HOLLAND, Mich. — For nearly 20 years, it was rare to find Peggy Beeno without her glasses and magnifying lens.
"I don't do crossword puzzles anymore because it's too difficult to see numbers," Beeno said. "I haven't driven at night for almost 3 years."
As we age, our lenses get harder, eventually turning into cataracts which causes a constant glare or cloudiness in the eye. As a result, many wind up having to wear glasses or contact lenses.
But now, there's a new state-of-the-art technology available in West Michigan that's helping patients ditch their glasses and contact lenses for good.
Holland Eye Surgery & Laser Center is first in West Michigan to offer patients, like Beeno, advanced cataract surgery with the CATALYS Precision Laser System.
Opthamologist Eric Snyder, describes the technology as a laser surgery combined with traditional cataract surgery.
"The technology we have now is better than it's been and it keeps getting better," Synder said.
In less than two seconds, the CATALYS laser softens the lens and breaks up cataracts into tiny pieces, allowing for easier cataract removal, precision and faster healing times.
"It scans the whole eye and creates a 3D map of the eye that allows us to know the center of the lens and center of the visual access," Syner said. "Then, I can suck out the little cubes and take less energy," Snyder said.
At that point, doctors remove your natural lens and replace it with a new man made lens.
Beeno chose the 6 mm multi focal lens.
"This lens creates two images, a near one, and a distance one. The side effect of that is you have some halo at night," Dr. Snyder said.
The CATALYS laser and multi-focal lenses are allowing Beeno ditch her glasses and magnifying lens for good.
"I have not had that magnifying glass out once, it's time to give it away," she said.
A week post surgery, Beeno no longer had to use glasses, two weeks post surgery, she had 20/20 vision.
"Everyday it's just pinch yourself, it's so exciting," Beeno said, "I don't know if I ever saw this good."
This procedure is partially covered by insurance, but there is an out of pocket cost ranging anywhere from $1,000-$3,000 per eye, depending on the type of lenses you get.
As for the surgery itself, eyes are done one at a time. Doctors wait anywhere from one to two weeks between each procedure.
Snyder says he uses the CATALYS to correct astigmatisms, cataracts or presbyopia.