Easy on the eyes

August 05, 2019
Tabletop with eyeglasses and photo of man in a hat (Eduardo Valls Jr.)

Eduardo Valls Jr. can see clearly again after quick, convenient cataract surgery

There’s a clear lens inside your eye that helps to focus images and light on the retina. Over time, that lens can turn from clear to cloudy, resulting in a cataract. “Patients with cataracts can present with a variety of symptoms,” says Ophthalmologist Laura Mendiola, MD. “They may experience blurred vision, difficulty with glare, trouble seeing street signs during the day or even have a hard time driving at night.”

Eduardo Valls Jr. knows that all too well. He experienced all of these symptoms and more. Television images appeared blurry and, despite using magnifying glasses, he often ended up with a headache after reading.

Valls wasn’t alone. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, cataracts affect more than 24 million Americans age 40 and older. In fact, about half of all Americans can expect to develop a cataract by age 75. “These changes can occur gradually as we age,” Dr. Mendiola explains. “Some patients may not realize just how much their vision is affected until they are checked by their eye doctor.”

While lifestyle changes, like new glasses, may help with early symptoms, Dr. Mendiola determined that the best solution for Valls was cataract surgery at Providence Health Center. Recent renovations restored surgical services there, giving patients in the Laredo area a convenient option for low-acuity procedures like this one.

Learn more about surgery at Doctors Hospital >

Valls, who lives close to Providence, was impressed. “I would recommend it 100%,” he says. “It was very nice inside—clean and professional—and the procedure itself only took about 15 minutes.”

Dr. Mendiola wants prospective patients to know that cataract surgery will not only affect their vision but could also improve their quality of life. “Oftentimes the surgery helps patients be more independent,” she says. “Restored vision may also help prevent other injuries such as falls and hip fractures. While it is only a quick outpatient procedure, it can make a dramatic difference in a patient’s life.”

Valls agrees. “What can I say, my recovery was perfect,” he says. “Life is much better now. The whole process went smoothly from start to finish and my vision is now 20/20.”

Renovations completed at Providence Health Center

Renovations were completed at Providence Health Center, located at 230 Calle del Norte, in early 2019. In addition to beautifying the center inside and out, these multimillion-dollar upgrades restored surgical services to the site.

The surgical focus at this facility is on supporting lower acuity (less serious) procedures, such as ophthalmology and ear/nose/throat surgeries, as well as low-acuity general and orthopedic surgeries.

Along with surgical care, the newly renovated Providence Health Center will continue to house a laboratory draw station and radiology services. These areas were also refreshed as part of the renovation program.