Nothing says love like showbiz royalty Eddie Gutierrez and Annabelle Rama. They even celebrated Valentine’s Day in a unique way this year—by waking up early for cataract surgery at the Asian Eye Institute Phinma Plaza-Rockwell Makati branch.
Gutierrez visited Asian Eye for a comprehensive eye exam and was diagnosed with cataracts. Cataracts happen when the normally clear eye lens becomes clouded in one or both eyes. He thought he was simply experiencing irritation from using contact lenses or that he needed to change his eyeglasses prescription. Instead, it was the cataracts that were keeping him from seeing clearly.
“When you have cataracts, it is like you are looking at a fogged-up glass,” said Dr. Robert Ang, the cochair of Asian Eye’s cataract service and chair of cornea and refractive services.
“It develops slowly and usually starts with having blurry vision. But as it advances, you will notice that colors seem faded, you are more sensitive to light and it is difficult to see at night. Some patients also experience having to change their prescription glasses more often.”
Fortunately, it can be removed quickly and safely through surgery.
No ‘magic’ eye drops
“Cataracts cannot be treated by magic eye drops or eyeglasses,” Ang shared. “Through surgery, we remove the lens with cataract and replace it with an artificial lens called intraocular lens or IOL. Asian Eye offers the latest technology in cataract surgery and lenses, so our patients have more options to choose from to achieve their desired results.”
In the veteran actor’s case, he underwent the VICTUS femtolaser cataract surgery with multifocal IOL.
As a bladeless procedure, it offers better visual outcome, faster healing and lower risk of eye inflammation.
Asian Eye’s VICTUS technology creates an almost perfectly round opening in the capsule of the cataract, which provides a more stable position to place the IOL. It also uses less energy and time to remove the cataract,” Ang explained.
“There are different IOLs available nowadays. There are monofocals, multifocals, trifocals, torics and extended depth-of-focus. All these can help restore patients’ vision,” he added. “We recommended Mr. Gutierrez multifocal IOLs, so he can see both near and far and will not have to wear eyeglasses anymore.”
However, not all cataract patients choose multifocal IOLs. Ang said: “Before surgery, patients undergo cataract screening. This will allow us to evaluate their overall eye condition, assess how advanced the cataracts are and determine which IOL is appropriate for their condition and lifestyle.”
After surgery, Rama posted: “After four hours of praying and waiting, Eddie came out of the operating room with a big smile. His right eye can see clearly now.” One week later, Gutierrez got surgery for his left eye. After one month, he was back to his daily activities, including spending time with his grandchildren.
According to Ang, patients cannot have surgery for both eyes on the same day: “We want to make sure their eye is healed first before we do another surgery. All they need to do is wear their eye shield as recommended, do light activity and instill eye drops to ensure good recovery.”
Today, Gutierrez enjoys clear vision in both eyes and was recently able to travel for a vacation with his family.