cataract surgery.

Using the laser, which comfortably covers a patient's eye as it loosens the cataract, Dr. Justo is able to remove cataracts with ease, and replace with state-of-the-art vision correction. In Francisco's case, the less than 20-minute procedure included a correction of his life-long astigmatism.

The technology makes a difference to Elisa, who can breathe again, her father now able to judge his distances, and drive with confidence and clear vision. It also meant that Francisco could return to his farming business sooner, where dust blowing in the wind might otherwise be a hazard to an eye that had been under the knife.

Blurry had been Francisco's "new normal," a 'normal' that happens to many as we age. "He thought it was too good to be true," Elisa said, her smile wide - she brought her father to the institute. "He's just so happy to be able to see, able to farm, again. To live again."

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